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A Great Console For the Most Part

  • Jul 26, 2009
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The Playstation 2 was a huge success.  Right now it stands as the bestselling console of all time.  Well, for the moment, the Nintendo DS is pretty close to catching up.  But on the front of all this, one thing is simple: Sony created a huge mega selling system!  The Playstation 3 had high expectations.  Could it live up?  Well, sure.  In some ways it really can.  But there are two sides to Sony's history.  The first is that while they make good consoles, they also often forget that video games sell consoles.  By that I mean that while the Playstation 2 was an awesome system... it was the games that made it that way, despite that Sony was pushing the DVD playback more at launch.  The Playstation 3 suffers in that same way. 

But we're mostly here to talk about the system in and of itself.  And the Playstation 3 is a pretty good system, despite that it still doesn't have the support that it really needs.  But part of that may be more because of a launch that didn't prove to be successful in the long run.  And by that I simply mean that while people went after it, the price kept it from selling nearly as much as it could've.  In the end, the Playstation 3 certainly didn't ride the coattails of the Playstation 2's success.  

I must preface this review by stating that in no way will you find partisan fanboyism in this review.  If you'd like t know about the 360 or the Wii, I recommend you go check out their respective data points.  Gaming has become similar to politics.  People keep bickering about which system is better....  While there's nothing wrong with preference, there is something that can be said about the mentality of gamers online.  I recommend staying away from gaming forums if you'd like to keep your IQ as high as it can get.  

The Playstation 3

If there was one thing anyone could say about the Playstation 3 right off... it does have a distinct and stylistic look.  It's black, as you might expect, but it's also slick and shiny.  The system is also pretty heavy.  But this is because there's a lot included in the Playstation 3.  The system does quite a bit of things.  The disc is loaded into the console, but the PS3 goes to show that the days of the disc tray are over.  It just slides in nice and easy and loads.  Rather than pressing lots of buttons to turn it on, there's simply a sensitive touch system in place.  And even then, you don't have to do that.  The wireless controller it comes with does just about everything.  From turning the system on to booting up games and everything.  The wireless controller is nothing new, but one nice thing about the PS3's controller in particular is that there's a rechargable battery inside, and it can easily be charged by plugging the controller into the console using a USB cord.  If you want you can also charge it by plugging it into your PC.  Another unique thing about the PS3 controller is that it CAN be used as a gamepad for your PC if you'd like (though you have to download a plugin to use it), but it's rather nice.

Graphically, the Playstation 3 has some pretty good looking and running games.  However, there are quite a few games that don't look nearly as good as they do on the 360.  Is it because the PS3 is in its infancy?  Well, hardly.  As of writing this review it's been out for three years, and games that go multiplatform still continue to look superior on the 360.  Sometimes the difference is rather hard to see, but picking up games like Ghostbusters shows a huge difference between both consoles.  Other times with games like Resident Evil 5 there's hardly a difference between either version.  In most cases it appears to be lighting effects more than anything.  The buzz is that the PS3 is much more powerful than the 360.  If this is true, then most developers have yet to realize the potential.  On the other hand, games that are exclusive to the PS3 tend to be some of the best looking games out there.  Games like Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune are incredibly good looking games.  Especially Uncharted which shows just how much detail a PS3 game can really convey.  The theory for this is that when it comes to multiplatform, most developers don't want to put in that extra work to make a PS3 game the best it can be.  So it does have potential to be a graphical powerhouse.  The exclusive titles show that.  There are no limits when it's a PS3 exclusive.  The only real problem is that a lot of great PS3 exclusive titles are few and far between.  And many of the system's premiere games also happen to be on the 360.  What exclusives the PS3 does have are amazing, but most of the don't come quite as often as you'd like.  

One of the biggest issues of PS3 is that there are just too damn many out there!  Well, not really.  Overall there are at least seven different PS3 consoles out there.  There's the standard 20 Gig, the 40 gig, the 60 gig, two different 80 gigs (if you cound the MGS4 bundle) and a 160 gig.  Most of the other "types" aren't really sold anymore.  You can still find the 80 gig (the non MGS4 bundle) and 160 but they don't have the backwards compatibility with them.  They still play PS1 games, at least.  On the other hand, while it's cheaper to buy these versions some just aren't happy about the lack of playing PS2 games.

Yet when I say the PS3 does a lot I'm not kidding.  There's a CD player in there, and it still plays DVDs.  Along those lines there's also the Blu-Ray player.  If you're guessing that Sony was actually pushing the video game playback of their console, you're wrong.  They spent much of their time pushing Blu-Ray.  Blu-Ray gives you incredible picture... but this also means that getting the most out of your Playstation 3 can be more expensive than it appears.  At a minimum, the console costs 400 bucks.  But it suffers from similar problems of the 360 in the regard of playback.  That being that there are some games that just don't look good or can be hard to play on a Standard Definition Television.  In short, to get the most out of a PS3 (or 360 for that matter) you'd be better off investing in an HDTV (at least 720p).  There's almost no point in watching a Blu-Ray if it isn't in High Definition.  The point is, the "video" part of video gaming is now getting a lot of emphasis.  And when you do get your PS3 hooked up to an HDTV you'll be surprised at a world of difference it can make.  It's just that in order to experience that it might be pricey at first.

Perhaps the only major gripe with the system, is that even with all that space on the system... it can go pretty fast.  This is because some games for the PS3 have a mandatory install.  What exactly is the big deal?  Well, some games can take up little space.  Disgaea 3, for example, barely takes up 200MB.  But games like say... Resident Evil 5 and Metal Gear Solid 4 can take upwards of 5 gigabytes.  This is A LOT of space if you only invested in that 20 gig model.  Even worse is that the installation time can be a killer.  Games can take anywhere from just a a minute or two to twenty minutes to install.  The good news is that you only need to install a game once.  The bad news is that if you invest in a lot of games and they're all taking up space, you might find that even 80 gigs can dwindle down quickly.  Remember, you also still need to save data from your games.  Not to mention downloading things also takes up space as well.

It's nice that you can hop online for free, though.  All you need is to register to the Playstation Network.  So you can play games online at no extra charge.  But buying downloadable content is still going to cost you.  But it is nice to download demos for free and it's also nice to be able to surf the internet.  That's not to say you'll get bad quality.  Most of the time it's pretty easy surfing and simple to use. 

While this is supposed to be a review of the console... we can still talk games for just a second.  A gaming console is useless if it doesn't have good games.  Luckily the PS3 does have several good games.  The number of exclusives aren't as miniscule as you might think, but the fact that many of the PS3's best games are also on the 360 might cause some people to hold off on a PS3 for the moment.  While you won't experience Metal Gear Solid 4, Uncharted, Rachet and Clank LittleBigPlanet etc. on the PS3 (all of which are very good games) it's hard to say "get a PS3" if some of these exclusives aren't appealing and price is the only thing affecting your choice for a game console the PS3 is a hard sell. 

Is it a good system?  Definitely.  It is definitely worthwhile for most gamers.  It's just too bad it got off to such a rocky start. 

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About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this video game console


The seventh generation of the PlayStation series, PlayStation 3 or PS3 for short, was released in November 17, 2006 in North America, and offers a unified gaming service, The PlayStation Network; multimedia capabilities; connectivity with the PlayStation Portable and a Blue-ray 2.0 compliant player. 
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Brand: Sony
Category: Video Game Consoles
Developer: SCEI
Release Date: November 11, 2006

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"PS3 Rocks"
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