are slowly closing in on the release dates of two of the most anticipated home console
videogaming systems, that coincidentally have similar names. With the Nintendo Gamecube
and the Microsoft Xbox both being released in just under two months, I decided to write an
article that puts the two systems head to head in an all-out slugfest.
Round One - Fighter History(Company History)
Nintendo - Nintendo's gaming history is long and full of success. Nintendo came on
the scene back in 1985 taking down the current videogame system favorite, Atari.
Nintendo's first system, the Nintendo Entertainment System or NES as it was commonly
called held a solid first place spot for many years with little competition from the
opposition. It wasn't until Sega released the 16 bit Genesis, that Nintendo had something
to worry about. The Genesis doubled the power of the NES and offered some amazing games.
Soon after however, Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or SNES.
The SNES matched the Genesis in every category and even upped them in some things. During
this battle between Genesis and SNES, Nintendo released the Gameboy, which introduced
handheld gaming to the world(other than those one handhelds that is just a single game
with crappy graphics). In 1995 Sega of America and newcomer to the videogaming world,
Sony, each released new systems. Sega came out with the Saturn, and Sony with the
Playstation. Not only were these 32 bit systems, but they were CD based games, giving the
gamer better sound, and some cool cut-scene movies. It wasn't until 1996 that Nintendo
answered back with the Nintendo 64. As the name implies, this new system was 64 bit.
Unfortunately, the system was still cart-based which didn't give it the great sound and
cool in game movies. Nintendo was also slow at releasing games, this is manly because it
was more costly for game manufactures to make carts as opposed to CDs. However, Nintendo
has always been a company dedicated to quality, not quantity and they kept by their
standards creating great game after great game. Nintendo held it's own against the
Playstaion(The Saturn not lasting past the first year of competition with Nintendo) and
took it's place as number one in the videogaming world. In 1999, Sega released the
Dreamcast, which was met with much hype and rave reviews. However, it barely lasted two
years, especially after Sony released the Playstation 2. That system at the current time
is the leader of home consoles. Nintendo has little to no fight in it with the N64. This
is because Nintendo has focused all it's energy to developing and promoting the Gamecube.
That brings us to the present, where Nintendo has released the Gamecube in Japan and in a
couple months, Gamecube will be sitting in my and many others, households.
Microsoft - That is all
. No seriously, other than computer related products,
Microsoft has no home console history. Microsoft is well known for controlling our lives
via an operating system known as Windows.(That is unless of course, you are one of those
Mac folios). However during that whole software production process, Microsoft actually
made some games. A good example of this, Age of Empires II, which I'm willing to bet every
computer gamer has heard of. So we know, that Microsoft can make a good game. Now we have
to wait and see what's to come with the Xbox. Microsoft also has an insanely large amount
of money to spend on
anything. Research, marketing, and development. That
and they can afford to lose money if the Xbox doesn't catch on right away.
Round 1 Winner - Gamecube
Round 2 -Fighter Stats(System's Performance
I'll let the charts speak for themselves here.
As you can see, Xbox beats Gamecube in
every category. However, power does not always mean good games, look at the Jaguar for
example. Dreamcast is another good example. It had the N64 and the Playstation beat from a
power point of view, however, Sony and Nintendo were able to stand up against the
Dreamcast, and it was the Dreamcast that broke down. So until any of us get our hands on
these systems, it's all speculation.
Round 2 Winner - Xbox
Round 3 - Fighting Territories and Media
Nintendo - For some reason, Nintendo refuses to push their products really
hard.(Other than that Pokemon crap). Nintendo puts little effort it seems, into promoting
new systems or games. However, ads are starting to pop up in magazines and stores for the
upcoming system. I've also heard that Nintendo is putting systems into clubs to target the
younger generations, plus the commercials and sweepstakes they have going with Cartoon
Network's Toonami. Another factor that helps Nintendo, is an overseas market. Nintendo
releases their systems in Japan first setting up a test audience of sorts, which helps
them see in a way what will happen in the U.S. Sony shares this with Nintendo, and I think
this helps both companies, because if a game doesn't sell well in the U.S., it might sell
well in Japan.
Microsoft - Who doesn't know the name Microsoft? It's a household name in this age
of computers. So what does Bill Gates do? He announces he's making a videogame system. So
the whole world is immediately watching. Then he gets The Rock to endorse his system. Now
with the release date creeping nearer, you can't walk through a mall without seeing an
Xbox banner or poster. The only thing that really hurts Xbox is that they don't have a
Japanese market. The Xbox is made in the U.S.A.. That's all fine and good to help boost
support for the American economy, but that doesn't help Xbox. Without a strong foreign
market, the Xbox will suffer, though it aint like Microsoft doesn't have money to support
themselves. So while the Xbox is getting good promotion here, it wouldn't hurt for Xbox to
spread out to foreign markets.
