Sony recently released a version of its popular PlayStation 3 video game console for people who don’t play video games a lot. Sure, it comes with a controller and everything and it plays PS3 games, but it’s not for die-hard gamers. In an effort to compete with Microsoft’s 4-gigabyte Xbox 360 system for the same price of $ 199.99, Sony’s latest incarnation of the ultra-thin PS3 model eschews a traditional hard drive in favor of 12GB of NAND memory (aka flash memory).
You see, all die-hard PS3 gamers are chuckling right now. They know that if they want to play more than one or two games on this thing at a time, they will either have to remove and reinstall games every time they switch between titles or invest in a memory solution like an external hard drive or flash drive (both fully compatible if formatted as FAT32 on the nearest PC). They know all of this because many PlayStation 3 games require you to install them in the console’s internal memory in order to be played. While many games only require a few gigs, some of the more recent triple-A gaming experiences like GTA V (8 concerts) and Splinter Cell Blacklist (12 gigs!) Require a little more.
So right now you might be wondering, “Well, who should buy this thing?” The answer is “Almost everyone except hardcore gamers.”
Let’s be honest, these days a PlayStation console is more than a video game machine. First of all, they also play DVDs and Blu-ray movies, a must-have component for any cinephile’s living room. Yes, to enjoy the enhanced picture quality of your Blu-ray movies, you will need to upgrade the cord that came with the system. But a component or HDMI cable is a little extra cost for a major upgrade in picture quality. I’m just going to go out and say it: if you have an HDTV and you watch standard definition DVDs then you are wrong.
The PS3 also surfs the web, and while you can use the controller if you like, for a more PC-like internet experience, you can plug in your USB keyboard and mouse. Along with this internet connectivity, there is also access to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and even YouTube. There’s also been a lot of talk in the tech news lately about a deal Sony and Viacom are in the process of signing. The deal allegedly would allow Sony to offer its customers access to Viacom’s TV channels, which include networks such as MTV and Nickelodeon, over a streaming-based internet service. In short, we are talking about live cable TV on the interwebs. Sony has already approached other network providers such as Disney and Warner Brothers. It will be interesting to see if Sony is able to come to some sort of agreement with these, or others, over the next few months.
Even if you don’t want to subscribe to a streaming service like Netflix, the PlayStation 3 also lets you stream media from a compatible PC. This means that you can watch your video files, listen to your MP3s and browse your photos right from your computer right on your big screen TV. All of these great features, and the PS3 still plays games too.
Sony (and let’s be honest, Microsoft too) has done a lot over the past decade to make its systems not just a gaming box, but the real focal point of the modern entertainment hub. So while the 12GB PS3 might not be the best choice for the “hardcore” gamer, it’s a great buy for anyone looking for an all-in-one Netflix / Blu-ray solution for the game. their living room. It’s also a great gift idea for the casual gamer, curious multimedia video game junkie, or the parent who wants their child to get Skylanders turn off the television in the fireplace and bring it back to their bedroom. Buy one from your local Slackers today!