Watching your Sims just isn't the same, either. You can't zoom in close enough to really make out faces, removing a lot of personality as well as a lot of the satisfaction in creating and customizing your characters. Not that you can customize them all that much. The options for altering a Sim's face, body, hair and clothing are severely scaled back from what can be done in the PC version. This is true for building choices- floors, wallpapers, furniture- too.
But what about those pets? They do make a nice addition, with cute and realistic behavior that doesn't need to be seen up close to appreciate. And while you can't modify them as much as - say it with us - the PC edition, you can give them way more costumes and accessories. Top hats, sunglasses, sneakers, hooded parkas - these critters will let you dress them up in things your real-life pet wouldn't be caught dead in. In general, recreating your cat or dog in The Sims 2 Pets is a snap, as there are dozens of breeds and types to choose from.
Another improvement over the previous console versions is the addition of Town Square, a Downtown-esque area where your Sims can congregate with their pets and purchase goodies... for their pets. Yeah, if you were expecting something akin to the Nightlife expansion pack, don't get your hopes up. No restaurants, no clubs and no public hot tubs here- it's more like an open air PetSmart.