Review by dougsdad0629

"What do you value in a game system? Get some perspective here."

I've noticed that over the last decade or so, people have allowed their expectations to get so over inflated that, when they finally get what they've been waiting for, nothing could be good enough. Star Wars prequels, Matrix sequels and the PS3 are the biggest recent examples I can think of. People are way too uptight and sometimes forget to have fun. Sometimes, some people think it's fashionable to bash things that are popular in order to be a "non-conformist". This is not going to be a traditional review. Rather, it is a review to teach you how to read other reviews with some perspective on what works for you and not be swayed if someone injects some negativity into their review because they don't value things the same as you do for your hard earned $.

Value for your money and/or fun depends greatly on what it is that you are looking for. I won't give you any review on the PS3's graphics and sound because that is to be determined on a game by game basis. Instead, I'll give you my opinion on the value for your money.

The biggest deciding factor anyone needs to ask themselves when buying a system is, "Which system has the games I want to play?" If you want Halo or anything by Rare, then the obvious answer is for you to look at a XBOX 360. If you want Zelda, Mario, Metroid, a family oriented experience, or a new type of controller, then the Wii is for you. Lastly, if you want Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, Jak, or Ratchet & Clank then you go with the Playstation. I was most interested in the Playstation lineup. Therefore I saw value in it.

What else does the console offer you besides the games? I wanted to be able to play my PS1 and PS2 games. Compatibility has not been an issue, by the way, despite some of the things you might have read elsewhere. Also, I wanted to make full use of my 60" Panasonic HDTV I bought last year. Blu-Ray playback was a big draw for me. A standalone Blu-Ray player starts at around $900, so I saw some serious value in this feature as well. I love my home theater. I also loved my DVD's, but I didn't buy the HDTV to watch movies in 480p. This was another reason the Wii didn't interest me, the games top out at 480p. Before you go accusing me of being a graphics tart, you need to realize I still play my N64 at least once a week.

Price makes or breaks it for some people. Wii is conservatively priced at $250, but I wanted HD graphics and movie playback and was perfectly content with a traditional controller. I may actually buy a Wii in a couple of years when my son is 4 or 5 years old. XBOX 360 doesn't have enough games I'm interested in and HD-DVD doesn't have the studio support of Blu-Ray, so $400 for the system plus $200 for the HD-DVD add on wasn't as much of a value to me as spending the same amount of money on a PS3.

By now, you all see where I'm going with this review. I could go on and on, but you need to decide what you feel is worth your money. Don't rely exclusively on review scores or your over-inflated expectations. Whichever console you buy, enjoy it. I'm loving my PS3. I don't care what you think of yours.

P.S. I loved the Star Wars prequel trilogy and the Matrix sequels. Not every movie needs to be Gone With the Wind or Citizen Kane. I also loved my Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast and my Turbografx-16.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/27/06

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