Written by: Alex Hurley
Home entertainment has been booming lately, and video game consoles are at the center of that explosion. It has been five years since the PS3 was first released, but even today is a great time to invest in this game system. The PS3 Slim offers all the gaming experience you could want with a Blu-Ray player thrown in at just $249.99. It may seem like a costly investment, but the entertainment value speaks for itself.
Back when the PS3 was first released, the built-in Blu-Ray player was one of its main selling points. Now that Blu-Ray is a little more common, you can find cheap Blu-Ray players easily, but as an addition to the gaming side of the PS3, it’s still a great feature. I use my PS3 to play DVDs and Blu-Ray discs all the time–it’s a lot more convenient than hooking up another gadget to my TV. Plus, if you have a Netflix account, you can watch Instant Streaming movies on the PS3. It’s a great console for not just games but other media as well.
One leg up that the PS3 has over the Xbox 360 is free access to the PlayStation Network which allows you to play online with friends or random players. There’s no premium cost here; as soon as you hook up your PS3, you can use the built-in Wi-fi to connect to whatever internet connection you have at home and jump online to play multi-player games or download videos and games from the PSN Store. It’s quick and easy to use and really helps to complete the gaming experience.
As for the games themselves, PS3 boasts all of the best multi-platform releases as well as tons of fantastic exclusive games. The question between the PS3 and Xbox 360 really comes down to what type of games you’re looking for: PS3 has adventure games like Uncharted, multi-player games like Little Big Planet, and action games like God of War. The Xbox 360 has its own slew of great games, but the variety is much smaller.
There is one downside to the PS3 Slim, specifically: no backwards compatibility with PS2 games. This means you can’t play old PS2 games on the PS3 Slim–if you want to play older games, you would need to keep your PS2 system. It’s not a big problem if the PS3 Slim is your first game console, but veteran players will no doubt find the lack of this feature annoying.
The only other real problem to consider before buying a PS3 is the true cost of the console. It doesn’t stop at $249.99. To get the most out of the system, you have to have an HD capable television with the appropriate HD cables to connect to the PS3. Most games are designed to take full advantage of HD visuals, and playing on a standard definition TV, particularly a small one, really detracts from the experience. When I had an SD TV, there was more than one occasion where I just couldn’t read the text on a game because the image was too small and blurry.
With the PS3 Slim, the pros significantly outweigh the cons. $249.99 may seem like a pretty big chunk of change, but for some of the best gaming experiences today as well as a convenient Blu-Ray player, Sony’s PS3 is a great value.