Nintendo vs. Sony Week: Wii vs. PS3

May 18, 2007

(Note: Throughout the week, Flava and Flinch will be battling it out controller-to-controller, cartridge to CD as they determine which gaming company is best in the land: Nintendo or Sony)

So this is it. The last day of the wildly successful Nintendo vs. Sony week. And we’ve certainly saved the best for last, as we dive head-first into the hottest debate in the console gamming world: Nintendo Wii vs. Sony Playstation 3. We wanna say thanks for all the new readers we gained, and a special shout out to all the original OGs who were there from the begining. Play on, playas.

WiiAt this moment in time, a console battle is being waged which will go down in the annals of console battledom. Lo, we have before us the mystical Wii, a device so creative as to redefine creativity. A fully cable-free controller that moves as you move, reacts as you react.Is the Wii actually redefining how people interact not only with gaming consoles, but with machines? Is the Wii brining society closer to the machine, ultimately leading to a Matrix-like human/machine coupling?PS3

Meanwhile, Sony once again is attempting to bring raw, brute power to the gaming console world. Begone ye underpowered chipsets. Step aside old load technologies. ( I spit in your general direction, cartridge. I fart in your general direction, compact disc. DVD? Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!)

Here comes the awesome power of the PS3, a device more powerful than many home computers. A device destined to define home entertainment. A device destined to cost over $600.

A device destined to change the way we think of gaming more than the Wii. Like everything else Nintendo does, the Wii is a fun little toy. Enjoy swinging your arms playing Tennis or Baseball. Enjoy watching those oh-so-cute avatars on the screen. Enjoy having no mental challenge at all.

Enjoy the new Mario games. Yawn.The Nintendo Wii is the vitamin enhanced white bread of consoles.Meanwhile, the Sony PS3 is the multigrain all-natural wheat bread. It’s complex, high in fiber, and all around good for you. It engages the body and the mind, and the spirit is not far behind.

Instead of mindless arm swinging, the PS3 has the most realistic graphics and gaming engine ever put out to the mass market. When you walk through the electronics store, it’s really hard to tell if that football game in the far corner is a real game or two kids playing a PS3.

The PS3 can also take full advantage of your newly purchased HD ready TV. Not only do the games show up in full HD glory, the “jury is out” inclusion of a Blu-Ray drive sets the visual enjoyment of movies to maximum warp speed.

Look, I’m not into cutesy cartoons. I’m into serious games that take me to another world, away from the day’s stresses and troubles. The PS3, like no other platform before, accomplishes this.

Now Flava, please bore us with some BS about how all of this doesn’t matter, because playing cartoon games is (oh my gawd!) so much fun!

When I was mulling the Nintendo vs. Wii debate over in my head, I did what I always do: try to think of an analogy. It is my bread and butter. I’m the analogy guy. And so my brain did its apples-and-wolverines thing, and my mental computer spit out this gem:The PS3 is like Radiohead, and the Wii is like the Black-Eyed Peas.I know. This shocked me as much as it surely does you. Did I paint myself in a corner? Has my love of all things Nintendo been misplaced? Do I even exist??? How can I like the Fergie of video game systems?But then I had an epiphany. And I went all Allen Iverson:

We’re talkin’ bout video games! I mean, we’re talkin’ bout video games! We’re not talking about art! We’re talkin’ bout VIDEO GAMES!!!

Repeatedly throughout the week, you have dismissed Nintendo’s products for being fun. What? Seriously? It’s no longer okay for video games to be fun? Isn’t that the whole point?

Sometimes, I’ll get sucked into playing Call of Duty or some crap. The first couple levels go well, and I’m having fun. But then I get to level four or something and I die. So I play it again. And I die. And again, die. And between the time it takes to load the level, play the level, fail the level, go back to the menu, choose the level again, load the level again, and repeat; I’m approaching an hour of the same crap. And I think: why? Why am I doing this?

I guess I am supposed to feel a deeper sense of accomplishment for defeating a difficult level. But I never do.

