XBOX 360 vs. PlayStation 3

*** UPDATE *** - October 2007

As these game consoles have changed quite a bit lately I thought I would put up a quick update.

PlayStation 3

To be perfectly honest not alot has changed on the PS3 as far as I'm concerned, there's been quite a few updates and the only significant one to me is the one that allows you to connect to Windows based PC to play video/music/photo content. The formats that are playable are pretty much the same as the XBOX, so there's no support for Divx or XVID. The store is still the same, and there's still no big exclusive release, Gran Turismo 5 is ages away. I now know one person with a PS3, but he's also got an XBOX 360, and plays that much more. There's still not cool arcade games to download, the four that are available at the time of this writing are lame. Lastly, I finally have my Blu-Ray Casino Royale disc, however I had to end up buying as the dregs at Sony basically said the promotion was over despite earlier admitting they had stuffed up and would send me another one, yet another fine example of Sony customer service, about as useful as the Playstation itself. The Blu-Ray disc is visually stunning, however for some reason I cannot work out it's not playing back in Dolby Digital, my Denon amp always switches to Pro-Logic when the movie starts, games work fine in Dolby Digital as does anything that's meant to on the XBOX or from the PC that's connected to it, just when I put in this Blu-Ray disc it switches. Hopeless. I am so disappointed with my PS3 I am considering selling it. Hoping there'll be a decent game released before the end of year.

XBOX 360

Now there's two XBOX 360's system linked, gaming is incredible. Playing the same instance of a game on different screen right next to each other is mad fun, none of this split screen nonsense and getting confused about which one you are, squinting to see the track or the approaching monsters, no, this is multiplayer bliss. I've also added to the solo game play with the purchase of the XBOX wireless racing wheel.

This force feedback wheel is the only wheel that's wireless for the XBOX 360, while there's a wire connecting the pedals to the steering base, there's no wires going to the console. With a microphone connection jack and all the usual controller buttons you're set to get some serious driving in. The gear changing is done by paddles behind the steering wheel, in true F1 style and the gameplay, particularly with the force feedback is amazing, as you'd expect the steering wheel requires it's power adapter plugged into the wall to have force feedback active, however still has rumble without the power plugged in. A very impressive addition to the XBOX 360. The last picture is the aptly named 'chatpad' this handy little qwerty keyboard snaps onto the bottom of the controller making any text input for the XBOX 360 a breeze, whether its a message, MSN, info for games, using this keyboard is really quick and simply. The design is excellent and doesn't affect the feeling of the controller at all, it's not in the way during even the most intense gaming sessions, so two big thumbs up!

To update the winner - XBOX 360, by an even bigger margin.

Clash of the titans, a fight of such magnitude we have never seen before and will never see again, well till the Sony PS4 and the XBOX 720 come out. Before we begin you should be aware that this review is definitely going to be biased, biased in two ways. In one way biased towards to Sony because I loathe Microsoft for the years of crap operating systems and doing whatever they can to dominate and monopolise the computing industry, and in another way biased to towards Microsoft because I can't stand they way Sony makes anything and everything and insists its the best, I hate they way they come out with proprietory stuff *cough* Memory Stick *cough*, their support of even slightly old technology is terrible and their new thing of making that awful sony symbol a replacement for the heart in alot of new Sony slogans and ads... *puke*. Here's an example of one, pretty funny and well done 'side of the fight'...

XBOX 360 Gaming

First off, the XBOX, I bought my 360 well before the PS3, as you may know it came out nearly a year before the PS3. I didn't however buy one immediately after the release. I didn't care much for consoles and was far more interested in spending my gaming time on a PC playing Counter Strike, however counter strike was slowly dying, partly because I'd been playing it for close to 5 years and partly because a company called Valve came along and butchered it with something called 'Steam'. I went out and bought a few other game titles, mainly the new version of Counter Strike which sucked real bad and a few other things like Battlefield 1942, 2, and 2042, also Flight Simulator 10 and the latest in the Need for Speed franchise. None of these kept my attention for more than a day, apart from Need for Speed which I finished in spare time while away holidays. Time to find something else to do.

