First, allow me to preface by saying every component in my house is made by Sony. My TV, my receiver, my surround speakers, dvd/vcr combo, my secondary region-free dvd player... It's all Sony. My laptop is Sony. Hell, if Sony made a breakfast cereal I'd eat it. Bottom line; I trust Sony. I was once a Nintendo fanatic, hated its competitors... including the Playstation even though, as a brand of electronics, I still loved Sony. That was why I gave the PS a chance. Then I left Nintendo. Owned the PS, moved up to the PS2. Abhorred the XBOX, refused to even give it a second glance.
Many years later I wanted to be able to watch the movies from my external harddrive on my TV. I tried running a cable, but my TV at the time was not compatable. I tried other methods, but they all failed. I was 'reminded' that the XBOX could do it. So, with the launch of the 360 occuring, I bought an old XBOX and modded it. (the modding took months and a bribe to a IT specialist) The next 9 months were spent trying to get the XBOX to successfully talk to my computer to make it do it. Finally, it succeeded. (This took multiple IT specialists and more bribes) I was satisfied. Now, I should mention that there were not a great deal of games I enjoyed for this system. Remarkable was Thief, and the guilty pleasure of the modded DOA Hardcore Beach Volleyball.
I decided to finally take the plunge to the next Gen based on the upcoming release of two titles: Smackdown Vs Raw 2008 and Grand Theft Auto IV. I had friends on either side pushing me, PS3 and 360. Pros and Cons of both were THROWN at me constantly. In the end, I decided to step away from my security and chose the XBOX 360 Elite for the following reasons;
1) My last was serving its function and I wanted the 360 to take its place.
2) SVR 2008 was to have importable entrance music on the 360 only, something I craved in the last one I played SVR 2006.
3) Exclusive downloadable content on the 360 for Grand Theft Auto IV, something like 20+ hours of content to be sold later. So, basically, the 360 was sold on the backs of two games that would occur on both systems solely because of added content Microsoft had secured.
I brought home "Elite-chan" the same day that SVR 2008 was released, excited about my purchase and hopeful of its future. Immediately I learned about the "Red Ring of Death". It's like news of this came out of the woodworks. I took special care to ensure that Elite-chan had plenty of ventalation to stave off this common disaster associated with the system. After much research I concluded that perhaps this could have been avoided if Microsoft, in their haste to take some of Sony's market, had just taken a little more time in development and not treated the 360 as if it were the latest OS, fixable with numerous patches. Shaken, but not swayed I delved into THE most anticipated game for me... SVR 08. 06 and its predecessor were GREAT and I'd built a large fantasy season around it that I actually hosted parties for. It was said that OUR season was MUCH better than the real WWE. SVR 2007 had failed, totally, and we'd been left with a year of no wrestling game. What caused its failure was shoddy CAW work; specifically music that just cut off mid-way through the entrance and belt animation that just disappeared in certain segments. So we, that being myself and my friends, had been eagerly awaiting SVR 08. The music importation worked like a charm and we were elated. The AI was retarded, much worse than 07 was, but it was workable, then we hit the problem... through no fault of the XBOX 360, 08 was a failure. Championship belt animation meant that if your CAW, who had a killer custom built intro normally, won a title then suddenly he had a common stock intro that looked like everyone else. This was the first big disappointment.
The failure and return of SVR 08 meant I had a 500 dollar system with nothing to play on it. I tried Kengo: Legend of the Nine (big waste of money) and DOA Hardcore (Beach Volleyball) 2 (bigger waste of money) but I was left regretting Elite-chan for the same reason I viewed the XBOX as a failed platform... the games just blew. Add to that the 360 was NOT talking to my computer. Not even a little. I even tried hooking my external HD directly to it but still it refused to play. I never played Halo or cared for FPS so I was just stuck. I was still playing the PS2. Enter Saints Row, Crackdown, and Guitar Hero III. Saints Row almost single-handedly saved Elite-chan. It was fun and it filled the time til E-C's third and final purpose... Grand Theft Auto. In the mean time I was hearing about how the PS3 Home network was totally free. And the downloadable content was MUCH cheaper. I'd had to track down a 50 foot cable to run from my router to the 360 while I learn that even the cheap version of the PS3 came with a wireless connection. Steadfastly, and a little stubbornly, I clung to E-C, siding eagerly with my XBOX friend vs my PS friend.
