Since its release in November 2006, the PlayStation 3 (PS3) has sold more than 8 million units. However, compared to its seventh generation competition, including the Xbox 360 and Wii, the PS3 has had lack luster sales.

Released in Japan and the United States within weeks of each other, the PS3 featured two consoles, a standard 20 GB model and a premium 60 GB model. The PS3 is a powerhouse console that would make any FanBoy drool. Unfortunately, the average consumer was quickly turned off by the PS3 s enormous price tag and confusing configurations.

Originally, the 20 and 60 GB consoles were backward compatible with PS1 and PS2 games. They also included support for Blu-ray discs, DVDs and CDs. The 20 GB console did not include an HDMI port or Wi-Fi capabilities.

Sony is currently developing PlayStation Home, an online community designed to compete with the popular Xbox Live available with the Xbox 360. The community is a virtual world where players can created avatars and download various multiplayer applications for free. Additionally, PlayStation Home includes cheap downloads of older games.

Perhaps PS3 s most completive edge comes from the high-definition support and amazing graphics. The Wii and 360 can t hold a candle to PS3 s graphics. This console is best appreciated on a large screen television supporting 1080p.

Since its release the PS3 has had several face lifts and upgrades. Sony eventually released a 40 GB console to replace the 20 GB model and a 80 GB console to replace the popular 60 GB model.

Additional features standard with each model include, a 2.5 SATA hard drive, a 3.2 GHz Cell Broadband engine, Bluetooth support, Blu-ray drives, standard DVD and CD playback compatibility, USB ports and RemotePlay.

Here is an easy breakdown of the 80 GB and 40 GB PS3 models, the only two still manufactured today:

PS3 80 GB Console
The 80 GB model is the PS3 flagship console. This video game system can do everything but fly to the moon. It has and HDMI port for hi-def support, Bluetooth 2.0 capabilities, Wi-Fi networking and a flash card reader compatible with most popular memory cards including MemoryStick, CompactFlash and SD. It also has four USB ports and supports up to seven wireless Bluetooth controllers.

The 80GB PS3 is the only console in production today that is backward compatible with PS2 and PS1 games.

The larger hard drive enables players to store more information on the system box. This is especially helpful with games that store data on the hard drive for faster loading. The extra storage also allows players to download and store music, pictures, trailers and other multimedia information.

The 80 GB PS3 is designed for the heavyweight user. Thus, explaining the heavyweight price tag. At $499.99, the PS3 80 GB is the most expensive game console on the market today.

PS3 40 GB
Think of the 40 GB PS3 as a mini version of the 80 GB PS3. To the untrained eye, the 40 GB console looks identical the 80 GB. Additionally, it shares most of the same functionality as the 80 GB including support of hi-def technology, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities and a Cell Broadband.

However, the 40 GB PS3 does not have backward support for PS2 games. Additionally, it only has two USB ports and no memory card slots. Unfortunately, the 40 GB PS3 is only about $100 cheaper than its 80 GB big brother.

Trying to live up to its predecessor, the PS3 is a great console, but its price tag is weighing it down and forcing it to lag behind its competition in sales and popularity. However, the incorporated Blu-ray player will make these consoles a hot commodity if Sony wins the high-definition DVD race. And many believe that PS3 will outlast the other seventh generation consoles because its robust features lend the console to be more forward thinking than the competition. But until the price is reduced, PS3 is going to continue to sit on store shelves. To learn more, see our review of online video game rental sites. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don t Have To. 

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