I had the first generation XBOX console, gathering dust and occasionally holding doors open on windy days, I was also signed up to XBOX live but only used it once, in my opinion the first XBOX was so grossly underpowered, even my slowest laptop would easily beat it on any bench mark so using it to play games kinda made me laugh, plus the drag of cables laid out all over the place was annoying. However then came the XBOX 360, without doing much research I pretty much dismissed this new console, not really caring about it or paying much attention to it, after all the first XBOX was such a joke, I thought, given Microsoft's track record with operating systems, 'version 2' of this console wasn't going to be much better, that and I was still busy clinging onto a dying Counter Strike. This 'tactic' of not buying one straight away seems to have paid off, because all the teething problems the earlier Xbox 360's had, and I believe there was quite a few, were all ironed out by the time I was ready to get one. It all started one Sunday morning, waking up, wondering what to do, how to spend this day that starts with such joy and ends in such pain knowing the start of the working week is just a sleep away, frying my eggs, toasting my bread, thinking what to do on this lazy day, while I was munching away I noticed an article in a magazine on the 360, I started reading it, wireless rumble controllers, fantastic online play, hi-def gaming (not that I had a HDTV at that stage), and a seriously upgraded bit of hardware to enable some reasonably good looking games. What the heck I thought, I'm gonna go get one, I headed off to EB games and bought a premium console, with two controllers, a headset, top spin2, test drive unlimited, fight night, and the free stuff like Kameo and the disc with arcade games on it.

The live environment looked quite good, the online store was up and I was able to download stuff. Having no 'friends' on my friends list I didn't have a chance to check anything out from that perspective at this stage so I went onto checking out some of the games I bought. TopSpin2 was OK, again it looked very similar to TopSpin1 because I was still using standard definition. However Test Drive Unlimited was really cool, I've been a fan of the Test Drive series since I was a kid, I remember playing a CGA version of it a very long time ago and how amazed I was when Test Drive 3 came out and its vector graphics, it was at this stage I pretty much stopped playing them, and only heard bad stuff about newer versions. Seeing as though it had been a few years, and this was a new platform I thought they might have caught that old magic again. I don't want to go on too much about Test Drive as it's absolutely massive, the entire island of Hawaii, with races, missions, clubs, car and motorbike dealers, houses, and many other things to go see both on and offline play as well, it really impressed me and it was pretty much the first game for the 360 that I was 'hooked' on.

During my discovery of the console, its features and games I also noticed how good the controller for the 360 is, it felt great in my hands and all the buttons were in easy access for my fingers, but of course, the main thing that I really enjoyed was the lack of cables! Like most I couldn't stand the cables going from the console to the couch and now, the wireless joy has been brought to the console by default, and even more surprising is how precise the controls were over wireless, very pleased with it. Fight Night 3 was one game that really looked amazing even on standard definition, I loved this game, how it looked, how it played, even the music, great fun all around, and is one of the top things to do when you have mates over, drink beer and punch the living daylights outta each other, virtually. Love it and can't wait for FN4!

XBOX 360 Online

One of the best parts of the live environment is the Arcade section, being able to buy simple old school arcade game classics like frogger, galaga and newer ones like street fighter was great, while the contoller isn't the best for a game like street fighter the novelty of having it on my 360 was cool. Microsoft also regularly update the available games on Xbox Live, so usually every week theres a new game to download. One game that was really addictive online was UNO, and is where I started adding people to my friends list. What really got me about the 360 was being able to switch from a fast paced racing game or an intense boxing match to a laid back game of UNO with real people to the tune of some loungey music in a matter of seconds. Thought that was pretty cool, also the ability to navigate through the console menus and also play games like UNO with the IR remote was fantastic, you could just lay there with the remote in one hand, pointed at the console and participate in a game of cards, very relaxing and a fun way to kill time when your waiting for something. Talking to the players was also sometimes fun, either chatting about nothing or talking about the crappy hand you have, it was yet another novelty to add to the list.

