Sony PS3 Slim review: 3D and Blu-ray update

Full review: The PlayStation 3 gets a 3D gaming update

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Now with 3D gaming and Blu-ray, is the PS3 Slim the ultimate home entertainment device?

Earlier this year we brought you news of the PS3 firmware update, The good news for PS3 owners is that this simple firmware fix will render your console 3D capable. An extra £23.99 buys the 3D update with playable demos of Wipeout HD and Motorstorm: Pacific Rift and others.

A second firmware update will be along later this year to enable 3D Blu-ray playback. So four years after it’s launch, is the PS3 overreaching itself or is it still pushing the envelope of home entertainment? We paired the PlayStation 3 with Sony Bravia HX803 3D TV to find out.

Read our original Sony PlayStation 3 Slim review here


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Sony PS3 Slim: Performance

As a Blu-ray player, it takes a little longer to load and play a disc than dedicated players like the Sony BDP-S470 and it doesn’t come with an IR remote, although the Sixaxis game pad is in some ways better. Otherwise it plays regular Blu-rays with a crisp and clean 1080p/24fps clarity.

When you download the 3D update the only visible change is a new menu option within the video output settings that asks how big your 3D TV is, we used the Sony . But when you switch to a 3D game, like the newly enhanced Wipeout HD, you will begin to understand what the buzz surrounding 3D is all about. The anti-gravity craft hover just in front of you in a way that makes you want to reach out and touch it. Hurtling along at insane speeds becomes all the more engaging when you see your ship bouncing off the walls in 3D.

Motorstorm: Pacific Rift provides a slightly more pronounced 3D effect, especially during the spectacular set pieces when your vehicle crashes out of a race. It’s not much fun for spectators that don’t have 3D glasses, but for the player, it’s a thoroughly immersive experience. Pause the game and you’ll notice that the scenery looks a little softer in certain areas in 3D mode and you might detect a slight flicker from the glasses, but there’s not enough of a quality dip to put you off the action.

Sony PS3 Slim: Design and features

So can the PlayStation 3 Slim rival a standalone player? Well it is significantly larger and heavier, but then it is packing a 250GB hard drive, a powerful Cell processor and Wi-Fi. All this, and the ability to play games, gives the PS3 an unfair advantage over the dedicated decks, but the price compares favourably. So where’s the compromise?

The fact is, Sony was playing the long game and making a big loss on each console sale in the early days, in order to establish a user base. It’s still something of a bargain now when you consider the tech inside: media streamer, hard drive and a Blu-ray player.

The big hard drive is perfect for storing music, movies, photos and games and it’s all immediately accessible from the groundbreaking XMB interface that has now been copied by Sony’s home entertainment division.

All of the Bravia Internet Video features, like the LoveFilm library and excellent BBC iPlayer app are available on the PS3 too. The user experience in general is much better on the PS3 than a standalone deck thanks to the speedy processing and attractive interface.

Sony PS3 Slim: Conclusion

The PS3 Slim was already a fantastic console and this 3D update has made it even better. It’s most likely to be the gaming community, who have no problem wearing glasses while they play, that drive the 3D revolution. The 3D gaming experience bodes well for the consoles 3D Blu-ray update, the date and price of which has yet to be confirmed. What is clear is that the PS3 represents a very good value as a 3D source for games and in time, 3D Blu-ray as well.

Link: Sony PlayStation