Sunday, December 07, 2008

Versus Week Round 1: Xbox 360 vs. PS3

All this week, Observer columnist Langston Wertz Jr. will write about popular technology rivalries and try to determine which is best for you. The week begins today with Xbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3.

Everybody knows the Nintendo Wii is the hottest-selling video-game console right now. The tiny white unit is great for families, with lots of fun games. The wireless Wii-mote can mimic guitars, ski poles and even golf clubs pretty darned accurately. That brings a new dimension to video gaming, and it gets you off the couch.
But for gamers into hardcore sports and fighting titles – for hardcore gamers of almost any kind, really – you’re probably going to be choosing between the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.

Both systems can deliver stunning high-definition graphics, which the Wii cannot, and both are more powerful machines. Games look more realistic and come across as, um, more serious on those two machines.
So which one to choose?

Xbox’s Advantages: Nothing in console video gaming comes close to Xbox Live. You can download TV shows, movies, games, applications and much more via the online service. The audience is bigger than the competition’s, so if you want a game of online “Madden” at 3 in the morning, there’s always half a gazillion 5-star rated guys ready to take on you and your digital Steve Smith.

PS3 Advantages: In most cases, the PlayStation games are better-looking when compared to their Xbox 360 counterparts. The PlayStation 3 has a built-in Internet browser, and the PlayStation online experience is getting better. The PS3 controller (thankfully available with the rumble feature once again) is also easier to use and fits better in the hand than the Xbox’s.

Knockout Blow: The PlayStation 3 comes bundled with a Blu-Ray high-definition DVD player. Blu-Ray’s picture quality is so amazing, you might not want to go to the movie theater again. Given that some Blu-Ray players cost more than the PS3 itself, you’re basically getting two gadgets for the price of one. And there’s even a new 160-gigabyte version of the PS3 to help store your downloads.

Winner: PlayStation 3, by a Blu-Ray disc.

Coming up:
Tuesday: Mac vs PC
Wednesday: DSL vs. cable Internet
Thursday: wireless vs. wired network
Friday: satellite vs cable


Anonymous said...

Langston Wertz, the ultimate homer for the PS3.

Aside from built-in Blu-ray, which IS an advantage, there's nothing objectively better about the PS3 than the Xbox 360. You say that games "look better" and that the controller "fits better", but this is just your opinion and there are many opinions out there, some by those more qualified than you to speak on them, which say the exact opposite. Consult a gaming site like IGN and you will find that more people think the Xbox 360 is superior than think the same of the PS3. In every objective measurement but one (Blu-ray), the Xbox 360 is a superior console.

If you want to surf the Internet, get a computer.

xboxbob said...

I have to agree with LW here, Anonymous. I won't call him a homer, though I agree with a good many of his reviews of PS. The games do look a little better to me on my Pioneer Elite via PS Three. Having Blu-Ray is what made me buy one. I already had an Xbox and bought that doorstop called a HD-DVD drive to go with it. I've found msyelf buying PS Three versions because they do look a little cleaner. Online is no contest and he did say that.

Anonymous said...

Another thing to be considered is the quality issue. The 360 has been plauged by breakdowns and faulty machines. The PS3 has a almost non existant failure rate.

I am on my 3rd 360..

Anonymous said...

"In most cases, PlayStation games are better-looking when compared to their Xbox 360 counterparts."

Mabye you should check out this link:

Over the past 2 years, Gamespot has done several graphic comparisons on both the Xbox 360 and PS3 with many different games, and in general the Xbox has had better lighting and sharper textures. In fact, PS3 has had major frame rate problems compared to the 360, and in some cases the PS3 version of games run at 30 frames per second while the same game on Xbox360 runs at 60 fps.

So even though PS3 games are now on par with 360 games, and some PS3 games do look better, I would not agree that PS3 games look better in least not until developers figure out how to get the most out of the PS3.

But I do have to say the Blu-ray on the PS3 is a major plus and is a pretty good reason to pick up a PS3.

And one other thing...
Controllers are all about personal preference. I have used both Xbox controllers and PS3 controllers many times and from personal experience the Xbox controller is better designed for people with bigger hands like myself. But as I said, its all about personal preference.