Then one day I played with someone and could see a video of them! I quickly learnt that there was an xbox 360 camera called live vision that was just coming out, it wasn't available in Australia at the time but I made my mind up to get one as soon as it did, a couple of weeks later, *zing* I had my camera setup and before I knew it pretty much anyone that played UNO had one and for the most part it was pretty funny. Being able to use the camera for 'video conferencing' was pretty cool too. At this point I had returned from an overseas trip and saw the 360 at many many stores and outlets, particularly in Singapore and seeing alot of the games I play in high definition was too much for me, I had to get a HDTV. So soon after I got a Samsung 46" LCD, I hooked up via the component cable and bought an optical cable for the audio to go into my home theatre amp. The difference was amazing, completely blew me away how crystal clear stuff looked, from the menus to the game play, Test Drive was great, I could actually read roadsigns at a distance and I could see oncoming and upcoming cars well in advance and I reckon this had a lot to do with me finishing the game still relatively sane. The games in Dolby Digital audio was unbelievable as well, sound coming from all around you in such clarity, being able to spin around and hear the sound travel through the speakers was cool as well. All in all I have to say I am really rather impressed with the 360's gaming capability, coupled with a HDTV and a good AV Receiver for digital sound playing a game really beats watching a movie, and speaking of movies, the XBOX seems to upscale DVDs, when you play a DVD through it the picture looks better, sharper, than when on a standard DVD player, I thought I was imagining it but myself and a mate tested it out xbox and dvd player side by side, the xbox picture definitely looked better, so thats a bonus.

Anyway soon after a few friends started getting the 360, which was great as I could actually play with people I knew, some of the games are designed really well for online play, like Project Gotham Racing 3, which I thought was really crap offline, but excellent online, with racing games like cat and mouse, capture the cone and so forth it made online play with mates alot of fun, other games like Rainbox Six Vegas were amazingly good to play too, playing co-op missions and death match is 'serious fun', a feature of Rainbow Six that is just fantastic is the ability to take a picture of yourself with the live vision camera and have the game wrap your face around your character, so that online your friends actually see your ugly mug running around the game rather than a default character, hilarious. All in all I have to say I am really rather impressed with the 360's gaming capability, coupled with a HDTV and a good AV Receiver for digital sound playing a game really beats watching a movie, and speaking of movies, the XBOX seems to upscale DVDs, when you play a DVD through it the picture looks better, sharper, than when on a standard DVD player, I thought I was imagining it but myself and a mate tested it out xbox and dvd player side by side, the xbox picture definitely looked better, so thats a bonus.

Moving away from games, the 360 also acts as an entertainment hub, as mentioned above it can play DVDs rather well, and also can store music, video and pictures on it's internal hard drive to play back on the TV, the hard drive is rather small, at 20gb it can fill rather fast with game demos, and video content such as trailers and music videos from the xbox marketplace, you can however attach an external harddrive via one of the three USB ports and play media off that. The best part of the 360 though is the fact that when attached to your internal network it can connect to Windows PCs and Windows Media Center PCs. When connected to Windows PCs you can view video, pictures and listen to music that are in your Windows Media Player library on that PC. Note that the video you can view is severely limited, I'm not 100% sure on the exact limitations, however most video I tried to play didn't work, only WMV files and other video encoded in MPEG2 would actually play.