Round 3 Winner - Gamecube
Round 4 - First to Come out Fighting(Launch
Nintendo - The release date for Gamecube has jumped around all over the place. It
was expected to be released after the Xbox, but at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3),
Nintendo announced it would be released November 5th, three days before Xbox. However, for
what ever reason, the U.S. release date has been moved yet again to November 18th. This
puts Gamecube at a disadvantage. With their previous release date, Nintendo could
overwhelm the public with their next generation system. The public would jump onboard,
because they've seen what Nintendo has done in the past, and knows they can trust them.
However, with their new release date, Microsoft gets to show the world what they can do
with no distraction from Nintendo.
Microsoft -Originally the release date for Xbox was November 8th, However, after
writing this part of the article, I ventured over to IGN Xbox and discovered that the Xbox
was pushed back to November15th. This means, they don't have nearly as long as previously
planned to strut their stuff and show everyone, why they should buy their system. So in
the course of a month or so, we have seen the Gamecube being released three days before
Xbox, to having Gamecube being released over a week behind the Xbox, and now the Xbox is
being released only 3 days before Gamecube. You have to take in the consumer
disappointment of both systems and their delays, but to the die hard fans, it won't really
matter. On the plus side for both systems, they are both being released before
Thanksgiving. What's that mean? That means that during the total chaos and anarchy that is
the day after Thanksgiving, and the first official day of the Christmas shopping season,
both systems should sell faster than chocolate cake sold outside a Weight Watchers. This
Christmas season should be very good to Nintendo and Microsoft alike, but the slight delay
of Gamecube will hurt Nintendo a little.
Round 4 Winner - Draw
Round 5 - The Punches(Games)
Nintendo - Unlike the N64, Nintendo is
releasing several games the same day as the system launch, as opposed to two games with
the N64. On the release date, Nintendo will release Luigi's Mansion, Wave Race: Blue
Storm, Super Monkey Ball, and Star Fox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet, not to mention the
games coming from third party developers. With the Gamecube's games being optical disks,
it is just as cheap as making any other CD based game, so Nintendo has no trouble getting
developers outside its usual list of friends (i.e. Rare). Having viewed many photos and
videos of all these games, I can give a fairly good impression of what to expect. From
what I've seen, Nintendo once again delivers the gaming quality that we've come to expect.
The games run using an insane amount of polygons making the characters look great.
Nintendo has added great facial animations to their characters giving great personality
and realism to the games. The environments in the games are breathtaking as well with no
fog or pop up. Also, now that Nintendo has gone to optical disks, they can offer CD
quality sound, that their previous cart-based systems could not. Not only that, but many
of the games offer recognizable characters that most gamers are familiar with, which means
gamers are waiting to get their hands on the next version of Star Fox, Wave Race, and
Smash Bros. I am waiting anxiously for the moment I can get my hands on these games. I sit
drooling waiting for the day.
Microsoft - To start off, let me just say I
don't know nearly as much about Xbox games. I just haven't been following the systems
progression. That is one reason I didn't write more about Gamecube games, I wanted to keep
my impressions balanced. I have done some research recently, and here's what I think of
the games of Xbox.(A little side-note, I think it's funny how every IGN site uses almost
entirely Quicktime movies, except IGN Xbox, which uses a lot of Microsoft Media Player
movies. Bill Gates refuse Macintosh in all it's forms..hehe). On Xbox's release, gamers
will get to put their hands on games like Dead or Alive 3, Project Gotham Racing, or the
highly anticipate Halo. I checked out some of these titles and so far, they look like they
live up to their hype. I have no intention of buying an Xbox, but some of the games make
me want to change my mind, namely Halo. From what I've seen, Xbox has some great games.
The detail put into them makes my head spin. The facial animations and overall textural
work is breathtaking. Microsoft is apparently trying to show the world that now matter
what they do, they will be good at it. We shall see. Some of you may be thinking,
"Hey you didn't talk about this certain Gamecube or Xbox game". Well, I didn't
talk about any specific game anyway, I just mentioned certain aspects about all the games
in general. That and the games I did mention are games that are being released on the
respective system's launch dates. Each system has both quality and quantity of games ready
to go on launch. However, the familiarity of many of Gamecube's game gives them the edge.
Round 5 Winner - Gamecube
Fight Winner - Gamecube
Was there ever any real doubt that
Nintendo would win? I mean I'm writing the article, and I'm a known Nintendo mark. But
seriously, I took an objective point of view, if I didn't do you think Xbox would have
done as well as it did? I could have created more rounds, but if I did this article would
turn into a dissertation paper. In closing, I believe that because Nintendo has experience
in the video gaming world, they will come out on top. However, this will not be an easy
task, because even without a real history in the videogaming market, Microsoft already has
a large following, consisting mainly of diehard computer gamers. Microsoft also has a
seemingly endless supply of money, which means they can afford some losses. This one is
almost too close to call, but I have a feeling Nintendo will do as they always do and
conquer all opposition.
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