News Article

If the PS3 is an F1 Car, the Wii is a Go-Kart

Posted by Damien McFerran

Japanese TV show compares the current consoles to four-wheeled vehicles for no good reason

Wii owners are used to being told by their PS3 and 360-owning buddies that their console is underpowered, but such insults usually backfire thanks to the fact that Sony and Microsoft's machines don't have anything as awesome as Super Mario Galaxy. It also helps that Wii is outselling its competitors and therefore getting some juicy exclusives, such as the new Monster Hunter.

However, people love to compare. A Japanese news show recently ran a feature on the current console war and to simplify things for stupid viewers (and at the same time totally distort the actual reality of the situation) they decided to liken each machine to a car.

Unsurprisingly, given that the Japanese are traditionally quite hostile towards Western consoles, the 360 was a sports roadster and the PS3 was a significantly faster Formula One car (not sure the gulf between the machines is actually that pronounced, but what do we know?).

The poor old Wii had to suffer the humiliation of being represented by a small child in a Go-Kart.

While it's obviously true that the Wii lags behind the other two in terms of raw technical power, surely we've gotten to the point where people are aware that graphics NEVER, EVER make a good game?

[via kotaku.com]

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User Comments (67)

Tails

#1

Tails said:

A Go Kart is fun inexpensive and also can be modded out for the user if they tinker with it enough in other words it can grow from a single go kart into a giant machine like that thanks to its consumers so there :P silly 360 and PS3 Sports and race cars are for wimps grab a go kart and go for the checkered flag :D

JimLad

#2

JimLad said:

Now do a profit comparison represented by little men of varying wealth.

Golgo

#6

Golgo said:

The 'reason' presumably is to make a simple graphical comparison based on raw processing power and not the success of the consoles or indeed gaming merits. In which case, the Wii deserves to be represented by a lawnmower.

;)

MattL

#7

MattL said:

How ridiculous. I'll never grasp the mentality behind these comparisons (unless we assume tech/graphics-obsessives are over-compensating for insecurities in their manhood) . Very sad. ;)

clicketyclick

#8

clicketyclick said:

@#4 & 5: Or like, I don't know, comparing consoles based on their relative power?

Graphics may not make a bad game good, but processing power is used for a lot more than just rendering pretty graphics.

"The poor old Wii had to suffer the humiliation of being represented by a small child in a Go-Kart."

Better than being represented as a small child in an inflatable hobby-horse.

Varoennauraa

#9

Varoennauraa said:

Wii is not a car at all. If those HD-ready consoles are cars, then Wii is a bicycle. Its ecological, and you get exercise.

tripunktoj

#11

tripunktoj said:

I hate how everyone now think its EXCLUSIVELY about the GRAPHICS, in contrast to how we old school gamers know since the 80's its MAINLY about the FUN

SanderEvers

#12

SanderEvers said:

FUN = Gameplay + Graphics + good music

I really love Mirror's Edge, which has all three. But I also love Mario Kart, Super Mario Galaxy and SSBB. Which may be a bit lower on the graphics side, but improve on gameplay and music.

clicketyclick

#13

clicketyclick said:

It's hard to have fun when your enemy's IQ is about the level of a mentally-challenged guppy. With greater processing power, your enemy is not just a pretty face.

Lack of HD and lack of sheer horsepower can hold back enjoyment and developers' freedom and creativity.

MattL

#14

MattL said:

@12: Precisely. I think that's the problem. A lot of people who haven't grown up through older systems don't seem to appreciate all the components that go into making software great.

I know it isn't the case with everyone, but there seems to be a growing population of younger gamers who use gaming as a fashion statement, a way of fitting in with the crowd. The 'Wow!' factor only lasts so long, that's why gameplay/fun will always be the first thing I look for in a game.

SanderEvers

#15

SanderEvers said:

SMG is indeed not that hard, but to get 3 stars in 150CC mirror mode is very hard. And SSBB, well I can't even kill 5 foes in the cruel brawl mode.

On the other hand, most PS3/XBOX 360 games are too easy as well.

Bass_X0

#16

Bass_X0 said:

I don't want a PS3. Even if I did get one I can imagine it would be largely untouched. I had to get an XBox 360 early in the year to satisfy certain needs that the Wii doesn't provide (i.e. Street Fighter IV) and that is enough for all my next generation needs (I quite love the ability to download demos of games before buying them). So yeah, I really don't need or want (also afford) a PS3.

skywake

#17

skywake said:

real men are happy to drive to work in a go-kart. Those who need to drive the fastest car are clearly compensating for something ;)

clicketyclick

#19

clicketyclick said:

... well if the Wii could handle more, and developers only do what the Wii can handle, then it stands to reason that they'd be doing more...

