Ask a Gamer 8: Playstation vs. Xbox

Posted on July 20, 2015

From a recent customer and business colleague:

Quick question. My son is saving money for either a Playstation or XBox, which is better?

Here is the eternal dilemma, the battleground of the Console Wars. Some people (fanboys/fangirls) simply prefer one over the other, either because they have always had one, or their friends have a preference, or through some kind of brand loyalty. To be honest Playstation and Xbox are quite similar.

Xbox vs Playstation: Two sides of the same coin


A better question is whether you are looking at current generation (Playstation 4/Xbox One) or last-generation (Playstation 3/Xbox 360). If your son is saving for it you will probably be much happier with the lower price-point of the last generation ($150-$200), so we’ll compare those two.

The big difference in the hardware is that the PS3 is made by Sony, while the Xbox 360 is made by Microsoft. Sony has a much stronger market share in Japan and Asia, while Microsoft tends to dominate Western markets (with some exceptions). In Australia they are both doing pretty well. If you are thinking of online gameplay with friends it is important to have the same console as them, so that might be a consideration.

In terms of processing power and affordances, both consoles are pretty similar. Their games are of a very similar quality (indistinguishable to the naked eye), they have similar power consumption, and are similar to operate. The PS3 does have a Blu-Ray player, which accounts for the slightly higher price. In contrast, the Xbox 360 has System Link (like a LAN), which allows you to connect consoles together into one game, if the game itself supports it. The Xbox also has the Kinect, a full-body motion sensor which allows for more physical games like Dance Central.

Probably the most important difference is the console-exclusive games that are available with each. The PS3 exclusive list includes Little Big Planet (one of the best games for kids out there), Ni No Kuni, Ratchet and Clank, Journey, Heavy Rain, Uncharted and The Last of Us, while the Xbox 360 boasts Alan Wake, Gears of War, Halo, and Fable. In general, the more age-appropriate exclusives tend to be on the PS3. Having said that, the vast majority of all video games are available on both consoles so it’s not much of a distinction.

In Heavy Rain you make even more important choices than what console to play on.

For myself, while it is pretty well known that the Game Truck runs Xbox, at home I mostly use the Playstation. Personally I prefer the interface of the PS4; it’s what most of my friends play on; I cannot go past the Uncharted series and offerings by Media Molecule and Quantic Dream, and the controllers are slightly more comfortable.

But honestly, if neither parent nor child have an obvious preference or reason for deciding between Xbox and Playstation, you might as well flip a coin or decide on price.

Do you have a burning question about video games or game culture? Send me an email and I’ll write you a blog post!

2 Replies to "Ask a Gamer 8: Playstation vs. Xbox"

  • Vanessa
    July 20, 2015 (11:37 am)

    Thanks Chad for answering my question. After I spoke with you, Interestingly it did come down to money and he was able to buy an Xbox 360. I’ve got one extremely happy boy who thinks he has the world in his hands.

    • Chad Habel
      July 29, 2015 (12:59 pm)

      Excellent! Ah, the first console, a golden age… Hope he has fun!

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