While I’ve only spent about a week and a half with my PlayStation 3, I’ve got to know it pretty well. But not that well! Since the vast majority of my gaming entries over the past year and a half have been about the Xbox 360, I knew a lot of you would be curious to know how I was feeling about my shiny new PS3. I’ve been keeping notes and have a rather lengthy doc on the go and am going to deliver it in parts over the coming week. So, here we go…

PlayStation 3 Initial Impressions

Before I get into specifics, I’d like to go over a few little things I really like about the PlayStation 3. First and foremost, it is one pretty console! I have it sitting on top of my media unit, standing up-right angled at about 45 degrees and it looks glorious. Not at all like a George Foreman grill. 😉 It really is an impressive looking piece of hardware. It looks and feels expensive, which is a plus given the amount we spend on these things. The console itself really makes the Xbox 360 look more like a toy with it’s dull, white plastic shell.

Discs are inserted into a slot that automatically pulls them in, which results in nearly no noise as the disc spins. Unlike the Xbox 360, which can reach sound levels comparable to a jet plane flying over-head. Other niceties include touch sensitive power and eject buttons. Granted, the surface the buttons reside on is a fingerprint magnet – it’s still cool, every time.

Price & Value

The first thing people want to know when comparing two products is what they’re getting for their money. Which is the better deal? The following chart compares the current 60GB PlayStation 3 bundle with the Xbox 360 Elite. All prices are in Canadian and products are listed at current value.

  PlayStation 3 Xbox 360 Elite
System Bundle $549 $549
Wireless Controller Included Included
Recharge Cable/Batteries Included Play & Charge Kit – $29
Harddrive 60GB 120GB
HD Video Cable Component or HDMI – $29 Component, HDMI
Digital Audio Cable Optical – $29 Optical – $29
HD Movie Format Blu-ray HD DVD Player – $199
Headset/mic Equivalent Wired USB – $19 Wired USB
Wi-Fi Included Wireless Adapter – $129
$626 $935

There are a couple things that need to be mentioned here. For starters, the PlayStation 3 is currently retailing for $150 CDN less than it’s standard price of $699. This is a temporary price drop, but even at it’s standard price, it still works out to be $160 cheaper than the Xbox 360 at $775. Also, if your stereo supports HDMI audio, you won’t be needing the optical cable, so knock off an additional $29 from the PlayStation 3’s total in that case. Surprisingly, the PlayStation delivers a more complete package out of the box and is much cheaper to “complete” by purchasing the extras that aren’t included.

Controllers

This point is actually a lot harder for me to write about than I had thought it would be. First and foremost, I love the Xbox 360 controller. When I first got my hands on an Xbox controller, I immediately fell in love. It fit my hands great and the thumbsticks are positioned in a way that felt natural. The PlayStation controller has always felt a bit awkward for me. Back in the days of rocking the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Resident Evil 2 on the PlayStation, I always used the d-pad. I never used the left analog stick simply because it wasn’t comfortable or felt natural to do so. When Sony revealed the PlayStation 3’s controller as being a slightly upgraded version of the 10 year-old Dual Shock controller, I was more than a little disappointed. I wish I could say my opinion has changed since putting some decent hours in with the PlayStation 3, but it hasn’t. The fact of the matter is, the Sixaxis feels akward and I find my hand cramps up during extended plays. Especially when using the right trigger extensively – for example, when playing Motor Storm. Hands down, Xbox 360 has the better controller in every area that matters.

PlayStation 3’s controller does have a couple advantages, though. It doesn’t require any batteries or rechargeable battery pack. Instead, you plug the controller into your console with the included USB cable and it can charge while you play, or while the console is idle. But there are two downsides to this. The included USB cable is about 3 feet long and the console has to be on for the controller to recharge. Which means no play and charge, unless you have a really small TV or a USB extension or replacement cable. I find myself having to leave the console on to charge the controller once I’m done playing, which means I have to remember to turn it off a little later. There’s no auto-shutdown after a set amount of hours, where the Xbox 360 has the option to power down after 6 hours of inactivity.

