Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 are in direct competition for the hearts and souls of hardcore gamers everywhere this generation, while the Wii caters to casual gamers. Let’s see how they compare to each other in five key categories.
Games are what make consoles great, and this generation is no exception. Both Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3 have plenty of games this generation although there are significant differences between their game libraries. Overall the Xbox 360 has more exclusives available right now, but the PlayStation 3 has more exclusives in development. The Xbox 360 has Halo, Splinter Cell, Left 4 Dead, Gears of War, Shadow Complex, Mass Effect, Crackdown, Alan Wake, and Forza. The PlayStation 3 has Metal Gear Solid 4, Resistance, Ratchet and Clank, MAG, inFamous, Killzone, and LittleBigPlanet. Either the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3 could win this category, it just depends on what franchises you are a fan of.
Microsoft’s Xbox and Xbox Live launched online gaming into the spotlight with excellent titles like Halo 2 and Splinter Cell Chaos Theory. The Xbox 360 has continued that legacy with a pay-to-play system with many more features than the original Xbox Live. Sony’s PlayStation 3 offers the PSN, a free online service that has recently made many improvements that put it in the same class as Xbox Live. Xbox Live still has additional features the Playstation Network lacks like cross game party chats, Netflix, exclusive downloadable content, and early demo access; but is it worth the price? In my opinion yes, because once you’re used to the additional features it is extremely hard to give them up.
Now that both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have seen price cuts, this category is much more competitive than it once was. Both the Xbox 360 Elite and PlayStation 3 Slim are $299, both include 120GB hard drives, a controller, and component cables. The PlayStation 3 is also a Blu-Ray player while the Xbox 360 comes with a headset and a one year subscription to Xbox Live. If you want a Blu-Ray player, the PlayStation 3 is a much better value, but if you don’t care about Blu-Rays then the Xbox 360 is a slightly better value.
This category may seem obvious, but both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 have their issues. With the Xbox 360 you have a very good chance of getting a defective console, but you also get a three year warranty. With the PlayStation 3 you have a significantly smaller chance of getting a defective console but if something does go wrong out of the one year warranty you have a significant chance of being screwed. One customer was charged nearly the full price of a new PS3 to fix a Blu-Ray disc error. This category depends on your own personal experiences with consoles and whether or not you have had issues in the past. If you have, you will probably be more reassured by the three year warranty than a low failure rate.
The most notable other feature the PlayStation 3 offers is that it is a Blu-Ray player but it also includes a web browser and a virtual world for socializing with other gamers. The Xbox 360 includes Netflix with a gold subscription and also will include Facebook and Twitter in the near future. The features category is entirely dependent on your own preferences.
If you haven’t noticed, all of the categories in this article ended by declaring that it depends on personal preference and opinion. Both consoles are good and it is up to you to determine which one best fits your needs.