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?

CNET Rating
User Rating

Features: Hardware
The PlayStation 3 is a technical behemoth underneath its cool black exterior-it is, in essence, a high-end PC capable of a wide array of multimedia features. At its heart is the Cell processor, a chip developed specifically for the PlayStation 3 which features a PowerPC-based core with seven different processing units. This allows the Cell to perform insanely complex equations which should result in vastly improved graphics and more realistic physics within games. We say "should", because the drawback of having a specially built processor means game developers have to learn from scratch how to program for the system (as opposed to the Xbox 360, which uses mainly off-the-shelf components). So while the graphics of current-gen PS3 games are on par with the Xbox 360's, we're expecting significant improvements in the years to come.

The PS3 is compatible out of the box with any new PS3 games - even ones from overseas. Sony has (at this stage) put no region locks on games, which means that any title purchased from around the world should work on an Australian PS3. Sony has left it to publishers to implement their own region locks should they wish, however, so this situation may change in the future. Old PS1 and PS2 games are still region locked. And speaking of old PlayStation games, the Australian version of the PS3 is different from US ones in that backwards compatibility with old PS2 games is software instead of hardware emulated. This means Aussie PS3 owners will need to update their machine to the latest firmware version as soon as they unpack it if they want to play old PS2 games. The list of PS2 games currently playable on the PS3 is roughly 1700, compared to the close to 2500 titles available for the old system. Click here for the full list.

It would hardly be a multimedia machine if all it did was play games, however. The PS3 features a long list of hardware extras, the most significant of which is probably the inclusion of a 60GB hard drive. As well as being the main repository to store game saves, the large drive can also be used to store game and video demos, music and digital photos. And in the first of Sony's moves to make the PS3 more compatibility-friendly, the drive is a serial ATA: this means users can easily upgrade the drive at a later date should they run out of space.

When it comes to connectivity, the PS3 is no slouch. The Ethernet port makes it a cinch to connect to a wired home network, while the unit also ships with Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) built in. The PS3 also features Bluetooth 2.0 for connection with other compatible devices. As mentioned earlier, the PS3 also sports four USB 2.0 slots at the front, which can accommodate devices such as keyboards and even existing PS2 peripherals (SingStar microphones, anyone?). And in another particularly generous act of open standards, the PS3 comes with slots for Memory Stick (including Pro), Compact Flash (Type I and II) and SD. This should make uploading pictures or other data to the PS3 a breeze.

Of course, we still have to cover that much talked about Blu-ray drive which comes standard with each and every PS3. At AU$1000, the PS3 is by far the cheapest Blu-ray player currently available on the Australian market. The unit can output both movies and games at 1080p resolution (for those games that support it), but it can also output at 576i, 576p, 720p and 1080i. As well as Blu-ray movies, the PS3's optical drive can play CDs Super Audio CDs and DVDs (including DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R and DVD+RW discs). But while the PS3 can play games from around the world, the same can't be said for DVD or Blu-ray discs. The PS3 will only be able to play region-specific content, which for DVDs means Region 4 and Region B for Blu-ray.

The new PS3 controllers have limited motion sensitivity.

Features: Online
Getting the PlayStation 2 online was a chore, but the same definitely cannot be said for the PS3. Internet connectivity is practically a requirement for this unit, as Sony has taken a decidedly Xbox-like approach to online with their new console. Getting the PS3 hooked up to the Internet is a cinch - simply plug in your Ethernet cable or connect to your wireless network and you're away. This type of always-on connectivity will be familiar to anyone who has a 360 and is on Xbox Live. Being always-on allows the system to notify the user when friends are online, gives messaging and voice abilities, and will allow for the speedy delivery of system (or game) updates. Most importantly, being online also allows for easier multiplayer games, a system which was hopelessly complex on the PS2. Unlike Xbox Live, playing online against friends or strangers is free for the PS3 - there are no subscription fees that need to be paid.

Being online also allows access to the PlayStation Store, Sony's equivalent to the 360's Xbox Live Arcade. The store will contain free game demos and videos for download, as well as games for sale. Game prices for the PlayStation Store will be between AU$5 and AU$20. Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, for example, retails for AU$16.95.

The online activity doesn't stop there. The PS3 also comes with a Web browser, which allows for Internet surfing straight from the console. As mentioned earlier, web address entry can be a chore using the PS3's virtual keyboard entry system, so you'll need a real keyboard if you're going to make constant use of this feature.

Previous Story

Colin McRae DiRT

Next Story

40GB PS3 confirmed for Australia

Add Your Review 20

* Below fields optional

Post comment as
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

Sponsored Links
CNET's latest

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."

CNET Speedtest

Recently Viewed Products