Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

[[Exclusivity-The New Frontier]]

During E3 our heads have been hammered with information about the importance of the online potential of each console system, we have also heard of the various features and extras each manufacturer will provide. One peek behind the hype though and it's plain to see that what all this does is throw smoke in our eyes.
Three major console players and they will all offer almost identical content. That is why each one is trying to win us over with the various extras they will offer. Why choose one over the other when all will carry similar, identical even titles?

XBox Exclusives

Microsoft have been the most aggressive at pursuing exclusive deals with publishers. But in order to succeed with such a policy you have to have the numbers to support it. XBox sales have not lived up to expectations and some deals are already falling through. Malice, a game by Vivendi Universal Publishing, which Microsoft had announced as an XBox exclusive, will also become available on the PS2. Luc Vanhal, president of Vivendi Universal Publishing said that marketing assistance and even subsidized development costs only went so far Microsoft is much more aggressive going after exclusive deals, they realize they really need to give an incentive to publishers to focus on the Xbox. But it still comes down to economics, it costs quite a bit of money to develop a game. I need to recoup that money, and it's easier to do that when you're selling to a market of 30 million(PS2).

A similar disappointment for Microsoft came from Infogrames who announced plans to publish a PS2 version of The Matrix, another game thought to be an XBox exclusive. This particular loss was even more severe for Microsoft since they had invested US$1 Million in Shiny Entertainment in order to support the development of the game.
I believe the marketing mistake has been in letting people believe the Xbox is the same product as the other consoles, said Bruno Bonnell, president of Infogrames. Xbox has a lot of features nobody's really taken advantage of yet, if someone built a game that fully utilizes the hard drive, the voice capability, people would see there's a real difference. The best evidence is the price: Microsoft knew they couldn't get people to pay extra for better technology, because they don't have a case yet for how that improves the games.

Microsoft however, claim to have made steps in that direction. Don Coyner, Microsoft's director of marketing for Xbox claims that Microsoft's own Blinx will change all that. Blinx is a jump-and-run game with the unique feature of allowing players to record and replay parts of the game. Console developers are not used to working with a hard drive. It takes awhile for a developer to think about what it can do, and it takes someone who sees the potential to take advantage of it and really push gaming concepts forward. said Coyner.

As can be expected the strongest criticizm of Microsoft's strategies came from their two main rivals. Kaz Hirai, president of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, who insisted all through E3 that Sony have already won the Console Wars said There's a significant investment to having multiple retail packages, at some point you have to say, Time out - Does it make sense for me to do a PlayStation exclusive? How much value do I get from doing other versions?

Perrin Kaplan, vice president of marketing and corporate affairs for Nintendo of America said We're worried about Microsoft, they've spent all this money building an online network, and they've lost focus on the games. Microsoft is doing technology, versus investing in content, and content drives this business.

[[Sony and Nintendo]]

Sony

Sony have had it good. They begun the Console Wars with a big head start. They were already in the place where the others wanted to be. The third place has so far delivered for Sony. With an established 30 million user base, deals with publishers seem easy.
Jeff Brown, vice president of corporate communications for EA said The worst thing that could happen to EA is to wake up one day to find Sony out there by itself. But when you make decisions short term, you have to look at the installed base. It's pretty clear if you're running a business selling games, you're simply going to sell more units on the PS2.
That statement describes, in a nutshell, the strength that Sony have in the console market. EA have already granted them exclusivity for The Sims and Madden NFL 2003 and have vouched to support every online PS2 venture. With names like EA, Infogrames and Vivendi, Sony should have been feeling real good about themselves, but they never left anything to chance. The need for homegrown popular titles is a necessity and Sony have found a goldmine in the Everquest series. Everquest II, as well as the sonsole release of the original are bound to stir some interest.

Sony have been lucky. Both of their competitors entered the market much later than the PS2 but both Sony's adversaries have failed to convince the consumer that their product is truly a Next Generation one. While both GameCube and XBox claim to offer the best hardware, neither can actually tell you how.

