on November 1, 2011
Okay, the hardest part of any review to me is an introduction. I am primarily an Xbox 360 owner, and that is what I use for most online games such as Battlefield or Call of Duty. However, I can now confidently say that spending $300 for a PS3 is worth it just for the sake of the Uncharted series alone. I would literally throw down that kind of money just for these three games, something I have not done since the original Xbox when Halo came out. I played the first two games on my buddies PS3 a few years back, but only recently decided to claim actual ownership over a PS3 system with the purchase of this bundle. I like the system, its controller feels great, feels reliable (basically it doesn't feel cheap). I like the fact that the system is silent when playing games, I also like that the online is free (but I feel Xbox Live is more organized, and yes I'll admit, there is a bias to my statement, sorry guys).
I'm going to go ahead and close this review, making it a short one. Why? Because I feel I summed up that I obviously like the system and the Uncharted series. I also feel that there are already plenty of reviews that go into explicit detail over the system, online, Blu-Ray and games. If you don't own a PS3, but want to jump into the PlayStation community, while experiencing a great game series such as Uncharted, buy this bundle. Playing Uncharted has done something to me that no other game has done since Halo ten years prior or Shenmue for the Dreamcast twelve years prior, and that is spend hundreds of dollars to play one game. That comment alone I believe sums up this review and any review from any individual or game site. Uncharted is the PlayStation's Halo - its "killer app", and to me, worth spending the money to experience.
on January 10, 2012
I'm breaking down this review in 3 catagories which are the saving cost of buying the bundle, The PS3 System itself, and the UNCHARTED 3 game.
1. Savings as far as buying as a bundle:
This is actually a really good deal for 2 reasons. One, the PS3 320GB system normally cost anywhere new between $290 and $300 dollars by itself which means your getting Uncharted 3 (As of this writing the retail is between between $50 and $60 dollars) for free. Second, is with the cost of Hard drives having doubled and in some cases almost tripled due to the current hard drive shortage the hard drive alone is worth anywhere between $150 to $200 dollars by itself. the overall cost savings on both items mentioned more than justifies this purchase.
2. The PS3 Game Console System:
This is actually our family's second PS3, the 1st one my son got an almost pristine PS3 1st Generation 60gb CECHAxx Launch model (November 2006) from his 2 best friends as a Christmas Present, not realizing at the time what a diamond in the rough he was receiving. I'm not going to lie to you, If anybody still owns one of this original launch models and it still works, KEEP IT! They are vastly superior to these newer "Slim" Models that Sony is now selling. The reason for the additional purchase is Problems started to arise with "play time" on the PS3 with my son so I decided to go ahead and purchase one for myself and the rest of the family. With that being said, I will move on with the review of this 320GB 4th generation PS3 Slim Model (CECH-30xxB series).
The Hardware on the inside is the same reliable PS3 Hardware Sony has sold since almost after the launch of the original PS3 in North America (Once they fixed the Blu-Ray defect). Starts right up, plays my PS3 Games perfectly, works with my blu-rays, and works perfectly with my home Network. The Dual Shock 3 wireless Controller that comes with it works awesome and is easy to use. The HDMI and Sound are also equally awesome (Has to be plugged into a "amplifier/receiver" to tap into the Dolby Digital sound experience). As far as the drawbacks go there really is only 1 that stares you right in the face and that is the New "Slim" Design, It's God Awful. The Best way to describe is as my oldest son put it; "Dad, That looks Ghetto!"; However, due to its size it was easily hidden inside my entertainment center and barely noticeable to the naked eye. The only other minor problem is sometimes you can hear the hard drive on the PS3 when it's being written to and read to.
Features of the PS3 4th Generation Console:
* 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
* 2 X USB 2.0 ports
* BRAVIA Sync XMB control (CEC)
* Slimmer form factor
* Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio bitstreaming (available Through Optical Sound Cord with an open optical port on your Home Theaters "Amplifier/Receiver")
* 320GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive (Upgradeable up to 1TB 9.5mm form factor laptop hard drives)
* 3D Capable for both 3D Blu-Ray Games and Movies (You muat have a 3D capable monitor or TV in order for this to work)
* Plays normal CD and DVD movie or Music ROMS
* 10/100/1000 built-in NIC
* Playstation 1 (PS1) Backward Compatibility. Updated 11-13-2012: Just FYI the AMAZON Description of the this PS3 Slim Bundle is WRONG concerning NO Backward compatibility for the PS1, I just tested Duke Nukem: A Time to Kill for the PS1 just recently (about 2 weeks ago)and it worked like a champ.
