"Does Everything Well"4.5 starson by dkmi
Pros: Lots of Hardware for the Money
Cons: Missing Some Basic Necessities
Summary: Never been much of a gamer. My last system was a Sega Genesis 16 that was bought to play EA's NHL games.
What drove me to this purchase? My wife. She got hooked on Guitar Hero at a party. Now, I know that Guitar Hero is available on cheaper systems, but I didn't want to invest in yesterday's technology. Still, it took some research before I finally settled on the PS3. I'm glad that I did.
Out of the box, the system was fairly easy to setup. What puzzled me though was the lack of connectors for HD. Whether you want to connect using HDMI or Component cables, you are going to have to purchase these separately. The component cables will be proprietary for the PS3 while the HDMI cable it uses is standard. Everything about this console is high-end graphics and Blu-ray, yet the supplied connectors won't get you any better than 480p. HDMI cables aren't expensive. Contrary to what sales people at big-box stores will tell you, a $5 HDMI cable will perform just as well as a $100 one. The problem is that you'll have to go online to find the $5 cable.
Once I got my system connected properly, setting it up was fairly straight forward. We purchased the 80GB model because we felt that it was worth $100 to get twice the disk space, WiFi, the card readers, and compatibility with most PS2 games. The WiFi was as easy to get connected as any laptop. Once connected, the system downloaded an update, and within a few moments we were in business.
The system came with MotorStorm (an off-road racing game) and it blew me away. It's amazing the power you get for $500. A $500 PC would never be able to run a game like this. I can't wait to check out other titles.
From what I've seen, an Xbox 360 has similar games that look equally as stunning. So, why get the PS3? The Blu-ray player is what got me. I've been waiting for the HD video disk format war to end before investing in a player. Now my investment is somewhat protected because if Blu-ray loses the format war, I still have a terrific game console. If you own an HD television and have been limited to the HD experience via cable and satellite, you need to take a look at a Blu-ray demo. It's night and day better than the compressed HD you'll get from broadcasters. And the Blu-ray player can upconvert your standard DVD's to make them look pretty close to HD. I've seen other upconverting DVD players, and they don't perform as well as this one. You'll need to shell out $25 for a remote for playing Blu-ray movies. There is no infrared port on the unit, so the remote must be Bluetooth. You can use the Sixaxis controller, but you'll tire of it's limitations quickly.
Another cool thing is the media reader. We had the family over for Christmas. Everyone was taking pictures with their digital cameras. We used the PS3 to view pictures as a group. I saved the good ones that I wanted to have right to my PS3's hard drive.
I can't tell you that a PS3 is superior to an Xbox or a Wii. There are too many variables. As a full featured entertainment system, the PS3 gets the nod in my book.