Nintendo

Nintendo have greatly suffered from the price wars. Following the price cuts announced by Sony and the subsequent Microsoft response, Nintendo found themselves in the position of selling an inferior, as far as extra features were concerned, product at the same price as their rivals. They responded with price cuts in Japan and Europe and soon in the U.S.
Carrying a drop in profits and in share prices, Nintendo are also trying to convince that they are commited to the Console Wars.
What Nintendo have is just what Sony are about to establish and what Microsoft are dreaming of. History. Their long experience in the gaming arena has established them as a power-player and has granted them a devoted fan base who are always on the look out for their new releases.

With new management, following the retirement of Hiroshi Yamauchi, its former pesident, GameCube faces the war with its feet firmly planted on the ground. 3.8 Million GameCubes have been sold in the U.S. and Japan, sice launch, Nintendo estimate they will ship 12 million units globally by the end of the year.
The Software line-up looks promising and with very popular proprietary titles such as Mario, Pokemon and Zelda, the GC seems to have already convinced Nintendo's former fans.
With a recent announcement concerning the release of a new Mario game in august and of a new Zelda title, in time for Christmas, Nintendo seem to have the exclusivity game down to an art. Will those titles be enough to convince gamers to buy the GC? Only time will tell.

The continuing Console War however, is creating a new breed of gamer. The new gamer is very wealthy and can afford all three consoles so that when the winner is finally announced, he will be certain to have the right one.

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Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

hmmm, one thing I hope sony does is release an inexpensive hardrive (which they probably won't..) I mean an 8 gig hardrive shouldn't cost more that 40-50 dollars (in canadian). I hate pricing on console peripherals. One memory card costs 45$ (remember, canadian money here), then I look down the store aisle and I see 64meg flash cards for a camera for the same price.

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

um, Sloose have you even seen how the recording feature is used? If a bridge falls down from under you, use three crystals to move the game back 20 seconds and adjust for it. A big boss that is lumbering around you that is about to crush you? use slow mo and move behind it and take a shot. record what you just did, rewinds it and have a "recorded verson" of yourself doing what you just did while you have the actual you doing something else.Also Sony has released a hard drive as part of their Linux kit and should be used in the new Final Fantasy game to some degree from what I have read.

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

With all do respect to the writer of this article, it seemed very blind to the facts. It basically dismissed everything about online gaming saying that they were all similar, sorry but Microsoft is the only company that has a real vision for a truly 'fun' lag free plug and play online environment. Plus he neglected to mention that GTA is the biggest most exclusive title for any system, which happens to be the PS2. When talking about in-house devlopment Sony is the pits. Their best game is Everquest and it is only available for the PC. They're devloping Star Wars Galaxies and it's coming out for the Xbox, how funny is that? Microsoft has TONS of great exclusive titles coming out this year, just like Nintendo. Microsoft: Brute Force, Blinx, DOA3 volleyball(drool), SW: KOTOR...Nintendo: Mario, Metroid(drool), zeldaSony: uhhh, Madden 2003?(who needs ANOTHER football game, NFL2K series is better anyways!), GTA4This article lost focus.My point is that MS and Nintendo have plenty of "AAA" exclusive titles and Sony has 1(GTA).

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

Microsoft is not the only company with a 'vision'. Sony actually came to E3 with 2 online games up and running. One even supported voice chat via a headset. Meanwhile Microsoft was talking up a storm about xbox live, but with zero games to back it up. Nintendos online vision was non existent with them more trying to focus on hooking up a gameboy advance and other pokemon peripherals to a gamecube. As for nintendos lineup at E3, it was virtually the same games they've been talking about for months now. I'm not going to buy a system for just those 3 games you mentioned below (nintendo obviously had a lack of 3rd party support at E3). Sony has a bunch of games coming out for the system, not to mention the majority of the best rpg's. And alot of games will be making their way to to ps2 months before they go to the other systems - devil may cry 2, silent hill 3, etc.Oh and i'll take red faction 2 over halo any day. You really won't know how fun it is until you blow a hole in the wall yourself.

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

ohhhh! online gaming on consoles! gee, thats heading for hell, its obviouse. consoles inferior technology will always keep them behind pc's. even the x-box with its gpu doesnt stand a chance against even a cheap pc due to the limited ram. Look at halo, at first glance i thought it was perfect dark for n64. what a joke. Thanks for f**king up a game with massive potential microsoft, halo could have been the number one pc game for years to come but noooo.

