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VINE VOICEon August 21, 2008
A lot of people have written about the pros and cons of the PS3 vs. XBOX 360 vs. Wii. I'm not bothering with that, and assume you can find that information at elsewhere. I'm also assuming you can read all about why the PS3 would or would not fit your needs.

Instead, I'd like this review to explain what exactly this configuration is (there's a lot of confusion about that,) and why I think it hits the sweet spot. Basically, there are currently 2 versions of the PS3 on the market now. Ignoring the size of the drive for a second (because you can always swap the drive anyway, and it has no real bearing on the rest of the specs) think of them as Version A (currently available - or not as the case may be - in the PlayStation 3 80 GB Metal Gear Solid 4 Pack) and Version B (this one.)

The first thing that you need to understand is that there are three relevant differences between these two versions besides the included bundle and the price (the MGS one is $499 from amazon, more from third parties.)

Difference #1: Version A (MGS pack) is backward compatible with PS2 games while this one is NOT (they are both backward compatible with PS1 games however.)

Difference #2: Version A has 4 USB ports as well as memory card slots, while this version has only 2 USB ports and NO memory card slots.

Difference #3: AND THIS FOR ME IS BIG: Version A has the older and larger 90nm Cell processor, while this one has the smaller (and some say more reliable) 65nm Cell processor. Power consumption on this unit is lower as well, dropping from 200 Watts to 135 watts. The end result is a machine that runs cooler and, according to all reports as well as my personal experience, much quieter. An extremely relevant factor if you watch movies with it.

For those that have been looking for a while, this is basically the 40GB machine that was offered recently, with a larger hard drive and an upgraded controller - they replaced the basic sixaxis controller with the Dualshock 3 controller (which means it has rumble.)

Now Version A is packaged with Metal Gear Solid. It has an 80GB drive like this one, and the same controller. The big differences are listed above. Until this configuration was released, the larger hard drive and Dualshock controller were 2 of the 4 reasons many people felt the MGS pack was worth the additional $100. Those two factors are now eliminated. The remaining differences are the backward compatibility with PS2 games and the MGS game itself, which can of course be bought separately.

So to sum it up, if you NEED PS2 compatibility, you might want to grab the MGS pack if you can get one - that or keep your old PS2. For new buyers though, and for all of the people that are going to just play PS3 games, as well as avid movie watchers, this particular configuration is fantastic. You get the big drive, the good controller, PLUS the cooler running chip, a quieter machine and a system that uses about 33% less power.

And ok - just to satisfy the basic requirements of a review, I'll list some other nice stuff: It includes a Blu-ray DVD player (one of those runs almost as much as, or more than, this entire box), the online play is FREE, wireless connectivity is built in (you don't have to buy an additional piece as with some others), reliability has been quite good (much better than some others), there are some great PS3-only titles, and you can stream media to it from your PC. There's more, but there are plenty of people outlining it.

As always, do your research and see what's best for you. Maybe the 360-only titles are must haves for you, or maybe your family fits a Wii. We have a Wii and I love it. But I also love my PS3, and in my opinion this configuration is the one to get (this month anyway.)
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Necessary disclosure: I do not own this model. I have what used to be a 60GB model, recently upgraded to 320GB - the gold standard.

As compared to the 60GB model:
+ less expensive (I paid $599 for my 60GB PS3)
+ 33% more storage
+ needs less power
+ dual shock controller (rumble)
- no memory card interfaces
- 2 USB ports vs. 4 USB ports on the 60GB
- no PS2 compatibility

This model comes with an 80GB drive. This is nice because, most would agree, 80GB is more than 60GB. If you feel that the extra 20GB is a big deal, maybe you should think again. I upgraded my 60GB to 320GB because I was about to run out of space, with only 10GB or so left. One month or so later, I'm using more than 80GB already - just downloaded the Ratchet and Clank minigame from PSN and it alone needs about 3GB. My advice is to buy this model and upgrade it yourself. It's (relatively) easy and you can find a lot of advice if you Google for it.