* 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p Resolution (Up to 1080p with HDMI cord and 1080p monitor/TV, 480i with RCA plugs only)
* Reduced Heat Output
Features Removed/No Longer available on this generation PS3 console that was available in previous PS3 Generation Models:
* 4 USB 2.0 ports
* SACD playback
* Linux support
* Flash memory card readers
* Playstation 2 (PS2) Backward Compatibility
Accessories that comes in the Box with the PS3 Game System:
* Dual Shock 3 Wireless Controller (1)
* USB Recharge Cord for Dual Shock 3 Controller (1)
* AC Cord (1)
* Modified PS3 RCA plugs (1)
* Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception (1) - Only comes with the Uncharted 3 PS3 Bundle
Recommend additional Accessories at time of purchase:
* Additional PlayStation 3 Dualshock 3 Wireless Controller (Black)
* Eforcity HDMI Cable, 10 feet
* Mediabridge - Toslink Cable - Optical Digital Audio Cable - 6ft (Only If planning to plug your PS3 into your Home Theatre Receiver Sound System)
Another plus to this Game system is the feature rich applications that are available for use that come with the PS3 Standard like Netflix (monthly fee), Video & Picture Editing, Use of the PSN Network, and Internet browsing. Also Additional Accessories like the MOVE Package can be added to this system as well.
3. The Uncharted 3 Game:
For those who have played the previous Uncharted games you will not be disappointed, it bigger and badder than before. Nathan Drake and mentor Victor Sullivan are once again traveling around the world to such places as the Rub' al Khali desert, in search of the legendary lost city, the Iram of the Pillars. Elena Fisher and Chloe Frazer also return in Uncharted 3. The plot draws from the archaeology days of T. E. Lawrence.
Several new features have been included in the game, including mechanics that create gameplay situations designed to assist the losing team, improves ability enhancements and augmentations that must be purchased for each use, special abilities that are made available when a certain amount of medals has been attained within a match, and "Uncharted TV", a small video window that appears throughout the multiplayer menus, creating a video that can be uploaded to Facebook, YouTube or the XMB. Multiplayer also includes a character creation system, allowing a user to extensively customise their in-game character. Co-operative multiplayer also returns from Uncharted 2.
Other than that it's like most everybodys review of the game, graphics are aewsome, game play astounding, you will be playing for hours to play the game.
4. In Conclusion: Wether you are buying a PS3 for the first time, adding a second one, want the game and would not hurt to have another PS3, or just replacing a no longer working PS3 this is the bundle to get. I would overall highly recommend picking up.
on November 23, 2011
It took a deployment to Afghanistan to finally break down and purchase a PS3, but I'm glad I finally made the decision.
The 320GB Uncharted 3 bundle is perfect for the adventure/action game types that really aren't interested in the Move bundle. I already have the Kinect for the 360 back home, and while neat, I found it to be a bit of a gimmick. Add in that space is a premium out here, I felt that the Move was an unnecessary premium.
I owned the original PS3 a few years back and I have to say that the fit and finish of the lighter slim doesn't seem as nice as the original (IE, satin black versus the nicer looking Piano Black) but I wouldn't go so far as to call it cheap. It seems this time around, it's just the basics, but you have to ask yourself: How often are you staring at your gaming console anyway?
I probably don't have to tell you that the graphics are on par with the 360. I haven't had the two side by side, but nothing has been so significantly better to stand out from what you'd expect from the competing console. Really these days, with an exception of a few rare exclusive games, your decision is probably more on what controller you're more comfortable with.
Speaking of controllers, the tried and true wireless Playstation controller is still mostly unchanged and feels like it could still take the beatings that most controllers do.
But that's enough about the console.
