Friday, January 2, 2009

The Great Debate: XBOX 360 vs PS3

I'm about to lay some science down and give some convincing evidence why PS3 games will never look significantly better, or if at all than the XBOX version of the game.

If you were a publisher and wanted to sell the most copies, would you:
A) Make the game look equally as good on both systems so that whatever console the consumer has, they'll buy it.

B) Make the game look a whole lot better on the system that many less millions of people own? This would present an unsolvable dillema to the consumer. They want the game. They can get the inferior (graphics wise) version of the game for the 360 because they have the 360. Or should they buy a PS3 just because they want improved graphics of a certain game? The customer will often walk out empty handed. They may buy in the future, or they might just lose interest and move on. Many missed sales, and many millions of dollars lost.

I've heard that the cell processor is an amazing processor. And I'm sure you'll see it in all of its glory in PS3 exclusive titles like Gran Turismo. But never in 3rd party titles. You'll see many more side by side comparisons of how the graphics are virtually identical because the developers made them that way on purpose, not because the PS3 isn't capable of better. The 360 fanboys will always point this out. While PS3 fanboys will always mention that the hardware is there, they are just waiting for a shift to happen. Unfortunately, this shift where 3rd party developers engineer their code specificially for the PS3 version of their games is never going to happen. It would be foolish. Spend more money developing something that will hurt sales? Never.

Maybe in the future, when the next xbox is out (and Sony holding firm that PS3 is still the next-next-gen console), the publishers will apply the same logic. They may be willing to make the effort (and spend the money) to make sure that the PS3 games look as good as the XBOX 720. They may also be more familiar with the ins and outs of the PS3. So whatever you may own, the XBOX 720 or PS3, you'll buy the title because you get the same product with the same graphics.

In an ironic twist, people will buy the XBOX 720 because it is capable of better than PS3 graphics. But in a side by side comparison, they look virtually identical. Can you guess why?

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