Normally, I'm not one to make bold statements in the headlines of my articles; as nothing is 100% and much of what I say is often subjective, I'd rather pose a question. In other words, I'd normally title this article, "Will Consumers Consider the PS3 Slim a Better Option than the Xbox 360?" or something to that effect. But the more I look at it, the more difficult it is for me to believe that a rational, logical, unbiased consumer will come to any other conclusion.

Please bear in mind that I'm not predicting the future; I'm merely talking about the current state of affairs. And also remember that there are more than enough reasons to own a 360 (there always have been) and I'm not suggesting that people get rid of their 360 to buy a PS3 Slim. But what I am saying is that when someone sits down to determine which console they wish to buy, they are invariably going to consider a number of factors…and just about all of them will fall in favor of Sony's new machine. What do we think about when we have to decide on a new console to buy?

Impact on the wallet

For the first time in the PS3's near three-year history, it is officially on par with its primary competition in the price category. It's easy to forget that Sony's next-gen console launched with a $600 price tag and that it was always deemed as being "too expensive," especially during its first year of existence when other factors were working against it. But at $299, it has suddenly become a major competitor and, when you add it up, a better value than the Xbox 360 Elite.

Software

Behind price, which is unfortunately the primary determining factor unless we're wealthy, we care most about the games. During the early days of the PS3, not only was the selection a little thin, but multiplatform titles were typically superior on the Xbox 360. Developers simply didn't have a firm handle on the PS3's complex architecture, and it showed. But now, if you match exclusives vs. exclusives, either current and/or future, it seems painfully obvious to any informed gamer that the PS3 has the definite edge. I could go off on a rant and list all the exclusives for each console, but it has been done to death and I've seen both lists a million times. And unless you are extraordinarily biased, you in no way can say the 360 list can compare to MGS4, Killzone 2 , Uncharted: Drake's Fortune , LittleBigPlanet , Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (and A Crack in Time ), MAG , Uncharted 2: Among Thieves , The Last Guardian, God of War III , Heavy Rain , and Gran Turismo 5 .

Look, I was the first to admit the 360 had better exclusives early on with the likes of Gears of War and Halo 3 . I will also play Halo 3 ODST and I really like the look of Alan Wake and Fable III , but come on…can we please just be realistic about this?

Xbox Live vs. PlayStation Network

Again, early on, this wasn't much of a contest. But the Network has made tremendous strides since then and again, I would take the PSN's exclusives ( Flower , flOw , echochrome , Wipeout HD , Shatter , Fat Princess , etc.) any day of the week over the Live exclusives. The PSN remains free, it's just as stable and reliable as Live (I'd say they're both pretty similar in this regard), and while Live still has a few more bells and whistles, I say none of them place a significant gap between Microsoft and Sony. Besides, if you toss in PlayStation Home, which is expanding at a surprisingly fast rate, along with Qore and Pulse, it seems to me that the Network has the edge. And if you don't agree, I think you might agree that, at the very least, both services are on close to equal footing right now.

Blu-Ray

At first, it was going to battle against HD-DVD but that war didn't last very long, and now, Blu-Ray is on deck to become the default home entertainment media. More and more people – non-gamers as well – are starting to recognize the fact that the PS3 is a Blu-Ray player, and a great one at that. The PS2 wasn't much of a DVD player but if you check recent technical compare-and-contrasts between the PS3 and the top standalone Blu-Ray players around, the PS3 often comes out on top. And at $299, combined with its other multimedia capabilities, Sony's console is suddenly a great option for movie-viewing buffs as well as gamers. The 360 simply doesn't have this option.

Reliability and performance

I believe the newer 360s aren't as bad in terms of reliability as the first batch of 360s, but the recent evidence of a defective rate being as high as 54% isn't encouraging. The fact of the matter is – and this isn't subject to any debate whatsoever – that the 360 is easily the most unreliable console in history. Whether you believe the 1 in 3 ratio we heard reported by the five major game retailers in North America last year or the recent (and even worse) reports, the 360 just breaks…a lot. We all know people who have gone through multiple 360s in a very short span of time, and the PS3 has had an excellent reliability rating since it first launched. There was a small "yellow ring of death" snafu that may still exist, but it's hardly as bad as the 360. No-brainer, here.

Lastly, I would like to point out something important as it pertains to the history of this generation: the 360 sits at about 30 million worldwide sales while the PS3 is just shy of 24 million. Now, consider that the 360 launched one year earlier, that we suffered through a recession when the PS3 was significantly more expensive, that the Network and the games were lagging behind the 360 most of the time, that developers were issuing substandard multiplat PS3 versions, etc, etc, etc. With all of this, the PS3 still managed to sell just as many 360s on a yearly basis, and actually a little more?

