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Why We Love The PS3

PS3 birthday.png

Happy birthday, PS3! Yesterday marked the system's fifth year in the U.S., the first landmark year in a console's legacy. So many hours of enjoyment and little techno wonders packaged inside a sexy black shell. To honor this member of the current "big three," a term I'm coining right now, let's take a look after the jump at five things we love about the PS3. Feel free to share in the love in the comments and add your own affections to the pile or tell me how dumb I am for liking Sony. Both are acceptable.

1. Integrated rechargeable battery controllers

It may seem kind of obvious, but that's exactly the point, right? Why don't Wiimotes or 360 controllers have internal batteries? When was the last time you used something other than those controllers that still ran on AAs and wasn't the shower radio you got for Christmas and pretended to be excited about?

From the very beginning, PS3 controllers have had the curtesy to save us the extra hassle and just come with a rechargeable battery inside instead of subtly motioning us towards paying extra for them. And one better, the charge cables are a standard USB to mini wire, which come with tons of other devices these days. Even if you don't have a PS3, you've probably got a cable to charge a controller sitting somewhere around your house.

2. We only have to look at our avatars if we want to.

Okay, look Nintendo. We've had a lot of fun with our Miis over the years. Yes, it is kind of neat to see ourselves cheering from the stands or be able to use a Mii that looks like Dr. Zoidberg in Mario Kart. But honestly, that's really not why we buy your games. And look at what you've done to Microsoft! Now they cram their own copycat avatars into their own series of "Mii too, guys!" games. (see what I did there?) Honestly, enough is enough.

Yeah, the PS3 has its own lame avatars ready to soak up your time and money, but at least you don't have to use them, or even look at them, if you don't want to. And you probably don't.

PS3 controller.jpg

3. Free online services

People want to play games with their friends. Fact. People want a service to help them find their friends online as well as match up with strangers from across the globe for friendly or competitive games. Also fact. People want to pay money for said service. False.

Sony's awkward middle position between the cumbersome Nintendo friend codes and Microsoft's glistening bastion of practicality, Xbox Live, has always been...well, awkward. The PSN works more easily than friend codes, but not quite as reliably as Live. But on the plus side, it has never cost you a thing (provided you don't want it to for PSN+). In fact, if you factor in the cost of a few years of Xbox Live, the PS3 has actually been cheaper than a 360 for quite a while. Granted, not everyone plays games online, but for those that do, it is something to think about.

4. Platinum trophies

While kind of a dumb oversight to not incorporate some sort of achievement system mimicking the 360 from the very beginning, eventually Sony got it right. Trophies are so similar to Achievements, and yet they have one crucial difference - they're individually ranked. While digitally well endowed 360 players can point to their overall score to impress the ladies (or more likely, guys) PS3 gamers have individual platinum trophies to show off their skill. High gamer scores can, and do, come from hours of dedication at beloved games, but just as often, can be the by product of simply playing many individual games. Not so with platinums. Platinum trophies definitively prove a player's dorkiness and dedication to certain titles in a way that aggregate numbers simply can't.

5. Blu-ray player

Remember HD DVDs? Yeah, me neither, and thanks to the PS3's use of Blu-ray, you'll never really have to. Since the format can hold so much more information than HD DVDs, in the long run, they just make more sense. But when has sense ever mattered to consumers? For a while, it looked like there might actually be a period where HD DVDs would work out as our next hard information format.

That is, until the sleek PS3 hit stores with all the fancy allure necessary to convince the early new format adopters, by which I mean middle class parents, to go with Blu-ray. I mean, why wouldn't it? It's black, so it matches your trendy living room setup from Ikea. The movies look phenomenal on that massive TV you hardly used at the time. And best of all? It plays games and can shut up your kids that have been asking for a Nintendo Gamestation 360 or whatever it's called. Game, set, match.


Shin Gallon said:

Very nice write-up. I wouldn't exactly call Xbox Live a "glistening bastion of practicality", it's still a pale imitation of Steam, only with more obscenity-spouting 13 year olds (can you tell who's never had a good online experience on Live?). And I've yet to ever have someone give me specific, explicit reasons why they feel Live is objectively better than PSN.
All that aside, if I had to choose just one console, it'd be the PS3. The 360 has some great exclusives from the Live Arcade store, but overall I think the PS3 has the stronger exclusive lineup, and anything that's multi-platform I play on PC so that's not an issue for me either.

