Should the new PS3 be your next Blu-ray player?

About The Author

CNET Editor

Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.

Sony has unveiled the slimmest and cheapest version of the PS3 yet, but is it a solid replacement for a Blu-ray player?

The new-look PS3.
(Credit: Sony)

Sony has released the third version of the PlayStation 3 console, something that we're calling the PlayStation Cubed, but that Sony is just calling the plain old PS3. It's significantly thinner and, even better, cheaper than the slim — AU$399.95 for a 500GB model, compared to AU$429 for 320GB.

We happily number the PS3 slim in the ranks of our best Blu-ray players. In fact, Blu-ray playback has been a significant part of the PlayStation's strength for some time now — gaming, IP entertainment services and Blu-ray is a hell of a combination.

The recently reviewed Sony BDP-S790 is one of our top-rated Blu-ray players, thanks to great playback, solid network functions and an impressive array of video and music streaming, with catch-up TV apps and the Sony Entertainment Network. We noted that at AU$429, it was pricier than many players, but worth it.

Now Sony has the new PlayStation 3. It's cheaper than the BDP-S790 by AU$30, has network functions, Blu-ray playback and — in the words of a local Sony rep — "the full suite of entertainment services currently enjoyed on PS3 will be available for consumers to enjoy on the new model PS3".

That's a lot of services, by the by: ABC iView, Quickflix, SBS On Demand, Plus7, VidZone, the PlayStation Video Store ... the list goes on.

Currently, AU$400 is a reasonable amount to pay for a Blu-ray player. However, assuming that the new PS3 has the same-quality Blu-ray playback that its predecessor enjoyed (we'll update when review models become available, but there's no real reason to assume that it won't), then as a whole entertainment package, it might even pip its S790 stable mate to the post. It's definitely worth considering if you're in the Blu-ray market.

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The Stav posted a comment   

Can an SSD be fitted i.e. a Sata3 incarnation?
If so, any benefits other than a substantial reduction
in power consumption and the obvious access time
in terms of loading games etc?


lailabalqis posted a comment   

just bought the new one yesterday.
and its horrible. i havent had a playstation for a while partner has a xbox so no need but i thought a change would be good. as i miss playing crash bandicoot.

First of the blu ray was horrible.
Trying to watch a movie and to me it was below than a average.!

The new way you enter a disk is plasticy and cheap.
it feels super cheap and tacky.

it also did not work on only hdmi. it ran on the three colour cord.
thats super old school.
was really dissapointed.


Gunna posted a comment   

I find my slim PS3 runs fairly loud. I'd be interested to see if the new model is any quieter.


EesK posted a comment   

Noise, LMAO,You obviously do not know what your talking about. The only noise from the PS3 slim is when playing a game that requires writing to HDD like MW3 for example.


JasonM2 posted a comment   

For your average user it might seem like a good bet, however....

The PS3 can get annoyingly loud under load, for gaming this might not be an issue, for film viewing it's unacceptable.
Sony continue to be one of those Companies with an almost militant attitude towards enforcing locked (read archaic) Region zoning of media


Nic Healey posted a reply   

The noise is an interesting point - personally I thought the PS3 slim was quieter than the original and I'd expect the new PS3 to be quieter again, but I've seen plenty of other people online complain that their slim was too loud. I'll be curious to see when we get one in and I'll be sure to include it in the review.


HarryC posted a reply   

sony games don't have any region coding...


rkc_62 posted a comment   

Except that the S790 comes with a remote Grandma can use, whereas the PS3 remote is an optional extra.
Conversely, you can add PlayTV to the PS3 and get a DVR REALLY cheap...

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