Compare Sony PS3 Deals

In the worlds of software and games consoles, there is always an argument for being prudent, letting the early adopters gain any initial advantage but also act as unofficial beta testers. By the time the Sony Playstation 3 moved into the 80GB bracket, the bumps were ironed out and the result is an excellent console with quiet operation, high-definition for all games and a PSP-like easy-to-use interface.

The PlayStation 3's 3.2GHz Cell processor has the juice to run a new class of game play specifications that will allow developers to create spectacular effects and eventually provide a whole new depth of realism to games.

There is built-in Wi-fi, plus the eponymous 40GB internal hard drive and it supports HDMI output with 1,080p (full High Definition) support - nor does it require an external power supply. The 40GB version plays high definition Profile 2.0 Blu-ray moves, too, as well as upscaling standard DVDs. All the major Hollywood studios are now supporting the Blu-ray format, with Blue-ray releases ramping up as the format slowly but surely becomes the norm.

Like the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii, the PlayStation 3 can stand vertically or lie horizontally in an AV rack. It measures 12.8 x 3.8 inches x 10.8 inches, which is roughly in line with the overall volume of the XBox 360, but weighs a bit more: 11 lbs to the 360's 9.9 lbs, including power supply.

For this version, Sony has tweaked the controllers to good effect: the L2 and R2 trigger buttons are larger and there is increased depth in the stroke, so players have more subtle game control. Sony has also increased the tilting angle of the analogue joysticks to give you more precise control and a wider range of motion.

The PS3 can read digital photos from a variety of USB-attached devices, including most digital cameras, the PSP, USB flash drives, and home-burned CD-Rs. It supports all the major music file types, including MP3, ATRAC, AAC, and WAV and, like the Xbox 360, has a built-in music visualizer. As with the photos, you can import songs from a USB pen drive.

Although not backwards compatible with PS2 games, the 40GB Playstation 3, older PlayStation 1 games will work with this excellent console.

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