The Xbox 360 Slim with its sleek design and upgraded hardware (a new Valhalla chip), is a symbol of human innovation. The new chip combines the CPU, GPU and eDRAM in a miniature 45nm which means a cooler console at a much more affordable price. If you remember, the last Xbox 360 launch had a price tag of $399. The Valhalla chip knocked off about $100 because with three chips combined into one, manufacturing costs decreased allowing Microsoft to lower their retail price. And at launch, the price for the Xbox 360 with its 250GB and the PS3 Slim with its 120GB were both $299. So with the efforts of Microsoft constantly improving the technology of their machine, they made it a little easier on wallets. No wonder why the Xbox 360 Slim was such a big hit at launch.
The back to the future feature
Another advantage to buying an Xbox 360 Slim is the backward compatibility feature. Unlike the PS3, you can play previous generation games on the new version making it a seamless transition from one model to the next. Some can argue that this isn't a new generation but just another model in the same product line (still has 360 attached to it), but whatever you want to call it, the 360 Slim will still play your older generation games as long as they're on the compatibility list. They won't look any better visually on with the new console, but the hardware itself will perform better because it consumes less energy, is super quiet and takes up a lot less room (the power block is smaller too).
There's a smaller 4GB arcade version that's even more affordable for those who don't need that much space. The benefits of purchasing the smaller hard drive is the ability to save, download and install content via a USB flash drive. Plus, you can always upgrade it to the 250GB that is sold separately. There are discounted 250GB hard drives available which can make buying a GB 360 Slim even cheaper than buying a 250GB 360 Slim at the start. Just buy the GB and upgrade it later and you have a good deal. It all depends on your shopping skills. Of course, you might be able to find a good Xbox 360 sale somewhere, so keep all options on the table. Both versions, the GB and the 250GB, both have the same features as they are Kinect ready and you can use your previous controllers with the new consoles.
The tides have turned
Concerning the Xbox 360 Slim and the PS3, which console you buy is always up to personal preference. But with the PS3 sales now surpassing 360 Slim, it seems even with all the efforts Microsoft has made with their latest console, the multimedia packed PS3 is starting to grow on customers. Remember, the Blu-ray capability for the PS3 is what made it so expensive. It was able to play that format, as well as normal DVDs, CDs and of course games. Four different media options for it's users. So with Sony decreasing the price tag on their console, it was made a little more consumer friendly.
Only time will tell
Again, as to why the PS3 is doing so well over the Xbox, it may take a few years and a really well-done case study to find the answers to that. But for now, depending on which game titles you're into, and if you really need any Blu-ray capabilities, will determine which console is best for you.