Here are the levels of gratification for video game accomplishments (from least to greatest):

  1. Beating a video game
  2. Beating your friends at a video game
  3. Beating the original Ninja Turtles NES game (that shit was impossible)

And that’s it. I don’t care if the game is Lego Star Wars or Devil May Cry 2. When I’m done, I’m done.

Once a week or so, I gather some friends, some beer, and a pizza in a room together to have a video game night. Teriffic fun, I highly recommend it. When we started, I assumed that we would be playing mostly PS2 games like Madden, NBA 2k7, Star Wars Battlefront, etc. And we did at first (with the help of a multi-tap).

But every game we played fell into the same pattern: out of four people, one guy dominated the game, one guy really sucked at the game, and two guys were only having a mild bit of fun. It was okay, but it wasn’t the riotous fun that we were hoping for.

But then something magical happened: we aquired a Game Cube. My roomates had one, because I never would have thought to buy one myself.

Yes, that’s right Flinch. I was once like you. Flava was once a Playstation snob.

Anyhoo, we started playing games like Mario Party, Mario Cart, the new Bond game, Super Strykers, etc. The competition was intense and everybody was having a good time. No, wait. Everyone was having a great time. Teams that won gave each other high fives; teams that lost talked trash about how they were going to win the next one. The room was alive, and video games turned into something that I never knew they could be:

They were fun.

So we’ve been doing this for a long while now. We’ve upgraded to a Wii via one of my friends (I hope to get mine soon) and it is even better. Now that we are all standing and moving around, the energy in the room is even more electric. I look forward to these days all week.

Every once and awhile, I’ll need a gaming fix while by friends are busy and I’ll fire up the ‘ol Playstation 2 to remember the good times. I sit down in my room by myself. Maybe grab some Baked Lays and a PBR. I fire up the machine and wait for it to load. I play the next level, I die. Restart. I try again. I die again. Back to the menu. Load. Wait. Try again. Die. Try again……………………….

Screw this. I’ma go and ride my bike.

Flinchbot Says: Actually Flava, I agree with you. If we spent more time riding our bikes, and less time rotting our brains with video games, we would be healthier, wealthier, and wiser.Which means we’d get laid. I mean, we’d get laid more. Yeah…that’s what I meant.More.

FlavaDave Says: And there it is. When arguing about video games, there are no real winners.Although, I should point out that playing Guitar Hero II at my house got a friend of mine laid. But that’s a story for another time…………

That’s it everybody, go home.  Nothing more to see here.  Go hit the showers and come back ready for a clean run at it after the weekend. Thanks for visiting us, and we will see you bright-and-early Monday morning for a fresh new topic and a cripsy, crunchy, delicious new edition of F versus F.  Later!


Nintendo vs. Sony Week: DS vs. PSP

May 16, 2007

(Note: Throughout the week, Flava and Flinch will be battling it out controller-to-controller, cartridge to CD as they determine which gaming company is best in the land: Nintendo or Sony)

Day Two of Nintendo vs. Sony saw Flava take a strategic retreat while Flinch, confident in his obvious victory, decided not to run up the score and instead explored the faults of the PS2. As a result, for the second consecutive day we set an all-time record for hits here at F versus F. Granted, we’ve only been around a month, but we are proud regardless. On to Day Three!(Note: Flinch had a server crisis at work and was out of commission yesterday. So Day Three has stretched into Day Four. Thanks for sticking with us)

I love me some PS2, so when I heard that Sony was making a portable version of the Playstation I was kinda juiced. All that GTA goodness to go? Hell yeah.So a friend of mine got it, and I asked him about it. “What’s it like?” I said. “It’s just like a portable Playstation”. Awesome!So I got a chance to play it, and he was right. It was………….exactly like a portable Playstation. Same kind of games, same buttons, same look. Only portable.Now, if you are a video game-crazed kid, this might be pretty cool. But I’m (sort of) an adult. I don’t need a 20 minute diversion while my mom drives me to school. I want a cool game system that I have the option to take with me if I go on a long road trip (which is rare).So why would I play the exact same games that I can play on my PS2 with worse graphics, a smaller screen and tiny buttons?Oh yeah, I forgot. I can watch movies on it, too. But how do I fit my DVDs in there? What’s that? I gotta buy a disk that can be played only by my PSP at full price? Uh, no thanks. I’ll stick to my video iPod, thanks.

