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?