Sony Playstation 3 Game Console
Gaming, Blu-ray, Media Player, and an assortment of hidden hacks and features that make it the best all around entertainment center for your HDTV with quite the bargain price.
A bit hot and noisy at times (though much less than the Xbox 360). Gaming library could be bigger.
Cheap for its features but still expensive in comparison to its more game centric competitors.
Go Go Verdict:
The Playstation 3 is the technically superior entertainment center but that has not translated well in market share numbers and it's evident by its smaller gaming library in comparison to the Xbox 360 and Wii. However, if things like Blu-Ray and media center capabilities are high on your list, then the decision is a no brainer: Get it.
Go Go Review
As much as consumers long for the days in which a single console stood firmly on top, and made the choice simple, this is presently not the case.
After nearly four years, the current console war has not yet been decided and making a hard choice between the Wii, Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 is still needed.
In this first part of many reviews to come on the Playstation 3, we will focus on its main aspects and give a preview to other less advertised but surprising value-add hidden features.
Why Playstation 3?
Let look at what you get:
2.5 inch SATA HD for storing video, music and pictures
Blu-ray player (DVDs and CD Playback as well)
Two USB ports
HDMI for up to 1080p resolution
Cell Broadband Engine CPU
DUALSHOCK 3 wireless controller
Divx Certified Player
Considering the cost of a stand-alone Blu-Ray player the machine pays for itself just with that single spec. It's worth noting that Sony has been releasing software updates to the PS3 that keep updating and elevating its Blu-Ray player capabilities.
As for gaming the added advantage of Blu-Ray's storage (up to 50GBs) can allow for massive games. Sadly, because most game developer release simultaneously for several gaming consoles most games have to have their storage scope within the range of under 4.7GBs.
The Playstation 3 has a great finish as to be expected from Sony but it still seems a bit bigger than what would be desired; but it's about the same size as the Xbox 360. However, the Xbox 360 cheats a bit by having the power supply as a giant external brick that still gets in the way. So the PS3 we would say is smaller. The PS3 runs quite a bit hot and this is due to the IBM based PowerPC chip that traditionally runs hot (ask any Power Mac G5 user). It definitely is a system that cannot be hidden inside an entertainment center as the ventilation would be insufficient. Due to its high temperature, this has occasionally made the fans on the PS3 rotate quite vigorously depending on the task and creates a noise loud enough to be noticeable while watching movies. In its defense however the Xbox 360, also IBM PowerPC based, seems to run even hotter and is twice as loud.
Gaming library is still smaller than the Xbox 360 and could frankly benefit from more exclusives. However, the exclusive titles it does have such as Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, Metal Gear Solid 4 and the upcoming God of War III do make it quite enticing.
However, some of the true killer features of the Playstation 3 are hardly advertised. These features are media centric and Sony has been shy advertising them since they could been seen as condoning controversial consumer-centric formats and delivery methods.
Although in this article we won't discuss in detail how to achieve each one of these hidden features we will have followup reviews and info articles later on with more information. Here are a few samples:
Please note that none of the listed features below will require any kind of special tinkering on the PS3 itself (software or hardware)
- Play Blu-Rays without Blu-ray - The PS3 can actually allow you to play hard drive backups of your Blu-Ray discs. You can even configure it to have a jukebox like capability
- Stream M2TS, VOB, MP4 and Divx files without transferring them to your PS3's hard drive and without transcoding or even sacrificing forward or rewind capabilities
- Play MKV at full quality with only simple lossless remuxing
We believe that although the gaming library on the Playstation 3 still lags behind the Xbox 360, its media centric features are a value add that should tilt your wallet towards the PS3.
Once again, please look forward to future articles detailing the Playstation 3 's hidden feature set.
The Playstation 3 is available at retailers such as Amazon.com and all major electronic stores.