Uncharted 3 is probably one of the most enjoyable bundled games I've played since the days when Sonic 2 and Super Mario World were the standard issue. The controls are easy to pick up, the storyline is intriguing, action packed, and character development is quite good. I hadn't played the first two games, but with the plot of the number 3 installment being pretty self contained, I was able to step right in without feeling lost in the events. I likened the game to Indiana Jones or The Mummy, set in modern times. You follow the footsteps of Nathan Drake and his friends as they search for lost treasure by puzzle solving, fist fighting, and shooting their way across the globe. Throughout the game, you wonder if he also moonlights as a parkour champion, as you spend a good deal of your time climbing and making death defying leaps over obstacles in your way. The game's pace is very good at going from highs and lows, and not staying in either for too long. You may find yourself solving one of the game's many puzzles only the next to end up in an epic shoot out as you try to escape a burning building. I will say that the game is not for the faint of heart. Even on normal, you may find yourself dying... a lot. There are just certain ways to do some things and the game doesn't always reward brute force. Despite this, the single player campaign gets a 5 out of 5 in my book.
Multiplayer, for a tack on feature is actually pretty fun. I haven't tried any of the online features yet, but the split screen offers co-op modes of a separate story line, as well as deathmatch-like scenarios such as capture the flag, base defense, and survival. It's no Halo or Modern Warfare, but I'd give the multiplayer a high 3 out of 5.
So in conclusion, if you have been on the fence about the PS3, love adventure/action games, and not really interested in gimmicks like the Move, this is definitely the bundle for you.
on January 13, 2012
I thought I would write up this review and cover some of the things I feel others have left out of their reviews of the PS3.
First thing, PS Home. It's a full-on virtual world for you and your friends to mingle, play FREE games within PS Home, customize your house (which if I had this nice of an apartment with this awesome of a view in real life I would be one very happy camper), customize your avatar (which is 100x more realistic than your cartoony Xbox avatar), among other cool things I'm sure, all for FREE. My only complaint with PS Home is the pricing of some of the avatar and apartment extras, but this is a complaint on Xbox too. I mean this is digital clothes and furniture we are talking about here, not physical! I shouldn't have to pay a real dollar for a digital shirt for my digital avatar. I guess they have to make money on something though.
Second, PS+. Sure you can play online with your friends free (which is a major plus for PS3). So why pay for PS+? I'll tell you why. The wealth of freebies! Already in my 30 day PS+ trial I have downloaded; 3 PSone games (Syphon Filter 1-3), 4 Minis (sort of like small XBLA games), also both PSone games & Minis can be played on PS3 and PSP. Saving the best for last, Back to the Future: The Game Episodes 1-5 (which is a PS3 exclusive, and was a big disappointment for me when it came out and I didn't have a PS3 yet, as I am a huge BTTF fan). All for FREE! What I'm not 100% sure about is whether you can still play these games if you cancel the PS+ subscription, but if Sony keeps it coming with the freebies, it more than justifies the cost of PS+.
Third, DC Universe Online. It's FREE! Free to download & free to play! I'm currently downloading it, clocking in at around 15GB, and with my slowish DSL it is gonna take about 5 forevers, but I have no doubt it will be worth the wait time. I will say this though, I'm not 100% sure if it currently being free for me is due to the PS+ subscription or not, but if you need PS+ to play it, it's still cheaper than most pay-to-play MMOs.
When you buy a new PS3 these days, you are given just a wealth of extras. I am highly impressed! I haven't even hardly cracked into the Uncharted series, which is the reason I bought a PS3 in the first place. Sony has won me over, and while Xbox Live has impressed me over the years, PS+ definitely gives you more bang for your buck.
Will I get rid of my 360 now? Not a chance! Most multiplats work/look better on 360. Besides, I have WAAAY too many 360 games that I love. I have always been a multi-console kind of guy anyway, and now my current generation family is complete, and this newest family member brought gifts with it! Hooray! My PS3 looks quite dashing next to my Xbox 360 & Wii...
So in closing if you don't have a PS3 yet. What are you waiting for? Go for it! You will not be disappointed!
EDIT: The freebies from PS+ do expire with your PS+ service, but you can play them as long as you are a PS+ subscriber. They also renew when you renew, so if you let your PS+ membership run out, you can always get your games back once you sign back up. Now going on 2 months of PS+ service I have well over 20 games from the service that didn't cost me an extra penny, so $50 a year is well worth it in my opinion. PS+ is also shaping up to be a way better value to me than XBL Gold, I have never received any free games from Xbox in my 5 years of being a XBL Gold subscriber.
