Gadgets – Now I’m a Believer

Three years ago, I shat all over the PS3. I started a thread on Aint It Cool News’s forums entitled “The PS3 is officially doomed”, breaking out their costs and what they were losing, which actually became the official PS3 thread. It was costly, it was bulky, it was out of touch. The Nintendo system everybody else was mocking was going to be the shit.

Well, that last prediction turned out to be more right than I ever would have guessed, he said arrogantly. But my ultimate prediction of doom on the PS3 was wrong. Dead, dead wrong. What happened was, somebody cleaned out the management, read every last forum post, and set about doing it right. And in the process, they made the machine they should have made in the first place…and if Microsoft’s not nervous, it should be, because all of a sudden, it’s the XBox that’s looking badly designed and overpriced.

One thing worth discussing is that neither the PS3 nor the 360 are really intended to be just game systems. They’re intended to be the box which your entire living room revolves around. There’s a reason the PS3’s slogan is “It Just Does Everything”, and why your 360 streams Netflix (also why Microsoft made damn sure no one else’s game system could). Nintendo, being neither a software giant nor a consumer electronics company but rather a toy company, couldn’t give less of a shit, which is part of the reason the Wii is a bulldozer. So we’re going to disregard the Wii entirely, because tacked-on browser aside, it’s not trying to be a multimedia experience.

The price cut has done a lot more than just make the PS3 actually appealling to people who aren’t rich. It’s literally put the 360 and the PS3 on an even footing. And, honestly, a handful of exclusives aside, we’re talking about pretty much the same software. If “Halo” is a killer app for you, well, you’ve probably already called me a fag in the comments, but if you look at how these systems approach some very key ideas, you’ll notice a theme.

Wireless:

The PS3 has always had wireless built into the system. No dongles, no add-ons, nothing. Want a wireless modem for your 360? That’ll be $100.

Hard Drive:

Here’s the one that I have to admit really gets me. The PS3 will take pretty much any hard drive you want to put in there, and what you do to put in this hard drive? You remove one screw. One. Think about that for a minute.

Microsoft, on the other hand, expects 360 owners to shell out for a proprietary hard drive.

Online Functionality:

The PS3’s network may not be quite as robust as Live, but it has the advantage of being free. Live, of course, costs.

Failure Rate:

Somebody’s finally putting together the numbers on 360 failure rates, and it is not looking good at all. Previous speculation put it at somewhere around half of all gamers getting the RRoD, but it’s starting to look like the failure rate for the 360 could be high as 80%.

I’m not approaching this to dig at Microsoft. I used to hate both Microsoft and Sony, before I realized they were huge corporations who wouldn’t give a shit about me regardless of whether I owned their products. I’m just approaching this from a cost-conscious benefits v. drawbacks.

You see, that’s the rub. If I were buying a multimedia entertainment center, which is really what the 360 and PS3 are trying to be, the PS3 is just simply the better choice. You get more for the same price, it’s that simple.

So, kudos, Sony. I know you didn’t give a shit what I thought before or after the PS3 was released, but it’s safe to say you did a great job turning it around.

Now, if “God of War III” is the same improvement “God of War II” was, you might actually have a sale.

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