Peripherals

While we’re on the topic of hardware, let’s talk about peripherals. Currently, Amazon has 63 items listed in Xbox 360 Hardware, but only 12 for PlayStation 3. You would assume Xbox 360 wins this round, but you might want to think again. The lack of PlayStation brand peripherals can be attributed to it’s excellent open support for third party brands. With Xbox 360, you have a choice between the cheap and wired USB headset that comes bundled with the Premium and Elite consoles, or the $69 wireless headset. Where as with PlayStation 3, you can use just about any USB or Bluetooth headset you please.

PlayStation 3 vs Xbox 360: Comparison Series

  • Part 1
    PlayStation 3 Initial Impressions, Price & Value, Controllers, Peripherals
  • Part 2
    XrossMediaBar (XMB) vs Dashboard, PlayStation Store vs Xbox Live Marketplace

Comments

Pretty fair comparison. I like it when people can get past the names and enjoy the consoles. I was a Sony ‘fanboy’ having purchased the PS1 and PS2 prior to buying the 360 this past April. Each system has great games and their own pros and cons. Can’t wait to see part 2 🙂

Nice review so far. I’ll be waiting for the rest of the review as you post them. I also agree with your view on the controllers. I wish Sony would have made a change comparable to the way the 360 controller is setup.

Can’t wait to hear more. So glad your taking the time to write about a Gaming Console that few people admit to owning. I have been wanting one since the release. But the price back then was a tad extreme. I feel so much more comfortable with making the purchase than before. I think it may be time to finally ditch the aging PS2.

Matt, you forget to mention that with the Xbox 360 you have the option to download HD format movies to the Hard Drive. So to suggest that you have to add $199 to be able to watch HD format movies isn’t particularly fair. 🙂

I’m glad to see what you think of this. I myself am pro for getting a PS3, but just not now. I think there needs to be a few more stellar titles for me to actually get one. Maybe in part 3 you can compare the games. I really don’t keep up on PS3 games all too much. Unreal sounds fun though.

@Nathan: Unfortunately, for the likes of us in Europe (I’m from Scotland) we don’t have that option. Shafted again! If we want to watch movies in HD, then we have to buy the HD DVD. However, you can pick that up in certain places over here for £80 as it’s not selling too well.

Matt, glad you’re so far happy with your purchase. Can imagine it was a difficult decision to make. One thing I’m interested in hearing is the comparison of both consoles online. The community, the ease of use etc.

Maybe your 360’s breaking was a good thing in disguise. Now you can give us a look at the other side. Ps3 side of gaming and what its like……..without us playing the big money price tag. lol

Cheers mate

Oh and one thing you forgot to mention is choice Microsoft gives you choice (core, Premium etc). Not everybody is gonna buy an Elite or a HD DVD drive. Ps3 you have Blu-ray whether you like it or not. which is why its so expensive E.g. you may want a hd later when there are more films out or when it becomes more popular. With PS3 you have one choice, Sonys.

Just what i think anyways

@Dustin: Yeah, I definitely have been enjoying my PS3 so far. Mind you, I’ve been playing more PS2 titles than PS3 at this point. 😉

@Nathan: As Rockers Delight mentioned, only the US (one out of a dozen or so regions) is lucky enough to have the Video Marketplace. And even then, it isn’t for everyone. I would imagine that one would need a pretty decent connection to make good use of it. And let’s not forget the storage situation. Non-Elite owners have to struggle with a 20GB HDD or shell out nearly $200 for the 120GB HDD. Those aren’t great options.

@Ian: Yeah, I’ll touch on games, but it won’t be much of a comparison – more like a slaughter on behalf of Xbox 360. But at least in the coming months PS3 will gain some ground and at least be matching titles.

@Rockers Delight: I’ll definitely be getting into online components. I guess that means I’ll have to play some games online first, though. 😛

@Ben: That’s a good point, and one that I’m saving for my conclusion. I used to side with MS on that argument (forcing technology vs add-ons), but I’m leaning towards Sony now that HD movies are picking up steam. That might change when Video Marketplace hits Canada and Europe this fall, but then again, I only have a 20GB harddrive so it looks like I’ll be shelling out another $200 if I want to take advantage of that. 🙁

I still think I’ll go with the 360 Elite when it comes out. Mainly for Xbox Live and the wealth of games avaliable.

Good read though, well written dude.

