fkusumot, I made the comparison to the 4th generation because that's the one that sprung to mind when I was looking over last week's American sales charts. The 360's current dominance of sports titles reminded me of the Genesis' dominance of the same thing, and many of the other elements then seemed to fall into place. I am in no way saying that this generation is exactly the same as the 4th generation (some people seem to have misinterpreted this point), only that there are some interesting parallels in the target audiences that may not be entirely coincidental.
I actually think that comparisons to the 6th generation don't make a lot of sense. Last time around, the PS2 easily beat off the weak competition from the Dreamcast and then proceeded to crush all other consoles with ease. There really was never a console "war" at all; the competition was over before it began. PS2 had ALL of the third party support from start to finish, with a year's head start on all major rivals. The current situation is NOTHING like that, which is why I think any effort to match up the current consoles to 6th-generation models will be doomed to failure. The Wii is definitely not the PS2, any more than the PS3 is the Gamecube.
I'm convinced that the most accurate comparison for the PS3 is the Nintendo 64. (Hold off the flames, I'm going somewhere with this, honestly!) Some of the parallels should be obvious:
* The N64 used a controversial catridge format. The PS3 uses a controversial Blu-Ray disc format.
* The N64 was the most powerful and expensive console on the market. The PS3 is the most powerful and expensive console on the market.
* The N64 was repeatedly delayed, and launched a year after its rivals (Sega and Sony). The PS3 was repeatedly delayed, and launched a year after its perceived major rival (the 360).
* Nintendo ruled Japan in the 4th generation (SNES) but was crushed there in the 5th generation. Sony ruled Japan in the 6th generation (PS2) but is getting crushed there in the 7th generation.
* Nintendo was incredibly arrogant in the 5th generation, treating 3rd parties poorly and confidently expecting their system to easily beat the competition. Sony has been incredibly arrogant so far in the 7th generation, and expected to sell 5 million PS3s without games.
* The 5th generation saw a change in the market leader, from Nintendo to Sony. The 7th generation almost certainly will see a change in the market leader from Sony to Nintendo.
* The N64 had (IMO) the best games of the 5th generation, but it wasn't nearly enough to match the sales of the Playstation. The PS3 very well may end up with the best games of the current generation, but it won't be enough to match the sales of the Wii.
I could go on, but you get the point. Again, I'm not saying that the situation is exactly the same, it's just that the N64 is the most relevant comparison that I see to the PS3's current situation. Since the N64 is probably my favorite console of all time, it's really not the end of the world for Sony fans if their system doesn't come out on top this time around. You will still have lots of great games to pass the time.