XBox360 vs PS3 – in depth strengths and weaknesses comparison

firingsquad.com have an excellent in depth ten page article discussing the relative strengths and weaknesses of the XBox360 vs the PS3.

What is interesting at this point since the XBox360 has already been in the market for 1 year plus pre launch development time before that, is that the PS3 has arrived on day 1 with games that are already technically comparable to the 360. People familiar with the evolution of the game industry will be aware, the longer developers have to work with a platform, the more they will become familiar with the platform and find ways to push the hardware to the max. To think that launch day titles for the PS3 are already comparable with the XBox360 hardware despite a 1 year headstart is interesting, since we know the best is still yet to come (for both consoles).

The article is an interesting read since it compares Microsoft’s strategy as more of an evolutionary development of the first XBox, using current technology, which for some developers may be more attractive. Sony’s approach on the other hand takes the radically new and different approach, introducing the radically different 1 CPU + 8 SPE cores, the Cell processor, that is unlike anything developers have had to code for before – this is seen as a disadvantage by some (being too complex to develop for), but seen as an advantage by others (looking to capitalize on awesome processing power). While Microsoft’s hardware could be seen as developed specifically for their gaming console (a hybrid PowerPC stripped of features seen unnecessary for running games), Sony together with IBM and Toshiba have developed a high powered general purpose CPU that is to be used in other consumer and IT devices, other than just the PS3. IBM have already announced they are developing their next generation supercomputer to take the number 1 spot on the supercomputer Top 500 list built from a large number of AMD Opteron CPUs together with a large number of Cell processors for accelerating high speed mathematical calculations.

Despite the current market lead of the XBox360, industry analysts are predicting Sony to continue their console market domination, the weight and momentum of the Playstation brand is something which even Microsoft cannot compete. By March 2006 the PS2 had sold over 105 million units worldwide, after being on sale for 6 years. By 2010 (in 3 years), analysts are forecasting that the PS3 will have sold 75 million, easily outselling both the XBox360 and the Wii.

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