No matter how you slice it, that's just nuts. Then take into account the drastic shift – as outlined above – and it seems almost impossible to believe that consumers won't see that the current clear choice is the PS3 Slim. Oh, and I know I didn't mention other things, like HDD size (120GB for both the Slim and Elite) and controller preferences and things like that, but I consider those slightly smaller considerations than what I listed above. And so, I conclude. Is there another way to see it?

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Danny007
Danny007
11 years ago

PS3 is clearly the smarter choice.

rezenu
rezenu
11 years ago

Hell yeah.

shadowpal2
shadowpal2
11 years ago

I'm sorry but is anyone here besides me getting a hint of Deja Vu around here…because this all seems a bit way too much like last generation.

photo K
photo K
11 years ago

Hands Down, ps3 wins. I even thought at $399, PS3 was the winner.

mastiffchild
mastiffchild
11 years ago

Ben, I'd love to agree with you as I het far more(stress free-not worrying about the next greakage)gaming from my PS3 than my 360(even if this is the best one I've owned yet).

However, in the UK and US the 360 has one big thing going for it which you avoided mentioning and it's the main reason alongside a desire to play Gears2 at the time that I finally gave in and bought myself another elite early this year-almost ALL my mates from actual life game on the 360 RROD and all and it's a big draw for folk.

Sure, if like you and me a few start joining the ranks of the mulyi platform owner the PS3 could enjoy a similar effect but right now in our countries the social gamer is more likely to go for the system his mates are on even without considering that MS will cut the price of the Elite very, very soon to take another hit on the loss just to hurt Sony.

So, imo, much of the damage has been done and unless there's a huge number of folk sitting with PS2's waiting for just this cut in price and Slim launch I just fail to see these factors overcoming the pronlem I brought up AND the fact that the press in the west suports the home town boy(in this case MS and 360)til the cows come home. When the Elite gets a cut you think there won't be another round of "PS3 iz teh Doomzorz!" as we're already seeing the "slim and price cut-too little, too late?" articles popping out, aren't we?

So while I'd love more people to find their way to PS3 and it's superior exclusives and better behaving hardware(and away from the force feeding of bloody kiddy-lite Avatars and ads on Live)I'm just not sure people will weigh it up so logically, unlike yourself. Had they announced GT5 to drop with the slim at launch(or hopefully soon after) then you might still be right but as of now all we can safely count on is a spike in immediate sales from those who were waiting for a cut.However ,beyond that, this gen is still a mystery and MS grasp on the Uk and US markets shouldn't be discounted as a factor when people choose to game on the same platform their friends do, no?

NiteKrawler
NiteKrawler
11 years ago

Mastiffchild has a great point there. I've met at least one person who gave that very reason for getting a 360, even though he knew all of its flaws. Sad really…

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

The xbots are on the march Ben. They've counted current software libraries for all systems and are touting their numbers.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Sony can attack back with better rated exclusives

xnonsuchx
xnonsuchx
11 years ago

But if you divide the # of titles by the # of years each console has been out, PS3 has more per year released for it.

smileylyon
smileylyon
11 years ago

Not to mention that many of the games available on the 360 are also available for the PS2! So it's not as "next gen" as people make it out to be!

NiteKrawler
NiteKrawler
11 years ago

Is it bad that PS3 users value quality vs. quantity? I'm sorry, but bragging about quantity is an American way of thinking that MUST stop.

newchef
newchef
11 years ago

is there any good reason to buy an xbox now?….the xbox will have decent games but the ps3 has more…and as ben pointed out in the article, the ps3 has the xbox beat or matched in almost every aspect of it….

the only ppl who are gonna buy the xbox are gonna be the fanbooys and their gonna go down with their system if M$ doesnt do anyting about this

bxshotboi
bxshotboi
11 years ago

wat can m$ do they are basically out of choices they basically used all there aces tryin to beat the ps3 for the past 3 years

johnld
johnld
11 years ago

If were talking about microsoft, i feel that they're gonna use their big ol' bag o' money for another round of exclusive DLC. Lets just see how that goes.

Fane1024
Fane1024
11 years ago

You forgot to include the people who will buy a 360 to replace the one(s) that have broken.

According to the article Ben referenced, 36% of those with broken 360s have bought replacements. If that percentage is accurate, that's 5 or 6 million replacement units (or almost the difference between PS3 and 360 sales).

And if the failure rate continues (and there's no reason it won't), millions more could follow suit.

Is anybody actually buying a 360 who didn't already own one?

