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What's the mood around E3? PS3 and Xbox 360 graphics compared

Ben Zackheim

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Nothing makes me happier than to witness the end of all the speculation about next-gen consoles. Sure, we'll have to tolerate tweaks to the design and the specs, but for the most part we get the idea. What does this mean? It means we can focus on games, as it should be.

One problem. If you take a look in the crystal ball you'll see that we're about to crash head-on with the "who has better graphics" discussion. Remember, the "who has better games" roundtable will only happen after all three consoles are launched.

(Since Nintendo has made it clear that the horsepower fight is below them, we'll spare them the heat here.)

I've read a number of articles in the last few weeks that were in awe of the fact that we haven't been talking about hardware/horsepower specs for the last few months. The recent conventional wisdom has been that gamers are more interested in the games. But now that we've seen some PS3 and Xbox 360 game clips side by side, I think the horsepower talk is about to explode.

If you compare the best clips that Sony has to offer with the best clips that Microsoft has to offer, you clearly see the PS3's superiority. Now, this could be due to a number of things. First and foremost — are the PS3 clips "real"? Do they really show off the in-game capabilities of the console, or are they sweetened, pre-rendered clips of what we may see someday if a developer ever finds itself working with $100 million? If they are real, then Microsoft has some soul-searching to do. After all, they're accustomed to being the hardware kings, and they seem to think they still are with the 360. One look at the specs, though, and you can see that's not the case, at least on paper. And in in-game clips. All of this makes the burning question right now, have they been caught with their pants down by Sony's "final" specs?

This is my read of the prevailing winds at E3, so far. If you're here, and you see it differently, we'd love to hear from you. As an example of what I'm talking about, compare PS3's Fight Night: Round 3 with Xbox 360's Dead or Alive 4. Both of them look amazing. But the PS3 has the clear advantage. If you don't like these choices, then go ahead and take your pick from the other titles at GameTrailers.

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