XBOX 360 Media Functions

However, if you have a Windows Media Center PC, this is where the 360's usefulness really shines, the 360 has built in media center extender capabilities, once you go through the very simple setup, at the touch of a button on the remote you can instantly connect to your MCE PC and do pretty much everything you can do on the PC right there on the 360. First the stuff that doesn't work, you cannot play DVD's in the traditional sense over the network from your MCE PC to the 360, but that's not too much of an issue as you can play DVD's on the 360 in its on drive anyway. You also have the same problems mentioned above about being restricted to certain types of video files, the lack of DIVX support is probably the biggest problem here. But the ability to do everything else soon makes you forget about the problems. Being able to stream TV, listen to your entire collection of MP3s, while you have a slideshow going of your latest holiday happy snaps or just simply having the radio on, all being streamed from your MCE PC to the 360 is excellent to say the least. Being able to 'rip' your DVD collection to the MCE PC then have them watchable at the 360 in full dolby digital is also something that is very cool and extremely useful, finally a way to digitally store your collection and be able to switch between titles from the comfort of your couch. There are also plenty of third party tools and helpful information on the net to get a solution for what you want to do from your MCE PC to your 360. It should also be noted that some, if not most of the limitation from MCE to the 360 are actually generic extender limitations rather than specific 360 problems.

One thing I haven't done on the XBOX, new or old, is play Halo, which I guess is the trademark game for the brand, I had a look at it when it first came out but I never really thought much of it, however I wasn't really into the XBOX at that time either, I reckon when Halo 3 comes out, I'll be playing it for sure. Recently Microsoft have announced a new revamped 360 console, called the 'elite'. It's black, has black controllers and other black accessories, it also has a 120gb hard drive upgrade from the older 20gb and finally also features a HDMI port. If you ask me this wasn't much of a revamp, the hard drive is still small by today's PC standards, the HDMI port isn't going to be much help to you unless you have a device that has HDMI inputs and/or passthrough, besides if you already use component or VGA for display and optical for audio it's really not going to look much better, the only thing this will allow is audio/video in one cable. Personally I rather the control of being able to send the video to my TV and audio to my amp independently. Getting an AMP with HDMI pass through just for this just really isn't justifiable. Instead, I would have thought, Microsoft would have taken this oppurtunity to completely upgrade the 360, what about replacing the DVD drive for a HD-DVD one? And built-in bluetooth and WiFi? Something possibly worth upgrading for, it's just ridiculous. Speaking of ridiculous is Microsoft asking Australian 360 owners for $180 to upgrade their hard drive to 120gb, you can get a 120gb for around $70 nowadays, why they are charging so much more is completely unjustified. Looks cool in black though.

Further, with Microsoft's continuing efforts to beat Sony in the console market, they have also announced that the May 2007 update for the 360 will include several enhancements, alot of stuff gamers have been asking for and also the ability for the 360 and PC users to converse directly via Windows Live Messenger, a pretty good feature, they'll also be releasing a mini snap on keyboard for the controller to enable faster messaging. However like the elite above, I am somewhat disappointed with the update, the mind boggling exclusion of a web browser on the console is totally inexplicable, and really inexcusable, this would pretty much cost Microsoft nothing in development and would be such a fundamental update to the 360, also they have appeared to completely ignore the myriad of requests by owners to allow the 360 to play DIVX files, I have previously heard that the reason for this is Microsoft believes this would be supporting piracy as alot of DIVX files are pirated movies, while thats true, they have support for MP3, now I think that's possibly the most pirated format of any file in history, but they wouldn't dare stop the xbox from playing MP3 files now would they. Hypocrisy at it's best. There's also a few small things that I think really need fixing, I would like the ability to sign into Xbox live invisible to my friends list, sometimes I'd like to play, with online connection to download and what not but not be interrupted by friends, alright the real excuse is so that I can sign into xbox live when I've chucked a sicky at work without anyone knowing! Another complaint that alot of Australian 360 owners have is that we pay as much as anyone else, particularly the US, for Live Gold membership but have less facilities such as video content to download, that's not really fair but I guess something we are used to having such a small market. Also another update in future may contain the ability for XBOX and PC users to go head to head on games together, which will really be putting the nail in Sony's coffin I reckon.

