To PS3 or Not to PS3


In many parts of the world (my own included), Boxing Day is on now. Normally, I don’t flinch at the opportunity to tear up the mall or other retail outlets, but for the past few days I’ve been wrestling the thought of purchasing a Playstation 3. For many years, I wouldn’t have entertained the thought of owning a Playstation product even if you put a gun to my head due to my once-rock-solid loyalty to Nintendo. However, thing’s change, people change and platforms mature from their $599 giant enemy crab roots. There are a number of places here that have PS3 bundles that come with three good games for free, which has made the possibility much more tempting.

For your entertainment, I thought I would go the various points and counter-points crossing my head as I try and justify whether or not I should invest in one.

POINT: “It Only Does Everything”

For $299.99, you get a lot of bang for your buck. In terms of a straight-up comparison for what you can get with a $299.99 PS3 and a $299.99 360, the PS3 has it beat. Free wi-fi out of the box, Blu-Ray capability and an overall more powerful system makes the system the better buy if you’re comparing spread sheets.

COUNTER-POINT: It does a lot of things I’ll never use

I don’t watch movies. I don’t need a multimedia hub. I don’t need something to interface with a PSP I don’t have. It would basically be a system I buy only for PS3 exclusives.

POINT: It has some great first-party support

Not to short-change those PS3 exclusives, but I will admit that games like Uncharted and Little Big Planet have piqued my interest in the platform. I’m sure there are at least a few more PS3 exclusive games I haven’t even thought about playing that I could totally get into.

COUNTER-POINT: Everything else I can play on my 360

Third party games 99.9% of the time end up on both the PS3 and 360. Often times, the 360 version is better, not because it’s a more powerful platform, but because it’s easier to develop for. If the majority of games I purchase are from third party publishers, then I might as well stick it out on the XBOX.

POINT: Free online

Having to pay a subscription fee for something every other system lets users have for free sucks. If I were to start buying everything I could on the PS3, maybe I could bypass the $60 a year for XBOX Live.

COUNTER-POINT: XBOX 360 online is better

There are a number of objective and subjective reasons for this. No cross-game party chat is a huge downer for the PSN, and Playstation Home looks awful. Most people don’t have headsets on PSN, because they don’t come standard in the box like the 360. The big reason XBOX Live is better to me specifically? Most of my friends are on XBOX Live and only a handful of my friends are on PSN. I’m normally not one to join everyone jumping off a cliff, but it makes for better Modern Warfare 2 matches, so be it.

POINT: I’ll finally won’t miss out on great console games because I own all three major platforms

COUNTER-POINT: I don’t have the time to keep up with Wii/360

With a full-time job and a social life, gaming has been very difficult to squeeze into my schedule, even though my love for the medium has never changed. I have an ever-growing list of “Pile of Shame” games that are still waiting for me to play them. Would I just make things worse by having to support another platform?

POINT: I kind of want one

At the core of my desire for a PS3 is something very impulsive and gut-feeling. Regardless of how I spin it in my head, I kind of just want one.

COUNTER-POINT: Do I really need one?

Right now, the answer is, “No.” I have a lot of gaming to be had on my Wii and 360 and the content I can get through those platforms is more than enough to keep me satisfied. However…I’m still kind of jonesing for a PS3. Maybe someday I will be able to rationalize it.

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