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