If you are on the upgrade path, $80 would buy you a 320GB drive. I used the Western Digital WD3200BEVT 320 GB Scorpio Sata 5400 Rpm 8MB 2.5 inch myself but that was back in June/July and I paid about $150 then; you could get much larger drives for less now. 500GB drives are available for less than $100 and you should try to get one of those if you are planning to store lots of videos. One that I tested would be the 500GB 2.5" Sata Drive which replaced my laptop's 60GB little drive and I helped a friend upgrade his own PS3 with. The nice thing about upgrading your disk is that you are also going to be left with a perfectly good 80GB or $160GB drive which you can place into a cheap enclosure, and the StarTech AT2510U2 InfoSafe 2.5-Inch USB/SATA Hard Drive Enclosure worked for me. I am using the free leftover drive as a backup device for family photos.

Upgrading the disk is (relatively) easy and you can find a lot of advice on the Net. Search for "PlayStation 3 Hard Drive Upgrade (HOWTO)" for videos that should help you decide if you are comfortable with upgrading. If upgrading is the first thing you do (before installing games or uploading personal files), everything becomes very easy because you need not worry about backups or restores. I upgraded my box in a couple of hours WITH the backup/restore steps.

The lack of memory card interfaces is annoying but you can get around it. Copy your stuff to a USB drive or flash drive and... problem solved. You can then upload your things through the USB. It's somewhat inconvenient but it's no big deal.

My old (10 months) 60GB model has 4 USB slots and I am using all of them. One for the PS3 Eye (camera), a second has a wireless keyboard dongle, the third is where the racing wheel plugs in and the last one I use to charge controllers. Can you live with 2 slots? I suppose you can but there's going to be some plugging/unplugging if you begin adding peripherals. I suppose you could get one of those USB ports multiplexers. They're ugly but... it's doable.

PS2 compatibility... can't get it. Sorry. I don't play PS2 games but my kids do. In fact, they just bought some Sonic game a couple of days ago. I was surprised but... de gustibus. They're also playing Kingdom Hearts and Destroy All Humans.

This model comes with a couple of improvements over the gold standard. It burns less electricity, which is a good thing for the rain forests, keeping them cool and maybe you save a few dollars on your electric bill. And, of course you get the advanced controller.

- If you are planning to upgrade, the 80GB model is the way to go because it is selling for $100 less than the larger disk version and you can use the savings to pay for your disk upgrade
- Get yourself a USB port multiplexer if you need more than 2 ports
- Transfer your photos to flash drives to get around the missing memory card interfaces
- Or or, even better, to address both the USB and the memory card issues, get the Playstation 3 Media Hub+ for 2 extra USB ports AND a card reader
- Keep your PS2 if you have one and still wish to play PS2 games in the future.
- Enjoy your new PS3.
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VINE VOICEon November 9, 2008
I had sat on the sidelines of the next gen video games up until a couple of weeks ago. I had tried Wii almost as soon as it came out and was captivated by the motion sensors but the limited availability and sameness to the games as well as limited graphics was frustrating.

Xbox 360 the $50 a year subscription and more importantly it lost the Blu-ray/HD battle were big no points for me. I enjoy games, my wife does not. She does enjoy movies and the internet. When I pointed out that PS3 was a Blu-ray player (with excellent reviews) and could let us surf the internet, she was all for it.

I have an 'old' HDTV (3 years old). It has a maximum resolution of 1080i and a DVI input but no HDMI. I did some research before buying this so I bought an HDMI to DVI cable at the same time. I was worried about hooking it up and getting it to look right and also getting sound. I should not have been. It took literally a few minutes. Plugged the HDMI end into the PS3 and the DVI end into the HDTV. Received a picture (great picture) right away. It detected that 1080i was the highest resolution and I choose that.

Sound I simply choose the option to put sound out correctly and received gorgeous sound. I only use the speakers that came with the HDTV but it sounds fantastic on Blu-Ray. I can only imagine what people with surround sound systems will get.

The Blu-Ray discs are stunning. Even with 'just' 1080i. Truly beautiful. And it also up-converts very well. My favorite movies are the LOTR expanded editions. I have seen LOTR on TNT HD broadcasts. With the PS3 they look almost as good perhaps even better than the HD broadcasts. Also one of the coolest things and I have no idea if this for all Blu-Rays are just PS3 is that it remembers where you were on discs (Blu-ray and DVD discs)even if the disc was last played 8 discs ago. So say for instance you a third of the way through Fellowship. You then put a few game discs in, some other movie discs, then go back to Fellowship. It actually remembers where you left off that disc. Love it.

