Since the beginning of home gaming, consumers have wanted something bigger and better than whatever was currently on the market. Itís only natural to expect technology to improve over time, and while Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii are all more advanced than their predecessors they are far from the ideal gaming machine. Despite what each of the console manufacturers may want you to think, there is no ďperfectĒ gaming machine available for purchase. If only we could take the best aspects of each of the systems and create the ultimate home gaming machineÖ
Thankfully the human mind is capable of imagining hypothetical situations, so lets apply that talent to the dream of creating this mythical box. For the sake of avoiding tech arguments, weíll just assume that the system would have the most advanced processing power available at the time of itís construction. However, from there we have many options so lets begin.
Games: Looking strictly at this generation it seems Xbox 360 is taking the lionís share of quality titles up to this point. With exclusives like the Gears franchise, Halo 3 and Bioshock, as well as solid 3rd party support with most games running as well (or better) than on the PS3. Perfect Console pick - Xbox 360
Hardware: There are several things to consider in this category so letís break it down a bit further.
* Reliability: This category is clearly a no-brainer. Xbox 360ís hardware reliability is atrocious to say the least. Iíve only heard of a couple of cases of bricked Wiiís, but thatís also more than the near perfect hardware record of Playstation 3. Perfect Console pick - PS3
* Disc Loading: Disc trays are SO 1999 and automatic loading disc slots are clearly the wave of the future. Wii and PS3 meet wits in this aspect, but the winner? Wiiís disc slot lights up when used. Perfect Console pick - Wii
* Case: Playstation 3 is one shiny, sexy piece of machinery. Perfect Console pick - PS3
* Power Supply: Out of the 3 current gen system, only one has an internal (read: better) power supply. Perfect Console pick - PS3
* Wifi: Standard. Perfect Console pick PS3/Wii
* A/V output: Playstation 3 has HDMI output standard, meaning it looks the best on your HDTV without much effort. Perfect Console pick - PS3
* Harddrive: Standard, with the option of USB HDD support. Perfect Console pick - PS3
* Noise: Xbox 360 sounds like a harrier jet landing in your living room. At times, the otherwise quiet Wii sounds like itís sawing your disc in half. I donít think Iíve ever heard my PS3 make a sound, except for the pleasant beep of it turning on. Perfect Console pick - PS3
Controller: The big question here really is motion control or no motion control. Well, until a company can get perfect 1:1 motion recognition for a controller it has no place in the feature list of the perfect console. In terms of ergonomics the one controller that sports no motion control also happens to be the most comfortable by far. Perfect Console pick - Xbox 360 (including PS3ís standard rechargeable internal batteries).
Miscellaneous: Here is where we get to throw in all the extra pieces that make each console unique and really flesh out our perfect gaming machine.
* Blu-ray Drive - The reason for this goes without saying, Blu-ray won, not much else to say here. Bigger storage space, plays HD movies, has a cool name.
* Achievements- aka: GamerCrack, ensures that youíll play through your favorite game on Super Ultra Hardcore difficulty just for those extra 20 points.
* In-Game XMB - Xbox 360ís media bar options are so close to perfect that it boggles the mind why Sony hasnít just straight up copied them.
* Free Online Play - I want Xbox LIVE service, matchmaking, and the PSNís dedicated servers for the cost of the PSN (read: free).
* Online Store - Ideally Iíd like to have every single game from the Magnavox Odyssey up to the Sega Dreamcast available for spontaneous purchase and download 24 hours a day. However, if this ever happened Iíd probably have to get a second job just to support my addiction.
So there you have it. The ďperfectĒ gaming console, or at least as close to it as this human brain can figure. Is there anything youíd add? Anything you see thatís missing? Feel free to make your feelings known, and lets make this fictional machine even better.