The PS3 has served a long tenure as a brilliant gaming console. Released in 2006, Sony’s gaming device has sold millions of units worldwide and has entertained gamers with hundreds–if not thousands–of excellent games. Now that the PS4 is out, the PS3 is collecting dust. However, it would be difficult to call it useless. The PS3 still has a couple of tricks up its sleeve despite its age. Here are a couple of ways you can breathe new life into your aging console.
Use It as a Media Center
Unlike the Xbox 360, the PS3 does not require a paid subscription for you to stream media. This makes it an excellent streaming box that can be used to watch movies and television shows from Netflix, Hulu Plus, and other major content providers. There is also a YouTube app that lets you watch videos from its massive catalog.
The PS3 can also be used to stream content from your networked computers. Setting it up is very easy and takes just a few minutes. In this way you can stream all the music, movies, and photos that you have stored on your computers. It is a very convenient way of displaying your content on your big-screen TV or to just sit back and enjoy a movie on the couch.
Finally, the PS3 is a very capable Blu-ray player. Not only will it play all the Blu-rays you have (and will have), the PS3 also supports the latest web-based features of recently released Blu-ray discs. These features offer interactive content that adds more value to your library. Of course, Blu-ray players are far cheaper than the PS3, but none of them offer the features and gaming capabilities of the PS3.
Subscribe to PlayStation Plus
While the PS3 does not need a subscription to use online services, you will want to get PlayStation Plus simply because of the amazing value it provides. The service offers an “instant game collection” that is updated every month. It gives you access to new games for PS3, PS Vita, and PS4 every month. The deal is excellent once you realize the likes of BioShock Infinite, Uncharted 3, and Far Cry 3 are offered.
Yes, many of the games included are small indie titles, but they offer at least one blockbuster title a month, which makes it worthwhile. How expensive is this? If you get the annual deal, it is $49.99, which translates to a bit over $4 a month. In addition to the “instant game collection”, the subscription also provides cloud game saves, automatic game updates, and a host of other small benefits.
Upgrade the Console’s Hard Drive
If you get a PS Plus subscription, you will definitely want to invest in a bigger hard drive since downloaded games have massive file sizes. It will also be necessary if you have one of the earlier models with a small hard drive.
Thankfully, Sony has made it very easy to change the PS3’s hard drive. All you have to do is look for any 2.5″ laptop drive. Please note that it cannot be over 9.5mm thick as the PS3’s body does not accommodate bigger sizes. Also, it would be better if it is 5400 RPM since 7200 RPM drives generate more heat. You can aim for 500GB or 1TB sizes if you want to store a lot of games on your console.
The installation is quite straight forward though you will need some technical savvy to do it without a hitch. Sony has put up instructions on its website to carry out the procedure on all PS3 models–classic, slim, and super slim. Most importantly, it does not void your warranty.
Play Old Games
The PS4 does not have any backwards compatibility at this point. In fact, it does not even support PS3 games, though that will soon change with the launch of PlayStation Now, which will stream PS3 games to PS4 and PS Vita through the Internet.
The PS3, on the other hand, has limited backwards compatibility. You can download and play hundreds of PS2 and PS1 games through the PlayStation Network. Also, the earlier PS3 models had built-in backwards compatibility, offering access to thousands of classic games.
There is also the fact that the PS3 will receive games throughout this year and the next. Must-play games such as GTA 5 and The Last of Us still have not been announced for the PS4, which means the PS3 gets all the action (for now at least).
As you can see, even though the PS4 is here, the PS3 is still something that you should not forget. It is a brilliant media hub, streaming content from both your networked computers and online content providers. PS Plus is a great proposition if you are looking for a collection of games to play. Finally, you can play classic games and the current blockbusters on your PS3.