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It sounds like a main event wrestling match or the end of a Rocky Movie but the bill for Spring 2002 is three consoles clashing head to head in the race to be the top console for the next generation.
Let�s take a look at the contenders.
Firstly there is the Playstation 2.  Released back in November 2000 the PS2 is tipped by many to beat off its Microsoft and Nintendo rivals.
Secondly there is the X-BOX.  Microsoft have no experience of the console market and are boldly plunging into the market.
Lastly there is the overlooked Gamecube, a console that has only recently revealed some of its secrets.
That�s the background info but now for the more in depth look�
The Playstation 2 has been hyped from the day it was released and occupies more shelf space at the moment than both Nintendo 64 and Gameboy Games together.  But if you look closer at the PS2 and its specs you will realise it is just other consoles fused together.  Take for example the casing, it is the same as a scrapped Atari Console.  The controllers are the same as the PSX and have been coloured black.  Very original I hear you cry in amazement.
Also another problem with the PS2 is that it cannot reach its full capabilities both graphically and memorywise and meaning that those much hyped stats on performance are just hype.  As someone would say:�All mouth and no trousers�.  Indeed.
Onto the X-BOX, Bill Gates� baby.  Unknown to the console market, Microsoft is making a daring attempt at this most complicated of markets.
With the power of a PC behind it the XB will be pretty hard to compete with.  But then again Microsoft have got a slight reputation for unfulfilled promises when it comes to hype.  Lookswise the console is very easy to describe, A box with a big X on it-Yet again another original creation from Bill Gates� Nerd Factory.
Finally we come to the dark horse of the race.  The Gamecube has been shrouded in mystery since it was first revealed as in development.  IBM have helped design the console inside and so have some other well known names.  There are however some problems as far as the Gamecube goes.  For starters the first thing that comes to mind when you list Gamecube�s poorer points is the absence of a DVD player.  Also, unlike the PS2 there is no backwards compatability.  However the absence of these components allow Nintendo to a)keep prices down b)make the console smaller and c)concentrate on how the thing actually plays the games.
My personal philosophy is that a console does play games, after all that is the point.  It�s all very well adding on a DVD player or extra memory but if that keeps happening our consoles will just turn into glorified PC�s.
So overall, not to say im biased but I would place my money on the Dark Horse of the race, the Gamecube.   I think that the X-BOX is just too much like a PC and sticking a console nametag on it and making it play on a TV will not be enough to tempt buyers.  I am sure the Playstation 2, however, will put up more of a fight to steal Sony�s console crown.  It will be a close contest, no doubt about it, but come Spring we�ll all be a lot wiser about a winner�

Chriz Shipman
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