PS/3 vs. Xbox 2

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Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
PS/3 vs. Xbox 2

So, I need a prediction... Which comes first? Which proves superior? Which won't cost me an arm and a leg? I'm predicting PS/3 is the big winner! Challengers?

Ross Johnson
Ross Johnson's picture
I am a die hard Xbox

I am a die hard Xbox supporter. Mostly because of the fact that the hardware is so much better than the PS2's, and it's hackable. That said, Sony isn't even playing around with respect to the PS3 and it's still anybody's guess.

However, I heard about this interesting tidbit on IGN the other day. If this is true, this will definitely take some wind out of the PS3's sails.

Halo 3 In Production

Yes, we have news about Halo 3. IGN learned last week while drinking secretly imported beers with its informants that Microsoft is prepared for the battle of its life in this upcoming console war. From what we understand, Bungie is hard at work on, not so surprisingly, Halo 3, which will be ready day and date with the launch of PlayStation 3.

So, while Bungie said it's working on something else, well, we have different news. Sure, the smart creative guys at Bungie are working on something else, but you had better bet your bottom dollar they're also working on the next Halo. The release of Halo 3 at the precise launch of PS3 is a pure, military tactical move, similar to the PS2's greatest lineup ever launching simultaneously with the launch of the Xbox and GameCube. It's designed to counter Sony's upcoming launch with the best weapon Earth has on its side, Master Chief. Go, John 17, go! Save Earth from Sony!

Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
PS/3 is absolutely in the

PS/3 is absolutely in the works. For instance, backwards compatibility has been decided, as has the use of Blu-ray technology and DTS sound, etc.

Gotta admit that Halo is cool, though, and I'm shocked to hear Halo 3 is so near on the horizon.

Matt Whitlock (not verified)
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The tables may be turned this

The tables may be turned this time around, with Microsoft expected to be the first out of the gate with a new console. Its year long delay against the PS2 was detramental to the success of the XBOX... not that the XBOX has had some success as of late. However, the sudden surge in popularity towards the XBOX puts Microsoft at an advantage this time around.

There's nothing better than a good console war!

Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
True, and I think pricing

True, and I think pricing pressure always works in Microsoft's favor too, which will present an added challenge to the PS/3. On the other hand, if X2 comes out too early, it may not be able to affordably take advantage of new techs like blu-ray, etc.

Ross Johnson
Ross Johnson's picture
Not sure it needs to, Jeff...

Not sure it needs to, Jeff... modern games rarely push the limits of full DVD capacities, and if they do, it's from a questionable amount of video (which can probably be compressed in most cases anyway). Most games these days are about 2GB in size. Even if this goes up two or threefold in the next couple of years, which I highly doubt, DVDs will continue to fit the bill.

Now if the argument is that it can double as a blu-ray player, that's a different story - but keep in mind the original versions of PS2 were pretty horrible DVD players anyway and that didn't keep them from being the #1 console.

Matt Whitlock (not verified)
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Let's not forget HD-DVD,

Let's not forget HD-DVD, which is most likely what the XBOX Next will utilize as its disc medium. While current games rarely utilize the space of current DVDs, planning out 5 or so years requires that a next-gen high capacity format is used. Look at what happened to the N64; huge advances in video game design occured from the transition from 2D to 3D, and thus caused the N64 design to be outdated quickly, thus giving Sony its chance to take the top seat.

With HDTVs becoming common in homes, games coudl easily be designed to take better advantage of these facts, and it's expected that FMV will become more prominent in games as the industry moves forward. In short, DVD is more than adaquate today, but may not be in a few years.

Microsoft will not support the Blu-Ray standard. Giving money to Sony is the last thing Microsoft would want to do in the beginning of a new console war.

Ross Johnson
Ross Johnson's picture
I'm going to have to disagree

I'm going to have to disagree with you here, Matt. I won't argue that MS won't choose a high capacity format, but as to its necessity - no way - only from a marketing standpoint.

The actual gameplay portion of a game is dictated mostly by texture information, audio, and the maps for the 3D levels. These can get big, but if you chart the size of games over time, I comfortably predict that the average game size will not exceed DVD capacity before the NEXT next generation of consoles.

Granted, 3D gaming was a revolutionary technology that would throw such models off - but there is nothing like this on the horizon for PS3 or Xbox 360. These are evolutionary improvements.

