So, last week, I bought myself my Christmas present. (Yes, finally.)
I bought a PS3. (I bought it “new” for $60 from a dude who said it “fell off the back of the truck”. Right.) For the past week, I’ve been playing it nonstop. I got 3 games for it (the Uncharted series) and I joined the Playstation Plus online club for 3 months.
Here’s my opinion so far:
As a 360 owner for 7 years, I’ve grown accustomed to certain things. System updates typically happen twice a year and it’s a pretty painless process. Downloads are quick, and you’re usually playing right when the download is done. There’s a immediate online presence with Xbox; Live offers me the chance to play with all my friends and chat with them across games. I’m used to arcade titles dropping every Wednesday morning, and I’m used to using Microsoft points. I’ve grown accustomed to Microsoft’s perambulation, so much so that entering Sony’s domain has been jarring, to say the least.
The first thing that I didn’t like was no installing games. With the 360, all I have to do is have enough room and about 5-7 minutes and I can install a game fully. The only time the game reads the disc drive is to authenticate the game. Once that’s done, the 360 reads the rest from my hard drive. On the PS3, it’s completely different. All this hard drive space, and the only way to install a game and cut down on power consumption and constant disc spinning and reading is to buy the game digitally, which I also don’t like. (More on that in a second.) If I buy a game from Amazon/Gamestop/Wal-Mart, I have to understand that read times are going to be a bit longer and that I’m going to constantly hear my PS3’s disc drive spinning. Buying the game from Sony in a digital format is the only way to circumvent that issue, which brings me to my second fault.
Buying a game digitally equals more waiting. On the 360, once you downloaded a game, that was it. Select ‘Play Now’ and you’re in business. Not so much on Sony’s system. Not only do I have to wait longer times to download a game, but then once it’s downloaded, I have to install it. Why is it not installing as I download it? That’s what Xbox does. I’m not understanding. And then, as if that’s not bad enough, if you have an update, you have to wait as the update installs… and that takes almost as long as installing it. I ran a test on both of my systems with the same game. (I already owned Mega Man 10 on my 360, and Playstation Plus is letting it’s members play for free, which is something I’ll go into detail more later. SPOILER ALERT: It’s one of the areas I LOVE Sony for and it kicks the 360’s ass on it.) I downloaded them both and timed it. 143 MB on the PS3 took 6 minutes and 17 seconds. (I’m on Verizon’s FiOS Internet service.) The install took another 4 minutes and 2 seconds. THEN I had to wait another 70 seconds for the update to come down, only to wait AGAIN for another 2 minutes even for the update to install. 13 1/2 minutes total for the complete download and starting time for MM10 on the PS3. On the Xbox on the other hand… Same internet connection, same game, same size. It took less than 3 minutes (actually 2 minutes and 10 seconds) for the download of MM10. It took me another 10 seconds of waiting for the update to install. And… that’s it. From the purchase of the game to the start screen, it took me a little over 2 minutes to start playing MM10 on my Xbox. That’s simply soul crushing to Sony. I can only imagine trying to download and play a full sized AAA title like Skyrim on the PS3.
There’s a whole litany of things I disagree with on the PS3 from it’s weird way of having an online account to the wait process of downloading and installing a game to the fact that you can’t install a game on the HDD. But PS Plus is the saving grace. The fact that I only pay less than $4 a month for access (versus a little over $5 on Xbox Live if I don’t get it on sale) and not only do I get demos ahead of everyone else, beta access, and discounts on games to purchase… but I also get free games as long as I have the service is amazing. Do you know how awesome that is? I’m currently downloading Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition for FREE. (Even though it’s 18GB and it’s going to take forever to download and install.) This is the area that Microsoft is lacking sorely in, and in the next generation, I hope that Xbox Live can catch up in this one area. Forcing me to pay $60 a year for multiplayer and demos and Netflix access isn’t cutting it anymore. Not when Sony is practically GIVING away games for you to keep as long as you’re a PS Plus member.
Sorry for the long wall of text, but I had to get this out. Also, it’s only been one week. I’ve spent 7 YEARS with my Xbox. I’m used to her. I got to get used to Sony’s system. I’ll do another review in 3 months time. Right now, though… as attractive as PS Plus is, it really isn’t enough to sway me over to Sony’s camp.
Oh well. Gotta keep playing, right?