Console wars are things which we all love and hate. The reason for us loving them is that we get a true laydown of all the features of the console. The reason we hate them is that these console wars tend to get biased, as they usually contain a whole lot of flame bait. But love them or hate them, they are an inevitable part of a gamer’s time.
One of the greatest console wars which we have seen has been of this generation. This includes the Xbox 360 on one side, having at custom triple-core 64-bit Power PC based design by IBM with 512 MB GDDR3 RAM and Xenos GPU.
On the other side we have the Playstation 3, having the mighty Cell Microprocessor, which is made up of one 3.2 GHz PowerPC based “Power Processing Element” and six accessible Synergistic Processing Elements. This is coupled with 256 MB RAM and a GPU based on the Nvidia G70.
In this argument we will not include the Wii, as it caters to a different audience, though it is a worthy console for what it is.
Both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 were powerful consoles for their time. We can go into many other features to distinguish between them, for example the lack or presence of blu-ray and so on, but we will be sticking to the war based on the gaming experience.
We are nearing the end of this generation of gaming, and here is the breakdown of how the Xbox 360 and PS3 moved with time, and what their current situation is. We will follow the battle from the starting of the generation, to the end.
The Xbox 360 launched on November 22, 2005 in the US and Canada, while the PS3 was first released in Japan on November 11, 2006. This gave the Xbox 360 almost a year of a head start. This gave the 360 quite a boost as gamers wanted to taste the HD flavour of games. Of course, many of the games released initially were just rehashed versions of Older Xbox games, which were up scaled to HD, but Games like Call of Duty 2 did give the Xbox 360 a head start.
Almost a year after the release of the 360 came the PS3. It had a beefy processor, with a shit-load of extras. It had built in memory card readers and storage, it could be used to install a version of Linux, it had a blu-ray player etc. But all this came with an exorbitant price, which the consumer was not ready to pay.
The PS3 packed the muscle, but the price was too steep for the average consumer. True, that after buying all the accessories for the Xbox 360, it was just as expensive, but the start-up price of the Xbox was decidedly lower. Also the launch lineup of the PS3 was subpar.
2 Years After Launch
Slowly and steadily the PS3 and the Xbox 360 began to expand their library, and this is where the real war began.
The Xbox 360 dominated the years 2007 to 2008. This was due to the release of many high quality first party games and also 3rd Party Games. In 2007, the Xbox 360 saw games Like Halo 3, and Forza 2. In 2008, it saw Fable 2, Gears of War 2. All of these were quality first party games.
The PS3’s lineup was not so solid. It had some really good games like the first Uncharted, but the list was quite small. Another problem which the PS3 faced was the fact that its Cell Processor, although very powerful, was hard to code for by the developers. This was a serious hindrance. 3rd Party game developers began to develop games for the Xbox 360, and if the games were multi-platform, they were later ported over to the PS3. This lead to lower quality version s of the games to end up on the PS3. We will not go into the details, but we have all seen the screenshots for differences between the PS3 version of games and Xbox 360 versions, and it is universally accepted that during this time period (2007-2008), multiplatform games looked better on the Xbox 360 (in most cases). The difference between sales of the PS3 and Xbox 360 became broader. Also, it is important to note that the Xbox 360 had a better GPU as well as RAM, which led to better graphics in a majority of games produced in this time frame.
After 2 More Years- 2009 to 2010
Slowly, the developers began to get a grasp of how the Cell Processor worked. This lead to the increased quality of 3rd Party games for the PS3. The differences in graphics between the Xbox 360 version of games and PS3 versions began to diminish.
Also, we saw many excellent First Party Games for the PS3. This included Metal Gear Solid 4, God of War 3, Heavy Rain, Little Big Planet etc. which really showed of the prowess of the PS3. Also games like Final Fantasy XIII had much better graphics on the PS3 as compared to the Xbox 360. The supremacy of Blu-ray also became evident due to the fact that large games like Final Fantasy XIII could be shipped on one disc as opposed to 3 discs on the Xbox 360.
The Xbox 360 kept the competition tight with Games like Alan Wake, Mass Effect 2, Splinter Cell Conviction, and Halo: Reach. Apart from these games, Microsoft made many innovative changes to Xbox Live, as well as its dashboards. (Refer to the link below for more information on this)
These two years were strong for the Xbox 360 as well as the PS3, but the Xbox 360 had a slight edge by virtue of a better online experience (Xbox Live) and its initial head start.
From 2011 till Now
Although there was initially quite a difference in the sales of the Xbox 360 and the PS3, these had become quite insignificant by now. The PS3 and Xbox 360 were now equals. In 2011, Sony outdid itself with many excellent quality games like Infamous 2 and Uncharted 3.
The Xbox 360 did not have such a strong lineup, but did have Gears of War 3 and Forza 4.
By now the Xbox 360 had begun to show age. The graphics on the PS3 were now clearly better, due to the fact that developers had now gotten a good understanding of how the Cell Processor worked.
Microsoft knew of this and hence released the Microsoft Kinect, and we all know that it was a big success. It gave a major boost in sales to the Xbox 360, and presented it toward the casual gamers, which previously were hooked to the Wii.
Sony also released the PS Move, which was not that successful.
Microsoft also made changes to the dashboard once again and making it more akin to the Windows Phone like Metro UI. Along with this, many other online features were added. This kept the Xbox 360 above the water, even when the PS3 was going quite strong.
As of now, we can put the PS3 and Xbox 360 at a tie. Many may argue that the PS3 has the upper hand now, as the Xbox 360 has reached its threshold, but we believe that they are tied, or the difference is so small, that it is insignificant.
In the future, there are various games for both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 which will keep their sales high, and eventually lead us into the 8th Generation of videogames. Expect Halo 4 to be the last push for the Xbox 360 before the entry of the next new Xbox.
PS3 still has some juice left in it, and we expect t that we will see the PS4 a bit later than the Xbox 720. We are not sure how this will turn out, because we have seen how costly the launching of their console late had affected the PS3
So here was the laydown of the Xbox 360 and PS3 at the end of this generation. Is there a clear winner? Not quite. But still, we bet you all have your favourites and have some input to give, so leave your valuable comments in the comment section below.