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

I agree fully with you rufus. Online gaming on consoles seems to be something forced upon instead of something that gamers really want. Its just another way for developers and console makers to earn a little extra cash. I think it get more popular though in a year or two

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

I don't know about you, but i think sony has the lead because. 1) They have the Final Fantasy series, which has a huge base of fans worldwide. 2) They have GTA3 which most of the gamers I know would trade for any game on any other console. 3) They've already sold more than 30 million PS2.

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

MJ. Ironic... yes, of any importance... no. Microsofts major market is companies, not home users, and definatly not techy guru linux heads. It will be a cold day in hell before any company bases its future pc stratagy on linux running on hackt XBX's

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

Seriously "Megagames" writers, wtf is your problem? Every single article on consoles that I read on this site is twisting the hell out of the facts and bagging the hell out of microsoft. Yes, I understand that they dominate the pc os market with a fairly shitty os, and that is reason to shit on them, but THIS IS THEIR FIRST VENTURE INTO THE CONSOLE MARKET! They have actually come up with an awesome system hardware wise, especially considering this is their first go. They are learning about the opinions of console gamers on the fly and from what I can see, doing everything they can to keep us happy (i.e. smaller system & controller, price drop, online strategy and showing their commitment to the market)!If you take a step back and actually look at the market you would see that sony is using its dominate user base to force its system down everyone's throats as the "best". Does this sound similar to a PC OS company we all know?? Just because a softwarehardware was out first or is dominating the market doesn't mean that it is the best.As for all you megagames writers how about you start writing a bit more subjectively and leave the opinions for the user forums!!

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

ONLINE GAMING WILL TAKE NOT TAKE OFF FOR AT LEAST 2 YEARS ON ANY CONSOLE SYSTEM. X-BOX WILL HAVE THEIRS OUT BEFORE SONY AND NINTENDO BUT THE USER BASE FOR ONLINE GAMING FOR CONSOLES WON'T DEVELOPE FOR AT LEAST TWO YEARS, BY THEN THE OTHER CONSOLE COMPANIES WILL HAVE SOME SORT OF PLAN IN THE WORKS....AND ANYWAYS, THATS THE PC DOMAIN...

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

I think the megagames writers are doing an excellent job :) . But let us get to the point. Microsoft has every right to get shit on. Why, well lets see - for their first venture into the console business, they didn't need to develop any new technology for their console like their competition. The xbox relies on pc components, directx, and a stripped down windows nt o/s. Now thats one lazy bastard. And while we're talking about forcing things down gamers throats, xbox is one of the reasons why we're having such a push towards online gaming when its not really something wanted/needed. Sony is playing it safe to see how the market reacts with online gameplay (nintendo is on another planet). As for exclusitivity goes, I'm happy knowing that I'm going to be playing games like Devil May Cry 2, Silent Hill 3, Grand Theft Auto Vice, Grand Turismo 4, etc, etc.(Don't respond back to me saying that some of the games aren't exclusive to sony, cause I already know - but I will be playing them first). As for xbox exclusives - just as the article pointed out, I'm sure some of them will fall through if ps2 sales are strong in the coming months.

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

IF X-BOX SALES FALL MORE, ALOT OF THE DEVELOPERS THAT ARE SLATED TO MAKE GAMES FOR THE X-BOX EXCLUSIVELY WILL JUMP SHIP AND GO WHERE THE MONEY IS....IT TAKES MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO PRODUCE AND FINISH A GAME THESE DAYS, AND IF THESE SOFTWARE HOUSES CAN'T GET REVENUE FROM SALES BECAUSE ON PARTICULAR CONSOLE IS SELLING SUB-PAR...IT WILL LEAVE THAT PLATFORM..IE. SEGA DREAMCAST

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

nintendo gamecube is kicking arse i don't know how they say other wise nintendo r the best cause the've been making games 4 ova 20 yrs sony and microsoft r no where near as good at making games like nintendo plus nintendo have the mascots such as mario zelda donkey kong nintendo will win the console war once again

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

ok ok...ps2 is very cool, but..F**k it!!!now, we dont notice the diference of grafic power but with time we will notice, and i think Xbox is good investment because we're talking about MICROSOFT!!the $$$richest$$$ company in the world..and they are proud of them selfs and wont let a product they created lose a battle..understand??its a question of pround above everything!them entered this battle willing to win it!but ok..xbox is not having a great beginning but with time they will show to ppl its value...sony entered as well the war of consoles and won it against sega saturn and N64...but lets see who will gonna win...$$$--» controles everything and microsoft has it=) !!PORTUGAL ROCKS!!

