I went shopping for a system for my son...here's what I found
The Red ring of death is a BIG problem...The PS3 has few if any hardware crashes.
You have to buy the upper packages such as the 360 elite to get the online gaming
You don't have to buy anything special with the Play station to get online.
It's really about preferences on games because the PS and XBOX both have their own line of shooter games...so if you don't mind that you can't play Halo on the PS then that my be your system.
My opinion: Xbox has more to it, cheaper, has the better online community, and more people own one, but PlayStation 3 is the best of the two