Oct 25

PS3, Xbox 360, or Wii?

Christmas is merely breaths away and I’m starting to decide what to give the kids this Christmas. It has been a tradition to give 3 rowdy boys just one big gift every Christmas instead of 3 separate smaller tokens. Last year, they got their PSP. This year they were hinting on any of the bigger consoles that came out the market about a year ago. I did some research and thought it might help out anyone who may be in a similar dilemma.

Sony’s PS3 is the most expensive of the new consoles at a hefty price of $499 or about PhP22,000. Bulk of the cost is attributed to the Blu-Ray DVD capabilities of the console, a new format that enables high-definition DVD playback and allows for better resolution and more sophisticated games. It has a 3.2 GHz cell processor which is the most powerful chip ever found inside a video game console and holds either a 20GB or a 60GB hard drive, depending on which version you opt for. The 60GB version ($599) comes with WiFi and a media card reader. Sony updated its bluetooth controllers to the new SixAxis controller –looks and feels like a DualShock controller, but is motion-sensitive in six directions. It’s not as innovative as the Wii controller, but the SixAxis does add another element to gaming, such as utilizing the motion sensitivity to control skating or driving. It also allows up to 7 bluetooth controllers — that means the entire family can play together. Moreover, unlike the the XBox live, Sony’s online service is absolutely free, allowing free multiplayer games without any add-on softwares or upgrades.

On the other hand, Microsoft’s XBox 360 comes in two versions: the Core system which includes 1 wired controller and a face plate at $399 and the De Luxe version which comes with 1 wireless controller, 1 wireless headset, a 20GB hard drive, and HDAV cables at $499. Of the 3 consoles, the 360 boasts of the best graphics and effects. But of course, you need an HDTV to get this advantage. It is also backward compatible with the old XBox games and can connect to any Windows XP Media Center PC and stream recorded TV shows, music, and more. Unfortunately, playing online will mean subscription fees of $5.99 per month or $50 a year.

And finally, the Nintendo’s Wii is the cheapest of the lot at only $250 or about PhP12,000. Its advantage over the 2 other consoles is its Wii remote, a bluetooth-wireless, motion-sensitive controller that can be used in a variety of ways. The Wii remote is held in your hand and moving it will depend on how the game should be played in real life. Wii baseball lets you pitch the ball or swing the bat as you would in actual baseball. A player can also swing swords, a tennis racket or drive a car as if it is the real thing.

Now, a more critical factor to consider is the price of the games. If you are in a country where the consoles can already be modified, games will cost at only about 10% of the original games. The consoles with mod chips available are only the XBox 360 and the Wii. The PS3 has not been hacked yet and even if they successfully do so, the price of a blu-ray disc is still very high. For the budget-conscious, the PS3 is now out of the question. Meanwhile, word-of-mouth indicates that the games of the 360 are far more superior than those of the Wii. If you have serious gamers in mind, the option would be the 360. So far, I think that would be my choice this Christmas.

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