Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image | January 19, 2018

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Why Bother with the 60GB PS3? |

When the Xbox 360 was released, it came in two flavours. The premium bundle, where the Xbox 360 had a 20GB HDD, a wireless controller, and some HD cables. You needed the 20GB for a lot of the functionality of the system. Without it, you don’t get game demo downloads and a bunch of other stuff that frankly I don’t know much about because I don’t have one. The Xbox 360 Core edition didn’t have the 20GB HDD, it had a wireless controller, and you had to buy HD cables if you wanted to play the thing in HD.

The Xbox 360 Core edition became known as the useless little brother. No gamer with a decent frag count would touch the thing even with a 6′ controller cord. If you were a gamer, and not just a dabbler, you got the premium edition.

So people assumed that when two PS3’s were announced, that the same would hold true for that system.

Which couldn’t be further from the truth.

What does the PS3 Sr have that the PS3 Jr doesn’t? HDD? Nope – they both have that. Senior’s is bigger, that’s all. Wireless controller? Nope – they both have that. HD cables? Uh… I dunno. So we’ll have to skip that one. What else? Online play? Nope – they both have that, and it’s free. Is there any gaming fun that you’ll miss out on if you choose the PS3 Jr instead of the PS3 Sr?

Let’s take a look.

The Senior has a 40GB HDD advantage. That just means that you can’t download as much stuff with the Junior as the Senior, but Junior PS3 owners will still be okay. After all, Xbox 360 owners have been fine with 20GB drives for nine months now.

The Senior has memory card readers, while the Junior doesn’t. Does that affect gameplay at all? Nope – you can still save games to the HDD. Unlike an Xbox 360 Core owner, a PS3 Jr owner doesn’t need to buy an extra memory card to save games. And if a Junior owner really needs a memory card reader, they could buy a USB one.

What else? Oh yeah – the HDMI port. Again, Xbox 360 owners have been going nine months now just fine without one. You don’t really need it today. Wanna play games in HD? Even 1080p? You can use component video outputs (no matter what some people say). What about movies? All BD movies announced so far don’t use the ICT (Image Constraint Token), so you’ll be able to watch those on the component outputs as well. I have to admit, though, that this one is somewhat of a worry. You might not be able to use the PS3 for all movies in the future at the highest resolutions. But if you’re buying the PS3 primarily as a games machine and not as a movie watching machine, that’s not a worry either.


The PS3 Jr makes a decent console. Where the Xbox 360 Core edition was an ugly duckling no serious gamer would want, the PS3 Jr makes a credible case for itself as a gaming machine for gaming enthusiasts. While the Xbox 360 Premium edition was really the “main” system, and the Core was the “secondary” system, I would go so far as to say that the PS3 Senior is the secondary system, while the PS3 Junior is the main one.

Why’s that? (In case you haven’t already thought of it.)

The PS3 Junior has everything a gamer needs. The PS3 Senior has stuff on top of that. So while in the Xbox 360 world there was the “dabbler” $300 system and the “gamer” $400 system, I don’t think those labels apply in the world of PlayStation 3. I think that as far as the PS3 goes, you have the “gamer” $500 system and the “media” $600 system. The $500 has everything a gamer needs. The $600 system has additional media functionality for a premium price.

Personally, I’m big into that media. I have an HDTV and HD movies are important to me. I have a Sony camcorder, Sony computer, and a Sony PSP, all of which use Sony’s MemoryStick. (I didn’t plan it that way – it just happened that I liked those products.) So for me, the PS3 Media Edition is the one I want. What do you want? The PS3 Media Edition, or the PS3 Gamer Edition?

  • Bagpuss

    Appart from a few mistakes there you are pretty much correct. The 360 Core system comes with wired controllers. The big difference between the 360 and the PS3 in this respect is, other than the chrome effect drive tray cover, the core can be easily upgraded to a HDD Preium machine and beyond. Its all there avaliable. The PS3 suffers from the lack of upgrade potential, having the card readers as a modular port would have been better and possibly helped future revenue.
    Although the Sony on line system is free, up to now on the PS2 on line play has been frankly lousy, I only play mine off line now, on line is a disjointed mess.
    In terms of movie play back, lets face it, consoles are pretty poor in comparison to dedicated players, and it won’t really be for another 5 to 10 years before DRM’ed discs become the norm. After all you have 5 to 10 years worth of life out of existing non DRM’ed TVs to get through + the next few years of selling off old sets without DRM limitations installed.
    I expect the first companies to turn on the ICT to suffer drop in sales.

