It seems as though that there is a trend of game and hardware manufacturers being the first out in the great console race and a lot of the times, the first one's out of the gates are some of the best consoles out there. There are some other's like the Dreamcast that don't share the same fate, but lets look at ones that did come out early and seemed to win in the end:
This is era of gaming could have gone either way. Sony or Nintendo. Sega's unfortunately 32x wasn't doing so hot and Playstation and Nintendo were gearing up for their next generation consoles. Sony's came out first however, with fully 3D realized worlds and some very bumping graphics for it's time. While the start for Sony was slow (but did contain some hits like Resident Evil and Need for Speed), the Playstation picked up in speed with games like Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, Crash Bandicoot. Obviously, there were a ton of a great hits on the Playstation we know and love today, even the RPGs that are so memorable are games that we will all treasure to this day.
While some may argue that the Nintendo 64 was the better console, I've always had a much keener eye on the Playstation. It had a lot realistic touch with more adult themes in their games and that's something I always respected Sony for.
Sony's Playstation 2
Sony also continued their dominance in the next generation. Not only did it bring new IPs and even more cinematic experiences, they also brought some online play to the table. Granted, it wasn't the best online play and the best experience of online seemed to the the SOCOM games and Final Fantasy XI, but those were games that were loved by tons of fans. I still feel that one of the best franchises: Metal Gear Solid had it's best run, including Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Another big impact that the Playstation 2 had, was the sports franchises. Games like NBA2K, MLB: The Show and of course, NFL Madden strive on the Playstation.
It was an unstoppable force that seemed to never have an end.
Microsoft's Xbox 360
The Xbox 360 started and may end as the juggernaut in the scope of things. Their online store has been one of the best features on the console. While it had a weaker first party title, they made up with awesome arcade titles that really did a number on the Xbox Live Arcade. Some of the coolest games were on Xbox Live Arcade like Geometry Wars 2 (which I still play to this day), FEZ and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and HD remakes of TMNT 2: The Arcade Game, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD and NFL Blitz. Not to mention that Xbox Live's online service has been one of the biggest reasons why as to people love Xbox Live so much. Along side one of the best controllers every to be used ever in video gaming (Hey! My opinion).
With the Nintendo Wii U coming out in the next week. Will Nintendo's approach get more gamers to come in? The Wii U has been topsy turvy when it comes to it's releases, with Nintendo acting strange regarding it's features which they have finally...FINALLY revealed in the last week. Do you think that because Nintendo is starting earlier, that they will have a jump on the competition? read