Red Dead Redemption: PS3 or Xbox 360?
June 13, 2010 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Red Dead Redemption: The reviews of this game have been so exceptional that I think I might like to get it. However, I own neither an Xbox 360 nor a PlayStation 3 and would like advice about which console to consider buying. (A little more inside.)

For starters, is there any difference between how RDR plays on either console? Or is the experience so similar that this isn't a deciding factor?

Perhaps more helpful is my background as a gamer. I consider myself a very casual player of video games. I own a Wii, and the games I've liked best are Super Mario Galaxy, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Guitar Hero. I dislike games which involve complicated button-pressing patterns, complex tactics, or detailed knowledge of the instruction manual. In short, I like simpler games that you can just jump into and start playing - which is why I got the Wii in the first place.

So since I'd like to be able to play other games beyond just RDR on a potential new console, is either the PS3 or Xbox better-suited to a casual gamer like myself (in terms of their general library of titles)? Or are they pretty similar? (And also, if you'd care to recommend other PS3/Xbox games which might suit someone like me, that would be awesome.)

posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (33 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Well, according to the Wikipedia article the Native resolution is 720p on Xbox and 640p on PS3. So it will probably look a little better on Xbox.

In general, Sony is probably a more annoying company then Microsoft.
posted by delmoi at 12:07 PM on June 13, 2010

Well considering that the failure rate on the Xbox 360 at one point was around 33% the casual gamer may want to put her money on the PS3 which by some accounts has a failure rate of less than 5%
posted by DieHipsterDie at 12:09 PM on June 13, 2010

I can't speak to how it is on Xbox 360, but I love my PS3, and so far I really like Red Dead Redemption on it too, though I am in the early stages of the game.

I like the PS3 for many reasons including gaming. It is one hell of a blu ray player, does a great job as a media center to view photos, you tube videos, Hula videos, etc, as well as listen to my music, and has some rather fun additional features like Internet access on the TV (clunky but works), the ability to look at headlines and weather and so forth around the globe, a lot of game trailers and videos and samples from the PS3 store, and a little virtual world application on top of everything else.

As for cool games I have liked on the PS 3 -- so far, Dragon Age (absorbed me for months), Flower (very intuitive, very satisfying and fun to return to), Little Big Planet (though I am not very good at it), and Jeopardy!
posted by bearwife at 12:10 PM on June 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I personally have a 360, but I'm a pretty heavy gamer, and I got it primarily for it's more extensive game library. For you, however, I'd have to recommend the PS3. It has much more functionality as a media center with the BluRay player, etc. and it has Little Big Planet, which is the epitome of great casual games.
posted by Hargrimm at 12:28 PM on June 13, 2010

Maybe it would be a good idea to wait until after E3, because there is a rumor (denied by Sony) that there's going to be a PS3 price drop.
posted by zixyer at 12:29 PM on June 13, 2010

If you don't have a Blu-ray player already (I'm assuming you have an HDTV), get the PS3. Also, you can stream Netflix movies without having to purchase Xbox Live membership.
posted by halogen at 12:30 PM on June 13, 2010

I can confirm that it looks amazing on Xbox. The failure rate issues, as far as I know, have been fixed. Yeah, it was a major problem, but last year.

I understand that in general DLC and the multiplayer experience are better on Xbox, but I've never played a PS3. As far as I can tell the dealbreaker between Xbox and PS3 is whether you want a blu-ray.
posted by cmoj at 12:32 PM on June 13, 2010

Oh, and the quality of the little indie games on the Xbox marketplace is really pretty surprising.
posted by cmoj at 12:34 PM on June 13, 2010

I have both consoles but not RDR.

In general, I think PS3 has more innovative, interesting games, especially for the casual/"non-competitive" (Flower, LBP were mentioned) gamer. PS3 gets you Blu-ray as previously mentioned and you'll also get some early cracks at 3D gaming here soon.

XBox360 wins on several other counts. You'll find some very fun games to play, you get some awesome streaming and online content support (better than PS3 by far), and I typically think the games look and feel better on XBox360. I feel better about the "media" support on 360, even though it doesn't have Blu-Ray.

