Unpopular Opinion: Why Playstation 3 is Currently the Best Gaming Console

Before reading, please note that this article is not a bashing statement to other gaming consoles, and that the author owns all 3 current-generation gaming systems. Also, the PC is not considered a console, and so has not been included in this article.

All views expressed in the article are strictly of the author’s perspective.

1) Better Exclusives

Let’s face it. Owning a gaming console is useless unless you have great games. While all three major systems (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii) have fantastic games, only Playstation 3 provides the player with exclusive blockbuster titles that can’t be found anywhere else. Dynamic, original series such as Uncharted, God of War, Ratchet & Clank, Resistance, Killzone, Little Big Planet, Infamous, Motorstorm, and Gran Turismo are just a few of the highly rated series-exclusives you can find on the Playstation 3. PS3 is also the home of several one-hit wonders, such as Metal Gear Solid 4, Heavenly Sword, Modnation Racers and Heavy Rain. While the Xbox 360 has high profile games such as Gears of War, Halo, Fable and Forza, their library of exclusive games just doesn’t compare to the Playstation 3. The Wii on the other hand, has an assortment of the most memorable characters in gaming, such as Super Mario, Donkey Kong. Zelda, and Kirby (to name a few), yet as great as these games are, they still don’t match up to the caliber of exclusive games found on the PS3.

2) Online Features 

Easy and accessible, the Playstation 3 has a wide array of PSN (Playstation Network) titles that provide endless hours of entertainment. The PSN Store houses hundreds of demos, gaming titles, and movies and TV shows that you can rent or own. Best of all, online is free! While the Playstation 3 has a membership option called Playstation Plus (where you can receive discounted or free games, as well as an online storage option for all your game data), you can easily bypass this payment option and receive free online play as soon as you create an account. You can also play online with a various assortment of gaming titles with friends from anywhere around the world, and share Trophies and Messages with just a click of a button. All free! Again, Xbox 360 has a great online addition as well (XBL), but it is a paid subscription, and the Wii has a much more convoluted online option, but the Playstation 3 can provide what the others have for free and with ease. You even have access to Playstation Home, a 3D community that offers an interactive and virtual space to meet, chat, plan and launch into games. These are just some of the online features that can be used on the Playstation 3.

3) Additional Accessories

So you have a Playstation 3, but what if you want to expand your gaming options? Well, the PS3 has many peripherals and devices that can easily enhance your gaming experience. If you have a PSP (Playstation Portable) system, not only can you access Playstation games when on the go, but you can also use the Remote Play option to access your Playstation 3 when you’re not home. Want to start downloading a new game while driving home from school or work? The Remote Play option lets you do this with ease. Do you live far away from your relatives or friends? Then the Playstation Eye is the perfect device to communicate with them via video or text messaging. Want some hands-on, motion sensing gaming? Then the Playstation Move can provide endless hours of arcade style fun. While the Wii started this motion sensing craze, and the Xbox 360 jumped on board with the Kinect, it doesn’t negate the fact that the Playstation 3 also has a motion-sensing device for those interested in this style of play. Also, the PS3 supports an addition that no other console has – it also acts as a Blu-Ray Player. Not only do you now have a gaming console, yet you also possess a Blu-Ray player as a bonus, where you can play any Blu-Ray or DVD.

Bottom line, all 3 current generation consoles are fantastic in their own ways, yet if you want a true gaming and entertainment experience that has it all, the Playstation 3 is the system to own above all!

Why Trophies/Achievements are Pointless

1) No Value

It’s like working for free.  You play an endless amount of hours to collect every trophy/achievement in a game, and then you finally master the game by collecting 100% of everything. You get a sense of accomplishment for about 30 seconds, and then realize that you spent the last few hours of your life collecting things that ultimately don’t matter.  Instead, Sony and Microsoft should keep track of your trophies/achievements and reward you with free games on PSN/Xbox Live when you reach a certain percentage. Now if I knew that I would be rewarded in some way, then I’m all for using extra hours on pointless “do this, collect that” errands if I know that I can get a free game out of it. Otherwise, it’s pretty pointless.