April 29th. Launch Day. That day we took home GTA IV for the 360 and to amplify it my wife added a 52 inch Sony Bravia HD LCD AND a PS3. For the blu-ray of course, since XBOX completely failed at that. Needless to say GTA IV, and Guitar Hero II and III, brought E-C back into the limelight. I didn't even own a game for the PS3 and was sorely disappointed in the blu-ray movie we rented, although we did watch it through an S-Video connection. I made liberal use of XBL to download, read purchase, content for both Guitar Heroes and the breakout hit Crackdown. I was really starting to feel I'd made the right choice.
Then my PS buddy loaned me The Orange Box for PS3. Ok, I hate FPS, but Portal was great. My wife and I really enjoyed it. I was still unimpressed with its appearance (S-Video) and the game was good but what stuck with me was wow, this controller is great. It was a mere fraction of the bulky 360 controller's weight. It produced no heat, as opposed to the palm-furnace I played E-C with. The PS3 was exceedingly easy to set up and it connected itself to my network with zero effort from me.
Ok, so that was all well and good. Back to GTA IV. So the PS3 had the Siraxis controller, which was a work of art. I was still happy. Then I realized my new Sony TV had an input for my computer. FINALLY I can establish a direct computer connection. So I went and got my laptop and my external harddrive and headed to the store to buy the needed cables. While there I picked up an HD cable for the PS3. Making a mess of cords and cables I hooked my External HD up to my laptop, up to my TV and voila! Finally I could watch them. Then, out of curiosity, I plugged my external HD directly into my PS3...
Not only did it recognize it. Not only did it play them. But I also downloaded what I wanted to watch directly to its HD. I don't need the computer at all. Not to mention with the new HD cable it looks fantastic.
In comparison between: the controllers- PS3's Siraxis is a work of art. It's so light a balloon tied to it could make it float. It can charge while the system is off and came with the necessary charging apparatus; a small USB cable. (free!) All this and I haven't even experienced the motion-sensing aspect of it. It's only negative aspect is the L2 and R2 buttons hang in space and feel fragile. 360's controller is bulky, although smaller than the original XBOX's. It comes in need of battery power, you'd think that maybe Microsoft sold batteries as well! You can BUY the peripheral USB cable (10-15 bucks depending on your entry point) but you'll fear you may break the controller trying to get it back out the first time. While playing the controller heats up rapidly, increasing hand-sweat dramatically, and the only way to recharge it is to attach the cable while the power is on. This is a major failing; point goes to PS3.
In comparison between: the games- 360 has the powerhouse of Saints Row 2, although in the wake of GTA IV how much punch will it pack? Can we really go back to ragdoll physics after the RAGE engine? PS3 has Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, what is being heralded as the best title on the system to date, not to mention the 800 lb. gorilla in the next room: Metal Gear Solid IV- Guns of the Patriots. Otherwise the game list is nearly identical. 360's graphics appear a little darker in the side by sides I've seen but that's negligible and it seems to see-saw depending on the game. However when it comes to online multiplayer you cannot beat PS3 Home's price... it's free. XBL will run you 50 dollars a year. Point to PS3.
In comparison between: operating systems- PS3's navigation screen is smooth and clean. It's easy to find what you want and easy to learn what it's capable of. 360's navigation is also easy to learn and use but it has advertisements on each page. The big point goes to PS3.
In comparison between: the consoles- 360 is plagued by the ever-present Red Ring of Death. PS3 has install times after its downloads. I'll take 2 minutes of install time over two months of repair any day. Point goes to PS3.
In comparison between: interoperability- If you are a programmer, or systems admin, or hacker, IT section chief, or maybe a Cylon, the 360 has good interoperability and can talk to and play movies on your network. Even if you have to special order a 50 foot cable and drill a hole in your floor, crawling through mud and spiderwebs in the darkness beneath your house to hook it up, I'm sure (theoretically) it could work. OR you could buy a PS3, which would assimilate into your network with only a yes or no prompt, link immediately to your C drive, and be fully capable of accessing and utilizing music and movies from your external HD or jumpdrive at any time and even download those items to the HD for immediate play later with nothing more complicated than the simple insertion of a USB cable. Point to PS3.
In summary: Side by side, from an owner of both the XBOX 360 and the PS3, I can honestly say, and for once without bias, that the PS3 DESTROYS the XBOX in every field. It's simply a better machine. Sony took the time and got it right the first time. All Hail the PS3. I shall never doubt again.