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Stir: Gaming Consoles

With the holiday season upon us, many shoppers are contemplating the annual quandary of purchasing a gaming system either for their family, the kids, a college student, or even themselves.  With the sales, special offers and bonus pack-ins – how does one decide what o buy?

At Platform Nation we have a large community of gamers that write for this site – many of which have vast experience with multiple gaming systems.  I decided to tap this wealth of knowledge for our readers and find out which gaming systems our writers prefer and why.  My hope is that readers who are in the market for a gaming console might gain some insight into the appeal of each system based on the interests and preferences of our writers.

WHAT OUR WRITERS HAD TO SAY

Sarah Brannan | FFXPrincess | ProfileTwitter |

I personally am a big fan of the PS3. I’ve never had issues with it, love the games that are on it, and really don’t miss out on the games for other systems. I also enjoy how Sony lets you use their PSN for free. If you want to upgrade you can, but you don’t HAVE to.

I don’t have a problem with any of the other consoles. I don’t own a 360, and I never play the Wii. I am a huge fan of the PSP though! 🙂

Mitchel Broussard | a long way down | Profile |

Xbox 360. Hands down. No question. If a game is multiplatform, I get it on Xbox. The online experience is unparalleled, the achievements will never not be addicting, and XBLA has a way of sucking money from my pocket. Yeah PS3 has all these things, but it really just comes down to one factor for why I’m always on Live and never on my PS3 – the community. All my friends have Live, I’ve made friends on Live, and we can all stay in a party to chat and catch up. If it weren’t for my annual yearning to replay Shadow of the Colossus and for games like Infamous and Uncharted, I’d probably question keeping the thing. 

Steven Buccini | PickaNumber123 | ProfileTwitter |

Xbox 360 and PC.  PC- Steam is awesome, I love RTS games.
Xbox 360 – For my shooters, and when I play with most of my friends.  Paying for Live isn’t the best, but the Xbox 360 was cheaper than the PS3 when I bought it, so that was what made my decision.

Zac Campbell | exterminator13 | Profile |

I prefer the 360, it is where I started to get all of my games because of its early release and it is where I started to get all of my friends because of the backwards compatible friends list from the original Xbox. The 360 was also the first console to support an achievement system which appealed to me. I enjoy the 360’s controller more as well, I’m not a huge fan of the R2 and L2 on the PS3 controller and I feel like the 360 controller fits my hands better. Xbox also seems to have more exclusive titles that I am interested in.  The 360 seems to have the best interface and I feel like it also has much nicer online support, especially since everyone has a mic since it comes with most 360s instead of on the PS3 where you have to find a good working blutooth mic. The PS3 just seems to lack in the kind of community that the 360 has and without the cross game chat support you don’t really feel like everything is accessible from a game like you do when playing a 360. Overall the 360 just has a better feel in all categories.

Scott diMonda | WCC5723 | ProfileTwitter |

I hate say I have a favorite console because each are great in their own way, but if I had to choose it would be the Xbox 360.  Now I am not a fan boy and I will not brag how great the 360 is compared to the others as the 360 has it’s own faults.  But when I want to play an online game I can find the majority of my friends on the 360.  The PS3 is a great multimedia device and we have yet to see the true potential of that system.  Almost forgot about my lonely Wii as it just sits and takes up space – but it is always there when I wan to play some of my favorite Nintendo games.  So the 360 is the most used for me and that is why it is my console of choice.

Matthew Elliot | Introvertron | Profile |

I have all three consoles and my console of choice is the PS3.   I respect and play games on all three consoles.   What I enjoy most about the the Sony console is its first party exclusives; namely the games from Naughty Dog and Insomniac.  I really do believe games like Ratchet and Clank and Uncharted are some of the most polished games on the market.  Other notable titles including Infamous, Warhawk, and the God of War series, I believe, make up for the strongest line up of exclusives on any system.

That isn’t to say the others don’t have great exclusives.  I just don’t think they have the same amount of quality games.

That being said, exclusives are becoming more of a rarity and I believe I will be spending equal time on each console.

Brian Heitzenrater | FrehleyzComet | ProfileTwitter |

Xbox 360 all the way for me. I also own a PS3, but I only use it for Sony exclusives and for the Blu-Ray player. 99% of the time I will pick the 360 version of a multi-platform game. I just like the whole 360 set-up a lot better than the PS3. On paper, the PS3 is far superior to the 360, but in reality, the 360 is just more “fun”.  For starters, I like the Microsoft 360 controller better than the dual shock. I’m a big dude and the 360 controller just fits nicer in my hands. Second, Sony can’t hold a candle to online gaming when compared to Microsoft’s juggernaut, Xbox LIVE. LIVE is amazing for online options and capabilities. Third, the PS3 is too much like a computer, where the 360 is a gaming console just like it should be. I hate how EVERYTHING I do with my PS3 needs to be installed and this and that. The first time I got online to play Uncharted 2 with a friend, it took me over 20 minutes to “get online”. I had to wait all that time while the PS3 synced up with the online servers. Come on Sony, that’s ridiculous. I’ve never experienced anything like that with my 360. It’s a shame too, because I loved the first two Playstations. It just seems that Sony doesn’t have the same fighting drive to be on top that they did with the original Playstation and PS2.