If I had to pick one console, i'd pick XBox360 at this point; the failure rate is pretty low now and Microsoft replaced a lot of those consoles that had problems. On top of that, Sony is a really shitty company, if things like removing features from a product you've already purchased matters to you. There are some exclusives to both platforms but if you're a casual gamer these things probably matter very little.
posted by arimathea at 12:41 PM on June 13, 2010

To your first question, for most games there is very little difference in gameplay between two versions of pretty much any game that is on both consoles. Delmoi mentions a graphics difference, but I don't think gameplay should be affected.

In general, I would suggest you get a PS3 for two reasons. First, you (like me) seem to enjoy more casual games, and my experience is that in terms of exclusive content, PS3's exclusives (like ratchet and clank, god of war, little big planet) are far more casual than Xbox 360. Xbox has more first person shooter type games.

Second, I think it's just a better value. Pre-PS3 price drop, there was more of a debate about which console to get. Xbox 360 was cheaper and had better online play capabilities (that you had to pay for), while PS3 was more expensive but had blu-ray, better but less utilized hardware, and crappy (free) online play. With the price drop, I think PS3 is a far better value. This is especially true if you intend to set up your console to connect to wireless internet. (As opposed to wired. You will need to connect to internet one way or another because almost all games inevitably require you to install patches before you can play.) Back when I was looking, xbox 360 charged something absurd (maybe $80?) for a component that allowed you to connect wirelessly, something the ps3 had built in. That additional cost nearly eliminated the cost difference.

With the PS3 price drop, I think the ps3 is actually cheaper after taking that dongle into account. Combine that with the additional blu-ray, and it's just a much better deal. Only exception to this would be if you were really interested in online gaming, where xbox has a far more robust system.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 12:49 PM on June 13, 2010

I'll link to a previous comment of mine about comparisons between 360/PS3 games. And here's the RDR comparison article.
posted by Bangaioh at 12:56 PM on June 13, 2010

I think that the best long term advice is to consider the libraries for each console and see which appeals to you more. Also consider which consoles your friends have, if applicable.
posted by ambulatorybird at 1:02 PM on June 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

FWIW, I am a data point of one.

I bought a 360 about 4 years ago. About two years in- RROD. Replaced by Microsoft.
Next unit lasted about a year and a half. RROD in March. Replaced by Microsoft.
Replacement unit arrived not only broken, but gouged a couple of game discs.

I bought a PS3. Don't miss the Xbox. Blu-Ray is pretty sweet. I'm also not sure that any but hardcore gamers can tell the difference between, much less care about, console versions of games.
posted by mkultra at 1:13 PM on June 13, 2010

I looked at all 3 systems they where all 299$ at the store
I ended up buying the PS3 and love it
The one thing I use it for most is as a media center where I stream a TV torrent from my desktop works flawlessly
posted by SatansCabanaboy at 1:26 PM on June 13, 2010

Not having touched a game controller since the Dreamcast (sigh) we just went through this at Christmas and decided on the PS3. We lean away from Microsoft in general, so our first step was seeing which games were exclusive to one platform or the other (not many) and then deciding which we couldn't live without. We really wanted Left4Dead, but we decided that we'd be okay getting our zombie fix/survival horror through other games like Dead Space and Borderlands Zombie Island. And Little Big Planet and Flower have proven great gateway games for non-gaming friends. We didn't put much weight into the Blu-ray player aspect of the PS3, but in fact that has been a really nice plus. While the Netflix disk works fine, the list of movies that Netflix offers this way is very limited, though that may improve. For game reviews grouped by console check out metacritic, and for for independent game reviews that work for the casual non-adolescent gamer, I love the red-wine-drinking guys on noobtube.
posted by tula at 1:37 PM on June 13, 2010

The single best split-screen multiplayer game currently in existence (Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars) is exclusive to the PS3, so that's where my vote falls.