As for DC Universe Online, it's free-to-play whether you have PS+ or not, so it's a decent alternative to all the pay-to-play MMOs out there. Sure WoW might be a tad more fun, but seriously who wants to pay $10 a month just to play 1 game. Unless you have unlimited time to play games you are simply wasting money with pay-to-play games.
So there you have it. You are getting a lot of bang for your buck with PS3, so what are you waiting for? I noticed the price on this bundle is going up, which means they probably aren't making this particular bundle anymore. Although I'm sure there is another similar bundle out there.
on November 12, 2011
I started having issues with my fat 40gb PS3 a little while ago(overheating, screaming cooling fan). I decided to buy this package because I really wanted a slim PS3 and I love the Uncharted series. The newest slim model is incredibly quiet and runs much cooler than my fat 40gb PS3. I have completed Uncharted 3 and Heavy Rain and the PS3 has hardly made a peep. I got so tired of my fat PS3 cooling fan going full blast, drowning out the game or movie sound. I love the compact size, the buttons and the lack of LED lights. I am a firm believer that a game system shouldn't be a center piece that is crying out for attention. A game system should be as concealed and unnoticeable as possible. It's the game that should have the attention. I wish I purchased a slim earlier. I love the minimalistic approach. Some have complained about the Blu-ray reader being loud. I barely noticed. In fact, if it hadn't been brought up on other reviews, it wouldn't have crossed my mind. I have put it through a lot in a short period of time and am very satisfied.
UNCHARTED 3 REVIEW:
I was really looking forward to this game. The reviews and the hype were all there. Unfortunately 'Uncharted 3' can't hold a flame to its predecessor. The single player campaign is much shorter and the story lacks any real depth. The bad guys are weaker and less impressive. The bonus' were lacking and the intrigue wasn't there. It has epic moments. Graphics are amazing. Acting is amazing. Just seemed more repetitive than the previous games. Similarities with movies like 'Lawrence of Arabia' and 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade' can't be missed. In fact, this game is almost an homage to those movies. Seemed like Naughty Dog Studio was under more pressure this time around to pump a game out. I think when Uncharted 4 comes out, I will be waiting for it to drop in price considerably or perhaps rent it.
on January 9, 2012
I'm primarily an Xbox junkie - longtime Halo fan, I have two 360s for 4-player coop, have logged many an hour fragging on Live with my younger brother, have poured far too much money into XBLA games and addons - you get the picture.
I didn't conceive of myself getting a PS3 until the pricetag was at least sub-$200. But then, you see, a funny thing happened: my parents got a 3D TV. And I bought some stereoscopic 3D games for the 360. And I was totally blown away.
Before long, I'm looking for more 3D games like a junkie who needs to feed his habit. But shoot, I've bought all the S3D games for the 360, and... for a brief few weeks, I'm lost. In a daze. Not sure what to do with myself and the money I'm earning that I'd promised myself I'd save to finish the last year of my college education.
Except... one day, I find out the PS3 has become the PS3D. And there's a nice library of PS3D exclusives that are... well, 3D. Not just that, but I quickly find out that Shadow of the Colossus -- a game I have loved for many years and will continue to love for years more -- was recently re-released in glorious HD and stereoscopic 3D.
The rest of my life quickly unfolds before my eyes: I think of the girl I've loved all my life, the one I've been thinking of proposing to - and I forget her instantly in favor of this black chick I'm going to pick up on Amazon for $300. I wasn't even planning on shelling out another $50 for more head, but I saw the normal 320gb model went for $300, and this bundle had a free sterescopic 3D game thrown in for the same price. Hawt.
Fast forward to now. I have beaten Uncharted 3 and SotC in S3D. Both games are astounding. Amazing. Awesome. Ridiculous. Mind-blowingly immersive. No number of adjectives will do justice. (Aside: I cannot believe that none of my PS3-owning friends ever recommended the Uncharted series to me)
My finishing statement: words cannot begin to describe how fulfilling this purchase was for me. I mean, I don't think I've felt this warm and fuzzy since watching Azumanga Daioh. This purchase is a win.
