Video Games

Console Wars: Playstation 3 Vs. Xbox 360

Playstation 3 Vs. Xbox 360Yes, I know this is an old story but at this point in the so called Game Console War between Playstation 3 vs. Xbox 360. I feel the need to discuss this now since there are more and more major titles being released each month for these two game consoles. Nintendo on the other hand continues to sell us “Motion Based” gaming. There need to remind me there console is the World’s first and only motion based gaming console is getting very old, especially now well after there launch for the Wii. In this day and age where if its not an “App”, its not worth downloading/owning. Gamers have been told to believe in the hype surrounding Motion Based/Touch Screen Apps over the more conventional games such as Metal Gear Solid, Gears Of War, Uncharted, and so forth.

I do enjoy playing Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, as well as other games designed for the Nintendo Wii & DS as well as apps designed for the iPod Touch. But really, these App or Touch Screen games to me feel more like there taking a classic franchise and forcing its touch and feel mechanics into the game to sell more units to stay ahead of the competition. Look at the library for the Wii, seriously look at it. Your going to find loads of low quality games and very bad selling games , yet due to the waving of the controller and attachment I’m supposed to call that gaming and enjoy it? Regardless of its technical shortcomings and awful gameplay. Super Mario Galaxy showed me that you can play a classic franchise in this new era, but even that game had moments where I felt like I was being cornered by the technology of the system rather then being able to explore this giant universe of adventure.

The PS3 and Xbox 360 keep it simple right now. I know they have the Playstation Move and the Project Natal inbound for their users but right now they’re keeping gaming what it should be which is all about the gaming. There are so many great choices right now available for both consoles and with many more on the way such as Halo: Reach, Call Of Duty: Black OPS, Modnation Racers, Twisted Metal, Alan Wake, The Last Guardian, Gears Of War 3, inFamous 2 as well as many more yet to be announced or perhaps I’m skipping a few because of the excitement I have for the launch of the Modnation Racers games for PS3 and PSP (and PSP Go).

The games I have been playing lately have been on the PS3, that’s why you haven’t seen me much on Xbox Live folks. Although  I have been on Xbox 360 lately playing such great games like Splinter Cell: Conviction and Just Cause 2, both of which have reviews inbound here at Camel Clutch Blog. Heavy Rain on the PS3 trumps anything that is out currently this year on the Xbox 360. I have yet to see anything from Alan Wake to interest me in thinking it’s betterthan Heavy Rain, but once I get my hands on  that game perhaps I will give Alan Wake more credit. Alan Wake was supposed to be an Xbox 360 launch title, hopefully that 5 year absence will benefit the game. Then again, there have been several Playstation games that got delayed for long periods of time and turned out to be classics. Ask Nintendo about long delays with a big pay off and they will answer Ocarina. There is much to be happy about owning either of these two consoles due to there library of current video games, but when it comes to upcoming games I have to look at Playstation 3 a bit more due to consistency over the Xbox 360.

When I look at the Xbox 360’s upcoming library all I see is the same Sports Game, Shooter, Sports Game, Shooter, etc over and over again. I get it, shooters are in but at least be somewhat creative in your releases over time. The great thing about this year is that we won’t drown in Music/Rhythm games since the folks over at Activision/MTV Games finally came to an agreement that they were both over doing it a little. Plus given Guitar Hero: Van Halen was a colossal bomb for the folks over at Activision, I can see why they might as well jump as taking a break from music. Given the recent turmoil with Infinity Ward and Activision, Infinity Ward will bite the dust leaving Activision all alone with the Call Of Duty franchise. Black OPS will hit store shelves for both consoles on 11/9/10. Sadly there’s no fun in saying the release date for this one like Modern Warfare 2.

Activision won’t be alone very long as they have entered a 10 year partnership with Halo creators Bungie. The new Acti-Bungie deal will certainly make playing games on the PS3 and Xbox 360 very interesting. However, once again, these are shooters. Doesn’t it ever get old to you gamers out there? Look at the 2010 lineup for PS3 currently out: Heavy Rain, God Of War 3, MAG, Modnation Racers, MLB 10: The Show, not to mention all the update packs for Uncharted 2 and loads and loads of new content for LittleBigPlanet, the PS3 five months into the new year has a lot going for it. Xbox 360 owners can’t really say the same since Final Fantasy XIII sold 3 to 1 on the PS3 to Xbox 360 comparison. That game was supposed to be the difference maker here, but once again, the game plays better on Playstation.

