Saturday, April 10, 2010

Games: PlayStation 3 120 GB

April 10, 2010 8:56 am
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PlayStation 3 120 GB

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Manufacturer: Sony
Customer Rating:
List Price: $299.99
Sale Price: $299.99
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Product Description

The fourth generation of hardware released for the PlayStation 3 entertainment platform, the PlayStation 3 120GB system is the next stage in the evolution of Sony's console gaming powerhouse. Loaded with a mix of multimedia features and functions available on earlier PlayStation 3 models, as well as a series of new advancements and refinements, the PlayStation 3 120GB system is destined to push the envelope in the realm of Next-Generation entertainment.

The PS3 logo
What's Under the Hood
As with previous models, the PlayStation 3 120GB system features an IBM "Cell" processor and a co-developed NVIDIA graphics processor that together allow the system to perform two trillion calculations per second. Yet the 120GB system manages to improve on this with its 45nm version of the processor, which although running at the same 60+nm speed as previous PS3 versions, uses less energy. This makes the unit's smaller size and quieter fan possible. Along with the traditional AV and composite connections, the 120GB system also boasts an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) port, which delivers uncompressed, unconverted digital picture and sound to compatible high-definition TVs and projectors. (The system is capable of 128-bit pixel precision and 1080p resolution for a full HD experience) This console also provides for an extreme sound experience by supporting Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, as well as Linear PCM 7.1. Finally, it features cross connectivity with your PC network and PlayStation Portable (PSP) and its pre-installed, 120GB hard disc drive allows you to save games as well as download content from The Internet. Unlike The some other models of The PlayStation 3, The 120GB system does not offer backwards compatibility.

The PlayStation 3 120GB and included Dualshock 3 controller
The same functionality now in a smaller, more quiet and energy efficient package
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The upright height of previous PS3 models compared to the smaller of PlayStation 3 120GB system
Space saving when placed upright...
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The horizontal height of previous PS3 models compared to the smaller of PlayStation 3 120GB system
As well as when horizontal
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The PlayStation 3 120GB system's textured finish
A textured, no fingerprint finish
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Blu-ray, PlayStation Network Downloads and Beyond
PlayStation 3 utilizes The Blu-ray disc media format, which gives you The best high-definition viewing experience on your television, by way of The format's ability to hold six times as much data as traditional DVDs. This tremendous capacity, combined with The awesome power of The system's processor and graphics card, promises an endless stream of mind-blowing games, and other multimedia content. This doesn't mean though that The PS3 is limited to Blu-ray discs. It also supports CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD+R formats. In addition, PlayStation 3 system software includes BD Live support that allows you to play discs that support Blu-ray Disc Profile 2.0 (BD-LIVE), meaning you can also connect to The Internet while playing discs that support this format to obtain additional features. And of course PS3 owners also receive free access to The PlayStation Network (PSN), where through The PlayStation Store and PlayStation Home, they can download games, game demos, movies, and other content, as well as chat with friends, play mini-games, compete in tournaments and explore dedicated game spaces.

Sensational Controller
The Dualshock 3 wireless controller included with The PlayStation 3 120GB system provides The most intuitive game play experience, with pressure sensors in each action button and The inclusion of The highly sensitive Sixaxis motion sensing technology. Each hit, crash and explosion is more realistic when The user feels The rumble right in The palm of their hand. It can even detect natural movements for real-time and high precision interactive play, acting as a natural extension of The user's body. Dualshock 3 utilizes Bluetooth technology for wireless game play and The controller's detachable USB cable to seamlessly and automatically charge The controller when connected to The PlayStation 3. By integrating all of these features into The popular PlayStation controller design, The Dualshock 3 further enhances The advanced gameplay experience only available on The PlayStation 3 system.

Synch with Your Other Sony HDMI Devices
The PlayStation 3 120GB system features HDMI + Bravia Synch functionality. Bravia Synch allows connectivity between Sony HDMI products, without having to utilize multiple remote controls. This means that with The push of one button users can control compliant Sony devices connected to your PS3 via HDMI cable.