2) Distraction to Gaming

I’m sure that many people have experienced moments when you are in the middle of an intense firefight while being completely immersed in the experience, when all of a sudden, you hear a “ting” with a box that appears in the corner of your screen. Well that little sound and visual just ruined a portion of the experience. Not only that, but players are often caught focusing on a game’s objective, that oftentimes, they’ll remember of a trophy/achievement they could get by jumping over an enemy 10 times (or some other absurd goal, if you didn’t catch the sarcasm). It becomes a distraction to the game play and again, something that is completely pointless. What is worse are players who review all the trophies/achievements before they even start playing a game so that they can get everything. Players are no longer playing a game for the experience, but rather to “collect them all.”

3) The More You Have…

Ever compare your trophies/achievements with someone else? Does it make you look cooler? No, it actually makes you look like someone who does nothing but sit on his/her couch playing video games more than anyone else. Not exactly something to brag about. While I agree that trophies and achievements do bring about more replay value (which is a good thing), don’t become a “trophy/achievement whore” that needs to collect 100% in every game. It’s pointless and detracts from the overall experience of a game. Play because it’s fun…no one likes working for free.

WHY FPS ONLINE MULTIPLAYER IS RUINING THE INDUSTRY… (AND WARPING THE MINDS OF YOUNG GAMERS)

1) Players are ignoring the single player campaign

While FPS multiplayer can be fun to play at times, it should not be the main reason for playing a certain game. Multiplayer is nothing more than an addition to the main single player campaign. Keep in mind that developers use their time and energy in creating an experience containing solid gameplay with interesting stories and characters, yet many gamers today skip the single player campaign to rush online and blast their friends to smithereens without giving the game itself a chance. This is a disservice to both the makers of the game, and to the gamers themselves, as they will most likely miss out on an incredible journey that the main character must trek through in order to save the world or some diabolical corruption. If compared to a DVD purchase, the single player campaign is like the movie itself, while the multiplayer is nothing more than just extras that you can find on a bonus disk. So do yourself a favor and play the game first before rushing in to mindlessly shoot enemies to bits.

2) Players are spending months on one game

One of the cool things about the current console generation is being able to see what your friends are playing online when you sign into your account. I like seeing what types of games other players are interested in as they cycle through their games library. However, there are a growing number of people who are sticking with one FPS game for months playing only the multiplayer portion of the game. While I understand that a game can be fun to play, gamers should venture out and try out other amazing titles that have been released to the world. There are many other genres to explore that are just as immersive (if not more so) than the standard FPS game.

3) Poor morals

Just recently, I watched my eight-year old nephew playing an FPS (I believe it was one of the Call of Duty’s – they all look the same, run around and shoot people with a gun). As I sat there watching him kill other “human” beings by using a number of different firearms, and even slitting enemies’ throats using a combat knife, I thought to myself how an eight-year old child should not be playing these types of realistic games. Now before people start lecturing on how most games have ways to kill off enemies, it has just been in recent years that they are made to look more realistic. Defending your planet from aliens, killer robots or goombas is one thing, but intentionally killing other humans is no way to have young children express their imagination. Look at most superheroes in comic books and you’ll notice that they have a moral responsibility to defeat an enemy without killing them. Games used to have more characters with a similar mentality, and while there still are a few, many games today are looking for a grittier look with more realistic graphics, leaving us with images that could confuse us between make-believe and reality. You don’t have to look far to find news reports of young members in our society creating harmful acts due to their fascination with realistic games that “teach” us to kill. When it comes to certain FPS games, morality is something that gets thrown out the window (especially in homes that don’t have parents to teach their kids values). Most, if not all, FPS games are built around war, and yes, war can be violent, yet war is also political, and most people who play these FPS games don’t know the meaning behind this fact. They just think it’s fun to kill people in as many ways as possible. Games are supposed to show us how to be hero, not a killer. With the overly abundant first person shooter games being released each year, I’m hopeful that this is just a gaming fad, and that we can revert back to more creative and meaningful game experiences.

