Xbox 360 Vs. PS3 Vs. Wii

PS3, Xbox, and Wii -- the very consoles that changed the definition of gaming around eight years ago. While a lot has changed since then, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo continue to rule the roost with their state-of-the-art consoles.
The video game industry is booming today, and there are some truly futuristic consoles available for purchase in the market. This brings us to the Xbox 360 Vs. PS3 Vs. Wii debate, which has many people wondering which of these three gaming consoles is truly the best. It ultimately comes down to an individual's personal preference, but there are certain advantages that each of these consoles have over the others.

With the PS3 Move and the Xbox Kinect add-ons, gaming has become more hands-on. With people throwing punches in the air and sometimes at each other (think Xbox Kinect), there's little that we haven't experienced in terms of gaming in these eight odd years.

While Sony and Microsoft are performance-oriented at the heart and soul, Nintendo is more user-oriented and has mastered its gameplay to a new level.

Xbox 360
  • The Xbox 360 was launched by Microsoft in the second quarter of 2005.
  • Priced at around $200, it makes a very good deal for the amount you shell out. Brilliant graphics, superior performance, and excellent gameplay experience are just a few of the things you're definitely gaining here.
  • The Xbox 360 has some of the widest collection of games available for any gaming console in the market today.
  • 'Xbox Live' makes for a brilliant multiplayer platform, and lets you interact with scores of other players online.
  • If you're skeptical because of the initial Xbox mass defect, their extra long three-year warranty covers you through and through.
Sony PlayStation 3
  • Sony launched the PS3 in the fourth quarter of 2006.
  • With built-in Bluetooth, Blu-ray player, and Wi-Fi, the PS3 hardware somewhat justifies its relatively steep cost.
  • The recent 3D update allows you to watch 3D flicks in all their glory right from your couch! This also widens the horizon for 3D games in the near future.
  • You can connect your PS3 to your computer and conveniently watch high-definition videos on your television, making it an excellent media center. One can also stream live movies or download content (free as well as paid) from the PlayStation Store.
  • Online gaming is free of cost. One can always upgrade to PlayStation Network Plus at a reasonable amount for a lot more free content, but that is just an option.
  • The PS3 has really neat graphics that will truly give you an experience like never before. Presently, developers are only bringing out a small percentage of what it is actually capable of, so one can only imagine its true potential.
Nintendo Wii
  • Launched by Nintendo in 2006, the Wii is Nintendo's seventh-generation entertainment system.
  • "Gameplay" -- it's this word that has managed to keep Wii in the race for say what, at least six years? Unlike other tech giants, Nintendo's taken a step back from performance and has focused on making the Wii more user-oriented -- mastering its gameplay more than anything else.
  • Super fun games! The games are interactive, easy, and extremely enjoyable. With the latest chargeable additions, like Wii Sports and Wii Fit, Nintendo brings a lot more to the table for everyone in the family.
  • Wii is definitely way easier on the pocket. With the PS3 at $300 and the Xbox 360 at $200 approximately, the Wii stands out at only $130 -- value for money at its best!
  • Bottom line: Wii has fun games and good controllers; for the amount you shell out, it's practically a steal. Looking for a family entertainer? Nintendo's the word for you.
Sony PS3Microsoft Xbox 360Nintendo Wii
Technical Specifications
CPU3.2 GHz Power-based PPE with seven 3.2 GHz SPEs3.2 GHz PowerPC Tri-Core Xenon729 MHz IBM Broadway
RAM256 MB XDR RAM (3.2GHz)512 MB GDDR3 RAM (700 MHz), shared with GPU64 MB GDDR3 RAM
Internal Storage320 GB250 GBNone
GPU NameNVIDIA-based RSX "Reality Synthesizer"ATI-based custom processor ATI Hollywood processor
GPU Clock Speed550 MHz500 MHz243 MHz
Processor Cores831
Bits12812832
Connectivity
Motion SensingYesNoYes
Input/ Output Options
BluetoothYesNoYes
HDMIYesNoNo
Compact Flash PortYesNoYes
Memory Card SlotsYesYesYes
SD Card PortYesNoYes
USB 2.0 PortsYesYesYes
Resolution
1080i, 1080p, 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p1080i, 1080p, 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p480i, 480p, 576i
Game Media Support
Optical driveBlu-ray, CD, DVD, InternetCD, DVD, InternetWii Disc
Price*
 $249 for 160 GB system; $319.95 for 320 GB system$199.99 (4 GB console); $299.99 (4 GB console with Kinect); $299.99 (250 GB console); $419.99 (250 GB console with Kinect)$145.97
*Prices may change according to offers and locations.

PS3 Vs. Xbox Vs. Wii: Specs Comparison

While Nintendo has a different target audience here, it's a race to the finish between Microsoft and Sony. With similar specifications, like gameplay experience, audio and video quality, it's almost hard to demarcate between these two fantastic consoles. Even then, they both have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Hardware

The PS3 is a Blu-ray player in itself; one of those alone could cost you around $130 at the very least. The Xbox 360 is a normal DVD player. Nothing great there but at least it covers average prerequisites. The Wii, on the other hand, supports only Wii discs, so no chance of you using it as a player whatsoever.