The internet browsing has been very cool. At first it was ok but it did not fill up the screen and the lettering was too small. But then I discovered zoom in and zoom out. And now it is really fun to browse. As an aside when I started browsing if someone was on our lap-top we would get a connection conflict and would not be able to surf on the lap-top. I called Linksys and they were able to change a bunch of settings on the router and it works just fine now, no problems on using both at the same time.

As for games I have Assassin's Creed and Oblivion now. Both look amazing. I have also downloaded demos for Mirror's Edge (stunning) and Motorstorm (fun and also amazing graphics). Even as a gamer truly I only really have time for a half dozen games every year or two or even three. A lot of these games last a long time. So in reality the 360s edge on variety is for all intents moot. I am planning to get Little Big Planet and maybe the new Spidey game when it comes down in price. That will more than hold me over to God of War and which ever other few games I will get in 2009. Having a handful of great games, to me, is more important than 50 titles coming out a year.

Bottomline is if you have an HDTV (particularly if you have a home theater set up) and no Blu-ray and enjoy gaming the PS3 is truly awesome. You get a great Blu-ray player, an 80gig hard drive, incredible gaming capabilities (just downloading the demos would be cool), internet browsing and video watching on your TV. You can also download the LIFE utility that has an incredibly cool visual globe where you can get live weather and news headlines around the world. And you can help cure diseases by linking to a Stanford project that looks at how proteins work and fold. If you allow it your processor can be added to the processing power being used for the Stanford project (when you are not gamin and such).

Sony has succeeded in making a truly great heart of your home media experience. This is so much more than Wii it isn't even close. And with Blu-ray and free Sony playstation network, it really is a much better value than any of the 360 choices you have. Right now heading into the 2008 holiday season, PS3 stands alone as clearly the best system and the best value. Not only for gamers but for the entire family.
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on September 12, 2008
The Playstation 3 is an incredible Blue Ray Player, that has features NOT available in any other Blue Ray Player. I am not a game player - and simply bought this unit as a Blue Ray and DVD player. However - on comparison, there are so many benefits compared to other Blue Ray players.

Here are the surprise benefits you get from this INCREDIBLE technology vs. a regular Blue Ray Player:

1. Picture Quality - SUPERB (Easily compares to most expensive Blue Ray Players)
2. REGULAR DVD's PLAY IN A HIGHER RESOLUTION - Incredible difference to a regular DVD player.
3. Wireless INTERNET Connection - Surf web on your TV. (NO WIRES REQUIRED)
4. Automatic BLUE RAY format Updates (FREE and AUTOMATIC) - Upgrades as technology changes.
5. HARD Drive (80 GB) - Store movies, music, etc.
6. Beautiful Black Console - Doesn't look like a game player on shelf.
7. EASY to set-up (Ready in a few minutes)
8. LOWER PRICED - All these unique features, at a lower price than the other Blue Ray players

I have no idea why anyone would ever consider a standard BLUE RAY or DVD player once you have had a chance to try out the features of the PS3. Having the internet on our TV allows us full access to news, weather, radio, music video's, etc.

I was told that low price BLUE RAY players cannot play many movies and DVD's because the BLUE RAY format is constantly changing - and the Playstation 3 is the ONLY BLUE RAY unit to have automatic updates that will correct for new Blue Ray formats in the future.

NO COMPARISON - Hands down BEST BLUE RAY Player with the most features on the market!

