There have been quite a few requests lately for advice on which console to purchase.
The “better games” argument is rapidly becoming a mute point as most titles are cross platform. Sure there are exclusive titles, but there is in most cases a similar game on the opposing side with only a few titles that are truly unique (Little Big Planet for example).
Even the old peripheral argument is over as both have very good steering wheels, keyboard attachments, etc. now.
In most cases people will pick up the console that their friends have so as to take part in some online gaming.
As I was contemplating the differences, and trying to figure out why I play most of my games on the XBOX but think the PS3 is a better unit, I realized that there are other things to consider when choosing a console; especially if you are new to an online community or just want to play solo.
So here I present some points to consider about XBOX Vs PS3 that may not leap to mind, but might be a factor when choosing.
This is just my opinion by the way, so everyone is encouraged to put in their 2 cents worth.
Power Supply (or portability)
This is a bug bear of mine when it comes to the XBOX. There are times you want to take your console to a LAN session, or just move it to another TV so the kids can play with it etc. Well the power supply on the XBOX makes this a pain in the arse!
This giant brick of a thing weighs almost as much as the console and takes up a ton of room. To make things worse you can’t buy a spare power pack … anywhere!
The PS3 on the other hand uses the same power cord as your PC. It is simple, smaller and easy to get a replacement.
The winner here PS3 by a mile.
I don’t know what the PS3 uses for its VOIP, but it is crap! Every time I have used it, some players sound crackly, some are way too soft and some get cut off all the time.
Compared to XBOX which has always seemed “cleaner” and now due to the fact that the party chat function has been released, the PS3 comes a distant second in voice communication. (Although it is my understanding it is getting improved, so watch ... umm ... listen out for updates)
The messaging system also feels a lot more user friendly on the XBOX and notifications are easier to see. The game invite feature is also a lot easier to use in the XBOX.
Until I see all the features on PS3 Home, I can't make comment on it yet.
Clear winner: XBOX.
Wallpapers and Avatars
I had to think long and hard about this one. The PS3 has always impressed me with the ability to upload your own pictures and wall papers to use as your background, while the need to buy one for the XBOX has always annoyed me!
Add to the fact that the new update has cut out half of your “paid” background with the new layout and MS need to start refunding MS points IMHO.
The PS3 themes are customizable and there are tons of free ones to download.
So on the face of it you would say PS3 wins … yes except … the avatars you use for your online profile on the PS3 suck! There are very few of them, with only a couple of cool ones and the rest are child like or down right stupid. So you end up having a friends list where most players use the same avatar.
Now that XBOX has free user created avatars (with the ability to take a photo of you avatar for your gamer picture) the winner is not so clear.
So unless I get heaps of contrary feedback, I’m calling this one a draw.
If I could get my hands on the guy who came up with MS points, I would first shake his hand for being such a creative bastard … than I would smack him upside his melon head!
MS points seem so innocent. Hell it does not even feel like real money when you use them, but unless my math is off MS points are a rip off! When I compare what downloads cost me on the PS3, than convert MS points to real money I am positive the PS3 downloads are cheaper.
Add to that (and this may get me yelled at by Braid and Castle Crashers fans) I feel the PS3 downloadable games are usually a better product. XBOX originals (which are way over priced and some don’t even work properly) and the XBOX arcade games for the most part can’t hold a candle to the likes of PAIN!, Monsters, Wipeout HD, etc.
Sony has also listed all prices in real dollars and only require you add $10 worth of credit to your wallet minimum.
There also seems to be a lot more free content for PS3 games than XBOX games.
Clear winner here: PS3
Just by stating PS3 has Blueray should make this console the winner of this section over XBOX’s now defunct added on HD player. But what about the other media players?
Well they both do DVD (although the PS3 up scales DVD output), they both play the popular music file types (although PS3 can play more formats I believe and the music screen saver looks so much cooler on the PS3 … the planet Earth never looked better!), and they both slide show pictures (although the PS3 has a basic picture editing feature and you can use any of your pictures as wallpaper. It even has a print function).
Both can stream data from a PC, but as the PS3 comes with a built in wireless network card (you have to buy an external one for the XBOX) so it wins this one too.
Triumphant champion here: PS3
Now while the XBOX did advance their look with the Elite, I don’t think there are too many people who would argue that the PS3 is a better looking machine over all. It looks sleek and modern and fits in nicely into any home theater set up. There is one thing here though that the PS3 seems to suffer from, that the XBOX is not as susceptible too … Dust!
I don’t know what they make the PS3 casing out of, but its space age compound was designed to attract every spec of dust that enters your house to itself! There is not a time I use my PS3 that I can remember not having to wipe dust of it first (and before you ask, no my house is not a pig sty, in fact when it comes to my computer and theater room, I have been accused of being borderline obsessive about how clean and neat they have to be
So with this in mind, I award esthetics a draw. PS3 looks better, but the XBOX stays cleaner longer
I am not trying to sway anyone to one specific console. At the end of the day you should get the console that best serves your needs, gaming, social and / or multimedia. The list above is just things I have noticed and compared and figured new comers to console gaming should be aware of.
They rarely get mentioned as the focus is mostly on the games, but as these machines are so much more than just games consoles these days I felt it was worth talking about.
I look forward to seeing other opinions and I hope that for those looking to become console gamers, their gaming needs get fully met!