Anonymous said...

Langston, hallalujah, someone finally gets the PlayStation is the better unit. Can't wait for the rest of this week. Good stuff, sir.

Anonymous said...

I don't need a blue ray drive, I'll just stream high definition movies through Netflix onto my 360. Or maybe just play DVD-rip AVIs and WMVs directly from a USB hard drive.

Anonymous said...

You can download the games and movies in HD on the PS3 also in the playstation store. Along with that you can download TV shows, Music videos, gaming videos and pretty much everything else you could ever want, plus it can serve as a media server where you can remotely play all the music on your PC from your playstation without ever hooking up any connection as long as it's on the same network. In addition the PS3 works off of Wifi.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please take off the comment posted at 12:34? I prefer note to read the drivel of bigots.

How sad a world we still live in when a simple Video Game comparison can be turned into hate.

Shame on us all.

Anonymous said...

One other advantage blu-ray has is capacity. 50gb vs 8gb on a DVD. So games that take 2 or 3 discs on DVD are easily put onto ONE blu-ray.

I think xbox has a great online service, but their hardware quality is very poor.

Anonymous said...

Many people here seem to be delusional if they think PS3 has any clear cut advantage over the X360, barring the Blu-Ray factor.. The Blu-Ray is about the only advantage that the PS3 has, and it has know won the "official" next movie storage category by default since HD-DVD are pretty much out.

People talk about how the PS3 graphics are better than that of the X360. This is complete misunderstanding on the consumer’s part since the PS3 actually has lesser graphics processor and much less VRAM to work with. This was the fault of Sony's sky rocketing production cost because of the Cell chip R&D. The painful example can be seen when playing Fallout 3 as well as many comparable games.

As Langston has pointed out Live! is nearly untouchable. Meanwhile Sony won’t have HOME ready for how long? The Beta is out but that doesn’t mean anything if it’s not on mass market - and that’s what counts! What were once sole developers for the Sony systems have now jump ship and are developing products for the X360. Final Fantasy, Grand Theft, and coming to you soon….Metal Gear. Developers can now see that MS is rocking this generation – apart from the Wii.
Also, the game library is ridiculously small on the PS3 compared to the X360, and that speaks volumes.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft is all about nickel and dimeing their customers. The base units are low in price, but to get all the good stuff you have to pay dearly for the add-ons. can anyone say 'Vista'?

If you factor in that PS3 has built in WI-FI and it's an additional $99 to add that on xbox you have your cost difference right there.

blu-ray is the knock out punch.

Also, PSN is free and pretty darn good.

Also, upgrading the PS3 hard disk is SUPER easy. I just bumped mine to 160gb, cost me $62. can't do that with xbox.

PS3 controllers are rechargeable, no feeding it batteries.

I tried an xbox, but the darn thing crapped out on me in less than one day! It was defective from the factory.

I decided then to not invest anymore into that platform got my money back and never looked back.

If xbox could solve their quality/reliability issues then it'd be a different story. but after 3 years and hundreds of thousands of defective units, I seriously doubt they ever will.

Anonymous said...

I have both, but really just use the PS3 as an expensive Blu-Ray player. No good reason to actually play games on a PS3 at this point. Contrary to the article above, I believe the games look better on the XBox 360, not the PS3. And the online gaming, achievements, Netflix streaming, etc. blow the PS3 out of the water. Sony missed the mark with the gaming experience on this unit and probably can't make up ground until the next generation. But even, there I would expect Microsoft to be first to market.

704Champ said...

I had a Playstation and a PS2. When my first PS2 crapped out, and I paid to send it to Sony to repair it, and I got it back 3 weeks later, and then it crapped out a week after that, I figured I'd give an XBox a try. I ended up eventually buying a slim PS2 to play Grand Theft Auto 4 but I was mostly on the XBox.

When the next generation consoles were slated to come out (360, PS3, Wii), I wanted to get a 360 and a PS3. Unfortunately the PS3 was delayed for about a year, so I picked up a 360 and never looked back.

