Entertainment Weekly grades console war

Adding a few facts to the console warrior's arsenal, Entertainment Weekly has issued its midterm results for Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's Wii. Penned by respected gaming journalist Geoff Keighley, as well as Wook Kim and Gary Eng Walk, EW graded each console by what...

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Adding a few facts to the console warrior's arsenal, Entertainment Weekly has issued its midterm results for Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's Wii. Penned by respected gaming journalist Geoff Keighley, as well as Wook Kim and Gary Eng Walk, EW graded each console by what was liked and disliked, and took a look at how the three will fare in the future. While some of the details have changed, EW's rankings have not.

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As with last November's assessment, EW again put the Xbox 360 at top of the ****with an "A-" grade. According to the trio, the Xbox 360's best assets are its superior Xbox Live service and the multimedia capabilities of the Elite model. Diminishing these advantages are the need for an expensive HD-DVD add-on to watch high-def movies and the now-notorious hardware failures. Going forward, EW thinks Microsoft will have a far more difficult time retaining its leader status in light of the Wii's phenomenal rate of sales and the PS3's strengthening game lineup.

Nintendo's Wii didn't fare as well, earning just a B-minus. Motion-sensing controls are still the system's biggest draw, and the increased third-party creativity with the remote means that the Wii's unique library will continue to grow, according to the site. However, EW sees Nintendo's neglect of the hardcore gamer by the exclusion of online-capable play to be a serious detriment. By squandering its built-in Wi-Fi potential, and with no support planned for new virtual console games until 2008, the EW crew sees the console's bloom beginning to fade.

Tieing with the Wii is the PS3, which also received a B-minus. While the power of its hardware is indisputable, EW brings up the main sticking point on Sony's system: its $599 price tag. EW also takes issue with the feather-light and rumble-deprived Sixaxis controller, and what the authors feel is a scant lineup of quality games. Looking forward, EW thinks that all Sony's beleaguered system needs is some must-have titles and a few "bold executive decisions" to make significant gains on its competitors.

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