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Monday, March 04, 2024

Wouldn't it be great to have 214 gallons of gasoline for your car? Doesn't 4,000 packages of Ramen noodles sound delicious to you? Or would you prefer 831 cans of Budweiser? These items each could be yours for ,600.

Now, would you spend the same amount of money for a video game console? Sony hopes you would for its labor of love, the PlayStation 3. But is it better to spend ,250 less for the Xbox 360 or ,350 less for a Wii? Let's take a peek at how the PS3 stacks up against the rest.

Like communism, the PlayStation 3's graphical power sounds good, but only on paper. The PS3 seems like it should be pumping out far better graphical goodies than the alternatives, and while the PS3 does do better in this respect than the Wii, the 360 looks just as good, and at times, even better.

Obviously, this whole argument doesn't mean a thing without great games to play on the systems. The award for best games has to go to the Xbox 360 or the Wii (depending on whom you talk to). Brilliant games like "BioShock" and "Halo 3" for the 360 and "Wii Sports" and "Metroid Prime 3: Corruption" for the Wii are nowhere to be found on the PS3, which at best currently has mediocre games and at worst is little more than an expensive paperweight.

One of the PS3's advantages is in the extras, however. Blu-Ray disk players - required to play the next-generation video format that can hold up to six times the amount of memory as a regular DVD - can cost ,500 to ,600 and are quickly replacing standard DVD players across the nation. This capability comes included when you buy the PS3. If you're looking to invest in the emerging Blu-Ray technology, this in-the-box capability is a big check in favor of the console. The PS3's hard drive also gives you a place to put your music, videos and photos.

The truth is that the PS3 has one big, bright spot on its retail resume: the future. Such games as "Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of Patriots," "Killzone 2" and "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune" all look extremely fun. The PlayStation store also will be getting an upgrade with its role-playing social networking tool, Home. And best of all, price cuts could be coming up this holiday season.

Basically, if you really think you want to shell out ,600 for an 80-gigabyte PS3, you need to do one thing: Wait. Only time will tell if the PlayStation 3 is going to reach the glory that led the PlayStation 2 to be the best-selling console in the last generation, but the PS3 definitely has potential.

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