Monday, November 12, 2007

xbox 360 vs sony ps3 vs nintendo wii

Yes, another comparison. But from an end user perspective. I have recently got an Xbox 360.

Each gaming console has its own advantages and disadvantages. Lets go through the tech specs first to see which one is the best technically...

Microsoft Xbox 360 :

Cost - 20,000/- INR for the pro console which contains a 20 GB hdd and various wires for connecting with various devices. 18,000 for the core console (basic without hdd and wires).

Processor - 3.2 GHz PowerPC with 3 dual threaded processor cores

Graphics - ATI based custom processor @ 500 MHz Clock speed.

Video RAM - Up to 512 MB GDDR3 system RAM (700 MHz) plus 10 MB embedded DRAM (eDRAM) frame buffer

Video memory bandwidth - 21.6 GBps to system RAM; 256 GBps to eDRAM

Video resolution - 16:9 widescreen 720p, 1080i, 1080p (will downsample to standard definition). HDTV output supported.

Sound - Dolby Pro-Logic II(analog), 5.1 channel Dolby Digital. Number of voices is software based and limited only by the CPU and memory available.

System memory - 512 MB GDDR3 RAM (700 MHz), shared with GPU. Memory bandwidth of 22.4 GBps.

Drives - Optical 12X dual layered DVD drive and 20 GB removable hard drive.

Memory card ports - 2 Xbox 360 memory units (64 MB or 512 MB).

USB 2.0 ports - 3

Networking - 1 ethernet port 100 MBps. No Wi-Fi. Online gaming via Xbox LIVE. Also download full length movies through xbox live gold.

Sony Playstation 3 (ps3) :

Cost - 30,000/- INR for the console which includes a 60 GB Hard drive and almost everything. A higher model is also available with 80 GB Hard drive.

Processor - 3.2 GHz Cell processor with 7 single-threaded synergistic processing units cores.

Graphics - NVIDIA-based RSX "Reality Synthesizer" @ 550 MHz

Video RAM - 256MB GDDR3 (700MHz)

Video memory bandwidth - 22.4 GBps

Video resolution - 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p (will downsample to standard definition). HDTV output supported.

Sound - Stereo (Analog sound). 5.1 Channel Dolby digital and 7.1 Channel LPCM. Number of voices is limited to 320 compressed channels if hardware based. For software based voices the number is limited only by the available CPU and memory.

System memory - 256 MB XDR RAM (3.2GHz). Memory bandwidth of 25.6 GBps.

Drives - Optical Blu-Ray and 60 GB or 80 GB replaceable hard drive.

Memory card ports - Flash memory card reader (supports Memory Stick, Compact Flash and SD/MMC).

USB 2.0 ports - 4

Networking - 1 ethernet port 1 GBps. Bluetooth 2.0. Bluetooth controller interface. Wi-Fi. Free PlayStation Network with micropayment system; includes a Web browser. Individual game makers can choose to charge for online services.

Nintendo wii :

Cost - Sorry, did not check the price in india. In USD it is $249. There is only 1 model. It is the cheapest of all consoles.

Processor - 729 MHz IBM Broadway processor with 5 execution units

Graphics - ATI Hollywood processor @ 243 MHz

Video RAM - 24 MB of system RAM (486 MHz) plus 3 MB of embedded DRAM (eDRAM)

Video memory bandwidth - 3.9 GBps

Video resolution - 853 x 480 (480p) in widescreen or 4:3 aspect ratio. HDTV output NOT supported.

Sound - Dolby Pro-Logic II (Analog sound). No digital sound output. Number of voices is limited to Hardware DSP with 64+ channels

System memory - 64 MB GDDR3 RAM. Memory bandwidth of 1.9 GBps.

Drives - Proprietary optical drive. No hard drive. Has 512 MB internal flash memory for storing saved games, downloaded games and other data.

Memory card ports - 1 SD card slot, 2 GameCube memory card ports.

USB 2.0 ports - 2

Networking - No ethernet ports. Integrated Wi-Fi for networking and internet access. Bluetooth 2.0 for controllers. Wii Network online service includes online shopping, Web browsing, messaging, and other features.

So from all these following things are clear

-> Wii is underpowered as compared to the three.
-> Xbox 360 is ok, but ps3 has the best configuration.
-> In terms of networking and interconnectivity between devices, xbox is the best. Which when connected with a windows media centric pc can be used to record and play live media. In addition, media can be downloaded and played.
-> PS3 seems more like a pc than a gaming machine.
-> In terms of games the Xbox 360 has numerous options to choose from. Though Xbox 360 does not support most of the legacy Xbox games, but still it has a wide range of titles to choose from. Where as PS3 does not have that many titles to choose from. But since PS2 and PS1 games can also be played on PS3, the number of titles for PS3 also goes high. And Wii supports almost all original gamecube titles. Which means that if you have a PS2 or a game-cube, it would make more sense to upgrade to PS3 or Wii respectively. Since then you would be able to play your older games on the new machine.
-> The best things about PS3 are its video graphics which is said to be awesome. In addition to the next gen Blu-Ray drive and Wi-Fi. A Wi-Fi on Xbox 360 would have made it look irresistible.
-> And the thing about Wii is its wireless remote which uses accelerometers to sense how players swing, point, and tilt the controller, encouraging game titles to incorporate activity. So to swing a golf club in Wii Sports, which is bundled with the console, you literally swing the remote controller as if it were a golf club. That is something which is unavailable with xbox 360 or PS3.
-> If you are looking at power consumption factor then both Xbox 360 and PS3 are power hogs. Wii is very efficient (uses only 18 Watts of power). Xbox 360 is still a bit better than PS3 in terms of power consumption.

If you are looking at a complete entertainer with lots of games to choose from and easy connectivity between various "windows" based devices that you have, then Xbox 360 is recommended.

But before going out and purchasing just an Xbox 360, please be aware that it is a microsoft product and is made to crash. The "Ring of 3 red lights of death". That's what is supposed to happen with the Xbox. The problem, as i have found out after some googleing is that the Xbox 360 unit is not properly cooled. So if you decide to buy an Xbox-360 be prepared to have a fan (preferably an A/c) on top of it cooling it down. Though microsoft has been prompt in replacing defective Xbox-360s with new ones. So in case your Xbox-360 dies, you can call up microsoft and ask for replacement. PS3 and Wii have never had any issue of this type till now. They seem to be more properly tested.

There is also this funda or modding an Xbox-360. You can go to specific places where they place chips in your Xbox-360 for around 2000/- after which you can play most of the pirated games which come for 200-300 rs. The original Xbox-360 games cost around 2000-2500/- too much to spend for a normal person.

The thing i liked about xbox was its support - not from microsoft, but from the local community. It is difficult to hear about PS3 or Wii, but you can hear about Xbox-360 a lot cause there are lots of people using it. And once you go live on Xbox-360(it requires a minimum of 512 KBps internet connection), you have the whole world to play against.

Wii also has tonnes of games, but it is more appealing to small kids. Xbox has games both for serious players and kids. Whereas PS3 has some games which are mostly for serious players.

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