While I do prefer the 360's controller, there are ways of getting one of them to work on the PS3, as well. Oh, and my Rock Band instruments are the only thing I use that takes AA batteries. Thank Bruce for rechargeables!

kid amnesiac 79 said:

Haters be damned, I love my PS3 and it gets way more use than my 360. I find the exclusives on the system suit me better than 360 exclusives like Halo and Gears of War. And once you realize that there is no real difference (no, I don't have ADD and could care less about hard drive loading times) when it comes to multi-platform releases (contrary to what paid reviewers will try to tell you), it just makes sense on picking it up for the PS3 instead. Plus, I've found the online community to be 100 times more friendlier than on XBL.

Oh, and how come there was no Uncharted 3 review on Easily my pick for GOTY, especially after playing through the game in 3D. The game is one hell of a fantastic ride!

Branovices said:

I use my 360 more than my PS3, but there have been some great PS3 exclusives like Disgaea 3 and 4, Little Big Planet 1 and 2, Valkyria Chronicles, 3D Dot Game Heroes, White Knight Chronicles I and II, and Demon's Souls.

I also enjoy some parts of Sony's online marketplace. While over all it's rather an awkward mess, I really like that if there are, say, 10 new songs for Rock Band, it just lumps them into one little box I can press to see those. On Xbox, I hate scrolling by the 20 new damned songs available for music games while I'm trying to look for new DLC.

Dryden said:

@Shin Gallon - Honestly, I've never had an issue with Xbox Live (other than the 13 year olds, of course). It just works extremely well and is a service I don't really mind paying money for when I can afford it. Granted, I've never had a huge issue with the PSN either, but it goes down for maintenance a lot and frequently boots me off for minor reasons. Petty problems, but I don't pay for it, so I'm still satisfied.

@kid amnesiac - There was no Uncharted 3 review because I joined the GG staff just a fraction too late, honestly. You may also notice the lack of a Skyrim review despite my week long love letter to the series. For that, I don't have any specific reason why I didn't. Still acclimatizing, I suppose.

@Branovices - Agreed. There are these weird bubbles of brilliant design, like easy sorting in the marketplace, scattered throughout Sony's online network, but the presentation as a whole just has never been...complete, I guess? That word doesn't seem quite right, but I think you know what I'm getting at. But again, it's free, so I see no room to really complain.

Silver Phoenix said:

This site talking about love for the PS3 is a joke. Compared to the amount of site focus on Xbox 360 and ESPECIALLY Nintendo it's hardly given any attention.

AladinSane said:

The only thing I have to disagree with is the controller.
-Xbox's is way more comfortable/ergonomic in the hand over long use.
-Being able to switch out the batteries means I can keep playing from the couch or bed and not have to sit next to my console while the controller recharges.
-When my rechargable batteries stop holding a charge I can buy new ones cheaply. When my PS3 controller loses its ability to hold a charge not so much.
-Friends of mine that have never played consoles before learn the Xbox buttons significantly more quickly. They are brightly colored and lettered making them easier to remember than painted on shapes. QTEs are a special place in hell for newbies on the PS3.

Don't get me wrong. I love my PS3 and will generally buy dual console releases for it rather than my xbox (both lose out to a pc release). I just think you're celebrating the weakest link if you think the PS3 controller is better.

Dryden said:

@AladinSane - Shhh, you're spoiling one of the reasons for why I love the Xbox! All I said was that I love the integrated battery, not that it's the best controller all around. For first person shooters, I actually hate it. The joysticks are too damn close together. My thumbs always touch when I'm turning in certain directions, and that annoys the crap out of me.

Shin Gallon said:

To be fair playing FPS games with anything but mouse/keyboard is crap, but if I HAD to use a controller for one it'd be the 360's.

Carl said:

I think I'm the only one who hates the 360 controller - too bulky and cumbersome for me, feels awful in the hands as well. The buttons are too clunky - they feel too heavy, unresponsive; the trigger buttons awful; the sticks too far apart.

I think it's one of the worst pieces of product design ever, by far, completely lacking in decent ergonomic design. The PS3 controller isn't much better in that regard, granted - I just find it a tad more responsive (I use a 360 controller with my laptop for Fallout 3, for some reason I don't get on with mouse and keyboard for that game). But anything is better than nothing, I guess. I have two controllers for the PS3, so that reduces the wear on the batteries in them. A USB 'extension' cable further reduces that wear.

Perish_Song said:

If that wasn't enough playstation just pulled a fast one. Yesterday the announcement to home users was made that In game you can stream tv episodes and movies free. Details can be found on the playstation official blog. Even more good news is the rumor that the same service, crackle, will allow music streaming as well. Just adding to that adage playstation does...

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Perish_Song on Why We Love The PS3: If that wasn't enough playstation just pulled a fast one. Yesterday the announcement to home users was made that In...

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Shin Gallon on Why We Love The PS3: To be fair playing FPS games with anything but mouse/keyboard is crap, but if I HAD to use a controller...

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