XBOX? What’s that?

Yes, Sony fans–the PS3 has been unveiled! With The Cell processor at 3.2 GHz pushing more than 2 Teraflops of processing goodness and more than the graphics capacity of 2 GeForce 6800 cards running at 1080p resolution, this is going to SCREAM! Gameplay issues and bizarre vehicular choices aside, anyone who saw the latest incarnation of the legendary Gran Turismo line (up to #4 now, quite an accomplishment in the fickle gaming world) is wondering how much more realistic can it really get before you need a full-motion simulator. The technology is there, sports fans, and Sony has shown their mettle in providing gamers with the best in console gaming time and time again. Sure, XBOX had Halo and Halo 2. You’re still only halfway to the reign of the Gran Turismo series alone. Besides, any first-person shooter (FPS) fan knows that FPS’ have to be played with a keyboard and mouse. Nintendo had a few games worth playing, but most of them, had they come out on PC, would have barely merited the time to play the demo and dump the file, never to be reinstated. Arguably, some of the greatest games ever have been the within the realm of the Playstation line, including the aforementioned Gran Turismo line, but also Grand Theft Auto 3, then Vice City, and now San Andreas, racking up rave reviews across the board.

Old-school gamers like me still find it awkward to manipulate the twin analog sticks, preferring the comfortable feel of the D-pad, but kudos to Sony for introducing pressure-sensitive buttons and high-quality analog sticks, without which Gran Turismo would have been just another racing clone (Ridge Racer, anyone?). Unless Microsoft leverages some of their vaunted resources into hiring edgy, fresh game designers, I predict Sony will rule the roost yet again, beginning in Spring 2006. Far too far away for many of us, however short the time may be… [Britt Godwin]