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About the product
- Internal 160GB HDD for storing your games, music, and photos
- Built-in Blu-ray player and HDMI output for 1080p resolution
- 2 USB Ports, Internet ready with built-in Wi-Fi, and Free PlayStation Network Access
- Includes 1 Dualshock 3 wireless controller
- Includes Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and a PAIN Downloadable game voucher
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The 160GB PS3 in the Uncharted bundle only has two USB ports, is not backwards compatible with PS2 game disks, and does not have any flash-card support built-in. The 60GB and some 80GB models have four USB ports, play PS2 disks (the 60GB version actually has an emotion engine built in, the 80GB PS3 uses software to emulate the PS2), and a built in card reader for various formats of flash memory. Some may be upset that the premium PS3 package has less functionality than some of the previous, cheaper versions.
As DVD playback made the PlayStation 2 more than just a game machine, hefty multi-media features make the Sony PlayStation 3 an even more versatile home entertainment machine. Features such as video chat, Internet access, digital photo viewing, and digital audio and video will likely make it the central component of your media set-up. Still, it is first and foremost a game console--and a powerful one at that.
Under the Hood
The PS3 features IBM's "Cell" processor and a co-developed Nvidia graphics processor that makes the system able to perform two trillion calculations per second. That's approximately 320 times more calculations per second than the PS2. Along with the traditional AV and composite connections, it also boasts an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) port, which delivers uncompressed, unconverted digital picture and sound to compatible high-definition TV and projectors. The system is capable of 128-bit pixel precision and 1080p resolution for a full HD experience.
Sony's PlayStation 3 games are encoded onto the Blu-Ray disc media format, which can hold six times as much data as traditional DVDs. This increase in capacity, combined with the awesome power of its processor and graphics card, promises mind-blowing games once developers have learned how to fully harness the new console's power. The PS3 will also support CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD+R formats.
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is included with this Sony PlayStation 3 bundle pack. The game begins with a 400-year-old clue found in the coffin of famed explorer, Sir Francis Drake. The clue sends modern-day fortune hunter, Nathan Drake, on a quest to find the fabled treasure of El Dorado, leading to the discovery of a long forgotten island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The expedition turns deadly when Drake's party becomes stranded on an island and hunted by modern day pirates. Outnumbered and outgunned, Nathan must fight to survive and unravel the terrible secrets of the mysterious island.
Adventure, Mystery, and Exploration Abound
Using maps and ancient artifacts you'll uncover clues and unravel mysteries that will reveal a forgotten island a lost treasure. This uncharted world is alive with intrigue and mystery, and you'll revel in the amazing graphics as you explore exotic locations and traverse through living jungles and 400-year-old ruins. Drake's not all on his own -- his companions and allies play an important role in the adventure through cooperative gameplay mechanics, gun play, and exploration.
Your abilities will be tested, challenge after challenge, as you struggle to stay alive by any means necessary. Thrilling high-speed chases over land and water and terrifying gunfire will keep you on the edge of your seat. And if that's not enough, you'll need to employ an array of hand-to-hand combat moves to keep your enemies off balance with haymaker punches and running drop-kicks.
Charming, exciting, and adventure-packed, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is an excellent addition to this Sony PlayStation 3 game console bundle.
What's in the Box
- Game system with 160 GB HD, Internet-ready built-in Wi-Fi, and 2 USB ports
- Dualshock 3 wireless controller
- Uncharted: Drake's Fortune game
- Voucher for downloadable PAIN game
- Free PlayStation Network membership
Top Customer Reviews
As compared to the 60GB model (see this model's pluses and minuses and what all PS3s have in common):
+ Less expensive (I paid $599 for my 60GB PS3)
+ 266% more storage
+ Improved power efficiency
+ Dual shock controller (rumble)
+ Bundled Drake's Fortune and Pain voucher for a PSN download
+ Amazon Blu-ray movies promotion (buy 4 movies from list and get $100 off through end of 2008)
= Wireless Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet network connections
= Bluetooth for controllers, keyboards, earpieces, etc.
= Controllers charged via USB wires
= Free, unlimited access to the PSN network, including online play
= Full PSOne compatibility
= Blu-ray player
= DVD player
= CD player
= HDMI, component video (component wire included but no HDMI cable)
= Surround sound
= Internet browser
= Allows for installation of third-party operating systems such as Linux
= Disk is easily upgradeable without voiding warranty
= Quiet operation
- No memory card interfaces
- 2 USB ports vs. 4 USB ports on the 60GB
- No PS2 compatibility
STORAGE and STORAGE UPGRADE:
This model comes with an 160GB drive. This is nice because, based on my own experience, 160GB should be sufficient for a few years of use for as long as you don't plan to purchase lots of movies from the PSN store or download to many full games - if you are thiking about storing movies on your PS3 disk, consider upgrading to larger storage. However, unless you believe that Uncharted + Pain are worth the extra $100, you may be slightly better off buying the 80GB model for $100 less and then upgrading.