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on October 30, 2008
I own a video game store. One of the services that we provide is various repairs on most game consoles. In the last year, I have performed around 60 individual XBOX 360 repairs compared to 0 (zero) PS3 repairs. PS3 Wins Hands Down

The 60GB version of the PS3 is FULLY backwards compatible with PS2 and most PS 1 games. The new 80GB version has some limited backwards compatability. The 40GB version has no backwards compatability. All versions of the 360 (Arcade, Pro and Elite) have the same limited backwards compatability. At least PS3 has a version that is fully backwards compatable. PS3 WINS

The new 80GB version of the PS3 retails for $399.00. This includes an 80GB hard drive (obviously), built in Bluetooth, and built in WIFI. Oh and lets not forget that the DVD player in the PS3 will play all of your regular AND Blu-Ray DVDs. The lowest cost 360 is the Arcade version that retails for around $199. This version does not come with a hard drive which will cost you around $100 for 60GB, nor does it have built in WIFI. The WIFI adapter retails for around $100 also. So for $399 you essentially get 20GB less storage...oh and NO BLU RAY!!! PS3 WINS

Game Selection:
Let's say that most games nowadays are released on both PS3 and 360, but there are some titles that are exclusive to each. Some of the hotest exclusive titles are:

PS3 - Metal Gear Solid, SOCOM, Little Big Planet, Resistance 2
360 - Fable II, Gears of War 2 and of course Halo 3

Overall, since the 360 has been around for a few more years, there are more titles available, but some of the most popular like BioShock have been ported over now to the PS3...most of the others will follow suit (except Halo which will probably always be a 360 only title). 360 WINS (but not for very much longer)

So of the 3 main decision points as to which console to purchase. PS3 scored 3 out of 4 to the 360's score of 1 out of 4.

Let me also say that I make more money selling the 360 because of all of the periphery that you have to buy along with it (more margin in accessories) so I hope people continue to go in that direction. However, when viewed objectively, the PS3 is clearly the way to go.
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on August 21, 2008
This 80GB PS3 for $399 is a awesome value for the price.

The main downside to this newer 80GB PS3 is that it's not backwards compatible with PS2 games, but for some that's not a big issue because the majority of people that are interested in a PS3 purchase already have a PS2.

But with this 80GB PS3 you get Free Online Play, Built in Wifi, Bluetooth Dualshock 3 Wireless Controller, Web Browser, Blu-ray, and the most advanced gaming console avaliable.

For anyone that may be discouraged about spending $399 for a gaming console, I assure you that a PS3 purchase is a long term investment. Sony even said themselves that the Playstation 3 will have a 10 year lifecycle and the PS3 has a long road ahead and plenty to offer. Sony is still supporting the PS2 after 8+ years of being on the market and the Playstation 1 was on the market for nearly 10 years as well, so as you can see, Sony has a good track record of supporting it's gaming consoles for the long run, and this PS3 will get the same treatment. The Blu-ray alone in the PS3 is worth the purchase price.

I have a 60GB PS3 and have enjoyed it ever since I first got it in December 2006 and I know that anyone who picks up this 80GB PS3 will enjoy it as well. I invite anyone that's intersted in a PS3 purchase to just pick one up and "Play Beyond".
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on October 9, 2008
I was debating which game console to get, the Wii, Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3(PS3). As a male with family of two kids, overall the PS3 was the best value for the money. Since PS3 and Xbox 360 are aiming for the same market, I was comparing the PS3 more to the 360:

-Most powerful system among 3 consoles.
-Blu Ray player included, also it can be upgraded via the internet. It is full functioning Blu Ray player, not watered down, the picture quality if awesome.
-Solid hardware, Xbox 360 hardware has many problems.
-Includes wireless Wi-Fi, but with Xbox 360 you have to buy it separately.
-Free online gaming, unlike Xbox's which you have to pay each month.
-Internet web browser, which Xbox doesn't have.
-Better menus for navigation than 360.
-Controllers have not only rumble, but also motion sensor like Wii.
-Hard drive is easily upgradable and inexpensive, unlike 360 which is expensive and very hard to upgrade if you want to put your own hard drive.
-Latest movies and TV shows can purchased online, 360's Netflix has more titles but are old titles.
-Playstation Eye(motion sensing camera) accessory allows for motion games like Wii.

-Need more latest titles of movies(but same or better than 360 or Apple TV)
-Not all movies can be rented in the first few weeks of release, but have to be purchased.
-Need more variety of games, actually true for all 3 systems.

Overall compared to Wii: Kids will want the Wii no matter what anyone says as long as their friends have it. The quality of Wii games are decreasing, game developers are not integrating the motion functionality well with the games. It feels like developers made the games and then added the motion feature as an afterthought. PS3's included controller has motion sensors like the Wii, also Playstation Eye camera has motion sensoring also. There are PS3 accessories for Guitar Hero and Rock Band which allows physical games on the PS3 like the Wii. So you can do play physical games like the Wii on the PS3.

