It’s not just game, new game systems vie for supremacy

Playing video games is not the same activity it used to be.

Some of us still remember playing Atari and reminisce about how simple things were: one joystick, one button.

Soon after, Nintendo brought us something totally revolutionary: better graphics, and yes, a second button. Then Sega Genesis brought us a third button and things just went crazy.

The game systems available today are truly a step above those old consoles collecting dust in the closet. The major players of today’s video game arena are PlayStation Two (Sony, $299) and Xbox (Microsoft, $299).

GameCube (Nintendo, $199) came along with many expectations, and needless to say, it has either met or exceeded many of them. It has a new, sleek, black design and can even stand vertically.

Packing a 300 MHz processor and enough generosity to play PlayStation One games, the PS2 is the system that started the extreme game revolution as we know it. In addition to delivering realistic, exciting game play, it plays DVD’s as well. A control pad can be used to navigate through the movie functions, though a separate remote control can be purchased as well.

The PS2’s reset button located on the front of the console serves two purposes.

If one wishes to turn off the game, they should hold the reset button down.

Oddly enough, the main power switch is located behind the machine. It is also the only system that comes with only two controller ports instead of four, but Sony still delivers an all-around entertainment machine.

Hot titles to look out for: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Virtua Fighter 4, Final Fantasy 10, NBA 2K2 and Max Payne.

The Xbox is by far the most powerful of the gaming consoles. It comes with a 733 MHz processor and like the PlayStation Two, it also doubles as a DVD player. However, to use the DVD player, a DVD Movie Playback Kit is required.

A/V hookups make it easy to connect to home theatre systems for an even more surreal gaming experience. The Xbox is also equipped with an internal hard drive that provides massive storage space for saving those games when it’s time to go to class.

Many of the Xbox game titles suggest that Microsoft is aiming at an older age group.

Besides the sports games, most of the titles come with either a T; teen, or an M; mature, rating.

Hot titles to look out for are: WWF Raw, Genma Onimusha, New Legends, Test Drive and The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind.

The first thing people notice about Nintendo’s GAMECUBE is that it doesn’t play DVD’s like those other guys.

The second thing they notice is the fact that it’s $100 cheaper than the other game systems.

The people at Nintendo are focused solely on gameplay and feel their system delivers substantially above average performance. Nintendo has been in the game for a long time, but this is their first attempt at creating a system that does not rely on cartridges.

The discs contain a counterfeit protection system that is not found on DVD’s.

The GameCube is the smallest of the systems, and can also interact with Nintendo’s Gameboy Advance. The control pads have a radical new design and Nintendo is also introducing the Wavebird, a new wireless controller.

Nintendo seems to be venturing into the adult gamers’ market while staying true to its younger roots.

Hot titles to look out for are: Metroid Prime, The Legend of Zelda, James Bond 007, Agent Under Fire, Eternal Darkness, Sanity’s Requiem and Super Smash Bros.