The lights are on
In previous generations, the console you bought was the same console you'd have years later. You could buy add-ons or accessories, but the core system and the way it operated never really changed. It's a completely different situation now, as the console in your living room is most likely an entirely different beast than the one that sat on store shelves at launch. The ability to update hardware via the internet has extended the typical console life cycle, and we decided to take a look at the changes that the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 have gone through since launch.
Xbox 360 Then: Right out of the box, launch day buyers of the Xbox 360 were treated to achievements. Many early games didn’t utilize them very well, as 100-point achievements were often rewards for basic progression or simple accomplishments.
Xbox 360 Now: Developers started taking achievements more seriously when they realized that gamers cared about them, and they started rewarding them in more novel ways. Each retail game has offered 1,000 gamerscore points ever since launch, but Xbox Live Arcade games recently upped their limit from 200 to 400.
Playstation 3 Then: Sony was late to the achievement game, as they didn’t introduce their trophy system until almost two years after launch.
Playstation 3 Now: Rather than going with a point system like Microsoft, Sony opted for bronze, silver, gold, and platinum trophies. Each of these trophies has a different weight to them, and they all contribute to an overall “level” of sorts. With the launch of the Vita, trophies from both systems are both included on the same PSN account.
Xbox 360 Then: At launch, gamers could choose between two versions of the console: A $299.99 core model and a $399.99 premium model.
Xbox 360 Now: Microsoft introduced a black elite version of the console in 2007, a stripped-down version called the “Arcade” later that year, and finally, the current slim model in 2010. Recent bundles have frequently included the Kinect accessory.
Playstation 3 Then: Sony made headlines when they announced that the 60gb model of the Playstation 3 would cost $599.99 at launch, making it one of the most expensive consoles in history. A 20gb version with less features was also available at launch.
Playstation 3 Now: Several versions of the Playstation 3 have been introduced throughout the years, including 40gb, 80gb, and 120gb versions of the original model, numerous sizes of the 2009 slim launch, and the newly-announced “super slim” PS3 that will come in 250gb and 500gb.
Xbox 360 Then: Online multiplayer was a big deal with Xbox 360 from day one, with huge titles like Call of Duty 2 on store shelves alongside the console. One factor that helped establish Xbox Live as a multiplayer destination was the inclusion of a headset in the premium model. It plugged into the controller, didn’t require batteries, and worked just fine more often than not.
Xbox 360 Now: Microsoft continued to be smart about the headset for years, including one in every model except for the core and the arcade.
Playstation 3 Then: In a poor decision, Sony neglected to include a headset in any launch model of the Playstation 3. It was compatible with Bluetooth headsets, but most gamers didn’t already own one and they were more difficult to set up than the Xbox 360 headset.
Playstation 3 Now: Sony never quite got their act together when it came to headsets. Games like Warhawk and SOCOM included one and Sony eventually released a wireless stereo headset, but it seems that many gamers never quite latched on to any of these. Online sessions of multiplayer PS3 games still seem to feature less voice chat than Xbox 360 versions.
Xbox 360 Then: Originally, gamers had to purchase a pricey wireless adapter to play online via wi-fi.
Xbox 360 Now: Microsoft eventually started building wi-fi into the console, which is the case with all of the slim models.
Playstation 3 Then: The 20gb version didn’t feature any wi-fi, but the 60gb did.
Playstation 3 Now: Every model of the Playstation 3 besides the original 20gb launch console has featured wi-fi accessibility.
Email the author Dan Ryckert, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
Then: I had an Xbox
Now: I have PS3!
Then: I cared which was better.
Now: I don't.
They're both great in different ways. But It's nice to see how much has change with both consoles over the last 7 years.
I miss the 4 blades from the first xbox 360 dashboard. It was so simple to use.
Of these examples, I think backwards compatibility is the most important. If the PS4 dosen't have compatibility with PS3 games and trophies, I'll be.....Disappointed.
wow it reminds me on how bumpy ps3 history was
They kind of left out that Microsoft has taken the lead on adding service apps like HBO Go and Netflix by getting them first, and by offering a wider array of popular services. They also managed to update the hardware that makes it seem designed for a more premium feel than its predecessor, adding glossy black for the body, further chrome detailing, touch sensitive buttons, quieter fans, and more efficient power.
The PS3 slim models have done a poor job of hiding their manufacturing cost-saving purpose, ditching glossy plastic finishes, touch buttons, USB ports, Memory card slots, backwards compatibility chips, and now there is no mechanism for disc slots (it has to be manually inserted into a spring loaded pop-up plastic lid). They also have had a stagnant main menu design, which has become too familiar for many, lacking any major attempts at improvement that Xbox at least tries to attain.
Very nice list.
Well I am a bit surprised that two major factors were pretty much excluded by this analysis. The first being that online multiplayer support for the PS3 was and still is free of charge while Xbox Live subscriptions are mandatory for online features for a fee. You also neglected to mention that the PS3 is equipped with a Blu-ray disc drive and the Xbox continues to use a standard DVD drive. Sorry if I am coming across as a fanboy but I feel these are important features and should have been included in any comprehensive comparison. Shame on you Dan :P
I see have the first model of the Xbox :( I have to use a huge extension cord in order to play online, it is glitchy (it will only show up on the screen if its facing a specific direction), the controller is horrible, the adapter is insanely big, the Xbox itself is heavy, and yet I still love it <3. No matter how much my old a**, giant, glitchy console is, it has good memories :')
You forgot that originally the XMB couldn't be accessed in-game. You had to hold the PS3 Home button to quit the game, and that was about it. Now you can tap the button and look at the XMB.
God the PS3 was beautiful.
I always liked the 360 more... not sure why exactly. Just something about it...
i miss the old xbox dashboard
I enjoyed the 2nd and 3rd interfaces for the 360 the most. And the blades was better than the newest version. It is terrible and I can't stand it. I'm so annoyed by the Kinect at this point that I would throw it in the trash if it wasn't for Dance Central. I was playing NBA 2K13 the other night and the stupid thing kept thinking I was calling timeouts just because of my surround sound.
I own both consoles and both are great systems. I do enjoy the ps controller more that may be because Im more used to it over the years. I like ps store better to me it's just easy to navigate. One thing I have really like for
Sony is the playstation plus with all the discounts it has more then paid for its self. I do like the eson feature on Xbox helps when u don't have cable. Can't wait to they both release new consoles
...and that's just another reason why the 360 is better than the PS3!