Games Console Buying Guide: XBOX360, Wii, or PS3?

The much-awaited next-generation games consoles are all out and well established. Here's our quick take on them, with buying options.

Xbox 360: This has been out for longer than the other consoles with a wide range of excellent games. 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. Must buys/rents (in our opinion) are Halo 3, Gears of War, and Oblivion.

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). 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--and this is why they're winning the current round of the console wars. 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. Must buys/rents (in our opinion) are Zelda Twilight Princess and Red Steel. You should definitely buy Wii Play with Remote, worth it for the value of the extra remote alone, plus several more fun minigames like in Wii Play. Lately the Wii Fit with Balance Board has been a big hit.

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 is it. 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; and much of 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. The PS3 Slim 120GB was released in August 2009, so it's a great time to buy. Must buy/rent games are Resistance, Fall of Man, and Heavenly Sword.


Games Console Comparison Table
Xbox 360
Playstation 3
Maker, launch Microsoft, Nov 05 Nintendo, Dec 06 Sony, Mar 07
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) Buy for £134+ Buy for £140+ Buy 120GB slim version for £244+
. . . 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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