What's in The Box:

  • New slimmer and lighter PS3 system with a 120 GB HDD, Internet-ready built-in Wi-Fi, 2 USB ports and HDMI + Bravia Synch output for 1080p resolution and connectivity between other Sony HDMI products.
  • Dualshock 3 wireless controller.
  • AC power cord, AV cable and USB cable.
  • Free PlayStation Network membership.

System Specifications:

CPU Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/B.E.)
Sound LPCM 7.1ch, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTs, DTS-HD, AAC
Memory 256MB XDR Main RAM, 256MB GDDR3 VRAM
HDD 2.5" Serial ATA 120GB
Ethernet X1 (10BASE-T,100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)
IEEE 802.11 b/g Included
Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR) Included
Controller Dualshock 3 wireless controller included
AV Output Resolution 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p, 480i (for PAL 576p, 576i)
HDMI OUT + Bravia Synch 1
(Read Only)
Maximum Read Speed BD 2x (BD-ROM)
CD 24x (CD-ROM)
USB Ports 2
Backwards Compatibility No
Dimensions 13.385"(w) x 13.385"(h) x 6.299"(d)
Weight Approx. 7.05 lb.

Product Details

  • HDMI + Bravia Sync functionality that provides both 1080p output resolution, and instant in-synch connectivity between your PS3 and other Sony HDMI enabled products without the use of multiple remote controls.
  • A new 33% slimmer, 36% lighter PlayStation 3 entertainment system that is also more energy efficient.
  • Includes a Dualshock 3 wireless controller and a built-in 120GB HDD for storing games, music, videos, and photos.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for connectivity anywhere and multiple media format compatibility, including Blu-ray for crystal clear video on High-Definition TVs, CD-ROM, DVD, and others.
  • Free membership and access to all the events, as well as game, movie, TV and other media content available on the PlayStation Network (PSN).

Video Reviews

No video reviews found for this product.

Customer Reviews

The PS3 Reloaded
Review Date: August 25, 2009
Reviewer: A. Dent, Minas Anor, GD

I will begin with the rating part so that those who are already familiar with the PS3 line may save a little time.

On balance, I found the PS3 Slim or the 'PS3 120GB' to be a worthy addition to the current PS3 line. It comes with several major improvements over its predecessors and the 'trade offs' are few and, to most us, insignificant.

This how the new model compares to its predecessors:

PS3 SLIM vs. PS3 80/160GB

+ $100/200 less
+ Smaller
+ More energy efficient
+ More quiet operation
+ Cooler
+ Smaller Cell processor manufactured using a 45-nanometer manufacturing process
+ New, more advanced HDMI 1.3 chipset
+ Easier HDD upgrade

- No Linux support
- No on-off switch in the back
- Push rather than touch 'On' and 'Eject' buttons
- Not as pretty

= Unchanged game-playing experience
= Same great Blu-ray player
= Same PSP integration
= Same WiFi, Bluetooth built-in
= Same Dualshock 3 rumble, motion sensitive controller
= Same I/O options

The PS3 Slim is a superior product when compared with the PS3 80/160GB models. This relatively inexpensive, feature packed, versatile gaming machine, multimedia hub and outstanding Blu-ray player, earns back the 5th star that I granted the Classic models and I didn't feel that the PS3 80/160GB models deserved.

Granted, when compared to the PS3 Classic, the PS3 Slim lacks PS2 compatibility, has 2 fewer USB ports and and it lacks media card slots but these shortcomings are offset by the significantly lower price, energy efficiency, larger storage and an updated CPU and HDMI. And, keeping hope alive by feeding it rumors, who knows? Sony just might add PS2 software emulation once it stops manufacturing the PS2 sometime, next year.


