Sony's funny Xbox math
Artful spin, dodgy claims about rivals, mudslinging and outright lies - either we're in the midst of an election season, or the middle of a videogame-console war. A quick look at The Browser calendar tells us....we're in both!

Sony's latest whopper, Engadget reports, is that Microsoft's Xbox 360 costs $698, $200 more than Sony's upcoming PlayStation 3. That's something of a headscratcher, considering the retail price of an Xbox is $299, which is $200 less than the $499 PS3. Sony's new math is that to get as many features with the Xbox as you do with the PS3, you have to add an external hard drive, an HD-DVD player, a wireless controller, and an online subscription.

But Sony's new math doesn't add up, Engadget points out. For one thing, none of those extras are required to play videogames on an Xbox. And for $399, you can get an Xbox system which includes a hard drive, a wireless controller, and a basic online subscription. Granted, watching high-definition movies will cost you extra, but is that why gamers buy consoles?

Where Sony really crosses the line is when its so-called "fact sheet" claims that Xbox users are "required to buy" these extras. The Browser's question is this: "Required" in what sense? Is Sony still smarting over the fact that Microsoft beat them to a punch - by a full year - with the Xbox?
Posted by Owen Thomas 12:05 PM 18 Comments comment | Add a Comment

Ibought mine with the hard drive for 557 out the door thats with the extra wireless controller and a madden game.

my decision: its not as fun as the ps2 games it seems to have limits where ps2 games have more to do within the game, let alone A ps3. when i buy it and scrap the xbox, its for kids..
Posted By Who-lee -oh in modesto, Ca : 8:18 PM  

Sony is getting desperate. Correction: REALLY desperate.
Posted By Nick, Dallas TX : 6:24 AM  

I definitely agree sony's math is funny, but last time I checked, that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to corporate spin.

Bottom line is - sony's right. Why am I getting a PS3 and not an Xbox 360? Because it already comes with the blu-ray, bigger hard drive, and wireless controller. Does an Xbox 360 user need to buy all these things? No. But most probably will (maybe not the HD DVD drive, but even that is likely), making the final system cost more than that of the PS3. I'll be buying the PS3 myself. And the more expensive version, at that.
Posted By Manu, Raleigh, NC : 2:39 PM  

$600 is an insane price to pay for a video game machine. The playstation will under preform big time.
Posted By eric scott, chicago, IL : 4:02 AM  

Ok, so you don�t have to buy all or any of the items under the �requires users to buy� list just to play a game. But, let�s think of this realistically. I will start from the top of the list and work my way down.

The HDD is not required to buy in order for you just to pop in a game and play it. But, who plays a game and not saves their progress? What would be the point in buying the game then? Unless, of course, you are planning on beating the game in one sitting, which is highly unlikely? Especially since the games made today takes many hours to beat. But even if you�re not planning on beating a game, you really want to loose all the hard earned items/points you gained on the way?
The HDD not only just saves your game saves, it is the storage place for all the things you can download off the marketplace and your own music. Whether the things you download are demos, Xbox Live Arcade games, or game pictures and themes they will all be stored on the HDD. Ok, some may not be into downloading themes and all that, but what about live updates to the games? Surely you would like to be updated with new costumes, cars, weapons, or other gadgets
The HDD is also your gateway to playing your original Xbox games. You actually have to purchase the HDD to play your original Xbox games, no other way around it. Unlike the PS3, with emulators built into the device, the emulator is built inside the HDD.

HD-DVD Drive
I don�t even think this has to deal with playing games.

Wireless controller
This device is absolutely not required to purchase. I guess its more like a luxury to have because you are not confined to one spot and don�t have to worry about people or pets tripping over the controller cord.
The only real benefit to having wireless is when you are playing multiplayer games with friends, like Halo 2 or Call of Duty 2. There are 4 USB ports, 2 in front and 2 at the rear. So every time you play these kinds of games you�re going to have to plug each controller in. It would be much easier to just hold down the menu button on each controller to activate them, plus you don�t get controller wires jumbled up or have to worry about people tripping over them.

12-Month Subscription to Xbox Live
Again, this is not required but nice to have. Tired of playing the CPU? Then go onto live and play others from around the world. This is also your only way to get the latest updates on your games. I don�t see how anyone could pass this up, as it is the 360�s super strong feature. I find that purchasing the 12-month subscription is cheaper than purchasing it in parts.

