From The New York Times:
" PICKING out a home video game system should be easy this holiday season because for most consumers the decision ought to come down to only three choices - including one that is easily dismissed.
If you or your loved ones are even halfway-serious gamers who want to experience world-class high-definition graphics and an online gaming service populated with millions of other players, go buy the top version of Microsoft's Xbox 360 ($399).
On the other hand, if you do not really care about the latest graphics and want instead a riotously fun experience that can be shared by the entire family, including the nongamers who usually flee from a joystick, try to get your hands on Nintendo's new Wii ($249).
It is really that simple. Though aimed at different markets, the 360 and the Wii provide excellent entertainment for the dollar and are each capable of filling your home with smiles for years to come.
But what about Sony's new PlayStation 3?
By now, you have probably heard about folks who camped out for days to buy the PS3. You have heard about some of those people getting mugged while shivering in line a few weeks ago. You have heard about the four-figure prices the console has been fetching on eBay. And you may have heard, quite correctly, that it will be all but impossible for many consumers to buy one at retail for the rest of the year.
No problem. In fact, if you are anything other than a complete Sony fanboy (that's Internet lingo for an obsessed, myopic groupie) go ahead and forget about the PlayStation 3 this year. Even if you find one, the overhyped PS3 does not deliver an entertainment experience commensurate with its cost ($599 for the top version, not including special cables to connect to a high-definition TV), and falls short of its main competition in important ways.
The big picture is that Microsoft and Sony are duking it out for dominance at the top end of the video game business while Nintendo has essentially carved out the less hard-core, more budget-sensitive swath of the market for itself. The Wii (pronounced "we") is a mass-market entertainment device. The 360 and PS3, by contrast, are each trying to be the world's best top-end video game system and also high-powered living room media hubs.
The big problem for Sony is that the 360 performs those functions better right now, and for less money, than the PS3. Sony may get the PS3's act together in the future, but right now there is basically no rational reason to buy a PlayStation 3 instead of an Xbox 360."