My PlayStation 3 was free. It’s not because I’m some big-shot game writer. No, I received my PS3 as a housewarming gift. I was given a new HDTV and a PS3. Thanks to a huge sale, the PS3 was $300 off. You’d think that would get me excited about Sony’s console. It didn’t. My PS3 sat in a box, unopened, unplayed. I figured that it would make a nice Blu-Ray player, but I was too busy with work to play with my PlayStation.
It’s not that I enjoy sanding hardwood floors, painting walls or fixing leaky toilets, but that’s what needed to be done before I could play. Having read so much hatred towards the PS3, I was skeptical about the system. I barely used my Wii. Maybe I’m outgrowing games. Maybe I’m meant to be doing yard work instead of playing video games.
After lots of hard work, I managed to find some free time with the PS3. It’s awesome. While highly skeptical at first, the system impressed me. The PlayStation has caught a bad reputation this generation. I figured that I’d share some truths that I discovered about the system. Here are five reasons why the PS3 is underrated…
Boxing – Nintendo has sold over 20 million Wii systems throughout the world. That just staggering to imagine — all those copies of Wii Sports. I really enjoyed Wii Sports Boxing. Yet, the game just isn’t in the same league at Fight Night 4 by EA Sports. When I loaded up the demo for Fight Night 4, I was blown away. Was I watching a cut-scene or was this the game — WHOA… IT’S THE GAME! The fighter dude is sitting in the corner of the ring, with blood and sweat dripping from his body. The camera goes a little bit out-of-focus. The announcers babble on. A scantly clad character carries a “Round 2” sign. I was incredibly impressed by the realism.
Trojan Horse – It’s a Blu-Ray player. Simply put, HD-DVD lost the format war. Microsoft chose the losing format. That means the PS3 is more living-room friendly. I learned a saying from a good friend of mine – wife faction. As the original generation of gamers grows older, they don’t mature. They just get better toys. Yet, the responsibility of adulthood comes into play. Keeping all members of the family happy is important. Having a game console that also plays movies makes it more inviting. I can watch Wall-E in the afternoon and then head-shot enemies in the evening. It’s not that I enjoy paying more for movies, as the average Blu-Ray movie is around $20-$30. Yet, I think it’s better than going to the movies. The PS3 gives me a true cinematic experience, without sitting in a smelly movie theater. Plus, I get to keep the disk for later viewing.
Work Horse – This little box does a lot. It can play movie, music and games. It can run Linux and it can even help humanity. Those familiar with Photics.com know that this community is pretty active with Stanford University’s Folding@home project. By using the downtime of PlayStations and PCs all over the world, one of the largest supercomputers in the world has been forged. This processing power is used to better understand protein folding and the related diseases. Gamers are uniting to make life better. If not for the popularity of the PS3 in this area, I doubt that there would be a Photics Team. Plus, the web browser was lots of fun. Seeing Photics.com on a 46″ TV was a great feeling for me.
Meaning of Life – The biggest complaint that I see about the Wii is the lack of hardcore games. I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant — until I played InFAMOUS. Wow… this game is dark, but it has a great story. It’s violent, but it’s not senseless violence. Game Director of Sucker Punch Productions Nate Fo said, “For you to make that choice that feels heroic, you need to be given the option to be a total jerk… to be selfish. Otherwise, there is no choice.” I actually felt that struggle while playing the game. The experience reinforced my understanding of the real world. In life, there are vicious debates about religion and the meaning of life. Yet, what is not debatable is that I make choices in life — choices that define who I am. Do I hit that “X” button and heal this person or do I hit that “O” button and suck the last bit of life away? Seeing the struggle of good vs. evil echoed out from the video game and into the real world. I like it when a game makes me think — games as art. I just wasn’t experiencing that on the Wii. Most of the Wii games that I played were cute, fun, candy sweet. There’s nothing wrong with that. I enjoy those games too. Yet, I found the games on the PlayStation 3 to be a refreshing change… hardcore games.
Popularity – I was surprised that I was playing catch up. Usually I’m part of the early adopters. Not this time. Members of the Photics.com community were already waiting for me. Despite the popularity of the Wii, more of my gaming buddies owned the PlayStation 3 than the Wii or the XBOX 360. How did that happen? How was I caught playing catchup? PC Gaming (Guild Wars in particular) is likely to blame. I lost touch with the console scene. But now things are different. The PS3 showed me what I was missing — high definition movies and gaming. The graphics are quite competitive with PC Games, and I like it.
I’m not here to tell you that the PS3 is better than the Wii or the XBOX 360. Instead, I’m just stating my surprise. The PS3 was much better than I expected. Don’t let the fanboy hype or the online hate get to you. If you’ve been grumpy towards the PS3, but you’re not exactly sure why, you might be missing out on a lot of fun.