With all UK 60gb boxes retired you now have the choice of 80gb or 250gb PS3slim. Prices are around the £250 mark.
Everywhere has plenty of stock so getting hold of one will not be a problem.
So what are the specs?
PS3 Slim -
CPU: Cell Broadband Engine
Audio Output: LPCM 7.1 ch, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD, AAC
Memory: 256MB XDR Main RAM, 256MB GDDR3 VRAM
Hard Disk: 2.5” Serial ATA, 120GB
Inputs/Outputs: Hi-Speed USB (USB 2.0) x2
Networking: Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) × 1, IEEE 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)
Resolution: 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p, 480i (for PAL 576p, 576i)
HDMI OUT connector: 1
AV MULTI OUT connector: 1
Digital out (optical) connector: 1
Maximum read rate: BD × 2 (BD-ROM), DVD × 8 (DVD-ROM), CD × 24 (CD-ROM)
Power: AC 220 – 240, 50/60Hz
Power Consumption: Approx 250W
Dimensions: Approx 290 × 65 × 290 mm (width × height × length)
Weight: Approx 3.2kg
What's the warranty?
12 months from the date of purchase. There are reports that Sony require the receipt as proof of purchase although they never queried my PS3 that was registered with them at purchase so who knows. Best to keep the receipt and make sure you get the original receipt if buying one second hand.
What accessories are available?
Bluray Remote Control - For controlling playback of bluray movies
Sixaxis Wireless Controller - With rumble , comes with usb cable to charge from either the ps3 or any usb 2.0 port. The cables painfully short so you may want to track down a longer usb lead or extender.
Dualshock 3 - As above but a bit rumbley. Not out over here yet but available to import and fully compatible with uk models, doesn't come with a usb lead, available in white or black.
3m HDMI Cable - The next gen starts after you've been back to the shop for one of these.
Component AV Cable - If you have a screen that takes component but no hdmi then you'll be wanting one of these.
SVideo AV Cable
Multi AV cable - You get one of these in the box (with scart adapter), if you need to use this cable you really need a new telly first.
It's also worth noting that if you already have a ps2 rgb scart lead you can use that.
If you're moving the ps3 from a HDTV to an SDTV and you're just getting a black screen hold down the power button for 5-10 seconds whilst in standby and it will reset and auto detect the video connection type.
So whats with the sixaxis?
The PS3 controller is now called the sixaxis and whilst it looks like a dualshock there are some major differences. Firstly it's bluetooth. Each PS3 can connect upto 7 controllers. The controller is charged using the included usb A to mini B cable. The controller can be charged from any USB 2.0 port on any device, handy for charging the controller from the laptop on the coffee table while the ps3 sits under the telly.
The main difference though is the motion sensing capabilities of the controller, the controller detects rotational and accelerational forces along the x, y and z planes enabling full motion sensing. Whilst it's no wiimote it may have potential if flow is anything to go by. Hopefully it will be used sparsely by developers where it can actually add something to the game.
The PS3 does support proper force feedback and the logitech g25 and dfp wheels are compatible.
What's this Folding thing all about - can the ps3 really cure cancer?
With grateful thanks to Batfin for setting this up and mailing me the following details.
Folding@home is a distributed computing project that uses computers to simulate the complex process of protein folding - thereby aiding scientific understanding of the folding process and related diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cystic fibrosis and many cancers. Each simulation is so complicated it can take a single PC up to 30 years to complete, but by sharing the work between thousands of computers across the internet, the Folding@home program makes this crucial area of research much more feasible.
Your Playstation 3 has the ability to assist in this research when it's idle, all you have to do is load the folding@home program and it'll download what's called a work unit for it to process, each unit taking approximately 8 hours to complete.
To join the dvdforums team simply load the folding@home program, press triangle, then go to identity > join existing team and type in 134029.
Go on then how do I change the hard drive?
All you need is 1 x 2.5" SATA 5400 rpm drive (any size) and 1 x Small Phillips scredriver. Full instuctions are in the manual and there are dozens of vids on youtube if you search for PS3 Hard Drive Upgrade, such as
Here's the PS3s version
Just make sure you get a 2.5" SATA 5400 rpm drive. Also worth doing a backup of the PS3 before you swap out the drive unless it's a new machine. To do a backup go to the system tools on the xmb and select backup utility. You'll need a fairly big usb drive to do a complete system backup, alternatively simply copy the game saves to a pen drive and copy them back to the new drive afterwards.
Tell me about the PS3 experience then
The PS3 uses the cross media bar (xmb) familiar to PSP users. Whilst this may initially a little daunting it becomes second nature within minutes. Each main section appears on a horizontal bar with sub menus for each appearing on the vertical as you pass over that section.
If you insert a CD, DVD or BluRay it will appear under the Music or Video tab. Relevant items in the correct folder structure will also appear under Photo, Music or Video tab when you insert a CF, SD or USB memory stick.
