Put aside all the jokes about the price and the weak line-up of games and reams of statistics showing the Nintendo DS trouncing the PSP in Japan. Just follow me for a bit and see what I see: even modest success of the PSP means the traditional console market now has to compete with the traditionally distinct handheld market.
With Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories winging its way to my mailbox this very instant and several days of time sunk already into Ridge Racer and Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee in the past couple of months, the entertainment-per-dollar ratio has been leaning in Sony's favor for a while now. Most other people's opinions about the PSP are irrelevant once you pay your dues and join the club.
As a club member, the PSP has totally changed my outlook on the next year. Sure, I am considering a PlayStation 3, whenever it should arrive. I still enjoy my PlayStation 2, and have lots of good games ready to be played. I've even got a few PS2 games on my Christmas list, like Shadow of the Colossus and Taito Legends. Heck, I've even thought that in the next year, if new Xbox systems and games cease production, I might even consider a used Xbox system and cheap used games.
But those systems are less important to me now. My buying outlook has shifted. Got a new, interesting game that catches my fancy? If it's available in reasonable form on the PSP then I'll buy that version over a PS2 version, even though I own both systems. This has happened already with at least one game: Tomb Raider: Legends. If Lara's new adventure reviews about as well as the last one and is put onto the PSP without performing a full lobotomy on the console version, then I'll probably go for the PSP version.
Going forward, my first question after I see an interesting game will be "Great, now can I get it on the PSP?"
Why? Because I can play the PSP for 3 minutes and then put it to sleep when Daddy Duty calls. Because I can play the PSP without finding a free TV in the house. Because I can put on headphones and set the sound like I want without bothering anyone else. Because it fits easily alongside my laptop and goes with me when I travel.
Because it's a console that fits the lifestyle of someone with a real life.
So for me, the PlayStation 3 isn't competing with the Xbox 360 or the Nintendo Revolution. It's going to be competing with the PSP. And right now, the PS3 is losing.
You ask me, what will really determain the 'Console Wars (great idea for a game name)' is compatability between the handheld systems and the home systems. This is my personal break down of each system in a fast and furious form.
'Warning: Keep in Mind I'm a nintendo fanboy but I will try and be as fair to each system as possible, also incase you think I'm on my knees... more than once a day.. to give head to the Miyamoto god; my feeling is Playstation 1 TROUNCED n64 in all ways (except Super Smash Brothers and Goldeneye... god damn those were godly) Without further ado I give you a review! (hehe poetry..)
Xbox 360: Released too early in an attempt to get a 'headstart' on the competition if you look at the system now versus the system plans of 2 years ago you'll see its not as good as they had hoped. Microsoft has less 'exclusive' producers for the 360 than they did for the original. This will cause problems since the xbox mainly relyed on the fact microsoft had enough money to force any company to make a game for them. On the brightside though, the original creator of Final Fantasy has left Squarenix to create his own company so we can look forward to good games on all three systems. Finally the price tag on the 360 is not gonna help its sales, it costs allmost 1 months rent.
Ps3: What to say about the ps3.. well for starters it has some of the best producer companys backing it, many of my favorite companys dating back to SNES and even NES are going ps3 exlusive. Here is a short list for you of ones I know; KOEI, Konami, Namco, Atlus, and thats just to name a FEW of the great companys backing ps3. HOWWWWWEVVEEEERRRR, it appears to me that the ps3 has the same problems the ps2 did; namely hard to use production software due to the new technology. Most systems use fairly new stuff making the games get better and better and better looking and feeling as the system gets older, a few examples: Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI for the SNES, or Final Fantasy 8 for the psx, Metal Gear Solid 3 for the ps2. However that means companys have to learn the software as well as the capabilitys of the hardware with each new redition of a system, and sony tends to make the biggest leaps with each release (psx; first to use cd systems, ps2; emotion engine, ps3; Cell Chip) many companys if you look rather than learn how to use it simply ignored the emotion engine, creating more bland and lifeless looking games. The xbox is basically a miniture 'frag box' computer running on a broken down barebones windows os (as we ALL know from the infamous BSOD videos during the begining of the system release) This means that companys that make PC games as well, will have an easier time creating top knotch games for the Xbox (Examples: doom3 and halflife2) whereas the cell system is completly new, and thought the harddrive system runs on linux, the hardware has to be learned.
Finally the oldschool returns for another beatdown in the marketing division.
Nintendo Revolution: The revolution is taking a differant approach(spelling? lol) than the xbox or the ps3, whereas sony and microsoft are trying to turn their console systems into minicomputers that use your TV as a monitor, nintendo is leaning more towards making your gaming experiance into more of a stand up arcade system for your home. We all have seen the contraversal video for the Rev's controller which is scary, yet intriguing; like a girl in your car after a prom.. but not the girl you went to the prom with or remember leting in your car. Nintendo is trying to go near completly wireless with their system, making the step of having the DS connect wirelessly to the revolution and obvious next step... possibly opening up games that use 3 screens and cause you to go cross eyed trying to view them all at once. The controller is original for sure, marketing on many systems used in arcade games (sword consoles, shooting consoles, anything using infrared systems.) however the innovation may scare off the newer and more 'hip' generation of sleek ps2 and xbox gamers looking for their next madden fix. The system is obviously geared towards older gamers with the ability to download roms from nintendo LEGALLY, however question still remains as to the cost per rom, and if they will get the rights to allow for download of non-nintendo created games (such as Goldeneye for n64 or the original metal gears for nes) The price tag will invariably be much lower than the ps3 or xbox 360, meaning higher sales for parents planning on buying gifts for their children, however the system will not be quite as powerfull in hardware. I plan on getting the system simply because Intelligent systems and Hal Labs work for nintendo and they make me wet all over, but having the new controller and weakest hardware of all the systems makes it something not for the person who wants 'More Power' (insert Tim Allen grunt here)
In the end my PERSONAL plans are to save up and buy the revolution and if I have enough money after bills and such get the ps3 as well. But thats just me.
My 2 cents.