May 2002
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OPINION

Which Video Game Console Is Best?
By Alvin Cadonic, Grade 11, Tec Voc High School, Winnipeg, MB

Have you been trying to figure out which video game console is best? I have been. Every day. Okay, not every day. I have a life outside of video gaming. (Ha ha. No I don't.) I wonder which of the video game systems is the "best buy." Well after years of wondering (okay two weeks) I've come to a conclusion. But you might not like it. At the risk of sounding like just another person who says their system rules, I'd have to say PlayStation2 is the best system! Scold me, hate me, I don't care! Do your worst. Okay, I'm just trying to sound tough. Please show mercy! I didn't buy a PS2 because someone said I should and then just assume that it was better simply because I owned it. I bought it and I kept with it because I tried all the other systems and in the end Sony consoles always came on top! The difference between the fanatics and me is that I have facts to back me up!

Before I get into why PS2 is better, I'll go into all its major faults and fumbles. The biggest problem is that because it's Sony, and because Sony likes to bring out a product and then work out the bugs after the consumers have found them (why god, why?!), we get stuck with buggy systems. My PS2 was one of the first 510,000 consoles sold on opening day weekend. It's been a year and a half now and none of my blue tint discs (PS2 DVD discs) will work on my PS2! Sony assures me that the problems have been fixed (now that we consumers have found them) but I still have to buy a new PS2. The PS2 has only two controller ports and it's the least advanced system of any on the market! The Network adaptor and the Hard Disc Drive are add-ons! Publishers and developers initially found the PS2 hard to develop for the console. Finally, the PS2 still costs $299 U.S. / $513 CAN, despite the fact the GameCube is only $297 Canadian!

Okay now that that's out of the way, I'll tell you why the PS2 is still the better buy, despite its inferiorities. It has the largest number of third party developers and that means more games! It has the largest number of well-known games. It has established strong, fresh new franchises and it has improved its first-party role with better developers! It's the only system that truly encourages innovation. The PS2 plays DVD's/Music CD's and your old PSony games! Forget about playing your 64 games on GameCube; they're not compatible. Ha! The games on PS2 are a lot better and more fun than the ones on any other system! I borrowed a GameCube from a friend for the trial period of two weeks. I played "Super Smash Bros. Melee" for a week, but I didn't see much of a difference from its predecessor. It had new characters, stages, extra stuff and more moves for the characters, but at times I honestly thought I was playing an N64 game. The graphics were almost identical! It's a good party game but that fun only lasts a few hours a day until they have to go home. After that, there is not much of a point to playing it because it's pretty much the same thing over and over again. I bought Metal Gear Solid 2 six months ago and it still surprises me! I've beaten it over a million times on every difficulty and I still want to play it! It's not one bit tedious, unlike SSB Melee.

What do other gamers think? Well, even though the PS2 is the least advanced system, it still dominates! In March, published sales figures showed that PS2 was out-selling GameCube and X-Box combined with weekly sales of approximately 65,000 units. GameCube and X-Box were head to head selling about 30,000 consoles a week. In total sales, the PS2 has sold 8.3 million consoles since it's October 2000 release while GameCube and X-Box have sold 1.5 and 1.8 million units respectively since their November 2001 release. In Japan it's even more mind-boggling! PS2 is selling at approximately 84,000 a week while the GameCube is selling about 36,000 consoles a week. The X-Box, however, isn't doing too well. It has sold only 184,448 units since it's February release! Go check it yourself. I dare you! Go to the Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft websites and try to find their sales figures! They'll be just the way I said.

The most important part about video gaming of course are the video games! PS2 has successful, fresh new titles like Devil May Cry, Onimusha and Jax & Daxter, in addition to it's established titles like MGS2, Final Fantasy X, Gran Turismo 3, Virtua Fight 4, Silent Hill 2, Tony Hawk 3 and Grand Theft Auto 3. Twisted Metal Black made a terrific come back and reclaimed its "Car Combat" crown! Out of all the systems, it has the most popular games! This year it's getting a new Grand Theft Auto, the next Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy XI, Devil May Cry 2, Onimusha 2, Kingdom Hearts and Tekken 4!

I'll admit that some of the upcoming games on GameCube have better quality, but I'll list some of the majors and tell me what you notice. Super Mario Sunshine, The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong (not for a while), Metroid Prime and Star Fox Adventures. Do they sound familiar? All Nintendo does is take a game they've done and give it a new story with improved graphics (even though the images still look muddy!) In the end it's the same thing and I got bored with it! That's why Im with PS2 because in addition to their existing powerhouses they expand and grow to get new powerhouses! Nintendo takes something and gives it a makeover while not adding new "must have" titles to their library. DK and Metroid are the only games that have truly "evolved"!

Perfect Dark and Pokemon are Nintendo's only new powerhouses. How long have they been in the video game business? Seventeen years! Sony's been in the gaming business around seven years and they've already got around 14 powerhouses (eight of those games are exclusive by the way, with two more most likely to become exclusive!) Are some of Sony's powerhouses on other systems? Yes! Are they all on GC and X-box? No, some are on GC and not on X-Box and visa versa, but they're all on PS2! Nintendo managed to get exclusive rights to the next seven Resident Evil games (they're trying to lose their kiddie image) but that's not enough! Give me something NEW!

I'll also admit that Sony is a money grubbing company that over charges and sometimes make me mad, but at least they GIVE US SOMETHING NEW! Online gaming should be here by 2003 (they say by the end of the year but Sony prefers to take its time.) Sony has already established their potential foothold in Japan, and Microsoft (if they're still in the game) will announce their online plan soon (top-secret.) While Nintendo really hasn't done anything to show their "innovation" in this fifth console war. Sony gives their publishers freedom and lets them do new things! Come on Nintendo, why can't you?

The only "big" games coming out for X-Box are sequels or ports of other games like Shenmue 2, Unreal Championship, Crazy Taxi 3, House of the Dead, Toejam and Earl, Mech assault, Panzer Dragoon X and a new Star Wars game. They're all good hopefuls, but they can't possibly stand up to the games Sony and Nintendo lined up this year! MGS2:X and GTA3 for X-Box are missing in action, possibly because Konami and RockStar are hesitant to put their "flagship" games on the system (since it's reported bad fortune in Japan.) If Microsoft doesn't come up with something great again like Halo (best shooter ever), they don't stand a chance, despite having the Great Diablo (Bill Gates) on their side.

Well there you go. I've dished out all that I can. In any case, only you can decide which system is a fit for you. If you're a Nintendo fan, I'm sorry if I've "offended" you but I'm just stating the facts. Keep in mind I have had every system I've mentioned in this article for a time period of one week and PS2 impressed me the most. It may be my gaming tastes or because I've had a PS2 for a year now, but you can't say I bull----ed you.

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