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

Why o why do we get all the shit about online gaming?I have to agree wit DrDeath becos it is a long while b4 online console gaming kicks in. We all have PC's that's what their for! That aint what ur consoles r 4!Anyways I feel Ninty has the strongest titles comin out this year. Blockbusters like Zelda, Metroid Prime and not 4gettin that loveable plumber Mario who can match that?? Really if u want a console for console gaming get urself a CUBE!Scotland Rules!!!!!

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

If there is any console going downhill it is the gamecube. People keep bringing up Mario, Zelda, etc. Well they certainly didn't save the n64. If you want a console with 3 good games a year, then by all means purchase a gamecube. But most people like several blockbusters a year which ps2 and sadly xbox can support. Look at E3, 3rd party support for the 'cube' is already showing signs of decay while sony and microsoft are both going strong. Stating that nintendo is the best because they've been making games for 20 years is a worthless statement to begin with. Sega's been making games for a longer time and they even knew when to take out the white flag. Nintendos hardware cannot support what 3rd party developers need/want so they will slowly begin to not make games for it. Funny thing is that alot of you gamecube supporters sound just like the n64 supporters when it first came out. How many of you actually owned a n64 - probably alot.

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

Sorry Sloose but im gonna disagree.I have a PS2 by the way an it actually sux! The games that are out are very very easy and very very bland! Wow Metal gear Solid 2, all that is,is a movie wit sum playable bits. LIke 2hours gameply an 5hours cutscenes. The PS2 has the worst graphics too,jus havin a dig there!The Ninty Cube has more than just the titles i named, Star Fox Adventures, 1080 2, Eternal Darkness, Wrestlemania X8, all future sonic titles, Mario kart, Wave Race, Pikman, Smash Bros, Soul Calibare, F-Zero, Virtua Striker 2002, ea Sports titles, die hard vendeta, donkey kong racing, burnout, THE WHOLE RESIDENT EVIL SERIES! just to name a few! So don't start wit the lack of games stuff cos we all know there aint!Sorry mate but thats the way it is, we have discs now so developers wil back the cube, shame that eh?U were so wrong with ur statement, sorry to point that out.

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

"NINTENDO HARDWARE NOT SUPPORTING WHAT 3RD PARTY DEVELOPERS ARE LOOKING FOR..." LOL, THE PS2 HARDWARE IS THE MOST INFERIOR WHEN COMPARED TO THE CUBE AND X-BOX. SLOOSE, PS2 HAS PROBLEMS WITH FSAA. SLOWER FRAME RATES. LOWER RESOLUTION. SLOWER GPU AND CPU. AND DON'T GO BY THE NUMBERS ABOUT HOW MANY POLYS THE PS2 CAN MOVE PER SEC...THAT'S RAW NUMBERS. NOTHING WITH FULL EFFECTS AND LIGHTING ON. AS FOR NINTENDO FOLDING FIRST...NOT LIKELY. STRONGEST DIE-HARD FANS. IT'S FRANCHISE TITLES WILL ALWAYS KEEP IT GOING. AS FOR THE X-BOX, MOST OF THERE UP COMING 200+ TITLES ARE PC PORTS. SOME EXCLUSIVES. BUT MOSTLY PC PORTS. AND A PLUS FOR THE CUBE...IT'S DISK FORMAT PREVENTS PIRATES FROM RIPPING THEIR SOFTWARE...AT LEAST MAKING IT COST PROHIBITIVE TO DO SO. AND DEVELOPERS LIKE THAT. PS2....MOD CHIPS ARE OUT. PEOPLE RIPPING GAMES LIKE NO TOMMOROW. AND THE X-BOX IS ALSO IN THAT BOAT. NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU HATE NINTENDO AND WHAT YOU MAY THINK OF THEIR GAMES(KIDDIE?) NINTENDO MAKES MONEY...MORE SO THEN X-BOX.....

