Xbox 360 vs PS 3

February 18, 2009

Instead of doing something useful, here I am, writing about what could be the most pointless subject ever. LOL. As if the millions of screaming teenagers weren’t enough, I’m going to chime in on this subject and say it: the Xbox 360 is a better gaming system than the PlayStation 3. Here’s why:

###Graphics### First impressions are important here. From the moment I saw Resistance 2 on the PS3, I realised that the 360 is graphically more capable. Tried it with other games as well, same thing. 360 games have more detail, especially all sorts of bumps are rendered more realistically.

There’s been some cool particle effects in PS3 games (like smoke in Uncharted and MGS 4) that looked nicer than the stuff I was used to on the 360, but overall, 360 games have better graphics.

MGS4 and the Killzone 2 demo look nice (I’ve actually played both), but when you look at the details, it’s mostly just effects and some AA tricks that make them look as good. I think the reason why people are so confused about which one has better graphics is that you really can’t tell the difference from a Youtube video. Seriously.

###Full HD### This came as a pretty big surprise to me - only certain of PS3 games are actually 1080p compatible. This might not have been a big deal in 2006, but it sure is now, if even my TV can do 1080p. Lower resolution not only gives you less detail, but also makes your TV not work at it’s native resolution so the outcome depends on how well your TV displays lower res material. It’s highly likely that many of the 360 games are not natively 1080p, and that Microsoft is actually cheating but I personally couldn’t care less.The upsampling the 360 does works very well, even over component video. The point is the images look great and my TV never drops below 1920x1080.

I really hope this isn’t some horrid design flaw with PS3 which forces developers to make separate versions of a game for every resolution. Really strange that Sony hasn’t got this right yet, considering they’ve been tooting the HD horn the loudest in all of their other products.

###Controller### Sure, the DualShock 3 brings back many memories (mostly ofhigh-school years wasted), but the 360 controller is simply better. It’s bigger, so it’s better to grip, it’s got a better texture to it, the controls are laid out better and the analogue sticks are more accurate. The buttons feel more robust. The trigger buttons feel better as well. Also I have no idea what I’m going to do once the battery in the PS3 controller dies…

###“Please wait”### You see a lot of that on the PS3. It seems like almost every thing you touch on the PS3 has to be first downloaded, installed and updated. It’s really frustrating and reminded me of how bummed out I was when I swapped my N64 for a PlayStation back in the day. Unlike on the 360, PS3 games must be installed before they can be used. With some titles it takes ridiculously long. When you downloaded a demo on the 360, you could just play it, on the PS 3 you have to install it first. Often after installing a demo, you have to do the whole thing again because there’s an update (and unlike on the 360, updates are mandatory on the PS 3).

The 360 allowed me to copy a whole game to the hard drive and this was actually a useful feature since it cut down on load times and made the machine run a little quieter. It took me over 2 years and over 20 games to fill up maybe 10 GB on my 360, whereas the 3-day old PS 3 has already surpassed that.

###Price### Even though the price of the PS3 has come down from the stratosphere and now costs about the same what I paid for my 360 Pro back in 2007, the cheapest 360 (the Arcade version, which has better specs than my Pro) is about 2,5 times cheaper. So even though the numbers have changed, the relative price difference has remained pretty much the same.

So in all, I’d say that the 360 is clearly the better gaming system. What’s sad is that there’s a lot of FUD out there about how much more superior the PS 3 actually is. It’s not. If you’re planning to migrate to the PS 3 just to get a better console (better graphics and games) then don’t. I must admit that Microsoft pulled quite a stunt with the 360 - coming out a year before Sony and actually delivering a superior, next-gen product.

Many say that the games that really harness the PS 3’s power are just beginning to come out and while that may be true, you wonder why that is, almost 3 years in the product’s life-cycle? Maybe it’s true what they say about the PS3 being a very difficult platform to develop for. Whatever the reason, you don’t buy something for something it may or may not do some day.

There are also some things that I think are better on the PS 3:

###Exclusive titles### This is purely a matter of preference, but the PS 3 exclusives, like MGS and Uncharted appeal to me much more than any version of Halo or Gears of War. I even liked Flower and Little Big Planet’s on the wish list. Looking forward to Heavy Rain, don’t care than much about KZ 2, however the old PSP version was kinda fun. On the 360 I was only looking forward to RE 5, but that’s cross platform.

###Sixaxis### Even though the 360 controller is better overall, the sixaxis feature is cool and I hope more games take advantage of it. It’s kinda like the Wiimote, but for serious gamers. ;-)

###Noise### The PS 3 is considerably quieter than the 360, even to the point of being usable as a standalone DVD player (which I never would have done with the 360). My 360 broke (the infamous RRoD) and was replaced by MS less than a months ago (very well handled service, btw) and the new unit seemed quieter, but still way to loud for any sort of movie watching.

###Convergence### Even though it’s one of the reasons why the PS 3 isn’t the best console out right now, I kinda like having true all-in-one machine in my living room. The Blu-ray player, built-in WiFi, HDMI, web browser, more open media support (which I haven’t tested yet), upgradable HD, etc - a device that can do many things and also integrate with the outside world. One of the main reasons I switched was to get rid of junk in the living room and I must say it has worked out quite well.

On a more general note Sony’s “packaging” feels more polished and “expensive”, the industrial design is fancier and blends better with modern home theatre set-ups. Also I like their menu navigation system a lot more.