Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday 10s: Ten reasons the PlayStation 3 is the best console ever

Everyone likes a top-10 list. They're a bit of fun, and always good for discussion. And so each week we pull together a "top 10" list. These are here for fun and laughs - we're not pretending that we're the authority of good games taste in the world and this is purely the author's preferences. Agree with him/ her or not, it's all good. We'd love to hear your own personal preferences in the comments below the list. But please do be civil. We're all friends here.

The PlayStation 3 would have to be my favourite games console of all time. I have around 100 game discs and another 200 digitally downloaded pieces of content. When I'm given a multiplatform release I will always choose the PlayStation 3 version.


That is not to say I don't like the other consoles. I enjoy the Wii, the Wii U, the Xbox 360 and the handheld consoles a great deal too - in fact I think this has been the finest generation of gaming in general. As much as the games industry complains and fights within itself at times, consumers are spoiled for choice and quality like they have never been before.

But why do I enjoy the PlayStation 3 the most? Here's my ten quick reasons:

PlayStation Network - Sony's PlayStation Network started out greatly inferior to what Microsoft was offering with the Xbox Live service. And that's fair enough - the PSN was free, and people paid for Xbox Live. Over time the PSN has developed into a full-featured service that rivals Xbox Live... and is still free. It's great being able to play online and socialise and such without paying a cent.

Non-gaming Apps - The recent report that people use the PS3 more for non-gaming applications than playing games tells me a lot about about the quality of the non-gaming stuff you can do on the console. From Mubi, that wonderful service for people who like old, obscure and independent films, to the excellent music streaming service in Music Unlimited to the ultimate party channel, VidZone, there's plenty to do with your console even if you're not in the mood for a game.

First Party Exclusives - Sony invests heavily in its studios to produce an endless stream of exclusive games to sell; and sell they do. From God of War to character mashups in All Stars Battle Royale to more niche stuff like Twisted Metal, Sony has developed a deep stable of great franchises to rely on.

Third Party Support - Because Nintendo has developed that "casual" reputation and Microsoft has never performed well in Japan, the PlayStation 3 has become the "go to" console for many Japanese developers making games for the Japanese. This makes me happy because I like Japanese games - especially the JRPGs. Hyperdimension Neptunia and the Atelier franchise, for instance, are exclusive to the PS3, which certainly has me playing the console for hours and weeks at a time.

Vita/ PSP Connectivity - The PlayStation 3 "talks" to the Vita far better than Nintendo's consoles talk, and with more features than the Xbox/ Smartglass pairing. From free Vita versions of the likes of All Stars Battle Royale when people buy the PS3 game to the near-perfect port of Dead or Alive 5 to handheld format, the Vita really does allow me to continue my PlayStation 3 experience when I'm out and about.

PlayStation Plus - While the PlayStation Network is free to access, for a paltry $70/ year (in Australia), I can access over a dozen games over the course of the year without additional charge. 12 games for the price of one? Yes please. Now, of course if I stop paying for PSPlus I lose these games. But like I'm going to stop paying for PSPlus.

Dualshock Controller - There's a reason Sony has only slightly modified the Dualshock Controller for the PlayStation 4 - this little device has more than enough buttons and inputs to let me play the games I like to play, and fits my hands comfortably. It's a supreme piece of engineering and a often-forgotten advantage that the PlayStation 3 has enjoyed over the years.

3D Support - Not all that many games might have supported this, but for people with 3D TVs and those games, the 3D support did significantly enhance the experience. Tecmo Koei's Warriors games, especially, were significantly enhanced by playing them in 3D, and it's another forgotten feature that I think Sony implemented really well into its console.

Social Interactions - I like my virtual trophy cabinet, and I like boasting of my achievements to Facebook. I love the simple messaging system of the PS3 and the simple but elegant friends list. I love how easy it is to invite people into online games, and I like having access to it on my phone via the official app. The PlayStation 3 has been my most social console, and that's been another reason that I tend to turn it on more often - just in case I feel like some multiplayer.

Blu-Ray - Thanks to the PlayStation 3 I've never felt the need to buy a Blu-Ray player. The occasional Blu-Ray disc still entices me for its features and whatnot (this is despite having an Apple TV, which is quite excellent), and so, despite preferring to download my games these days, the disc drive still gets a workout.

So, which is your favourite game console of all time, and why?

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