Gaming Consoles & PCs 30 30 people found this article helpful 5 Reasons to Buy a PlayStation 3 Can't decide which video game console to choose? by Roger Altizer Writer Former Lifewire writer Roger Altizer, Ph.D., has studied and taught video game theory and design at the college level and is PlayStation specialist. our editorial process Twitter Roger Altizer Updated on January 24, 2020 Stratol / Getty Images Consoles & PCs Xbox Buyer's Guide Tweet Share Email Deciding between the PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, and Xbox 360 can be a daunting task. While all three systems are vastly superior to the last generation of video game consoles, they are also far more different from each other than ever before. The PlayStation 3 Has HD Video and High-Quality Sound Both the Xbox 360 and Wii operate off of older disc technologies, and the PlayStation 3 is the only gaming console that offers a Blu-ray high-definition disc drive. This gives the PS3 two distinct advantages, Blu-ray movies and Blu-ray games. Blu-ray Discs also hold more data, so the PS3 requires fewer discs for games. Most importantly, the PS3 supports 1080p video, upconverts regular DVDs to look better on your HDTV, and has an HDMI output port which is necessary for the highest quality HD signals. Along with the higher definition video comes high-quality sound as well. The PS3 Is Cheaper to Own The sticker price of the PS3 is roughly the same as the Wii or Xbox 360, but unlike the Xbox 360, the PS3 is a complete system. Take for example the controllers. All three systems come with wireless controllers, but the PS3’s DualShock 3 is the only one that’s rechargeable out of the box. Do you want to get online using your WiFi network? You'll need a wireless upgrade kit with the Xbox 360. Wireless networking is built into the PS3 and the Wii, but the Wii requires you to buy their web browser. Do you want to play games online? To play online games on an Xbox, you'll need an Xbox Live Gold Membership. Playing games on the PlayStation Network is free. Do you want to download new games and video for your console? While it's no problem for the PS3, you may have to purchase additional storage for some Xbox 360 and Wii consoles. The PS3 Has Great Games All three systems have a wide variety of games, and most major American and European games are available for all three consoles. However, the PlayStation 3 has the support of Japanese developers and online boutique developers that the other two don’t have. The Xbox 360 has Halo and the Wii has Mario, but the PS3 has equally good exclusives in Metal Gear Solid 4, God Of War III, LittleBigPlanet, and Gran Turismo 5. Also, consider the unique Japanese and indy titles that only the PS3 gets. From Pixel Junk Monsters, Flow, EveryDay Shooter, The Last Guy, and LocoRoco Cocoreccho!, to software that’s more like interactive art than games, such as Tori-Emaki, Flower, and Linger in Shadows. There are simply odd and wonderful things that exist on the PS3 that can't be found on the Xbox 360 and Wii. The PS3 Has Many Multimedia and Non-Gaming Features The PlayStation 3 shows pictures, plays videos, and it plays music you download from the net, have stored on a USB device such as a thumb drive, or stream from a computer. The Xbox 360 offers the same, but only the PS3 streams it to your PlayStation Portable, remotely. This means you can access your media, including Blu-ray Discs, on the road using your PSP. The PS3 also supports Linux as an additional operating system, which makes the PS3 a useful tool for a variety of non-gaming purposes. Online Gaming Is Free and Easy All three systems offer web surfing and the ability to purchase games online. Unlike the other two systems, online gaming on the PS3 is easy and free, with no extra fees or complicated friend codes required. The PS3 also offers a unique and free virtual world called Home, where you can chat, hang out, and play games with other PS3 owners. Much like the Xbox Live Achievement system, the PS3 has a Trophies system where you earn awards as you play games and can compare how you’ve done against other players. Perhaps the best demonstration of the PS3’s commitment to being a unique device is Folding@home, a program that runs when you aren't gaming. Folding@home uses your PS3 console’s spare computational cycles to help Stanford University scientists perform cancer research. If you're interested in learning more about the PlayStation 3, review its technical specifications, browse a gallery of PS3 images, and read the reviews.