This is the problem with the PSP. It can do lots of cool stuff, but everything that’s cool about it is replicated by other, better machines (and those machines do it better). The gameplay and games can be experienced on the PS2. The portable movies thing can be done by a video iPod. And the portable games deal is done better by the Nintendo DS.

All the bases are covered by the DS. The graphics look really cool, it is obviously portable, and you can WiFi play with other DS owners. Sweet. But that’s just the start.

The DS has two screens, which is all kinds of handy. Pulling up maps in adventure games without stopping gameplay, activating extra items in Mario Bros., or just simply getting to see more of the action. It is an innovation that isn’t replicated by any other company’s game system, portable or no.But the coolest part of the screen is the fact that it is a touch screen. Cooking Mama is a brilliant game that is done entirely by touch. In fact, the game would be impossible without it. Are there any games on the PSP that would be impossible if the PSP never existed?

Plus, the DS gave us New Super Mario Bros., which is an absolute joy to play.

But don’t ask me. Ask the consumers. The DS has sold 40 million copies so far, while the PSP has shipped only 24 million units so far (they understandably won’t release the actual numbers sold).

So Flinch, since there is nothing new about the PSP, what void in my life does the PSP fulfill?

Flinchbot Says: There’s nothing new? Well try this on for size.

You want to play portable games, so you grab your DS.

Video iPodYou want to watch movies on the go, so you grab your video iPod.

Video iPodYou want to listen to music on the go, so you grab your (video) iPod.

Cell Phone (Closed, Small)You want to browse the web on the go, so you grab your cell phone.

Palm TreoYou want to check in on RSS feeds on the go, so you grab your (much nicer) cell phone.

T-Mobile DashYou want to watch live TV on the go, so you grab your…uh…PDA (or really, really nice cell phone.)

Meanwhile, I just grab my PSP.PSP

You are grabbing your PDA/Phone comboT-Mobile Dash, your video iPodVideo iPod, and your DS.

Of course that’s a slightly unfair comparison, because my cell phone Cell Phone (Closed, Small)goes everywhere I go, so really you only need to grab your DS and your video iPodVideo iPod. You also better have a kick ass cell phone if you want to match me for on-the-go entertainment. I also recommend you pick up a pair of Dockers Mobile Pants to hold all of this stuff.But hey, if you only want to play a cooking game on a touch screen with your fellow 6 year olds, then go get your DS and head on down the road.What I have not compared so far are like features. Both have 802.11b Wi-Fi, both allow for network play. I’m guessing the DS also has the features where if you don’t have a game I can beam it over to you and then play you head to head?You also ragged on the UMD disc that is on the PSP, saying how you wouldn’t buy one to watch movies. I have yet to buy a UMD movie as well, though I’ve tried and failed to get a few low-ball bids through on eBay. However, I have ripped DVD’s to my 1GB memory chip and watched full movies that way.Good luck doing that with your DS.

And the DS has outsold the PSP, by far. It is a cheaper device. It is also great for stressed parents to give to their kids to get them to shut up for a few hours. What with thrilling games like Cooking Mama I’m surprised I didn’t run out and buy one so I to could “follow real recipes or experiment with your own combinations to create a culinary masterpiece with your stylus. Let’s get cooking, mama!”

And much like our PS1 vs. NES discussion, it also boils down to games and the ability of Sony to get games for kids and adults alike, while Nintendo is great for kids. I’m not a kid. I don’t want no damn Mario anywhere near my gaming console. I want realistic sports games. I want to be able to maul some dude with ultrarealistic blood and guts spewing from ultraviolent activities (Grand Theft Auto, anyone?). I also want to play silly little time-wasters like Lumines (think Tetris).

With the DS, I would have a full world in front of me silly little time-wasters. Plus, I wouldn’t be able to surf the web, listen to music, or watch movies all in one. And that all-in-one makes the PSP the only choice for anyone over 6 years of age.

