Pc, Xbox360 or PS3?
November 10, 2006 9:24 AM   Subscribe

Should I go for an Xbox 360 or PS3? Or should I upgrade my PC and stick with that?

My Pc is in pretty good shape and i am able to play every current game I have tried, but am i going to be able to get the HI Def gaming that I would get from a console? I haven't played my PS2 in years but I really like playing sports and other games that don't translate too well to the PC.
posted by Bjkokenos to Technology (25 answers total)
I love xbox 360.


Generally the graphics are sweet, you can watch dvds, and soon you'll be able to download movies (pay) and tv shows (free).

But, it's about sound system and tv quality. If you don't have those, just stick with PC.
posted by ewkpates at 9:28 AM on November 10, 2006

For sports I would go console.
posted by Merlyn at 9:31 AM on November 10, 2006

posted by Espoo2 at 9:32 AM on November 10, 2006

The PS3 price point has been set outrageously high, IMO. If you want a BlueRay player, then by all means spend 600 bucks, but otherwise, for sports games, get an Xbox.
posted by muddgirl at 9:34 AM on November 10, 2006

The PS3 is a trainwreck. Sony gave up rumble controllers to ape the Wii's motion-control, gave up ease of coding for the convulted Cell processor. They claim the 360 will be Dreamcast all over again. More likey, the PS3 will be the Saturn all over again - all the power in the world makes no difference when it's a pain to program for.

The 360 has yet to distinguish itself. That will change this Christmas, with Gears of War and Halo 3 a bit further down the spoke. I would go with the 360 - failing that, a PC upgrade makes most 360 titles available to you. I've been happily playing Oblivion on mine for months!
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:35 AM on November 10, 2006

I hadn't played my PS2 in a while, either, and my Nintendo DS has me thinking that my next console will be a Wii. But lately I've been enjoying looking for those red-label PS2 games ("classics" or whatever they call the budget-binned titles) and enjoying them. I've seen a few drop from $19.99 to $9.99, too.

The PS2 still plays great, and lots of its games are going to be cheap very, very soon. Net effect: lessened urgency to score a Wii until the pre-release hype/optimism gives way to post-release evaluations from the fans.
posted by mph at 9:51 AM on November 10, 2006

I got a XBox 360 back in April specifically for Oblivion. The last console I owned was Colecovision back in the mid 80s, and I'm a Mac person, so you can imagine I'm not much of a gamer.

Since then I've heard nothing but horrible things about the PS3. Go to a site like kotaku.com and search around for the million or so articles they've linked to about it. High priced, hard to develop for, BlueRay technology looks to be the next Betamax, and most recently, a lot of titles scheduled for its launch are being pushed back for one reason or another.

I'm sure there will be a lot of positive things about it, and some good games eventually. And there's no lack of pro-PS3 people out there who are waiting patiently, so I'm not bashing it.

One more issue to consider about the PS3 is the bugs that will need to be worked out. The XBox 360s that were initially released were prone to breaking and even scratching discs to the point of ruining them. It took a few months for Microsoft to get better units in stores. Also, I'm pretty sure the launch version PS3s will need an immediate software update (not 100% sure about this, pretty sure I read it). Bottom line to me is if you do wait for the PS3 and want to shell out the bucks for it, it probably makes sense to wait a few months after release to pick one up.

The Wii looks silly and gimmicky to me. I'm 35 and want to sit quietly by myself and relax while playing games, not flailing my arm in front of a TV screen. I predict its 'revolutionary' remote will flop. Some folks have great affinity for old Nintendo games, which I'm sure is part of the appeal. Not for me.

There's already a lot of good, highly rated games out for the X360. Go check out a site like metacritic.com and see if they interest you.

Finally, I have no intention to play online, or watch or download movies with the thing, just play games, so I have no opinion on that angle.

Good luck.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 9:54 AM on November 10, 2006

I forsee this thread becoming full of fanboys, so take everything you hear with a grain of salt.

