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Next Generation Gaming Nears

As gamers everywhere know, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, begins this week, and details about the future of gaming are emerging. Last night, Sony announced that it would launch the PlayStation 3 in the U.S. and Europe on November 17. Sure enough, the speculation of previous months was right: The new system will be more expensive because of new technologies like the Blu-ray drive and Cell processor. Sony will offer two packages: the feature-rich package will cost $599 (or 599 euros) and will feature a 60 GB hard drive; the other package, which will sell for $499 (or 499 euros), will only have a 20 GB hard drive and will not have the wireless connectivity, memory card support, and high-definition video connection that will come with the $599 package. At those prices, Sony’s success will be driven by acceptance of the Blu-ray DVD format and public demand for the high-definition product.

Nintendo had its own press conference this afternoon detailing its next offering, the Wii. Nintendo decided to keep the launch date and price of the Wii under wraps, instead focusing on a new controller and the games such as “Super Mario Galaxy”, “Metroid Prime 3: Corruption”, and “Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.” Nintendo is gambling that its innovative motion-sensor controller and 3D visuals will trump both PlayStation 3’s and Xbox 360’s graphical superiority. Nintendo is looking to broaden the appeal of its games to people who never played before, and a lower price than the competition (rumored to be $250) could certainly help there.

Which console is most innovative? Which do you plan on purchasing?

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