FlavaDave Says: The DS can surf the web.  Like you said, everybody already has a cell phone, so that’s comming no matter what.  And I take my video iPod with me all the time anyway.

And if you don’t want anything to do with Mario, I don’t know what to tell you.

Nintendo vs. Sony Week: N64 vs. PS2

May 15, 2007

(Note: Throughout the week, Flava and Flinch will be battling it out controller-to-controller, cartridge to CD as they determine which gaming company is best in the land: Nintendo or Sony)

We just finished Day One of Nintendo vs. Sony Week, and I am happy to report that we are off to a terrific start. We gained a few new commentators, and we would like to extend a warm welcome to them. The people have spoken, and NES has scored a decisive victory in round one (Flinch Edit: Hardly…). As a result of Flava’s domination (and Flinch’s game efforts to resist the inevitable), we logged an all-time high for most hits in a single day. (Go us!) With the wind at our backs, we dive right into Round 2 of Nintendo vs. Sony. Today, the Nintendo 64 clashes with the Playstation 2. It is the second of two battles featuring ‘old’ systems. Don’t worry, the epic Wii vs. PS3 is in the queue. But for now, on with Day Two of Nintendo vs. Sony Week.

FlavaDave Says: Ah yes. The PS2. By far the best piece of equipment Sony ever made. Everybody bought it, rappers made songs about it, parents screamed bloody murder over all the bloody murders depicted in pixels.The PS2 made the first truly great sports games. And we will never forget the unbridled joy of playing Grand Theft Auto 3 for the first time. Genius.And I acknowledge that genius. So today on F versus F, I am refusing to pull a Flinchbot. Instead, I’m admitting this right out the gate: the PS2 is better than the N64.Now why would I do that? Doesn’t that run contrary to the spirit of the site?No my friend, it doesn’t. Remember, the argument is over the greater gaming company: Nintendo or Sony. Flinch will win this battle, but I shall win the war.Instead, I tell you this: The Playstation 2 is the only worthwhile piece of equipment that Sony Games ever made.While you mull that over, let’s explore the cool things that the N64 did:

  • It was the first 64-bit system
  • It was home to GoldenEye 007, universally aclaimed as one of the greatest games of all time
  • It was capable of four-controller play right out of the box, which is great if you have, like, friends.
  • It had plenty of cool games, like Super Mario 64, Perfect Dark, 1080 Snowboarding (a Flava favorite), Star Wars, Star Fox, Super Smash Bros., The Legend of Zelda (another universally acknowledged classic), and Mario Kart (of course).

So it was a fun little system. The graphics were cute, and the gameplay was intentionally family-friendly (except for Quake II). You should have saved all the BS you spewed at the NES and used it for the N64, but its too late now.

But what’s wrong with fun? Games are supposed to be fun, right?

Flinchbot Says: Flava – I’m glad you’re finally figuring it out. It’s best to just quit than to engage me in a battle of wits.So for fun, I’ll tell you what sucked about the PS2.I bought one of these things SSX Trickyabout 6 months after the massive stupid hype that this thing got (something Nintendo has never seen). I bought it, I played games, I got addicted to SSX Tricky, my roommate Derek and I had epic FIFA battles, and I rolled all who dared enter m y house boasting their abilities at Madden (I don’t care which version. Hell, Bring in the NCAA Football game and I’ll smoke you at it too. (And for fairness, my record is something like 87-1. I did lose last year finally.)The PS2 keeps going with Guitar Hero. And Guitar Hero II. And Guitar Hero: Hair Metal. And Guitar Hero: Sonny and Cher. It’s worse than freaking CSI:Muncie.But you know what? I didn’t buy a PS2 just to be a game system. Remember when Sony advertised this thing as a home entertainment center? Sure, my PS2 was my first DVD player and we still use it as the CD player for piping music out on the deck during long, drunken summer nights.But adding in a DVD player hardly makes a device a home entertainment center. Can I stream crap to it like the XBox can? Can I record TV shows like a Tivo? Nope. It can’t do any of that crap.Microsoft-1979And that was the dream I was pursuing when I bought it. Any dumbass can make a video game console (See Nintendo). But it took someone with vision to really get the concept together of making a game system a home entertainment center. And that visionary genius was, gulp, Microsoft.

