Playstation 3 or Xbox 360?

Current generation of consoles

I can't decide. They both have there advantages and disadvantages but I'm hoping the people out there will be able to help me.

So quickly a couple of things. Blu-Ray is a non-starter for me, I'm not interested and so being able to play back a HD disc source is not going to score the PS3 any points. The high price of the PS3 is off putting due in part to that Blu-Ray drive which I'm not going to use. I also don't need a media player replacement, I already have a Ubuntu box running XBMC and Boxee for Standard and High Def content across my network. Plus I have a Xbox which runs a older XBMC (need to upgrade it really) for backup even. I know I can stream stuff to the PS3 using Universial plug n play which is nicely built into my NAS box. The xbox 360 seems to require other less standard software to do anything with media.

Home on the PS3 also looks silly but so does the new dashboard on the Xbox 360. The PS3's online play is also very dubbious compared to Xbox Live but its free and seems to work ok with Little Big Planet.

On the game front, Little Big Planet and Wipeout HD are killer reasons to own a PS3 while on the Xbox 360 I'm loving Geometry Wars and Burn Out Paradise. I also hear Rez HD is on the Xbox 360 for a cheap download, and I got to say I like the idea of little mini-games like Geometry Wars which you can have a blast at for a while then put down again. I think the last game I completed was Max Payne on the PC.

I don't really get the difference between the Xbox 360 Arcade and Xbox 360 Premium, it seems once you buy a couple of games you might as well have bought a Premium package. The PS3 comes in many flavors, but the cheapest I've seen one for is 179 pounds for the 40gig version. HDMI is all good for me, which they both support now. I think the fact the PS3 seems to play/run unsigned code seems like a good thing to me. Yellow dog linux is running on it no problem while on the Xbox 360 it seems almost impossible to run anything on it besides signed code (hackers have been trying for years). But then again that was before the XNA team showed off Kodu which really interests me. But then again some people are saying Little Big Planet has that end covered off on the PS3. I'm not so sure.

I think this will come down to economics, if I buy a Xbox 360 on ebay, I might be able to get one for less that 100 pounds and that means more for my home cinema upgrade which needs to happen sometime this year. I was also considering if I was to get a Xbox 360 and PS2 that might be a good compromise.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.