The main headings on the XMB are
This is where you manage users, each user can register multiple accounts on the PS Network (sony's answer to live). Each PSN account can either be a Master account or a sub account, only one Master account per user. So for example You can creat a local user on the PS3, use this to create a Master account on the PSN. Create a sub account for kids/housemates etc. Sub accounts can be allowed to spend the money in the master account wallet and can have restrictions placed on the rating of dlc.
You can also create a second account on the PS3 and create a Master PSN account for the US or Honk Kong store. You can then easily jump to that account queue up some downloads, jump back to your main account and either play some games or watch a movie etc.
This is where you'll set up your system, all the usual options are buried in here. There are settings for video and audio outputs, networks setup, playback options etc etc. The ps3 will by default pretty much work out most of this for you but if you want to adjust something this is where it's done.
This is where you'll store you're media. Items downloaded from the stores puts itself in the right place and items copied from external sources end up here.
Hang on, where are my files? The ps3 isn't finding any music on my usb stick/cf/sd card?
For some reason the PS3 will only find items if they are in the right folder structure. When you stick a memory stick in unless the music is in either a root \MUSIC folder it wont see it, likewise for \PHOTO and \VIDEO. PSP users who have their media in \PSP\MUSIC ect are looked after as those folder structures also work.
If your music is not in that format fear not, thankfully you can simply press the triangle button and "view all" to manually view the contents of the disk for any relevant media.
So what media formats does it support?
PS3 games are multiregion, although some games that use dedicated servers for online play restrict you to the disk region. So if you've imported Motorstorm and your mate has a UK copy you won't be able to play online with them.
PS3 Games with dedicated servers
DVD is region locked
Bluray has region coding but a lot of studios are releasing with no region locking. Not proper multiregion but still handy. Check out this link for a guide to what is and what isn't locked.
anyway back to the XMB, next up
This is where all downloadable demos/games and any games in the drive appear. A rather nice touch is that highlighting a game here changes the background to a wallpaper from that game and the icon changes to a small animation from the game. No real use but it's just neat. Simply click on a game to fire it up. This is also where you can delete saves etc. This is also where your trophy collection lives.
Is it backwards compatible?
Sort of, the 60GB PS3 now uses software emulation for BC meaning that only a percentage of games work properly under the ps3. The BC list is here On putting a ps2 game into the ps3 you are prompted to create a virtual memory card. Sony have talked about a PS2 memory card apadapter to allow you to move existing saves from memory cards to the ps3 but as far as I know this item isn't actually available anywhere yet?
The 40GB is not backwards compatible, dont buy one if you want to play PS2 games on it.
Home of the web browser, information board, folding at home and the remote play sections.
A proper real one with plug ins and everything. This is the first browser I've actually been able to use on a tv without going blind. Just plug in any usb, wireless or bluetooth keyboard and mouse for even easier use.
Thanks to tobiasboon for the following info
Media streaming, both video and audio, either over local connection or 'net. Obviously uses the PS3's codec set, not the PSP's.
Ability to power up and power down the PS3 remotely.
Ability to download PS1 games from the PS Store and share save games between the two systems.
Ability to stream PS1 games "live" over the wireless connection to the PSP. Locally or over 'net.
Ability to stream a very small number of PS3/PSN games over the wireless connection to the PSP, for example Lair. Again, locally or over 'net.
Apparently some games will be able to use the PSP as a controller and be able to use the screen. For example F1 Championship was previewed using the PSP as a rear view mirror. Still waiting for this feature to be made use of.
Access to the vast majority of XMB to allow remote starting of downloads from the PS Store, friends lists, messaging, etc.
Like the xbox marketplace the PS store is where you go to download trailers, demos and games. Prices are displayed in real money as opposed to points and at least initially content seems much better priced than the MS equivalent. The store is a little clunky at the moment and the layout leaves a lot to be desired but meh they'll get there.
Can I setup accounts for US/HK/JPN stores?
You certainly can, like so
Create a new user on the PS3 for the country who's store you want to access.
Log in as the user in step one.
Register for the PSN Store under the network menu.
Thats it dead easy, you'll need to supply a valid address for the region you are registering for, I suspect there'll be a lot of Beverley Hills 90210 PS3's. Just use google to find any address and use that. Content downloaded from any region is available to all users, you can even queue up your downloads from one account and then switch to another account and it will keep downloading them in the background
Can I buy stuff from the US/HK/JPN stores?
Not quite so simple, some Mastercards will allow small deposits without checking your address for most other cards you're out of luck. Allegedly you can use a service like wirecard and use that from any region although I've not tried it so can't vouch for them. Thanks to nsb for pointing out entropay which is apparently more reliable than wirecard and allows you to purchase stuff from around the globe with a UK credit/debit card.