Andrew Hunt | Boss Kamikaze | ProfileTwitter |

It’s got to be the Xbox 360 with it’s ease of use to play online, chat to friends, heck, you can even video call each other now if you has one them Kinect’s. I know some people complain about paying for online play and that the PS3’s online is free — but c’mon, just look at both of them side by side. You’re getting what you pay for with Xbox Live.

William Johnson | StylelessKnave | ProfileTwitter |

360 on mine dear reader. When I game, I want a smorgasboard of features and gameplay. And I feel at home with that on the Xbox. I love the multiplayer dedication and the various Arcade offerings. Most of my friends who live far away have Live, so it`s easier communicating in real time through games than it is through Facebook or texting. Plus my Mass Effect saves started here on the 360 so you know I gotta keep up with that when ME3 comes out!

Tym Kaywork | vttym | ProfileTwitter |

I admit I’ve only played the Xbox 360 and Wii for any length of time, but I prefer the 360 at this time.  Between the number of friends I have on the network, the ease of integration with games and online, and the fact that the network is traditionally very stable, I’ve had no desire to get a PS3.  Add in the exclusives that I prefer, and until recently, I haven’t even considered a PS3.  Lately, Sony has rolled out a few features for the PS3 that I can see myself getting into (most are non-game related; netflix, hulu, 3d, bluray), and you suddenly have a system that offers quite a bit for not too much.

That said, I also played the Kinect over the holidays, and was quite impressed with it; more than I thought I’d be.  That may be able to keep my interest in the 360 for a longer period of time than I thought.  Ultimately, I think the 360 is best, but there’s no reason not to own both a PS3 and 360 – they each offer unique things that are worth owning the system for.

Ross Phillips |

My vote would go to N64 because of the quality of the games or PS3 for being an awesome gaming machine and so much more.

Lewis Rayne | Aelincorp | Profile |

Personally I am a 360 gamer despite being a Sony fanboy all my life.  The PS3 was just out of my price range and if anything I am quite open to consoles now, and even considering buying a Wii as they all have their own merits.

Rane Pollock | Gemini Ace | ProfileTwitter |

My console of choice is the Xbox 360.  I own a PS3 (and have owned a Wii), but my default console is the 360.  Why?  It was the first console I bought for this generation.  I’ve had my gamertag for at least 5 years.  There’s a lot of history with me and this console, including playing Halo 2 and 3 on it for more hours than I dare calculate.

I also really like my PS3.  It does great things and the games I have for it are great.  I just have more friends, achievements, and games for my Xbox 360.

I recently upgraded to the Halo Reach Xbox 360 after having a Core 360 since launch.  (Not my original 360, since it Red Ringed.)  I hope it’ll be at least another 5 years before Microsoft launches the next generation of Xbox.  I like this machine and want to continue to use it.

D. Demitrius Smith | DDSmitty | Profile |

PlayStation all the way for me.  It’s not that I don’t like my 360, I just like my PS3 more and it all boils down to the exclusive titles.  I’m a huge fan of Resistance, Killzone, Uncharted, and InFamous, and those titles tip the balance over to the Sony side as far as games are concerned.  That, and the fact that I like the PlayStation control pad a whole lot more than the Xbox 360 lump of plastic.  Another nice feature is PSP remote play which I use a lot more than I would have thought I would (it’s nice to be able to download all of my weekly content from work, and have it ready to go when I get home).  And the Blu-Ray functionality is just the icing on the cake.

Again, I don’t dislike my Xbox 360, but my PS3 is the clear winner in my house.  It’s my dust-collecting Wii that I dislike…but hopefully Epic Mickey will turn that around for me.

Patrick Talbert | AzraelPC | ProfileTwitter |

I prefer the Xbox 360 because SONY decided to delay the PS3 launch and I flipped the virtual bird to them, sold my PS2, bought an Xbox, and gladly awaited the launch of the 360.  I have been a Microsoft man ever since.   I have a Wii as well, but that just sits and collects dust.  I’ve been shopping it around to try and pay for a Kinect. With Kinect out, the Wii is virtually obsolete now.

Ross Wigg | LostPoetB24 | ProfileTwitter |

Console preference for me right now would be mainly my Playstation 3 as it is the main gaming system I own at this point in time. Unfortunately I do not yet own a Xbox 360 but will soon.  I hope to be picking one up when some extra cash falls in my hands. Yes I do own a Wii but like many other households it has become nothing more then a dust collector rarely used. Playstation has always been a brand familiar to me from the first day the Playstation 1 became mine. Next step would be the Playstation 2 that I fell in love with and would spend hours playing and enjoying getting lost in Fantasy Realms. So naturally already owning both Sony systems my loyalty would stay with them to purchase a Playstation 3.

