Review by ss__samy
"Sony strayed away from the path that made the PS2 so great in the first place..."
When Sony released the PS2 way back in 2000, I was very satisfied with the console's great library and accessibly even at launch. Even though in 2001 it's graphical capabilities were put to shame by the Xbox and GameCube, it proved that graphics were not everything and managed to have an amazing library.
PS2 owners will be disappointed with what the PS3 offers. Instead of going with the tried, tested and true approach that the PS2 used, an easily accessible console with a good library and decent horsepower, Sony decided that it would be a great idea to make the most advanced console this generation. The PS3's technical specs are very impressive, though. It boasts a very advanced "cell" processor, which is more powerful than the Xbox 360's, built in wi-fi, HDMI and a 1080p Blu-ray drive. These are all very convenient and all, but it does add a considerable amount to the price tag. Ah yes, the price tag. Because of the expensive Blu-Ray drive, the system cost a whopping $600 US. A $600 console with a very small launch lineup caused PS3 sales to flop and it was ultimately overtaken by the Wii. As of August 2007, it has failed to keep up with the Wii.
The best part about the system. Where else can you get a seven core Cell Processor, Bluetooth, Blu-Ray Drive, HDMI and built in wi-fi all in one with full 1080p capabilities? The emotion engine is included in the 20GB and 60GB versions which allows the PS3 to be backwards compatible with all PS1 and PS2 games. The 20GB model has been discontinued due to lack of interest. However, when Sony released the new 80GB version of the PS3 in July, it did not include the Emotion Engine, to keep costs down. Due to the lack of the EE, Sony must use emulation to play existing titles, and emulation may make a small percentage of games incompatible. The 60GB has also been discontinued by Sony to promote sales of the 80GB version. There is also a 40GB version which does not play PS2 games at all, but comes at a $400 price tag.
The PS3 aesthetically is also very beautiful. It is convex on the front and the glossy black finish and chrome trim. It also has a sleek slot loading drive. It fits in perfectly with any home entertainment system. It feels a lot more durable than the PS2 as well.
Unfortunately, it does not have a built in memory card slot for older games so you will be forced to buy an adapter to be able to use your existing game saves.
The PS3 is also compatible wirelessly with the PSP using a feature called "Remote Play". For example the PSP can be used as a real-time rearview mirror in a racing game.
Before the PS3's release, Sony presented us with a prototype controller shaped like a boomerang. Because of much criticism towards its poor design, Sony decided to stick with the same design we've seen in the DualShock 2 but with a few changes. The Analog Button in the middle has been removed and has been replaced with a circular Home button with a picture of the PS symbol. The L2 and R2 buttons are triggers instead of buttons and the controller has some limited tilt functions. The tilt functions led Sony to name their new controller the SIXAXIS. The motion sensing is not as accurate as it seems, and games that require precision do not work well with it. Many developers currently treat it like a gimmick and games have the option of turning tilt functions on or off. The controller feels a bit less heavy and durable than the Xbox 360 and Wii's controllers.
And another small gripe is that the PS3 allows only seven wireless controllers to be used at once? Even though you needed to buy several Multitaps, didn't the PS2 allow EIGHT players to play at once? A good thing about the PS3 is that it does support 4 wired controllers via USB unlike the 360, which only supports 2.
The XMB interface that is used on the PSP is used on the PS3 as well. It works like a charm. The XMB is very sleek and easy to navigate. Most new users will have no problem getting used to its features in no time. The internet browser is a bit hard to use but that is the only flaw to this wonderful interface.
Game Selection: 7/10
Being released a year after the Xbox 360 is a sore blow to Sony. Many exclusives were lost to the Xbox 360 and the launch lineup for the PS3 was quite poor. Yes, Resistance: Fall of Man is a great game but it can't be the only good launch game can it? PS3 games are also being released at a slower pace than the other two next gen consoles due to the unfamiliar hardware. Unfortunately for PS3 owners, it can even lead to some cross platform games on the 360 being superior than the PS3. For example, Madden on the 360 runs at 60FPS but Madden on the PS3 runs at only 30FPS.
Fortunately, now that the PS3 has been out for over a full year, there are many, many more titles that can interest everyone. The PSN has several fun, downloadable games like Calling All Cars. There are also new games like Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune which will make the purchase of a PS3 much more worthwhile.
I have to say that I was very impressed with the Playstation Network (PSN). Anyone who has a broadband connection can benefit greatly from it. You can download Blu-Ray movie trailers and demos for your PS3 or PSP. The Playstation Network allows you to create an avatar and a nickname for yourself, and you'll be playing against people online in no time. The best thing about this service is that it's free! You can even upgrade firmware on the PS3 to allow it to upconvert all PS1 and PS2 games to 1080p HD! It can breathe some new life into your old games.
While it is an impressive console, the PS3 currently does not have a great selection of games. The features that you get may or may not be worth the $600 price tag, depending on how often you use them or if you have an HDTV.
The PS3 is a console that has a lot of potential for the future, but it might have gotten more sales if Sony decided not to include extra expenses such as the Blu-Ray drive. If more and more quality games start to get released for the PS3, your purchase will be greatly justified.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 01/08/08
Game Release: PlayStation 3 (US, 11/17/06)
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