Overall compared to Xbox 360: Even though Xbox 360 is less expensive initially, if you add everything that PS3 has, the Xbox 360 is much more expensive. People forgot this. 360 has more games than PS3 because it was introduced a year earlier, but starting in 2008 PS3 is coming out with many high quality exclusive games now that introduction period is over(PS3 has Metal Gear Solid 4, Little Big Planet, Socom Confrontation, Resistance 2, Gran Turismo 4, etc). Unless you will play Halo or Gears of War, get the PS3, it is a much better value.
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on August 21, 2008
The reason why all of the sudden everyone criticize this SKU for not having backward compability it's simply because there's nothing else left to criticize.

Only reason why it would be very important would be if you have an extended ps2 library and your ps2 broke, then it is worth it for you to spend the extra $100 on BC.

This is my second ps3, i had a launch 60gb ps3 and i sold it 3 weeks ago cause i needed the money, and no lie here, i played a total of 3 ps2 games in the almost 2 years that i had it... and i played them in the first 6 months that i had bought the ps3... that's right back then there wasn't that many ps3 games, so i played mgs2, god of war and lotr battle for middle earth.

As of now, i barely had time to even watch movies since i was always playing cod4, mgs4, and yes still play resistance, i have played uncharted about 4 times along with guitar hero and singstar in my parties, ratchet and clank, and warhawk..

The Truth is that, with the great line up that the ps3 has for the rest of the year and the years to come, i would find it extremely hard to play ps2 games at all.. i want to play new games, HD games, great multiplayer, experience new things, if someone truly is so concerned to play a lot of ps2 games, well then buy a ps2.

There is a lot of comparison between the 360 and ps3, and bottom line is that you have to inform yourself VERY WELL on what games you think you'll enjoy more, imo there seems to be a wider variety for the ps3, that's why i chose it. If i eventually buy a 360 will be to play the new games, not to play the xbox1 games.

I really think that this bundle including a dualshock3 is a great deal, but i will have to install a bigger hdd, i already ordered a 320gb hdd from newegg for $99, since i have a lot of movies to install.

Something else that more people should take advantage of is Linux on ps3, it's free so there is no setback on that.. i had it installed in my ps3 and when i had family over and they wouldn't let me on my own computer i just restart my ps3 in Ubuntu and with my bluetooth keyboard and mouse i would browse in my big screen tv.

There is a lot of value to this console, free online play it's great as well, ps2 addition would be nice to some, but since i know i didn't use it, or will use it, it doesn't affect me at all and that is why this sku for that price is as good as it gets.
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on December 7, 2008
Just for reference, a word about the reviewer: I'm a 26 year old male making claims based on what I've thought and what I've heard said by my female and male peers.

What most amazes me about the PS3s reception is how often i see talk about its price (i.e. how expensive it is). So let me frame this review in light of this:

1- The competition: the PS3s main competitor is the Xbox360. Another competitor is the Wii. At the time of this review, the Xbox360's cheapest bundle is 199$. This is a 360 with no games and no hard disk. The most expensive bundle is 399$ with a 120GB hard disk and two okay games (look up their reviews).
The Wii, when its not in short supply, costs 249$. It doesn't have a hard disk, and comes with 1 sports game.

2- The PS3: Now assuming we are going to pay 200 or 250$ for the competition, and no more (though this is doubtful given peripheral needs and so on) let's consider the ps3 as a competitor selling for 399. A considerable 150$ or 200$ more, right? But let's consider what we get:

A- The 399$ model comes with an 80GB hard disk. The wii doesn't have a hard disk, and the xbox360 would cost 100$ less with 60GB, and would be the same price with a 120Gb hard disk.