In conclusion I think the XBOX 360 is an excellent gaming machine with some fantastic titles and a simply stunning online environment, with online gaming, video chatting, friends management, and video and audio content for download. The ability for the 360 to connect to your existing network and interface with MCE or connect to standard Windows PCs to view video, pictures and listen to music is really a huge selling point for this console. It's let down by a sometimes stubborn Microsoft not allowing the full capability of the 360 to be used by restricting certain things, also forcing the use of only 360 peripherals such as the live vision camera and the microphones. However all things considered I would certainly recommend this console, particularly if you have a home network with alot of media on windows PCs or an existing MCE PC.

PlayStation 3

Now let's talk about the PS3. There I was, at EB Games, on the 22nd of March 2007 at about 11:47pm, waiting for the stroke of midnight so that I could get my PS3. Don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of 'launch' events or getting my console before anybody else, but on this occasion, I really wanted my free blu-ray disc of Casino Royale. Sony promised that the first 20,000 people to register online with their Playstation 3 console would recieve this disc free. It was for this, and only this reason I was there, at this store, close to midnight, standing in the corner pondering what my life has come to, waiting for a gaming machine at midnight, totally sober, without any mates on a 'school' night. Anyhow, my thoughts were soon interrupted by the turn of day, the console was officially released, and sales started. The thirteen or so 'strong' crowd moved forward and we all started getting our 'prizes'. I got my console, bought another controller, a game callled 'Resistance - Fall of Man', and after finding out that this so called blu-ray player didn't actually come with any kind of remote and didn't have an IR port (more on that later) I decided to buy a remote as well.

I drove the 10 minutes home, entered the garage, and went straight to bed, I didn't even bother taking it out of the boot, the 'fun' of the night had been too much and I needed my rest. The next morning, I took it out, connected it, powered her up and signed in and registered, after all, the main point of the evening before was to register as fast as possible to get my free blu-ray disc. After a refreshingly simple sign on procedure (I had previously signed up to the PlayStation Network on the internet) I quickly powered it down and headed off to work. A few guys at work asked me how it was, and well I couldn't really say much at that stage so I didn't. That evening I arrived home, ready to test this new much anticipated gaming console out. First thing I wanted to do is make sure I had everything I got opened, so I opened up the remote and the second controller. These controllers are wireless like the xbox 360, however they don't have the rumble capability, but what they do have is limited motion sensing, so I was keen to test that out at some stage. Another great thing about these remotes is that they have a standard mini USB connection on the remote, so you can use a mini USB to standard USB cable to charge the controller, these cables come with many cameras, card readers and other USB devices, but, they DO NOT come with the extra controllers you buy! Yes, you read right, I got one USB cable with my main console, and I also purchased a second controlller, however, in this sealed plastic box there was no USB cable provided to charge it, I had to get my own. Simply ridiculous, especially considering the controller is $80. To further add insult to injury the PS3 doesn't even come with a Hi-Def capable cable, it comes with the manky standard def typical PS3/PS2 connection to RCA, so another $35 forked out to get a Hi-Def cable.

Perhaps now is a good time to talk quickly about the remote controller for the PS3. One way Sony is marketing the PS3 is a blu-ray player, being able to connect it to your home theatre setup and be able to watch blu-ray with it is an appealing feature and Sony really try and stress this point. What they fail to mention though is that, despite paying $1000 for the console alone, you do not get a remote control to fully utilise the blu-ray playing capabilities of the console. Unlike the Xbox 360 premium bundle priced at $600, a full $400 cheaper than the PS3, you do not get a remote of any kind. Also, as if to add insult to injury, for those of you with universal remotes like myself, unless they have bluetooth capability, (and I don't know of any that do), they will not work with the PS3. The PS3 has no infra red port, only bluetooth, so really you are forced to go with the Sony blu-ray remote for the PS3. How hard would it have been to chuck in an IR port? I must say though the bluetooth connectivity is a very cool addition and luckily they haven't locked out the PS3 from pairing with other bluetooth devices, this means that any bluetooth keyboard and mouse can be paired so you can type, and say, browse the web easier. Also you can use any bluetooth headset with the PS3, I paired a Motorola HS-850 with no problems, so that's very cool and will of course save a few dollars.