I am happy :)
on April 5, 2013
Got this for my son for his birthday and we are both very happy. It arrived in 2 days from the seller and worked straight out of the box. He is only 11 and I know very little about playstation. He opted for this model as all his friends have this console and he is familiar with it. Plus he felt the super slim looked a little flimsy and the reviews about the disc door/lid put him off having the latest model even though it had more memory. This was also a better option for me as the game with the 500GB is not for kids. (Assassin's Creed). Although Uncharted is rated Teen, its ok for a kid who is 11. No blood and guts and obscene language from what I have heard/seen. The main character is a bounty hunter so whilst he does get into some shoot outs and high speed chases, its more like Inidiana Jones than anything else. He's been playing it non stop since it arrived a few days ago, so I have ample time to observe the game in action. Thankfully school is out at the moment. :) I think he will get many years of enjoyment out of this unit. Its a great deal especially with the game included as I have come to realise that PS games are anything but cheap!!! It's apparently the 'best birthday present ever'!!! :)
on April 12, 2012
I decided to wait about a month until I finally did a review on my new PS3. I jumped on the bandwagon a little late in the game, but that's only because I was very unacknowledged about how much a VERSATILE machine the PS3 actually is. I had a Xbox 360 since 2008, and recently traded it in because I was quite frankly sick of video games, especially the select few good ones on the 360. I have a 3D HD TV as well, and I needed a 3D Blu-ray player to watch 3D movies. The Xbox 360 doesn't have a Blu-ray player built in, let alone play 3D Blu-ray. Also the Xbox 360 had very few titles that were 3D-capable so I had to move on. With no video game console at home, I entertained myself for a few months solely on cinema with my 3D Blu-ray player.
UNTIL......I started craving to play video games again. I realized Grand Theft Auto 5 was still to come, as well as a new Tomb Raider that looked promising. Also I did some research on the Uncharted series exclusive to the PS3 and wondered......
Then I finally looked into the CAPABILITIES of the PS3 and nearly slapped myself! This system does virtually everything; at least that I needed and MORE. It's a complete machine enabling one to watch 3D Blu-ray games and movies, regular Blu-ray games and movies, all DVDs, all CDs, read and copy USB DRIVES, has a web browser, FREE online game play and experience, excellent exclusive titles......I mean it goes on and on. The Xbox 360 is no where near as complete, and I was totally oblivious to this all these years. Their exclusive titles are the best of this generation and arguably of all time. And all of the PS3 versions of games I played on my 360 are way better, and better looking on the PS3. The Uncharted 3 PS3 bundle is worth every penny as well. Uncharted 3 itself still sells for a higher than you-want-to pay price, new or used. So this game in this bundle is really a gift, instead of a usual throw away game like my Xbox 360 bundle from 2008.:(
I immediately sold my 3D Blu-ray player, and now all I have is my PS3. I don't need another device in my room. THE PS3 IS EFFICIENT, enough said!
Just don't HESITATE and BUY YOURS NOW!
on January 12, 2012
I have hardly even ever touched a PS3 controller until I bought this bundle. I immediately bought the other two Uncharted games as a dual pack and have yet to play Uncharted 3. Here's my review so far:
The system is great. The menu system was a little confusing at first, but I already created an account online for PSN and signing in was s breeze. The pack comes with a free month of Playstation Plus and it seems like it's the same deal as the extra stuff with xbox live. Might keep it, might not.
Uncharted games are fantastic. One was a little slow/painful at certain parts but the quality ramped up in 2 and 3 looks to be better.
on November 14, 2011
Below is a review of this product: Sony PlayStation 3 320GB Uncharted 3 Bundle. Amazon may display this review on the page of another version of this product, for which this review may not apply. After reading this review, please click on the link so that you can be assured that the product this review applies to is the same one you thought it was for.
Most people who review the PlayStation 3 will probably focus on the games. I'm going to focus on everything else, especially some of the little details that most reviewers won't mention. Hopefully I'll mention a specific detail that is important to you so my ramblings and notes won't be in vain :-)
The PlayStation 3 (PS3) system that comes in the Uncharted 3 bundle is 320GB, model CECH-3001B. It comes pre-installed with v3.66 of the system software/firmware. You will be required to update it in order to play the Uncharted 3 game that is bundled with the system. I updated it to v3.73 on November 10, 2011 and the game played without a problem so far. Due to the required update, it can be said that the Uncharted 3 game doesn't truly work "out of the box" :-) Although I will be specifically reviewing model CECH-3001B, some of my information will be applicable to other models.
