Get a Blu-ray player for $50 (kinda)

Why the PlayStation 3 trumps the Xbox 360 Elite

Today, Xbox Australia announced a $100 price drop for its flagship Xbox 360 video game console, the Xbox 360 Elite. The top-of-the-range system will now carry an RRP of $449 -- $50 less than the redesigned Sony PlayStation 3, which will be available at the end of the month.

So what do those extra fifty dollars get you if you decide to go with Sony over Microsoft? In addition to inbuilt wireless and free access to online gaming, the main answer is obviously Blu-ray. Unlike the Xbox 360 Elite, the PS3 is a fully fledged Blu-ray player complete with access to BD Live. Not bad for fifty bucks.

To put that into context, adding a Blu-ray drive to the Dell Inspiron 545s PC costs an additional $275. Now, we realise the Xbox 360 Elite and PlayStation 3 are not the same product, but we feel they’re similar enough to justify the comparison (indeed, the Xbox 360 Elite was initially released as an answer to the PS3's launch). Both consoles offer a similar gaming experience and -- bar the occasional exclusive -- a comparable games library. When it comes to gaming, they're pretty much on par with each other.

So if you're tossing up between these very-similar consoles, pay heed: the PS3 essentially throws in a Blu-ray player for a $50 premium. When you look at it like that, the choice gets a lot easier; especially if you're planning to upgrade to Blu-ray anyway. On the other hand, there's also the Xbox 360 Pro to consider, which costs just $399.

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Chris Jager

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