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Customer Review

UPDATE: Aug. 16, 2011

Only wanted to note that the PS3 keeps adding value to itself. Granted, the competition are not sitting on their hands either. The latest system update added Hulu Plus, MLB.TV and Vudu HD Movies to Netflix as 'video' services and Qriocity for 'music'.

As for its versatility, I recently paired a Bluetooth keyboard that Logitech claims it's for iPad only with our PS3. It took about 10 seconds.

And, yes, I am probably going to get the next generation when it's released but, until then I am very happy with our 2 PS3s. One of which is the original 60GB console, still as good as new.

____________________________________________

PS3 VS. OTHERS :)

Ever since the launch of Slim, the PS3 has been undertaking a quiet revolution or... could it be the console's midlife rebound? :) Here's what happened recently - and I will only note the more important developments going 12 months back (writing this in Oct., 2010):

- NetFLIX streaming, now disc-less, 1080p, 5.1 surround sound
- Much larger disk (this one is triple the size of the original Slim)
- Move
- 3D gaming
- Blu-ray 3D

This is a lot of new 'stuff' for a 4 year old console. I am not going to go into bean-counting mode and compare the PS3 improvements with what we see at the other guys but, clearly there is a lot of life in the PS3 and, with the 320GB models, the PS3 continues to maintain the largest disk advantage over the competition, is the only Blu-ray console and, when you consider the services and the array of Sony-made and third party peripherals built around it, the PS3 is a well built, well rounded entertainment hub.

THE 320GB MODEL

Over the past year or so, Sony added to the original 120GB 'Slim' model, itself a greatly optimized and streamlined PS3, several submodels sporting larger disks: 160GB, 250GB and, with the Move launch, the 360GB version. You can view this model as the original Slim with a three times larger disk or, if you want to take a more recent point of reference, the PS3 Move bundle without the Move.

DECIDING WHICH MODEL TO BUY

I happen to own the PlayStation 3 320GB System with PlayStation Move Bundle model myself in addition to an upgraded 60GB 'classic' model - our current Blu-ray/DVD player and overall media center - and the Move bundle. We also owned the original 120GB Slim at one time and, before each purchase the main decision wasn't whether to buy a PS3 but rather which model was best suited to our needs.

At the time I'm writing this (November 2010) there are 4 basic models to choose from but, since the 250GB sells for the same price as the 320GB, it's safe not to discuss it so the 3 basic options are:

A - 160GB model: the original Slim with a slightly larger disk, lowest price, same as the original launch Slim
B - 320GB model: sells for $50 more than the 160GB, offers double the storage (this model)
C - 320GB Move bundle: for an extra $50 it adds the basic Move peripherals, plus a Move game, same large disk

Depending on what your needs are, one of the 3 should make more sense than the other.

OPTION A

If 'price' is an issue go for this one. The good thing about the PS3 is that it's possible to upgrade the initial disk to a larger one later. I'm not going to go into detailed accounting but, if you can reuse or maybe sell the original 160GB disk, upgrading this model to 500GB can be done at very little cost. Some basic technical skills will be needed.

This is the choice for anyone who absolutely NEEDS 500GB (rather than 320GB).

OPTION B

Those who can use the extra storage - intense gamers or anyone planning to keep thousands of songs and photos on their PS3, are okay with 320GB and therefore don't want to go through the disk upgrade process should go with THIS MODEL. $50 for double the disk capacity is a fair deal in my view.

This model makes a lot of sense if you don't care about the Move.

OPTION C

This is the model I picked because we wanted to have the Move option. It's the best way to enter the Move world at this time. The extra $50 will buy you:

* Move motion controller, of course
* PlayStation Eye camera (must have one for the Move to work)
* Sports Champions (Ping Pong is simply awesome, some of the games play much better with a second controller)
* A demo disc so you can see what Move can do for you (most of the demos can be downloaded from the PSN)

Given that the price difference over the 'plain vanilla' 320GB model is the price you pay for the Move controller, you basically get the PS3 Eye camera and the Sports Champions game for free - and you can sell the camera if you already have one and the shrink-wrapped game if you have no use for it.

In fairness and based on my own experience, you will almost certainly end up buying a second Move motion controller. You may also want a separate charger so keep these in mind when budgeting. But, regardless, this is still the best Move starter.

DOES DISK SIZE STILL MATTER?

Probably not as much as it used to. In my view, 320GB is probably enough storage to last till the PS4 comes around - and I'm one who did upgrade his original PS3 to 500GB.

You can store an enormous amount of photos, songs, demo games, home videos and game installations on 320GB. Two years ago I thought that 500GB were making a lot of sense because movies needed so much space but, since then, the pressure to having huge disks installed on a PS3 lessened a little due to the advent of technologies such as NAS (network attached storage) and Home Servers that allow you to have thousands of GB worth of 'media' stored safely off your PS3 and streamed in when needed. And, of course, Netflix streaming eliminates the need to save many thousands of movies if the somewhat lesser quality is not a big issue. Not everyone may agree but I have no plans to replace the 320GB disk with a larger one at this time.

WHAT ELSE YOU MAY WANT/NEED

Depending on how you are planning to use the PS3, this is what you don't get but may end up buying eventually:

- HDMI cable for HD output (a component cable should work too but you can get a decent HDMI for $3-5 or so)
- One or more extra USB wires same as above, don't pay more than $2-3 for one
- One more Move Controller if you buy the Move bundle (some games will either require two controllers or will play better with two)
- One or two Navigation Controllers (no big pressure because you can use the DualShock in your left hand but it feels weird)
- Dedicated charger, especially if you have more than one Move controller or you also have a Navigation controller
- PS3 TV remote controller to use when watching movies

MY RATING

I just love the PS3. I've been a PS3 owner ever since the 60GB classic became available and I've been impressed with the PS3's reliability, versatility and its sheer power - and I've owned both 'classic' and 'slim' models, upgraded most, gave away a couple. In the end it's a matter of personal taste but the PS3 is increasingly the most popular 'gaming' or 'entertainment' implement in our household. And we DO own an Xbox too.

I will not go through the long list of PS3's features. It would be an exaggeration to say that it does 'everything' but it does a lot and it's doing it increasingly well. Agreed, features and capabilities do not come for free and sometimes they don't even come cheap (see my list of possible add-ons above) but I can't say that I have the feeling of being constantly nickeled and dimed when I upgrade my PS3 or I buy a Sony-made or a third-party add-on. I have no choice at this time but to order the extra Move and Motion controller from Sony but the charger, the larger disks I used to upgrade my old classic, all of the cables, the headset and so on came or will come from third party vendors and even for the old SixAxis and the remote controller there were alternatives at the time I decided to buy the Sony-made ones. In addition, the 'basic' PS3 console can take you pretty far as it is and you can have a lot of fun without having to spend one extra penny.

To conclude, any of the 3 options get 5 stars because the PS3 continues to be being the most feature-rich, well-balanced console you can get these days

--
>> Brush your teeth, it's the law! <<
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