One Blu-Ray Disc Vs. 3 DVD’s on the Xbox 360 version, not to mention if you want to silence that noisy CD Drive on the Xbox 360 while playing Final Fantasy XIII you will have to install all three discs which will eat up about 18GB from your drive  give or take a GB here and there since I am not entirely sure how many GB’s each disc are on the 360. One note outside of install size, why do games on Xbox 360 run in 1080P and 60 Frames Per Second and PS3 games don’t? If its Blu-Ray shouldn’t the game at least run at 1080 rather then 720? Forza Motorsport 3 looks AMAZING on the Xbox 360 in full 1080P at 60 Frames Per Second. Amazing detail and the game slows down not once. PS3 needs to pick it up in this department especially since I consider the Xbox 360 to be half way high definition.

Game installing on the Xbox 360 is optional, you can do it if you wish to silence that drive and decrease game loading times making the games run smoother and being able to hear the audio from them. The PS3 on the other hand pretty much makes you install any and all games you play off of a Blu-Ray and any you download from the Playstation Store. The Xbox 360 downloads also install once you download. This is obvious due to the fact that it is required to run the software. The PS3’s install sizes are different for each game, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots ate up the most space by far since it has its own installation file as well as each chapter needing to be installed before you play through them.

You cannot cancel the install and then play the game. This is the rule for ANY of the PS3 games you play. Eventually you run into the issue of Hard Drive storage, granted this is a general concern with any device that has its own storage media whether it be via Plug In (USB Hard Drives, Flash Drives) or via built in hard drive or removable hard drive. The Xbox 360 has a major issue with Hard Drive storage however, you can only get the Xbox 360 Hard Drive in three flavors, 4 if you eBay search for the 20GB drive. The other flavors consist of 60GB, 120GB, and the newly released 250GB drive. Each of which you can find at most video game retailers.

It should be noted though that the more recent 250 and 120 GB drives will most likely be the drives you find commonly available. You may have to do some searching for the 60GB drive if buying a bigger hard drive isn’t your thing or you wish not to spend as much as the console for you storage needs. The PS3 on the other hand comes in two flavors, one via standard and the other via special edition bundle. You can get the PS3 alone with a 120GB hard drive or you can buy there bundle sets that come with a major title and a 250GB hard drive. The Xbox 360 currently has this special going on with Splinter Cell: Conviction, both are even in this department.

The Playstation 3 however does not force you to use a proprietary drive like the Xbox 360 does. Microsoft has a special hard drive built for the Xbox 360 and only for the Xbox 360, so you cannot buy any ordinary hard drive and hook it up. This is something we all know. The PS3 can use a Laptop Hard Drive, which is a 2.5 inch internal drive that docks into the PS3’s HDD Slot located on the bottom of the console (First Gen), or on the front of the system (Slim Model). However, this method although more convenient does have limitations. The PS3 can handle large data storage sizes but when it comes to Hard Drive Speed you shouldn’t over do it due to the issue of overheating. The faster the drive, the more heat it generates so be cautious in your decision on drive speed.

A good 500+ GB drive with an 8 or 16 MB Cache with 5400RPM speed is all you may need. Keep in mind, Laptop Hard Drives cost more due to there form factor and due to there demand. Laptop hard drives are much harder to upgrade and install then common desktop drives. The PS3 also allows you to backup your data to an external hard drive and will allow you to restore the data via that same external source so when you install a new drive you can backup then restore and get right back to gaming.

The Xbox 360 doesn’t allow the use of an external Hard Drive. Microsoft just recently allowed users to dock USB Flash Drives to the Xbox 360 but with limits on storage size. The Xbox 360 does have a data transfer cable that will transfer your data from Drive A to Drive B, but there is some data that cannot be transferred and you can only transfer data ONCE. Users cannot transfer the data more then that, or so says the manual that came with my 120GB Hard Drive for the Xbox 360.

I have yet to upgrade my PS3 hard drive but I am in need of an upgrade because I am running up against the wall with storage capacity. The system won’t start downloads that exceed any size limitation on the systems storage media. I have uninstalled games as well as deleted demos and content I do not use anymore and I am still having some storage issues. I will solve that with a 1TB drive or which ever my generation of PS3 can handle.

There are conflicting stories via the internet that the PS3 models can only handle specific hard drive sizes. With games like Modnation Racers coming, I am going to want as much space as possible with the incoming user created content that I will be creating and sharing. Its the same for the yet to be announced LittleBigPlanet 2 which will be announced soon, perhaps at E3 in June 2010. User Created Content is another aspect of the gaming world that is quickly becoming the new source of entertainment for all sorts of media in today’s society.

