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Oddly enough, I wasn't the one who took the initiative to buy the Playstation, but my wife. I was looking into it for some time, not also for games but as a Blu-ray solution, but just didn't had...
Great Blu-ray player for the buck, awesome game platform, free online services, quality peripherals. All with flawless performance.
Architecture imposed extra difficulty in game development, lack of AA in most of games, mostly 720p in-game, no bitstream.
Oddly enough, I wasn't the one who took the initiative to buy the Playstation, but my wife. I was looking into it for some time, not also for games but as a Blu-ray solution, but just didn't had the drive to it at the time. So in the end she was the one who clicked the purchase button when while walking through a local electronics store. Although unusual, considering she's not even close to a gamer, it sure was understandable: at the time this console was packing Little Big Planet, a cute and innovative physics platformer, and BUZZ!™ Quiz World Game, a group trivia game.
So this intro serves to sat that the event in itself demonstrates how this console successfully targeted two very different personas: me for the games and Blu-ray movies, and my wife, for the originality of a title and the "family and friends" side of things.
The menu and online services are good. They offer what's expected in terms of Store catalog, social connectivity and media playback. The features are arranged in a hierarchical and polished fashion, which fits well with the overall Sony PS3 branding. System menu, games, movies, pictures and apps are all comfortably arranged and easily accessible.
Right from the start, PS3 assumed itself as the best choice for Blu-ray movies as it had the network connectivity built in, a super capable 9 core Cell processor at its disposal for processing demanding user interfaces, and all of this in a next gen gaming console. The only disadvantage is that the PS3 cannot send DTS-MA or Dolby TrueHD lossless audio over HDMI for decoding (kind of unzipping) in a living room receiver. Instead, it decodes internally the Dolby TrueHD / DTS-HD MA lossless audio and sends it as a multichannel linear PCM (LPCM) stream, which just about any modern receiver can decode. The LPCM audio is identical to the Dolby TrueHD / DTS-HD MA original format, so no quality is lost. In practice, the only difference would be not seeing the "DTS-MA" or "TrueHD" text appearing on your receiver display. In the end, this was "fixed" in the slim version of PS3.
As for the gaming part of it, I find the PS3 to have the best exclusives, like Gran Turismo, Killzone, Resistance, Uncharted... And these titles are always a graphical reference whenever they are launched due to the brilliant graphics and superb scenarios. A great advantage on Sony's platform is that multi-player is free. Xbox users are required to pay a monthly fee to be able to play online... Major deal breaker for many. On the other hand, one disadvantage I found is when comparing some cross platform titles. The PS3 version tends to suffer with jagged edges and lack of AA. If it's due to tough programming, lack of resources or just XBox's DirectX having the leverage, tough to say for sure. But it's there, and it's noticeable if you are a image/audio quality freak like me.
Summing all up, with a great game portfolio, great Blu-ray capabilities and great build quality and all of this while offering free online experience, I found PS3 to be highly recommended.