Sony PlayStation 3 (40GB)

Sony's built the PlayStation 3 with a definite eye on the future. Can it maintain its lead in the gaming arena with its new console?

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Editor's note: This review is based on the 60GB SKU of the PlayStation 3. The 40GB model has had the following removed: Multimedia card reader, PS2 backwards compatibility, two USB ports, and 20GB of hard drive space.

For a comprehensive look at PS3's Blu-ray and multimedia capabilities, see our feature PS3's got game: plus Blu-ray, MP3 and more.

Design: Hardware
Measuring in at 325mm by 98mm by 274mm (WxHxD) and clocking in at a hefty 5kg the PS3 towers over the Xbox 360 and positively dwarfs the Nintendo Wii. Just like those two consoles (and the PlayStation 2 previously), the PS3 can be stored either flat or upright. Personally, we preferred the look of the PS3 while upright, as it better shows off the console's gently curving face and shiny black plastic casing. You're also better able to see the silver trim around the console's front, as well as its face-wide logo. But be warned - just as the shiny black of the Sony PSP was (and is) a fingerprint magnet, so is the PS3's outer covering. This may not be as much of a problem, however, as the PS3 isn't really meant to be handled too much once it's plonked in the middle of your living room set-up.

The front of the console is minimal to the extreme. The PS3's slot loading disc drive is set recessed on the unit's right hand side, and is surrounded by metallic silver. The flat space in front of the drive has two touch sensitive buttons - one for power and the other for ejecting a disc. A small plastic cover can be found on the PS3's left side - flip it open and it reveals the console's memory card slots (Compact Flash, SD/Mini SD and Memory Stick). Directly below are four USB ports which can be used to connect and charge the PS3's wireless controllers, or plug in USB based accessories or peripherals. The back of the unit is similarly clutter-free. Apart from a power slot and AV-Multi-out connector, the unit's rear also sports an HDMI slot, digital out and Ethernet port. Unlike the Xbox 360, the PS3 doesn't come with a bulky power brick, meaning it should be fairly easy to hide the power cable. But speaking of cables, the PS3 only comes only with composite cables as standard - for an HD gaming and multimedia machine like this, it's an extremely disappointing move on Sony's part.

As for the PS3's brand new controllers (one of which comes bundled with all retail boxes), Sony has stuck with its tried and tested design for PS2 controllers. The PS3 controllers look and feel exactly the same as old PlayStation ones, with a couple of key differences. The first is that the new controllers are wireless. Rechargeable batteries are built-in, and the PS3 comes pre-packaged with a USB wire for charging the controllers (a big plus over the 360, with which you have to buy the recharge kit separately). The second major difference is that the rumble feature - which shook the controller in time with on-screen events - has been taken out of the PS3 version. In its place is Sixaxis, a new motion sensitive technology that allows gamers to control play by moving the controller in their hand. It's not as robust a motion-sensitive system as the Nintendo Wii's, however, as the PS3 controllers can only detect movements in six axes (hence the name). The lack of rumble functionality had also made the PS3 controller much lighter - those used to the PS2 controller's weight will find it initially surprising. The final differences are cosmetic - the new PS3 controllers have a clear PlayStation button in the centre (which acts as a method to quit games or turn off the system), and the L2 and R2 buttons have been reshaped to be more trigger-like.

The PS3 can be stored flat or vertically.

Design: Interface
Sony wants the world to recognise the PS3 as more than just a games system, and it's clear from when you first turn on the machine that this system has been built for more than just play. The PS3's interface is far removed from the PS2's fairly spartan dashboard, and has been modelled after the PSP's media interface. All of the console's various functions are arrayed in what Sony has dubbed the Cross Media Bar, or XMB. Users navigate different functions which are arrayed on a horizontal axis, where each heading opens up sub-headings on a vertical axis. The main headings are Users, Settings, Photo, Music, Video, Game, Network and Friends. Going to the Video heading on the horizontal plane, for example, will unveil all of a user's video options displayed vertically underneath the heading (such as play a BR/DVD or video clips). Going to game will give users the option of playing a disc-based game or any game demos previously loaded. The XMB is fairly intuitive to use, even for those not used to the PSP system.

Things get decidedly more complex any time you have to enter data, however (such as when first creating log-ins for the PS3, or when signing up for the PlayStation Store, or even just entering Web addresses in the PS3's browser). The PS3 uses a keypad for data entry, similar to how mobile phone users enter text messages. It's an extremely fiddly process which will no doubt frustrate, particularly after extended use. Thankfully, the PS3 is compatible with USB or Bluetooth keyboards, so if you have a spare one handy, we highly recommend plugging that in any time data needs to be entered.