With sites like Facebook.com and Youtube.com quickly becoming the new  standard in terms of communication and entertainment online for millions of people, it’s only obvious that PS3 and Xbox 360 will include such sites into there consoles. Now, the Xbox 360 does not allow users to go to Youtube via a web browser due to the Xbox 360 not having a browser or app since there is not an app Store as of this writing for the Xbox 360. To make up for this the Xbox 360 does allow you to use a fully created for the Xbox 360 Version of Facebook that allows users to upload there Xbox 360 information to the actual Facebook website as well as search for friends on Facebook who have Xbox Live Accounts and add them to you online gamer friends list.

The integration of Facebook on the Xbox 360 is amazing as you can literally do anything on it. The PS3 on the other hand allows you to use Facebook to a degree. Users can upload your purchases, trophies, as well as view photo’s and let people see your Playstation Network information onto the Facebook website. The PS3 version of Facebook is very general and bland while the Xbox 360 version owns it. The Xbox 360 also has a Twitter app as well to make up for the lack of Youtube support.

I am not a Twit, so I could care less for Twitter. You can browse the web on the PS3 with the built in web browser for the PS3.. It’s there but browsing the internet on the TV can be very odd if you haven’t done it before. Plus there are issues with Adobe Flash. Imagine that issues with Flash? The User Created Content market is completely better on the PS3 over the Xbox 360 since there are more games that utilize the Creation aspect. The Xbox 360 allows people to create custom avatars, paint jobs, car styles, combat suits, weapon layouts etc, but the PS3 allows users to do that from the ground up instead of just simply copying and pasting icons and paint jobs on an already designed element in the game. Forza Motorsport 3 is hands down the best racing game ever created, period. It allows users to personalize anything and everything involved with cars.

But that’s as far as it goes as you cannot customize anything else. Granted, its a Racing Simulation and not a Kart racer like Modnation Racers but that is what I am getting at. You can customize anything in Modnation from the Character Layout to the Time of Day in the courses you create. Both games allow you to upload and share any content you create. However, the Xbox 360 classic Forza Motorsport 3 requires users to use Windows XP to purchase such items. This isn’t the best example I can give since one game is a Racing Sim and the other is a Arcade Kart Racer but the principles are in place. The amount of content that you can upload in Forza 3 does not mean the game is bad or weak in any way, Forza Motorsport 3 is the perfect racing experience with everything working correctly from the controls to the audio.

The key example is the Unreal Tournament 3. This was first a PS3 exclusive that was later released on the Xbox 360. It is also available on the PC but be ready to have a beast of a machine to run it. The PS3 version allows users to share data from the PC version to the PS3 version but it will not allow you to play against the PC gamers. The PS3 version also allows you to us the Unreal Editor on your PC to create levels from scratch that can be used on the PS3 or PC for free, period. The Xbox 360 version well, we’ll add a few extra maps to make up for the fact that we do not allow users to create content from the ground up and transfer it from there PC’s.

The Xbox 360 version also included a Trailer for Gears Of War 2 at the time of its release. That doesn’t make up for anything as it’s more or less a plug for there classic. The technical aspects of the PS3 and Xbox 360 are so close to one another. It’s going to come down to games. New and original as well as sequels but the PS3 has shown more original games then the Xbox 360. Games like inFamous, LittleBigPlanet, Uncharted, Modnation Racers, The Last Guardian, Heavy Rain, Killzone 2 have all shown that there are ways to attract an audience using a new IP or give a cult hit like Killzone a complete facelift with its sequel.

The other games I named in that quick list are all hits and will prompt sequels that will be hits as well. Uncharted 2 is hands down the best game on the console. Heavy Rain is the best game of 2010 but in that regard if Heavy Rain spawns a sequel that’s completely amazing with fixes for controller issues, it has a chance to overtake Uncharted 2. Xbox 360 on the other hand has more sequels than original games, granted there are some games that are original that are amazing to play. Gears Of War is the best series they have on the Xbox 360. Halo: Reach is on its way and from all the early build footage and from the beta I have played of it, the game looks stellar but we will see how that translates to sales and ratings.