To give you an idea of the amount of storage you may need on your PS3, I recently checked the status of my 320GB disk and I found that I had 198GB free. That means that, one year after purchasing my (then) 60GB box I was using 122GB already. The space is taken by family pictures, a little music, lots of demos, many 'disk' games that dump gigabytes of data to the disk to improve performance, many videos the kids are making with the 'Eye' camera, game saves. I suspect that 'Home', when it becomes available, may require a few more GB's for its own use so 320GB may be what you need if you don't want to constantly worry about deleting old stuff before you run out of space.
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 Western Digital 500GB Scorpio Blue SATAII 5400RPM 2.5IN 8MB Bulk/OEM Hard Drive WD5000BEVT 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.
MEMORY CARD INTERFACES:
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 60GB model has 4 USB ports 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. Of course, you can and you WILL be able to live with 2 slots but it is likely that you will be doing some plugging/unplugging if you begin adding peripherals. One way around it is to get a USB port multiplexer. Another solution is seek Bluetooth peripherals (wireless) if you can find them. Bluetooth keyboards, for example, are available.
This model does not support PS2 software. Since the original PS2-compatible PS3's are hard to get, this has to be accepted as reality. I assume that Sony, after polling existing and future PS3 users, found that most users don't need PS2 compatibility. Soon after we upgraded to a PS3 my kids were playing Kingdom Hearts and Destroy All Humans but I haven't seen them doing so in quite a while. It is nice to have PS2 compatibility but its lacking would not stop me from buying a PS3.
The PS3 has full PSOne compatilibity. Lots of them are available for download at the PSN store. They are quite inexpensive and some of them are still fun to play.
- If you like Drake's and you do not consider upgrading, buy THIS model. In fact, you should buy this model regardless of Drake's because you are likely to be unhappy with an unupgraded 80GB model - like I mentioned above, I am already using over 120GB and this is BEFORE Home.
- If you are planning to upgrade, you're better off with an 80GB model selling for $100 less because you can use the $100 you save to buy yourself Drake's for about $40 and use the balance to help 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, 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.
Note: I am not taking off one star for the lack of PS2 compatibility. I understand that Sony must compete on price and make a profit and times are tough. However, I simply can't see why Sony cut the number of USB ports from 4 down to 2 and this explains why this unit gets 4 stars instead of 5. This is a relatively significant inconvenience and I can't see how it would cost Sony more than a dollar or 2 if it provided 4 ports instead of 2.
First of all the SIXAXIS controller is fantastic. Easy to hold, easy to use, bluetooth wireless, and it has motion sensing capabilities like the Wii. In Uncharted you have to use that feature to toss grenades and balance as you cross some objects.
Second, the DVD player is wonderful. Since the wireless features are bluetooth there is another remote available to play DVDs. But, I don't think you need it. You can use the game controller easy enough. Anyone familiar with the interface on a PC or MAC DVD player will instantly get it.
The menu system on the PlayStation has been criticized in some reviews, but I don't get that at all. It is very easy, and the same interface is used on their Bravia TVs. I wish more electronics had menus like this. I have used FrontRow on the Macs, and I like this better.
The wireless feature configured on the first try with my network, which has two layers of security. I have more trouble getting some of my Macs on my network, than the PlayStation.
Finally, Uncharted is nothing short of amazing. Imagine you are part of an Indy Jones or National Treasure movie. That is the experience. Period. The music track gives clues to when you are heading in the right direction, and Nate Drake has awesome moves once you get used to the controller.
PAIN is ok, more funny than a real challenge. I suppose you could take it seriously, but it is best to just fling the character at everything in site and then use the controls to bounce and hit as much as possible. The physics is very realistic, and there is no blood. Great game when you just relieve some stress by smashing something.
If you are looking for a BluRay player or a game system, this is really the best value. I compared to the Xbox and with that system you have to keep buying extras to build up to the capabilities of this single purchase. In other words, don't just focus on the lowest price, consider the total value. For example, many of the games you can download from the PlayStation store are about $10, and the PlayStation network is free. Not to mention all the free demo games, movie trailers, movie and tv show downloads that are free or just a few bucks.
I could probably find enough free demos to play all year, but I made the mistake of visiting the Prince of Persia web site and now I can't wait to get my hands on it.
Uncharted alone would make this a deal, but add 160GB hard drive, and a BluRay player--don't think, do. Get this system.