I've seen many gamers try to offset the price differences between the Xbox 360 and the PS3. What I want to do, is make a list of what is optimal for gaming on both platforms, and see where we end up.
This is just for optimal gaming; we don't care about movies here. If you do, then this comparison isn't for you (although the results wouldn't vary much). I'll also be using Circuit City for price references.
- $600 - Premium HDMI-port-having model
- $300 - 5 games (hopefully not more than this)
- $250 - PSP (Sony said it'd be integral for the experience)
- $150 - Monster HDMI cable
- $2700 - 50" 1080p-supporting Projection HDTV
- $400 - Premium console
- $300 - 5 games
- $300 - 5 years of XBL
- $70 - Monster Component cable
- $30 - Monster Optical audio cable
- $900 - 52" 1080i-supporting Projection HDTV
Now there are a few points I should cover.
I'm aware that lower prices than Circuit City's can be found. I used CC because it is an actual store a gamer could go to and purchase these items, unlike many online stores. Not everyone is comfortable ordering online yet.
As for televisions, I could have priced out plasmas. Plasmas look great, but sometimes the picture can be ridiculously crisp and there can be shadowing or ghosting. I've not seen this problem in a projection screens so I stick with them for now.
The same 1080p television for the PS3 would work with the Xbox 360, raising it's total. However, the 360 won't need 1080p support, so why not go with a bigger and cheaper HDTV (that's HDMI compatible)? Simply put, there are more HDTV options for the standard 720p/1080i support.
Note that on the reverse side of the coin, the prices level out if the PS3 isn't used with a 1080p HDTV. This ends up working out with the buyer getting a PSP instead of paying for Xbox live, assuming the buyer would play online.
The PSP may not be necessary, but neither is premium gaming. Since Sony is "committed" to making it an integral part of the PS3 experience, it really should be included for this comparison.
When it comes to games, I'm assuming that Sony will make an effort to at least keep the prices down to $60 a pop. When Hirai suggests it could be more than $60 and less than $100, I get a bit concerned but stay optimistic.
I also made a point to include a console life-cycle's worth of XBL because the "but Sony's is FREE" remark. Personally, I don't consider $5 a month a problem as long as it extends replay value and is regulated (to stunt hackers/modders).
The same surround sound system could be used in both instances, so I didn't bother to include its price here.
Naturally, prices are subject to change, and technologies are bound to either flourish or die. A lot could change in the next couple of years, but as it stands now, Sony premium gaming is quite expensive at the moment.