My opinions on the showdown of PS3 vs. X Box 360

                Video game systems today are more “entertainment systems” than the early systems that were aimed towards kids.  And while the two dominate systems, Sony’s PlayStation 3(PS3) and Microsoft’s X Box 360, are similar in many ways there are key differences.  This article will go over some of the differences and will consists of my personal opinion and experience with each instead of going into exact specifications.  For comparison I played both on a 55 inch 1080 HDTV.

          The main reason most people buy a video game system is to play games and for the most part the game selection of the two systems are pretty close since most of the game developers produce games for both systems although  Halo and Gears of War are exclusively on X Box and Gran Turismo and Killzone are on the  PS3.  While it seems to me that the X Box had the edge picture resolution wise I can’t get over the difference of the game controllers.  While the PS3’s controllers have symmetrical buttons and joysticks the X Box’s controller seems designed by some game developer after a 5 martini lunch.  The overall design seems too “smooth” which can cause problems with sweaty hands during extended play and they used an asymmetrical design with the buttons and joysticks which require quite a bit of playing before I felt comfortable pressing buttons without looking at the controller.

          Both have Wi-Fi and in this department I have to give the win to the X Box.  Online play with the 360 seemed faster while playing Call of Duty: Black Ops.  To play online Microsoft requires a subscription that can be bought in 1, 3, and 12 month options while gameplay on the Play Station Network is free (although it has been down for a while due to a hacker breach).  Both have the option of connecting to your network and accessing movies, pictures, and photos from any computer on the network.  This works for me because I have placed all my DVDs on a hard drive on the computer upstairs and can access my movie collection downstairs.  Both systems will access a hard drive connected to it to play movies and music.

          As for motion detection games I have to give this one to the 360.  We got the PS3 Move first and had some fun with the sports game included.  Although there is a “wand” with it the wand is more ergonomically friendly than the nunchak for the Nintendo Wii.  Calibration wasn’t too much trouble with the Move with the game included but we had problems with most other games we tried.  I was especially disappointed with the calibration problems with the Fight Night game since I am a really big Danny Trejo fan (who is in the game) and even with constant calibration I looked onscreen like a blindfolded punch drunk boxer.  I am far more impressed with the 360’s Kinect - no controllers so there is no chance of controllers winding up in T.V. screens and there is increased visual assistance onscreen to tell you where to stand for better calibration.  The Kinect also has voice recognition and you can control your 360 for things such as watching movies by hand gestures and voice.

          A very important consideration is heat produced by these systems.  The PS3 runs hot (it can heat at least one room during the winter) and the fans can make noise during extended use but I’m concerned by 360’s seemingly decreased heat disbursement. 

          Unfortunately Xbox 360 backed the wrong horse when it came to high definition media by putting HD players in their systems, while the PS3 contains a Blu Ray players which is worth roughly $100 by itself.

          The PS3/X Box debate will continue for quite a while.  Popularity of the two ebbs and wanes with game releases and today’s gaming headlines so my advice is to think about what you are going to use it for and who will be using it;  I recommend a Wii for a young child due to ease of use and game content.  If buying for a hard core gamer I would probably go with the X Box 360 but the PS3 for a better all-around media device.