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Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PS3 - A Hardware Discussion

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The point of a gaming console is to play games. The PC user in all of us wants to benchmark, overclock and upgrade even the unreleased game consoles that were announced at E3, but we can’t. And these sorts of limits are healthy, because it lets us have a system that we don’t tinker with, that simply performs its function and that is to play games.

The game developers are the ones that have to worry about which system is faster, whose hardware is better and what that means for the games they develop, but to us, the end users, whether the Xbox 360 has a faster GPU or the PlayStation 3’s CPU is the best thing since sliced bread doesn’t really matter. At the end of the day, it is the games and the overall experience that will sell both of these consoles. You can have the best hardware in the world, but if the games and the experience aren’t there, it doesn’t really matter.

Despite what we’ve just said, there is a desire to pick these new next-generation consoles apart. Of course if the games are all that matter, why even bother comparing specs, claims or anything about these next-generation consoles other than games? Unfortunately, the majority of that analysis seems to be done by the manufacturers of the consoles, and fed to the users in an attempt to win early support, and quite a bit of it is obviously tainted.

While we would’ve liked this to be an article on all three next-generation consoles, the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Revolution, the fact of the matter is that Nintendo has not released any hardware details about their next-gen console, meaning that there’s nothing to talk about at this point in time. Leaving us with two contenders: Microsoft’s Xbox 360, due out by the end of this year, and Sony’s PlayStation 3 due out in Spring 2006.

This article isn’t here to crown a winner or to even begin to claim which platform will have better games, it is simply here to answer questions we all have had as well as discuss these new platforms in greater detail than we have before.

Now, on to the show...

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