The PS3/XBox 360 Decision

My wife and I are pretty avid video game fans. We own every Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft console produced in the past 20 years, with a few handhelds and a Genesis in there for good measure. Up until recently though, we didn’t own a PS3, and there was a pretty big reason for that.

The first reason was the price. I wasn’t down with paying half a grand for a console, no matter how awesome or cutting edge the technology was. I resisted purchasing almost out of principle, because it just wasn’t worth the extra cash. The second reason was the games. I love platformers, and the Ratchet & Clank series seemed like a pretty cool group of games for the PS3 – but not enough to justify the price tag. There really wasn’t any other PS3 game that made me really want the system. Little Big Planet was close, and I considered Batman: Arkham Asylum for the Joker download, but there was still nothing that made me pull the trigger. Besides, I could get almost any PS3 game for my 360, so why spend the money? When the price dropped to $299 though, I was all over it. I was just about to pull the trigger when I received a PS3 Slim as a gift, as well as a copy of Little Big Planet and Ratchet and Clank. Times were good.

So after the Blu-Ray haze had worn off and the games were played, I put the PS3 controller down for a little bit to focus on some family stuff. This weekend I decided to treat myself to a game, but now I had a choice: PS3 or XBox 360?

I was looking at 2 games: MLB2K10 (pictured) and MLB10 The Show. I had played demos of both in the store, and MLB2K10 was looking like the stronger game. As I stood there, holding a PS3 and 360 version of the game in each hand, my wife said to me, “Well, if the PS3 has the better graphics, go with the PS3 version.” So I did.

I get home and I’m playing the game. Almost instantly I’m having controller issues, where the PS3 isn’t responding to my frantic button jabs. Then the cursor starts freaking out when I’m trying to place a pitch, then I have problems stealing second. 30 minutes later I’m cursing my decision. Four hours later I give it another shot, and I find that everything is working great and now it’s all good. No problems at all, like it never happened. So what was it? Hell if I know.

This experience shook my faith in the console. I’ve got an old NES that fires up every time I need it, and never complains. Although I understand that newer consoles are substantially more complex that the NES, that doesn’t mean that they should suffer from problems. Consoles should be reliable electronics, not requiring random updates and constant syncing. That goes for my 360 too, because even though it’s working fine now, I have had two units red ring out on me.

So now, when I go to the store and try to decide what to buy, I think my decision may be a bit easier. If it’s exclusive, I’ll go with that console. Otherwise, I’m getting it for the 360.

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