I was recently bit by the console war bug. Not being a big console guy I currently own the original Nintendo (NES), then bought the Dreamcast right before it went extinct, and last I bought the Xbox (which had to be bought 50/50 with Sebaz for me to get it). I have always been a PC gamer. Nothing like a good game of multiplayer Duke Nukem, Shadow Warrior, Quake, Quake 2, or Unreal (Yes, I know this was a while back) to solidify my judgment that the PC was the overall champ in gaming. But my days of actually playing a game on the PC are unfortunately passed. I’m excited about some new games like Crysis and Mass Effect and I might just decide to build myself a new computer to run them but that’s not for sure. For the most part, I enjoy developing websites and graphics on my old trusty 12″ PowerBook G4. So when going to a buddys house and playing his xbox 360 for some time now, I realize a console wouldn’t be a bad decision at this point in my life and I was actually excited about it.
Here’s the thing, thanks to Sebaz I am completely addicted to Fifa. Fifa ’07 is the ONLY game I play on the Xbox whenever I get a chance. I love the game. Fifa ’08 is going to be the reason I leave the Xbox behind and move to the 360 or PS3. Of course, I plan to get into some more games once I decide to get a system. It would be a shame to limit my gaming experience, wouldn’t it?
As you can imagine (and probably know), there are plenty of pro’s and con’s for each console. For the sake of this article the xbox 360 elite and the 60gb ps3 will be used. Lets go through the list:
- PRICE: $479 for the 360 and $499 for the PS3
- CPU’s: 3 CPU’s for the 360 and 7 CPU’s for the PS3
- HDD: 120GB for the 360 and 60GB for the PS3
- BLU-RAY AND HD-DVD: $200 hd-dvd drive for the 360 and built-in blu-ray with the PS3
- WIFI: $90-100 wireless network adaptor for the 360 and built-in wifi with the PS3
- ONLINE CAPABILITIES: Established Xbox Live $5/month for the 360 and free (so far mediocre) online system for the PS3
- WARRANTY: 3-year extended warranty for the 360 and 1 year for the PS3
- GAME SUPPORT/CONTENT: A plethora of current and upcoming games for the 360 and a few current games and about the same upcoming games for the PS3
Let me elaborate on each:
I want to pay the LEAST I can but I want the product to be worth it and I want the system to last. PS3 has the best bang for the buck when it comes to the hardware. For $499 you get the gaming system, a blu-ray/dvd player, and built-in wifi. With the 360, you get the gaming system and a dvd player with options to add more. PS3 has the best value for me.
While I love to read about how powerful a processor is or how many triangles a GPU can output, I just don’t care. What matters is how efficiently a developer uses the hardware to make the most of it. So far the 360 has MUCH better support for its ease of development and PS3 developers seem the cringe at the idea of working on it. This will potentially yield a) more games for the 360, and b) about the same quality of product (if it’s a cross-platform game). So while the PS3 has 7 specialized CPU/GPU’s it’s a pain in the ass to develop for so the games will ultimately suffer from this. The solution is for Sony to create some sort of user-friendly extremely optimized compiler so developers can concentrate on the game rather optimizing for the platform. 360 wins for me so far.
The 360 initially looks like the better product by offering a 120GB HDD. But for me, PS3 is the winner because of the user upgradable HDD with virtually limitless potential storage. This is fine for me since I am a hands on guy.
BLU-RAY or HD-DVD
The 360 elite in my opinion needed to have the built-in hd-dvd to compete with Sony. Microsoft and Sony (and apple) seem to be competing for the media center market, so it would make no sense for me that the elite would not have the hd-dvd drive built-in. It’s basically killing two birds with one stone, this is a huge deal. PS3 wins for me with support for blu-ray.
Almost everyone has wifi access in their homes at this point. Not having built-in with the Elite was just stupid. PS3 wins here for me.
The Xbox Live world seems to be rich with content and a constant stream of gamers ready to play. I have no experience with the PS3, but it seems to me like it is some sort of dark and gloomy place set in the 16th century where death lies around the next corner. Or it could be the best place on earth. I’ll judge this tonight and post the update since I will have my first hands on experience with the PS3. Seems like the 360 wins in this department though, especially since most friends are on the 360. FIFA multiplayer is something to drool over.
Update: I tried the online system on Friday July 27, 2007. It wasn’t great and from the brief time I used it, the 360 online capabilities are much more intuitive. Hopefully a firmware update will change this soon.
The 360 is notorious for its 3-led red death ring. It seems like this experience will be imminent to nearly all 360 owners. Good news is that Microsoft finally caught on to this and is providing a 3-year extended warranty at no cost. The PS3 seems to have little to no problems and offers a 1 year warranty. I’d call this a draw.
Alas, what really matters in the end. No matter how many CPU’s or GPU’s or PPU’s or GB’s or whatever it may be, games and content is king. The 360 had an entire year head start on the PS3 and it shows. Aisles full of games available for the 360 at any electronic store and only a handful of games for the PS3. Even more games will be coming to both consoles, just about every new title will be available for each. Very few exclusives so far except the obvious halo and metal gear solid franchise and maybe a couple more. PS3 might benefit in the long run from better developer support with superior CPU’s, but for now the 360 wins this battle.
There is no conclusion. The battle is about equal, at least in my mind. At first I was inclined towards the 360, but now I’m kind of leaning towards the PS3 to be honest. FIFA ’08 will be out for both systems in october, so I guess I’ll wait until then to see if there are any further improvements in the systems or price cuts that will make my decision crystal clear. I will post updates as they come in.
MORE ON THIS: I was emailed a link to the following website which has plenty of comments on and about this post, check it out. LINK: http://www.ps3forums.com/showthread.php?p=1750033.
Filed by Tony at July 19th, 2007 under Games