When it comes to games, all manufacturers are guilt of imitating other's products and ideas - whether its customisable console, unique accessories and even firmware updates. Imitation is after all the sincerest form of flattery, and the re-hashed ideas and products usually build on the success of the original.

We've rounded up the six smartest ideas that have been redone by competitors, although its not always been for the better.

6. Avatars

The Originator: Nintendo, who brought personalisation to a new level with Miis. The simple little characters are then playable in certain games, giving gamers even greater affinity with the cute mascots.

The Imitator: If internet rumor is to be believed, Microsoft is considering the idea of introducing 'Avatars' to the Xbox 360. These cute, customisable characters are also rumored to be incorporated into a multitude of games.

The Winner:
Miis. Nintendo has incorporated them so successfully into the Wii brand that there's no way a newly introduced concept like Avatars can hope to compare.

5. Wii White

The Originator: Apple, who saw a bar of soap years ago and realised it would be the perfect primer for home electronic products. Whether it's an iPod, iBook or the iPhone 3G, Apple knows people can't turn away from the white.

The Imitator: Nintendo, like Apple, knows that offering a variety of colors is key- see the rainbow of available colors for both the iPod and Game Boy brand. However, it took the company a few consoles to realise the great first color is the complete absence of one. Both the Wii and DS started with one color - white - that has become synonymous with Nintendo's brand this generation.

The Winner: Draw. Nintendo went with the 'rainbow of color options' concept years before Apple, but the iPod made white electronics acceptable. Apple hasn't really tested the gaming waters (yet), so this isn't as egregious an infringement.

NEXT PAGE: Guitar Hero: World Tour

  1. Think you've seen these ideas before..you'd be right
  2. Guitar Hero: World Tour
  3. Trophies and the Sixaxis


Imitation is rife in the gaming world. But while it may be the sincerest form of flattery, imitation doesn't always create better products. We've rounded up the six smartest ideas that have been rehashed to see whether the original or the imitator is the better product.

4. Guitar Hero: World Tour

The Originator: Harmonix, who took its Guitar Hero concept and expanded it threefold with Rock Band, introducing a second guitar, vocals, and drums. The game was a great success, spawning a sequel due this September.

The Imitator(s): Two companies are hoping to follow Harmonix's footsteps this fall. Activision is working on Guitar Hero: World Tour, which will have the same four-piece concept, as well as a custom music mode. Konami is prepping Rock Revolution, which will utilise the company's rich music game pedigree - it developed Guitar Freaks and Drum Mania years before Guitar Hero and Drum Mania.

The Winner: Rock Band, but not by much. Harmonix hasn't revealed much about Rock Band 2's new features yet, while Konami and Activision have been more forthcoming with details, but an entire year of band dominance has left a near-insurmountable gap between the companies. Guitar Hero does have the name recognition, and Rock Revolution the pedigree, but Rock Band is a proven winner already.

3. Saints' Row

The Originator: Rockstar, the company behind the massively influential Grand Theft Auto series. In particular, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas provided a look at inner-city gang violence in the 1990's.

The Imitator: THQ and its Saints' Row franchise, which provided a look at inner-city gang violence... in the 2000's. As the first new-gen sandbox title, many people thought it stole the thunder GTA was gunning for.

The Winner: Rockstar. All fears that GTA IV would be outgunned were put to rest once the game released. Meanwhile, Saints' Row 2 has been delayed until late 2008, with GTA's steady stellar sales undoubtedly playing a role.

NEXT PAGE: Trophies and the Sixaxis

  1. Think you've seen these ideas before..you'd be right
  2. Guitar Hero: World Tour
  3. Trophies and the Sixaxis




Imitation is rife in the gaming world. But while it may be the sincerest form of flattery, imitation doesn't always create better products. We've rounded up the six smartest ideas that have been rehashed to see whether the original or the imitator is the better product.

2. Trophies

The Originator: Microsoft didn't expect its Gamerscore system to be such a success when the company launched the Xbox 360, but Achievements have become an integral part of the gaming experience over the last few years. With many of today's multiconsole ports offering a strongly similar gameplay experience on different systems, Achievements have beckoned many gamers to go with the Xbox 360 version.

The Imitator: Sony has recently unveiled Trophies on the gaming public. This reward system is tiered, with bronze, silver, gold, and platinum trophies bestowed upon gamers for progressively more difficult tasks. As of right now, less than a dozen games utilise trophies, but Sony is hoping for full support going forward.

The Winner: Microsoft. We really like what Sony's doing with Trophies, but we're not sure how well it's going to take off. The Gamerscore system could use some innovation - it's been sort of stagnant of late - but to its benefit you know every game makes use of it. Sony may have more versatility with Trophies, but the company really needs to demand that every company utilise it.

1. The Sixaxis

The Originator: When Nintendo announced that its successor to the GameCube would incorporate motion controls, many in the gaming public believed that the company had completely gone crazy. When the public finally got to see the games in motion, they realised the Wii wasn't a gimmick.

The Imitator: Mere months after Nintendo's announcement, Sony unveiled its own motion sensing controller at E3 2006. Dubbed the Sixaxis, Sony made the controversial move of removing rumble from its controller in exchange for a rudimentary motion control system. A year after the release of the Sixaxis, Sony relented and returned rumble to the controller.

The Winner: Nintendo. While there are dozens of Wii games that show off the Wii Remote's unique motion sensing feature, very few PS3 games make use of the Sixaxis/DualShock 3's motion control. Sony has caught quite a bit of flak for the PS3's motion control for poor implementation in games, poorly imitating Nintendo's superior feature, and for keeping rumble out of gamers' hands for a year. It's been the biggest and most blatantly 'borrowed' idea this generation, but who knows what great innovations (and imitatons) the next few years have in store?

  1. Think you've seen these ideas before..you'd be right
  2. Guitar Hero: World Tour
  3. Trophies and the Sixaxis