The Playstation 3, love it or hate it, is the newest, most desirable tech toy. This holiday season will find many unfortunate parents and fans left longing for this large black box. So, what's the big deal? We're going to take an in-depth look at the system from every angle and tell you exactly what to expect…
On the outside
The most readily apparent place to start looking at the PS3 is on the outside. Depending on your model (20 or 60 gigabytes), there will be a few different inputs, but they're otherwise similar. The only difference between the models as far as input is concerned is the memory card reader that can be used to display slideshows and such.
The slots for the memory card reader are hidden behind a small door on the left side, next to the disc drive opening. They are exposed by flipping up the left side panel on the 60GB version of the PS3. Otherwise, the models are basically the same with the exception of the silver fascia on the 60GB version.
The front of the PS3 has 4 USB slots for charging and pairing controllers. To “pair” the controllers means to associate that controller with your specific PS3, for, I guess, households with multiple PS3s.... Unlike the 360, the PS3 requires that your controllers be plugged in to the unit when you first pair them. Though a little inconvenient, you also have to re-pair them after any firmware updates. Once the controllers are paired, however, you don't have to do it again. Next to the USB ports you’l find two LEDs, one indicating WLAN access, and the other for HDD activity. Now, let's flip it around to the backside.
Originally, Sony planned to only include HDMI with the more expensive 60 GB model, but then (wisely) decided to include it in both packages. This is good news for anyone with a HD TV, especially one that supports 1080p. With that in mind, the PS3 has 3 outputs on its backside, along with the network and power cable input. Also found on the back is the standard Playstation rocker switch that turns on and off the master power.
The other outputs on the back are the usual proprietary Sony cable connection, so if you have old PS2 cables you want to use (such as PS2 component cables), then you don't have to buy any new equipment. Also present is an optical sound output port which, of course, allows for surround sound output via an optical cable. Not exactly what everyone was expecting, according to the original mock ups which showed 2 HDMI and 3 Ethernet ports.