Sunday, October 26, 2008


So, I'm a bit of a fanboy, I guess, if you look at things objectively.
I would argue that I'm more of a realist, though. People ask me which console they should get. I answer "Xbox 360". This isn't because I particularly hate Sony, or think Xbox 360 is a *better* console (more on this later), but if you only have enough money for one console, then, here's why the 360 is the right choice.
1) It's cheaper.
2) It's got more exclusive games.
3) The games are often more expensive on PS3, but you get an identical experience.
4) It has achievements
5) Live (online play) is tightly integrated into every game, with a single user id highlighting the experience.


Let's look at number 2 and 3 in more detail.
But before I start, I'd like to say a little about how I view games reviews. So, when my one reader (hello mum) tells me that metacritic shows PS3 games do well, I should let you know that most of the reviews on metacritic are worthless (for all consoles). Any 'exclusive' magazine tends to give no score below 7 or 8, for whatever reason I don't know, but general belief is publisher pressure. Whatever the case, when a game that scores 3 in Edge and/or eurogamer, and gets slammed by Penny Arcade, but scores 8 in 'Xbox Sycophant Monthly', then that score is a waste of my time.

Combined with number 3 (the games are more expensive), then they need to be much better to ask for my money.

Moving on. As far as I can tell, this is a pretty complete list (at time of writing) of all the PS3 exclusive games.
Looking down that list, there are very few that jump out at me.
You also have to bear in mind that PS3 games cost £10 more
Heavenly Sword, for example, was supposed to be the big platform saver, but turned out to be mediocre at best.
Lair? Let's not even go there.

For a well-rounded view, check out this and this

I know that goes against what I've just said about trusting all reviews, but it's loosely indicative of my point.

Look at the top 20 or 30 or even 50 games in each list, and tell me how many in the PS3 aren't also in the Xbox list.
Not many. And how many would you actually want?
LittleBigPlanet, certainly. Drake's Fortune, quite possibly. Ratchet and Clank, maybe.
"What about Metal Gear Solid?", I hear you ask. Well, I'm not really into 200 hours of cutscenes and 10 hours of gameplay. That's not a game.
"Gran Turismo Prologue?". Fuck you, Sony and Polyphony. Charging money for a demo, when everyone else gives it away for free?

Compare to Xbox: Halo 3, Braid, Mass Effect, Gears of War, Rez, Crackdown - the list just goes on and on. Those are all quality games, and even if you don't like shooters, there's still a great deal of choice.

Look also at some of the ones which are available on both platforms:
Bioshock, the Orange Box, and Grand Theft Auto 4.
Bioshock and the Orange Box were available on the Xbox for months before they were out on the PS3. Now, some might argue there's an uplift in graphics on the PS3, and that's fine. I don't doubt it. It is better hardware. But, you're paying an extra tenner, so you'd expect a better game. Not just a shonky port, which is actually the case in most of the ps3 crossovers.

Grand Theft Auto, has exclusive download only for Xbox. I honestly don't understand how it sold so many units on the PS3. You get worse value for money (Kotaku did an in-depth analysis - PS3 version cost more at launch), and less longevity.

One last thing. Xbox titles have revolutionised the FPS genre. Halo 1, back on the Xbox, changed them, with its idea of 30 seconds of fun, only carrying 2 weapons, and a rechargable shield, negative the need for health packs. To say nothing of the utterly, utterly insane AI.
Halo 3 is the pinnacle of evolution for this. Anyone who's played Forge, or mucked around with theatre mode knows what I'm talking about.

Gears of War took this to the next stage with it's insane cover system, breathtaking graphics, and incredible gameplay. There's a reason it's still featuring in the top played live games.


With the PS3, you're paying for a bluray player. Call me retarded if you like, but if you buy bluray hardware, there aren't any polite words to describe you.
To get the most of it, you have to buy a new TV (1080p), a new sound system (it's 6.1), and then pay double the price for all the discs.
As a quick rule of thumb, human eyes can only tell the difference between 720 and 1080p when they're closer than 3x the height of the TV.

That means if you have a 40 inch TV and you sit more than 6ft away from it, you're not physically capable of telling the difference.

There are a bajlllion articles which talk about this on the 'net, so knock yourself out if you want to learn more (but here's a quick chart)

Even if you have a setup that lets you see the difference, you can't honestly believe that media will be distributed on hardware for much longer.
Over-the-wire sales are the future, and anyone investing in new technology right now needs their head examined. It's got a 2 year lifetime, at best.
And hey, if you want to spend money on something that'll be obsolete in 2 years (along with all the investment in the discs themselves), then no well-reasoned argument is going to sway you.

Xbox Live, PSN and WiiWare only reinforce this notion. Physical media is dying.

In fact, Xbox Live already sells HD videos over the wire, without the need for an expensive hardware player. Personally, I don't buy them (I sit too far from my TV), but the option's there for those who need it.


With the advent of LittleBigPlanet, a PS3 becomes more compelling, but you know what? The big draw for that game is user generated content, and it's just come out, so it will last for a few months/years yet. I'm not about to drop £400 on a console, controller, game, cables just for one game.

I'm a gamer. I buy 3-4 games a month, for various platforms (Wii, DS and Xbox). I barely have time to play them all as it is. Until the ps3 can offer me a decent number of games to justify the hefty price tag, I'm not wasting my cash.

I will almost certainly buy a PS3 at some point in the console's lifetime, but any time soon? No, I'd have to be insane, and have more money than sense - something which simply isn't true, certainly for me.

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