postheadericon A Sony PlayStation 3 Review - Years Late


I know, you are probably thinking, "Why is he reviewing a gizmo now that first appeared in 2005?" Well, even though the Sony PS3 is almost technically an antique on today's gadget timelines, I found the one I just bought last week down on Durbar Marg an amazing device – even if one near destroyed by it's maker – just as Dr. Frankenstein did to his ever-popular monster.

When this super gaming console first debuted in May '05, it was ahead of its time by sporting a Blue-Ray DVD drive, WiFi, two HDMI ports, three Ethernet ports, and six USB ports. Although the max hard drive was a paltry 60 GB (by today's standards), this console was a pretty good deal at $600 USD. However, by the time of the official release in 2006, the PS3 had been slimmed down considerably (some models loosing WiFi, and all shipped with less ports).

Sony, in traditional schizophrenic style, went on to produce several generations with varied specs, but the console was/is widely & wildly popular with gamers, selling over ½ million units in the first two days of USA sales. World-wide, folks lined up outside of retail shops and like an Apple release gone horribly wrong, and there were dozens of reports of robberies and fights between consumers all jostling to be the first to own one.

Since 2006 or so, it's estimated that over 45 million units have been sold, and revenues for PS3 games and accessories has always shot through the roof each and every holiday season since – in short, the PS3 has been, and continues to be a tremendous cash cow, even as the impending release of the PS4 looms in the near future.

I would have waited for the PS4, but my Nepali nephew Anson came from the UK to visit this month, and I just had to have something for an eight-year old to do - besides taking my dog for a walk – which to be honest, even bores me at times. So we plunked down about Nrs. 50,000 for a 160GB Slim, with all kinds of controllers and games. It seemed outrageously overpriced to me, but the kid had to have something.

What I liked about the system is the fine compatibility with all the other Sony products that I own, and it's relatively easy setup. What I don't like about the system is how Sony took a fine piece of technology, and locked it down tighter than the top of a tuned madal. Come on now, do I really have to "jailbreak" another device to play around with the innards, and install custom apps and firmware and whatnot ?!? I felt I was monkeying with my iPhone again. You see, I had hoped to install a Linux distro on the device after my nephew left, and also to play games at Nrs. 50 a pop instead of the market price of Nrs. 5,000 – which is just insane anyway.

But no, Sony has made sure you can't do any of the cool things a hobbyist used to do with a computer in the olden days of Commodore and Atari consoles (you can tell how old I am by that statement). It seems Sony has followed Apple's lead, and your purchase is nothing more than a portal to the Sony PlayStation Store – which by the way, despite all the bad press a few years back of getting hacked, is actually decent enough. There you can find games in the Nrs. 1500 range, if you have a decent Internet connection and an international credit card.

But I was really looking forward to tinkering, as most video games pretty much bore me to tears... however, I do recommend any of the FIFA or PES Soccer games, as they are difficult to master and provide hours of entertainment just learning how to dribble the ball. But for Nrs. 5000+, I would expect that I could learn to play the game for real, and go beat the boys outside by the Zoo!

Anyway, it's always nice to see some bit of technology that can stand to the test of time – 7 years now – and still be relevant in the real world. If I had bought this device back in 2009 (when my model first came out), I would be happier than I am today with the purchase because of the recent Sony lockdown, but I am still happy regardless – and my nephew sure is – he just loves Lego Batman 2!

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Jiggy Gaton
lives in Kathmandu and is an aging technologist - has been since the days of Woodstock - so in the words of Roland The Gunslinger "he is from a world now gone by." However, Jigs is extremely up-to-date on all things tech and is also available for hire.
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