The PS3 has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, while the Xbox 360 has neither. The Wii incorporates Bluetooth technology to connect to the controllers. This is actually quite cool as you could connect your Wii accessories -- like the controller, Nunchuk, or balance board -- to your computer to play games or have a remote for convenience. Nintendo hasn't promoted this feature much, so most people don't end up using it.

With the option of purchasing and downloading games online, space is something that might never be enough. PS3 gives you the option of upgrading the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) on your own. So all you need is a 2.5'' HDD, or SDD to replace the existing one and you're pretty much sorted. Plus, the amount you shell out is the actual price of any HDD, unlike Microsoft, which ensures that they make a quick buck, or two there as well.

Winner: PS3

Games and Regional Lock

I see a lot of people going on about Xbox having maximum games developed for it and so on. Heard of regional lock? What's the point of bragging over having a thousand games when you can't play half of them? Of course this again isn't the end of the world, but it is an inconvenience nevertheless. The PS3 has nothing of this sort; almost all the games can be played anywhere around the world -- one very neat feature.

Coming back to the whole 'maximum number of games for Xbox 360' discussion, most people forget that the 360 is preceding only the Xbox, which was practically non-existent thanks to the RROD (Red Ring of Death -- a general fault in the system). So, every time you want to play a specific game, you will probably need to spend, say anywhere between $15 to $60? The PS3, on the other hand, is preceding PS1 and PS2 -- consoles that monopolized the gaming market before Microsoft. So, over the years, you'll probably have collected a number of PS2 games, which will work perfectly well with your PS3 -- a point that Xbox can't match anyhow.

Winner: PS3

Exclusives

If you are more inclined to shooters, be it third person, or first person, then Xbox is definitely a better pick for you. If you're a Halo fan, you should probably stop reading and just go buy the Xbox 360 -- there's simply no two ways to that argument.

However, if role-playing games (RPGs) are your thing, then the PS is more likely to fit the bill for you. Personally, I feel the exclusives for PS3 are a tad better. I just can't seem to place how playing Uncharted 3, God of War III, Metal Gear Solid IV, Twisted Metal, Gran Turismo, and Heavy Rain are the same as playing Halo or Gears of War. Yes, those games are undoubtedly legendary, but then what after it? Fable, or Forza probably. The bottom line is that Xbox has a handful of the epic games and more of the good ones, whereas it is really PS3, which has the best exclusives.

It really boils down to personal preference more than anything. I'm more into RPGs, so PS3 would be my obvious pick. There's really a very minor difference.

As for Wii, it's almost like an argument won before it even begun. Super Mario Galaxy and other games, like Sonic are undoubtedly fun. We've all played them endlessly, and Nintendo will be evergreen thanks to Mario. But quite frankly, most games on the Wii look somewhat funny and amateurish, almost childish. Clearly, Nintendo's lived its golden years as far as serious gaming is concerned.

I find a lot of people defending Wii even today. Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't pay a hundred and thirty dollars to play Mario and Sonic all day, especially not when I can buy the Xbox 360 for just seventy more dollars. Before the Nintendo fans get defensive, yes, several decent games have come out for Wii as well. But why would anyone want to be restricted to those 'few' games? I would rather just buy a PS3, or an Xbox 360 and play Zelda at someone else's place --- that is if ever I really, really, really wanted to.

If we break it down to only exclusives, it's more like Mario Vs. Halo Vs. Resistance. It's safe to say that Wii couldn't possibly lose more on this aspect.

Winner: It's a Draw!

Users

Who all can you play with? This is undoubtedly a major factor that people consider before buying a console. Knowing which consoles your friends own is vital for some, as most people look forward to gaming together. Either of these consoles may be popular in different countries, or areas. While Xbox boasts of undivided following in the US, most people from the Asia-Pacific region (and almost everywhere except US) swear by the PS3.

Wii is out of comparison here 'cause it doesn't offer online gaming. I mean there's really no sense in buying it on the basis of its popularity among your friends.

Winner: PS3

Online Gaming

Xbox Live is known to be safer than the PlayStation Network due to the latter's one-time month long hack incident. At the same time, Xbox Live interface is undoubtedly way more intuitive and superior as compared to the PSN. While both offer an array of things, anyone who's tried both will tell you that the Xbox Live is better -- far better. The catch is that while the Xbox Live has a subscription fee, the PSN is free -- one word that really changes a lot.

The subscription fee isn't really a bomb; in fact it's very reasonable. The point is that you are forced to pay it. I might not mind shelling out $30 or $40 annually for a good experience, but many people may, and many people do. I would rather buy the PS3 and pay for the PSN Plus subscription. The fee is more or less the same; it's just about having a choice in the matter.

