Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What Version of the Xbox360 Console is Right For You?

Currently (Dec. 2007) Microsoft has three basic versions of the Xbox 360 console: the Xbox 360 Arcade, the standard Xbox 360 and the Xbox 360 Elite system. The base system is the same for each with added benefits to enhance gameplay and media enjoyment for each different console bundle.

The Arcade version has limited storage for arcade games. It would not be gamers first choice for a video game console. The standard Xbox 360 has a 20 Gb hard drive, which is sufficient storage for games and a few songs and a video or two. The Elite has 120 Gb of storage and comes included with a HDMI digital audio-video cable. This is for those users who expect downloading and storing many video, photos, game data or music. The HDMI cable is convenient for those that need that type of connection for their home theater system. The Elite is the only system that is all black as well.

All the systems have Silver Xbox live memberships and a wireless controller included. Game compatibility is the same for the regular and Elite consoles. They are compatible with all Xbox 360 games plus over 300 original Xbox games. The Arcade version is compatible with all Xbox 360 games.

Obviously the prices for the consoles are different. The arcade machine can be had for around $280. The standard sells for around $350. The Elite goes for $450.

The Xbox console is not that large when compared with the Nintendo Wii and Playstation 3. It is sleekly designed and has interchangeable faceplates that allow it to be fitted into a home cinema rack. The wireless controller is really cool and wonderfully convenient. The Xbox console supports four wireless controller devices.

The Xbox 360 has amazing graphics. All the games are optimized for high definition output. In addition, it has USB 2.0 ports for attaching accessories. Accessories include a steering wheel for driving games and a chat messenger that allows you to send instant messages to your friends while you are playing. These accessories are not included with the console bundle and must be purchased separately. The Xbox 360 console is HD ready for games and has Dolby Digital sound to give players a complete surround sound gaming experience.

The console will play on any television, high definition or not. You just need to have the video and audio inputs for the TV or home theater system. The Xbox 360 console plays audio CDs, as well as DVDs, stores photograph and will play mp3's. The Xbox 360 truly represents a big leap forward in next generation gaming technology.

Inside the Sony Playstation 3 Console

Have you ever wondered what's packed underneath the Playstation 3 console's sleek jet-black design? Now's your change to take a peek for yourself!

The Playstation 3 Console's Cell Microprocessor with its streamlined design is perhaps the hardware's most important artificial brain; the strength in floating point kernels as of today is still unrivaled. The brainchild of STI (Sony, Toshiba and IBM), it is the newest microprocessor technology and it allows data flow on several instances, example when one core is exclusively guiding the main sprite, the other core for the environmental special effects and another core could work to deliver the most realistic ballistics on projectiles. The Playstation 3 console's cell microprocessor engine is clocked at 3.2GHz having 1PPE and 7SPEs

The Blu-ray Media Format - the technology Blu-ray has already been licensed by Sony, meaning their games will be running on optical drives that support this cutting edge format as well as DVD and VCD formats. This is needed for a system so intricate in detail that it has been rumored that Metal Gear Solid 4 not only takes visuals as experience but also the other senses. Sonic booms from nearby explosions are among the added factor. And for that a Blu-ray technology with its storage capacity of 50GB is needed.

The RSX GPU (Reality Synthesizer, Graphics Processing Unit) definitely plays a more critical role in the Sony Playstation 3 game experience. This RSX GPU is co-developed by NVIDIA for Sony, and NVIDIA, whose familiarity in making graphics chips is well established and deserves an acclaim for bringing realistic cutting edge graphics of Playstation 3 console titles such as Fight Night: Round 3.

The Online Experience with the Playstation 3 console has also been equipped to deliver the ever-increasing demands of online gaming, with its Playstation Network. It is a free service where every Playstation 3 console gets to connect automatically. And whether it is for online gaming using the Xfire Client or just downloading media and demos from the community site, all is there for just the reason of a functionality that allows users to choose a game of their preference as well as a preview of the next big game. Another perk of the site is the availability of past Playstation titles (1 & 2) for download prices around $10 - $15 a pop.

All these new technologies made the Sony Playstation 3 console well ahead of the competition. Perhaps another line will be written next time but at this moment, the Xbox 360 just really can't compete, much less the Wii, with the Playstation 3 console. It's fairly expensive than the other two but that's expected. And the better part of having a Playstation 3 console is the already present crop of good games available.