B- The PS3, as of Dec 5-2008 remains the top Blu-ray player available. Of course Blu-ray is the new replacement for DVDs. Some time ago it had a competitor, the HD-DVD which the 360 supported (via an add on), but since then HD-DVD production has ceased. So for all practical purposes, Blu-ray is the new dvd. Now given that the PS3 is not only a blu-ray player (where as of now, the cheapest -and I mean cheapest- player is approx. 200$), but the BEST blu-ray player (see: [...] and given that neither the Wii nor the 360 play anything but DVD's (in fact the Wii doesn't, at least not legally), we can see clearly that a PS3 is the equivalent of buying a console (say for 200-250$) and a blu-ray player (say for 200$). In total, that would cost 400-450$, which is equal/more than the ps3 costs. Bear in mind that we've just compared the PS3 to a cheap (and therefore bad) Blu-ray player with a harddisk-less console. The PS3 at 400$ is the best blu-ray player with 80GB.

C-Consider the hardware next. The Wii is clearly different here, since its drastically weaker. As far as the 360 and the PS3 are concerned, a slightly outdated technical comparison chart ([...]) is available, but also consider the following link: [...] Now my point is not that the PS3s hardware is better than the 360s, though this a hardware fact. My point is that the PS3s hardware has had some real work put into it, even if programming is more difficult on it. The best games now haven't gotten nearly close enough to the PS3s limit. If you think about first generation PS1 or PS2 games versus the final generations, you see a huge graphical gap. The PS3s gap will at least be as large, even though Sony's official statement is that the PS3s lifetime will be at least a couple of years longer. Of course the 360 will have its own gap, but with lesser hardware, we should expect a smaller gap. That and the fact that 360 has aged more the PS3, and so less `gap' is left. As it stands, at least as far as hardware is concerned, the PS3 is the better investment (and I stress the investment part).

D- The all important games. There's no doubt that 360 has more games than the ps3. I'm not sure about the Wii. But here are some facts gathered from [...] (please feel free to confirm!). At the time of writing this, the 360 has 107 games that have rated over 8.0, the Wii 33 games, and the PS3 74 games. But now consider this: the PS3 is 2 years old with 74 'good' games. The 360 is 3 years old with 107 'good' games. But if you look at the 360s games, you see that 51 of the 'good' games were released in 2008. This means that in the 360s first two years there were 56 'good' games only. So the often cited claim, that the 360 has a bigger library is indeed a true claim, but not one that makes the 360 a better game console. In fact, if Sony releases only 35 'good' games in 2009 (which is a really an unrealistic estimate), they would still top the 360s library. Of course it makes no sense to say this since simultaneously the 360 will be releasing its own titles. All I'm trying to point to is that the `bigger game library' argument is a false one. In fact, most realistically, the 3 consoles have more good games than most of us can buy. The real question is, what are you looking for in your games?

E-What are you looking for in your games? If you're buying a console for the exclusive use of your child (or maybe a family of non-gamers) then surely the Wii is a great and cheap investment, even if it lacks a lot. But if you're a gamer from before this generation of consoles, then the Wii is obviously a stupid way to go. After spending a couple of hours flicking your arm, it becomes clear that the Wii is a toy designed to expand the video game market, and not a real gaming console for old gamers. Perhaps you go out and buy the plethora of Wii controllers to have a decent experience, but with the Wii's graphics (and I know graphics don't make a game, but they surely help!) I see no incentive to actually play anything (god forbid that you have an HDTV to further mar the experience of the Wii's 480p). That and the fact that the majority of the Wii's games were designed with kids in mind. If you truly think Zelda on the wii is a good game for an adult (look 17+ is fine), then nothing I say will convince you. Our personal feeling (my girlfriend, myself, and 2 good friends) after buying Zelda and irritating ourselves for about 10hrs, was that the reviewers really failed to stress that the game was JUST for children. Anyway, so much for the Wii. I nevertheless find it to at least be a tastefully designed system, an original piece if nothing more (and it is something more).
Now if you're a gamer, your choices are really the 360 and the ps3. I won't try to adjudicate between the two consoles games, though I am biased towards the PS3s games which I find more original and varied (e.g. LittleBigPlanet, Uncharted, Metal Gear 4, dare I say Singstar and Buzz -shudder-). I think that's partly because I also don't consider violence in a game to be an immediate plus, which someone in Microsoft must think considering the games on the 360. Anyway, there's a more important reason not to decide, namely that the 360 and PS3 have a huge overlap in titles. Let's leave it at that then.