I am in a similar position as you, and I have decided to buy a 360 within a few months. While I prefer PC gaming because they aren't constrained by "generations" of hardware, it is just more cost-effective to go with a $400 Xbox rather than dropping at least twice that much on a new video card, processor etc. Then within a year or two, PC hardware will be so much further ahead of any console, it will make sense to build a new computer. By staggering my computer and console purchases, I feel like I'm always on the cutting edge of graphics for cheap.

As far as the 360 vs PS3 vs Wii goes, I just don't see the PS3 even in the picture. It is so much more than the 360, and the only thing you get is a Blu-Ray (which may not even come out on top in the format war), and the Final Fantasy games. Unless you really care about those things, I have a hard time justifying the cost of the PS3. Also, with the inevitable PS3 shortage, I'm not even sure a PS3 is a valid choice for you unless you plan on camping out, or you have had a legit pre-order months ago. You will have to wait months to see them freely available on store shelves.

It should also be noted that the Wii does not output in HD. You mentioned you want the Hi-Def of a console, so you should definitely consider that only the 360 and PS3 are even capable of HD.
posted by Paul KC at 10:09 AM on November 10, 2006

whatever you do, DO NOT get a PS3.

If you want to play online or esp. good-looking games, get a 360.

If you want something quirky, get a Wii.
posted by gnutron at 10:12 AM on November 10, 2006

what muddgirl said
posted by matteo at 10:21 AM on November 10, 2006

I have a 360 and would recommend it. However, there is not much variety to the games, most are FPS and sports. A few driving, not much of the rest.

However, Gears of Wars fsking rocks.
posted by mphuie at 10:28 AM on November 10, 2006

The 360 has several very strong advantages:
  1. It's been out for a year, so the kinks/bugs are worked out in production.
  2. By having been out a year, this also means game developers have got their "sea legs" when it comes to coding to the platform. Game companies are taking more advantage of the hardware capabilities as well as online space.
  3. While this no longer distinguishes it among consoles per se, the HDTV/5.1 output is very very nice; building the equivalent setup in your PC is as Paul KC notes going to cost a lot more than $400.
  4. The number of games and quality is only increasing, and some of the titles out for this holiday season are looking very promising. And the Xbox has always had some very good sports games at its disposal- mphuie sagely notes that the sports games for the Xbox 360 are among its strongest offerings.
  5. And perhaps most of all, the Xbox live experience is second to none: the interactions between your friends, the smoothness and integration of the experience, and the little add-ons and improvements are all extremely well implemented.
Actually, the online experience is so good, it might be the difference maker by itself, even without the concerns over the price point and quality of the PS3.

Building friend lists, chatting, messaging, comparing your scores against other people, and the ease of getting online games going all make it a very slick and exceptionally well run online experience- and for sports games, this will be probably more compelling than with other games. Sony is simply not going to come close to matching what Microsoft has built in the online arena for a long, long time.

Plus, I find that I end up playing the online mini-games as much as the full disk titles, which you can buy with MS Points (I like this because I can buy a point card at an EB Games, then redeem them online and never have my CC handed over to Microsoft): those little mini games which run $8-10 are often as much or more fun than some of the $60 titles, and have a great deal of depth and number of levels. For the $10 or so, you can get some great great games that still take advantage of the HD picture quality and sound- for example, Bejewelled or Lumines (the PSP game) look simply amazing as online Xbox games, and are great when you want to do some gaming for just a few minutes.
posted by hincandenza at 10:29 AM on November 10, 2006 [1 favorite]

I think I'm losing my gameriness, because the only upcoming next-gen console games that I've heard of and are even remotely interested in are Mario Galaxy (Wii) and Final Fantasy XIII (PS3), both of which are nowhere near being launch titles.

Really, it's all about the games. I dislike my 360 very much, but, IMO, in the extended future, it comes down to this, just like it has in the last generation:

Wii: Mario, Zelda, Metroid.
360: Halo, and sports games will be similar on 360 and PS3.
PS3: Everything else.
posted by trevyn at 10:34 AM on November 10, 2006

I'd wait and see how it all plays out, unless you are desperate for a system now. XBOX 360 has a few cool exclusive games, like Gears of War. PS3 has Metal Gear and Final Fantasy, but neither is for launch. (Wii is cheap, and will probably have a lot of cool games. It's launching with a Zelda game to boot.)
posted by chunking express at 10:55 AM on November 10, 2006

I'm as far from a fan boy as you can get.