There are a number of developers who have shunned the Wii, or have only released poor ports on it, but have done good work on the other platforms, precisely because they feel that the Wii holds them back.

JimLad

#20

JimLad said:

@14
People haven't had much problem with AI in the past. The advanced stuff is only really used in first person shooters and maybe sports sims.
Physics processing is perhaps more integral across the board, but again they could do enough things with the XBOX 1 hardware, of which the Wii is more powerful.
Fine if they want to see how far they can push it, but when will it end?
When video games are nothing but simulations of real life? (beit with aliens etc)
I suppose it depends what you want. In my opinion though I think gameplay and originality is starting to take a back seat with the HD consoles, just as production quality has taken a back seat with the Wii (looking at 3rd parties here)
Developers are not being held back by the Wii though, what they mean to say is they can't port their sequels to it without having to pay someone to downscale a few things. It's all about money and investment and what the publishers will risk or won't risk. They could make a fantastic game still using last gen hardware, but unfortunately that's no longer seen as the standard so it's not a solid enough bet if you're spending millions on said game.

clicketyclick

#21

clicketyclick said:

AI is usually a problem in 3D games. I think often in the past, enemies were made such that they'd always behave the same - they had pre-plotted behaviour about how they'd walk and how they'd run at you etc. If you want the enemies to behave more spontaneously and respond more humanly then you need better hardware to develop it on.

Better hardware can also mean larger worlds with longer draw-distances and with fewer load-times between areas. Better storage capacity on discs mean more data can be stored: more fully-realised worlds, more dialogue, better quality music, more in-game choices that change the course of the game and the game world, etc. You can't explain why some devs aren't making original IP for the plat with the largest installed base and smallest development costs by appealing to budget issues.

HD and better hardware don't just benefit hyper-realistic games. Take a look at LBP and Brutal Legend, for example. I can't really agree that gameplay and originality are taking a backseat with the PS360 as opposed to the Wii, considering how many shoddy games, ports, and rehashes we get - and not just from 3rd parties.

Bensei

#24

Bensei said:

"If the PS3 is an F1 car, why is it 3rd in the worldwide sales?"

Because F1 Cars tend to drive into walls in 30 km/h Zones. (Got it? The 30 km/h Zone is the regression!)

MattL

#25

MattL said:

@18:

Though my only issue with driving to work in the go-kart is getting blue-shelled just as I'm getting into the car park. Happens every time :D

paulcmnt

#26

paulcmnt said:

I actually agree with the comparison, but that doesn't mean I necessarily think the Wii is worse; after all there's a reason I chose to buy the go-kart, instead of the F1 car. ;)

noname

#27

noname said:

I don't care how good a console is i only care how good the games are

JimLad

#28

JimLad said:

@24
They're not making original IP for the plat with the largest installed base and smallest development costs because the installed base is largely comprised of 'casual gamers' and 'non-gamers'
When you combine the two other consoles fan base and compare it to the number of 'hardcore' gamers' on Wii, you're getting more sales with a dual-platform game than if you try to create a high quality, high cost IP unique to the Wii and hope that enough of the same type of people will buy it.
It's already happened with several core games on the Wii selling terribly.

Like I said though the opinion's going to be split depending on what you want from your games.
Personally I don't care for inflated production values and games that last 50 hours. My main issue with the HD consoles is the stunted variety across their libraries. Every 1 in 2 major release seems to be another sequel, usually a shooter, sports or racing sim.
They're good games, but I've played enough of them in the past and want something different, not just the same with more of everything.
Wii isn't impressing me that much either, but at least they're pointing in a direction that has a future. And though it's library maybe shoddy for the most part, it's also brimming with originality and new ideas.

warioswoods

#29

warioswoods said:

What do you know... Kotaku again. As long as you keep wasting our time on the crap that poses as news on that site, I'll keep complaining.

SMEXIZELDAMAN

#31

SMEXIZELDAMAN said:

they are just comparing graphics. if they were comparing profits and wii consoles sold we'd be an airplane :P

Token_Girl

#32

Token_Girl said:

Kart's can go faster than anything when they turn into speeding bullets, grow super large and flatten everyone else, throw blue shells at the PS3's formula one racer, red shells at Microsoft's roadster, and ink both of them in the face.

This sounds like Wii FTW!

calculon

#33

calculon said:

@JimLad: No way is the Wii pointing to the future. If you look at the picture the kart's only got two wheels - it'd keep going around aimlessly in circles like the 360 (which is fine if you're into NASCAR)

At least the PS3 has two wheels that'd let it go forward. Not too quickly though, I'm guessing :D (not that it needs to considering the power it''s already got behind it)

It's a good job they're not comparing software libraries. I can imagine these forums wouldn't be too happy with a pile of manure sitting alongside two piles of precious metal / jewels. I suppose you can use MotionPlus to accurately simulate the stirring of the manure though.