Why a 6-10 Hour Game is More than Enough

1) You Get What You Pay For

 So you say that you want the most out of your $60 purchase? Think for a second about the entertainment industry. You spend approximately $10-15 to view an estimated two-hour movie in the theater, which is justified by the millions of people who watch motion pictures. Hypothetically then, you would pay $60 to watch a movie that is about 8-12 hours of entertainment. Many people cry foul when they purchase a $60 game and complete the main campaign in 6-10 hours, cursing to the heavens or anyone that will listen that their purchase should grant them endless hours of entertainment…but sometimes, you just get what you pay for.

2) Too Much of a Good Thing is Bad

Some games are great! The game play and story are so gripping that you don’t want to put the controller down. Some movies and books are like that as well. Remember that one movie that lasted 12 hours? Or that book that was 10,000 pages long? Nope, didn’t think so. Let’s face it, no matter how good something is, the concept can only be gripping for so long. I have played numerous games in my 25 year gaming lifespan, and there were many that I loved the first few hours that I couldn’t put down. Yet the more I played and the more I realized that I was basically doing the same thing for countless hours, the more I realized that I just wanted the game to end because of sheer boredom. There are only so many zombies to kill, merchandise to trade, areas to explore, and cut scenes to watch before I realize that I’ve done it all before. Sometimes too much of a good game could kill it.

3) Replay Value

If you’re like me, then you have a fond recollection of playing through classic 8-bit and 16-bit games from Nintendo and Sega. You remember mastering the games you loved so much because of how much play time you put into the full game. Even as years passed, you will always remember the classics! Know why? Because the games were short enough to enjoy and replay over again until you mastered it. No need to play a game for months, needing to save and load through each play session until finally seeing the credits roll. Short games (such as the current God of War series) are fantastic examples of great games with perfect pacing. The game can be completed in roughly 6-10 hours, and are some of the greatest games in the industry. It captures your interest, gives a great story, and introduces phenomenal game play that redefined gaming. Rarely do we replay games that took 20-40 hours to accomplish because 1) it is still fresh in our minds, 2) there are too many other games we want to play, and 3) we simply might not have the time in our lives to play through it again. Great games that are within the 6-10 hour range give us a fantastic experience that we can replay again and again.

Why the PSP-GO is Better than the PSP-3000

1) Sleeker Design

The PSP has always had a nice design, but the PSP GO is by far the more stylish of the two. Its aerodynamic shape makes the portable device much sleeker in comparison to the 3000. While the 3000 can feel bulky at times, the GO is a more compact unit, which helps make it feel like a “portable” handheld. The GO also has a nice sliding screen mechanism that makes the unit smaller and more accessible to store, especially when on the “go.” Similar to a phone and unlike the 3000, it could be placed in your pocket easily. The button configurations are also placed nicely around the unit leading to comfortable playtime, and the screen resolution is slightly crisper and brighter than its earlier model.

2) More Memory

Hands down, this is the smarter option of the two. The PSP 3000 comes with optional memory stick pro duo cards that can be purchased separately, which can get expensive. 8 GB cards can run $30-$40 depending as to where you go. Considering the 3000 model is now selling for $170, adding the cost of an SD card can get pricey. The PSP GO already gives you 16 GB of built-in memory for just $200, plus the option to upgrade with micro memory stick pro duo cards if needed. I have more than 20 games stored on my device, as well as photos and music, and I still have about 30% of my internal memory left.

3) No UMD

Many people cried fowl when they heard that the GO had no UMD support, but I say, who needs it? Most of the UMD games aren’t very good, and some have already been transferred digitally to the Playstation Store. Besides, when the PSP GO came out, that was when we started seeing Minis, which are a collection of mini games similar to apps. The purpose of a portable handheld is to have quick game play interactions when you are away from your console. Minis provide a great way to experience fun, interactive gaming for a fraction of the cost. Also, while UMD discs suffer from lengthy load times, downloadable games do not, and are simple to add to your GO. Simply connect the device to your PS3 using the provided USB cable, and copy the game to your GO. The great thing about the GO is that you don’t need to lug your collection of UMD’s every time you go out, because all of your games are stored on one device, making it a superior portable unit