The good news is that you can do just about everything you did with the PS3 80/160GB models and in the exact same way. During my test ride, I was able to play all the games I brought with me without a problem, the Bluetooth remote controller was recognized immediately and so was the Playstation Eye. Both a USB-dongle full-size wireless keyboard, a USB-connected wired keyboard and Sony's own Bluetooth mini-keyboard worked as expected. I was able to upload pictures, videos and music from a USB thumb drive and a USB-connected SATA 2.5" hard disk and play them in the same way I do it on my own PS3. The person who allowed me the test drive suggested that I do not sign into the PSN but I have no doubt that the Slim behaves exactly like its predecessors on the PSN, running HOME or while browsing the Net.

The Slim has the exact same ports in the back, the same buttons in front - albeit 'push' buttons instead of the 'touch' buttons, the same 2 USB ports, comes with the same Dualshock 3 controller, USB cable and Composite AV cable accessories.

The older PS3s weren't particularly noisy but the Slim seems to be more quiet and, after several hours of play, it didn't get as warm as my Classic. The ONLY 2 USB ports bother me a little because I brought along the Eye, a USB-wired HDD, a USB keyboard and a dongle-based wireless keyboard. That meant that I had to do a lot of plugging and unplugging when testing. In real life, it's not so convenient to charge a controller and access more than one USB-connected peripheral. There are third party generic USB hubs (ugly) or PS3-specific port extenders and media hubs that could be used to increase the number of USB ports and bring back the media card slots.

My overall impression of the Slim is "nothing new" at least on surface. The "cooler, quieter, smaller, more energy efficient" you don't notice while playing a game or watching a movie. The really great news about the Slim is that so many more will be able to afford it and, with a larger user base, more developers will feel more strongly motivated to publish more, better games that all of us will enjoy.


This is not meant to be a 'fan' statement. I don't own a Wii but I do own an Xbox 360 so I will be able to discuss PS3 Slim vs. Xbox 360 Elite and, hopefully, it may help a little those undecided between the two or those thinking about getting a PS3 as a second gaming console. Please be aware that, even though I own both consoles and I try to be as objective as possible, I do tend to favor the PS3.

- Storage: 120 GB on both systems
- CD, DVD playback: both
- Bluetooth/IR: Bluetooth included with PS3, Infrared remote for Xbox
- Community: PSN/Home memberships are free, Xbox Live includes free Silver membership and one-month Gold subscription, paid thereafter

Advantage PS3 Slim
- Blu-ray: PS3 only. Blu-ray disks aren't used for HD movie playback but to deliver games as well. Since they store several times more data than a DVD disk, PS3 games can be 'bigger' and be still delivered on one disk, eliminating the need for swapping during gameplay.
- WiFi: included with PS3, available as an add-on for Xbox.
- HDMI 1.3a on PS3 (more vivid colors, better sound) vs. HDMI 1.2 on Xbox
- Controller: wireless on both systems, rumble on both, PS3's only is motion sensitive, rechargeable batteries built into PS3's, Xbox rechargeable battery packs available for purchase.
- Integration with a handheld device: PS3 integrates with the PSP, the Xbox offers Zune integration. I would call it 'advantage PS3' because the Zune integration is limited to file transfers.
- Internal power supply: yes for the Slim, a large external 'brick' for the Xbox.
- Ability to upgrade the Hard Disk: the PS3 could use any cheap 2.5" SATA on the market (a 500GB can be had for $90 at the time of this writing and the existing PS3 disk can be recycled to upgrade a laptop or as external storage) without voiding the warranty. I am not aware Xbox HDD upgrades beyond 120GB but, judging by the 120GB upgrade HDD for the smaller models, they are likely to be proprietary, more expensive solutions.
- Slim comes with USB, Ethernet and Composite cables, Xbox has only Composite in the box.

Advantage Xbox 360 Elite Fall 2009
- Headset: not included with PS3 but any Bluetooth device will work, wired headset included with Xbox Elite.
- Ethernet: PS3 supports Gigabit Ethernet, Xbox is limited to 100BASET-T.
- USB ports: Xbox comes with 3, Slim has only 2.