And I'm not buying your FMV claim. FMV was a big deal when claims of "multimedia" games were all the rage 10 years ago, and most of those games pretty much ended up sucking.

Hi-Def gaming won't change things, either. PCs already routinely run games at resolutions exceeding high definiton, and the resulting game sizes are unaffected. And modern PC games are probably only slightly technologically inferior to the games that will be running on the next gen consoles.

In the end, though, if Sony supports blu-ray, the Xbox has to do something similar just to check the checkbox on the feature list.

Matt Whitlock (not verified)
Guest's picture
I'm not saying that all game

I'm not saying that all game titles will exceed the capacity of a DVD disc in the next generation of consoles, but there are already some game titles today that get close to 4.7GB capacity mark of a single layer DVD, and some, like Xenosaga 2 exceed it. There is no restriction for releasing a PS2 or XBOX game in a dual layer format, so there is still some headroom for the current generation. However, games written to dual-layer discs can suffer a bit in load times, especially if the laser needs to constantly refocus.

Games in the RPG category have been creeping up in size for years. Considering the growth trend in game size over the last 10 years, it is likely that game sizes will continue to grow in size. I doubt game sizes will reach the capacities of HD-DVD or Blu-Ray by the end of the next console generation, but it is likely that some game titles like GTA (San Andreas reached close to the capacity of a DVD-9), Final Fantasy, and Metal Gear will surpass the 8.5GB mark of the dual-layer DVD during the next console generation. If future consoles stuck with DVD, no doubt would we start to see games spanning multiple discs, and changing discs during a game is no fun.

tohr
tohr's picture
Geez! Can a non-founding

Geez! Can a non-founding member get a word in edgewise?!? ;)

You gotta love the strategy behind releasing Halo 3 the same day as the PS/3. I'm positive I'll be up late, freezing my kiester off outside of Gamestop with a bunch of other gamers...and it won't be for a PS/3.

The real question will be whether I'll wait to pick up the Xbox 2 that same night. Unless MS comes up with killer games like Halo for its release, I'll probably be content playing Halo 2 and Tiger Woods right up until Halo 3 comes out.

Ross Johnson
Ross Johnson's picture
Check this out, lots of info

Check this out, lots of info on the next Xbox:

http://xbox.gamespy.com/xbox/microsoft-xbox/594331p1.html

Looks like it won't be using anything other than DVD9, if this is correct.

Ross Johnson
Ross Johnson's picture
Full motion video. Just

Full motion video. Just video, really. Back in the old days the idea of video that was "full motion" and not some kind of Hanna-Barberra-esque animated trickery was a bigger deal than it is now.

The reason it's not a huge factor in 3D games is that the display of recorded video usually reduces the game's immersive experience, since there is a disparity between the look of recorded video of the real world (or even pre-rendered cut scenes of the game world) and the in-game rendered images.

Matt Whitlock (not verified)
Guest's picture
I disagree in general. If you

I disagree in general. If you've ever played the Final Fantasy series, Metal Gear Solid Series, Suikoden, or the old Ninja Gaiden Series (if you want something older), you'll see that the games wouldn't be the same without the FMV scenes.

It's all about how well it's done. I've seen FMV that is truly horrible, but when done right it helps, not detracts from, the immersive experience. Not all games have a need for it, but you can't knock it if you don't play games that do.

Also, the report on XBOX is still not the official report from Microsoft. I'd suggest we wait and see what they really do. However, since this is the rumors forum I'll say this; sticking with DVD9 for the next gen XBOX is a really bad idea. If Sony does go Blu-Ray, they'll have a serious leg up in the long term.

Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
Thanks for the definition,

Thanks for the definition, Ross.

I don't know about how it looks/feels on other consoles, but the Lord of the Rings games on the PS/2 do this really well. These games meld FMV into the game play every scene, and I really like it. Have you guys played these?

Ross Johnson
Ross Johnson's picture
I've played nearly all of the

I've played nearly all of the games you guys mention, and some of them are really great games, no doubt. But after you play a game like Half-Life (1 or 2) and see how the entire game unfolds from behind your character's eyes, never breaking out to a cutscene, I think you will agree that it is the most immersive experience that a game has to offer.

And Matt, I will continue to strongly disagree with your DVD9/Blu Ray/HD DVD assertions for reasons that I believe I have already made clear. :)

Matt Whitlock (not verified)
Guest's picture
Isn't fun to disagree, Ross?