I�m a proud Xbox 360 owner and fan, but I�m also a huge fan of Sony and can�t wait to get my hands on the PS3. For Sony to say that those things are �required to purchase� in order to play games is funny. They are great to have, but not required at all.
Posted By Roland Mueca, Juneau, Alaska : 4:39 PM  

Well not exactly true. All Sony is suggesting is if you do feature to feature comparison and add up price xbox will cost more than PS3. So there is nothing wrong in what Sony stated in so called "fact-sheet".
Posted By mj, boston, MA : 9:48 PM  

Thanks for the truth, if you can't beat them, lie. Sony is not laughing anymore! Proud owner of both Xbox machines.
Posted By Tim, Austin,TX : 10:17 PM  

That's it Microsoft has finally beaten sony. beside that the Xbox is much more exciting etc etc. After the Sony battery goof up I wouldn't trust them so fast.
Posted By Joe, Hoboken, Belgium : 7:48 AM  

This is a bit biased... People purchase the system for the entire pack of goodies. I agree that you can get the Xbox advanced system with Hard Drive and wireless controller for $399, but you still don't have HD DVD capabitliy. Oh, and the basic online subscription from Xbox... you can't even play against your friends with it until you upgrade to the next level. All in, the PS3 is a better buy for what you get... me, I still like Xbox, but don't be biased about it!
Posted By BR, Tampa FL : 10:00 AM  

I don't think it is funny math. Looking at the comparisons, it's comparing what is the PS3 to what is it's equivilency to the Xbox 360 and that to what is going to be produced by the Wii. Of course, the article is right in that gamers honestly do not care for the HD DVD. Gamers have other things... like a computer or an actual DVD drive to play those things. I think it's foolish to think that having a DVD attachment will win gamers over.
Posted By Richard Pakpreo, Boston, MA : 1:48 PM  

Why would you compare a non-video gaming feature? HD-DVD has nothing to do with playing games/on-line games. The blog buzz around the PS3 is it's already a bust even before launch. Sony got arrogant. HD DVD's won't even be mainstream for another 2-years and by that time the next gen xbox will be on the horizon with better HD DVD system than the PS3. If you can't wait for HD DVD then buy the PS3. I used to be a hardcore PS fanboy, but man, Sony has left me no choice. Xbox has set the new standards and won over many gamers Sony thought would never happen. Wow.
Posted By Matt, Chicago : 2:14 PM  

This is definitely not a bad marketing ploy, especially since a large number of the consoles sold are going to be to parents buying for their kids. If you're a parent wanting the best bargain for a next gen console, a stat sheet like Sony's will definitely hold some power.
For the hardcore gamer demographic it doesn't really matter because they'll most likely buy all three anyway. I just don't understand why they put the Wii's stats up since for 250 less you get pretty much the same thing as the PS3, whilst most people already have a DVD player and wont notice the difference between blu-ray and HD!
Moral of this story: Buy the Wii!
Posted By Tristan Cordier, La Jolla, CA : 3:06 PM  

I have been thge owner of the Playstation 2 and the original X-Box and you could watch movies ont he old X-Box. I dont think I ever used that feature once, in either gaming system. The bottom line is, people buy these systems to play games, not watch movies. Especially since one of the technologies, Blu-Ray or HD-DVD is going to be obsolete. Just like The Beta Max and VHS wars of the early 80's.
Posted By Brian23 : 3:24 PM  

I own the old Xbox, which you can't find in a store anymore, and have steered clear of the 360. I'm not the only one, there are more than enough of them sitting on the shelves these days, about a year after the launch. I always wait and see, and I'm glad I did. In talking with the few people I know who have bought one, they have all had some hardware problem of some kind and the biggest gripe, backward compatibility is just terrible. I think I will sit out this round. Seems like they've forgotten the people who buy these systems.
Posted By Joe, Corpus Christi, TX : 4:01 PM  

Sony is desparately late to the market and is still suffering delays due to problems with their Blu-Ray technolody. It seems like if they invested more in development and less in hype, they might be better off.
Posted By Charles, Charlotte, NC : 4:06 PM  

I don't think the math is funny at all and it's clear the writer of this article has a bias. In order to do a feature to feature comparison of the systems one is "required" to add these items to the price of the XBOX 360 or else it wouldn't be a comparison would it.

Secondly saying that users don't care about Blu-ray movie playing is just stupid. Previous systems didn't have online playability until it was offered and now it is a requirement. If I can eliminate the need to buy a $1,000 Blu ray player then I definately will. The PS3 is going to be great value for money no 2 ways about it.
Posted By David, New York, NY : 1:56 PM  

If people wanted "similar" features to the PS3, they don't buy the low end "core" Xbox system, then add all additional parts later, they go buy the Premium bundle which comes with the HD, Wireless Controller, usually one game, a headset, and often a 3 month Xbox Live GOLD account. If you look at the Premium bundle sales versus Core sales, you'll see that.

Also the jury's still out on HD-DVD and BluRay anyhow, so most people are steering shy of both of these technologies (that's another battle).

If BluRay wins, Microsoft can add that, if HD-DVD wins, what is Sony going to do?

I'll correct one posters mistake right now. You don't have to buy Xbox Live GOLD in a 12 month subscription for a lot of the Live feature set.

Xbox Live "SILVER" is FREE. This gives you access to all the game demos, market place game add-ons, patches for games (including the orginal Xbox game compatibility fixes, required to play the old games on the 360).

To play head to head on LIVE, with other Xbox Live players, you need Gold!
Posted By Kevin, Halifax NS : 7:13 PM  

May be sony can provide options to customize its PS3 into a full blown PC and can compete with Dell and HP :)
Posted By sreeramR, Atlanta GA : 1:02 PM  

To send a letter to the editor about The Browser, click hereTop of page

Got a news tip? Send it to The Browser