It seems that a PS3 Slim can be brought to parity with the Xbox 360 Elite by purchasing a Bluetooth headset (possibly for less than $10 and that would make the PS3 a superior choice since the Xbox headset is wired to the controller. For the amount, the PS3 will match and surpass Xbox feature for feature if we don't factor in exclusive Xbox games or unique Xbox Live features.

To bring the Xbox 360 Elite to parity with the PS3 one would need: a WiFi adapter ($70) and rechargeable batteries ($10). I will not add the various cables to the list because, depending on setup, they may or may not be needed and PS3's Gigabit Ethernet is not likely to make a difference in anyone's gaming or movie streaming at this time. $80 would bring the Xbox closer to the PS3 but the Xbox won't support Blu-ray, does not have a motion sensitive controller, can't function without an external power supply and, Zune withstanding, it does not integrate with a hand-held gaming device. In addition, continuing the Xbox Live Gold beyond the initial month would be another $30-50 per year for the life of the Elite.

I chose not to factor in the quality of available software because it's impossible to be even remotely objective when it comes to judge Sony's exclusives vs. Xbox exclusives. My guess is that, in the end, those who must have Halo will buy a Microsoft Xbox regardless of cost or other features and those who fall in love with Little Big Planet or Uncharted have no choice but a Sony PS3. The general consensus is that, at this time, the PS3 has the superior hardware (see above) while the Xbox has an advantage in exclusive titles and some exclusive content. In addition, many multiplatform games are developed on the Xbox first and then ported to the PS3. That can make the Xbox versions appear to be superior and, more importantly, the PS3 versions do not always take full advantage of PS3s superior hardware. This seems to be less the case as developers are becoming more familiar with the PS3 platform - the software gap, if there is one at this time, it is closing fast.


For those who decided that the PS3 Slim is what they wanted, the list below may help them budget for the extra purchases they may want to consider. There are surprisingly few extra a PS3 REALLY needs and I listed them in order from what I view as the more to the less important or needed. Those at the top are, in my view, more 'essential' than the ones at the bottom, but with the exception of the HDMI cable which is a must have for an HD TV set, you could easily do without the rest or get them later if you really feel that you want them.

- HDMI CABLE - It's a must for anyone who already has an HD TV. It's not included in the box and I am not going to provide a link because there are dozens of vendors at Amazon, competing and that's a good thing because one can be had for only a few dollars. Just make sure it's HDMI 1.3. A 'High-Speed' rating is not necessarily a plus if the cable you need is only 3 ft. or 6 ft. long. All HDMI 1.3 cables should be High-Speed rated and only High-Speed cables support 1080p resolutions. At these lengths, paying a premium for 'quality' can't be justified because the odds for the digital signal to be misinterpreted are close to non-existent.

- REMOTE CONTROL - Unless your HD TV supports CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) which allows for the user to command and control multiple CEC-enabled boxes with one remote control and for CEC capable devices to command and control each other, Sony PlayStation 3 Blu-ray Disc Remote could make the operation of the PS3 a lot easier when you are not playing a game. It's optimized for movie viewing but XMB navigation, running slide shows and shopping at the PSN store are easier with the remote control because it does not need two hands to be operated. In fact, it can be operated with one thumb.

- WIRELESS HEADSET - This is the one important component that the Elite bundle includes (theirs is wired) and the PS3 does not. Any Bluetooth headset would do which is why I am not going to insert a link to Sony's product or to anyone else's.

- SECOND DUALSHOCK 3 CONTROLLER - Even if you play solo only, a second controller may be charging while the other is in use.

- USB PORT EXTENDER - Again, there are many competing offers. I would prefer one where the ports are powered. Some singing games may come with their own extenders.

- PS3 EYE CAMERA - This is not exactly a 'must have' but it's definitely a 'very nice to have' as the Eye is not only a camera but also a stereo microphone - depending on your needs, it may eliminate the need for a headset. I obtained mine cheaply, with a used copy of Eye of Judgment. If you decide to go that route, be VERY careful and ensure that the camera is indeed included before your order.

