Well Microsoft give people a choice on what sort of 360 they want to suit their needs. They don’t force you to pay for things like Sony does with the PS3. Some people might not want the HD-DVD feature, and so don’t have to pay for it with the 360. But those who do can buy it. You might not want Blu Ray or SACD playback or any other of it’s non-gaming features, but you have to pay for them nonetheless hence the hefty price tag. Also, there are 4 versions of the PS3 out as well (the 20, 40, 60 and 80GB models), where some don’t have SACD playback or PS2 compatibility. So PS3 don’t have just the one package either. You don’t have to support Blu Ray or HD-DVD to be considered a next-gen console. Look at the Wii, it doesn’t even support DVD yet it is still a 7th generation console.
In terms of gaming (which is what a console is made for in the first place), I think the 360 is superior at this moment in time. I’ve seen so many real life comparisons of the same games on both the 360 and PS3 and there is a very little difference. Sometimes the PS3 looks letter, sometimes the 360 does. Also, the 360 has many more games (but then again the 360 has been out for longer). Furthermore, games released on both formats seem to be better or have more features on the 360 version. For example, the 360 version of GTA IV is going to have two extra exclusive episodes (adding hours of entire new gameplay to the game and not just a few new cars or something). The PS3 version of Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 has poor gameplay because of the bugs and lag. It is unplayable at times.
It’s no secret that Sony completely messed up the PS3’s launch. It was a laughing stock. Their biggest mistake was delaying the release by 5 months. Also, in terms of sales the 360 is doing much better. Here are the numbers:
Wii = 21.49M (44.4%)
360 = 16.98M (35.1%)
PS3 = 9.94M (20.5%)