As you are no doubt aware there are 3 main contenders this year PS3, Xbox 360, and the Nintendo Wii.
Let’s leave the Wii out of this for the time being (it’s not quite in direct competition with the Xbox and PS3 as it offers an innovative family friendly ‘phenomenon’ rather than a hardcore ‘Hi Res ‘ gaming console), so if you accept my premise then we are left with a straight shootout between the PS3 and the Xbox 360.
With so much hoopla surrounding both consoles it can be a little confusing to know which console to buy. Both provide an excellent platform for gaming, in fact when you look at the graphics comparisons there is very little to choose between the two but when you look a little deeper that’s when in my opinion the PS3 comes out on top.
Both have recently received price cuts (Xbox) or modifications (PS3 memory upgrade), the Xbox 360 has a new dashboard all ready to launch whilst PS3 has its Home service all primed and ready to go,so why choose the PS3?
Call me old fashioned but the horrible appendage that is the Xbox 360’s power brick is still a real turn off, it looks like the device which the Ghostbusters use to store trapped apparitions, I understand it was required to make the Xbox console itself look a lot more appealing (which it does) but it’s still an unsightly chunk of hardware.OK, that’s a purely aesthetic reason so let’s move on to more pressing issues, and Blu Ray is one of the biggies.
Not only is Blu-Ray shaping up to be the future of home movie entertainment, the discs themselves can store an incredible amount of information giving game developers enough scope to really push the boat out. The Xbox’s support of HD DVD and not Blu Ray has turned out to be a massive mistake and either way you have to buy an external hard drive to play the discs. Some reports state that HD DVD’s main backer Toshiba is no longer producing the drives. Oops.
Current rumours suggest that a future Xbox will have a Blu Ray drive or the capacity to hook up to an external Blu Ray player, but once again just like when they tried to sort out those Red Rings of Death it’s too little too late, the PS3 is already there and the Xbox is just playing catch up.
Did someone mention red rings? So far the PS3 has not been the recipient of any major hardware issues, the same cannot be said about the Xbox 360, the dreaded three rings of death follow this console around like a digital Ebola virus, I am fully aware of the Falcon chipset and that Microsoft offer a good repairs service which is both fast and efficient but no amount of customer care or three year warranty is going to alter the perception that the Xbox 360 is a less than reliable piece of hardware. It doesn’t even matter if is true or not, it’s ‘out there’, and like most things the myth always beats the truth.
You may think that this is all a load of pro PS3 mumbo jumbo, if that is the case then take a look at YouTube, it is still receiving a significant amount of videos either offering ham fisted home repair tips or poking fun at the consoles three lights, they can’t ALL be planted by Sony (can they?) Whatever the truth is – It just doesn’t look good.
Another feature which falls into the category “Why didn’t we think of that?” is the small detail of the PlayStation Network costing nothing to use, it gives the PS3 user a vast amount of downloadable content and on line features for nothing, whilst the popular Xbox Live service still costs you a yearly subscription, if Microsoft just bit the bullet and made this service free it would surely blow a massive dent into the PS3’s popularity. C’mon nobody expects to pay for anything in the digital age throw us a bone Microsoft!
Finally there is the price cut itself, and whilst it may be unfair to slam the Xbox for presenting us with a very capable console for not much money I still can’t help but think that there is something a little desperate about dropping the price and aside from that it’s little bit of a red herring too.
The Xbox 360 Arcade is the console which carries the blockbuster $199.99/f150.00 price tag BUT by the time you’ve paid for all the add ons which allow the console to be taken seriously (hard drive, Xbox live subscription etc) it’s not quite the bargain a first time buyer may feel they were getting.
That said Microsoft has enjoyed a massive increase in sales since the price cut so what do I know?The Blu Ray mis-step, the three rings fiasco, the online service that you have to pay for…it’s all money in the bank for Sony and issues that need to be addressed once and for all by Microsoft.
As Christmas approaches we can all sit back and let battle commence, competition of this nature is all good from a consumers point of view and despite everything I believe the Xbox 360’s price cuts may produce some credit crunch related results for Microsoft but for me if you’ve got the money it’s got to be a PS3… for this Christmas at least.
Christopher Edwards is a living PS3 guru. A PlayStation fan from the beginning, there is nothing he likes more than spending a Saturday night in with a few beers playing his favourite console. What about the ladies you may ask? He saves them for Fridays. Saturday night is PS3 night!
Feeling the need to share his guru status with the world. He set up a website called [http://PS3StockOnline.com] Not only does it have PS3 News, Game Charts, Accessories and Info – it has a PS3 Stock Tracker too!
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