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

Sloose. If you think that MS just grabed a stack of pc components and stuck them all together to make an xbx your kidding yourself. All parts in the xbx are customized. Sure ripping half the L2 cache out of a p3 wasn't much for intel to do but its still customized. Anyway arguing that fact is plain stupid. Getting pro companies that have been working their own fields for years to develop components for u is a smart move. It means getting the absolute best hardware as cheaply as possible.If you think rewriting a stripped down version of windows is easy/lazy then once again you are kidding yourself. Just like MS is using professionals in the hardware industry to build their hardware, they used their own expertise in the software industry to build the software. Once again, smart move.If you think using directX for the xbx is lazy then you have truly lost it. Using the standard api for pc games programming means that instantly their is a huge number of professional games developers that can write games for the xbx.I can't be bothered writing anything more, Im starting to feel foolish already for wasting my time disagreeing with a stupid little kid.PS: Yes 90% of megagames articles are to the point and informative. Its the other 10% of opinionated dribble that I don't like.

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

Wow, alot of hatred floating around here.Understandable, you can't really call an xbox a pc, but getting different parts from several different companies wasn't a smart move on the part of MS. Especially when those parts are expensive to begin with. Top that off with MS's inability to pay off intel and nVidia for the components in the xbox due to lower than expected sales. Now MS will probably move over to another set of hardware manufacturers come september. And when I mean their 'lazy', I mean they're already using tweaked software, that they've already developed for their windows operating system. Stipping 90% of the windows o/s to act as the primary o/s for xbox is lazy. But in their defence, it probably was probably the smart thing to do. DirectX is probably the strongest point of Xbox which should be a big draw for developers, but unless xbox sales start matching ps2's, developers will continue to flock to ps2, cause thats where the money lies.

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

Now for part 2 - NintendoRodGA, if you think ps2 has bland and easy games, then you should probably start to actually 'play' it. Ps2 released a plethora of games this past fall/winter - alot of them were blockbusters. As for those gamecube titles you mentioned, alot of those are nintendo 1st party games. Its funny, if Shigeru Miyamoto were to die tommorow morning, Nintendo would probably go bankrupt in 2 minutes. Where's the 3rd party support? I didn't se a whole lot at nintendo's e3 lineup. Right now its with ps2 and xbox. Which leads me to you drdeath. Today, developers demand large amounts of space for their games. You may think 1.5 gigs is enough, but alot of developers must think differently, otherwise they would develop more for it and/or port their existing games to the gamecube. As for the hardware limitations of ps2, its understandable, but people don't always purchase a console system based on how powerful it is. If that was the case then sega master system would of beat out nes and n64 would of beat out the psx.continued..

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

And drdeath, you keep mentioning piracy so I'll give you a rebutal. Anyone whos ever played a ripped ps2/xbox (and I'm assuming when you said ripped you meant ripping dvd games to a cd) will tell you that its nothing compared to playing the actual dvd. People who want the real experience will often buy the actual game. And since dvd-r writers are not that widespread yet, piracy shouldnt be a real problem yet. I mean Grand Theft Auto 3 is both downloadable in dvd and cd formats allover the web and look at how well it still sold in stores.And I don't hate nintendo, I might have bought one if it used standard dvd's. But can either of you tell me a reason other than limited storage capability why 3rd party support is weak on gamecube?

