Games Console Buying Guide: Xbox360, Wii, or PS3?

Here's our quick take on the latest generation of games consoles, with buying options.

Xbox 360: This has been out for a few years now with a wide range of excellent games already. Though the graphics might not be quite as powerful as the PS3, the 360 is high definition, considerably cheaper, and available now. It already has the well-developed Xbox Live community for online gaming, and is designed to work seamlessly with MP3 players, video cameras, and other media devices. It can even link to a home network and communicate directly with your PC.

Wii: OK, the graphics aren't High Definition, but the Wii makes it up pure fun with the innovative motion-sensing "Wiimote" (not to mention the cheap price, price dropped $50 in September 2009). Yes, it is a different kind of gameplay, which will appeal to non-gamers. Nintendo won't win in the pure power/graphics category, but the broad appeal and price will probably expand the hobby to non-gamers more than the other consoles. It really does bring a whole different level of interactivity as you swing the wiimote as a sword or aim as a gun. Hardcore gamers will probably pick up a cheap Wii in addition to either an Xbox360 or PS3.

PS3: Yes, this is the most powerful in terms of processing power and graphics out there, so if you must have the state of the art, the PS3 will be it. Also, in August 2009, Sony released a slimline 120GB version, so it's a great time to buy. The numbers are impressive; it's 250 times more powerful than the PS2. Much of the cost is the built-in Blu-Ray High Definition disc drive; the price is justified to get the high-spec drive alone. Sony needs to break into Xbox Live territory and push online gaming, which the PS3 will undoubtedly do.


Games Console Comparison Table
Xbox 360
Playstation 3
Maker Microsoft Nintendo Sony
Top resolution 720p 480p 1080p
Processor Speed 3.2 Ghz .7 Ghz 3.2 Ghz
Main Memory 512MB 64MB external, 512MB internal flash memory 256MB
Graphics Memory 10MB Embedded DRAM 3MB Embedded 256MB
Graphics Chip ATI at 500 Mhz Hollywood at 243 Mhz RSX at 525 Mhz
Floating Point Operations 1 TFLOP 1 FPU ~2 TFLOPS
Price (Amazon) (120GB Elite version) for $299.99 $199 120 GB slim version for $299 is not responsible for variations in pricing or difficulties ordering these consoles. The data is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing. Happy Gaming!




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