NOTE: There are a number of different versions of the PS3. Before you buy one, consider how much you will be using this system. The more games you expect to play on your PS3, the larger hard drive I would recommend.
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High-Definition Blu-Ray movies are finally starting to gain popularity. Those people looking for a high-quality Blu-Ray player will never, ever find one as good as the one in the PS3. Game disc drives are built to withstand tens of thousands of hours of use without failing.
The PlayStation Network is free to play for all PlayStation owners. With the popularity of multiplayer gaming on the rise, it's definitely nice to be able to play with your friends for free.
The PS3 has some extremely high-quality exclusive games. The Killzone series, the Metal Gear Solid series and the God of War series are all excellent titles that are only sold on the PS3.
While the high-definition aspects of the Blu-Ray movies are a definite plus, blu-ray gaming has some extremely serious consequences. The PS3 can't read the information from the Blu-Ray discs fast enough to run a high-definition game, which means that players have to install the game to the hard drive before they can play.
This might not seem like a huge issue, but when some games require more than 20 Gigabytes of space (the largest PS3 hard drive is 320 Gigabytes), it can be extremely annoying to have to choose which games you want to play in any given time. Add on the time that it takes to install these large games onto the hard drive and the overall gaming experience significantly weakens.
Unfortunately, I would be remiss without at least mentioning the serious security flaws that the PS3 has been experiencing. Every console has its hackers (even the Xbox 360 has an outbreak every now and then), but Sony's issues with hackers run deeper than that. Personal information has been accessed and hackers have "discovered" the ability to directly manipulate another user's PS3 through the internet. It means that not only can they un-ban their own PS3 but they can permanently ban another person's PS3 at any time, making an unsuspecting victim's game console completely unusable.
The risk to credit-card information, addresses, and other personal information has been extremely high lately as well. The PSN was shut down for weeks in an attempt to control the loss of this information. Whether nor not the situations were resolved is irrelevant, the fact is that Sony has a history of losing the battle against hackers.
The PlayStation 2 had an extremely large library of high-quality games. While early versions of the PS3 were able to play these games, the current models are not backwards compatible with the PS2 library. This means that former PS2 owners are entirely unable to play their older games on their new console.