Monday, May 16, 2011
The XboX 360 and why it's superior over the Playstation 3.
So, lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the video game industry and especially about the XboX 360/PS3 and which system is better. I know I have a lot of online friends who have an Xbox 360, and some of you even have both, but there are the few of you out there who have just the PS3 and I know a lot of the comments I’ve made on Twitter and elsewhere online has angered some of you. I just wanted to create this entry for The Thought Corner to justify my position as to why I think, more like know, the XboX 360 is superior to the PS3.
To start things off I just want to solidify the fact that I’ve had plenty of experience playing the PS3, so when people are reading this I don’t want them to think that I’m some XboX 360 fan boy who refuses to give anything other than my system of choice a fighting chance. If that happens to be what your thinking then allow me to hand you a huge slice of humble pie and go into detail about my experiences with the PS3 and why I‘ve come to the conclusion that I‘m writing about on this blog.
My experiences with the PS3 date back to mid-2008 when I got a chance to sit down and play it for the first time (stores aside) at a friends house, he is huge into fighting games and he tossed in one of the popular fighting games of the year (Soul Caliber, maybe?) and we fired up quite a few rounds of butt kicking action. The unbalanced controller made it difficult for me to get used to, something I’ve always hated about Playstation controllers, and I had a hard time learning combo’s and special moves as I played through all the different rounds we played. I’ve felt this way about the PS3’s controller when I played it at a Best Buy and then a Wal-Mart months before trying it at my buddies house and I’ve never been sold on the side by side dual analog joysticks, it’s just unnatural feeling and not ergonomic enough.
After I tried my hand at fighting games he went ahead and threw in a racing game, I think it was Midnight Club or something along those lines, it certainly wasn’t my cup of tea but it was okay for a racing game and I was actually able to beat him in a couple of races so my adrenaline was pumping and we moved onto COD4: Modern Warfare. I was impressed with Modern Warfare, the game had amazing graphics and the game play was solid as a rock, but it came down to the controller being the bane of the situation and my hands were quickly cramping up. It was time to move onto something else so we played a few different games that were apparently PS3 exclusives and I was excited to see what these games were all about, but unfortunately nothing held my interest and everything was lackluster at best.
The 2nd time I really got to sit down and play the PS3 was when my girlfriends brother received one for Christmas in 2009, shortly after I had made the decision to purchase an XboX 360. I came over to pick her up so we could go shopping but she woke up late and still needed to show and get ready to go, her brother was playing the most recent John Madden football game and asked if I wanted to play with him, I agreed and we played Madden for a little while. The game was certainly nothing special and when we were done with Madden he wanted to know if I wanted to play a shooting game called “Haze” which, for a long time, was a PS3 exclusive. I had time to kill so he put it on and we played for about a half an hour before my girlfriend was ready to get going, the game was terrible, when I was playing Haze I couldn’t get into what was going on and the controls were so jerky that it created such a huge distraction that I eventually had to put the controller down and stop playing.
Since then I spent some time playing the PS3 inside of random stores such as GameStop, Toys R’ Us, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart, usually trying out whatever games they have on display to draw the customer into buying that specific game and/or system and some of the games were enjoyable while most weren’t. I did make one final attempt at playing the PS3 at the person’s house where I got acquainted to it the first time and my experience is usually always the same, decent game coupled with a terrible controller or unenjoyable game coupled with a terrible controller, either way there was nothing that grabbed me in and convinced me that the PS3 was the way to go and the systems controller deserves the negative press that it gets.
Now, from here on out I’m going to compare the two systems in a series of categories and explain why the Xbox 360 is by far and away the better of the two consoles, some of the categories are going to include online play, hardware, software, content and other aspects of the systems that help to make Microsoft’s machine the king of the hill to the serious gamer. The first category I’m going to discuss is the hardware aspects of the machines and the differences between them.
When comparing the hardware of these two machines it’s hard to fault the PS3 for it’s power and inclusion of a blu-ray DVD player, Sony’s machine is clearly packing more power than Microsoft’s and for the few and the proud who actually buy blu-ray DVD’s they have a nice option to watch them on the PS3 instead of purchasing a separate machine to view them on. Also, the fact that you can use any SATA hard drive for the systems memory source is a plus because if you hunt hard enough you could get a new drive for under $40 on sale in many retail outlets, the XboX 360’s hard drive is much more expensive. But that’s basically where the PS3’s praise comes to an end. Unfortunately for Sony the system itself was originally large and bulky compared to the XboX 360 and featured an ugly design and an extremely high price point for what you were actually getting, the controller for the PS3 has been lambasted by almost every reviewer on the web and in print due to it having a “L1/L2” scheme and not including a trigger like on the XboX 360. This coupled with the fact that the controller isn’t very comfortable or ergonomic due to having the two analog joysticks sitting right next to eachother on an even level didn’t help Sony’s cause either, meanwhile the XboX 360‘s controller has the analog sticks at a “10&2“ style position so it feels more natural and molds to your hands better. In fact, I’ve never spoken to someone who owned both systems who preferred the design of the PS3 and it’s controller to the XboX 360’s, so because of the reasons listed above I would give the edge to Microsoft by a huge margin, though I do admit that the power of the PS3 and the blu-ray player are really nice.
