ill go ahead and start this baby off with my personal views of each company (rather than each console).
if they had competed with sony or ms directly, nintendo would have failed. thats all there is to it in my book. that is why i think the wii is the most amazingly intelligent business choice ever made in games. they didnt have the money to compete with the big companies....so what did they do? they DIDNT compete with the big companies. instead, they said "hey, why not build a gaming console for the cheaper, more main stream crowd? and then we give it some really cool device that is easier to use?" and i think they pulled it off. they found that other place in the gaming industry and ripped it open and started to make gaming babies faster than rabbits do.
there is a problem though. when these baby gamers develop...where do they go? well, they wont go to nintendo in most cases, so neither sony nor ms have lost out on this one. if anything, this is expanding that market as well. nintendo needs some "hard core" games and it needs them fast.
however, they did also manage to capture a lot of mid twentys people who have gotten the wii to play the virtual console. that has been VERY successful.
the first out of the gate this time around. they have the same advantage the ps2 had over the other consoles last time. despite the weaker graphics of the xbox360/ps2, they still came out on top. though the wii is there this time, it might end differently. however, between MS and sony, it seems that things might go the same way.
xbox live has been pushing online gaming for a few years, and though it requires a monthly fee, it has really started to offer some very cool things. iptv, rent movies(in hd no less), game demos, videos, great coverage of events, themes, the little gamer icons, achievements, universal gamer tag, chat via everything, chat with a pc while playing a game...its made it almost as good as sitting next to your buddy when you kill them for the 5th time in a row with the halo TWO pistol. but, not quite that good. none the less, they are pushing the online limits. no handheld? for now, that is smart. they need to take over the ipod first, and i dont see that happening anytime soon (though i confess, i really hate the new ipod nano and the ipod touch doesnt interest me at all).
ah yes....many know how i feel on THIS topic. lets go over some things.
way to expensive
attempted motion control (cough)
crappy online (free, but with zero options)
and no great exclusives (IN MY OPINION)
there are a lot of little nit picks about things, but those are the main ones that bother me about the console it self.
then there is the whole deal with sony treating gamers like idiots. they tried to feed people pre-rendered video and claimed it as real gameplay? how dumb can people be? they directly lied to people to try and make their console seem better and it simply ISNT. they have terrible business practices and they assumed that no matter what they did, people would eat it up. and its funny, because the rich people who dont play lots of games(but do play some), did eat it up...but the problem is, that wasnt a huge crowd.
the cell processor is NOT 8 active cores and each one is NOT 3.2 ghz.
in the end, it all comes down to the games. cant we all agree on that one? here is how i decide if a gaming console is worth its price or not (and you can use this for yourself to figure out which one is best worth it).
cost of console = C
Price of game = P
number of exclusives YOU really want = G
P * G = X
if X > C
then the console is worth it.
as such, i figure the wii is worth about 300 bucks, the xbox is worth about 600, and the ps3 is worth about 60 bucks. no typos.