Ok so up front I have to let you know I owned an original Xbox and have had an Xbox 360 for the past year and a half. Being an original PC gamer I’ve never much liked the idea of paying a monthly charge to play a video game. It just kind of blows my mind. I suppose the advent of DLC might have made it worth while but then why am I paying a third party plus paying the developer for that DLC. Regardless I’ve done it and it was good. Definitely a solid experience from Microsoft. But…with the exception of the money from my wallet I really didn’t know what I was missing.
First what you need to know is that we’re about half way through this generations life cycle. Both Microsoft and Sony have stated they plan to keep this generation of consoles for 10 years plus. That means 5 more years of the 360 at $50 a year. That’s $250, give or take 5 games worth of cash. May be some of you make enough money that it is inconsequential but I think for most of us thats a tidy bit of money. An while we’re on the subject of money Microsoft points are designed to generate that non-round amount that leaves you just short of the amount you need to buy that next game or avatar item. The PlayStation charges real money at set amounts. No need to worry about left over cash on your account that you can’t use. Score 1 for the PlayStation. The other effect this has is the ability for any one who uses the system to create a free login/profile on playstation.com and log in to the system to maintain their own Trophy record, use their own financial information to buy games and avatar items and to maintain their own friend list. The girl friend is much happier getting in to the online action and I can barely tear her away from Fat Princess.
Second is in the social aspect. While PlayStation Home is definitely a unique and fun way to interact with people and view certain types of content its just worth mentioning as a unique point of interest. My actual point is that I had the Xbox 360 for a year and a half and I’ve met precisely zero people online that I play games with. Every one I play 360 with were either met online but not on the Microsoft service or were people I know in real life. Day two with the system and I’ve all ready added one friend, who is some one I’ve never met in real life, just from sharing a squad in a game of Battlefield Bad Company 2. It’s not clear yet if that says something about the nature of gamers who choose a PlayStation 3 or if it says something about the folks on the Xbox 360 or may be its just happy coincidence. No matter how you look at it I’m up one friend and team mate over a year and a half with the Xbox. We’ll see what the future holds.
The system uses Bluetooth. If you’ve used a cell phone then you probably know what that is. It’s a standard wireless technology for connecting things in close proximity. Controllers, keyboards, and headsets are the most common things connected to a console via this technology. I saw bluetooth headsets at Walmart for $13. How much is a 360 wireless headset now? The PS3 also supports other standards and functionality like USB ports front and back with the ability to plug in standard FAT formatted hard drives for things like video content, music and even full system backups. While the Xbox 360 can do the first two it doesn’t do the last one. Throw in user replaceable internal hard drives for easy upgrades in the future using standard cheap SATA based hard drives. I can drop $100 for 1TB for my PS3 or I can drop…oh wait the only option is a 250GB for the same price for the Xbox 360.
Many of the games on the PlayStation 3 are more unique and more fun than those on the Xbox 360(I do realize thats subjective) and the majority of big title games are cross platform and thus available on the PlayStation 3. The Blueray player is great when the compressed HD from netflix just won’t do it justice or if you have to have a physical medium in your possession(*cough*avatar*cough*). It’s far more quite than the Xbox 360 and consumes less space. I could go on but alas a geeks gotta sleep. I look forward to more posts about the awesomeness of the PlayStationo 3 and all the new possibilities it provides over the Xbox 360.
P.S. While I was shopping around for my Playstation 3 I found a few places selling the 250GB for only $50 more than the 120GB version. Hard to beat a deal like that.