Luan
Luan
11 years ago

Oh, PS3 of course, although, I think that the PS3 failure rate (14%) is still too high, hopefully, the new "slim" model will fix that.

bxshotboi
bxshotboi
11 years ago

yea 14 % is a bit too high but hey better than 54 %

kevinater321
kevinater321
11 years ago

aha true dat…

gumbi
gumbi
11 years ago

As part of that 14% I absolutely agree. But the fact remains; The PS3 is still a more reliable and feature rich console than the competition.

RadioHeader
RadioHeader
11 years ago

54% FAIL rate FTL!

slackernz
slackernz
11 years ago

Translation = PS3 pwnage for the months/years to come

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

::APPLAUSE::

Other things missing from a 360 Elite system…wireless LAN, cordless controllers,…

It's truly amazing how much this one act (price reduction) by Sony has changed things.

As for people attempting to compare game libraries by touting numbers of games published. Perhaps if they excluded all multi-platform titles that have appeared on both (for example, remove all copies of Madden NFL, guitar Hero, Call of Duty, etc…). And then remove all of the straight ports of classic arcade games like Joust or Defender or whatever. Now all you have left are the games that make the difference between the platforms, the exclusives. If you do that, the considerable efforts of Sony first party studies and 3rd party exclusives is obvious and significant.

Zemus101
Zemus101
11 years ago

I think I would be quite happy enough with just PS3 Exclusives and the great PSN titles we get. 360 ….not so much 😛 although I know some people enjoy Halo and Gears

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
11 years ago

Actually, the Pro and Elite come with wireless controllers. I know because I got them each for free. I still think that I paid too much for them.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

I stand corrected. Thank you.

johnld
johnld
11 years ago

they may be wireless but its not rechargable so you still have to pay a little extra for it. And Highlander theres no comparison between first party studios and third party for Sony and Microsoft. Sony has a lot of studios while microsoft studios are leaving them, all they have is their virtually unlimited bags of money.

Jonesy555
Jonesy555
11 years ago

The 360 controllers are rechargeable. They don't come with the batteries for it though so unless you bought the rechargeable batteries with the 360, you gotta use AA batteries. So that's a plus and minus for both systems' controllers.

PS3 Controller
+Rechargeable right out of the box
-Gotta stop gaming when batteries low unless you wanna sit close to your console.

X360 Controller
+Can quickly change out batteries if they get low on life
-Doesn't come with rechargeable batteries; have to be purchased seperately

johnld
johnld
11 years ago

You know you could get longer charge cables right. The one that sony has isnt the only one that works with the ps3 controllers.

tes37
tes37
11 years ago

The ps3 offers so much for so little, it would be hard to understand why someone wouldn't want it.

bxshotboi
bxshotboi
11 years ago

i never thought the system was so expensive in the first place in my opinion it was always worth more than its price

tes37
tes37
11 years ago

I agree with you.

KilloWertz
KilloWertz
11 years ago

Cross-game voice chat and party chats on Xbox Live are both features that Sony needs include in PSN for them to be honestly equal, but Sony is without a doubt one or two more firmware updates after 3.0 away (hopefully) from being pretty close. Those two features are very nice social features. Also, the Elite is 160GB, not 120. PSN does have some nice things of its own in the already mentioned Qore, Pulse, Home, and some nice PSN exclusive games.

Now, with that out of the way, I do agree that the PS3 should be the system of choice. The exclusive games Sony has coming out in the near future is very impressive and it is a much more reliable system. The other nice things about the PS3 have pretty much already been said.


Last edited by KilloWertz on 8/20/2009 10:41:59 PM

smileylyon
smileylyon
11 years ago

The Elite comes with a 120GB. The ONLY system available with a 160GB HD is the Uncharted Bundle PS3. Now retailing for $399.99 (if you can find one!)

KilloWertz
KilloWertz
11 years ago

Wow, I feel like a dork. You are right. Forget that part of my original message. 🙂

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

Ah good old cross game voice chat, otherwise known as using a phone and the conference call feature.

I love how this feature has somehow become the touchstone for so many. Compared to virtually any other feature it's pretty insignificant, and yet somehow it's now a determinant between the 360 and PS3?

Ridiculous.

NiteKrawler
NiteKrawler
11 years ago

Exactly my thinking Highlander. Many people act like it is a crippling flaw. It's almost to the point where people think that the lack of cross game voice chat is worse than the 360's reliability problem. Reality check please.

Mr Bitey
Mr Bitey
11 years ago

I've never understood the cross chat argument myself. When I fire up my console, I usually just want to play games… I don't want to be interrupted with mindless small talk.

Also I text more on my cell then I talk, so I don't see the need to start talking on my console.

