OK, now despite saying a lot that I wouldn’t get all three consoles for this generation (hey, the Wii is my wife’s!) I decided to get one of the ‘new’ 40GB Playstation 3. It loses PS2 compatibility (and SACD!) but runs cooler, uses a lot less power, and costs quite a bit less too. It’s now the same price as the MS Xbox360 was when I got that back in February. To be honest though, the thing that tipped me over the edge was that I managed to buy it all on points, saved on purchases from Bic Camera over the last two years. Had I not had them, it’d still be on the shelf.
Initial impression: very happy. I bought it with Ratchet and Clank Future, which is a beautiful and fun game. The machine build quality is great – far, far better than the noisy 360, and it has a built in PSU, unlike the enormous gray brick the 360 comes with. The cross bar interface is OK, I personally prefer the MS blades, as I think XMB shows too much info when you’re looking for a specific game function; it seems to need some kind ‘simple’ mode to let people get to the important bits first.
As for controllers, the in-box Sixaxis is rubbish. Really. It’s too light, small, no rumble. R&C tries some six axis mini-games almost apologetically. They’re dull. Compared to the Wii, it’s laughable. Once you try the DualShock 3, things feel better, and the rechargeable-via-USB Sony uses is a nice touch, but overall, the 360 has the best in hand controller of the two.
Overall, the PS3 so far feels like a well made, classy home appliance. The 360 feels like a great games system. The jury is out on a winner, but as I have both, I hope I can get the best of both worlds.