Digiki

#34

Digiki said:

I would've said the Wii is a bumper car, I'd say the developers have a bigger impact on the system than most everything else, and the average developer treats the Wii like a bumper car.

devillinko

#37

devillinko said:

ridiculous !!
The manager of the ps3 should have a sick mind !! until the xbox is better !!
Wii is great! this guy just does not want to see this.

Ian_Daemon

#38

Ian_Daemon said:

@ #9 Clicketyclick:
"...Graphics may not make a bad game good, but processing power is used for a lot more than just rendering pretty graphics...."

These days? Not really.

@ #38 Digiki:
"...I'd say the developers have a bigger impact on the system than most everything else, and the average developer treats the Wii like a bumper car...."

Agreed.

noname875

#40

noname875 said:

"surely we've gotten to the point where people are aware that graphics NEVER, EVER make a good game?"
i don't think so.

StarDust4Ever

#41

StarDust4Ever said:

Nah, they got it all wrong. The Wii is a compact hybrid with excellent fuel economy; the PS3 is a gas-guzzling SUV with too much horsepower and abysmal mileage. The Xbox 360, you ask? The Xbox 360 has got to be a FORD, because it's Fixed Or Repaired Daily! :D :D :D

AVahne

#42

AVahne said:

give the Go-Kart a blue shell or a golden mushroom i think it becomes fair again

astarisborn94

#43

astarisborn94 said:

That is an extrememly unfair comparision. They must hate the Wii.

The commercial Gabbo showed us was much more fair.

JRAPOCALYPSE

#46

JRAPOCALYPSE said:

The funny thing is this,the 360 has had the number one spot for some time now blowing away the comp...if nintendo keeps letting all this spam and junk titles hit the wii then they might as well just shoot themselves in the foot.The wii is a great console with even greater possibilities then we have seen and noone steps up to the plate except a few! My wii gets more retro attention as 90% of the retail disc games are just trash and having bad online play does not help it's cause either.I could think of a few things that would really bring the wii to the front lines but nintendo has to lower that 25 year old iron fist and let the ideas come in.

Darknyht

#47

Darknyht said:

The sad truth is that the cost of developing on the PS3 and 360 are going to come down, that is the way of technology. Game Engines will be already built and only will need customized, developers will be more and more familiar with the code etc. So pointing out that the Wii is easy to develop on is pointless, as is pointing out the WiiWare.

Yes, Nintendo was the first to offer these things, but just about everything unique to the Wii that was positive is now been integrated or will be integrated into the other two. All that is ended up left to the Wii is that they have a great back catalog available (Virtual Console), tons of crapware games, and more gadgets to attach to it than a Sega Genesis.

Nintendo needs to do something soon or they will eventually become more and more irrelevant this generation.

City_Of_Delusion

#50

City_Of_Delusion said:

@51: Maybe, but they have built up an enormous lead.

Nintendo's approach has been flawed, but then again so has Sony's and the less said about the 360's reliability, the better.

marktheshark

#51

marktheshark said:

So does this mean that the Go-kart gets either a blue shell or a bullet bill & then obliterates the compitition? :p

mjc0961

#52

mjc0961 said:

"such insults usually backfire thanks to the fact that Sony and Microsoft's machines don't have anything as awesome as Super Mario Galaxy"

... Do you realize how much you just failed?
For the 360: Mass Effect? Gears of War? Crackdown? Dead Rising*?
For the PS3: Uncharted? Ratchet and Clank? LittleBigPlanet? Killzone?

There are plenty of games on both consoles that are equally or even more awesome than Super Mario Galaxy. I agree that the go-kart comment is really stupid, but so was this comment about the other system's games.

*Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop doesn't count. The gameplay elements have been changed so much that they are basically two different games. Dead Rising on 360 is not the same as Dead Rising on the Wii.

Bring_Back_Pluto

#53

Bring_Back_Pluto said:

No one likes f1 racing!
It's all about the F-zero baby!
And the 360 is like Nascar..... that's an insult.

Why not compare them to mythical creatures?

PS3 Dragon
Xbox 360 Dragon with cancer
Wii Pet Dragon!

See? Easy!

Slapshot

#54

Slapshot said:

With the Wii now only $50 dollars cheaper than the PS3 I would have to say that yes the Wii is now way to underpowered for the $249 price tag. Not saying the Wii is a bad system, but its now the system that is Way overpriced in the market.

hamispink

#56

hamispink said:

its not about the graphics, its about the features, where the wii severely lacks

but it is improving

zeeroid

#57

zeeroid said:

@slapshot82

Absolutely agreed. As per my understanding, from the very beginning, Nintendo was the only one actually marking up the price of the Wii and making a profit on each console sold (whereas the 360 and PS3 were both sold at a loss, especially the PS3 -- this has been common practice with initial sales of most consoles). That's not to say I have any right to fault Nintendo for it; they are a business, after all, and they certainly got away with it. But at this stage of the race, I would really like to see the price come down. Obviously that won't happen until people stop buying it, but a guy can dream. And let's face it, before they reduce the price, they still have to release the black edition here in the West. O, pitiable Wii owners we are...