Clearly theres a lot of personal preference involved in determining what console is better. Controllers are certainly personal preference. And while PS3 does have a higher percentage of games available at 1080p resolution, as a previous commenter mentioned, frame rate issues have come up on some games. I've played Call of Duty 4 online on the 360, and it was me and seventeen other players in a match, al with 60 frames per second, and no lag or jittery frame rate at all.

The 360's online service might cost $5/month as opposed to Sony's free service, but I think its well worth it. There are a lot more people online, and you can download game demos before you decide to buy a game, Netflix, movies, videos, etc.

Also they make rechargeable battery packs for 360 controllers, so thats obviously not something exclusive to the PS3 either.

If I had to suggest a game console for a new buyer, I would probably suggest the 360. The main reason is that there are just so many more games available for the 360 than for the PS3. If you really want a Blueray player, go with the PS3. But if you're looking to play video games, I'd go 360.

Anonymous said...

Most PS3 games are only in 720p whereas the Xbox are 1080. All game reviews give the Xbox higher grades graphics wise.

Xbox games look better than PS3 games. I own both and PS3 is basically my movie player.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That's the worst console comparison I've ever read. I would suggest people go to a gaming site to get a good review.

Anonymous said...

I wish the comparisons between an XBox360 and a PS3 would stop. It's a fact the PS3 is far superior hardware wise, but game companies and developers will never utilize it's potential. Anyone remember the days of the Genesis/SNES? Remember how a muli-platform game was different on each console. Those days are long gone when developers tailored a game dependant upon the strengths/weaknesses of a console. Nowadays it seems all too political; developers will only make a game look/run as good as the least powered hardware allows it....remember the XBox360 is a half behind (not Microsoft's fault; it had an earlier release). It's a shame too; the PS3 has a lot going for it and we will have to wait the next console generation when both systems have a complimentary array of hardware that developers can utilize.

Just my thoughts...

Stephen said...

Pretty funny when a video game console review makes absolutely no mention of the GAMES. Yes, the media features of the consoles are a big perk, but most people buy these for the games they will want to play.

Anonymous said...

The PS Network is coming up fast on content and the native OS is becoming MUCH more user friendly with each update (and nevermind if you dual-boot a PS3 with a Linux partition. Amazing flexibility and power there, but admittedly too hard for the average user.)

Sony went out and seriously over-engineered the PS3's hardware while the software lagged. Now that it is catching up, it is really down to must-have titles to save the 360. The good news is the Gears of War franchise alone should keep it going.

But I would have a hard time telling any family with young kids to buy a 360 -- and that's the future.


alvin said...

The PS3 hands down is the better system. This was not always the case. Ever since HD-dvd took a dive and people started to pay closer attention to Blu-ray, people have come to terms with which console is better. In the long run, it's not even close. The PS3 beats Xbox 360 in durability, movie-quality and sound, holds more data on discs (will be an issue when Final fantasy comes out), PSN is free, built in wifi, easy removable hard drive, and did I mention it is much more sexy! Xbox 360 stills wins as far as games but it will be a wrap in 2009 with sure hits Killzone 2 and God of War 3. Bye bye xbox fanboys and hello new ps3 fanboys!!!

Anonymous said...

The Star Trek convention must not be in town. If you are offended by a review that is purely subjective yet informative for the layman, you need to get off grammy's couch in the basement get to work. Ding dong the fries are done.

Anonymous said...

any chance future versions of the Xbox include Blu-Ray ability? That would take the big edge ps3 currently has away, although likely increase cost of the xbox(the big advantage it currently has as far as gaming goes)

704Champ said...

"easy removable hard drive"

You act like this is something unique to the PS3. All you have to do to remove the hard drive on a 360 is press a button and pull the drive off.

I will definitely give the PS3 its credit to having a built-in wireless network adapter. Of course I'd never use it because a hard lined network connection will give you less signal loss and higher bandwith strength, which is key for playing 60fps games online.

Anonymous said...

I'd be shocked if Sony ever licenses Blu-Ray to the 360. Then again, who predicted that Gates would ditch OS/2 and IBM for something called Windows?

(Think I just dated myself there...)


Anonymous said...

