In the same way price competition is benefitting e-bookworms, PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 video game consoles are going head to head, price-wise, which could mean a great new deal for gamers.

Head to Head

Not long after Sony (Stock Quote: SNE) lowered the price of its regular PS3 by $100 to $299 in August, Microsoft (Stock Quote: MSFT) announced plans to lower the price of the most expensive version of its Xbox game console by $100 to match the PS3. (Read our story about Sony’s decision to drop the price of the PS3).

That’s a plus for die-hard gamers hit by the recession, but those who jumped the gun and immediately rushed to stores as soon as the PS3 price dropped may not have gotten the best possible deal. The regular PS3 costs the same amount as the soon-to-be-released PS3 Slim, which actually has a bigger hard drive too.

Console Cannibalism

As the PS3 Slim reaches retailers nationwide, some expect that hordes of consumers will want to trade up, exchanging their old, full-sized PS3s for the newer, sleeker and slim design.

In an attempt to avoid customer exchange melee when the PS3 Slim comes out, your local Best Buy (Stock Quote: BBY) store may offer you one free game among three different offerings: Infamous, MLB 09 The Show or Killzone 2, if you choose not to trade in a recently-purchased PS3, according one Kotaku, which cites an internal company memo

Those looking to buy a new console now will have to do a side-by-side comparison (Kokatu has a nice one here) will find that the PS3 beats the Xbox360 when it comes to features.

  • The PS3 has built in Wi-Fi, whereas the Xbox 360 charged $99 for an add-on
  • The PS3 has a built in Blu-ray player, the Xbox 360 doesn’t.
  • The PS3 doesn’t charge for online gaming, whereas the Xbox 360 wants $50 a year.

As for who has the better games ... that question is out of our league ... for now.

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at