I just don't get how people boil it down to "Here's the only three games that matter for this system, this system and this system." It's silly.

Go look online at all the games available. I have so far bought seven games and only dislike one of them (King Kong, which got good reviews for some reason) and really like the other six. There's a huge variety of stuff for all the systems. Lego Star Wars 2 is ridiculous fun... kind of a kid's game, but fun as hell to pick up and play for 15 mins or an hour, and has a lot of intelligence and humor in it. The 360 is the only one out there right now, with most of the bugs worked out.

Also, my advice is, if you even are asking whether you should go PC, buy a console. The PC gamers self-select: they're the types that are into tweaking their system and optimizing frame rates and such. Again, good for them, not for me. Not bashing, just saying use what you'll be happy with.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 11:10 AM on November 10, 2006

The Xbox 360 is still too expensive. If you want one, wait it out for a bit longer. Sooner or later, Microsoft will drop about $50 or $75 for the complete model. Probably at the one year mark.

The PS3 is not just expensive, but purposely over-priced to empty the wallets of sidewalk-camping early-adopters. When the Sony execs said that if their customers wanted quality, they would have to pay for it, they were not kidding.

The Wii is mostly hype right now, but after the success of their DS (and moreso the DS Lite), Nintendo is the leader where quality and fun is concerned. The 360 might have Oblivion and the PS3 will have its exclusives, but Nintendo has all but promised that all of their new games will be revolutionary, by virtue of the new controller if nothing else -- no pun intended.

If it were me, I'd get a PS2. That's where all of the console innovation has been for about 18 months, from Katamari to the Guitar Hero series. The price point is right and the back catalog is so deep that you'll have plenty to do until the time the 360 (and maybe even the PS3) becomes truly affordable.
posted by grabbingsand at 11:11 AM on November 10, 2006

As others have alluded, one of the most important factors is how long you're willing to wait. The PS3 has had major production issues, and will be available only in very limited quantities until next spring. If you want to get one before then, you'll have to search hard or overpay on eBay. In addition, the newness of the console means the PS3 will have a much more limited game selection for some time, not to mention that current consensus is that the average quality of the 360's games lineup is higher.
posted by gsteff at 11:27 AM on November 10, 2006

Oh yes, option 3 is to buy a PS2. I just recently picked up a gently used one for less than 200 dollars, and I'm really enjoying the back catalogue of games. I figure they should tide me over until the post-Christmas price drop.
posted by muddgirl at 11:48 AM on November 10, 2006

All those people recommending the purchase of a PS2:
I haven't played my PS2 in years but I really like playing sports and other games that don't translate too well to the PC.

Having said that, there are still some solid titles for the ps2, it may be worthwhile dusting it off. Okami came out somewhat recently and is awesome.

I'm in the same position ownership wise (somewhat obselete pc, ps2) and I'm planning to wait it out for a while. The next gen titles available so far (either platform) just aren't compelling enough for me...yet.

Unless there's a title (titles) in particular that you're really keen on playing, it doesn't make sense to buy a new console when there could be price drops on the way.
posted by juv3nal at 11:58 AM on November 10, 2006

Stick with the PC. In the long term, the PC always comes out on top.
posted by fvox13 at 12:05 PM on November 10, 2006

xbox 360....
posted by nimsey lou at 1:02 PM on November 10, 2006

Having bought all three consoles of the last generation (four if you count Dreamcast), I decided to stick with my early-adopted 360 this time around and wait for the others to come down in price (way, way down in the case of the PS3). Last time I got the PS2 first and picked the others as they dropped.

I am really happy with the 360 so far, though I'd admit I'm loath to pay $60 for a game. Since it's been out a year, there are a few titles down to around $30, which won't be true of the PS3 for probably six months or more.