Gears Of War 3 is a long ways off not coming out until April 2011, but I am eagerly awaiting its launch. Outside of those two games, I have yet to be blown away by anything else except Gears 3, Halo: Reach, and Alan Wake. Splinter Cell: Conviction and Just Cause 2 are very fun games to play but they do not have my level of interest as the other three games I mentioned. And then we enter the realm of Motion Gaming for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

The Playstation Move has been previewed and it has been shown how the Move works with games that are developed for it. It will also work with games such as the yet to be released SOCOM: US Navy Seals 4, another hotly anticipated PS3 game for 2010. LittleBigPlanet will also allow users to utilize the Move to create more user content for the PS3 classic. There are games designed just for the Move such as Sports Champions, Motion Fighter, Eyepet, as well as Toy Story 3. Move will have a bunch of more games for it at launch or within the launch window. A game yet to be announced for the Playstation Move is Ape Escape, a game that I feel will be very successful for the type of device that this is. The Move will be sold in a variety of ways and its going to be priced very well to help move units and make a huge impact on the success of the device.

From the design angle, Move looks like it has been built from the ground up to have major success. Project Natal on the other hand is a complete mystery to users all over. All that is known about Project Natal is that it will incorporate the gamers body into the games designed for it via the Camera and Motion Sensors built into the device. Another aspect of the Natal are the rumors surrounding its lag time and inability to function in the dark. The only video of this device in action is the video that was shown at E3 2009. Sony has since shown off the Move in many instances as well as shown how it operates in games and via tech demos. The Natal was  shown off a bit after E3 but only a single demo was shown and it was on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. It was discussed more then it was shown. This is a problem for gamers interested in such a device for there Xbox 360 since it will be released this holiday season to compete directly with Playstation Move. So from June 2010 to November/December 2010, gamers will have to decide in that short period of time if Natal is right for them or should they opt in for the Playstation Move which at this point looks like the obvious move since Playstation Move has so much more going for it.

I know I opened slamming the Wii with its motion based gaming and now I am explaining which of the two systems PS3 and Xbox 360, will have the better of the technology. I am anxious to use Playstation Move since it seems to appeal to hard core gamers a bit more then the casual market. However, I hope that the device isn’t used just to say we have motion controls much like how Nintendo does with online gaming and Netflix functions. In the end, Playstation Move should and will most likely be the better choice for gamers who are interested in Motion Based gaming outside of the Wii. E3 2010 will show us a lot more for both devices and will also tell us pricing and availability.

Hard Core gamers and gamers in general should be looking more at the Playstation line since there is just hit after hit inbound throughout the year. Each game come from Sony and there in house first. Third party exclusives are going to be a major success as well as the upcoming announcements such as Twisted Metal, LittleBigPlanet 2, Killzone 3, inFamous 2, Syphon Filter, Warhawk 2 (A.K.A. StarHawk), SOCOM 4, Sly Cooper, Jak, Ratchet & Clank, The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy XIV, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the PS3. We will know more once E3 hits but if all indications are correct, the PS3 is going to be almost unstoppable when it comes to fantastic software inbound. Xbox 360 users will have Halo: Reach, Gears Of War 3, and Alan Wake. Outside of that I really don’t see anything bigger then those three and 2 of the are to be released in 2010. E3 will certainly answer a lot for the future games lineup for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

You cannot go wrong picking either console but from a shear angle of hits, the PS3 is hand down the place to be. For starters, the system has everything you need in box with the exception of component cables or HDMI. There’s only one separate purchase for the console. The 360 requires a purchase for rechargeable batteries, Wireless Adapter, bigger Hard Drive, and a recharging kit for batteries. There is also another issue for the Xbox 360, power supplies. The system’s power supply can double as a brick for a skyscraper and that’s me being nice. There is also a separate power supply for the HD-DVD player if anyone on this planet owns that. However, there is a device out there that people will own but Microsoft has yet to deny the validity of these reports. It is reported that Natal will have its own power supply and a separate USB Cable to dock it to the console. How many power supplies does it take? If you have your Wi-Fi adapter plugged into the back where does the Natal plug into?

The Xbox 360 feels much like a system you have to put together rather then customize, for it to be your own system. It’s just an annoyance overall. I cannot stand having wires strung all over the place just to play a video game. Like I mention throughout this article, E3 will answer a lot. But in my personal opinion, PS3 has the momentum currently and will have the success in the long term since the Xbox 360 is treating the Natal launch as a console launch. This is why Gears Of War 3 is coming next year and not this year. If Natal fails, what then? Do you release Gears Of War 3 next year only to announce the next Xbox at E3 2011? The future is very questionable for the Xbox 360, but that’s just my opinion and I could be wrong. Now I’m going to make like a tree…and get outta’ here. Leave feedback and you comments in the comment area and I will respond if there either positive or negative.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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