F-Quality. This is the last argument I'll make. First, let's be clear about the Wii status, and please earlier Wii comments. The Wii is a pretty product with many quality titles by Nintendo, as usual. Unfortunately, the Wii is in its own world, it needed to come out a generation ago instead of the failed Gamecube. It's really PS2 competition at best. For that reason, while it is a good quality product, its not really relevant as a competitor in this generation. So for now lets go out and look at the PS3s front end and the 360s, consider the exclusives on each, and in general keep in mind the innovation and tastefulness aspects. I think it's clear that PS3s XMB is more tastefully designed than the 360s. I admit that there are some functionality issues, especially back in the PS3s early days. But I submit that Sony has showed continuing support through its updates on the functionality level. Now consider tastefulness and innovation: consider the PS3 XMB, Home, Life with Playstation/Folding@Home and LittleBigPlanet. Consider Microsoft's claims at creating a 'killer' of each. An example: the 360s new avatars presented after the Wii and the PS3s avatars. Surely you see the resemblance between the 360 avatars and the Wii avatars? Surely you see the added graphical edge (over the Wii) that's supposed to distinguish 360s avatars. And surely you must see, that this whole avatar is a distorted copy of the Miis. That it is completely inconsistent with how the 360 has presented its self thus far. Its now unclear whether 360 is a PS3 killer or a Wii killer. A killer it is that's for sure, that Microsoft treats its customers this way, that it cares so little for originality.
Let me put it most straightforwardly: Microsoft has demonstrated in the past that money, not quality is its aim. If you want proof look at wonderful Windows Vista. Look at Windows XP. And look at the new Windows, whatever its called. Apple did a lot to improve their status from a few years back, but customers accepted to switch partially because Microsoft demonstrated a lack of caring and competence with its software. I want to suggest that Microsoft is now doing the same in the video game industry. Anyone who follows game news (and I obviously do!) knows that the game industry is one of the most rapidly expanding industries. This means large profits, and is an invitation for competition. Microsoft entered the market with that purpose in mind, and I think the following facts demonstrate that they're not interested in their consumer, but only in their own capitalist enterprise:
>1- They abandoned the original Xbox as soon as it started looking difficult. The machine was marred by software and hardware crashes, and the consumer was requested to buy the 360
>2- The 360 also suffered software and hardware crashes, infamously the 360 is well known to be a flimsily put together piece of equipment (For a humorous duo of demonstrations see:[...] followed by [...] - For a less humorous but more factual piece: [...] But flimsiness is the cost of cheapness, though admittedly Microsoft did recall some of its utterly defective machines. This however doesn't change the facts, that Microsoft would rather make money than give a quality product
>3- The 360 has undergone massive price-cuts to stay competitive. In time, Microsoft might just drop the 360 as fast it dropped the original. For now, it convinces the uneducated consumer through its low price.
>4- Microsoft's aggressive competition: competition by paying more for exclusives, paying more to make the game worse (e.g. forcing the producer into making the 360 the lead console), is not `fair' competition. Competition should be through producing higher quality stuff, not through higher money deals.

So this concludes my argument. I've surely gone on too long, and one might wonder what personal interest might I have in this. Well, not much, in fact this whole thing is an accident created by having strong coffee, being on a break from my PhD. program because of a strike, and my personal love of facts and gaming. I hate seeing people ripped off all the time by marketers, and I hate that consumers don't take the time to learn the facts. Finally, I really dislike uneducated decisions, even though I understand that not everyone has the time for research. But that's why I've written this, now you have at least one elaborate description of events. I've overstayed my welcome, cheers!

99 comments|22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 13, 2009
To start, I'll mention that I own all three consoles- an Xbox 360 Pro (20GB), the PlayStation 3, and a Nintendo Wii. I like all 3 of them. The last addition was the PS3.

I received this as a gift for Christmas.

I think the console is a great piece of hardware, and overall, I love it.

