How the Xbox and PS3 can take down the Wii

Microsoft would need to absolutely swamp the 360 with high-quality games designed for people who don't already play games in order to get past the preconception that it has built over the last half-decade, and in doing so there'd be a strong risk of alienating the console's still-huge existing audience.

That's a price Nintendo has already paid with the Wii - a vast slew of samey, gimmicky and low-rent titles have turned a lot of gamers off the console. The sacrifice, so far, has been worth it, but it would be an insane gamble for Microsoft and Sony. Though one might argue that the PS3 is in such bad shape already that it might as well take a risk.

The gap probably can't be closed, although this is a console generation that still feels surprisingly in its infancy and there's a fair few years left in this round of hardware yet. That the Wii has been such a success in spite of its inferior graphical prowess means the traditional emphasis on ever-better visuals has diminished and there's now much more scope to make cheaper titles based on good ideas.

Microsoft and Sony's best bet is to focus on downloadable games and content, as it's an area where their hard-drive equipped, broadband-centric consoles have a clear advantage over the Wii's limited online features.

They might struggle to sell as many hardware units as Nintendo's endlessly appealing Wii and Wii Sports package, but they can still clean up on software, especially by pushing cheap, appealing titles for all ages and abilities, sold instantly over the web.

This is looking to be an extended console generation, which means it's got years to take advantage of ever-growing high-speed broadband adoption. The general paucity of its third-party games means the Wii's gimmick-based bubble could well burst before too long - in which case the online dollar will be the centre of everyone's attention.


Now read 42 essential tips for your games console

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