PS3 v 360: there can only be one

Big in 2006: Sony PS3Due: Spring or December£TBA, we predict £300Spring 2006, apparently. We’re betting that’s May for Japan, August for the US, Novem

Big in 2006: Sony PS3

Due: Spring or December

£TBA, we predict £300

Spring 2006, apparently. We’re betting that’s May for Japan, August for the US, November for us. But when it does arrive, the PS3 looks set to wipe Bill Gates’ smirk off sharpish. It’s packing theoretically double the power of the Xbox 360. And Sony has the big franchises locked already – including Metal Gear 4, Final Fantasy XII and (probably) the next Grand Theft Auto.

The catch? The visuals shown at E3 looked like movies rather than games, the hard drive might be extra, the graphics processor doesn’t exist yet and Sony’s online strategy is still anyone’s guess.

What we do know is that this is the most anticipated console of the next gen – twice as many of you voted for the PS3 over the 360 in our December poll of which you were most excited about – and the high-def is going to be awesome. Support for 1080p means 1080 lines in progressive scan, which in turn means eye-popping visuals the likes of which you’ve never seen before. Dual HDMI outputs throws up the possibility of a double plasma set-up. Put your life savings in a no-access fund before it’s too late.

Elsewhere, there’s a Blu-Ray drive – this’ll be one of the first UK gadgets to play the high-def movie-packing discs – and enough connectivity to make your average PC look like a bog-dwelling loner. Whether the boomerang-shaped controller is a moment of design genius or the nadir of ergonomic hell remains to be seen.