This generation of games has become more competitive than ever. Competitors that were strong in the 1990s have completely retreated, and systems that were weak have risen almost to the top spot. The top three competitors right now are Nintendo and their Wii and Game Boy DS, Sony and their PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Potable, and Microsoft and their Xbox 360. Each company trying to keep up with the others, they’re adding more content, signing more developers and produce better equipment.

Nintendo is the leading manufacturer of video game systems right now, followed by Microsoft and Sony last. This was just a recent development that happened only in the last two years. For almost 10 years, Sony’s PlayStation 2 was the best gaming system, with the Nintendo Gamecube and Microsoft’s Xbox far behind. However, despite their inability to keep up with Sony, they were able to produce quality games like Super Smash Brothers Melee and Pikmin for Nintendo, and Halo and Fable for Xbox. Every system had classics, but then the race changed when Microsoft announced the arrival of its next-gen system just a year after the Xbox launched. This causes the other 2 competitors to start their own race to see who could come up with the best next-gen system. It was very interesting how each developer rose to the challenge.

The first of the major companies to release a next-generation system was Microsoft with the Xbox 360, featuring improved graphics, online play, and a large initial collection of games. However, this cost around $400, and what came included was the system, a simple cable connection, and a controller. This was back in the day when the Blue Ray DVD format was competing with the HD DVD format, so if you wanted something better than a regular DVD, you’d have to shell out another $100 for an upgrade, not to mention a $65 game for to play. However, the launch of the system was good timing because it had no competition for a year, which gave plenty of time to lower prices and increase quality.

Nintendo has always been a family business that has games for everyone. With this in mind, they decided to take an approach to expand their gaming audience from just gamers to everyone. They came up with a simple control scheme that used motion sensors to direct where the character would go on screen. The games they developed were all of very good quality and reacted very well to motion controllers. Nintendo released the Wii a year after the Xbox 360 and a week before the PlayStation 3. Nintendo’s advantage in the race was that its system cost just $250 at launch, plus the Wii was mass-produced, for what they had a lot to sell. The Wii sold out so fast and they couldn’t keep it on the shelves for almost a whole year!

The PlayStation 3 finally came out a week after the Wii sold for $500. What made it special was that it came with a BluRay DVD player installed, so it could already play Blue Ray DVDs right out of the box. Unfortunately, Blue Ray has yet to catch on like DVD did, which is what saved the PlayStation 2 from going under when it first came out.

As the race progresses, each competitor tries to make their system look like the best, or at least better than someone else’s. It will be interesting to see how this goes and see what happens in the future and what exciting new systems come out of the fight.

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