The PS3 seems to have caught up, but we’re talking PS2 here and to me, the PS2 has always been a disappointment to me because I expected so much more and all it did was give me a gaming system.

FlavaDave Says:

Flinchbot Says: Two words: David Lynch

Nintendo vs. Sony Week: NES vs. PS1

May 14, 2007

(Note: Throughout the week, Flava and Flinch will be battling it out controller-to-controller, cartridge to CD as they determine which gaming company is best in the land: Nintendo or Sony)

When we decided to debate the merits of the Wii versus PS3, the argument quickly evolved into which gaming company was better overall. There are alot of terrific systems and classic games in the stable of both companies, so we decided to explore the studio space with this one by having an entire week of joystick goodness. And what better place to start than at the beginning?With that in mind, we kick off Nintendo vs. Sony week with the immortal Nintendo Entertainment System squaring off against the Play Station One. FlavaDave gets it started after the jump.

FlavaDave Says: Day One contains the biggest mismatch of the week, if not the biggest mismatch in ‘F versus F‘ history. The original NES versus the PS1? Seriously?Now, I know Flinch well enough to know that he is going to make a valiant effort and come up with some crazy angle to save a little face. But you (the reader) know as well as I do that this battle was over before it started.

But I’m not going to pull a Mayweather and just go through the motions. Let’s give the greatest gaming system of all time the respect it deserves:

The Nintendo Entertainment System was released on October 18, 1985. At the time, video games were mostly the domain of arcades. Home computers were not a common thing yet, and the Atari was only acceptable because it was the only thing available. However, all that soon changed.

I still remember playing Mario for the first time. I sat in my friend Nathan’s living room for about 8 hours every single day, only taking an hour break at 11:00 to eat some PB & J while his mom watched her soaps. It was so addicting because, at the ripe age of about 5 years, we finally got a little bit of control. We had grown up watching TV, but now we got to play it.

It is very telling that now, in the year 2007, the Super Mario Bros. theme song alone has a greater impact on our culture than all the games released for the PS1 combined. I don’t even really remember any of their flagship games. Crash Bandicot? He existed right, I’m not just making that up? I sort of can’t remember. I certainly don’t remember the game.

Conversely, I dare you to find anyone who loves video games who can’t remember every detail of the first level of Super Mario Bros. I bet I could draw a map of it that is accurate to at least 85% purely from memory. And you know what? I never even owned my own NES.

Speaking of owning, almost all of my friends still own and regularly use their NES. That’s right, these machines are almost as old as we are and they are still relevant. I still play Tecmo Super Bowl to this day. Seriously. On Saturday, Bo Jackson ran for 455 yards and six touchdowns as he/I led the Raiders to a crushing 55-7 victory over the once mighty 49ers.

And that’s only a few of the classic games birthed by the NES. The Legend of Zelda, Contra, Mike Tyson’s Punchout, Metroid, Mega Man, TMNT 2, Duck Hunt, Ninja Gaiden, River City Ransom, Final Fantasy. When you think of video games, these are the titles you think of.

I ate lunch with my mom and went with her to see Spamalot on Saturday. I was behind a girl in line that had an unusual purse. It was an NES that was hollowed out, and she was using a power chord as a strap. I said it was cool, but I asked her how she could bear to destroy her NES in the process.

“Oh, of course I didn’t,” she said. “I bought two more off of eBay. One so I could make the purse, and another one in case my original one breaks down before Wednesday NES night.”

Flinchbot Says: The NES sure did revive home-based video game consoles. The first major flurry, featuring the classic Atari and Intellivision models, was seriously fading at the time Nintendo showed up. Nintendo brought in a howl new generation for graphics, gameplay, and crappy controllers to the market. People bought the hell out of them and everyone played Nintendo. My roommate in college my sophomore year had one. I don’t think I ever beat Tyson but I got to him. I think the semester ended right at the point when I could consistently get my ass kicked by him.

My roommate played Zelda a lot. Talk about the most boring video Yawngame of all time. And Super Mario Brothers? Yawn. It was like Pitfall for the Atari and just as boring.

