When it comes to Sony's latest gaming console, I've had a really funny history with it. At the time the PlayStation 3 was released (November of 2006), I just got an Xbox 360 and whenever I saw commercials for the PS3, I would laugh and say “Whose gonna spend $600 on that?!!” As the months went by, I noticed many gamers weren't satisfied with the PS3, and in sales, it was last in place behind the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. However, after Sony remodeled the console so that they could sell it for a much cheaper price (remodeled as the PS3 Slim), the console has made a giant leap in sales and garnered much praise from gamers, not to mention that the PS3's library of quality exclusive games is steadily growing, making the console much more valuable. Even after buying an Alienware gaming PC last June (these computers are beasts), I found myself buying a 120 GB PS3 slim last August because it looked so great, and I don't regret buying it at all.
One of the selling points for the PS3 is the amazing graphics it supports, and as someone whose played with all three of this current generation's gaming consoles and a really beefed-up gaming PC, I can say the graphics match the hype, thanks to the console being built around the Blu-ray disk. I have my PS3 connected to a 720p TV through an HDMI cable, and even though my TV isn't “full HD,” I was still impressed by the amazing visuals generated by games like God of War 3 and Uncharted 2, as they're nearly as good as Crysis with all the graphics settings maxed out on a potent gaming PC (Crysis is a benchmark in graphical quality in videogames). Aside from excellent details in image quality, the game also supports high-resolution textures, lighting, and shading to make “realistic” games look even better. The Xbox 360 can support some great graphics, but the PS3 beats it out overall, and the Nintendo Wii doesn't even come close in this area.
What good is a game console's robust graphics if it doesn't have any great games to play on it? Thankfully, the PS3 out of all the three current consoles, has the largest library of quality exclusive titles, and unlike Nintendo, has adult gamers like myself in mind when making games. Some of the most notable and best exclusive games are the Uncharted series, Killzone series, Resistance series, God of War series, and the Infamous series. It also has support for many fantastic multi-platform titles like the Dead Space series, Crysis 2, Alice: Madness Returns, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Red Faction: Guerrilla, Portal 2, and Borderlands. I know there's people out there who are into different types of games than this, so your opinions may change on what “great games” are available on the PS3. The only really great game that gamers who only have a PS3 will miss out on is Metro 2033, as that one is only available on the PC and the Xbox 360. There's some decent 360 games like the Halo and Gears of War that PS3 gamers may miss out on, but the exclusives the PS3 offers in return offsets this, and there's really nothing exclusive to the Wii you're missing out on if you choose to only have a PS3 (except possibly the newest Zelda and Metroid titles).
For a console made primarily for gaming, the PS3 is the most versatile of the three as you can play PS3 games, DVDs, Blu-ray disks, MP3s, and you can store and share video and image files with your friends through the PlayStation Network (PSN). While I'm on the subject of the PSN, if you hated the fact that Microsoft charges you for Xbox Live, you'll be glad to know that PSN is free for everyone with a PSN account to use. Some people have complained that the newer PS3 Slims don't support PS2 games, I was originally irritated by this, but since some games like the first two God of War games and Shadow of the Colossus games are getting reissued for the PS3, that problem is getting partially remedied. The PS3's tagline is “It only does everything,” and the reality of the console's functionality isn't too far off the mark.
As much fun as I had with the Xbox 360, I hated it whenever I'd get a “red ring” error (I thankfully never had the dreaded “Red Ring of Death,” as my console hasn't died on me to this day), where I'd have to turn off the console and turn it back on again. Sometimes I'd have to repeat this two or three times until the device decides to function properly. I've gotten some good mileage on the PS3 and I haven't gotten a single “yellow light” error as of writing, In short, from my own experience, the PS3 (the Slim model) has been working like a charm, and is a pretty quiet machine.
If you're in the market for a current generation gaming console for the most bang for your buck and don't feel like investing in a gaming PC (these can be very expensive), then the PS3 will be a purchase you won't regret.
What did you think of this review?