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Published on July 8th, 2011 | by simeon

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Are The Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 Not Living Up To Their Potential?

As a journalist, I have access to view and sample the latest technology available to gamers. At our Seattle office, Nintendo and Microsoft were in close proximity and with Arizona office, I am able to attend C.E.S. and E3 on a regular basis which allows me to see the best and brightest on the emerging technologies.
While the PC is always my first choice for gaming, I have used the consoles extensively over the years and recently have enjoyed gaming with the Kinect and the Move.

While the console wars have been going on for ages both sides have addressed many of the issues that surrounded their earlier releases. Sony had to contend with the high cost the PlayStation 3 as well as what many perceive to be a lack of exclusive titles. Microsoft on the other hand, had to contend with console failures through the dreaded red ring of death, as well as the need to pay for costly add-ons such as Wi-Fi, HD DVD, external hard drives, and others which when combined raise the price of a comparable Xbox unit two more than the retail price of the PlayStation 3.

As rumors of new units for both Sony and Microsoft continue to swirl and with Nintendo already announcing their next console, I had to ask myself if the two consoles are making the most of their abilities or if the designers are content to simply tread water until the next generation of consoles is revealed.
Sony has added 3-D Blu- Ray capacity and a motion control to their system but was plagued by the publicity around the recent computer hack of their network. Undaunted the company is gearing up to release several high profile titles such as Uncharted 3 and Resistance 3 as well as a 3-D monitor that will allow gamers to play split screen in 3-D as well as watch 3-D DVDs.

While there a wealth of games for their Move motion control, the ability to play first-person shooters thanks to a directional controller is a huge plus for the company. However, there are those that believe that motion control game selection still lacks that one must have title that makes owning the Move a must.

Microsoft scored big with the Kinect but after the dust has settled I find myself asking if I can do anything other than dance or exercise with it. Many of the games I have found to be quite limiting as they tend to follow exercise, driving, or sports titles. While the releases I played have been very entertaining I find myself wanting to play more grants and complex games with system. I would love to be able to play a first-person shooter but the lack of the directional control makes this currently impossible and limits the games which are available.

I saw many of the pending titles at E3 and while there were some intriguing things such as Just Dance 2 and a virtual Disneyland interactive game, much of it seemed more the same and fairly underwhelming. I had high hopes for the Star Wars game but the demonstration failed to live up to my expectations.

Microsoft has backed themselves in a corner from capacity standpoint as their decision to embrace HD DVD was a complete failure. The death of that format requires Microsoft to either license Blu-Ray technology from their rival Sony or to go without 3-D enabled movies in HD and simply rely on streaming movies.

The big issue is going to come very soon for Microsoft as its reported that the upcoming 3-D shooter RAGE will require multiple discs for the Xbox 360 version. While multiple discs is nothing new for PC owners console owners may find this new challenge to adapt to especially one the Blu-Ray enabled PS 3 will likely be able to fit the entire game on one disc.

Both systems have tremendous capacities but I have to ask myself if both systems are truly being all that they can be.

Microsoft can desperately use a directional motion control, newer franchise titles, and true 3-D capabilities.
Sony needs to continue their recent trend of exclusive titles as well as expand the range of offerings for the Move. I would also like to see Sony really take advantage of the abilities of a 3-D Blu-ray and give us exclusive titles that will set the new standards for graphics.

While both systems appear to have years of top-notch functionality ahead of them I have to wonder the best and brightest of both companies are focusing their efforts on the next generation of consoles. While I understand the need to look ahead both companies need to seriously question how many people in this economy will be shelling out $700 for new system, peripherals, and games.

Perhaps with a little more time and attention both consoles can reach their full potential.


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