So, You’re Gonna Buy A PS3, Huh?

With Friday’s news of the price cut and new 40 GB model loads of people are now looking to pick up a PlayStation 3, and rightly so. But if you’re confused about the two options, or what games to get, we’ll help you out.

The first decision to make is whether you’re going to get the 40 GB PS3, or the 60 GB PS3. The main difference is the price – the 40 GB will be in shops for around £280 (and cheaper online) whilst the 60 GB will be available for about £340. However, the 60 GB has a few extra things worth considering apart from the 50% larger hard drive – it comes with two great games, Motorstorm (off-road racer with stunning graphics) and Resistance (massive first-person shooter with deep online play). Despite being launch titles, both games are still stellar, and both are busy online and probably the best in their genres. You also get a 2nd controller with the 60 GB model.

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The biggest issue that’s not immediately obvious though is that the 40 GB model won’t let you play your old PlayStation 2 games – this won’t be an problem to most, especially now the PS3 has its next gen footy games and some decent racers, but it’s worth keeping in mind if you’re ready to sell your PS2. Finally, the 60 GB is now classed as a limited edition, with all future models being the 40 GB version once the 60 GB has sold out, so you’d better make a move if you want the larger machine.

Either way, both PS3s come with wi-fi, blue-tooth and fully functional Blu-ray disk (high definition movie format) playing facilities, so there’s no ‘basic’ pack that the Xbox 360 suffers from – if you buy a PS3 you’re buying everything you need to enjoy gaming without the need to buy anything else. Sadly, no model comes with a HDMI cable, which is the best way to enjoy the stunning graphics of the PS3 on a high-definition TV, which is highly recommended and can be picked up for about £10 from most online shops, or double that in the likes of GAME and Gamestation. You’ll also need a USB or blue-tooth headset if you plan to chat online, but most mobile phone owners will have one of these already.

Once you’ve got it home, it’s time to sign up for the free online service, PSN. This will enable you to play games online against other people, have free voice and video chat and open up the PlayStation Store which offers playable demos, downloadable games, movies and other goodies. Some of the best downloadable games include the amazing space shooter Super Stardust HD and the huge multiplayer-only Battlefield-like Warhawk. There are plenty of others, though, including family friendly titles like Lemmings HD, Super Rub-a-Dub and LocoRoco, plus an ever expanding library of old arcade games and some classic PS1 games, all fairly priced.

In terms of retail games, don’t miss out on Heavenly Sword and Colin McRae DiRT for fighting and driving respectively, and there’s also some awesome multi-format games like Virtua Tennis 3 and Oblivion, and remember there’s no region encoding on PS3 games, so you can import to your heart’s content. This year will see plenty of amazing PS3 exclusive games too, like Ratchet and Clank, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, Wipeout HD, Uncharted Drake’s Fortune and next year will see the arrival of heavy hitters Metal Gear Solid 4 and the amazing looking Killzone 2.

But even without the games, the PS3 has a whole host of exclusive features, like a built in web browser, the disease-curing [email protected], the ability to play Blu-ray films as good as standalone models and an impressive media playback suite to display your movies, music and your photographs. The hard drive (whichever you choose) can simply be swapped for a larger one (you want a 2.5HD SATA drive) if the one included gets full up, too, and these are pretty cheap now, so you can easily hold up to 160 GB of music and videos if that’s what you want to do.

So, happy gaming to all the new PS3 owners. See you online soon!

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