My first impressions of the playstation 3's menu and navigation was pretty disappointing, it's just the PSP menu system with more options, and the default colour it chose, an off pink, almost whale blubber like colour was disgusting and I immediately looked to change that. I soon realised that, despite being able to change this on the PSP, you could not on the PS3, this, however small a feature, was a bit of shock and hopefully not a sign of things to come from the PS3. The PS3 also has memory card readers builtin, so you can stick in memory sticks, SD cards, and compact flash straight into the console, and access the media content on them via the PS3 menu. I navigated my way straight to the store, my first impressions were quite low, the look and feel of the store was cold and ugly, it really felt completely foreign to the PS3 main menu (not necessarily a bad thing) and wasnt the easiest to navigate through. Nevertheless I persevered and got my free download of Gran Turismo HD Concept started, I also downloaded a few demo's of games that were featuring at the store and also a trailer of Casion Royale in 1080p.

The first thing I did was checkout the trailer. I had my console running at 1080p and I wanted to see what blu-ray video would look like. As expected, visually the trailer blew me away, looked amazing and anyone that sees it is truly amazed at the clarity of the video, I was quite pleased at how good the picture was on my Samsung LCD TV and had a grin ear to ear. What was a little disappointing was the fact that the trailer was only in pro-logic, but I guess thats a general problem with the demo file rather than being specific to the PS3. Soon after, my 700mb download of Gran Turismo finished, so I launched it to check it out, The graphics for the game were absolutely stunning, the game starts with the choice of only one car, that being a suzuki cappucino, not exactly the most thrilling drive but nonetheless something to start. The drive of the car, was a bit too realistic, I was never a huge fan of the Gran Turismo series, and I think in terms of playability this one was probably the worst, however the graphics made up for it, the detail of the road, the grass, the background was just amazing. One major let down was there is only one track, and you can't even reverse it, its just one track one way, a bit cheeky saying that this is a 'full game' there's not many car racing games out there that have only one track, and its not a big track either, you'll go around it in an average of 1 minute and 20 seconds, I woulda been happy with three tracks, but one, that's not a full game, thats a taste of a full game, what's that word they use, ummm.. yes that's right... DEMO

There's also a few other demos of games not really worth mentioning like Lemmings and something called 'Flow' which is extremely boring. Soon after I started buying actual retail games for the PS3; 'Resistance Fall of Man', 'Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII' and 'Motor Storm'. These games are all quite good and there's plenty of reviews about them on other sites, so I won't go into detail on any of them except to say that Resistance fall of man is alot of fun on co-op offline play, Blazing Angels is great fun for old school dog fighting, and Motor Storm is one of the best offroad racing games I have ever played although can get a bit repetitive. I should also mention that despite Sony saying games on the PS3 are region free there appears to be some problems with a couple of Ausralian PS3 games on Japanese PS3 consoles. Below, my copy of Blazing Angel's is pre-owned, because someone who had a Japanese PS3 console couldn't get it working

