After 3.5 months of relocation, I finally got my Washington State Driver's License before X'mas. So I decided to buy myself a gift to celebrate year 2006, it was a wonderful year to me.

I never own a console, but honestly, I am a heavy PC gamer. I bought my PSP shortly after its launch and really enjoy gaming everywhere. And now, it's the time for my very first console.

As a geek, I did some serious research on both XBOX360 and PS3 over past 3 weeks. I agree Wii was very nice for casual gaming and I loved WarioWare. But I like first person shooting and racing games, so I decided to get a cutting edge console instead.

I was impressed that the GPU inside XBOX360 outperforms PS3 one. According to some posts, it was an early design of ATi GPU which will be released when DX10 is done. And it also outperforms ATi X1900 XTX too. Yea, I know, the Xenos is not capable for DX10. But with $400, you can get a GPU from the future and Microsoft promised to get your games looks great for a few years, whaddya want?

Many games are now cross-platforms amongst consoles (and only few of them are also available on PC). So, I would prefer a console with great and smooth graphics, instead of great processing power. I don't think you would see Call of Duty 3 on PS3 would get a nice clothing engine utilizing few additional processors found in PS3. If both platforms are very similar to each other, why would the developer bother to spend more time to develop something dedicated to a single platform? So I guess you probably won't see headlines in the future looks like "GTA IV get natural clothing on PS3 and bullet holes on your jacket", and "Rival cars in NFS Carbon are smarter on PS3 than XBOX360". [Edit: GTA IV will be released on PS2, PS3 and XBOX360 platform]

Another strong reason why I choose XBOX360 is few of my friends also bought one before X'mas. XBOX Live is one of the coolest gaming network and I was amazed that the headset connects to the wireless controller, instead to the console (stupid me). And very soon, I can enjoy PC gaming with my XBOX360 Wireless Controller (and future controllers). Wow!

The connected experience is really great on XBOX360, I can stream songs from my Windows PC (non-Media Center) to XBOX360 and make them as background music for Project Gotham Racing 3. And I will probably move the XBOX360 to my bedroom so I can enjoy TV from my MCE too. Nevertheless, whether HD-DVD or BluRay wins, I think I can simply get a new disc drive and enjoy great movies.

I am simply too excited with this great gift for the fantastic year 2006!