What Is the Difference Between Xbox and PlayStation?

By Stephen Lilley

Consider game variety and connectivity when deciding on which console best suits you.
i Junko Kimura/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 both play video games but each console device has its own strengths and weaknesses. The Xbox 360 does certain things that the PlayStation 3 can't and vice versa. If you're trying to decide which one to purchase, there are many different things you can consider.

Exclusive Games

Certain game franchises are exclusive to either the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3. Notable exclusive games for the PlayStation 3 include the "Final Fantasy" franchise and the "Metal Gear Solid" franchise. For its part, the Xbox 360 has the "Halo" franchise and the "Fable" franchise.

Home Video Playback

The PlayStation 3 natively supports the playback of both DVD and Blu-ray video discs. The Xbox 360 supports the playback of HD-DVD video discs with the purchase of an external HD-DVD drive add-on that connects to the system. You cannot play Blu-ray video discs on an Xbox 360 and you cannot play HD-DVD discs on a PlayStation 3, largely because Sony, who makes the PlayStation 3, owns the Blu-ray format.

Internet Connectivity

Both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 natively support wired Internet connections, either from a broadband modem or a broadband router, via Ethernet cables. The PlayStation 3 also includes native support for wireless Internet network connections. To connect to a wireless network on an Xbox 360 you have to purchase an external wireless adapter for the device.


Early versions of Microsoft's Xbox 360 did not support the output of audio and video over HDMI cables. You could only get high definition quality video using a component video cable. The PlayStation 3 has always supported HDMI. Newer versions of the Xbox 360 console include a port for a single HDMI cable on the rear of the unit.