PS3 vs XBOX 360 Elite
LOOK AND FEEL
Our initial response to the Playstation 3 is that it has a more elegant look and feel than the Xbox 360 Elite. It is glossy black with a slicker user interface than that of the Xbox 360. The startup sound reminds you of when the lights go out at the opera house. Very classy. Advantage: PS3
The CPU of the Playstation 3 is a 3.2GHz Cell Broadband Engine with up to 8 “synergistic” processing units. The Xbox 360 sports a custom 3.2GHz G5 with 3 dual-threaded cores. The Playstation 3 has 512K of L2 cache while the Xbox 360 has 1MB of L2 cache. The PS3 has 256MB of main memory plus 256MB of video memory while the Xbox 360 shares 512MB between the CPU and GPU. Plus it has 10MB of very fast eDRAM dedicated to the GPU. The memory bandwidth of the PS3 is 25.6GB/s versus 22.4GB/s for the Xbox 360.
The Playstation 3 uses an nVidia RSX “Reality Sythesizer” graphics processor (GPU) with 24 pixel pipelines and 12 vertex pipelines while the Xbox 360 uses a custom ATI processor with 48 unified pixel/vertex pipelines.
Combining the CPU and GPU power, the Playstation 3 is rated at 51 billion dot-product-operations-per-second (dpo/s). The Xbox 360 is rated at 34 billion dpo/s. Advantage: PS3
The PS3 model we tested came with a 60GB hard drive. The Xbox 360 Elite has 120GB drive. Advantage: Xbox 360 Elite
The PS 3 optical drive is a slot loading Blu-ray BD-ROM drive. It can launch games or play DVD movie discs or Blu-ray movie discs. The Xbox 360 has a tray load Dual-Layer DVD-ROM drive. To play HD movies on the Xbox 360, you must purchase a $199 optional external tray load HD-DVD player that can only be used for DVD or HD-DVD movie playback. The internal tray load optical drive is still required for launching games. Advantage: PS3
The PS3 has support for various memory cards (SD, CF, and Memory Stick). The Xbox 360 sports two memory card slots that accept proprietary memory units (up to 512MB each). Both consoles have multiple USB 2.0 ports. I understand you can use them to connect things like the iPod, Flash Drives, USB hard drives, and even Sony’s PSP. Advantage: PS3
The Playstation 3’s fans are quieter than the Xbox 360. When first turned on, the PS3 is under 40db while the Xbox hovers at 47db. When a game disc is loaded and the game is running, the PS3 rises to 44db while the Xbox rises to 55db. Of course, when we turn on the sound courtesy of our Bose 3-2-1 system, the decibel level rises over 73, drowning out any noise from the game console fans.
However, if you are trying to watch a quiet scene in a movie, the Xbox fan noise interfered with the pleasure of the moment. That wasn’t the case with the PS3. Advantage: PS3
(NOTE: Placing the consoles on carpeted flooring helped keep the perception of fan noise to a minimum.)
The PS3 has an HDMI port and supports 1080p. That comes in handy with our new Sony 46″ 1080p LCD flat panel screen. In the case of the Xbox 360 the best quality video output is component and maxes at 1080i. The Xbox 360 Elite, however, does include an HDMI port and supports 1080p. Advantage: neither
Toslink optical audio ports are available on both consoles. The PS3’s audio circuitry can decode up to 7.1 channels of audio in the Dolby Digital, DTS, SACD and Dolby TrueHD formats. The Xbox 360 can decode up to 5.1 channels of audio in Dolby Digtal and DTS. It down-converts Dolby TrueHD. Advantage: PS3
The gamepads for the Playstation 3 are smaller and lighter than the Xbox 360’s. The PS2 pads are Bluetooth wireless while the Xbox pads are 2.4GHz wireless.
The PS3 pads have non-removable batteries that recharge when connected to the USB port (or the optional charger). The Xbox 360 gamepads use two removable AA batteries. We use Ni-MH batteries which we recharge using a third party 15 minute charger. I understand you can get special battery packs and chargers. Advantage: PS3
There are more native Xbox 360 titles (297) than native Playstation 3 titles (95). This may be due to the fact that the Xbox 360 shipped a year before the PS3. Given enough time, the PS3 could catch up. After all, the PS2 has 1394 titles to the old Xbox’s 824 titles. Then again developers report that the Xbox 360 has easier to use development tools than the PS3. Plus, Microsoft Games has an exclusive on killer racing titles like Forza 2 Motorsport and Project Gotham Racing 3. Advantage: Xbox 360 — for now.
Since we are focused on car racing, Gamefly lists 7 “coming soon” titles plus 5 current titles for the PS3 for a total of 12. They list 9 future racing titles for the Xbox 360 plus 10 current titles for a total of 19. Advantage: Xbox 360.
LEGACY GAME SUPPORT
What about compatibility with older models of consoles? The Xbox 360 will handle 23 Xbox racing titles while the PS3 can play 48 PS2 racing titles without any problems. That can be useful when you want to play a racing game like Gran Turismo 4 (PS2) until the HD version is released for the PS3. We’ve been playing the Xbox version of Forza Motorsport on the Xbox 360 since January 2006. Forza 2 for the Xbox 360 will finally ship on May 29th, 2007. Advantage: PS3 (even for non-racing titles)
If I had to pick between the Xbox 360 Elite and the Playstation 3 for car racing simulations, the Xbox 360 gets the nod because it has an exclusive on Project Gotham Racing 3 and Forza 2 Motorsport. (“Good marketing ploy, Microsoft.”) Both games have spawned their own subcultures that rival that of World of Warcraft. Last year Microsoft sponsored a contest to find the best PGR race driver in the world. The twelve finalists received a free trip to the Lamborgini factory in Bologna, Italy. The 15 year old from Sweden won.
Thankfully we at Bare Feats don’t have to choose between the two consoles and miss getting to play PS3 exclusive titles like MotorStorm and Gran Turismo HD.
If I had to pick one console for an all around entertainment system (both gaming and movie watching), the Playstation 3 has the edge with built-in Blu-ray, Dolby HD support, and compatibility with the most legacy games.
For those of you who have to choose, you’ll be glad to know that there are game developers working on new car racing titles that run on both game consoles. Some notables coming soon are Dirt, Nascar 2008, and Sega Rally Revo.