- MEDIA CARD READERS - They would plug into a USB port and will allow your PS3 to read/write to Media/Multimedia/Secure Digital, Memory Stick (PRO), Compact Flash, or XD Picture cards. They can be had for anything from $1 to $20.



We own a 'Classic' 60GB PS3, currently upgraded to 320GB, DualShock 3 and complemented with various peripherals: PS3 Eye, Logitech Driving Force GT Racing Wheel, Bluetooth keyboard attachment, headset... etc. We also own an Xbox 360 Elite, 3 PSP 3000's (got 3 kids) and a second-hand DS. We used to have a PS2 but we sold it shortly after purchasing the PS3. I've helped several of my neighbors purchase, install and upgrade their own PS3's. I am posting this review because I had the opportunity to test drive a PS3 Slim for several hours a couple of nights before the official launch - someone I know works at a store that sells gaming consoles.

Speaking for myself only, I tend to favor the PS3 for several reasons and here they are:

- WiFi - This is a major convenience for me. I hate 'wires' and the PS3 has the WiFi built in and it's VERY easy to set up.
- Blu-ray - I was an early adopter and I haven't bought 'new' DVDs in more than a year. Having the PS3 doubling up as a Blu-ray player is another major convenience for me.
- HDD Storage upgrade - I don't believe that 120GB is sufficient these days and our console has exceeded the 120GB threshold already after lots of downloaded games and movies and transferring thousands of photos and songs to it. A PS3 can be easily and inexpensively upgraded to 500GB today and this is a big plus.
- Little Big Planet - It's a Sony exclusive and my kids just love this game. They would probably run away and resettle with a family that has LBP if I got rid of the PS3.



- 45nm, 7-core Cell processor CPU
- RSX - Based on NV47 Chip (Nvidia GeForce 7800 Architecture) for graphics
- Updated HDMI chipset (bitstreams hi-res DTS-HD, TrueHD)
- 256MB XDR Main RAM and 256MB GDDR3 VRAM memory
- 120GB Hard disk - 2.5" SATA - can be replaced with any 2.5" SATA and a compatible 500GB HDD can be had for about $90 at the time I write this review
- Blu-ray 2.0 player (possibly still the best) that also plays DVDs and CDs
- Ethernet 10/100/1000Base-T wired networking
- WiFi 802.11 b/g (from 10 Mbps up to 54 Mbps) - wireless networking I couldn't live without
- Bluetooth 2.0 for game controller, headsets, keyboards and so on
- Video resolution up to 1080p
- Audio supported: LPCM 7.1, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD, AAC
- Other outputs: HDMI, Optical, Composite AV
- Other I/O: 2 High-speed USB 2.0 ports
- Power: dual 120/240V
- Power consumption: 250W
- Weight: about 7 lbs.
- Dimensions: about 12" x 2.5" x 12" (my measurements)
- Included controller: DUALSHOCK 3
- Included cables: USB and Composite AV, power chord

Additional features:

- Displays JPEG stills.
- Multi-featured, surprisingly good slide show functionality.
- Plays MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4/h.264 videos.
- Bitstreams DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD to receiver
- Upconverts DVDs to 1080p over HDMI
- XMB in-game access.
- In-game and off-game text and voice chat (headset, keyboard or Eye are needed).
- Video chat with up to six people (PlayStation Eye is required)
- Can discover media servers on the home network and stream content from any DLNA-compliant device.
- Web browser (still has some usability and compatibility issues) but plays YouTube well.
- Google Web search.
- Remote play on a PSP connected to any wireless access point - play music, videos, show pics, turn on the PS3 remotely if on stand-by
- Upload PSP games purchased from the PSN Store to the PSP.
- Online software updates improve PS3 functionality and keep the Blu-ray player features current.
- Online third party updates.
- Online gameplay.
- Download and play PS3 games and demos from the PSN store.
- Download and play PSOne games.
- Download and play movies and shows from the PSN store.
- Supports HDMI Consumer Electronic Control (HDMI-CEC) - control the Slim through the remote of any CEC-enabled TV such as a Bravia.



