Ever since their release, the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 have been pitted against each other for the sake of establishing console superiority. While each is fundamentally similar, there are several subtleties to each console that will likely have an overall effect on a potential buyer’s decision. I’ll list the major differences off, describe them for each console, and then suggest which one is more preferable. I will not speak about console exclusive games, as they bear no weight in deciding the quality of the consoles themselves.
- Online capability.
- Graphic capability/resolution.
- System stability.
I’ll begin with the Ps3. Online functionality is free at all times, providing you have internet for your console to access. Graphic quality is one of the Ps3’s stronger points, as it has more processing power with which to load and render textures efficiently. Memory depends entirely on which variety of the system you purchase; spending more means plenty more gigabytes at your disposal. You can download games onto your hard drive to speed up load times, which is always a plus.
The controllers of the Ps3 contain their own rechargeable batteries, and come with charging cables so they can serve as both wireless and wired controllers from the moment you unbox. It’s nice not to have to purchase additional parts after spending so much money in the first place.
To clarify what I mean by stability, think of game freezes and disc read failures. The Ps3 is built to last, and if you’ve had one since release and avoided dropping or shaking it, it’s still probably in tip-top condition.
The Xbox 360’s online functionality is paid for on a monthly basis. Since so much gaming is done online these days, it’s seen as a staple, meaning you continue to pay for your 360 long after the initial purchase. Graphic quality is notably low, with some textures rendering visibly as you move about in 3D environments. Memory is also lacking, as larger games are often divided into multiple discs. It is possible and recommended to download games to your system’s hard drive to speed up load times, however.
Xbox 360 controllers are wireless, and run on batteries. If you don’t want to spend money on batteries as well as online capability, you can seek out and purchase rechargeable batteries or wired charger packs for your 360 controllers. Note that these do not come with the console.
Xbox 360 stability is somewhat unreliable, as the hated “Red Ring of Death” is a prevalent cause of refurbishes, at times requiring the user to purchase an entirely new console to remedy the issue.
Overall, the Playstation 3 wins out by merit of convenience and reliability. You do not have to pay for online, you do not have to pay for additional controller parts or batteries, and the system has the longevity to survive the wait for the next-gen console.