I'm thinking of buying a Playstation 3, any advice?

I ask because the last console I owned was a Sega Megadrive (Genesis!), since then I’ve done my games playing on PC.

However several games released or soon to be released on Playstation 3 have caught my eye and I recently purchased a snazzy new 40" HD TV. Couple of questions

Is there a new super-console on the horizon I should hold off for?

Is the Blu-Ray player in the Playstation 3 decent enough for watching movies?

Of the multiple of different ‘varieties’ of Playstation 3 on offer what should I go for?

What are the ‘must-have’ games, MGS4, Gran Turismo 5 and Modern Warfare 2, for three I assume?

The main reason I haven’t owned a console for a long time though is that I find the PC mouse/keyboard combination infinitely superior than a joypad for playing most games…FPS shooters for definite (although to be fair I have a rather unorthodox control system for those games were I use the left mouse button to shoot, right mouse button to move forward and keys for everything else). Are modern controllers any more up to the job?

Edited to add that at least back in the day console games were noticably more simplistic than PC games of the same period, is that still the case?

Any advice greatly appreciated!

The PS3 at the new price point of $299 (or $399 with larger hard drive) is now a good value (says the owner of an original 60GB version which sold at a much higher price…) . The $299 comes with 120GB HDD which, short of downloading everything you see and keeping it forever, is plenty of space (I’ve still got room on my 60GB with only minimal culling).

The BluRay player contained in the PS3 is excellent - it is updated with the latest standards (BD Live 2.1?), which allows for interactive content (provided internet connection) and has a decent load up/start times. The standard controller works fine as the remote control, but there is a separate dedicated remote available for $20. Note that the PS3 does not come with an HDMI or component cables out of the box - you’ll need to purchase those at the same time to get maximum benefit from your TV.

There are hundreds of threads debating the benefits of any of the 3 major consoles and their pros and cons. I think the most salient point is that (if you are interested in online gaming), you should get the console that your friends have. Almost all games these days have an online component - from the FPSs such as CoD to the party games such as Rock Band/Guitar Hero.

Another (endless) debate is the relative merits of the different control schemes for FPS between consoles and PCs. Suffice to say, they are different, but anything can be learned with practice and the games are fun. Like you, I did the majority of my FPSs on the PC until recently. I just played Modern Warfare 2 on my PS3 and thought it was fun - I didn’t really care what controller I was using. Be aware that some people feel very very strongly about this issue though…

Have fun - and if you do get the PS3, let us know your Playstation Network ID and I’ll look for you online.

Thanks Mske, if I get one I’ll give you a shout :slight_smile:

Little Big Planet, Batman Arkham Asylum, Grand Theft Auto IV, The Orange Box and Oblivion are a few older games I would say any PS3er would enjoy playing. I loved them all.

I guess if you already game on a PC you might already have the Orange Box games (Portal and a couple of other things I do not like nearly as much as Portal.) and Oblivion. But, you won’t have Little Big Planet and that is excellent fun for all ages.

I’m not much interested in the games you mention so I really cannot speak to them. But, another note on games. Shop around a bit you might not be able to get a better price point on the systems, but there are a couple of bundles out there that enable you to save a bunch on games that come with the system so look around.

As mske said the BluRay player is pretty awesome. And DVD upsampling is good, too.

As he also said controller debates can run on for pages. I will say I was pleasantly surprised by how well the controller works in a FPS like Bioshock. Having said that, while I am not the biggest FPS player, I prefer the mouse scheme. Probably because it what I used first. But, the difference isn’t so big that the games suck.

When you get HDMI cables remember that the difference between a 50 dollar set and a 9 dollar set is negligible. In my estimation it just is not worth spending the extra money on the cables.

Good luck! Enjoy whatever you get! Keep an eye open on amazon. Lots of ps3 type deals to be had this week. (Assasin’s Creed for 10 bucks. Not bad.)

and I recently purchased a snazzy new 40" HD TV
Quick question: Do you also have a snazzy new AV receiver to go along with it? It’s not totally necessary, but I think you lose a lot without having surround sound (especially with the new HD audio formats).

Is there a new super-console on the horizon I should hold off for?
Nope. Xbox is working on a motion control system (Natal) that will be paired up with the 360. Sony has something similar in the works that’s further on the horizon, and will work with the PS3.

Is the Blu-Ray player in the Playstation 3 decent enough for watching movies?
It’s fantastic. It’s BD-live compatible, meaning you’ll always have the latest updates (assuming you have it connected online).

Of the multiple of different ‘varieties’ of Playstation 3 on offer what should I go for?
I’d buy the new one, because it’ll have a warranty. Unless you really really want to install Linux on it, then you’ll have to go with an older fat model.
What are the ‘must-have’ games, MGS4, Gran Turismo 5 and Modern Warfare 2, for three I assume? **
LittleBigPlanet is a fantastic exclusive. Oblivion or Fallout 3 are great. I haven’t played it yet, but Demon’s Souls is supposed to be incredible - and it’s an exclusive.

