Review by SilentXwing
Sony's PS3 emerged after a long and successful run with its PlayStation 2 video game console, which remains the best selling console to date, having sold more than 150 million units. With vast improvements made to its hardware and a new emphasis placed on online play and multimedia features, the PS3 continues to uphold the high standards Sony has set, making it our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award winner.
Sony has always coupled its video game consoles with multimedia capabilities. The PS1 offered audio CD compatibility, while the PS2 offered CD, DVD and other audio and video file compatibility. The PS3 has taken a step beyond the typical range of video game consoles to offer full compatibility with the popular Blu-ray format while also enhancing its online capabilities. In other words, the PS3, with its online capabilities and excellent gaming features, is capable of serving as the anchor for any entertainment center.
As with the PS2, a few of the older PS3 models are backwards compatible. You will want to double check to make sure that the model you select is backwards compatible if you plan to play any of your old PlayStation games. With more than 700 PS3 game-title releases in its lifetime, only the Nintendo Wii eclipses the PS3 in terms of average monthly game releases. However, with more than 1,000 PlayStation and PS2 titles to choose from as well, the PS3's game options greatly outnumber the competition.
The PS3 game console utilizes IEEE 802.11 wireless and Bluetooth technologies to achieve connectivity. With faster CPU and GPU capabilities, along with increased memory and expanded storage, the PS3 offers exceptional speeds and reliability for online game play, video downloads, game rentals and web browsing. Sony has expanded its PlayStation Network by providing a video site that enables users to download videos, films and TV shows from Sony Pictures and several other major production studios directly to their hard drives. Netflix, Facebook and other online features are also available through the PlayStation Network.
The PS3 also offers compatibility with Sony's handheld video game console, the PSP. The PSP can be used as an additional controller, while the PS3 can be used to download and transfer original PlayStation games to the PSP, either directly or remotely.
Sony has been very proactive in developing wireless headsets, controllers, USB and Bluetooth keyboards, network adapters and even a web camera in the form of the PlayStation Eye. All of these gaming console accessories help cut down on the mess and give users an increased range of play and function.
The PS3 stands apart for its multimedia capabilities. Functioning equally well as both a video game console and a web browser, the PS3 also makes a strong argument as a central entertainment fixture by functioning as a CD, DVD and Blu-ray player, while offering full compatibility with several audio file formats. The PS3 is the only video game console that can play the Blu-ray format, which gives Sony a huge head start when Blu-ray Discs become the standard media for movies and games.
Although the PS3 still lacks the video output rates and features of the Xbox 360, its development and emphasis on shader technologies has helped boost the graphic and video quality while providing a rich and unique picture. Despite some of the obvious disadvantages, the PS3's superior installed video memory does help make up for some of the differences in video output and video and graphic generation between the two consoles. One of the major advantages with this game console is the superior manufacturing that goes into all of Sony's electronics. Over the years, few people have needed to replace their PS3, which is a huge breath of fresh air in a world of short-lived electronics.
Online Community: 7.6/10
The PlayStation Network, despite the most recent attacks, has proved highly successful, offering unique user IDs, rankings, trophies, avatars, video chat, audio chat and full messenger integration, all while providing online play that intuitively matches users according to skill set, age, language, region and other custom preferences. PlayStation Network accounts offer advanced parental controls by enabling a master account that can control a variety of maturity and time-management options. Because of the recent hacking incident, many users have withdrawn from the PlayStation Network. However, Sony has done everything in its power to ensure the security of its users' personal information, and it has greatly improved its network security.
Technical Support: 10/10
Sony offers a variety of options for help and support, ranging from telephone, email and online chat assistance. The company's official website also offers detailed information about how and where to obtain repair services, including status repair updates. Best of all, Sony offers a dedicated customer service department to respond to customer concerns, as well as downloadable user manuals and tutorials. Sony knows how the world of electronics works and employs a staff of knowledgeable technical experts to help you with any problems you may have along the way.
The PS3 stands apart from other game consoles when it comes to multimedia functionality and overall game quality. Sony is, has been and always will be a company focused on providing the best possible quality in all of its products. The use of Blu-ray Discs and several audio file formats help give it an edge when it comes to future growth and more in-depth gaming. Sony's online service is free, but it does lack some of the extras you will find on other online communities. The PS3 focuses more on action or mature game types, which works perfectly for some and not so well for others. Overall, the PS3 offers hardcore gamers the most intense and mature gaming experience around.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/06/12, Updated 08/17/12
Game Release: PlayStation 3 (US, 11/17/06)
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