  • I dont think, a memcard reader is that much of a revenue system. Look at Ebay, you can get them a less than 5€ per piece…

    Ok, there may be some PS3 branded (looking good to match) ones, that will be more expensive, but who cares ?

    I personally need to go with the 60HD version, as I need the memory stick reader (have a PSP, that way I can directly push data from PS3 to the memstick w/o the PSP in hand) and also the wifi part…

    As my new tv will have HDMI it would be idiotic to not buy the 60gb version that supports it.

    The core 360 is just marketing skirmish, nothing more. It’s stripped off of its vital features (HDD) thus limiting the real potential the 360 would have, if it had an HDD (game devels wise, as they cant tell, if their aimed at group has one or not). Wired controllers? Dont care, I have to say (I never bought wireless extra controllers for all my 6 consoles). Its just there to say … Hey, our console only costs 300€ not 600€ (yeah, comparing the meaningless core with the premium PS3)… Its all over Gamespots forums.

  • The Prince Of Ecuador

    One oversight in your article is the lack of wi-fi capability in the junior system (though it’s upgradeable). I think it’s noteable since upgrading it certainly will be an extra expense for those so inclined, but lacking foresight.

    I think more important to emphasise, though, is the pitiful size of the ‘media edition’ hard drive. As far as I’m concerned it does _not_ warrant purchase purely on the presence of the larger hard-drive. Why not just buy the cheaper version and then bag your own hard-drive and replace the 20gb one?

    For me, it’s at this point that I start caring about the wi-fi since it becomes the key differentiator. I currently have a very long network cable to connect my cheap media player to my wi-fi router. If the PS3 can become my wi-fi media player I’ll be very happy!

    Even so, I agree with your general conclusion. Namely that Sony have learnt from Microsoft’s mistake by not releasing a completely crippled junior version, but rather one that people might actually prefer to buy.

  • Right! WiFi! I was meaning to mention that, but forgot.

    But it still fits into my description. To enjoy the “gamer” edition as a gamer, you don’t need WiFi. But if you’d like it, you can buy an adapter.

  • Darth Pixel

    If PS3 Jr does not have HDMI, I don’t see why it has a Blu-ray drive.
    It does not make sense.

  • Sure it does.

    Just watch the movie on the component video output. That works fine.

    The only problem you’d have to worry about, maybe, one day in the future, is ICT. Which I mentioned.

  • darrin

    “PS2 on line play has been frankly lousy, I only play mine off line now, on line is a disjointed mess.”

    I hear this a lot and don’t understand. What’s wrong with PS2 online? I play Deadlocked and MGS3 online and they work perfectly. No lag, lots of polished game modes and maps, very stable, team/clan support, all kinds of ranking ladders, full text/voice chat. What’s so terrible about it?

  • Yeah I dunno either. I don’t care much for online play, but the time I did do it, everything worked fine.

  • Børten

    About the HDD, can’t you upgrade them as well?
    I’ve heard some talk that you could put in an bigger HDD than the 20 (or 60GB), if you needed that… ?

  • That’s right – the HDD can be upgraded.

  • Bflow

    Yeah I have a 360 and it’s a great system. But it does need a bigger hard drive. I find myself deleting stuff all the time. Some demos are over a gig. What I hate the most is that most people don’t know that Jr. can still play games and movies in 1080p through component. By the time 2010 or 11 comes around we will be looking at the next wave of consoles. Plus if you don’t have 1080p tv then 720p or 1080i still looks beautiful. And I’m am sick of 360 fanboys saying that no one has HDTVs. So far from the truth. Of the 4 friends I have that have a 360, all of them have a HDTV as well. And I’ll put money on it that at least half of the 360 owners have one now as well given they are mostly the hard core. Anyways, Sony needs to make this more clear to the public because most think Jr. is like the tard pack for the 360. Personally, I’ll be getting the 60 gig because I just want the better connections. One thing I have to say is that the launch lineup is looking really good now and everything hasn’t been announced yet. Oh, and the new EGM said in its rumor section that Saint’s Row could possibly be a launch title also. Funny, I thought it was a 360 exclusive. But it’s really easy for games too be exclusive when your the only next gen system out. LOL.

  • Darth Pixel

    Sorry, Henning, but no, it does not.

    Studios don’t want any device to output at 720p or above over component.
    It’s a piracy concern.

    True HD will only be output over a link that supports HDCP. Hence, only over HDMI. Since component does not support HDCP.

    What am I missing?

  • Sorry Darth but you’re wrong.

