I had sat on the sidelines of the next gen video games up until a couple of weeks ago. I had tried Wii almost as soon as it came out and was captivated by the motion sensors but the limited availability and sameness to the games as well as limited graphics was frustrating.
Xbox 360 the $ 50 a year subscription and more importantly it lost the Blu-ray/HD battle were big no points for me. I enjoy games, my wife does not. She does enjoy movies and the internet. When I pointed out that PS3 was a Blu-ray player (with excellent reviews) and could let us surf the internet, she was all for it.
I have an ‘old’ HDTV (3 years old). It has a maximum resolution of 1080i and a DVI input but no HDMI. I did some research before buying this so I bought an HDMI to DVI cable at the same time. I was worried about hooking it up and getting it to look right and also getting sound. I should not have been. It took literally a few minutes. Plugged the HDMI end into the PS3 HDMI and the DVI end into the HDTV. Received a picture (great picture) right away. It detected that 1080i was the highest resolution and I choose that.
Sound I simply choose the option to put sound out correctly and received gorgeous sound. I only use the speakers that came with the HDTV but it sounds fantastic on Blu-Ray. I can only imagine what people with surround sound systems will get.
The Blu-Ray discs are stunning. Even with ‘just’ 1080i. Truly beautiful. And it also up-converts very well. My favorite movies are the LOTR expanded editions. I have seen LOTR on TNT HD broadcasts. With the PS3 HDMI they look almost as good perhaps even better than the HD broadcasts. Also one of the coolest things and I have no idea if this for all Blu-Rays are just PS3 HDMI is that it remembers where you were on discs (Blu-ray and DVD discs)even if the disc was last played 8 discs ago. So say for instance you a third of the way through Fellowship. You then put a few game discs in, some other movie discs, then go back to Fellowship. It actually remembers where you left off that disc. Love it.
The internet browsing has been very cool. At first it was ok but it did not fill up the screen and the lettering was too small. But then I discovered zoom in and zoom out. And now it is really fun to browse. As an aside when I started browsing if someone was on our lap-top we would get a connection conflict and would not be able to surf on the lap-top. I called Linksys and they were able to change a bunch of settings on the router and it works just fine now, no problems on using both at the same time.
As for games I have Assassin’s Creed and Oblivion now. Both look amazing. I have also downloaded demos for Mirror’s Edge (stunning) and Motor storm (fun and also amazing graphics). Even as a gamer truly I only really have time for a half dozen games every year or two or even three. A lot of these games last a long time. So in reality the 360s edge on variety is for all intents moot. I am planning to get Little Big Planet and maybe the new Spidey game when it comes down in price. That will more than hold me over to God of War and which ever other few games I will get in 2009. Having a handful of great games, to me, is more important than 50 titles coming out a year.
Bottomline is if you have an HDTV (particularly if you have a home theater set up) and no Blu-ray and enjoy gaming the PS3 HDMI is truly awesome. You get a great Blu-ray player, an 80gig hard drive, incredible gaming capabilities (just downloading the demos would be cool), internet browsing and video watching on your TV. You can also download the LIFE utility that has an incredibly cool visual globe where you can get live weather and news headlines around the world. And you can help cure diseases by linking to a Stanford project that looks at how proteins work and fold. If you allow it your processor can be added to the processing power being used for the Stanford project (when you are not gamin and such).
Sony has succeeded in making a truly great heart of your home media experience. This is so much more than Wii it isn’t even close. And with Blu-ray and free Sony playstation network, it really is a much better value than any of the 360 choices you have. Right now heading into the 2008 holiday season, PS3 HDMI stands alone as clearly the best system and the best value. Not only for gamers but for the entire family.