Very similar to on live simply fire off a friends request and that user then gets added to your friends list, you can easily see who's online, who's playing what and fire up a voice chat or send them a message. There's also a message box here where all your received messages go.
Whats this "Home" thing all about
Released now, Home brings together many of the existing xmb functions in a virtual online world. Users will have a private home that they can decorate with their achievments, listen to music or watch video in. There will also be public places for shopping, chatting and arranging gaming sessions. There's a nice preview over at ign.
Is it worth importing a PS3? Any issues to think about?
The PS3 has an internal multivoltage power supply so all you need is a UK kettle lead to plug it in.
Any imported PS3's will play:
PS3 Games from all regions
Bluray's only from the same region as the imported machine (unless the disc is region free)
DVD's only from the same region as the imported machine (unless the disc is region free)
If the imported machine supports backwards compatibility then PS2 games only from that region.
You will still be able to create multiple accounts and access the various online stores from around the world.
So what else can you do with it then
Well one of the main uses sony are pushing is to install Linux on it. For any one that want's to give that a go there's a guide over at eurogamer.
Another thing you can do is up the HDD size, unlike MS's piddly 20Gb the PS3 ships with a 60Gb HDD but if thats not enough for you you can easily replace it with any 2.5" internal SATA drive, guide here.
Can I change the wallpaper on the xmb
Yep, you can select an image for the wallpaper, personally I prefer the wavy lines.
What headsets can I use with the PS3?
Any Bluetooth headset should work on the PS3, additionally any USB headset that worked on the PS2 should also work on the PS3. There is a post on headset reliability here : clicky
are they ever releasing anything for it?
Drake's Fortune, Ratchet and Clank and GT5P, what more do you want?
This section of the XrossMediaBar is where you'll find all of the necessary settings for video content, DVD, Blu-ray, or otherwise. You can find the "Video Settings" sub-category just below "System Update" and "Game Settings." From within this menu there are several settings categories that affect Blu-ray performance, check out our recommended settings below:
"BD Internet Connection"
Online integration is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of Blu-ray technology. It enables users to get all of the latest firmware updates for their player, which ensures that playback performance is as seamless as possible. The PlayStation 3 is unique in that it utilizes WiFi technology, whereas most standalone Blu-ray solutions require an Ethernet cable connection. The WiFi of the PlayStation allows you to get updates and content for your player as soon as they become available, as such, it is important that your PS3's Blu-ray internet access is always turned on. Of the two options provided for the "BD Internet Connection," select "Allow." This tells your player to establish an internet connection every time a Blu-ray disc is being played.
Recommended Setting: "Allow"
"BD/DVD Cinema Conversion"
This option pertains primarily to how your PS3 displays DVD content recorded in interlace format. This issue only rarely applies to Blu-ray content, primarily supplemental content with lesser encodings or homemade Blu-ray discs. To ensure that you get the best possible viewing experience, even with standard-definition supplemental content, leave this selected to "Automatic," which enables your player to automatically detect and match the best conversion method for the source material.
Recommended Setting: "Automatic"
Like the "Cinema Conversion" category, this setting is only applicable to Blu-ray content that is encoded in standard definition (non-HD extras). There are a number of options given to users: "Double Scale," "Normal," "Full Screen," and "Off." The "Double Scale" option doubles the resolutions of the source video, which sounds more beneficial than it really is. Double scaling your video can, in some cases, give you a softer image than what you started with. "Full Screen" is also an undesirable choice because it scales your image in a way that stretches it beyond its natural dimensions. We recommend going with "Normal," which scales your image to the maximum proportional resolution supported by your TV.
Recommended Setting: "Normal"
"BD/DVD Video Output Format (HDMI)"
This setting allows you to specify the color space of the video output from your PS3, either RGB or Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr. Typically, video game content is encoded in sRGB and video is broken down into Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr. The PlayStation 3 can automatically detect which color mode is best for the source video, but some users have noted problems with the auto detection, such as discoloration. Additionally, RGB and Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr output can be affected by the type of display you are using, whether it be a PC monitor or TV. For those using a PC monitor we recommend "RGB," while HDTV owners should stick to "Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr" for Blu-ray content.
Recommended Setting: "RGB" for PC monitors, "Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr" for TVs.
"BD 1080p 24 Hz Output (HDMI)"
This setting pertains to how your PlayStation 3 outputs video refresh rate for Blu-ray content. For the most fluid, cleanest picture, Blu-ray delivers video at their native 24 frames-per-second, which eliminates common playback issues at higher framerates, such as 60 Hz and 50 Hz. Most current-generation TVs support 24 Hz playback, but if you are unsure whether or not your display is capable of displaying at the native framerate, select "Automatic." This allows your PlayStation 3 to automatically detect the framerate and display rate of your setup.
