PlayStation 3 80GB Review

The last of the next-gen consoles we reviewed, the PlayStation 3

The last of the next-gen consoles we reviewed, the PlayStation 3

The other hard-hitting next-gen console is the PlayStation 3.  Like the Xbox 360, the PS3 has come down in price a bit from its debut.  It’s now possible to pick one up (sans games or a second controller) for just $399.99.  The PlayStation 3 offers possibly better graphics than the Xbox 360 (check out our Xbox 360 Pro review); it’s hard to compare systems because their hardware specs are so radically different.  It features a built-in Blu-Ray player, so if you’re thinking of upgrading your movie/DVD collection to the next generation, you can basically add on a game player for only a couple hundred bucks more.  

An additional nice thing about the PlayStation 3 is the fact that there are still some franchises, like DRAKE’S FORTUNE, RATCHET & CLANK, METAL GEAR, and FINAL FANTASY, that are PS3 exclusives.  While a lot of titles like GRAND THEFT AUTO have made the jump to Xbox 360, if you’re a hardcore gamer or Sony fan, there are many franchises that can only be played on a PS3.

The final exclusive feature of the PlayStation 3 is that unlike Xbox Live, PlayStation’s online service — the PlayStation Network — is completely free.  This saves you $49.99 a year and allows you the same networking, friend-chatting, online matchmaking, and content (like movies and TV shows) that Xbox Live does, but without the yearly membership.

The PS3 delivers full-HD gaming, output through an HDMI cable.  This means games with stunning graphics and sound, sometimes indistinguishable from real life.  At this point, there are also quite a number of games in many genres, from first-person shooters to puzzle games to casual games downloadable through the PSN.

What do you get?  The PS3, one DualShock controller, a free membership to the PlayStation Network, Internet-ready Wi-Fi, an  (another advantage over the Xbox 360), 80-gig hard drive, built-in Blu-Ray player, and the ability to play Blu-Ray, DVD, and CDs.

Overall Rating: 7/10 – even though the price has been reduced to compete with the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 is still by far the most expensive console around.  While the graphics are marginally better than the 360 and you get free online play and a Blu-Ray player, by the time you add in another controller and same games, you’re dropping $600.  You can buy a pretty decent computer (either laptop or desktop) for that price.  Or a new HDTV.

Recommendation: If you’re a hardcore gamer who needs three systems, if you’re a die-hard Sony man, or if you’re planning on getting a Blu-Ray player anyway and like to play video games, you should probably get a Sony PlayStation 3.  If not, buy a cheaper system with more games.

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