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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Xbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3 - Round 1

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: Xbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3: A Technical Comparison

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"Xbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3: A Technical Comparison

It's the battle of the ages, played out with a new generation of hardware that, for the first time, appears to leave even high-end gaming PCs in the dust. Opinions about Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 vary, but it's pretty clear that both devices are going to kick ass. Looking over the specifications, and listening to representatives of both companies, however, I've come away with a few general thoughts.

From a pure processing standpoint, the PS3 appears to beat the Xbox 360, but a final determination will have to wait on actual hardware tests. The PS3 has a few other advantages as well. It's completely compatible with the millions of existing PlayStation (PS1) and PlayStation 2 (PS2) titles, which is a huge plus. And its video display capabilities far outstrip those of the Xbox 360, with support for true 1080p displays. Dual 1080p displays. My goodness.

Xbox 360, however, drops the bomb on the PS3 in a few categories as well. It's HD Media Center Extender experience will blow away anything Sony can dredge up for digital media, and will support live and recorded HDTV over your home network. Its device connectivity--including direct support for Apple iPod and Sony PSP devices--is top notch. And the hugely compelling Xbox Live service gets even better with Xbox 360. Sony has nothing like it.

Win, lose, or draw, this is an interesting battle to watch. As we find out more, I'll update this table to reflect the most recent information."

We still have yet to see Sony's hand when it comes to the PS3 software and media interface. I am not certain that DVR capabilities are off the table for PS3. The PS2 had an older brother called the PSX which offered many of the capabilities the Xbox 360 is offering. It wasn't a very big seller mainly because most consumers that want to do DVR will just go out and buy a TiVo or update their cable or satellite to include DVR. I know personally I think having a separate DVR provides advantages. For one, how much processing power would be sacrificed so you can record programs in the background? Another consideration is what format would these media files be in? Would there be any copy protection between consoles? Will the RIAA be snooping on my Next-Gen console just to make sure I was not violating copyrights?

I am sure there is more to come on this.

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