(Seriously, between some four or five consoles in the house, all we ever play is SuSoAcRoPoBaCa. It's fantastic.)
posted by Dysk at 1:49 PM on June 13, 2010

I hate the ps3. Some (most that I've played) games require extremely large updates to download before you can play the first time. The hdmi output flickers occasionally. The controllers don't have replaceable batteries. The bluetooth remote is a pain if you use a universal remote. I'm sure I could come up with more but I have stopped using it. The xbox just works.
posted by bananafish at 1:51 PM on June 13, 2010

If you're really considering getting a console just for this game, buy an XBox. It's still cheaper, and this particular game is definitely better on the 360.

If I were only buying one platform, I'd still go with the PS3, for reasons I've stated before: Blu-Ray, and exclusives I find much more appealing.

Whichever way you go, don't buy new games (except RDR, I guess) until you've gone through the set of the dozen or so really good games that each console has in its discount library at this point.
posted by ecurtz at 1:51 PM on June 13, 2010

I've said before, I'd get a PS3. Sony is a horrible company, and I don't usually like to buy anything from them, but it's kind of like someone snuck in and made a decent product. Yes, they removed linux/support for other OSs from the system, which wasn't very widespread. Some people (not what you'd call casual users) got very, very angry, and a lot of other people got very, very angry by proxy.

Other than that? Free online play (which isn't all that bad. I use it all the time, and have had very few experiences with 12 year-olds screaming racist obscenities over their headsets), blu-ray, media center. And the evil company even provides a way to upgrade the hard drive (very, very simple, takes ten minutes), although that should be less of an issue now that they have 250GB hard drives. And blu-ray games (meaning all PS3 games) are region-free, which was a huge selling point for me.

Basically, it does more out of the box than the Xbox. There's the wifi, blu-ray player, the larger hard-drive, free online play (yes, you start out with a 'free' n-month subscription), and better games for casual players (Little Big Planet and Bomberman, just to name a couple).
posted by Ghidorah at 2:18 PM on June 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I have both a PS3 and a xbox360, and six months after my move the xbox hasn't even been unpacked (and will likely go on craigslist soon). Other than Left4Dead, there were no games that were super compelling; I bought the 360 solely for L4D and tired of it fairly quickly.

Among my complaints with the 360, compared to the PS3:
  • Nickle-and-dime on everything: pay more for wireless controllers, pay more for rechargable wireless controllers, custom USB cables to connect/charge controllers, limited connectivity builtin, etc.
  • No Bluray. Not everyone can stream HD movies yet.
  • Extra dongle required for digital audio out and it covers the HDMI port!
  • The controllers are way too large and suck down the (default non-rechargeable) batteries
  • Ugly white plastic exterior doesn't look like video equipment
  • HDMI forgets settings on about 1/4 bootups and goes back to 480i mode
  • WTF is up with that gigantic power brick?
The powerbrick is a real question -- the PS3's power supply is integrated into the body of the unit, while the xbox has a gigantic DC adapter the size of a shoe box. Likewise, the iPhone and iPod have a tiny switching power adapter barely larger than the USB plug, while the Zune had circa-1975 wallwart. It's like Microsoft can't hire an electrical engineer with any design sensibility.

To get simultaneous HDMI and digital audio I had to cut open the dongle to remove the unnecessary plastic housing that solely existed to cover the HDMI port. Afterwards I found that Microsoft sells a "slimline audio adapter" as an extra add-on. Yet more of the nickle-and-dime mentality.
posted by autopilot at 2:24 PM on June 13, 2010

I have both ps3 and 360 and if a game has any online component I get it on the ps3 because I won't pay for xboxlive gold (needed to play online on the 360). Even in the case of a game where, like RDR, it's demonstrably better looking on the 360. The cost of xboxlive gold is basically one new game per year.
posted by juv3nal at 2:33 PM on June 13, 2010

I would wait at least a week on both systems. PS3 has a rumored price drop, and the 360 is theoretically getting a "slim" version. Either way it should affect the price of the instore units within the next few weeks.