I had another roommate with a Nintendo. We had epic battles with that little hockey game. It was a quaint little game.

That’s my whole deal with the Nintendo line (even through today). It’s so darn wholesome and family friendly. They even released one of the hockey games back then without the fighting. Lame.

PlaystationSo Sony rolls in with their Playstation. It features massively more complex graphics and game play. This is because they decided to ditch the quick-but-limited cartridges and go with the slow-but-high-capacity CD format. Sure, it took 2 minutes for a game to load but when it did it was totally worth it.

Do you really believe Tecmo football is better than any Madden version? The Madden series revolutionized football gaming. Did the Nintendo have a basketball game? Because anything they could offer was smoked by NBA Live. I’m sure the Nintendo had some gay Mario Karts racing game. Meanwhile the Playstation dropped Ridge Racer and Need for Speed.

Street Fighter, anyone? I’m sure the Nintendo had some really swell Mario vs. Luigi fighting game that involved hitting each other with bright red mushrooms.

Look the Nintendo came first and it changed the way people though about home gaming. But when the Sony rolled in, it changed what people thought home gaming could do. Instead of just being some mind-numbingly boring cute-as-a-rainbow game system, it was a complex system that really brought virtual worlds into the home that you could believe in. Plus, the games weren’t retarded.

FlavaDave called this one a mismatch, and he’s right. It’s just not fair to compare a cutesy little toy like the Nintendo with a solid machine like the Playstation.

FlavaDave Says: And there’s the debate in a nutshell. The NES is a legendary system that changed the face of home gaming and is still played to this day, and the Playstation is “a solid machine”. That’s a ringing endorsement if I’ve seen one.

No one is going to buy into you cutting down the NES. The sustained greatness of the machine is unquestioned. Any arguement claiming otherwise is based on a false premise and, therefore, wrong.

I mean, you might as well be arguing that Journey is the greatest band of all time because the Beatles were quaint and the sound quality of Journey’s records is better.

Flinchbot Says: You bringing up Journey is a freaking act of desperation. Are you serious? You have to play that card already?

As commenter OwningXylophone correctly stated, there was a time when Sony and Nintendo were working together to produce a CD-based NES. A combination of bad contracts and corporate politics lead to the dissolution of that and the beginning of the Playstation.

Young Girl Playing Video GameTaking that into account, the original Playstation was clearly a superior product than the original NES as it was designed to be an upgrade to the NES. Plus, the games that came out for it weren’t boring and made for girls. And what it really comes down to are the games. The Playstation had them in abundance for everyone. The NES had them in abundance for 6 year old girls. So if you’re a 6 year old girl, go at it with your NES. It’s a system that can’t be beat.

FlavaDave Says: And New Coke is clearly superior to Coca-Cola, as it was designed to be an upgrade to Coca-Cola Classic. (BTW, I’ve never heard of “the Journey card”. It’s called an analogy).

In all honesty, name me five people who still play Playstation One to this day. I can list all of the people I know who still play NES:

  • All of my friends except for you.

Do PS1 fans even exist? Have you ever seen a PS1 T-shirt? Is there a YouTube clip online of some Asian dude playing the Spyro The Dragon theme song on a tuba through his nose? Does anybody remember what games the PS1 launched with?

Here, I’ll tell you what. Go find me an active PS1 fansite. I’ll wait.

And as for the girl comment, I suppose the rest of us don’t get our masculine identity from a video game.

Flinchbot Says: You want PS1 games? Well, you can get them on your PS3 now and you will be able to play them on your PSP (over 7,000 titles expected to be available).

Yes, 7,000 titles.

I dunno, can all of those classic Nintendo games be played on a DS or a WII? Did Nintendo ever have 700 games, let alone 7,000?

And while there are plenty of PS1 forums alive and kicking (here, here, and here) most of the Playstation sites cover the PS1, PS2, and PS3 (with the PSP usually thrown in as well).

And I’ll back off on saying that all Nintendo games are for 6 year old girls. They did have the ultra-violent thrill-a-minute Duck Hunt which made 7 year old boys excited too.