What I like about the 360, as someone else hinted on, is the ability to connect to Xbox Live and download playable demos of dozens and dozens of games. My friend and I must have played that Tony Hawk's Project 8 demo for at least an hour.

The only thing I don't like about the 360 is the poorly implemented backwards compatibility. Iit's not immediately obvious which Xbox games from the previous generation will work on the Xbox 360, so forget about browsing the Xbox games and picking one up on a whim, because it might not play. You have to consult a list on Microsoft's web site, which is a pain in the butt.

Target stores around the country have started to install kiosks with a demo unit of the PS3 if you want to try it. I don't think it's any better graphics-wise than the 360. My aforementioned friend, however, is going ga-ga over it to the point where I think he's going to camp to get one.

Strictly from a price perspective, they're all a bit overpriced except the Wii; I just ordered a Dell with a 19" flat panel monitor for $200 less than the cost of one PS3 with one controller and no games.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:12 PM on November 10, 2006

Others have touched on this, but all that really matters is who has the games you want to play.

For me, this means PC. I play FPS games and will not play them on a console. Halo sucks... yeah, I said it.

I play RTS games. The only choice there is PC or maybe on the DS.

I play turn based strategy like Civ. PC again.

I play RPGs like Oblivion. The only choice is PC (IMO). Sure, it's out for 360 and will be out for ps3, but then I don't have hundred's of free, quality mods to choose from.

I may consider getting a Wii, since it will be unique enough to warrant some interest. I am going to wait to see if there are any games I really want to play though.

360 I will never get. I won't pay for an online service, I already pay for high speed internet. Also, a good number of the top games are also available for PC.

the PS3 may tempt me, but not at the launch price. I own a ps2 mostly for the fighting games (tekken) and Rockstar titles. Rockstar no longer has any exclusive deal with Sony, AFAIK.

I also use way too many comma's but none of these systems will help with that.
posted by utsutsu at 1:23 PM on November 10, 2006

am i going to be able to get the HI Def gaming that I would get from a console

That's an odd concern. Consoles are only recently starting to offer high def, while PCs (which cost more than consoles) have been running at those resolutions (and higher) at those framerates (and higher), all the while displaying higher definition textures and more polygons, for some time now, and only getting better. If you're not already getting that performance, it's probably because PC games have more detailed content and your graphics card is getting old.

A console, since the hardware purchase is subsidized as a loss-leader, gives much better bang for your buck (eg a PC might cost 2 to 3 times more, but only offer 1.5 to 2 times the graphics power). Also, since the hardware is standardised, you don't need to worry about whether your graphics card is outdated - you know the game will run as designed on your console, and you know the game will be designed specifically for your hardware (this counts for lots :)

However, you pay a lot more for a PC, and enough of that money goes into extra horsepower that console performance is quite constrained by comparison.

Also, game devs tend to put as much content detail as can run into a game. This means that at the same resolution, a PC game may well not run any faster than that of a console, but there will be a lot more polys, textures, texture resolution, etc etc. I've made both console games and PC games, and there are a lot of reasons in addition to the above why they might seem comparable to consoles, but if you count quality in terms of performance numbers (as your reference of "hi def" seems to suggest), then the PC is typically much stronger - as you might expect from the price.

My recommendation... get a console (360 or Wii) instead of a new graphics card. That way you get close to the best of both worlds :)
posted by -harlequin- at 2:04 PM on November 10, 2006

I'm pretty torn too and I'm not really sure what I'll do. Last time around, I decided to get at X-Box rather than a PS2 and I found that although I enjoyed it, I did wish that I was able to play Ico, Katamari Domancy (sp?), Parappa the Rapper and a few other games that were playstation only. I wonder if it is going to be the same way this time around or if the really cool games will be out on X-Box 360 as well. I was really underwhelmed by the game library for the X-Box.

But X-Box Live sounds really cool and the marketplace they seem to be developing for small games and indy game developers looks like it might be the innovative game platform for this generation.
posted by rks404 at 2:08 PM on November 10, 2006

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