If you are on the upgrade path, less than $90 would buy you a 500GB drive. The one that I tested would be the 500GB Scorpio Blue Mobile Sata 5400RPM 8MB 2.5IN which replaced my laptop's 60GB drive and a friend's 80GB PS3 HDD. The nice thing about upgrading your disk is that you are also going to be left with a perfectly good 80GB or $160GB or 120GB drive which you can place into a cheap enclosure, and the StarTech AT2510U2 InfoSafe 2.5-Inch USB/SATA Hard Drive Enclosure worked for me. After I upgraded my own console to 320Gb, I used the free leftover drive as a backup device for family photos.
For me, a new experience!
Review Date: October 25, 2009
Reviewer: Alric Knebel, Biloxi, MS
Let me start out by saying that I'm currently 56 years old and everything I know about video game consoles can fit on a fingernail clipping. A couple of years ago, my companion bought me a PS2, because she had recalled my mentioning in passing (after seeing advertisements for some pretty interesting sci-fi-themed games) that I was curious about what's going on in that medium. The game technology seemed to have progressed light years since I last paid attention, sometime in the late 80s, early 90s, which went something like this: you start out with some objective, and then the game play steadily quickens until you eventually lose against the computer. It was very dull. After she bought me the PS2, the only game I bought was Grand Tourismo 4 (she had given me with the console itself Superman Returns, but I didn't like it), with which I relaxed by racing the realistically rendered cars around some impressively detailed tracks, but never getting into the more sophisticated levels of the game. Then about four months ago, my son lent me Resident Evil 4. Of course, you gamers know this was a benchmark in game development, and can understand why I became completely immersed in it. It was truly a creepy experience. You weren't just WATCHING a horror movie; you were IN it. Here I was, at my age, suddenly finding myself lost for literally hours a day -- one weekend, twenty hours straight; my body ached -- then thinking about the game when I wasn't playing it, looking forward to the moment I could resume the story. After I beat it, I went through it three more times. Then I bought God of War II, quite by accident (I selected it for the price, a mere $20), unaware that this, too, was a hit game, and another benchmark. The graphics were so good, so stunning, so grand and sweeping, I played it six times. Again, hours seemed like minutes; I'd simply lose time. I was now addicted, and taking into account how good a PS2 was, I figured that the PS3 -- with its Blu-ray technology -- had to be out-of-this-world incredible. Four weeks ago, I bought this PS3 slim, and it has given me enjoyment that made it worth every penny, and then some.

I can't speak to the technical specifications of the PS3, or how it compares to other consoles. I'm writing instead to other middle-aged customers who might have stumbled on this page, perhaps shopping for some young relative -- son or daughter; niece or nephew; or grandchild -- to suggest that you should consider buying one of these babies for yourself. This is one powerful piece of entertainment technology. Not only does it exceed my expectations as a game console, it's also a BD player, and using the WiFi connection, it permits access to the PlayStation Store, for free demos and exclusive content; plus BD live material, and downloading movies and TV episodes; and you can import your CDs to the PS3's hard drive, to create playlists or just randomize the tracks for playback. It's become a virtual media center for me.

And the game play? Oh, man. The PS3 advances even further the features that make gaming so addictive. To those of you who snuff that it's a juvenile waste of time, I suggest you ask yourself, is it any different from watching sitcoms or reality TV? A video game requires you to REACT, to THINK, to ANALYZE. That is NOT overstating the stimulative benefits. While they are in fact merely games, game-play itself is a complete immersion in an experience, while requiring good hand-eye coordination and some mental agility. All the games I've played so far included puzzles as part of the story, and it's a very satisfying feeling when you finally solve a particularly challenging one.

