The Gaming Console Wars: Xbox Vs PS2

Essay by speaker_000 August 2004

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It never ceases to amaze me how the sales figures for the Playstation 2 (PS2) outrun the Xbox. Even gamecube is catching up to Xbox if you look at the sales figures. The Xbox is a better gaming console, and still, the casual gamers are flocking to the PS2. The Xbox obviously is the technically superior system, but the PS2 has advantages in ways that effect the gaming experience, some of it is just plain luck.

The PS2 came out more than 15 months before the Xbox, therefore some gamers went out and bought the PS2, before even seeing or giving the Xbox a chance. The PS2 also already had a fan base because of the original Sony Playstation. The Xbox was Microsoft's first gaming console, and most gamers thought it was going to flop. The PS2 had another advantage because a lot of gamers still had the first Playstation, and the PS2 has backwards compatibility to allow the original Playstation games to be played, which meant you might of already had games compatible for the PS2 therefore saving you money on buying even more games.

The Xbox has a far better system architecture and techinal specifications then the PS2. Xbox has a in-built hard drive, which eliminates the need for memory cards, consequently saving you money (although memory cards are available for the xbox). Most of the technical specs for the xbox are the same, or double the PS2's, which ensures a better gaming experience.

Xbox Live is by far the better of the two online gaming experience, but as the experience varies from game to game, nothing specific can be said about this.

If you want the one that looks cooler, get the ps2, if you want the real deal, get the xbox.


Sony PlayStation 2

* Processor: 128-bit "Emotion Engine"

* 300 MHz

* Floating point unit (FPU) co-processor

* Maximum bus transfer rate of 3.2 GB per second

* Includes current PlayStation CPU core

* Graphics: "Graphics Synthesizer"

* 150 MHz

* Embedded cache


* 75 million polygons per second

* Audio: SPU2 (+CPU), 48 channels, 44.1- or 48-kHz sampling rate, 2 MB memory


* Game medium: Proprietary 4.7-GB DVD and original PlayStation CDs

* Drive bay (for hard disk or network inteface)

* Controller: Two controller ports, "Dual Shock 2" analog controller

* Other features:

* Two memory card slots

* Optical digital output

* Two USB ports

* FireWire port

* Support for audio CDs and DVD-Video

Microsoft Xbox

* Processor: Modified Intel Pentium III

* 733 MHz

* Maximum bus transfer rate of 6.4 GB per second

* Graphics: Custom nVidia 3-D graphics chip

* 250 MHz

* Approximately 125 million polygons per second

* Audio: Custom 3-D audio processor

* RAM: 64 MB (Xbox has a unified memory architecture -- the memory can be allocated to graphics, audio, textures or any other function as needed.)

* Game medium: Proprietary 4.7-GB DVD

* Modem/network: Media communications processor (MCP), 10/100-Mbps Ethernet, broadband enabled, 56K modem (optional)

* Controller: Four game controller ports

* Other features:

* 8-GB built-in hard drive

* 5X DVD drive with movie playback

* 8-MB removable memory card

* Expansion port