Sony recently released a version of its popular PlayStation 3 video game console for people who don’t play a lot of video games. Sure, it comes with a controller and everything and plays PS3 games, but it’s not for hardcore gamers. In an effort to compete with Microsoft’s 4-gigabyte Xbox 360 system at the same price of $199.99, Sony’s latest incarnation of the super-slim PS3 model eschews a traditional hard drive in favor of 12 gigs of NAND memory (also known as memory). flash).
Look, all the hardcore PS3 gamers are snickering right now. They know that if they want to play more than one or two games at a time, they’ll have to delete and reinstall games every time they change titles, or invest in a memory solution like an external hard drive or thumb drive (both fully compatible if formatted in FAT32 on the nearest PC). They know all this because many PlayStation 3 games require you to install them to the console’s internal memory in order to play. While many games only require a few gigs, some of the latest triple-A gaming experiences like GTA V (8 concerts) and Splinter Cell Blacklist (12 concerts!) require a little more.
So at this point, you may be wondering, “Well, who should buy this then?” The answer is “Almost everyone except expert players.”
Let’s be honest, these days a PlayStation console is much more than just a video game machine. First of all, they also play DVD and Blu-ray movies, a must-have for any movie lover’s living room. Yes, to get the benefit of improved picture quality from your Blu-ray movies, you will need to upgrade the cable that came with your system. But a component or HDMI cable is a small additional cost for a major improvement in picture quality. I’m going to come right out and say it: If you have an HDTV and you’re watching standard definition DVDs, then you’re doing it wrong.
The PS3 also surfs the web, and while you can use the controller if you want, for a more PC-like Internet experience, you can plug in your USB keyboard and mouse. Along with that internet connectivity also comes 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 signing. The deal reportedly would allow Sony to offer its customers access to Viacom’s television channels, which includes networks like MTV and Nickelodeon, in an Internet-based streaming service. In short, we are talking about live cable TV over the interwebs. Sony has already reached out to other network providers like Disney and Warner Brothers as well. It will be interesting to see if Sony can come to some kind of agreement with these or others in the coming 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 you can watch your video files, listen to your MP3s, and browse your pictures right from your computer right on your big screen TV. All this functionality, and the PS3 still plays games too.
Sony (and let’s be fair, Microsoft too) has done a lot in the last ten years to make its systems not just a game box, but the true focal point of the modern entertainment center. So while the 12GB PS3 may not be the best option for the hardcore gamer, it’s a great buy for anyone looking for an all-in-one Netflix/Blu-ray solution for their living room. It’s also a great gift idea for the casual gamer, the media curious video game addict, or the parent who wants their child to get skylanders turn off the television in the house and take it to your room. Pick one up at your local Slackers today!