Sean007s

#58

Sean007s said:

Well...sorry Nintendo Fans but heck i'm selling my Wii for a PS3 very soon.
Why?....
the Wii is good...it CAN be Amazing.
However i'm sick to the bloody death paging through Shovalware.
The Wii just does not have the games i simply want....
I have completed and played COD:WaW to the death....but on PS3...they even give you more maps and has more modes.
The Wii is alittle TOO under-powered.

Im sick of developers not making good Wii games. and no i am not blaming Nintendo,however this is the Wii...its a console that isn't as good as PS3 or 360 in MY OPINION.

container1024

#59

container1024 said:

Having all 3 cars (cof cof) I can tell you this is spot on.
100% spot on.
And which one of those 3 would I drive naked.
The Go-Kart.

Yeah, the Wii rules (and I hate my 360)

tripunktoj

#60

tripunktoj said:

@13: That might be fun for you, but not for me or many more, its something subjective

Ender

#61

Ender said:

As I always say, there's a market for everyone.

I rather enjoy downloading and playing New Adventure Islannd (TG) on VC and some people prefer to play Call of Duty.
But I am an old fart gamer, and I like old school type of games.
Mind you.

Mach-X

#62

Mach-X said:

Here's an interesting comparison. How about instead of focusing on screen resolution, how about a simple comparison of how WELL the consoles are designed. Did you guys know that the wii only consumes 16 watts of power at full tilt? That's less than most CFL light bulbs. Less than 1 amp of current at any time. 750 milliamps to be exact. The wii is SO well designed and ULTRA efficient it uses less power than the first Xbox, and is close to PS2 in terms of power consumption. By comparison the HD twins consume over a whopping 150 watts of power while running full tilt. Over ten times what the wii uses. The PS3 is the record holder, consuming 200 watts, or about 3 incandescent 60 watt bulbs worth. That is near 17 amps of current running through the board, enough to provide one hell of a jolt if you were to touch it, even at 12 volts. In fact, the Wii beats the Energy Star Idle rating by a WIDE margin even at full tilt. Even at idle, the HD twins consume enough power to cost you hundreds of dollars a year so don't leave your ps3 on if you aren't playing anything! Simply having your 360 PLUGGED IN and turned off it still consumes double the Wii in a similar state (wiiconnect24 off). You want a proper comparison? The PS3 is a Cadillac Escalade, 360 a Lincoln Navigator, the Wii is a Toyota Prius. It could run on a couple of 9v batteries, while the HD twins would need diesel powered generators. Don't believe me? Here are the links.
http://www.hardcoreware.net/reviews/review-356-1.htm
http://www.iea.org/textbase/work/2007/set-top/Energy_measurements_%20of_48%20US%20STBs.pdf

MattL

#63

MattL said:

^ That's a fascinating angle on the discussion. Seriously, it's great to hear that side brought to the table. And good to know we're also being more energy efficient by supporting the Wii :)

Mach-X

#64

Mach-X said:

Yea the Wii is a very well designed piece of hardware and it does a lot on a little. It's like how the first gameboy could run 30 hours on two AA batteries while the lynx or game gear would get like 3 hours on 6 batteries. The efficiency of the Wii is really impressive, and a real display of how tightly designed the hardware is.

angel_m_rivera_colla

#65

angel_m_rivera_colla said:

nobody talks about genre.My Wii is 3 years old and I dont have Super Mario Galaxy.Is a great game,but I suck in that genre.I am retro 80s arcade fan(fun)...My games:PunchOut,Mario Kart Wii,MLB Power Pros.,House of the Dead 2 &3,Links shooting whatever,Wii Sports(getting dust),Gamecube games,30 downloaded games(the reason I have a Wii)...etc.. Wii graphics are excellent.As an arcade fan,I dont care about HD,the only difference between the consoles of this generation.

My next game is going to be Wii Sports Resort.Is so colorful! Little kids need to read more about the history of video games.

the best reason for having a Wii(2009)...FPS! I was afraid to play them in the arcades. My favorite genre:On rails! YES! Simple and addictive. If you want a story or mindbreaking experience,get a book or rent a movie!

James

#66

James said:

@angel m. rivera collazo - in future, please click "Edit" to alter your posts, rather than posting several comments :)

Big_A2

#67

Big_A2 said:

@66. Mach-X: Well, the comparison in question is still valid. Go-Karts take less energy to run than F1s.

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