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More than One Video Game Console?

August 6, 2007

Specifically, should I buy a PlayStation 3 in addition to the stable of Xbox 360’s around our house (mostly serving as Media Center Extenders)?

Even assuming further price drops, I think the answer is probably "no." Here are the reasons why:

  • Money is not a fundamental constraint that prevents me from purchasing another system. If there were a really compelling reason, I would probably spend the $500 for a PS3 right now.
  • Time is probably the most important constraint. Between work and family activities there is not that much time left to play games. Which is a shame, because there are a bunch of universally hailed, really good games out for the Xbox 360 now. This is not true just of the 360, but generally– games have never been better.
  • Another game console would also take up rack space, in our house however, the consolidation of multiple functions in the Xbox 360 means that this is not a key constraint.
  • Another game console would also require installation: running wires to the A/V Receiver; reprogramming the remote; and disposing of the box. These are not huge costs, but they are costs nonetheless.
  • When playing the PS3 I would not be able to get invites or communications from my friends on Xbox Live or MSN Messenger. Another cost that is not big in and of itself.

There really isn’t any experience I could get with the PS3 (or the Wii for that matter) that is so much better than that from buying another triple-A Xbox 360 game, that it would be worth the costs associated with a new console. It I had more time for gaming, or the bench of 360 titles were not as deep, that would not be the case. But for me, right now, it is the case.

So we remain a Microsoft household.

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