2008 Video Game Console Comparison

Technical Specifications and Associated Costs Overview

First, a precursor. If you are buying a console for someone else, the most important thing you can do is ask which console they prefer. I understand that this removes the "surprise" of receiving the gift, but you can't play Halo 3 on a Nintendo Wii or Mario Kart on the Playstation 3 and if your recipient has their heart set on playing a console-exclusive game, it'd probably be best to get the one they want.

Microsoft Xbox 360

Nintendo Wii

Sony Playstation 3
Highest Output Resolution 1080p 480p 1080p
Video Outputs Composite, S-Video, Component, HDMI (on newer models) Composite, S-Video, Component Composite, S-Video, Component, HDMI
Plays DVDs DVDs No DVDs & Blu-ray
Backwards Compatability Select Microsoft Xbox Games All Nintendo GameCube Games None on
New Consoles
Purchase Price Assorted Varieties
$199 / $299 / $399
$249.99 Assorted Varieties
$399 / $499
Cost of Additional Controllers Wireless: $49.99
Wired: $39.99
Wiimote: $39.99
Nunchuck: $19.99
Wireless Dual Shock 3: $59.99
Internet Abilities Wired LAN
Optional Add-On Wireless Adapter
Built in
802.11 b/g Wifi
Wired LAN and 802.11 b/g Wifi
Cost of Online Service Xbox Live Gold $50/year Nintendo Channel
Playstation Network

I've summarized the technical specifications of and costs associated with each console in the above table. Things to take away from this table are the following points:

  • In terms of technical capabilities, the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 are evenly matched. The Wii is well behind them.
  • The Playstation 3 is easily the most expensive console and it's additional controllers are more expensive than the Xbox 360's and Wii's.
  • While all three consoles can connect to the internet, only the Xbox 360 requires an annual fee ($49.99/year) to play games over the internet.
  • Older Playstation 3 consoles were backwards compatable with older Playstation consoles, the new versions in stores no longer feature this compatability.
  • Only the Playstation 3 can play HD Blu-ray movies. The Wii cannot play DVDs.


Next Page - The Nintendo Wii

November 17, 2008

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