I also took the oppurtunity to connect my PSP to the PS3 to test out the 'remote play' feature that Sony boasts. I must say it was pretty exciting for about 10 minutes. After you do the initial setup, or pairing of the PSP to the PS3, each time you want to use it you must first put the PS3 in remote play mode, then you can connect the PSP to it, a bit of a bummer as this means you can't automatically connect to the PS3 using the PSP from another room, because of having to set the PS3 in remote play mode. All that aside, I was able to watch the trailers and view pictures I had on the PS3 from the PSP, which was OK I guess, however I can really see the potential here if Sony does things right. Let's hope they do, I even heard rumours they may use the PSP as a rear view mirror for some racing games, which would really be heading in the right direction. I have since bought a couple more titles from the online store, they are reasonably priced and download surprisingly quick, I won't go into all of them but will mention one called Super Rub a Dub, this game is about a yellow rubber duck that you steer around a water maze to collect little ducklings and take them to an exit. The more ducklings you rescue in one go, and the faster you do it, will decrease your total time taken and therefore increase your global rank. This game has some really cool stuff, first there are no buttons to use, its controlled purely by the motion sensing on the sixaxis PS3 controller, you move left and so does the duck, or more the maze tilts, moving the water and therefore the duck, you can also make it jump with a quick flick of the controller so you can quickly get over walls and of course fall off the edge of the maze into oblivion. This game sounds very basic and I guess it is, but its extremely addictive and when you are playing in the 'tricky' and 'tough' mazes you can get very frustrated, where retrying again and again is the only option, apart from turning the game off I guess.

Anyway it's finally a game that my niece can play, she really enjoys the game, its simple, easy and really done well in colour and graphics, I'm not trying to say that I don't play it, I do, and enjoy it, but I feel the game is far too hard to control with the motion sensing to get the high scores and pass the more difficult levels in the required time to get gold. Now before you read on you need to understand I have never broken anything relating to a game, well a computer game, I once cracked a tennis racquet by throwing it onto the court surface after missing one too many serves, anyway yes I'm usually well under control when it comes to video games I've been playing them since I was 5 and know to just turn them off when you're getting a bit annoyed with one. This time however that didn't happen, trying to beat a certain time on a particular maze with that stupid duck was really getting on my nerves, the wet yellow retarded bird kept jumping completely randomly and it seemed that the beers I was consuming was having an effect on the bird (omg I'm getting mad just thinking about it now), anyway after retrying this one level I think maybe 30 times, sometimes within 1 second of starting the level I finally had enough and in true McEnroe style threw the controller with all my might to the floor, it only travelled say a metre, and it was a split second reaction to which I was immediately regretful, however the damage was done.

AUD$75 later, I have another controller, infact I have two more, you know, just in case, after all I have to finish the game.

In conclusion the PS3 is a very capable gaming console, it's claim as a media hub I think is a bit far fetched to all but the few households that don't have a windows based PC. However there's no doubt that the console is fun, the motion sensing controllers seem they will have some potential albeit basic, in a few games and the cheap online games that download quite quickly like Go Soduko and Tekken are pretty good value. The online aspect of the console is rather bland and basic but it works, however online gaming was something I didn't get to check out, I don't have any friends with a PS3 at this stage and playing with just anybody isn't that much fun to me so I didn't bother. The remote play using a PSP and hopefully remote gaming is a feature Sony can really develop well. The Blu-Ray playing capability is quite a good feature of the console and is something I will certainly use, I am still waiting for my free Casino Royale blu-ray disc to be sent to me, I do have the confirmation email telling me that I'm getting one, so I guess it'll arrive sooner or later. The amount of available games for the PS3 really does suck, the range is poor and very limited. Having waited so long for the PS3 here in Australia I can't see how the range can be this bad, I would have expected many, many more titles being available at launch, with new ones coming out every week, but no.

The headstart of one year, the massive amount of games, the huge online network, the number of people that actually have one already, the ability to connect to your Windows PCs and MCE PC for media is amazingly useful, and the fact that this console is a few hundred dollars cheaper than the PS3, really make it the winner in this contest for me. The PS3 will undoubtly get better in time, it will hopefully be cheaper, there will obviously be more games and more movie titles available in blu-ray and the PSN, including the PlayStation store will improve. The PSP connectivity will be enhanced and of course, if Blu-Ray wins the next gen video format battle against HD-DVD that will certainly give it a boost.

So get an XBOX 360 and start enjoying the next generation of console gaming, and if you can afford to... get a PS3 too!

Posted 29.04.2007

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