138 reviews

Sony Playstation 3

$299.00 Released November, 2006

Product Shot 1 The Pros:Has a built-in Blu-ray and DVD player. Full HD support, including an HDMI port. Built in WiFi connection.

The Cons:No backwards compatibility on the 40GB model. Games can be expensive ($60). Difficulty to program for is hurting quality of games being ported to it.

September 2009 update: Sony releases the PS3 Slim that is a redesigned console featuring essentially the exact same features as the "phat" PS3 but in a smaller, lighter body. Furthermore, Sony is simplifying the product line to have only one SKU, the slim that has a 120GB hard drive built in, available for $299.

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Product Shot 2 The Playstation 3 (PS3) is Sony's third console and successor to the massively popular Playstation 2. PS3 is part of the seventh generation of consoles which includes Microsoft's Xbox 360, and Nintendo's Wii. The biggest changes that the PS3 sports over the PS2 aside from massively increased processing and graphical capabilities is the use of Blu-Ray discs which have a maximum capacity of 50GB, as well as adding motion sensing capabilities to the controller.

The SIXAXIS controller features the same form factor as the standard PS2 Dual Shock with some significant changes on the inside. The controller no longer "shocks" as rumble is absent substituted by six-degrees of motion sensing (x, y, z translation and pitch, yaw, roll rotation). The rear shoulder buttons are replaced by analogue triggers. Lastly, the SIXAXIS is noticeably lighter than most controllers, even lighter than the Wiimote.

Playstation 3 Hardware

PS3 supports up to seven connected bluetooth devices which can be a mix of game controllers or other bluetooth devices such as compatible headsets and keyboards. Connecting to your LAN is accomplished through the integrated gigabit ethernet adapter, or an optional wireless adapter for the 20GB model, and the integrated B/G adapter on the 60GB model.

Both DVD playback and high-definition Blu-Ray playback are supported standard, making the PS3 one of the least expensive Blu-Ray players on the market. DVD upconversion is also possible but only available through an HDMI connection.

Composite, S-Video, Component and HDMI are all supported output types of the PS3 with a variety of resolutions available such as 720p, 1080i, and 1080p. Both stereo and optical output are supported with many formats supported including Dolby Surround Sound and uncompressed LCPM.

Out of the box the PS3 is the most backwards compatible out of all the systems, as almost every single Playstation 1 and Playstation 2 game plays properly. Early North American and Japanese consoles have PS2 compatibility built into the hardware with all European versions using software emulation. Later versions of the PS3 in all territories are expected to use software emulation instead of hardware.

Another feature that is unique to the PS3 is the ability to swap out the included hard drive with any standard SATA 2.5" laptop drive. Any SATA drive can connect and be used with the PS3, however the slot can only fit a 2.5" drive.

Playstation 3 System Software

Similar to the Playstation Portable (PSP) the PS3 uses the Cross Media Bar (XMB) interface to access the different functions and services the PS3 offers. Similar to the Xbox 360 the PS3 provides a vast array of services right out of the box that span the gamut of game playing and multimedia playback.

The PS3 plays back most audio and image formats, while video is limited to mp4 and mpeg2 formats. All media playback is played from media stored on the internal hard drive, or attached to the PS3 through the USB connection. Unlike the 360, no network streaming is possible. A modern web browser, with javascript and flash support, comes installed on all PS3s which allows for surfing the Internet directly from the console.

An online distribution system, known as the Playstation Store, is accessible for free which lets users download game demos, Playstation Network titles, movie and game trailers, as well as extra software to enhance the PS3 experience. One of these free software packages is Folding@home. In Fall of 2007 Sony will be releasing Playstation Home which is a Second Life kind of virtual world where users have properties that they can customize and share with their friends.

A feature that is totally unique to the PS3 is the ability to load on custom operating systems. Linux is the only operating system that has been developed to work with the PS3 with a few flavours being available, the most popular being Yellow Dog Linux which has a distribution that is customized specifically for the PS3.

Playstation 3 Versions

The Playstation 3 has undergone various revisions and SKU releases in different markets, some with major changes, sometimes with subtle differences.

PS3 Slim ($299) - exact same features as the 80GB model, except no backwards compatibility with an extra 40GB for a total of 120GB hard drive. On the outside the console undergoes a major redesign to make it smaller, lighter and thinner.

Discontinued as of September 2009 

80GB ($299) - 80GB hard drive, all the options including integrated WiFi, 4 USB ports, and the memory card readers. PS2 backwards compatibility hovers around 80% with enhanced graphics and scaling on supported titles. PSOne compatibility is near 100%.

160GB ($399) - the exact same as the 80GB hard drive except it comes with a 160GB hard drive standard, and Uncharted the game packed in.

Discontinued Versions

40GB - Contains the core Playstation 3 services such as Blu-Ray movie support, and playing PS3 games. Contains 2 USB ports (down from 4), no memory card reader, and the biggest change is the total removal of PS2 backwards compatibility. Compatibility with the original Playstation remains at near 100%. Integrated WiFi remains part of the hardware, and comes with a built-in 40GB hard drive.

