Review by Mecha MAN2

"A review from a UK gamer, lets just say I'm impressed with this machine."

First of all, let me clarify that I am a UK gamer so my machine does not come with the PS2 chip set for its backward compatibility. That said it has made no difference to me at all. This is a great machine and well worth the £425 price-tag considering that it is also a Blue-Ray player. I will break this review down into several sections.

Aesthetics

I had only pictures to go on when I was first looking at the PS3 and I really liked what I saw when I first opened the box. The console has a nice, shiny metallic black finish to it complete with a chrome trim around the front where the disks load and also along the bottom edge near the vent.

The disk tray works like those on Car stereos so hopefully there will be no "disk read error" messages like those that plagued the original PS2. To the left of the tray is a flap that reveals a multi-card reader that can be used for SD/Mini-SD (mobile phones use this quite often), Compact flash (like some digital cameras use) and, of course, the Sony memory stick which is good for transferring between the PSP and PS3.

The PS3 is huge which was my biggest surprise when I opened it. Its longest measurement is the equivalent to 2 Playstation controllers end-to-end which will get you a good indication of its size. However it is not too big in that you shouldn't find it difficult to put it out of the way, it also stands vertically but much more steadily that the PS2 did as the PS3 is also much deeper.

The PS3 also emits almost no sound when operating, even when playing the game. Compared to the Xbox 360, which sounds like a jet taking off, the PS3 is very quiet and will not necessitate turning the volume on your TV up to be able to hear the sound.

Operating system

After turning the system on you will be greeted with the initial system setup screens, time/date, your name etc will all need to be entered at this stage. If you own a PSP then this will be familiar.

After getting past the start-up you will be presented with the XMB or the Cross-media Bar interface which, again, is very similar to the PSP home screen. It is simple but functional and is never confusing. Each aspect of the PS3's functionality has its own sub-menu. You scroll left and right to change the category and up and down to select from within each of them.

I recommend downloading the newest firmware update as soon as you start it up as there will no doubt be some useful updates in it.

The XMB is a good operating system and is well suited to the PS3. However if you like to dabble in your own creations then you can also install Linux.

Internet capabilities

In this I will cover non-gaming aspects of internet functionality. The 60GB version, i.e. the only one you can buy in the UK, comes equipped with WiFi component as standard. From my own experience I was able to quickly connect to my Home Wireless Network and get the latest Firmware update. The connection is solid and I have yet to see it drop.

The built in web-browser is also good but you will benefit more if you buy a USB keyboard if you intend to enter any significant amount of text. The on-screen keyboard incorporates a predictive text function which should speed up the process.

You can view videos online also, sites such as YouTube will work just fine meaning you can watch video from the comfort of the sofa rather than the computer chair.

Gaming

I bet you were wondering when I would get to this bit. The PS3 is a quality games machine, the graphics in games such as Resistance: Fall of man are impressive and in years to come they will only get better.

Sony has gone for the old approach of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" as far as the controller goes. The Sixaxis controller will be familiar to any PS2 owners and has the game sort of layout. The differences being that there is no longer an "analogue" button, this is not the "PS" button and is used to turn on the pad (or console of you are really lazy) and allows you to exit games without the need to restart the console. The L2/R2 buttons are now more like triggers, I don;t really understand the point of it but its no bad thing either. Finally the pad is also wireless, using Blue-tooth to connect to the PS3.

The next year should see some excellent games being released for the console and the quality will only get better.

As far as Backward Compatibility goes I do not know what all the ruckus has been about. I owned 8 PS2 games at the time I bough the PS3 and they all worked, the only issues I encountered were either minor graphical glitches and pop-up or stuttering audio but this was only in FMV sequences.

Sony will be constantly updating the list of PS2 games that will work and improving the quality of those already available so if you find one or two that dont work properly yet then they may well work after the next update.

Online gaming

This is where the Next-Gen is trying to differentiate between itself and "last-Gen". If you have set up your PS3 online as mentioned above and gotten a PSN ID then it is a simple matter of selecting the Online option your game of choice and the game will do the rest. I had no problems getting online in Resistance and it was great fun. I look forward to getting the most out of my PS3 as more online games come out for it.

Overall score 10/10

It may have been a tough time for Sony lately but they have produced an excellent console, a worthy successor to the PS2. It is a solid purchase and if you are into the games that Sony makes, either 1st party (such as God Of war) or 2nd party (Ratchet and Clank) then this is the console for you.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/26/07


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