I think it boiled down to having a cooler name for the technology.
February 20, 2008 9:58 AM   Subscribe

Now that the HD format war is apparently over, should I renew my search for a 60GB PS3, get a standalone player or wait a while longer?

I knew the minute I handed over my card at the video store a while ago that I was backing the wrong horse. I went with HD-DVD anyway because at the time the number of releases were about equal and I figured, well, every HD-DVD I get is another couple of bucks Sony doesn't get from me.

I really have a problem with Sony.

But. My other half is all about the shiny new toys (and I admit that the few HD DVDs we have look pretty damned cool). I had expected that I would eventually be getting both anyway.

I was holding out for a 60GB PS3 as I need full backwards compatibility...I have too many devices as it is and want to combine where possible. There are rumours that a 120GB model is in the works which fixed what they broke with the compatibility, but I haven't seen anything really solid supporting this.

Should I resume my eBay search for the existing 60GB model (that way Sony doesn't get more money from me; childish, I know but still important in a way), get a standalone player (which one?!) or hold out for a while more?

I'd be in the market in a few weeks time, it's not like I'm rushing down to the video store after work today or anything.
posted by geckoinpdx to Technology (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know specifically about the upcoming 120GB model, but in regards to the PS3 in general, it's widely held to be the best option for a Blu-Ray player. It's the most upgradeable in terms of firmware, it's overpowered for the job (since it also has to render those games) and the price isn't really that much worse than most standalones anyway. Plus, you get a quality game system that is about to have a big year.

Just make sure that, if you do get a PS3, you get the Blu Ray remote control for it.
posted by Doctor Suarez at 10:14 AM on February 20, 2008

Might wanna wait until the end of GDC this week to see if a new version of the PS3 will be announced, since the rumor is if the 120 Gigger comes out, it will have the dual shock controller which is coming soonish too I think.

I have a PS3 and am now starting to enjoy it as better and more interesting games are starting to come out for it. If you like games, I dunno if there's a reason why you shouldn't just go for the PS3 version over a standalone as I hear it's a really good player compared to the standalones. I know mine looks gorgeous when I put Pixar stuff in.
posted by tittergrrl at 10:24 AM on February 20, 2008

Is there a newer Bluetooth remote for the PS3? The last (and only) one I've seen has not exactly been getting the best reviews. There are other ways of controlling it, but sad to say even as a universal remote guy, I don't mind controlling the PS3 this way with the game controller. It looks ridiculous, but practicality wins out.

As for the original question, I'm confused. You need complete backwards PS compatibility, yet you're willing to forego the PS entirely for a standalone? Something doesn't add up.

The rumored 120GB may fix what was broken for compatibility software-wise, but the Emotion Engine isn't coming back. If you want full HW compatibility you'll need to get the 60GB.
posted by rhizome at 10:26 AM on February 20, 2008

look, back in 2002 I used my PS2 as a DVD player and -- I watch a lot of movies -- I fried it in six months. I had it fixed, and it was fucked up after another 9 months or something. Sony's own advice: get a DVD player and use it only for games.

one of the reasons why when I eventually discarded my PS2 I got an xbox last summer
posted by matteo at 10:34 AM on February 20, 2008

Be aware that while the PS3 is a nice player (and a really good basic DVD player to boot), that there will be some extra costs. Inexplicably, it's packaged simplly with composite video cables; to actually get HD output you'll need to shell out extra for component or HDMI cabling. (The former will have to be proprietary; the latter can be any.) Also, if you want the bluetooth remote for use as a player, that's another extra bit.

The console doesn't have any IR signal reception, so universal remotes are usually a no-go. There are third-party ways around this--I use this IR usb fob solution, allowing me to train my universal with the basic controls. No turning the actual hardware on or off from the remote, which I don't personally have a problem with (since I have to put discs in anyway), but is a limitation to note.

If you have no interest in it as a games system, though, there's certainly no harm in waiting. I'd expect there to be much more competition in the affordable dedicated player market by the end of the year.
posted by Drastic at 10:38 AM on February 20, 2008

60GB PS3 is more expensive than a 40GB PS3 and a real, physical PS2. So just get the 40GB; from a secondary source if you want to fuck Sony. Also even the 60GB can have issues with specialized controllers; ISTR that they still don't have it working 100% with Guitar Hero.

They're really fabulous machines. In addition to being a game system *and* about the best BD player out there, they can *ALSO* stream audio and video from your PC, including at least some hi-def files. Now I need to run some cat5 so that the link has enough bandwidth to stream full-band dvds and hi-def files without stuttering like it does over the wireless.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:44 AM on February 20, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks very much for the responses so far.


The reason I wanted complete compatibility was to replace the existing PS2, but if it means having to deal with eBay or craigslist (I haven't had very much luck with either) I'm more inclined to get a standalone.

I had actually considered getting a separate player (which is why I mentioned it above the fold) , but I'm running out of space and less is more.

I currently have: combo vhs/dvd-recorder (used almost exclusively for dubbing), philips dvd player (the main workhorse because it plays everything...except .wmv files), an hd-dvd player, PS2, wii, and a 360.

The idea was to replace the PS2 so I wouldn't have to add yet another device. The PS3 games don't really impress me all that much, but if I can get a player that will also allow me to replace one of the existing devices, I'm all for it.
posted by geckoinpdx at 11:11 AM on February 20, 2008

Unless you have a bunch of PAL dvds, you can *probably* replace the Philips player with the PS3. So far our PS3 has played all of the divx/xvid files we've thrown at it, though all of them have been recent downloads. I dunno whether an NTSC PS3 will play un-regioned PAL dvds without installing linux.

(I'm assuming the Philips player also won't play unaltered .mkv files)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:50 PM on February 20, 2008

(If it makes you feel any better, I think Sony still loses money on every PS3 they sell.)
posted by General Malaise at 1:57 PM on February 20, 2008

Seems unlikely that you would hate M$ less than Sony, but i would bet that they announce a blu-ray drive for the 360 not too long from now.
posted by softlord at 4:29 PM on February 20, 2008

Yes, but M$ has other issues with the 360. When it plays HD-DVDs through the external player, the processors are roofed which can't possibly be good for the health of the 360 in question in light of all of their RRoD issues that appear to be heat related. I imagine the (rumored) Blu-Ray player for the 360 would desire a similar chunk of processor power, making for a questionable longevity. And I say this as a 360 owner. Honestly if it was me, I'd just wait until Xmas and see if someone doesn't have a $199 Blu-ray player out by then.
posted by barc0001 at 12:48 AM on February 21, 2008

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