Online Play & Content
These days one of the biggest and most important aspects of gaming is the online play, another huge reason as to why the XboX 360 is superior to the PS3. I’ve played both systems online and the 360 certainly offered a smoother and more rich gaming experience when playing against others over the web, and of all the reviews and editorials I’ve read that helped me toward my decision to purchase the XboX 360 I’ve yet to come across a writing that has disagreed with me. Sure, the PS3’s online service is free and you get an included web browser when you purchase a PS3, but the gaming experience isn’t nearly that of the XboX’s and for the monthly fee you are given something that is a lot more polished and accessible. Heck, up until recently you couldn’t even use the PS3’s online content due to a major hack that had the Playstation Network down for almost a month, oh and there was the little issue where credit card numbers for those who have their PS3‘s online were stolen and owners have been getting fraudulent charges in their statements, so yeah, security is a huge plus for Microsoft as well. Also, it’s been great getting a lot of downloadable content available to XboX 360 owners first, usually it’s only by a few days to a whole week but for the most part I’ve been noticing a lot of IGN articles where they mention that DLC has been hitting XboX Live (XBL) first before the Playstation Network (PSN) users have access to it (though this isn‘t always the case). And last but not least would be the XboX Live Arcade itself which offers a deeper library of downloadable games and other fun activities, lot’s of which are media based, and a richer experience when it comes to finding downloads you want and grabbing them.
One big thing that draws people to a certain gaming system is the games themselves, so software companies are paid big bucks to develop exclusive titles for consoles to attract people into buying their hardware, both XboX 360 and PS3 have a sufficient amount of exclusive games but only one system can reign supreme. Games are often a matter of taste with the player who’s purchasing these titles, certain players like certain things while other players may prefer something different, so this part of my editorial is all up to you: the consumer. But judging by overall sales of the exclusive titles to each console I would say that the XboX 360 has won the battle of the exclusives (PC excluded) with games like the RPG’s Fable II and Fable III which enjoyed high sales figures and praise from review publications and web sites such as IGN, Gamespot, Gametrailers, GameInformer, and Joystiq. Other exclusive games to note would include the Gears of War franchise which had taken off like wildfire and landed stellar reviews from almost ever publication in the industry, and of course Halo 3 and Halo Reach which were met with amazing reviews and massive sales. Also, Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 were both huge hits for the XboX 360 and helped to draw in fans with it’s zombie killing action, the L4D series has enjoyed huge success with the critics which has rolled over into high sales figures for the franchise and for Microsoft‘s console as well. To be fair, the PS3 does have it’s share of exclusive titles that are available for it, some have been met with critical success as well, but the general public has spoken and the XboX 360 defeats Sony’s machine when it comes to exclusives. And also, of the 7 or 8 exclusive titles for the PS3 I’ve played I think I was only floored with excitement for maybe 2 of them, that’s not exactly something that got me excited to go out and plunk down my hard earned cash on a Playstation. Games aside, one huge win for the 360 would be the fact that the controller was basically created with first person shooter’s (FPS) in mind, the developers aligned the analog sticks perfectly for playing FPS games and instead of an “L1/L2” system they gave the players triggers at the top of the controller’s for a better shooting experience which makes FPS gaming a lot more enjoyable on the XboX. Huge win indeed.
When it comes to picking a video game system it’s very much a “to each their own” kind of thing, but in this case one is clearly better than the other and there really is not much argument toward the contrary. But again, I don’t fault people for owning a Playstation 3, the PS2 was a juggernaught of a system and had more exclusives and big titles than anyone in that generation of gaming and consumers didn’t know that Sony was going to stumble and not release anything worthy of playing for almost 2 years after it’s launch. It’s not the players fault, it’s the company’s fault and they are a distant 3rd in the console race for the first time in it’s history because of 3 key ingredients: High price point, not enough games for too long, and lackluster online experience compared to the XboX 360. Had Sony came out swinging right out of the gate upon the PS3’s release then it may have been another story, heck, Sony picked up the slack around 2009 and all the way through 2011 and started releasing some big titles and just as it seemed that it was more of a 3 horse race instead of 2 horse and a pony, their network gets hacked. Players were left without being able to download content or play their games online and Sony has opened themselves up for a massive class action law suit thanks to many PSN subscribers having their credit card information stolen from them. It’s hard to believe but the future of Sony in the video game market looks somewhat bleak at the time of this writing and after almost 15 years of running strong within the video game industry we could be looking at an entirely different market without them.
As always I want to thank those who took the time to read my blog, it's much appreciated and you can always check me out at www.twitter.com/manga4life as well as TZ and FUNI.
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