Do I believe one system holds a candle over the other?  Not really, as both have strengths and weaknesses that you can point out. If money allowed, I would own both consoles, hands down, just to experience the difference in games and online play. If I had to rank them, Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 would be 1 and 2 – but in no exact order.  The Wii would be third – not that the Wii is a horrible console – it’s just that it quickly lost ground as nothing felt new. Wii games that actually hold my interest are few and far between.  It works great for occasional family gaming but that is the most use it gets.

Mark Withers | PN Markwithers | ProfileTwitter |

The Xbox 360 is my console of choice. I have nothing against the other consoles, it was simply the first one released this generation so more of my friends bought one at the start. Achievements got me hooked early on too.
Xbox Live is very slick and keeps getting improved.  I know there is an argument about the fact that there is a fee for it but that’s for another day.

My launch day PS3 is still going strong, compared to the ten Xbox 360s I’ve had since launch but I still cannot warm to the PS3.  It has so much potential but just seems to fall short for me.  The lengthy systems updates are too regular and take too darn long each time.  The Wii is a ten year old machine with motion controls.  If they had pushed the boat more on the graphics capabilities then I’d have been hooked.  That is why I’m keeping a close watch on Sony Move.
In the end I’m a PC gamer at heart, always have been, always will be. For multiplatform games I always choose the PC and as long as the game is not badly ported then it will look better, sound better, have more variation in ingame character images and have tighter controls.  PC games are generally less expensive too as the publishers don’t have to pay a premium to Microoft or Sony.

MY FINAL STIR

Chris Forbis | MensaDad| ProfileTwitter |

For many years I was a PC gamer – and I blame id for killing the PC platform for me.  The release of Doom 3 required more upgrades than I was willing to pay for, especially since I could get an Xbox 360 for a little more than an upgraded graphics card.  I went to my local Family Video store and rented an Xbox 360 to check it out.  It was an entirely different experience – and I was immediately sold.  We also purchased a Wii in there somewhere – which we run hot and cold on.  We seem to play the Wii only when a new titles comes out that draws us away from the 360.  My wife has several WiiWare games that she likes to play so she probably plays the Wii more than anyone in the house.  Myself, and all the kids (4, 15 and 18) all lean heavily towards the 360.  We have a lot of gamers in the family – and we spend a lot of time gaming – and the Xbox 360 is our console of choice.  We do not have a Kinect yet – but plan to get one soon.

I had planned on getting a PS3 – mainly for the exclusive titles – but last year at Christmas time I waited and waited for the price drop that came way to late.  I was in the market for a BluRay player and wanted to try the PS3 but Sony and I were just out of sync.  Loosing the backward compatibility with the PS2 (we have a ton of PS2 games still) and the premium pricing made the decision easy.  We eased the usage of the living room Xbox 360 by getting a second one for the family room.

Now I am getting more and more interested in 3D and plan to get back into PC gaming – but the 3D standards need to settle a bit before I make that investment.  The PC video graphics hardware is just changing too fast right now; prices keep dropping and performance keeps increasing.  PC gaming is for the serious tech geek as it is a constantly evolving world that lives on the bleeding edge of hardware performance – a place I quite enjoy being in.

If I had to choose only one to keep – it would be the Xbox 360 – without hesitation.

The rules for Stir are simple…

I pick a topic and ask the Platform Nation writers, editors and staff to send me their opinions.  Thanks go out to all the Platform Nation writers who contributed to Stir this week.  They are all part of the best writing team in the industry and I couldn’t do this without them.

Now, drop down into the comment box below and let us know which console is YOUR personal favorite – and why.

Stay Stirred Every Weekend & Follow Us On Twitter!

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  • PS3 hands down. I had an xbox 360 and couldn’t keep it working long enough to watch a movie. After sending the xjunk in 8 times I ran over it with my car! Then I bought my 60gb PS3 with hardware b/c and card readers. (yes I actually use them) It is unfortunate that Other OS was stolen from me as I was going to install linux. This makes me take a hard look at the newer xbox. Hmmm

    • I took a look at your video blog (vlog). Look through your license agreements that came with your PS3 and see if Sony has violated them by removing the Linux functionality from their product. Or – if you are inclined to run over your PS3 with the car – video tape it this time and post it on your vlog. I’ll be watching. 🙂

  • I love both my Wii and xbox360, but the Wii wins out. Our family spends more time on it. I bought the Wii first and love Mario Kart, Sonic Racing, Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Golf, Boom Blox, light gun games like House of the Dead, Ghost Squad, Conduit. The Xbox 360 is great for racing games and Call of Duty and Red Faction.

    • I’m happy to hear that not everyone is using their Wii as a dust collector. I love Boom Blox. One of the most innovative and family friendly games ever.

  • Brian Heitzenrater (FrehleyzComet)

    Nice STIR Chris! I’m glad to see you got a lot of responses for this one. 🙂

    • Thanks “Ace”. 😉 Everyone came out of the woodwork to support their favorite console.