Possibly one of the biggest factors under scrutiny in this test was the controller. Aside from the obvious design differences, the wireless joypad on the Elite is powered by a pair of AA batteries - unlike the PS3's controller, which is charged from the console through a USB cable. The Elite controller, however, switches itself off after about ten minutes' inactivity - a nice touch, and one missing from the PS3 joypad.
Xbox controller evolution: (L-R) The original 'Duke' controller, Controller S and the 360 controller
For many gamers, simple familiarity with one console or another will determine personal preference. The general layout of both the PS3 and Xbox controller is much the same - the most significant difference, aside from the Xbox device being a little more chubby, is that the left-hand joystick and the joypad have swapped places on the Xbox controller.
Clash of the controllers: PS3 (L) and Xbox 360
Despite our greater familiarity with the PlayStation controller, we were determined to keep an open mind. However, the non-symmetrical positioning of the left joysticks just feels wrong. Not to have both thumbs next to each other in a symmetrical configuration felt unnatural. But of course there are an awful lot of gamers who insist that this is an ergonomically superior layout. And in favour of the Xbox, the Elite controller has a rumble function.
We tested the Elite's gaming effectiveness using Gears of War and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2. Both were frankly fantastic in HD and whatever the sound being used was, it was pretty darn cool. The detail in both games was sharp and none of the images blurred at all in high-speed movement. Not that you'd normally notice, given the awesome, action-packed gameplay.
One of the most notable benefits for the Xbox buyer is the amount of features available online. Not only is the is the Xbox Live online gaming community enormous and growing all the time, enabling hard-core gamers to play each other all over the world, but there is a multitude of movies, TV shows, games and gaming extras on offer to download. And this is where your 120GB hard drive really comes into its own.
If you're not one to take advantage of the Xbox Live experience, however, and you just enjoy a few hours gameplay a week, then the other Xboxes do remain better value than the Elite. The Premium is £50 cheaper, and if HDMI means little or nothing to you, that's another game. Or two.
One thing to bear in mind, however, is that if you want to use your Xbox to watch HD DVD, then that little accessory will set you back another £130, pushing the overall price up to £430... more than the price of the Blu-ray equipped PS3.
Another fairly substantial advantage is that there are an awful lot of Xbox 360 games out there - way, way more than are available (native) for the PS3.
The price is something that sets this console aside from the competition and for most buyers, the sheer number of quality games available will make the real difference. The PS3 also offers an incredible gaming experience, but the majority of the games available are adapted variations of Xbox or PC games. Why pay more for play a game that invariably will have a glitch here and there? The only game that, so far, really demonstrates what the PS3 is capable of is Resistance: Fall of Man.
So laying out for a console only to enjoy it occasionally is a bit silly. If you're a keen gamer and want to play good games in glorious high definition, right now, the minute you've got your brand new console set up, then you want an Xbox 360 Elite.
Xbox 360 Elite games console
A couple of things.
Firstly, "R" is not playing Motorstorm at 1080p, no matter what they think. Because the game runs at 720p just like Resistance does, and the PS3 (unlike the 360) cannot upscale games, so you need your TV to support 720p as well as 1080i, or you'll be playing at standard-def.
Secondly, the GPU in the PS3 is widely accepted to be slower than the 360's one, due to the number of pipelines. No biggie, the PS3's CPU is a bit better to compensate. But still wrong.
Finally, Devil's Refugee doesn't need to wait until 2008 for the 45nm die shrink to turn up - they've just started rolling off the manufacturing lines and onto the boats. However, it's not yet easy to spot them. If you're dead set on one, check the manufacturing date on your prospective machine in a month or two - there's a little flap on the box to see it. Mind you, they also have HDMI ports onboard the 'Premium' ones, so that's another mark against paying the extra for the Elite just yet.
Lots of fanboys in here.
I have a 360. I love Gears or War, Forza, PGR3's alright. But let's cut the bullshit. The PS3 is far more powerful than the 360. The problem is, that with the head start that microsoft got by rushing essentially undertested consoles out the door, in addition to the stupid easy API for the 360, has encouraged developers do develop for it first and the PS3 second. There have been very few games developed from the ground up for the PS3, resistance is one, and it is a stunner. Most of the PS3 games, unfortunately, are PC or 360 ports, based on DX, with sloppy code slapped on to make them run on the PS3. Those games are not optimized for the cell processor and thus run rather sluggishly. All things being equal, and looking at this from a power standpoint alone, the PS3 mops the floor with the 360.
Comparison (part two)
Mark Rendle: "I'll tell you what, though: the Amiga was /way/ better than the Atari ST."
I agree. But are you unfairly comparing the later 2mb Amiga 1200 with the earlier 512kb ST?
Just think, if Commodore had got their act together in the early '90s, they could've really cleaned up on the home computing / gaming front, and we wouldn't be having to put up with all these Sony/Microsoft corporate fanboys ;)
I shudder to think how much I spent on my A1200 though - in one year adding a CD-ROM, 66mhz 68060 accelerator, 2gb hard drive, 16mb RAM. I then sold it all less than a year later and bought a 233mhz Pentium II PC for over £1000... a move which I instantly regretted. Sigh.
I've had all sorts of computer and gaming stuff since then, PC's, Macs, handhelds, consoles.... the most recent being an Xbox 360 which I sold less than a month later as I couldn't stand the racket it made when you put a game disk in - I was hoping the Elite would eliminate the noise issues but no dice it seems. I spent the proceeds on upgrading my PC and now have a 8800GTS which eats every game for breakfast.
There was something quite pleasant about sitting on my sofa with a wireless controller whilst playing Oblivion though. Perhaps I'll wait for the 360 Elite Mk II or III?
Yes I know!!
I said interpolated and polated instead of interlaced and progressive but you get the gist!?
I Know I 'm a broken record But......
PS3 Vs. XBOX 360 Elite or other, is wrong......
Now comparing the PS3 to the XBOX 360 and HD DVD player as a collective would be fair PS3 £400 --- XBOX £430
Which means PS3 wins on price, as soon enough dvds will go the way of the VHS.
1080 interpolated is not 1080 polated, its is of course better.
For those of you who are unaware why, look it up!
The PS3 does not have a rumble function but in all fairness that was just a pointless gimmick that lacks the proper physical impact of an actual explosion on screen! unless of course when a mine detonates 3 foot from you all that happens is your hands shake a bit?????????
What it does have is a tilt facility though not yet utilised fully, that will offer a definate variation on game play which the 360 does not have.
The ability to stream video from your PS3 HDD to your PSP and remotely controll your PS3 from anywhere over the internet perhaps to start it downloading a demo for when you arrive home?? Comon'.
Sony have the pedigree wouldn't count them out just yet!