The PlayStation or the Xbox: which will win? It is one of the greatest rivalries of the gaming world, and the latest round - Playstation 3 vs. Xbox 360 - will soon be upon us. The PlayStation 3 will start launching this November nationally at US territories and some other countries, some months after the Xbox. The advantage on that front goes to the Xbox.
But the PlayStation 3 has a lot going for it, and the buzz it has been building up is outstanding. Sony is already shipping hundreds of thousands of units - an initial release of 400,000, with more than twice that number by the end of the year. It is very likely that all of these will sell out, as everybody scrambles to see what they can do with the PlayStation 3. Meanwhile, the Xbox 360 has a head start of almost a year, and has built up an impressive line of games.
The advantage on games does not go entirely to the Xbox, though. Sony already has a stunning line-up of PlayStation 3 games - at least 27 of them are in the works, and many of these will be available from the launch date. Games for the PlayStation 3 include Need for Speed: Carbon, Resistance: Fall of Man, Ridge Racer 7, and Fatal Inertia. Even before its release, the PlayStation 3 triumphed at the Tokyo Game Show, as several PlayStation 3 games were given awards. In addition, the PlayStation 3 will be able to run all games built for the PlayStation 2.
The PlayStation 3 has another trick up its sleeve - what is being described as user created content. That is, the PlayStation 3 promises to bring some gamers out of their passivity, and empower them to add new features to the coming console. This should appeal to PC Gamers, who are used to the joys of mudding, and creating new levels and environments for games. Sony hopes that they will transfer their talents and enthusiasm to the PlayStation 3. Microsoft typically takes a much less enthusiastic view of user-created content, and the Xbox has very limited capacity in that regard- at least in our many of our reviews.
The Xbox and the PlayStation 3 both have online services, but these are quite different in style. With the Xbox, everything is tied closely into the Microsoft empire through the medium of Xbox Live. Sony has taken a more hands-off approach, and it seems there will be the option for gamers to choose one of several online services. It will be possible to play tournaments online through the PlayStation 3.
Who will win this battle? In the short term, the PlayStation 3 will likely win the Christmas sales battle - provided Sony can ship enough units to keep up with demand. But that is simply because they are the new kid on the block. In the longer term, expect sales of the two consoles to be fairly similar - and impressively high in both cases, perhaps between 20 million and 30 million each over the next few years. And whoever claims triumph in the console battle, the gamers will win, being able to play the two most advanced consoles ever created. In the battle of the Xbox vs. the PlayStation 3, we all win.
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