I just thought of something - the best Black Friday deal I’ve seen on a PS3 was at Best Buy. They’re bundling LittleBigPlanet and Ratchet & Clank together with it. Those are great games worth the price. But I think you’ll have a hard time getting to BB on time…

I think the PS3 is the best DVD/Blu-Ray player out there. It has a great user interface, with super-fast response time - there’s zero lag between pressing a button on the controller/remote, and seeing the result on the screen (pausing, fast-forwarding, navigating a menu, etc.) Most standalone players are clunky and slow. Image quality is fantastic. The upscaling works so great, I sometimes have trouble telling the difference between a Blu-Ray and DVD.

The remote is a nice thing to have, but the controller works fine for watching movies.

As for games - when I was in high school, I used to be a die-hard PC gamer. However, now that I’ve graduated college and don’t have as much time to spend on it, I’ve been playing console games more. It’s just less of a hassle.

A keyboard and mouse is definitely a superior control scheme for an FPS, but the PS3 controller works just fine. It is a lot more sensitive and precise than the controllers from previous-generation consoles. You’d get your ass kicked if you ever did a deathmatch with someone using a mouse, but everyone you play in multiplayer has a joypad too, so it doesn’t make any difference.

As for simplicity - consoles don’t have any games that actually attempt to be accurate simulations (maybe Gran Turismo is an exception, but that’s still pretty arcade-y). If you like that kind of game, you need to play on a PC. There’s just no way to make that kind of game work well on a console. But speaking of games that just try to be fun, not accurate, I haven’t found much difference between consoles and PCs. Most games now are targeted for all three platforms (PS3, Xbox360, and PC) anyway, so if they’re dumbed down at all, they’re dumbed down on all platforms equally.

And Forza, but in terms of “simulators” the only thing you’ll find on a console is driving. Strategy games are almost non-existent on consoles and you certainly won’t find anything with as much depth as your average PC strategy game.

The reason for that is with no licensing fees or store distribution requirements the PC is the platform for the niche with potential 100k sales. The consoles are ruled by the need to appeal to a mass audience.

Anyhow getting back to the real topic: any new system is three years out at a bare minimum though if someone started dropping hints to their next system this summer it won’t shock me. The PS3 just had a price drop so there isn’t another one on the horizon so if you’re fine with the price point then there’s no reason to hesitate.

For myself the limited exclusives on the PS3 have me waiting for one more price drop. Right now the only game on the system that I want is Little Big Planet though 3D Dot Heroes is scheduled for a US release (it’s an RPG about a 2D 8-bit era RPG world that got scrambled when the king declared that they had to be 3D). I can wait, though, I still have a few thousand games to catch up on.

PS3 is still selling, overall a bit tepidly - October was good, but the sales numbers seem to be indicating that that was pretty much a one time event, with the status quo reasserting itself in November (Sorry; I can’t find a cite for this right now). Well, unless you’re in Japan, where the thing has always had much better success.

That said, you at least have your eye on a couple of PS3 exclusives, so that’s a good plan. Little Big Planet is, as people have noted, kinda neat, but honestly fell rather short of what it could have been. Honestly, I don’t really get the hype for that one. On the other hand, Valkyria Chronicles and Demon’s Souls are both purportedly excellent.

To actually answer your questions, in order:

The $299 slim model

Of course, there’s the perpetual debate of “what’s the best controller to play FPSs with” but the answer is “what the game was designed for” - FPSs are, at their root, PC titles. The genre premiered there, and in spite of the recent spate of ports, the vast majority of FPS games are on the PC. Therefore, FPS games are designed with PC controllers in mind. Games which, on the other hand, are created for consoles (that aren’t merely ports of a PC concept.) tend to control better using the console native control scheme.

As for simplicity - well, it depends on how you define “simple” and “complex”; Certainly, you won’t be finding any games with a command mapped to each of 128 different keys. So in terms of that kind of complexity, you’re right. You also won’t find any spreadsheet management games like MOO3 (Not that that is much of a loss. ;). To say that console games are simple, however, is to ignore the thousands of people discussing incredibly precise and intricate details of games like Street Fighter 4 and other fighting titles, or the intricacy of the interlocking systems in many RPGs, or so on and so forth. Of course, you also have your Geometry Wars and the like as well. So for certain definitions of complexity. And average, for that matter. :wink:

Demon’s souls is a must have, infamous is also a fun game along with prototype. That being said prototype and infamous definitely share some similarities on the whole I found prototype funner but infamous more enjoyable if that makes any sense at all.

I bought a PS3 about a month ago, so I could stream films from Netflix and watch movies on Blu-Ray and DVD. I’m not even particularly interested in playing video games on it.

Order your HDMI cable now, online, for 6ish bucks, so it will be there when you get your PS3. I don’t think I’ve seen an HDMI cable in a local store for less than $25, which is pure ripoff.