PlayStation 3

The widely awaited successor to the PlayStation 2 had an arguably rocky start into the market, though is seen to dramatically rise from the ashes after the first year of its life. With arguably tough competition such as the Wii and the Xbox 360, a few small hiccups at the start of its production knocked the PS3 back. Upon reflection, however, it is now seen as the most powerful and best console of its generation. Despite the slow start in the market has sold over 85 million units worldwide, with production still going on for the model.

Released in 2006, the console is the first to use Blu Ray disc as its primary source. Moreover, the PlayStation Network was fully launched and established for this model as well as remote connectivity with the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and the PlayStation Vita (PSVITA). Within its generation, the PS3 had two slim models launched, improving on the hardware, software and design each time.

The esteemed console was first displayed at E3 2005 and the Tokyo Game Show in which the first prototypes were not playable. This initial prototype featured 2 HDMI ports, 3 Ethernet ports and 6 USB ports; though this was downsized to 1 HDMI, 1 Ethernet and 4 USB ports for release.

It has been said that on Japanese launch, 81,639 PS3 systems sold within 24 hours in Japan. Upon American launch there was widespread violence surrounding buying the console, with camping customers being robbed at gunpoint, fights over limited number of consoles, some campers being shot with BB guns at a drive-by and one customer being shot over the console.

The PS3 Slim featured more advanced hardware than the original, with decreased power consumption, a quieter cooling system and a redesigned logo to replace the outdated ‘Spider-Man’ logo.

Later in production a Super Slim model was created that was 20% smaller and 25% lighter than the slim model. Although this system was highly praised, the systems manual sliding disc cover wasn’t.

There have been many popular releases for the PS3, as well as expansions of popular franchises including the Elder Scrolls with ‘the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion’ and the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. As well as the Uncharted series with ‘Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune’.

Other notable releases include the Arkam series of Batman games, Assassins Creed series, LittleBigPlanet, Gran Turismo 5, the Final Fantasy series, Metal Gear Solid series and Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction.

Various controllers and accessories were released for the console, including DualShock3 wireless controllers, the PlayStation Eye Camera, the Play TV and the PlayStation Move.

Some other features of the console include PSP connectivity which allowed players to control the PS3, enable add-ons and play original PlayStation games downloaded from the PlayStation Store on the handheld.

The PlayStation Network allowed for unified multiplayer gaming and doubled as a digital media delivery service provider. It readily supported multiplayer and allowed effortless online gaming, the PS Store and PS Home. Unlike the Xbox online store allowed for the transaction of real money rather than buying set amount of coins/ points.

PlayStation Plus is a paid subscription service that enhances the PlayStation experience for the player. With access to demos, automatic downloads of game and system updates, early and even exclusive access to betas and demos, premium downloadable content and PlayStation Store software.

The PlayStation Store is an online virtual market that offers users paid and free downloadable content including add-on content, playable demos, themes and game and movie trailers.

Criticism for the PS3 mainly consists of complaints over the high price and low quality games available upon release, though many of its critics have agreed that this was worked on and greatly improved. Furthermore, the Blu Ray capabilities were highly praised in the early days of the console, as this improved on the Xbox 360’s hardware and by far surpassed the capabilities of the Wii.

Upon release, the PS3 was a disaster. 3rd party companies found the console increasingly difficult to develop games for. Though the advanced hardware and power of the machine was highly praised.

With the Slim Model, Sony had rebranded the console by changing the ‘Spider-Man’ logo and creating a thin and sleek machine. Less than 24 hours after its announcement it became the number 1 bestseller spot on amazon, which remained that way for almost a month.

The Super Slim PS3 was praised alike the Slim, with even more advanced hardware and smaller size. The only complaint about the machine was the cheap disc loader that was installed which meant that players had to manually insert or eject the disc. Otherwise, the PS3 had become the most highly regarded system of its generation.