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Xbox 360 vs. PS3. There’s no question that the real battle in the HD home theater space will be decided predominately by these two gaming platforms. With the PS3 launch just a week away, very few movies available in either format, and the sticker price of the stand-alone players in either format, it all boils down to this. Microsoft and Sony have known it for a few years now, which is why they’ve each bet the bank and called in “solids” from all their homies.

Personally I think HD-DVD and Xbox 360 have the advantage, even though their HD-DVD drive was just released. While many in the industry gripe about the fact that Microsoft didn’t embed the HD-DVD capability in their console, I think it was a wise move. The consoles were out on the market at an affordable price a year ahead of the competition, and the $200 price tag for an HD-DVD player is a steal compared to either formats stand-alone players.

I’m sure at some point I will pick up a PS3 (I do have an 8-year old son after all), but I sure won’t be attempting to do so this year. I definitely look forward to checking it out first hand, but I’ll pass on the inevitable assaults that will be committed on and around 11/17 as people scramble to grab the limited few that have been produced. I’d also like to think the PS3 won’t be riddled with problems since Sony’s been so cautious about releasing it, but I’m sure there’ll be a few firmware releases in the next few months regardless.

Anywho, the gist is I don’t think there’ll be a clear winner of this battle for the next few years, if ever. Personally I’d say HD-DVD and Microsoft have the edge at the moment, but even if they don’t win this battle their executive staff will come out unscathed; I can’t say the same for Sony.

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