After I took everything out of the box and looked at the contents, I noticed that the system does NOT come with an owner's manual. There's a small fold-out Quick Start guide, a Safety and Support book, an ESRB Ratings sheet, and that's it. The PlayStation 2 that I bought 10 years ago came with a manual in the box, and I expected the same with the PS3. Looking over the PDF manuals Sony has available at bit.ly/cbLZfE, it appears that they didn't even make one for the new CECH-3001B model. They only have manuals for some older models: CECH-2001A/B through CECH-2501B. I'm sure that the majority of the information in the 320GB CECH-2501B would be applicable for my system, so at least I have that for reference, but at 50+ pages long for the English section, it's too large to print out and keep as a hard copy. (There's a constantly-updated online manual at bit.ly/IuG71 but it's useless for offline reference.) I do feel rather cheated that I paid $300 for the system, only for Sony to be too cheap to include a real manual in the box.
Also amongst the scant printed documentation is a card with a code granting me a 30-day free PlayStation Plus membership. According to the site, PlayStation Plus gives you free games, huge discounts, exclusive features, early access to demos and priority beta invitations, and full game trials. The catch? In order to activate the free trial you must give them your credit card information. The reason? After your 30 days are up, they're going to automatically start billing you for a regular membership unless you call them to cancel beforehand. No thank you, Sony. I don't fall for this scam when other companies do it, so I'm not going to fall for it with you. Sony will NEVER have my credit card information as I never intend to buy anything online from them through the console. I only buy goods that I have unfettered ownership of.
Powering up the PS3 and going through the setup routine was quick and easy, though I had to press the small reset button on the back of my DualShock 3 controller because it somehow got misregistered to the system (I think I was supposed to plug it in after powering up the system for the first time). I got quite a scare from this, but thankfully it didn't take long to get everything working perfectly. I knew that the Ghostbusters Blu-ray included a Ghostbusters PS3 menu theme, so that was the first disc I put in the system. That theme is now installed on my system and I have no plans to ever change it :-)
The reason I just purchased a PS3 was, primarily, to replace an Insignia Blu-ray player. (Insignia is Best Buy's brand, in case you don't know.) My Insignia TV does all I would expect of it, but the Insignia Blu-ray player is, in a word, crap. Every firmware update might fix one thing, or nothing perceivable at all, but break several other things. I won't go into details, but in short, DON'T BUY AN INSIGNIA BLU-RAY PLAYER FROM BEST BUY.
The PS3 has perfectly played every Blu-ray and DVD that I've put in it. Everything displays in the proper aspect ratio, be it 4:3 or 16:9, and all discs play quietly. The few that were noisy or vibrated like crazy in the Insignia Blu-ray player might be a little noisy on boot-up or while on the menus, but are quiet when the actual video is playing. Picture quality is top-notch for Blu-ray discs and upscaled DVDs (source depending, of course). It even shows timecodes for DVD videos that don't have timecodes encoded on the disc, such as video encoded as menus (see trailers and bonus features on early Columbia/Tristar DVDs), and the "My Generation" bonus song on the Billy Joel: Live At Shea DVD (as one example). However, the videos encoded as menus can not be paused, rewound, or fast forwarded, like they could on the Insignia Blu-ray player. It plays the DVD-Rs I record without a problem, so far, but I'm not sure if it plays mini-DVD-Rs or any mini-discs due to the use of a disc slot instead of a disc tray. It can not play Video CDs, which was the 1990s CD-based video format that preceded DVDs, but I would have been surprised if it did. Only my old DVD player from 2001, and my computer software player, can play them. Also, putting a disc in the console while it's off will instantly turn it on, but the disc will not autoplay. The console must be on first, THEN the disc inserted, in order for it to autoplay.
My only major issues with the PS3 are hardware related, not software related. I don't like the disc slot (I prefer a disc tray) and I would love for there to be a front panel on the PS3 showing elapsed time, chapter number, and title number. You know, what a regular Blu-ray and DVD player has. Other than these two issues, I love the PS3 for Blu-Ray and DVD playback. Every disc I put in it played perfectly, and Blu-ray discs loaded up a bit quicker than the Insignia Blu-ray player.
