Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from the Today @ PC World blog at PCWorld.com.
The Holidays are just around the corner, and gaming console makers hope to make 2009 a record-setting year. The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii have all dropped their prices in recent weeks. There are also new motion-control innovations in the pipeline from Sony and Microsoft, and Nintendo hopes its Wii will hang on with the revival of its most popular video game hero.
Sony PlayStation 3
Adding future value, Sony is planning on introducing a motion controller to the PS3 by next spring. The new device will let you control 3-D objects on your screen like baseball bats, swords, and tennis rackets, but the controller is supposed to be more advanced than controllers for the Nintendo Wii. Rumors of a PS2 emulator for the PlayStation 3 have also been revived.
Around the same time as the motion controller release, Final Fantasy XIII —exclusive to the PS3—will launch in the United States. A firm release date isn’t set yet, but the game is being released in Japan on December 17, and it should land on American shores a few months after that.
Microsoft Xbox 360
On Thursday, Microsoft revealed a laundry list of video game makers that are actively developing games for the Xbox 360’s upcoming Project Natal—a motion control system that is manipulated by your body instead of a peripheral controller. Gamemakers gearing up for Natal include Activision Blizzard, Bethesda Softworks, CAPCOM, Disney Interactive, Electronic Arts, Konami, MTV Games, Namco Bandai, Sega, Square Enix, THQ Inc., and Ubisoft.
If that isn’t enough to entice you to pick up an Xbox 360 this year, maybe the latest installment of the Xbox’s most popular video game franchise will help. On Tuesday, Bungie released Halo 3:ODST , a prequel to the Xbox 360’s Halo 3. ODST is coming out a little early to be considered a Holiday release, but it will likely boost the 360’s popularity.
Nintendo also released an updated motion controller called the Wii Motion Plus earlier this year. The new controller is supposed to be more accurate than the original Wii Remote, but PC World’s Matt Peckham says the Plus is not backward compatible with the Wii’s older motion control games.
So the stage is set, and all three consoles are tuned up and ready for the looming Holiday season. With cheaper prices, popular games on the horizon, and a motion control war just months away, which console are you hoping to pick up this year?