Red Dead Redemption: The reviews of this game have been so exceptional

Also, I suggest a bit of caution towards Red Dead. Rockstar games tend to be overly well-reviewed. While GTA4 was a pretty good game, it was by no means the masterpiece that reviews made it out to be. I'd urge you to try it out at a friends or something if that's at all possible.
posted by graventy at 5:28 PM on June 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Also, I suggest a bit of caution towards Red Dead. Rockstar games tend to be overly well-reviewed. While GTA4 was a pretty good game, it was by no means the masterpiece that reviews made it out to be. I'd urge you to try it out at a friends or something if that's at all possible.

Just as a data point, I have played all previous GTAs but have not finished any of them. Red Dead, on the other hand, I liked well enough to finish.
posted by juv3nal at 5:51 PM on June 13, 2010

Echoing many:

I have both consoles and have tried the experiment of buying the same game (2 different times) for both. In both cases the game felt more "fake" on the ps3 and more "real" and "deep" on the xbox. It was, I suspect a combination of better graphics on the xbox (I have a display where that is noticeable) and subtle things about how the human / controller / console interfacing works.

That said -the PS3 is one of the best, lowest cost, blu-ray home entertainment centers on the market.
That alone is a reason to keep it.

I'm getting RDR for the xbox.
As for the failure issues - I've had 1 xbox fail due to the overheating issue and mine was in a well ventilated shelf in a basement closet with lots of air flow so I'd say it just depends.

Msoft does replace them on a longer warranty than the base warranty.
posted by BrooksCooper at 6:32 PM on June 13, 2010

Wait to make your decision after E3, the big video game industry convention that takes place this week. At this point, I'd recommend the PS3 for the Blu Ray, the built-in wireless, and the free online play (no subscription required), but Microsoft is rumored to be announcing a new 360 model with built-in wireless and possibly even a lower price.
posted by MegoSteve at 7:00 PM on June 13, 2010

Ms. Ovvl recently bought a new 360 with a copy of RDR. She is having a swell time. Get-it.
posted by ovvl at 7:09 PM on June 13, 2010

I have both consoles and played RDR on the Xbox 360. Xbox has better multiplayer and a larger game library.

My stock answer on which system to buy is: get Xbox if you're a gamer. Get the PS3 if you want an amazing media player and only play games occasionally. I use the PS3 for Blurays, Netflix streaming, and media streaming from my computer.

The PS3 version of RDR has an extra hideout included, but people don't seem to think it adds that much to gameplay. It'll probably be released as DLC on the Xbox sometime in the future anyway.

In terms of the game itself, RDR is a masterpiece and as of now tops my list of the greatest games ever. With some perspective maybe it'll drop a few spots. But it's an amazing, amazing game/experience.

Also note that a new Xbox slim is probably going to be announced in the very near future - with built in wireless and presumably architecture improvements. I would hold off until that goes on sale if you decide to go Xbox. At the very least, wait until E3 is over.
posted by L. Ron McKenzie at 7:18 PM on June 13, 2010

While not announced, a PC version is almost a certainity either late this year or next year sometime.
posted by GilloD at 8:58 PM on June 13, 2010

Like other people said, wait for a couple weeks. Price drops might be coming during or shortly after E3.
posted by demiurge at 10:03 PM on June 13, 2010

Get the PS3, because then you can get Little Big Planet (the second-best game of all time, likely only to be beaten by LBP2 coming out in the winter), which is the perfect game for casual gamers.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:57 PM on June 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Just as a data point, I don't have a recommendation, but Microsoft seems to have fixed the RROD issue, so if you get a new 360, you're unlikely to have that problem. I've had mine for 2 years without issue, and everyone I know that has a newer one also doesn't have any issues.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:48 AM on June 14, 2010

In response to haveanicesummer's post, a friend of mine just had a one-and-a-half year old Xbox360 Red Ring of Death on them. I'm not sure what the warranty situation was/is, but it does still happen, even if it isn't as common as it once was.
posted by Dysk at 3:53 PM on June 14, 2010

You've probably heard about it already, but the new Xbox is out.
posted by suedehead at 5:58 PM on June 14, 2010

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