I have two Blu-ray discs that I know saves data to the hard drive: "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (Disc 1) and "Monsters Inc." (Disc 2). Snow White welcomes me back when I view the disc again after the first time, while Monsters Inc. lets me continue my progress on the Roz's 100 Door Challenge game. Neither disc would do that if it weren't saving data on the PS3 hard drive. Yet, when I go to the PS3 menu option Video - BD Data Utility, it says that "there is no data". Also, when I press Triangle on "BD Data Utility", there's a "Delete" option, but it doesn't actually delete the item. I e-mailed Sony about this and they told me that this behavior is a "perfectly normal function with the PlayStation 3 system. It is normal for movies to pick up where was left off on features, even though no BD Data is showing. Also it is perfectly normal to delete the BD Data Utility, as this would only delete information movies have stored on the system, not an actual system function. The next time the movie is played, the movie will reinstall any BD Data that is needed." I would have replied further to reiterate my point that both Snow White and Monsters Inc. *ARE* saving information to the system, but I doubt it'll do me any good to continue dealing with low-level customer service reps. I just hate knowing that data is on the hard drive that I can't see or even delete. I wish there was a way for the user to view a list of EVERYTHING saved on the hard drive. I don't mean individual items in the various menus (like game saves, trophies, etc.), but a full list of everything in one place. I'd like to see exactly what's being stored on my hard drive, how much space each file takes up, and delete items that I know are no longer needed.
The online and PDF manuals both say something that has me a little scared: "You may have to renew the AACS encryption key to play content such as movies on commercially available BD video software (BD-ROM). If a message indicating that the encryption key needs to be renewed is displayed, update the system software to the latest version. The encryption key will then be automatically renewed. AACS (Advanced Access Content System) is a copyright-protection technology that is used on Blu-ray movies. The copyrighted content is protected by setting an encryption key on both the disc and the device used to play the disc. An AACS encryption key expires in 12 to 18 months and must be renewed. There may also be other times when the key has to be renewed." (source: bit.ly/8rr01q)
I don't keep my PS3 connected to the internet and may never even create a PlayStation Network (PSN) account as I really don't have time to play games online. PSN accounts are free (it only costs money and a credit card to buy things or to have the Plus service), but a PSN account is not necessary for offline use, system updates, or to browse the internet with the built-in web browser. If I don't buy any new games (some new games require system updates), and everything on the PS3 works perfectly with the firmware already installed, there's no reason for me to update it. I don't think the Insignia Blu-ray player required AACS encryption key renewals. It didn't mention anything in the owner's manual about such a thing. Let's think worst case scenario for a minute. What if I end up cancelling my home internet service and never get it again? Will all of the Blu-ray discs that I own, which currently play perfectly, no longer be playable at all in my PS3 at some point if I'm no longer able to update it? If I were to call Sony, what are the chances they'd send me free firmware upgrade discs every 12 to 18 months? That's the worst case scenario, of course, but the fact of the matter is that I shouldn't be forced to do upgrades so the system can continue to perform one of the functions it was designed to do, that it was already doing perfectly.
Speaking of system software updates... Some of you reading this might want to know a little more about them, so let me give you the quick rundown. You can update the system software by any of the following methods: (1) Via the console's System Update feature. (2) Download update data using a PC, save it on a USB storage device, and insert that USB device into the PS3. (3) Update using disc media, such as a game disc that includes update data on it. For method #2, download the PS3UPDAT.PUP file from Sony at bit.ly/cphMco, and put it at \PS3\UPDATE on the USB drive.
That the PS3 can play PS3 games is the "bonus" for me, since I already purchased two games prior to actually owning the system! Those two games are "Ghostbusters: The Video Game" (I've run a Ghostbusters fansite called "Spook Central" since 1996, so this was a "must buy") and "Grand Theft Auto IV & Episodes From Liberty City: The Complete Edition" (Target was selling it for $20 brand new, so at that price I had to get it in spite of not owning the system at the time).