Recommended Setting: "Automatic"
"BD/DVD Dynamic Range Control"
One problem with high-end digital audio outputs is that they are impractical for low-volume usage. If you are trying to watch a film and your volume isn't cranked, hearing the film's dialogue can be incredibly difficult; the words get lost in the soundtrack and effects. To prevent this, Sony incorporated an automated feature that would boost dialogue, however, we've noticed that this feature can increase dialogue beyond favorable levels at times. To ensure that you get pristine audio performance, we recommend keeping this feature set to "Off."
Recommended Setting: "Off"
"BD/DVD Audio Output Format (HDMI)"
This setting, for whatever reason, is still filed under "Video Settings" on the XMB menu, despite the fact that it has nothing to do with video performance. In any case, this option allows users to specify how audio signals are delivered to their audio system when connected via HDMI. For this option, you want to select "Linear PCM," as it is capable of delivering the most diverse audio formats. Linear PCM enables the PS3 to deliver DolbyTrue HD, whereas bitstream can only output TrueHD signals in a DTS encoding.
Recommended Setting: "Linear PCM"
"BD/DVD Audio Output Format (Optical Digital)"
While Linear PCM is the better choice for use with HDMI connections, Bitstream codecs are better suited for optical cable connections with the PS3. Linear PCM codecs can only be delivered as stereo signals by the PlayStation 3. The better option of the two is Bitstream for optical connections, as it can deliver Dolby Digital Plus, DTS surround, and Dolby Digital. Unfortunately, optical connections in either case cannot deliver Dolby TrueHD.
Recommended Setting: "Bitstream"
You can find "Display Settings" just below "Printer Settings" toward the bottom of the main "Settings" queue. This area of settings determines the overall video output settings for your PlayStation 3. Most of the settings in this subsection are largely subjective. Output resolutions will vary with each television, and user-preference determines the screensaver. The two main settings we need to view and tweak are "RGB Full Range (HDMI)" and "Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr Super-White (HDMI)."
RGB Full Range (HDMI)
This setting pertains to how wide the RGB color output of your PlayStation 3 is. There are two options within this setting "Limited" or "Full." "Limited" delivers a more subdued, albeit more naturalistic, color range, while "Full" produces both brighter and richer tones on both ends of the spectrum. As a result of the "Full" spectrum, many intermediate shades get lost in the mix. On the other hand, some users may find that "Full" is better for their particular TV, however, we found that in most cases "Limited" produced the best results.
Recommended Setting: "Limited"
Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr Super-White (HDMI)
The "Super-White" feature on the PS3 is designed to present deeper black levels and brighter whites during video playback with supported TVs. This feature only works with displays that accept Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr signals via HDMI. If you are unsure about whether or not your display accepts Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr via HDMI, don't fret! You can leave this feature set to "On" in any case. If your TV supports it, then you get the full benefit. If not, it has no negative impact on your picture.
Recommended Setting: "On"
The final subsection in our guide is the "Sound Settings" section. You can find the "Sound Settings" just below "Display Settings" on the XMB menu. This, as you may have guessed, is where you can configure your system's audio output.
Audio Output Settings This section is fairly automated, simply select the method by which you have your PS3 connected to your sound system and select "Automatic." This allows the system to automatically detect what settings are supported by your audio system and enables them. Review the codecs, making sure none are left out, and save.
* BD Internet: "Allow"
* BD/DVD Cinema Conversion: "Automatic"
* BD/DVD Upscaler: "Normal"
* BD/DVD Video Output Format (HDMI): "Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr" for TVs, "RGB" for PC Monitors
* BD 1080p 24Hz Output: "Automatic"
* BD/DVD Dynamic Range Control: "Off"
* BD/DVD Audio Output Format (HDMI): "Linear PCM"
* BD/DVD Audio Output Format (Optical Digital): "Bitstream"
* RGB Full Range (HDMI): "Limited"
* Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr Super-White (HDMI): "On"
By Sony figures, from sales of 2.5Million they have had 12,500 die from numerous reasons which is 0.5%. But I would be included to say that some people would not report broken out of warranty consoles, so 1% maybe closer to the mark.
Seems the majority of the issues are to do with the lead free solder, which has also caused problems in other electrical goods which generate a lot of heat, but are well within the industries guidelines.
I think over the last couple of years we have had reports of 2(?) on this forum dying, with T4V being one of them.
As I posted in the previous thread, the beeb and in particular WD which is low rent at best are not above a bit of sensationlist "journalism". What with the slim just out the timing was right for a piece like this.
This has had quite an effect as lots of people I know have mentioned it and come away with the impression that its an unreliable console
To be fair, though, MS did respond (eventually and after a fuss) with an extended warranty and I think 'Playstation' is still a well enough brand to register with the sort of moron who watches Watchdog and takes it all seriously. And, as others have said, it coincides nicely with their advertising campaign.