If the middle-aged shopper I'm imagining I'm writing to is inclined to wonder if all that tapping on those buttons in specific patterns is difficult to learn, this is my honest answer: At first, yes, it is. But eventually your fingers learn what button is where, and it becomes second nature, like typing. To those even older, it's recommended by doctors that as you age, you need new stimuli to keep your acuity. You won't find a more fun way to do so than this. Ignore your previous misconception that video games are for teenagers. An article in USA TODAY from 2004 stated that ". . . the average age of game players was 29 and the average age of buyers was 36, with men making up 59% of the playing audience." So you can add about five years to those figures, making the average age of video game BUYERS about 40. I have spent untold hours on my PS3, and connected to my 47" HDTV, it's the ultimate entertainment. The graphics are sharp and clear, movement of characters is realistic, making it even easier to get totally engaged in the environments. I just finished Batman: Arkham Asylum, a great game with easily mastered moves, some tough puzzles, and a very dark, decayed ambiance.

True gamers who are reading this are probably chuckling right now, because this is all pretty much a no-duh to them. Well, let me offer a hardy THANK YOU for supporting the industry with enough of your dollars to permit it to advance as an entertainment medium in such awesome bounds. This is the next step toward the future of the ultimate video game experience. Oh, what will the technology deliver? A virtual reality, perhaps?
The best just got better!
Review Date: August 26, 2009
Reviewer: G. Argov,
As a proud owner of a PS3, I was closely following developments of when the rumored (and highly-anticipated) PS3 Slim would come out. After shelling [...] for the PS3 80GB back in 2008, I was really excited to hear that Sony not only announced a smaller version of the PS3, but also implemented a [long-overdue] $100 price cut. I immediately went out and bought the Slim as soon as possible, and am very happy with it so far. Here are my impressions:

I heard that it was smaller, but seeing is believing! The photos don't do the system justice, and it's not really till you see and feel the difference that you are impressed with it. If you can, go into your local game store and check it out for yourself! If you've previously owned a Playstation console, you already know the difference the slimmer version makes when compared to the original, bulky ones. What's really convenient is that the slimmer PS3 not only means your video gaming is more portable, but that you have a really convenient Blu-Ray player.

I love the sleek look of my PS3 Fat, but don't like how it constantly needs to be cleaned. The glossy finish is a fingerprint magnet! The matte finish on the Slim is much easier to maintain. That being said, it doesn't look as shiny and cool, but I think its convenience outweighs that.

Storage was never an issue for me on my 80GB system, but for those who wanted more storage, you get 40GB more with this system (120GB in total). It may not seem like much, but you can hold MANY movies, pictures, and music albums with 120GB. If that's still not enough, you can always install a 2.5" hard drive yourself, or better yet, plug in an external hard drive in one of the USB ports. You can easily get a portable 500GB external hard drive for less than $100, or a bigger, bulkier one with around 1TB of storage for roughly the same. That being said, I think 120GB for $300 should be more than enough for most users, and is a significant improvement over the 80GB for $400 that people were paying just a few weeks ago!

This is my one major gripe with the Playstation 3. It really wouldn't have killed Sony to include this feature, as the original Playstation 3's did in fact include backwards compatibility with older Playstation 2 games. A lot of people counter by either saying (1) it doesn't make sense to buy a PS3 to play PS2 games, (2) the graphics on the PS3 are better anyway so why bother with older games, and (3) including backwards compatibility would cannibalize PS3 game sales.

While those arguments might have their merits, I'm still frustrated that my massive PS2 library can't be played on the PS3, and was really hoping that Sony would include backwards compatibility on the Slim! I loved the fact the PS2 was backwards compatible with PS1 games, and really wish that Sony would reconsider this decision.