The DualShock 3 wireless controller that comes with the system can be used as a wired controller, but the USB cord is woefully short. It's only 4.5 feet long, whereas the PlayStation 2 controller's cord is 8 feet long! The PS3 cord is just barely long enough to reach where I need it to. This is easily remedied by buying a 10-Foot USB 2.0 A/Male to Mini USB B/Male 5-pins cable or Sony's own PS3/PSP USB 2.0 10-Foot Cable 2-Pack. At least the wireless controller has a built-in rechargeable battery and doesn't use regular insertable batteries (like AA or AAA), which is the primary reason why I dislike wireless controllers.
The PS3 also allows you to copy PlayStation 1 & 3 game saves to/from the system and a USB storage device, which can then be transferred to a PC. This is a big improvement over the PlayStation 2, which needed a third-party device (such as CodeBreaker cheat device) to allow transferring saves to/from the console and a USB storage device. Copied PS3 game saves are stored on the USB drive in \PS3\SAVEDATA. Each game save is comprised of a few files in its own subfolder, not a single file. Copied PlayStation 1 (PS1) game saves are stored on the USB drive in \PS3\EXPORT\PSV. Each game save is a single .PSV file. You can submit your saves, or obtain other people's saves, from the popular video game information site GameFaqs. Usable PS3 saves are listed on the site as "PlayStation 3 Game Save Directory (ZIP) (North America)", and usable PS1 saves are listed on the site as "PlayStation PS3 Virtual Memory Card Save (ZIP) (North America)" (each zip contains one single .psv file). There is no way to easily convert the PS1 game save DexDrive .GME files at GameFaqs to .PSV so they can be transferred to a PS3.
I also bought the newly-released Sony PS3 Media/Blu-ray Disc Remote Control to handle Blu-Ray and DVD playback on my newly-purchased PS3. The remote handles this task perfectly, and that's all I really want it to do. I looked over pictures of both the new remote and the old version, and found that the new one included a few more buttons. Not only does it have the new TV and amplifier specific buttons - Volume, Channel, Input, and 3D - but it has two new buttons for PS3 Blu-Ray and DVD playback: Instant Back & Instant Forward. These two buttons take you back or forward 15 seconds in the video you are watching. Good for catching missed dialog in a movie, or instantly replaying a favorite moment. These buttons do not exist on the previous version of the PS3 remote.
You turn the PS3 on and off via the remote by pressing the "PS" button. To turn it off, hold the button for a second, select "Shut Down The System", then "Yes" from the on-screen prompts. The "Pause" button acts as Play/Pause, while the "Play" button only plays. Some buttons on the remote duplicate the same functions as other buttons because the remote also includes the controller-specific buttons. Square/View is Pop Up Menu, X is Enter, Select is Display, Start is Pause/Play, L1 is Prev, R1 is Next, L2 is Scan Back (Rewind), and R2 is Scan Forward (Fast Forward).
You must use the Options menu for Go To, Disc Volume Control, and AV Settings as these are the only options that don't have buttons on the remote. For time/chapter/title search, press Triangle/Options and select "Go To" from the on-screen menu. Move the highlight to Title, Chapter, or Time (default), press Enter. Enter the digits (you can use the number buttons or up and down buttons), use left and right to switch digit places. Press Enter twice to go to that spot. Then press Triangle/Options to take the menu off the screen.
I programed the remote to control my Insignia TV (I have no amplifier, so that's a non-issue), and it handles the basic TV functions - power, volume, mute, channels - but that's about it. The Audio button switches between Stereo, Mono, and SAP (I always leave it on Stereo); and the Subtitle button switches between Closed Caption options (I always leave it on CC While Mute). Pressing the Top Menu button will open up the TV settings menus, and I can even navigate them using the 4-way directional circle, but I really don't need for the remote to access the settings menus (once they're set, I have no need to change them). My major complaint for TV operations is that for an Insignia TV, the Input button doesn't do anything. It should switch between inputs, but doesn't. I need to use my TV remote to switch from TV input to HDMI (PS3), but can easily use this remote to go back from HDMI to TV by pressing Channel Up or Down. Someone with a much more complex setup than mine will probably need to keep their TV remote handy at all times.
I don't know how much game playing I'm going to be doing on the PS3. I have three games so far - the aforementioned Ghostbusters and Grand Theft Auto IV, along with Uncharted 3 that came with the system - but I might pick up a few more if I can find them cheap (I won't pay $60 for a new game). So far I have been enjoying the PS3 and don't regret the purchase at all.