The latest next-gen console battle is well underway. The Xbox 360 was the first to launch on November 22, 2005 in the US, followed by the PlayStation 3 on November 17, 2006, and the Wii on November 19, 2006. However, in Europe, things were turned a little on their head, with the Xbox 360 launching on December 2, 2005, followed by the Wii on December 8, 2006, and the fashionably late PlayStation 3 on March 23, 2007.
The previous console cycle saw the PlayStation 2 scoring a decisive win. Since it debuted in 2000, the machine has gone on to sell over 120 million units worldwide, and is the best-selling console in history so far. After overtaking Sega's ill-fated Dreamcast, which launched in 1999, it went on to fend off new rivals such as the Nintendo GameCube and original Xbox, which both went on sale in 2001.
Part of the PS2's success was Sony's scoring of must-have console exclusives on the format--including Gran Turismo 3, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, the Kingdom Hearts series, and Final Fantasy VII and VIII. Indeed, many people bought the console just to play Grand Theft Auto III and its two successors Vice City and San Andreas, which all debuted on the PS2 before being eventually ported to the Xbox and PC.