Sure, we’re on the cusp of a new console generation. That just means we better compare the current two against each other while there’s still time!
Things didn’t look good for the PS3 early on. A rocky, to say the least, unveiling left a sour taste in gamers mouths from the beginning, and the early success of the Xbox 360 and Wii consoles left many wondering if Sony would be able to make up the lost ground. Luckily, Microsoft has made a few less-than-brilliant blunders, and Sony got right back in the race with some clever decisions of their own (although they weren’t exactly perfect themselves. The disaster that is Move, anybody?). With the strong reveal of the PS4, it looks like Sony’s future may be bright. But what about the present? An argument could be made for either console, so here are a few bullet points for either side to use.
Ways It Is:
Free Online: Let’s start with the obvious shall we? Of course with basically every game requiring an “Online Pass” to be able to actually play the damn thing very rarely does a game truly have free online play. At least Sony is charging you to go online so they can charge you for the online pass so you can finally play online with your friends, after they have been charged a nominal fee as well. I’m kidding a little obviously, but it’s nice that Sony realizes we are already paying for so much. I mean, my bill clearly states that I gave my cable company money to use this internet thing, and I have the receipt for my Xbox. So of course I have to pay an extra monthly fee to be able to use them together. If you’re going to make me pay, at least make it worth my while. Maybe something like…
PlayStation Plus: Now this is something I can get behind. PlayStation Plus actually rewards those who put a little extra money into their accounts, and it has paid dividends for both Sony and Plus subscribers. Sony gets to generate a little goodwill by offering a completely optional premium package, and PlayStation Plus members get a boatload of interesting content and some great games. What’s not to love about that? And if you don’t want to pony up the extra cash, that’s cool too. You can still go live and pop some heads on Call of Duty for no extra fee.
Superior Exclusives: Microsoft’s stable of exclusives is dwindling fast. Gears, Halo and Forza are great franchises to have, but the list of games that only Sony can offer is staggering: God of War, Uncharted, PlayStation All-Stars, Gran Turismo, Twisted Metal, Ni No Kuni, The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls are all high-profile AA releases coming out only for PlayStation. Papo & Yo and The Unfinished Swan were two of the best downloadable games of last year, and you weren’t getting them on Xbox. They are even getting in on the DLC exclusivity with announced content for Bungie’s upcoming game, an area they have traditionally lacked in.
Ways It Isn’t
Xbox Live Stability: Just can’t be beat. Despite not needing a system update every other freaking day like a certain console, Xbox Live remains the premiere online console service around. Most games work perectly over Xbox Live, and the numbers have shown that more people like to play multiplatform shooters (most notably Call of Duty) on Xbox rather than PlayStation. A lot of online focused games live or die by their player counts, and that is one undeniable advantage Xbox Live has. There is also no easier way to interact with your friends.
The Controller: The DualShock gets credit for its superior d-pad. That’s it. At least until the PS4 is released, the Xbox 360 is the unquestioned leader of the controller race. Its rounded ergonomic design feels the most comfortable in your hands, and the actual triggers on it make shooters so much more pleasurable to play. Third-party controllers tend to be slightly better for Xbox too for some reason as well. Now if they could only do something about that terrible, terrible d-pad.
Extraneous Apps: Sony is starting to finally build some good third-party connections, but as of right now the sheer amount of content Xbox live provides is pretty overwhelming. ESPN, iHeartRadio, Skype, Crackle, Explorer, YouTube, IGN; the list goes on and on. Although we’ve yet to see a tenth of its potential realized, SmartGlass is an intriguing concept that could really turn some heads if Microsoft handles it right. You can fault them if you want, but Microsoft knows how to deliver a complete entertainment package.