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|
|Recharge Cable/Batteries||Included||Play & Charge Kit – $29|
|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|
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.
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.
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