PS3 vs. WII
I think comparing the PS3 directly to the Wii is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, since they offer such different experiences. The Wii in my opinion is more family-friendly, while the PS3 is better for more graphics-intense games geared towards different gemographics. I'm a huge fan of Nintendo, and I love their very family-oriented game offerings. I own a DS and Wii and still love Mario as much as the days back when I played the original Nintendo (NES). In addition, I think Nintendo's motion-sensitive controllers for the Wii are very innovative and fun to play with! Unfortunately however, for most gamers, the difference in game quality is noticeable when comparing the two systems. The PS3 has AMAZING graphics. On an HD Television, you notice such crisp details while playing the PS3. The Wii features only Standard Definition output, which noticeably weakens it when compared to the other next-gen consoles such as the PS3 and Xbox 360.

PS3 vs. XBOX 360
Microsoft has an impressive gaming console in their Xbox 360 and there are some amazing titles exclusive to the Xbox, but in the end you get less bang for your buck when compared to the Playstation 3:

(1) Online gameplay: You can use the Playstation Network's online features without having to pay a subscription fee like you do for the Xbox. I was never a big online gamer but now I enjoy playing against opponents online.
(2) Internet connectivity: Built-in wireless internet connectivity on the PS3 is a much better bet than having to buy a wireless network adapter for the Xbox. Of course you can simply rely on a wired Ethernet connection, but this might be inconvenient depending on your set-up.
(3) High-Def Video: The Playstation 3 doubles as a Blu-Ray player. Microsoft bet on the wrong horse when they were hoping that HD-DVD would come out the winner in the high-def format wars. If you want a Blu-Ray player/video game system combo, the PS3 is a great device.
(4) Failure rate: The Xbox 360 has an absurdly high failure rate, with estimates ranging between 30 to 50% ([...]). I can't verify the numbers, but know from my friends who own the Xbox 360 that they've had a fair share of grief with their systems.

Microsoft does have a few edges, namely the upcoming Project Natal, unveiled at June's E3. While Natal may ultimately be one of the most amazing advances in video gaming, it unfortunately is still some time off from being implemented. That being said, the Playstation 3 is much more worth the cost than the Xbox 360 - at least for now.

[...] system that doubles as a Blu-Ray player. Keep in mind though that the bulk of money spent on the video game system will not be in the initial down payment, but the subsequent games, extra controllers (only comes bundled with one controller), and other peripherals/accessories. [...]. Sony's refusal to incorporate backwards-compatibility for PS2 games on the PS3, however, might make your gaming library obsolete in a few years, so if you have the money, you're best off going for the PS3 Slim. You won't regret it.
Great fun, even for an old fart
Review Date: November 7, 2009
Reviewer: The Reviewer II, So. California
I was looking for a Blu Ray player and realized that if I paid just a little more, I'd also be able to play some excellent games. If you're looking for something that will play Blu Ray and Games, the purchase of a PS3 is truly a "no brainer" move. I now own the 360, Wii, and PS3. Each has its own qualities and drawbacks. What I really appreciate about the PS3 is they don't try to nickel and dime you to death.... Wi-Fi is included... as is a rechargeable controller (with the charger included)... as is online game play.

The nice thing about the Blu Ray capabilities on the PS3, if you're old, is that it really provides you nice cover for getting a game console "No, I am not a 50 year-old who plays video games, I just wanted to watch Blu Ray, and I guess I picked up some games as well."
Best NETFLIX enabled blu-ray player ever!
Review Date: December 3, 2009
Reviewer: Quickship, Atlanta, GA
I'm not much of a gamer. I got a sweet deal on an HDTV and wanted a blu-ray player and I have netflix. The PS3 slim works awesomely with netflix watch instantly feature. You can instantly watch everything on your instant queue and more movies. You do have to go online to add the movie you want to see to your queue if its not already on a list, but how convenient, the PS3 also can browse the web.

It also streams media from computers on your wireless network. Works well with windows 7 using WMP, and on windows vista using a program called Tversity. You can instantly access your music and videos on your computer, and pictures. Tversity also lets you access youtube vids too.

oh yea... and the games are awesome too :)
get MGS4

bottom line, the PS3 slim is an awesome hub for a home theater setup, if you need a blu-ray player