Nice post, that chart really makes you realize the price misconceptions. I was shocked when I found out the 360 wouldn’t have built in Wi-fi, then when I found I’d have to shell out $130 for a device that does something considered fairly simple now, then again when they said Elite wouldn’t include it. I do disagree with one point of your article, though. While I love the 360 controller, the PS3’s D-Pad is a million times better than the 360’s, though it is in the ‘wrong’ place.

I think you’ve sold me on getting one of these instead of the 360. I don’t really want Blue Ray though 🙁 I guess I’ll just keep playing my Wii until I make my mind up.

Nice comparison. It will be interesting to hear the online comparison. I heard the PS3 can get like 40-50+ people in one game due to how it can use dedicated servers. That would be nice to have.

As a US resident who sometimes use the Video Marketplace, I love it. Despite what one might think, you don’t really need that high-end of an internet connection. Of course, the faster the connection the better. I have a 768kbps DSL internet connection and I line up the movies/shows I want to download and then go to sleep. When I wake up the videos are done downloading and I am free to watch them whenever. Even back when I had a 256kbps connection, I would just start to download a standard definition movie and go to sleep. Chances are in the morning it would be done. And with the addition of the option to set the system to shut down after downloads are complete, I would say the Video Marketplace works well.

I was looking at some Home videos for the PS3 and they looks cool, an MMO on a console? And free? Sounds interesting.

You know, I’m getting to the point where I’m going to have to make a decision on which one to get, so I’m looking forward to the rest of this comparison.

For me right now, 360 has games I want to play and PS3 doesn’t. But then again, 360 overheats and PS3 doesn’t seem to. *shrugs* So many things to factor in. (#):(

great article, since i also in the middle situation of choosing which one i should buy. looking forward to see the next part 😀

Pretty fair comparison but you missed a couple of things as far as the hardware is concerned. For example: With the PS3 you get flash memory cards readers…..all of them wetherit’s a memory stick or an SD card or a compact flash card, you do not have to use proprietary memory cards, plus you can transfer audio, photos , or videos to and from your memory cards to your PS3. With the 360 you cna only rip CDs to the HDD anything else you want on there you have to download from the Marketplace, so you can forget about transfering your MP3s or video files to the 360 as well as your photos.

I really dig the PS2 cotroller its pretty fool proof for every genre of gaming IMO. Its not quite as ergonomic as it could be but I really like it. I’m not a fan of the Xbox controllers though, just not my style.

@Manny

With the 360 you can stream video, music, and pictures from your computer. no need to copy it to the hard drive.

@Matt I think things have changed with the 360 premium droping in price and including an HDMI port.

@ Jeremy

I know you can stream from your PC with the 360 I own one , You can also do that withe PS3 Thanks to one of the last updates but If I’m gonna do that I might as well watch it on my PC besides, when you stream it’s a pain to rewind or fast foward through your content plus you always have to have your PC on for that. With the PS3 I have it all right at my fingertips not to mention I can do picture slides and attach photos to my messages and share my content with the playstation community in Home right off my hard drive.

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Good review, but I have to say that I like the PS3 controller better, mainly because the d-pad is actually usable, and for me is the only way to play Street Fighter and KOF, I hate the analog stick on those games.

I disagree with the xbox 360 looking like a toy compared to the ps3

Yes the ps3 looks good but i dont believe the 360 (currently the most sold next-gen console) should be compared to as a simple toy.

[…] 360’s sure do. The amount of comments I receive “correcting” me on the prices in Comparison Part 1 has been increasing steadily, so I figured it would be worth revisiting this topic to see how […]

I’ve had an xbox for 5 years now and was looking forward to getting a xbox 360…until I played on a Playstation 3. Now I can’t choose!Sure you’ve got Halo 3 and Gears of War but I’m a graphics tart!and Blu-ray is winning the format war.I’M STUCK!If anyone can help me it would be great!

If the HD movie format is a serious factor for you, and you’re OK with missing out on the Xbox 360 exclusives, go for a PS3. The multi-platform games are pretty much on-par with the 360 now and it has its share of great exclusives as well.

Cheers man. Maybe I’ll wait a year or two and get a 360 aswell. It’d be a shame to miss out on Microsoft exclusives. Thanks again!

Just wait until june dual-shock 3 is coming out with rumble, i heard they add some grip so it makes it feel better and easier to play, but overall good comparison, unlike those fanboys

This post is a magnet for comment spam, and while they never get published, they’re a huge pain in my ass to moderate.