Ewillis911
Ewillis911
11 years ago

Last edited by Ewillis911 on 8/21/2009 10:38:26 AM

Ewillis911
Ewillis911
11 years ago

Last edited by Ewillis911 on 8/21/2009 10:38:19 AM

NiteKrawler
NiteKrawler
11 years ago

Wow Ewillis, I never quite saw it that way before. 🙂

Fane1024
Fane1024
11 years ago

Wow Ewillis, I never quite saw it that way before. 🙂

On a serious note, you should be able to delete your posts rather than editing them to nothing. Just click the trash can icon.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 8/21/2009 7:02:22 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Did Sony plan this all along? To wait out Microsoft's shoddy machine and attempts to sink them until finally with the prices the same and an established exclusive library for PS3 they simply leave it up to the sensible person as the better deal? …Somethin to think about.

bxshotboi
bxshotboi
11 years ago

it is sumtin to think about and could very well be true for sony to take all the crap and then once they are ready go all out and demolish the competition cuz it is business

NiteKrawler
NiteKrawler
11 years ago

I think Sony has some of the greatest business minds available. They seem extremely sensible, confident, and they definitely think more in the long run which is a good thing.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

Yes.

I used to point out how Sony had far more room to cut their price as their costs fell than Microsoft. If you look at the original consoles, prices and components – the optical drive for example. The 360 used a $20 DVD drive, and the PS3 used a $300 BluRay drive. Eventually that BluRay drive will cost $20, and the DVD drive will still cost about $20, leaving Sony room for $280 in cost savings.

Since Sony has been able to reduce costs of production by 70% since launch, it's pretty clear that their strategy has worked. It was inevitable that their costs would fall rapidly since so many were brand new components that were new to manufacture.

When Microsoft put pressue on Sony by cutting their price and Sony didn't follow, I knew that they were running this longer term plan because it would mean that when Sony did reduce their price, Microsoft would have far less room for maneuver than Sony. Consequently Sony cuts $100 off the price and now has a PS3 selling for $100 less than the equivalent Xbox 360. Microsoft can match Sony, but they'll be very hard pressed to go further. A $150 cut in the Elite's price would look desperate.

Even with the higher price the PS3 has been shadowing the 360 very effectively and even if the failure rates and repurchase rates among 360 owners are merely a third of the most recent reported numbers, that's still millions of dead 360s in circulation meaning that the 30 million units sold is actually far fewer in terms of active, working systems. Better yet, Sony has a system that is a year younger and includes BluRay which effectively future proofs the unit for several years to come. That 10 year life cycle looks quite achievable now.

As I have said before, Sony is playing the long game, Microsoft is not.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 8/20/2009 11:42:46 PM

johnld
johnld
11 years ago

Hey Highlander, dont forget that 30 million 360s are units "Shipped", they dont want us to find out the solid facts.

Fane1024
Fane1024
11 years ago

And yet, some people in the gaming media are still saying that if this price cut doesn't cause a huge spike in PS3 sales, it's dead.

The mind wobbles. [sic]

xnonsuchx
xnonsuchx
11 years ago

XBL vs PSN: I've never seen XBL myself, but everything I usually hear/read makes XBL sound better. I also think XNA was a cool idea (I'm actually surprised M$ did it). I'm still happier not having to pay for my online, though.

MadKatBebop
MadKatBebop
11 years ago

I have an 360 and a PS3 and to me the 360's multiplayer is faster and lag free, but I like how PSN is free(and I don't get online lag that often anyway).

Orvisman
Orvisman
11 years ago

XNA

Otherwise known as Net Yaroze, which Sony did years ago for the PlayStation.

From Wikipedia:

"The Net Yaroze is a development kit for the PlayStation video game console. It was a promotion by Sony Computer Entertainment to computer programming hobbyists in 1997. Yarōze means "Let's do it!".

Sony Net Yaroze with SDKFor about $750 USD, the Net Yaroze package would contain a special black-colored debugging PlayStation unit with documentation, software, and no regional lockout. The user still had to provide a personal computer (IBM-PC or Macintosh; NEC PC-9801 was also supported in Japan) to write the computer code, compile it, and send the program to the PlayStation."

Then, there was Linux for PS2 and now Linux for PS3, both of which allow for programming, though nothing official.

This is Sony's history, innovate a product like Net Yaroze, don't support and continue it, and let a competitor be hailed as an innovator when it actually supports it, like XNA.

Then there was the original PSEye, which Sony used to reintroduce motion control to modern consoles, only to see Nintendo hailed as an innovator with the Wii.

Now M$ft is being hailed as an innovator with Natal, something the PS3 Eye can already do; but for some odd reason Sony didn't fully push these features earlier on. Now, M$ft has stolen some of Sony's thunder with Natal.

Yes, Sony is starting to come out with games that use these PS3 Eye features, head tracking with GT5 and drawing objects on paper for use in Eye Pet; but will it be too little too late?