What I think is great about the console:
-Controllers. The controllers are lighter, rumble capable, and motion sensitive (vs. the 360). They come with rechargeable batteries and have great range. The R2/L2 buttons have improved design (trigger style) over the PS2.
-Hardware. The PS3 doesn't have a huge power brick and is much quieter than my 360. While I've been through 7 Xboxes (first died within 30 days of getting it), I have had no issues whatsoever with the PS3. Bluetooth is great and wireless is convenient, a feature Microsoft charges $100 for. Capacitive "buttons" on the console looks sleek. The included hard drive is great. Sony also trusts you to put in your own, larger capacity hard drive, a convenience that doesn't tie you to any HD manufacturer and doesn't void your warranty.
-Blu-Ray. Now that it's won the format war, the PS3 is a smart buy for Blu-Ray alone. Yes, they're starting to come out with $200 Blu-Ray players. I've never had a profile or firmware issue with any Blu-Ray disk on my PS3, it has 1080P HDMI, ethernet AND wireless for BD live, and storage space for enhanced features. Oh, and it doesn't take a long time to boot like some Blu-Ray players. I could be satisfied with my PS3 purchase for just this feature alone.
-Software. Love Sony or hate them, Sony has some great exclusives on the PS3. MGS4 and Ratchet & Clank are particularly great.
-PlayStation Network is free, store is easy to use.

What are my gripes?
-Xbox Live may be a paid service, but it's also much more fully featured. I've never seen a cheater on Xbox Live since 360 launch, while I've seen numerous instances on the PSN. Xbox Live is also much better integrated throughout the console (you can have a party on one game, decide to switch to another, and not lose anything). Sony will get closer over time, but Xbox Live is a far superior service. I would pay an equal amount to get a similarly developed online service on the PS3.
-Why does almost every game require some sort of install? MGS4 is particularly annoying about this, with installs in between each chapter (these installs are shorter but still annoying) and it quickly eats up your hard drive space.
-An infared port costs almost nothing, is the same black as the console, and requires very little standby power. Sony's decision to not include one is mind boggling. Sure, the Blu-Ray remote works great (Bluetooth), but a lot of people (myself included) can't use a universal remote. Even if you get an adapter (USB to Infared), the PS3 doesn't power the USB ports in standby, so there is no way to turn the console on with the remote (you have to leave a DualShock on, wasting the batteries).
-Speaking of no power for USB in standby, this is another mind boggling thing for me. Why can I only charge my controllers while the console is ON? I'm often tethered to the console due to a need to charge. Some 3rd party accessories can solve this- I bought the PlayStation 3 Charge Base 2 from Nyko- and it works well, charging the controllers quickly and leaving them looking neat- but buying a 3rd party accessory shouldn't be necessary.
-Why isn't the Blu-Ray remote included with the console if the ability to play Blu-Ray disks is such a big selling point?
-The PS3 only comes with a composite (yellow/white/red), non-HD connector. Why isn't an HDMI cable included? sells the cables for cheap, but unless you order it before the PS3, you won't have it in time, and for the $10 it costs to give buyers an HD cable in the box...the Xbox 360 includes component AND HDMI cables in the box, so Sony doesn't have a valid excuse in my book.
-The controllers are nice, but the nonremovable battery limits your ability to swap in a spare or even replace the battery as it wears out.

Overall, I love the console. I have some criticism, but I think the purchase was very much worth it.

Random tips?
-Get the Charge Base I mentioned earlier. It works well and is faster and more convenient than using the USB cables.
-Check with your credit card issuers. Gold Mastercards, Visa Signature cards, and almost all American Express cards come with free extended warranty service. Mastercard & Visa will double the Sony warranty to 2 years, and Amex will do so as well. If you're wondering if you have it, call your card issuer and ask if you have this benefit. American Express also offers accidental damage coverage- up to $1,000 per incident, max $50,000 per year for accidental damage, loss, or theft- for NO CHARGE. Just save your receipt with the statement, and if it breaks after the first year, you call the card issuer.
-Get a good surge protector. Save the receipt in the box. Almost all good surge protectors come with a lifetime guarantee. If the console dies due to a surge, they will pay the cost or give you a new replacement console. Put all the reciepts for any connected equpiment in the box too. I bought a $10 Belkin 7 outlet protector- $75,000 equipment guarantee.
-Buy Blu-Ray disks online (especially from Amazon), it's MUCH cheaper than buying them at retail stores.
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