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

AT THIS POINT STORAGE CAPACITY IS NOT A FACTOR. HOW MUCH MORE CAN YOU PUT INTO A GAME? LOOK AT RESIDENT EVIL? AT THIS POINT IN TIME, MOST GAMES FOR CONSOLES THAT REQUIRE LARGE DISK SPACE ARE MAINLY FOR FULL MOTION CUT SCENES. WHO GIVES A RAT'S ASS FOR CUT SCENES. I WANT TO PLAY GAME CONTENT. AND IF THATS A PROBLEM YOU CAN MAKE THE GAME ON MULTIPLE DISKS ANYWAYS. AS FOR 3RD PARTY DEVELOPERS, "ONCE BURNED,TWICE SHY" 3RD PARTY HOUSES ARE WAITING TO SEE HOW WELL THE CUBE WILL SELL BEFORE THEY JUMP ON BOARD.AND I AGREE WITH YOU ON THE POWER SCALE FOR CONSOLES. THE MOST POWERFUL SYSTEM DOES NOT ALWAYS WIN THE WAR. IT'S GAMES. WITHIN 1 YEAR OR SO DVD WRITERS WILL BE MAIN STREAM. MOST OF MY BUDDIES HAVE ONE ALREADY. EVERY 3 MONTHS OR SO PRICES FOR HARDWARE DROPS.... THE TRUE RESULTS WILL BE THIS CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY WHEN ALL SYSTEMS BRING OUT THEIR "EXCLUSIVE" TITLES.

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

Me an drdeath must be the only Cube supporters on the net! Lol!And to your coment on that I should start to 'play' my PS2 and all these fabulous games that came out at fall, really what were they????I really dont know!Anyways drdeath is right here, 1.5gig is enough for all of todays games and really will be for around 5 years becuase console games are noty supposed to last a lifetime just long enough to be enjoyable.If the Cube supported DVD it would be at a high price right now and not have had the impact on sales it has done so far. It's a gamesconsole for crying out loud not a full home multi media centre!Leave consoles to do their jobs and leave the DVD players to do theirs!

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

I have to give a hand to you two though for being so supportive of the gamecube.And comeon RodGA, have you been in a hollow log for the past year - gran turismo 3, grand theft auto 3, silent hill 2, virtual fighter 4, metal gear solid, devil may cry, twisted metal black, jax and daxter, final fantasy x. Granted, you may not like those games, but all of them sold pretty well.And maybe your right about 1.5 gigs being enough, but disc scanning is a hassle and some developers would rather do without it.Also drdeath you said yourself that dvd-r's will become mainstream by 1 years time so who knows, by that time mini-dvd's could be on the market as well - so don't think gamecube is invincible to piracy just yet.And i'm going to throw out a wild idea here - maybe piracy actually helps software sales in the long run. Some people will infact buy a system because they can play copyed games. But during their ownership of the system, they would purchase at least a few games. I know quite a few people like that.

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

of course!!why ppl buy now ps2 ??because of the piracy..the games are too expensive, and with the price of one game i can get 12 or more, copyed games.F**k the quality!we dont even notice the diference... and ps2 is doing what psONE done-- quantity versus quality...quantity always wins

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

One last comment, lots of games out now do exceed 1.5 gigs and its a shame they will never make their way to ps2. A game like silent hill 2 for example uses over a gig simply for the textures. Disc spanning is also flawed since you would need to swap discs to access different areas of the game - a hassle to both developer and gamer alike.Hmm, maybe i'm just bitter cause I can't play zelda, or metroid. I suppose in the long run you should really buy a console based on the games its releasing and hope for the best.

Exclusivity-The New Console Frontier

In reference to the earlier argument about games and gameplay, I would have to put my faith in the Cube. I am a long time cross platform and pc gamer and I must express my opinion that the Gameplay experience on Nintendo systems is very original and thrilling. I own both a PS2 and a Cube and I would say that the Cube just shows more potential for entertainment than the PS2. Sure, PS2 has a bunch of blockbusters, but thats expected. Its now at its peak as it has been out a few years and developers have learned to optimize to the system. How long has the Cube been out, 6 months? You are trying to compare games on a well entrenched system to a new arrival that is just starting to flex its muscles. Nintendo is going to harness the power of their large exclusive base and will undoubtedly release in full force by '03. What you are seeing on PS2 is the cream of that consoles crop, and frankly, I am still disapointed with the overal game experience on PS2. And stop trashing Zelda, Mario, and the bunch. The reason most PS2 owners dispise these characters and genres is because they know they are almost guaranteed excellent quality upon new release. Just look at resident evil and twisted metal for psx, both degenerated wildly in later titles. Zelda, Mario, and the "kiddie" characters, however, improved with each additional release and are frankly just more fun to play. After GTA3, I really have no reason to play anything else on my PS2. Bring on the Cube.

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