A new PS3 slim user’s review

“Last Christmas I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away”. This Christmas, I didn’t give anyone my heart, but I did give Sony some of my cashola in exchange for a PS3 slim and collection of games (nice Alan Partridge-style link huh?). I’d been holding off buying one for ages (years in fact), but I knew I’d have to get one at some point if only to play God Of War 3.

So…as a longtime happy Xbox 360 owner, what did I think (I hear you not ask)? Well, the machine is good but things are as I thought they were before buying the console; the 360 is a better gaming machine.

Impressions of the machine itself are favourable. It’s a solidly-built machine and features everything and more I’d reasonably want from an entertainment machine (Blu Ray, wireless, etc). However, since I got the console it’s crashed twice in the middle of games. I thought Microsoft had the reputation for “screens of death”, but my 360 has never crashed in the middle of a game. It did RROD however so I’m not elevating the technical build of the 360 above the PS3. However, it’s important to note that Nintendo consistently builds its consoles it a bulletproof fashion, so both Sony and Microsoft have something to learn from the Big N there.

iPlayer on the PS3 deserves a special mention. The dedicated menu option in the XMB might be little more than a browser bookmark but the performance of iPlayer on the console is excellent (well done BBC and the Glow team).

The games on the PS3 are good, although there’s nothing I would be crying myself to sleep every night for not being able to play on Sony’s machine (yet). Wipeout HD/Fury is very good, Uncharted is very very good (really enjoying the adventure, story and characters), but the other shooters I got with the console aren’t doing anything for me right now. Christmas Day was largely spent testing out the Blu Ray performance of the machine, and I was pleased with the sharpness boost the format provides over DVD.

So, all-in-all, I’m happy with my PS3 but if faced with choosing a games machine it’d still be a no-contest decision in favour of the 360. Most my friends own one (even cisnky folded like a pack of cards and bought one ;-)), the online’s better and the multiplatform ports are consistently better. I don’t feel sorry for Sony at this stage as they’ve made a series of really bad/insulting decisions in the gaming industry of late (initial PS3 pricing, PSP Go pricing, PSP Go download game pricing, late release of PSN games to European customers, etc), but I do hope 2010 is a good year for them as I know they can produce gaming excellence when they have to.

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