By Tony James
All gamers are awaiting the release of the Xbox 360 and the PS3. This article takes an in depth look at how the two systems compare.
Everyone has seen an Xbox and a PS2 in action and we are all waiting to see which of the two next generation consoles for the two systems will have the edge when it comes to graphics. We have all seen the screenshots of the games on the two systems but what about actual gameplay graphics. Despite the hot debate, when you look at the numbers the two systems use a different but equally effective method of delivering graphics processing power. The XBOX uses a custom ATI processor with 48 graphics pipelines and the PS2 has a custom NVIDA graphics processor with an estimated 24 pipelines. The numbers are misleading because the PS2 piplines are more powerful than the XBOX pipelines. In the end the two different graphics processors will deliver about the same amount of power, we can expect to see impressive results from both sides.
Both systems have several franchise titles such as Halo2 for the XBOX and Gran Tourismo for the PS2 that you will see in the next generation systems, but what other games can you expect to see. If you are a fan of genres such as role playing that are dominated by Japanese and other foreign developers such as Square, you should look forward to the PS3. There is no indication that the XBOX 360 is going to gain much more support from foreign developers and buyers than the original XBOX. An article on GameSpot.com reports that only two percent of Japanese gamers are interested in buying an XBOX 360, with sixty percent looking forward to the PS3 and eight percent to the Nintendo Revolution. Overall you can expect to see more games on the PS3 than the XBOX 360, reflecting the selection for the current generation systems. Only time will which console will have the quality of games which all of us are been expecting
Will the media storage type be a factor in the quality of the games? Since PS3 is owned by Sony and BLUray is Sony’s next high definition storage medium, the PS3 games will be stored on the BLUray discs which hold approximately 54 gigs. The Xbox 360 games will be stored on Double Layer DVDs which store 9 gigs. Obviously the BLUray discs can store a lot more data, but at the current stage of game development, any game developed will fit just as well on the 9 gig DVDs, so this is not a major factor but one that may come into play later on.
How do the two systems compare when looking at brute processing power? The PS3 uses a Cell processor with a PowerPC-based core with seven synergistic processing units while the Xbox comes with a Custom IBM PowerPC CPU with three dual-threaded cores that can handle six total threads at a time. An important comparison to look at is the number of dot product calculations per second the systems can perform. The reason this number is important is because it is used extensively during gameplay in 3d math to calculate various things such as vector lengths, projections, transformations, and more. Both systems are clocked at 3.2 Ghz. The PS3 can handle 51-billion dot product operations per second and the Xbox can handle 33.6. There is a debate over which system has more brute processing power and these numbers can be confusing to the average person, but overall it seems that the PS3 has an edge over the Xbox when it comes to overall processing power.
Since PS3 is owned by Sony and BLUray is Sony’s next high definition storage medium, the PS3 games will be stored on the BLUray discs which hold approximately 54 gigs. The Xbox 360 games will be stored on Double Layer DVDs which store 9 gigs. Obviously the BLUray discs can store a lot more data, but at the current stage of game development, any game developed will fit just as well on the 9 gig DVDs, so this is not a major factor but one that may come into play later on.
When considering games, you have to look at the XBOX and the PS2. The XBOX is very popular in the US and has a few great franchise games such as Halo, but the PS2 has an international reach and several popular game franchises such as Gran Tourismo that the XBOX has yet to beat. The XBOX 360 will need to appeal to foreign game developers and consumers to compete with the PS3. Only time will which console will have the quality of games which all of us are been expecting
The controllers on the two systems retain the basic shape from the original systems with some modifications. The PS3 controller has the most dramatic change; it has a streamline shape that looks more like a stealth airplane than a game controller. The XBOX controller is basically the same shape as the previous system with a different color scheme. From the pictures released, it seems the XBOX controller will be more comfortable and natural to use. The PS3 controller looks like it would just slip out of your hand but we will not know how the controllers feel during actual gameplay until we get our hands on them.
Tony James is an author and webmaster. He currently runs the website Freeware Games.net
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