60GB - The original "Premium" version of the PS3 that contained all the integrated hardware options, and full PS2 compatibility.

20GB - The original "tard pack" version of the PS3. Features a 20GB hard drive but no WiFi, or memory card reader.

User Reviews (151)

Add Pros & Cons
  • 111

    Has a built-in Blu-ray and DVD player

  • 100

    Full HD support, including an HDMI port

  • 98

    Built in WiFi connection

  • 86

    Full 1080p support.

  • 67

    Great 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Sound

  • 61

    Powerfull CPU and GPU. Most powerfull console ever.

  • 59

    Free downloads of enjoyable demos, and add-ons

  • 51

    Upscales PS1 Games, PS2 Games, and DVDs to HD Resolution through HDMI.

  • 49

    You can run Linux on it

  • 49

    HDMI is the newest 1.3 version, unlike the 360 1.2 version, the PS3 will be able to run on ALL future HD Televisions.

  • 43

    Sleek look.

  • 41

    Very solid hardware reliability

  • 40

    Four USB ports on the 80G box.

  • 36

    Frequent patch updates improve console's capabilities

  • 30

    Online is free, not pay 50 dollars

  • 29

    Can be used as a media centre with support for standard file formats like MP3, MP4, h.264, AAC, DivX to name a few.

  • 26

    Use of Blu-ray discs with up to 50GB / disc allows for content-rich games and less in-game disk swapping.

  • 25

    Tilt capabilities of SixAxis controller provide additional control element.

  • 23

    Can stream media from personal computers or NAS servers via UPnP.

  • 20

    The only console built with Bluetooth, wireless

  • 19

    Don't need to pay so much a month for online gaming...just pay for the games

  • 17

    remote play (via the Internet)

  • 12

    Slim version is much smaller and sleeker

  • 10

    HDMI-CEC support in Sept. 2009 firmware update and slim models

  • 9

    Rechargeable controllers

  • 9

    No subscription fee for online multiplayer content

  • 7

    Power by Cell processor and blueray

  • 7

    Controllers can detect motion

  • 6

    Built to boot other operating system like linux, bsd, etc.

  • 6

    Controllers have a comfortable design

  • 5

    Console has a nice design

  • 5

    No use of a tray like the x-box does

  • 5

    User friendly interface

  • 5

    Great graphics

  • 5

    Playstation store has tons of items for sale

  • 4

    Unleash all the blueray features

  • 4

    Tons of online support and wiki`s

  • 4

    Slim model has Braviasync capability.

  • 4

    blu ray discs have special coating, don't scratch

  • 4

    Many good PS3 exclusive titles such as MAG, MLB the Show and Kill Zone

  • 26

    No backwards compatibility on the 40GB model

  • 20

    Games can be expensive ($60)

  • 15

    Difficulty to program for is hurting quality of games being ported to it

  • 10

    Steep price in comparison with competition.

  • 9

    Dropped Extra USB ports on latest models

  • 9

    No backwards compatibility with Playstation 2 games on the PS3 Slim

  • 5

    the ability to install Linux is removed from the PS3 Slim

  • 4

    Relatively small library of games

  • 4

    No Bluetooth A2DP support for game audio

  • 3

    Very few good exclusive titles

  • 2

    Some problems when playing PS2 games in regard to sound.

  • 2

    Online not as good as Xbox Live

  • 1

    Lack of support for lossless audio such as FLAC

  • 0

    Yellow Light of Death plagues most older models. Sony has not taken any permanent action to correct this wide-spread problem

  • -2

    Lack of standard MKV containers and open formats such as OGG

  • -5

    dashboard functionality missing a lot of features compared to Xbox Live

  • -5

    no cross-game invites, party chat, etc

  • -6

    XMB dashboard has a lot of confusing entries especially in the settings section

  • -6

    installation of demos and games even with the DVD is annoying

  • -7

    Not many games yet (as of April 2007)

  • -8

    frequent firmware updates are inconvenient

  • -10

    poor graphics compared to xbox 360 even though it has the better graphics chips(must be a software problem)

  • -11

    Some of them had Blu-Ray drives with very poor longevity, which Sony Support has a very difficult time acknowledging.

  • -16

    Games are required to be on proprietary blu-ray discs

  • -16

    Design is too tall, are to fit into most entertainment units in its upright position.

  • -19

    Very loud fans; it's not a good Blu-ray player for quiet listening environments

  • -34

    Stole motion sensing concept from Nintendo

Comments (14)

What's on your mind? See more ProductWiki Talk
christopher-rojas: #sony_playstation_3 Sony Playstation rocks! I own the 325g and I love it!! May 31, 11
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1stade: #sony_playstation_3

who the $%#% writes some of this stuff it is not the most powerful console its graphics performance is crap compared to xbox 360 and this isn't a rant.

