First, I am a gaming reviewer and have been for many years. We stress test our systems very heavily. We are playing on all three (the PS3, XBox 360 and Wii) pretty much constantly. If you are looking for my basic reviews of how the PS3 differs from the other two systems, I wrote that up in great detail with our initial review of the PS3 20 gig -
20 gig PS3 Launch Model
When my son went off to college, we sent that 20 gig unit with him and got ourselves the new 80 gig model (i.e. this one) to do our testing with. Here are my notes on how this upgraded PS3 differs from the previous models.
First, it is NOT BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE. This is a killer change for many people. We don't mind because we also own a PS2. However, someone who is getting a PS3 explicitly to play current and past games should not go with this one.
However, if you are NOT interested in playing old PS2 games (or don't mind having a PS2 around for that purpose) this unit is awesome. It is VERY quiet. When we play regular DVDs on our XBox 360 the fan noise on that unit is outrageous. When we play BluRays on our PS3 it is whisper silent. We play a ton of BluRays on the PS3 and the quality is head and shoulders above traditional DVD quality. Definitely anyone with a high def TV should be looking into getting a BluRay player - and the PS3 is perfect because it's cheap compared with other players plus it has the added bonus of playing games :)
There's only 2 USB ports on this, but there are so many multitap types of extensions out there that it really doesn't matter. Its built in wireless is pretty standard on consoles nowadays, but of course is quite nice.
We've been pounding heavily on this unit pretty much since it came out and it's been working like a charm. I can't say as much for our XBox 360 which is currently off at Microsoft being fixed for red-ring-of-death (our second failure in as many years).
I know some people will complain about the lack of ability to play PS2 games. However the unit is so quiet that I am MORE than happy to have made that trade-off. Again, PS2 units are cheap and you can get one for the times you want to play those games - and for all the rest of the time you can have a quiet, well playing system which is perfect for both games and for home entertainment.
Highly, highly recommended.
IMPORTANT NOTE - *Before* August 2008 there was a PS3 80 gig model which WAS backwards compatible - it also was noisy and had other problems. Since market research showed Sony that people cared a lot about a reliable quiet system - and didn't care as much about playing old PS2 games - they came out with this NEW model (the one I'm reviewing here) which is NOT backwards compatible but runs much more quietly, takes less energy, etc. So these are two DIFFERENT models which are both 80 gig in storage but with different functionality. This new model released in August 2008.