Playstation 3 - Which to console buy?
June 2, 2010 6:32 AM   Subscribe

Playstation 3 - Which to console buy? Some many versions, so little clarity...

After wrestling with watching a Blu-ray on a Media Center PC again last night, I'm ready to buy get a PS3 for watching Blu-ray discs. But which to choose?

My kids are light console gamers with a PS2, Xbox 360, and Wii already in the house, I mainly play PC games. Is it worth a really old version to get PS2 compatibility? Are the new 'slim' versions better?

Your thoughts welcome!
posted by Argyle to Technology (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The PS2 compatibility is spotty; I would not buy a PS3 for the PS2 support. Some games will work, others will not. We can't play DDR because the compatibility layer doesn't work right. Also, the controller ports are different and the USB-to-PS2 adapters out there do not seem to work with DDR pads.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:38 AM on June 2, 2010

If you have a PS2 already, it seems like you gain very little from having a PS3 have backwards compatibility.
posted by garlic at 6:41 AM on June 2, 2010

I just bought a slim version this weekend at Target, mainly for the Blu-Ray capability, as I'm a heavy movie watcher but not really a gamer. It's pretty awesome, and I can say that games have changed since my last game, PONG.
It sounds like you're going to be adding a 4th console as I don't think the 'slim' version is backward compatible.
I would check and see if any of the PS2 and XBox360 games have equivalents on the PS3. That might help migrate everyone to the PS3.
posted by willmize at 6:48 AM on June 2, 2010

Best answer: Among other things, seeing as the backwards compatibility was phased out, you're looking at buying an increasingly rare, and correspondingly expensive used console. Get a PS3 Slim (the new-er model). From what you say, you'd be fine with the 120GB model. Among other things, the Slim is quieter, and sucks less power than the old models.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:48 AM on June 2, 2010

Best answer: 120 GB Slim.

The slim ones are better; they're a couple of die-shrinks later so they should run cooler, quieter, and more reliably. The first-generation ps3s in particular are reported to have a larger problem with the "yellow light of death" that's usually a thermal stress issue. That said, even with the first gens, the problem rate is reported to be low; this is not the RROD issue.

Compatibility isn't an issue. A PS2 has total and complete PS2 compatibility. Even the first generation PS3s did not -- peripherals and controllers, IIRC, might not work correctly. At any rate, the price increase for a first gen PS3 on ebay would buy you several PS2s.

Unless it's part of a package with other things you want, don't bother with the 250GB Slim. The hard drive is very easily replaceable with any laptop SATA drive.

We just lost our 2d gen ps3 to the dreaded YLOD. Our reaction was to order a new one direct from Sony with a 4-year warranty, which is also what I'd recommend to you. While the slims should be (even?) more reliable than the 1st and 2d gen, they're still new enough that their postwarranty reliability is unknown.

Also don't forget to back up your save files. The biggest pain in the ass about losing ours is losing the save files -- now I'll have to rebuild my beloved Rock Band dude Aux Tomates from scratch. He's sort of like the Mr. Cool Ice guy with a mullet and a star on his face. Also he has a tattoo of a toaster on his arm, because he likes toast, bless his heart.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:53 AM on June 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

FWIW, adding a new hard drive to a ps3 is pretty much a 45 second job. Don't buy one for the space, you can drop a terabyte drive in there w/ no worries.

And ROU_X, can't you pull the old HDD and pull off the save files? Unless the YLOD is a hard drive which point you could just replace the drive and save the system?
posted by TomMelee at 7:30 AM on June 2, 2010

I also think backwards compatibility is over rated, in general, not just with the PS3. If you've got an old game that you obsessively play, chances are that game company has ported it to a new console.

Some of my favorite games on the PS3 are the $10-$15 downloadable games, pretty much everything made by Pixel Junk is fab, especially Monsters and Eden; Fat Princess (if you're cool with your kids seeing cartoon blood and guts).

If you've got Netflix, order the PS3 disk. This is what our PS3 is used for 90% of the time. Run an ethernet cable if you can, but my wireless N router gives excellent HD quality.
posted by fontophilic at 7:48 AM on June 2, 2010

ROU_X, can't you pull the old HDD and pull off the save files?

I'll try when the new one gets here, but AFAIK each formatted hard drive is cryptographically tied to a particular PS3, so that doesn't work.

I assume that's so you can't take a hard drive out, make a bitwise copy of it with all your dlc, and give it to someone else.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:31 AM on June 2, 2010

just buy the cheapest one, and you can play all the ps3 games you want

thats what I did. I do not miss the backwards compatability, and yes you can change the hard disk (link)
posted by kenbennedy at 10:53 AM on June 2, 2010

Since you plan on getting it for watching Blu-ray, you might want to consider also getting the remote control for it. It's more intuitive than using one of the gaming controllers (though they do work in a pinch). On the plus side, the remote is bluetooth, so you don't need a direct line of sight to the unit for it to work, the down side is that, unlike the controller which requires you to hit the PS button to start the console, any button on the remote will turn your PS3 on.

In other words, keep it away from cats and babies unless you want your console running all day.
posted by quin at 12:49 PM on June 2, 2010

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