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OmairS Facebook

OmairS posted a review   

The Good:A Media Hub, Best Blu-Ray Player, Killer Graphics (which unlike X-Box's had potential to improve considering its cell processor and d 50 GB Blu-ray Disc)
, Six Axis Controller, PSP Connectivity off d hooks, And Connectivity With other Sony devices, Ability to play youtube and other flash videos, AND browse the web, not to mention playstation home (which is still in beta) and photo gallery,
The best feature of the playstation, would be the software update, which is responsible for more than half the things mentioned above!!

The Bad:HDMI cable not included and well as they say, nt many excusive titles..

An Almost perfect device for d livng room, with only cons: lack of exclusive title.


usher122 posted a review   

The Good:could be improved.. game especially

The Bad:Aimed at blue ray what did you say..

PS3 is good albeit expensive, but the Xbox 360 is a better game console overall.


HALO CIEF A28 posted a review   

The Good:Not many because of its price, but blue ray would be its draw card and maybe graphics.

The Bad:Games are not in the same league as XBOX 360... Sony need to push their envelope a little, or think outside some tech squares.

The main reason people buy a console is basically for game play and PS3 does not concentrate on needs, only on wants or what if's, FULL STOP...

WAY too expensive, this was only one of my main reasons I bought the 60 GB XBOX 360 Pro Bundle Halo 3 @ Assasins Creed for $399.00, Xbox kills Ps3 in many ways.


caps posted a review   

The Good:It still hasnt been pushed to it's limit but when it does, it will be amazing.

very quiet unlike the 360

Great line up of games and stunning squeals coming in 2009.

Blu-Ray picture and sound is jaw droping

The Bad:I buy alot of movies from USA and the Blu-Ray wont play 70% of the movies i own so far but thats y i bought a USA PS3 and it's great.

Cant download ( on the PS3 Store ) a Trail version of a game, if you are unsure if you will like it or not. You have to download the full version of the game.

I have no problem with my PS3. I got mine on launch day so playing PS2 games and PS1 games is great. I then bought 2 more ( 1 from USA ) in the last few months so when I have friends over its great to link up online and play. I hardly play the 360 ( only play the exclusive games ) but both machines are great.


ZMAN posted a review   

The Good:*LOOKS


Like previous comments i love the look of the system,like the fact that is is a BLU-RAY player and of PROMISED FUTURE UPGRADES:'# (ARE YOU LISTENING SONY) greatly disappointed that it is not backwards capable for PS2,


Josh50 posted a review   

The Good:Almost everything from the constant software updates to add new and better features to the blu-ray player to the great games an 1080p output.

Despite what anyone says online is really good.

The Bad:The ps3 is static machine it scrambles tv reception when its on so I can't do fah while i'm watching something. It also attracts lots of dust because of the static.

The finish scratches really easy when trying to clean dust off even when using a microfiber cloth.

I just love my (60 gig launch pal PS3)


ak1 posted a review   

The Good:Plays it all fast, with long file names. A real ripper in sound through the optical cable, better than our sharp bluray!

The Bad:Stand it up on its end at your risk. Needs a seat belt to keep it there, for peace of mind at this price.

What a beaut machine ! Plays most video formats including Nero's AVC.
Dont know about games, but should make for some kid an expensive toy on his birthday, if his parents can afford it.


Crow posted a review   

The Good:Good system

The Bad:Bad support
Disk drive failures common

Had mine for 1 year and 4 months. Had a disk drive failure and support centre will exchange it for a second hand PS3 for just $315.


Silver_89 posted a review   

The Good:- It plays Blu-ray discs

- Games can include higher quality materials due to the disc's medium

- It has Metal Gear Solid IV

The Bad:- The only really good exclusive available is Metal Gear Solid IV

- Games supposed to be exclusives such as Final Fantasy XIII are going to the Xbox 360 as well as the PS3

- Insanely high price, especially for a stripped down version of a console

- Lack of games, an even more troublesome lack of really good games

Where I'm from the 40gb model still costs more than the 120gb Xbox360 elite and not only does the xbox have more games (and better games) but it has that extra storage space. And after using them both, the online elements of the xbox seem quite superior.

And once the software emulation allowing the usage of PS2 games was disabled, the number of available games dropped insanely.

Poorer hardware than the cheaper Xbox360.


mew090 posted a review   

The Good:1- great graphic
2- online is for free
3- wireless siaxis
4- wireless remote
5- great look
6- many exclusive (MGS4,KH3)
7-ability to install linux
8- multi media
9- eye on the future
100 blu-ray

The Bad:way too expinsive for a gameing console

Its a blu-ray player that satisfy me

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User Reviews / Comments  Sony PlayStation 3 (40GB)

  • OmairS



    "An Almost perfect device for d livng room, with only cons: lack of exclusive title."

  • usher122



    "PS3 is good albeit expensive, but the Xbox 360 is a better game console overall."




    "WAY too expensive, this was only one of my main reasons I bought the 60 GB XBOX 360 Pro Bundle Halo 3 @ Assasins Creed for $399.00, Xbox kills Ps3 in many ways."

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