When the PS3 launched on Friday, the buzz was all about scarcity: rioting crowds, muggers preying on campers, and wild eBay profiteering. The most telling thing about the way the PS3 has been positioned may have been a pregame interview with LeBron James, in which he was asked whether he had received his console, and whether he had waited in line for it (the answers: “of course” and “of course not”). The PS3 represents the video game console as luxury entertainment item, the domain of the very rich and the very determined.

News of today’s Wii launch has a very different spin: lots of available consoles, people eager to play with their purchases instead of selling them, and a general air of love and peace. If the PS3 is about scarcity, the Wii is about plenitude. Once you get past all the hullaballoo about control schemes and market segments, the Wii is refreshingly low-concept: Play some games, have some fun, and stop worrying about things like conspicuous consumption or who’s “winning” this generation’s console wars.