With the recent price cut, the $399 40 Gb PS3 is an amazing deal. For $399 you get a Blu-ray player, built in wifi and free online playing. The equivalent would actually be more expensive on the Xbox – it’s $94 for the wifi connector, $179 for the HD-DVD player (not to mention it’s not as nicely integrated) and $59.99 per year for Xbox Live Gold.
Out of the box the PS3 looks good, there is no power adapter – it’s built into the console which is a huge improvement on the humongous power adapter of the Xbox 360 – and it’s quieter than the Xbox 360. On the negative side, the first thing it does is download a patch which takes forever to download and install. Once that was done, it ran smoothly. As a cinephile, I love the Blu-ray player which nicely complements the HD DVD player I already have for all the movies that are not available in both formats.
All that said, I only bought the PS3 because it finally has a game I really wanted to play: Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. It’s a third person adventure/action game which is probably best described as “Indiana Jones meets Gears of War.” It’s single player only with no coop, but it’s tons of fun.
Unfortunately for Sony, Drake’s Fortune is the only exclusive PS3 game I truly wanted to play. The Xbox 360 still has many more great exclusive games: Gears of War, Halo 3, Bioshock, Mass Effect. Most of the games available on both consoles come out first on the Xbox such as Oblivion IV and The Orange Box. Finally, with multiplayer working better on the Xbox and as more of my friends have Xboxes, I buy the multiplayer games available on both, such as Call of Duty 4, only on the Xbox 360.
The Xbox 360 is still the better console for most hard core gamers with a stronger line up of games and a cheaper entry price. However, with the new lower price point and new games, Sony is finally back in the race.
It’s going to be interesting to watch the battle over the next few years. The competition can only be good for gamers. At the very least, I hope Microsoft will embed wifi in the console and drop the Xbox live fee.