    Component video cables support 1080p. So the hardware is there. So then the question becomes: what does the software do?

    Currently ALL HD DVD and BD movies can be seen in 720p or higher on the component video outputs. The way studios have to restrict that is to use ICT, which they have chosen (so far) not to do. You’re thinking of DVD, not BD.

    True HD? I guess you’re not talking about DD TrueHD, but rather 1080p video. 1080p video from a game on the PS3 will put out on component just fine. 1080p video from a BD movie, we’ve already covered. Unless the studio enables the ICT, you’re fine over component. Note that this is actually an improvement over DVD.

  • darrin

    Darth, you are thinking of the optional ICT (image constraint token) which prevents HD content from playing over an unprotected connection for anti-piracy reasons. All the major studios have agreed not to start using this until 2010 or 2011.

    Until they start using this, you can still view content in full resolution over regular unprotected connections.

  • Darth Pixel

    “All the major studios have agreed not to start using this until 2010 or 2011.”

    I didn’t know that.
    It’s good to hear.

    Then, I guess a digital connection, both audio and video, is the only advantage of HDMI.

  • Well, that’s a rumour. It hasn’t been confirmed. See:

    HDCP be darned

  • Matt

    I am not so sure compenent can output full 1080p. For movies you have nothing to worry about. At 24 FPS, a 1080i signal can be converted to 1080p (their are other ways also) with out losing any detail. I don’t think component can handle 1080p 60 FPS, which would be a problem for 1080p gaming. If you have heard other wise please post a link to 1080p 60FPS over component.

    Bflow. No, a lot of Americans do not have HDTV. That is great that you know some people who have it. That is not the bulk of Americans. Yes, the 360 gave people another reason to upgrade. I went with a 50″ HDTV just play 360 on.

    If you want to experience HDTV they way it should be, go with a 37″ HDTV or larger. Run from the 20″ to 32″ models. Unless you enjoy sitting a few feet from your TV, go with a 37″ or larger. Can’t afford it? Wait. The first time you see a larger HDTV and you compare it to yours you will cry. That is when the buyers remorse sets in you will then dream of a larger HDTV.

    HDTV mania is sweeping the nation. Don’t just buy one to say you have it. Save and get a real HD experience. As henning can tell you I cannot stress this enough.

  • Darth Pixel

    Large HDTV sets can be good or bad depending on the size of the room you put them in.

    It’s all about viewing distance.

  • 64% of Xbox 360 owners have HDTV’s. That’s a rather large percentage, and I don’t see PS3 users being any different.

  • I got that qoute from Major Nelson as well but, exactly how did he or MS get that info? There was no real way that I know of get this info, except to say that 64% of xbox 360 users who download market place content download the 720p versions or high res. And while it’s logical to connect thouse two numbers some how, it’s far different to say.. they must have HD sets.

    Examples, I have friends who download only the sd videos because they are much, much smaller and download much faster. They say, it’s just a 30 second video that they will watch once and delete. I agree. I often download both HD and SD videos to show friends that visit the difference between the two on the marketplace. Anyway.. does anyone know how M. Nelson or MS got that number? Or is everyone just repeating it as if it’s gospel because he works for MS? (no offense, just asking.)

  • p.s. Henning’s source is from Kevin Collins from MS. But still, where did he get those numbers from?

  • Perhaps Live! spies a little bit on its users, without letting them know (besides the EULA, which nobody really reads, as there’s so much crap in it, that only lawyers understand them… The only good thing is again, that most of these EULAs arent “allowed” in Germany (and parts of Europe) and that way of no matter… Thus a cancellation because of bad behavior (dunno, maybe cheating or so) would be illegal for MS to do 😀 )

  • Bflow

    Thanks for the info Henning.

  • Bflow

    By the way Henning, how do you link a article if you don’t mind me asking?

  • Not sure what you’re asking Bflow. Use the contact page to take this away from this topic.

  • It’s going to be interesting to see what the confirmed price difference is for the two PS3 SKUs in the UK.

    My girlfriend says she will get me one for Christmas as an early present but I will pay the deposit if they use a deposit scheme over here.

    I’m leaning more towards the 60BG PS3 but depending on my finances, & if it actually gets released over here this year, I may be forced to get the 20GB PS3.

  • bunnyhero

    yep, i’ve always said that the PS3 jr is the equivalent to the high-end X360. i hope sony markets it as such: the PS3 jr being the mainstream console, and the 60G one being the premium edition. that said, i will probably get the higher-priced PS3 myself.