Microsoft announced this week that after ten-and-a-half years, they were finally calling it quits on the Xbox 360, at least in terms of manufacturing the console. While the Xbox 360 will continue to be supported — there are still games being released for it, and the system’s Xbox Live features are still fully intact — we’ve now arrived at the symbolic end of the console’s lifespan. Despite being an incredibly unreliable piece of hardware in its early years (the red rings of death still strike fear in the hearts of gamers everywhere), the Xbox 360 managed to establish itself as the console of choice for many players thanks to its incredible library of games and generally uncomplicated design.
We thought we’d celebrate the Xbox 360’s impact on gaming by comparing it to its main competitor, Sony’s PlayStation 3 (yes, Nintendo’s Wii outsold both, but it was geared toward a different audience), and listing off the areas where Microsoft’s console had Sony’s beat. Don’t worry, we’re not claiming that the Xbox 360 is “better” than the PlayStation 3 (in fact, we plan to do another piece focused on the PS3’s advantages) but it’s hard to deny that the Xbox 360 had the edge in the following categories.
10. Xbox Live > PlayStation Network
While PlayStation Network had the advantage of being a free service up until Sony introduced the PlayStation Plus subscription in 2010, this turned out to be a case of “you get what you pay for.” Microsoft’s $50/year asking price for Xbox Live Gold seemed a bit steep (and still does to some degree) but it led to a much stabler online experience on Xbox 360 as compared to PS3. Live has suffered its fair share of outages over the years, but it has much better security and infrastructure than PlayStation Network, as evidenced by the infamous 2011 outage where PSN was taken offline for over a month after a security breach. Sony has made strides since then in improving their network and while the two services are much more on par on PS4 and Xbox One, the Xbox 360 had the clear advantage in the online space over the PS3.