That's the mass ideology; however personally, I prefer the Xbox Live all the more, considering the fact that the fee is minuscule versus the features you stand to gain.

Winner: Xbox 360

Media

While both the consoles are brilliant on this aspect, the PS3 definitely nails it through and through. I feel that most Xbox fans also acknowledge that PS3 is a more obvious pick if you're looking for the whole deal and not just the gaming end of it.

First and foremost, Xbox 360 is a media extender while the PS3 is a media center; this alone is enough to put the latter at a better footing. So, what does a center do that an extender doesn't? Technically, a media extender is a device that, when connected to your computer, accesses media content -- like photos, music, or videos -- and plays it on the desired external hardware, like your LCD. So basically, an Xbox connects to a media center, whereas a PS3 is the media center itself.

Another very obvious advantage with a PS3 is the Blu-ray player. Games, or movies saved on Blu-ray discs have much better sound and video clarity, so if you're looking forward to storing some epic flicks, then it really can't get any better than this. Also, a Blu-ray disc's storage capacity is well beyond an average DVD, so you can have an entire game stored onto one disc itself -- a relief for any gamer.

Winner: PS3

Interface

» Visual Appeal: This one again, is a very close call, and it depends more on personal preference more than anything else. The Xbox's UI is definitely more eye-catchy and attractive, whereas the PS3's UI looks relatively simplistic. In terms of visual appeal, Xbox bags it over the PS.

» Features: Both the UIs have similar features, such as a dashboard, in-game menu, awards/trophies, etc.

» Ease of Use: Though the Xbox's UI is more flowery and attractive, it could get confusing at times. On the other hand, the PS3's UI is extremely simple with a simplistic icon layout. So, in terms of convenience, PS3 definitely scores over Xbox.

The Wii's UI is also pretty cool for its price and the generation it belongs to, but once again, it wouldn't measure up to that of the Xbox 360, or the PS3 on its best day.

Winner: PS3

Graphics

Wii is not your best bet in terms of graphics. Yes, gameplay experience is important, but visual appeal is just as essential if not more. Eventually, Nintendo did come back with the Wii U - High-definition graphics, touch screen controllers, and more, but that's another story altogether.

Maximum games are developed for the Xbox 360. It is indeed far easier to develop content for the Xbox as compared to the PS thanks to Microsoft XNA. So titles are usually developed for Xbox and then their PS versions follow -- the catch is, they still are just about average. However, while comparing graphics if we talk about exclusives only, PS3 will smoke Xbox 360 any day.

In general, Xbox is the clear winner in terms of graphics. While the PS3 has a lot more potential, it's proven difficult to be able to tap into most of it. Multiplatform games that are stunning on the Xbox don't really measure up on the PS3. On the other hand, if you look at Sony exclusives, like God of War, you'll probably sock anyone who questions the PS3's graphic quality. It is times like these that you'll realize what $300 is capable of making you experience.

The bottom line is that if you are glued to either of their exclusives, then go for that console. But if you're versatile and look forward to playing a lot of multiplatform games, then Xbox should be your pick.

Winner: Xbox 360 in general/ PS3 for exclusives

Reliability

We've all heard about the infamous Red Ring of Death. How many of us have heard about the Yellow Light of Death? Very, very few people. Microsoft claims they're fixing it time and over again, but chances of failure are still high -- high enough for it to be a deal breaker. They give you a massive three-year warranty, so you probably won't have to pay a buck, but is that the solution? I'd rather buy something that doesn't get toasted in the first place. After all, who wants to buy something that needs replacement every few months, especially when the replacement itself might take a few months. Ask around you, it's not hard to find people who are on their third Xbox or something.

As for Wii, there are three major problems that one might encounter: (i) a damaged GPU; (ii) a broken disk drive; or (iii) a flash memory corruption. The last one is very rare whereas the earlier two are observed more often. In case your Wii's hard drive is broken, Nintendo will probably replace it and the problem should be solved. A damaged GPU, as I understand, will probably require a complete replacement.

Winner: PS3

Which One is Worth the Dent in Your Pocket?

Hardware, graphics, overall performance, connectivity -- whatever be the parameter for comparison, Nintendo's Wii is nowhere close to the Xbox 360, or PS3. But despite that, it has a unique appeal among different age groups and as a family entertainer. So, if you're not into serious gaming and are looking out for a relatively cheap option, which would suit everyone at home, then the Wii might just be your best buy.

As compared to the PS3, Wii belongs to a different league altogether, and not a very good one at that. But if I spend more than twice the amount, then I expect more than twice the features -- and that's precisely what the PS3 offers. It's really not rocket science then; both the consoles offer you a great deal considering their price points versus the features, games developed, and the hardware. It comes down to exactly how much you're willing to spend.

It's a very close call between the two -- PS3 and Xbox -- and it weighs more on personal preference. It's essential to keep the exclusives in mind while considering which one of these two do most of your friends own. As they're both equally strong on the gaming end, I would mark the PS3 better by a small margin as it is clearly more reliable and a better entertainment center.
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