Should I Get An Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3?

This generation of consoles has been a rough one for me. This is the first generation that I’ve been an “adult” and now that I have to worry about college, work (or lack thereof), and bills, I haven’t been able to stay up to date with many of the current titles being released. What’s worse is due to financial hardships that my mother and I have had to face, I don’t even own a current gen console now. I bought my first Xbox 360 console about a year after it was released. I bought my first PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii a little while after the holiday season. By that summer, all three were gone and by that Christmas, I had them all again. Unfortunately, by the end of the following spring, they would be gone again. Now, I’m at a time where this holiday, I’ll be able to purchase a new console (I hope) and return to the current generation of gamers. However, I can only afford one console. So the big question in my mind is which big name console should I get? Microsoft’s Xbox 360 or Sony’s PlayStation 3? Don’t say the Nintendo Wii. Let’s be honest: the Wii is dead and the only game worth caring about is Skyward Sword.

Let me first weight the benefits and detriments to owning each console and then explain the current situation I’m in. I’ll start with the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 was the first console I’ve owned of this generation and is the one I’m most familiar with. I’ve owned it a total of three times. The first one was the 20GB Pro model, the second was a 120GB Elite black model, and the third was a 60GB model. I’ve never owned a slim model or S or whatever they’re calling it. At first, I thought this would be the obvious choice of console for me to get. About two years ago, I bought the 60GB model when I was able to and enjoyed it until a year ago when I had to sell it to pay bills. I had invested a lot of money into the console and if I were to purchase this console, I’ll have 28 XBLA titles waiting for me to re download, including Castle Crashers, Braid, Marvel vs Capcom 2, Call of Duty Classic and Splosion Man, just to name a few. What’s more is many of my friends are on Xbox Live and I could play against them. Also, with Xbox Live, I’ll have Netflix, ESPN, and numerous other features I can access. When I think about what I want to get and how much it’s going to cost, I start having my doubts. First there’s the console. The console will already be rather expensive because I refuse to buy a used 360 in fear of the Red Ring of Death. With no warranty to protect me should it happen, I’ll be completely SOL. What’s more is if you buy from Gamestop (the only local video game stores where I live), hard drives are separate. So bottom line is that I’ll have to get a new Xbox 360 slim. Next, you have to consider the three options you have. The console itself, the hard drive and the Kinect accessory. I’ll just say it now’ I’ve no interest in the Kinect until they put out games of substance and not just glorified iPhone upgrades (Fruit Kinect Ninja) and games that don’t make me more self conscious than I already am (Dance Central). Sure Child of Eden is an impressive game but I won’t buy Kinect for one game. The hard drive, on the other hand, is mandatory. The 4GB model may be the cheapest model of the two but it simply isn’t enough for me personally. I was dying for a new hard drive when I had my 60GB model due to the number of XBLA titles I had. The space is something I can’t afford not to have. Therefore, we are looking at $300 to start with. Next is Xbox Live. That’ll be $60 extra to have the service for a year. Therefore, for the Xbox 360, I’ll have to dish out $360 plus taxes which in California will equal $391.50, give or take a few cents or dollars. I’ll also have to get something to charge the controller since I don’t want to spend money every few weeks on batteries. The entry amount is a lot of money!

Up next is the PlayStation 3. The PS3 was the last console of this generation I owned. Obviously it was since it used to cost $600. Seriously Sony, WTF!? However, I bought it and loved it right away not so much for its games but because of the media capabilities and the backwards compatibility with PS2 and PSone games. As I said before, I sold the first one and later bought another one. I believe they were both 60GB models with complete backwards compatibility. Interestingly enough, when I ended up selling the consoles again, the PS3 I sold last because of said media capabilities. My brief history with the PS3 is rather sour due to the lack of good games at the time and especially being burned on the poor version of the first Assassin’s Creed. The frame rate is awful. It makes the game unplayable. However, I’m well aware of how much better the PS3 is doing and it has most of the games I’m excited for this holiday. Also, I didn’t have a PS3 when Trophies were introduced so I have almost none. I say almost because I have a friend who does have a PS3 so he let me log into my old PS3 account on his console and I earned my first trophy after beating him in a match of Mortal Kombat. My first fatality: Noob Saibot’s Make a Wish. Speaking of which, I also used his console so I could download my two free games from the welcome back program. So I’ll have Infamous and Little Big Planet waiting for me should I get a PS3, as well as Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, and four PSone games: Twisted Metal 2, Tekken 2, Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro the Dragon. I also had Mortal Kombat II but I’m pretty sure that’s gone since Midway went out of business and the license is probably expired. The other really big plus with the PS3 is the cost. I need a big hard drive but I don’t need a real big one so the $250 model of the PS3 slim will be just fine. I’m not worried about backwards compatibility since I have a PS2 and I’d rather have the hard drive space. Oh and I’m not interested in PlayStation Move for the same reasons as the Kinect. What’s more is I don’t need to worry about an additional fee for online play or Netflix or anything. The PS3 is great in that I can just buy the console and I’m ready to go. What’s more is it doesn’t have a problem like the Red Ring of Death. Therefore, I’d be willing to buy a used console. I am aware of the Yellow Light of Death but I believe it only effects about 1% of owners so I’m not too worried. What’s more is the PS3 is actually cheaper than the Xbox 360 I’ll need, new or used. The downside is I only have one friend who has the PS3 as the rest are on Xbox Live. Also, seven games isn’t too bad (especially the two retail games) but it pales in comparison to the 28 I’ll have on the 360.

Finally, let me explain where I’m coming from, financially speaking. I may have enough to spend on a new console this coming holiday but I won’t have that kind of money afterward. As far as games go, I’ll be getting most of my games though GameFly. When I do buy one of these consoles, I’ll have a $500 limit, although I’d rather spend only $400. Also, to be honest, I don’t play online with my friends that much. That’s why I don’t even plan to get a second controller for someone else. In conclusion, although I am leaning towards the PS3 right now, I thought I would ask you all what you think I should get this Christmas. You know my situation and the expenses involved in getting each system. You know the games that I’ll already have and who I’ll be connected to if I do purchase that system. Whichever console I don’t get will be the next on the list when I get money again but when that’ll be I’m not sure. Although I could get a Wii sooner since it’s so cheap now. The system I do choose to buy, I will post a follow up post about which games I should get. Comment below and let me know which console I should get and why.

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