Jul 26, 09
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tmoreau: #sony_playstation_3 By far the most powerful console available. Full HD support, Blu-ray player, HDMI, wi-fi, and a very reliable machine (as of now 3-4% failure rate, lowest of all current consoles). The difficulty of development of game titles is now negligible, and any developer who uses it as an excuse now is (in my book), a lackluster and lazy developer. While the competing equivelant console boasts that it has more RAM, I beg of it to try and produce as many on-screen actions as the PS3 is capable of. For example, playing Killzone 2, I have never seen an opposition so intelligent, when the enemy is behind cover, they will not just pop up in the same spot over and over waiting to have their head taken off, they will move cover, use one member to distract while the other enemies flank you. I challenge the 360 to pull that off, I have yet to see another shooter on that console be that actively intelligent.

The PS3 is a great console, with the sluggish economy, and some development studios taking longer and longer to produce a title, as well as their own economic woes, its nearly on track with PS2 sales in the same timeframe. Some companies were taking the easy way out and devving for the 360 only, but in time, it slowly went away. But Microsofts deep pockets are keeping some studios and publishers exclusive. My opinion, the PS3 needs to flourish as much as the 360 does, without competition, a monopolized gaming company can essentially charge whatever they want to give gamers. I certainly wouldnt pay 800 dollars for the Xbox 720. Price is still a bit of an issue for the gaming community, however looking at the big picture, you are getting serious bang for your buck. Shelling out 399 for an 80 gb console garners you a game with the package, bluetooth enabled console, wifi built in, free access to the PSN, downloading add-on content, demos of upcoming titles, or released titles, web-browser capability, PSP to PS3 connectivity, HDMI 1.3a compliant, a blu-ray player (one of the best on the market), a wide range of exclusive PSN and PS3 titles, company sponsored sales on PSN for products, and in some cases free, and in some countries, ability to rent or purchase movies/TV shows. All that for 399.00, while on the 360, you spend 399.00 for an elite console, with standard DVD capabilities, HDMI 1.2, maybe with a game. Then you add 50 dollars a year for online play, a wireless dongle (new is still above 80 dollars I believe), even after the 50 bones a year, you still pay for extra content for gaming, but demos and such are free, the only real 1up is the 120gb HDD. Put it together and you are looking at nearly 600 dollars when all is said and done. Jul 25, 09
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Rat: #sony_playstation_3 Not too many games besides next-gen iterations from PSX and PS2 hits, which I didn't really dig. But BD playback, Linux and LittleBIGPlanet are my 3 reasons to buy it next week. Let's hope this year brings some games that are not sequels to anything. Jan 8, 09
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Omar: #sony_playstation_3 It released in the UK (not sure about wider Europe) a few months ago. Overall the PlayTV is a pretty cool addition, and the reviews I've read say it works rather well with a few issues/quirks. Nov 21, 08
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daveb: #sony_playstation_3 Anyone yet see the PlayTV adapter - that supposedly allow the PS3 to record TV shows... Any pricing (what currency) ? Any views as to it's functionality ? Nov 20, 08
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BrileyKenney: #sony_playstation_3 Thanks to the price drop for the 80GB models to $399.99 (yes I am aware my comment is a little untimely) I think I'm gonna have to go pick up one of these bad boys. I was just waiting pretty much for a better deal to come around. The different models, especially the cheaper ones, with certain features stripped down didn't entice me. Nov 18, 08
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cmejia: #sony_playstation_3 The Playstation 3 is not the best console for games, but it's the best entertainment (movies, internet, and pictures) out there. It beats the 360 hands down for video playback and all of the above. Blu-ray looks good on my HDTV, and the only worth while game for the PS3 is MGS4 which I rented, and then bought right away when I returned the rental. Amazing game play, first of MGS I have ever played. But I pretty much bought the PS3 for DVD/Blu-ray playback, but I'm sure I'll fit some games in.... Sep 18, 08
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marshaal5: #sony_playstation_3 best build best features quietest console and games in 2008 thta will kill m$ May 14, 08
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desjardinsy001: #sony_playstation_3 Firmware 2.0 breaks Linux Wifi (Verified on YDL and Ubuntu). Nov 17, 07
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Omar: #sony_playstation_3 The PS3 finally gets below the $400 barrier today in the US, at the cost of PS2 backwards compatibility. I would've liked to see Sony lower the price while maintaining all the features, but I understand why they did it. Still at $400, and being the best Blu-Ray player available, it's a pretty compelling deal. Let's see what happens to sales. Nov 2, 07
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koon101: #sony_playstation_3 this console is the best console out. it is built for the future and in a year or so it will over take xbox 360. compred to wat u get price isnt bad, also the blu ray player is one of the best out, even when compared to one swich are 700 quid. it can only get better, and the playstation brand is unbeatable!!! Aug 5, 07
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