Sony did A/V enthusiasts a solid when they released the initial version of Playstation 3 way back in Q4, 2006. With the ability to play the next level of games, and an included blue ray player to...
High quality picture & great audio with bitstreaming capabilites / Dolby Digital Plus and 1080P Netflix Playback / Makes Xbox fanboys angry
Slow blue ray loading speeds / Clunky dualshock as remote control ( though great for gaming ) / Makes your girlfriend angry
Sony did A/V enthusiasts a solid when they released the initial version of Playstation 3 way back in Q4, 2006. With the ability to play the next level of games, and an included blue ray player to boot, people clamored over each-other to get their hands on one for a cool $500.00 (20gb HDD) or $600.00 (60gb HDD). Taking a loss on each unit sold, Sony gambled that the blue ray would become the media of the future, and after a brief battle with Toshiba's HD-DVD technology, ( supported by XBOX 360 with a $200.00 hardware add-on ) their goal was achieved.
Fast forward 77 million PS3 units sold, to 2013. Blue ray technology is firmly entrenched as the leader in quality media playback, and consumers have a slew of options from which to choose to get their blue-ray fix from. Sitting still high atop the blue ray food chain, remains the Sony Playstation 3.
Today we'll look at the 320gb slim version, and all it's included offerings. Released in 2009, ( and still sold today ), the " Slim " replaced the older " Fat " ps3 models, boasting a much larger hard drive, a lower profile, and a much better chance of not overheating and shutting down when you were one head-shot away from victory. The new version also gave us the option of bitstreaming audio to our AVR's - for those of us ( see: ME ) who liked our fancy lights lit up on our receivers. The blue-ray picture and audio quality is among the best to be had from any blue ray device manufacturer, with many high profile audio and videophiles such as the fanatics at Criterion using the PS3 as their REFERENCE player. High praise indeed. While movie disc loading speed is slow, and newer offerings from OPPO offer what many consider to be the pinnacle of audio and video playback, one, in comparison, can not ignore the modest 300 dollar price tag that is now attached.
Beside the excellent blue-ray functionality, the slim also boats the ability to play Netflix in full 1080P, with full 5.1 stereo surround playback via Dolby Digital Plus technologies, built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 functionality, LPCM 7.1ch, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTs, DTS-HD, AAC playback, music streaming from your PC or Media Centre - using DLNA, video streaming capability from other providers such as Crackle and Cinema Now, the feature list goes ON and ON.
Last but not least, if the above isn't enough - It's the freakin' Playstation 3!! You can play a HUGE library of excellent games, some with 1080p and 7.1 channel stereo playback!. For those of you who had their last gaming hurrah by rescuing the princess whist playing as the swarthy protagonist of Donkey Kong, one must only look at the recent offering from Telltale games " The Walking Dead " - to remind you that the magic of gaming is alive, well, and better then ever.... Ah, but that's for another review.
In short, if you're looking for a great piece of hardware that will yield thousands of hours of entertainment, make like Sony in '06, do yourself a solid, and pick one up immediately.