Blu-ray is just a jump to the next downloads. Xbox has done a much better job with making the console in a multi-media unit and digital downloads. Heck, there are rumors that Blu-ray won't even be in PS4 (if there is a PS4 at all....there are also rumors that Sony will exit the console market at some point). Don't ask me how credible those rumors are.

PS3 is definitely a better value. Blu-ray, Wi-Fi, Rechargeable controller for $100 more than Xbox. It costs $100 just for the Wi-Fi for Xbox.

Anonymous said...


you are missing the point. you cannot upgrade your HD unless MS sells you an overpriced drive attachment. PS3 can use ANY laptop drive and it's super easy to upgrade the HD.

last time I checked xbox external drive was around 99 bucks for a NEW 20gb. That is just robbery.

704Champ said...

Fair enough, I was just pointing out that removing the drive was easy.

Also initially, Microsoft went with HD-DVD and PS3 went with Blue-Ray. Clearly Blue-Ray is what became the industry standard, but I thought I had heard that MS was already planning an external Blue-Ray drive.

Anonymous said...

I have both. XBOX 360 has been serviced 4 times, PS3 once. The online play is better on the 360, the game library is slightly better on the 360. Multimedia is about even. PS3 has Blu-Ray, but 360 has Netflix. Graphics and Sound are pretty even. The one thing that the PS3 beats 360 in hands down is the hardware upgradability. MS is proprietary, which sucks. If i want a bigger HD in my PS3, I go and buy a SATA drive, It also supports regular bluetooth headsets, and PC controllers. MS is very limited. But to make a long story short, either system is a good choice

Anonymous said...

A point some people seem to miss is the fact that the PS3 has turned the Blu-ray market into a niche market. All of us who have PS3s love Blu-ray and everyweek I see which ones go on sale. Outside of me and my buddy (who also owns a PS3) I can't think of anyone I know who cares for Blu-ray. Other than the HD content available through cable/satellite the ordinary consumer could care less. There was a recent study done that actually shows Blu-ray sales decreasing over time even though the players have become more affordable. It just makes me wonder if I'm going to be left with a library of movies that in two to three years have become out of date.

Anonymous said...

Langston... Price the Blu-Ray players again buddy. They are now under a hundo, should you want to go in to that trap. I completely disagree on the looks of the games, equal at the worst.

Anonymous said...

Based strictly on the numbers, more gamers (not 4 year olds and grannies) have chosen the xbox 360 as the overall better console. Blu Ray is old news and too exspensive. It is already possible to download hd content directly to our hard drives. And as far as quality, i am still on my original 360 with zero issues. My games look excellent with my HDMI cable!

Anonymous said...

Woah woah, let's not forget, PS3 has HOME in open beta, probably out by New years.

The PS3 also has games videos movies and such downloadable, BUT, it's all free to download, you just have to pay for the games and theater movies to rent or buy.

The Xbox beat the PS3 COMPLETELY when they each came out, but with all the updates of the past two years or so, and HOME and internet browser, and webplayers and such, 1080P which the Xbox did not offer, more controllers that can be played on one console, no "red rings of death" more USB ports, built in WIFI, games are made in Blu-ray--that means more info on the disc so more detailed games, and so much more.

The PS3 beats the Xbox by more than a blu-ray player.

Anonymous said...

Hats off to Sony for using a Blue-Ray player in their system. That's a great way to market a console... BUT... Having owned both a PS3 and Xbox 360 I can honestly say XBox 360 runs circles around the PS3. First off the live wireless may be free but I was constantly being kicked off during online play... not so for the 360. Some of the games like COD4 run upscaled in 720p, hardly 1080p. And let's look at the games: Resistance? cool game, but what about Gears of War, and Gears of War 2, Mass Effect (and soon Mass Effect 2), Left 4 Dead.. etc. More selection and lower prices for the games, especially used make the 360 a no brainer. Graphics... I don't see a difference, depends on the game. Uploads? Downloads? Updates? much faster on XBox 360. I'll sacrifice the blue-ray any day for those advantages.

Anonymous said...

Games, Games, Games


also, sony's BILLION$ LOSS