Isn't fun to disagree, Ross? The only bad part is we won't know which of us is right for another 5 years! Bummer...

Matt Whitlock (not verified)
Guest's picture
Given the latest reports, it

Given the latest reports, it seems that Microsoft is very concerned about keeping the cost of the XBOX 2 (now rumored as the XBOX 360) down, indicating that they could opt for the standard DVD drive instead of HD-DVD. Also noted as rumored specs are wireless controllers and 512MB of RAM.

Ross Johnson
Ross Johnson's picture
All I have to say is that

All I have to say is that those wireless controllers had better be rechargable or I'm not interested!

Matt Whitlock (not verified)
Guest's picture
It's been confirmed that

It's been confirmed that Microsoft is going to announce the official scoop of the XBOX 360 on May 16th during CES. Anyone want to make any bold predictions?

Ross Johnson
Ross Johnson's picture
Funny, I just heard they will

Funny, I just heard they will unveil on MTV on May 12.


Microsoft's next-generation Xbox console is set to be
unveiled to the world not at E3, as was previously
believed, but in a half-hour long special to be aired on
MTV the week previously, on May 12th.

The move is a massive break with tradition on Microsoft's
part, and will get the Xbox 2 in front of consumers several
days ahead of the unveiling of Sony's PlayStation 3 and
Nintendo's Revolution in Los Angeles the following week.

"It doesn't make sense to unveil the product behind a
closed door, at a trade-only event," according to Microsoft
corporate VP Peter Moore. "We wanted to talk directly to
the consumer first."



Full article here.

Matt Whitlock (not verified)
Guest's picture
Interesting... that is a big

Interesting... that is a big shift in how these games are generally introduced to the public. The article I read wasn't that old, but it had probably been written prior to this announcement.

It seems a bit odd that MS is going this route. Normally companies like to wait until E3 to generate hype at the show to steal attention form the other console makers and get more attention from the press. With the announcement already made, they will probably lose a little thunder at the show. I wonder if they'll hold some info back for the show?

Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
Re: wireless controllers...

Re: wireless controllers... They're cool, but I have friends who say that the minute lag associated with their wireless-ness gives them problems with games like Halo II.

Any similar / contradictory experiences?

Ross Johnson
Ross Johnson's picture
I haven't had trouble with

I haven't had trouble with lag with mine, but more of "misfires" - I don't know if it's due to low batteries or what, but they tend to be flaky and signal button presses that never happened. It's okay for some games like Halo (who cares most of the time if you squeeze off an extra shot?) but in games like Splinter Cell, it can give you away when you're sneaking around and is therefore totally unusable.

Overall though, wireless controllers are nice and I'd recommend them as long as you know their limitations.

stormcloud
stormcloud's picture
After reading the prespecs (I

After reading the prespecs (I realy didn't know how to call these) it is obvious that PS/3 is way better than Xbox 2 but it will cost "an arm and a leg" for quoting Jeff. PS/3 is not a console anymore but a real AV gaming machine if you mention only the Blu-Ray player. I think that Xbox 2 is going to show up first with an excellent price (what!? I dream too, you know?). It has to just to grab the attention of PS/2 fan/owners who are mostly hypnotised by the brand in general.
There were only wild guesses but do I win something if I'm right? :)

Matt Whitlock
Matt Whitlock's picture
Being first on the market

Being first on the market will give the XBOX 360 a great head start. If it can provide a great gaming experience while it is the only next-gen console on the market, Sony will have to tout more than specs to get the avid gamers to commit.

Microsoft is getting smarter this go around. They have signed on many great 3rd party game makers like Square-Enix to produce titles for the 360. If the games are well made and fun to play, the 360 will be a success, especially if it costs less.

T-Rex
T-Rex's picture
Hello Halo,Xbox 360 all the

Hello Halo,
Xbox 360 all the way! I love the X live button on the paddle. I own a ps2 right now but Im definitely defecting to the Xbox 360 (Hopfuly before Xmas) when it drops. Im a gammer and we all know Xbox has better games than ps2 so the 360 games are going to kick butt! Well the game quality what sold me, I also believe some major game developers have gone with the 360. I hope this helps and ohh yeah the 360 will be about 150-200 $ cheaper.

 

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