XBOX or PS3? Why?

A friend asked me this today. 3 or 4 months ago when I was considering the same question I was frustrated by the lack of info on the internet. I think the problem stems from the fact that a lot of the information available is outdated due to the “slim” versions both  console manufacturers recently released. Comparing specs alone however, Sony comes out on top. Read IGN’s Hardware Throwdown for an excellent comparison. But comparing only specifications is shortsighted especially since graphically speaking the two systems are virtually identical (it all comes down to how game devs take advantage of the hardware). There are many different facets to consoles nowadays. Here is my breakdown of the situation (in no particular order):

Exclusive games: The PS3 boasts titles like Uncharted, Resistance, Metal Gear Solid and Gran Turismo. XBOX 360 has exclusives including Gears of War, Forza Motorsport, Fable, and Halo. If there’s a game you have to play, this would be a good reason to go one way or the other. But the fact is, the vast majority of games on the market are developed for both systems so to me, this is a non issue.

Streaming Video: Playstation has a built in browser which is kind of cool for YouTube. It also has support for Netflix and Hulu Plus. XBOX has Netflix and Hulu Plus Apps but no YouTube (although it has been announced in the next update) ***UPDATE: in addition to YouTube, XBOX 360 now also has a browser***. Netflix does this cool thing where it analyzes your bandwidth and optimizes the quality of the stream accordingly. XBOX and Playstation support streaming of your home videos from your computer via DLNA too. In other words, download a free application on your mac like TVMOBiLi and all the media on your computer magically streams to your TV.

The Controller: This may sound petty, but I have beef with the Playstation controller. It’s too small for my man hands and I hate the placement of the joysticks. Maybe I could get used to it but the XBOX controller just feels so much better to me. And at least one of the joysticks is in a natural position.

The Network: Bottom line is Playstation Network is free. That’s kind of a big deal even if it got hacked a few months ago and millions of credit cards were compromised. XBOX requires you to purchase an XBOX LIVE account which goes for $60 a year in order to do anything on the inter webs. In the end it’s not that expensive but it looks bad next to the PS3.

Optical Drive: The PS3 is hailed as the most cost effective Blu-ray player on the market. If you have an HDTV that supports 1080p resolutions you have a reason to watch a Blu-ray. That being said, it is my belief that physical media is on it’s way out. While I have never watched a Blu-ray on my 46″ Samsung LED, I have streamed a 1080p mkv file from my computer and I couldn’t tell the difference.

After reviewing the breakdown I just wrote I don’t know why I didn’t buy the Playstation 3. It seems like it wins in most areas. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but I really hate that controller. Here’s another tidbit I didn’t mention: Danielle split the cost of the XBOX with me on the condition that we got the Kinect bundle with Dance Central (which she never plays anymore). I didn’t include motion sensors on the breakdown because I think they’re gimmicky and I don’t care about them, but from a technology standpoint Microsoft clearly has the lead. Speaking of motion tracking consoles, I should mention that I haven’t turned my XBOX 360 on since I bought a Wii for the sole purpose of playing old school NES, SNES, and N64 games. I didn’t bother setting up the motion sensor though — classic controller all the way.

One more thought to make your decision even harder: if media is your main objective, have you thought about a set top box like an Apple TV or a Roku? The ATV is only $99 bucks and streams Netflix, Youtube, Vimeo, the entire iTunes catalogue and anything on your Mac or iPad ***UPDATE: the ATV now also has Hulu***. The Roku does Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo and Hulu Plus. Good luck.

8 thoughts on “XBOX or PS3? Why?

  • Robert says:

    Besides HD movie capability, blu-ray format can hold ridiculous amounts of data so you’ll never have a game with multiple discs, whereas with the xbox you do.

    Blu-ray discs are also uber scratch resistant, which is a bonus.

    The thing that sealed the deal for me with the ps3 however is that I know more people with the playstation. As a social gamer I enjoy sharing games and playing online with friends more than being a lone wolf.

    • wetjosh says:

      There you have it. Spoken like the social dolphin you are. Maybe that’s why I went with an XBOX; while I have an XBOX LIVE account, I rarely play with people online. I guess it’s cause I’m a lone wolf…

  • Toni Hansen says:

    i need an xbox. i don’t have one. :(

    • wetjosh says:

      Now’s a good time to buy cause there’s soooooooo many “Platinum Hits” for $20 and you know they’re not coming out with a new one for a while since they just released Kinect.

  • Mike says:

    I like the breakdown Josh. I will agree with the controller bit, I own both platforms and I prefer the feel of the xbox controller over that of the PS3’s. I will say that my xbox is really buggy. The system boot-up time seems to be very slow, and occasionally the video will fail to come through at startup and I am forced to restart the system a few times before acquiring the image. The wireless-network software will sometimes forget my network password and I have to re-enter it, and for the past few months it hasn’t been able to connect to the network at all. I’m not sure if I’ve simply purchased a lemon or if these glitches are common in other systems, but I have never had similar problems with my PS3.
    Ultimately, I prefer the PS3 simply because it seems more user/consumer friendly, I prefer the gaming titles, and I LOVE BluRays! Fin.

  • Robert says:

    Ha! Social dolphin…

    I think both are are equally Social platforms (or non-social compared o the wii). Of course that depends on your friend circle.

    Mike did jog my memory. When I got my ps3 people were still having serious cooling issues and the red ring of death. That was not something I wanted to deal with for 300+ dollars.

    The other weird thing about the xbox for me was the lack of wifi capability. You, at least at that time, had to purchase a special antenna. Weird.

    That xbox dance game is fun no doubt. Kristal wanted us to get an xbox just for that. But we felt gluttonous have a wii and a ps3 already…

    • wetjosh says:

      I remember the xbox having issues too but it seems to me they fixed them all. The new slim revision is way quieter and I haven’t had any of the issues Mike is experiencing. Boots fast, never drops signal and the new processors they are using generate way less heat which means no more red ring. I think you got a lemon dude. Or your router sucks. Hardwire it!

  • Jared Wetenkamp says:

    PS3 blows

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