PROS / The PlayStation 3 offers free online gameplay through the PlayStation Network.
CONS / Multiplatform games tend to have performance issues on the PS3.
VERDICT / Although it's a last-gen console, the Sony PlayStation 3 is still among the best gaming systems thanks to free online gaming and a huge roster of games.
Sony's PlayStation 3 was one of the last consoles to use unique and proprietary technology, following a model of console manufacturing that worked for the past three decades. In the past, home consoles had to use original hardware and programming languages to set themselves apart and block piracy, but this meant that developers had to rewrite codes if they wanted to launch on multiple consoles. Today, many consoles use the same programming language, which makes it easier to put games of the same quality on multiple platforms, but the PlayStation 3 tried to utilize cell processing and unique development languages to offer the most powerful console ever created. While the PS3 is certainly a powerful console, its multiplatform games tend to perform poorly on this console. Fortunately, its many exclusive experiences and media apps make it a versatile video game console.
On paper, the PlayStation 3 is an amazingly powerful gaming console. It uses a high-powered graphics card and a unique cell processor. It's a theoretical super computer, able to handle hundreds of processes at once without overheating. Unfortunately, few game developers actually know how to harness this power. Because it is so different from PCs and other gaming consoles, the PS3 suffers with buggy versions of popular games. Even first-party developers cannot utilize the system's potential, and most games only feature 720p resolution. Still, the PS3 has a huge variety of exclusive games covering all genres and styles.
The biggest advantage to the PlayStation 3 is its free online service, the PlayStation Network. Once you've created an account, you can play games online, access the store and download a variety of media apps. Sony offers PlayStation Plus as an additional network service for $50 each year. Plus gives you two free PS3, PS4 or PS Vita games each week, and you can play these games as long as you have a Plus account. The PlayStation 3 also lets you play many downloaded games remotely with the Vita. All of these features are part of the constantly evolving and improving PS3 system, so you can count on the console continuing to improve over the next few years.
The PlayStation 3 is a great entertainment hub thanks to its Blu-ray drive, media apps and built-in web app. The console is capable of voice and video chat, but you have to buy separate peripherals to access these programs. The PS3 lacks cross-game chat support, but you can enjoy chat parties.
The Sony PlayStation 3 is a diverse video game console, offering interesting games, free online play and several media apps. Its system architecture leads to many buggy games. Even though the PlayStation 4 is now widely available, Sony continues to improve the PS3 through constant system updates, a steady stream of games and great entertainment options.