Ten Reasons Your PlayStation 3 Shouldn't Be Playing Games
by Tom Hardman - August 19th, 2008
Do you find yourself only turning on your PlayStation 3 to play the latest games? Have you been puzzled by the array of slots on the front? Do you find your purchase difficult to quantify? Fear not, we have ten reasons why you shouldn't be playing games on the console, but doing something else entirely…
Chatting With Friends
If you have a tight-knit group of friends that spend most of their time on the phone, or sending text messages to all and sundry about something that can safely be described as 'unimportant', you might find yourself wondering if it's even worth the cost of replying. If they're lucky enough to also have a PS3 though, urge them to use it instead. Offering the ability to send messages and pictures, it easily suffices as a way of communication. Should you be embroiled in a game, firmware 2.40 has allowed you to read through your inbox without exiting.
If this isn't personal enough though, investing in a bluetooth microphone and PlayStation Eye camera will allow you to make both voice and video chat possible. Call up a long distance friend or relative and soon your sitting in the same living room as each other, gossiping about the previous week. It's free, so stay on for as long as you like!
Testing The Neighbours' Resolve
Most PS3s have a spot reserved for them under the TV. If you've managed to land it a spot below a home cinema system as equally befitting the console, you'll no doubt be looking at a relatively large screen and a number of speakers. It's unlikely of course that you'll have paid double to have the same level of sound system elsewhere in the house so make good use of it. The PS3's HDD and multiple methods of input will allow you to play music in a variety of manners. Use a standard controller or remote control to traverse your library and play whatever you like from CD's to USB portable drives full of music. Couple this with the array of visuals offered, and this is your first choice device for any house party.
Document Those Memories
As well as support for music, the large standard size hard-drives will store a massive amount of pictures and photographs. Upload them from a camera, download them from online. Store your snapshots however you wish and break them out when people are around. Show off your holidays and use the Playstation Eye to take a few more of their reactions when that one of you as a baby turns up.
Play From A Distance
If you've got a PlayStation Portable, it's not just a games console either. Sign into your PlayStation Network account through your PSP, access your PS3 through either a direct wireless link or from any wireless point and operate the basic functions outside of your own home. Stuck at work but here your long awaited game has been released? Whip out your PSP, remotely turn on your TV-bound console and start it downloading for when you get back. Alternatively, why not play any of the growing selection of games remotely?
Surfing The Net
The PS3's browser has had numerous updates since its launch, and with the ability to surf the majority of sites flawlessly, it's a handy feature that allows you to check out the latest news, cinema listings, or fansites. Just be sure to add www.psbeyond.com to your bookmarks!
Grab The Popcorn
Blu-ray has been here for a while and now that competition has been staved off for the high definition crown, prices have become a lot more reasonable. Extra content, online features and of course the unparalleled crisp view of your favourite movie is worth those few extra bucks. The PS3 is equipped with everything to play the film, all you need is a TV, some speakers to suit and an array of snacks.
Browsing Your Media
Much like some of the previous points, your PS3 is normally in an ideal location for you not just to play games on, but to also kick back to some music, flick through your photo's or browse through your videos. If you take those suggestions to heart though, you may find yourself running out of space pretty sharpish.
For anyone not wanting to port across all of their favourite media via USB stick, Memory Card or Disc, there is another way. Use an existing PC to store all of your precious files and run a media server through your home network. It's pretty easy to setup, with tutorials available on a variety of sites and most helpfully on Youtube. Beginners will be able to browse their favourite picture, video and music content on their PC from their PS3, whilst more proficient users will be able to add radio stations, and online video streams to the mix. It solves any space problems and is one of the best approaches to make your home certifiably cool.
Pick Up Chicks!
Okay, the header might be a bit misleading here, but you'll be surprised at how receptive people not into the gaming scene are over the PS3. It's that extra functionality that makes it an entertainment system rather than a geek's plaything. You're talking about Blu-Ray first of all, the chat mingles into your impressive music collection you store on there and before you know it you're in your third round of Soul Calibur getting it handed to you fair and square. It's a surprising talking point, and is multi-tooled enough to have something that impresses anyone. Team PlayStation Beyond recommends you file this under you 'last chance' chat-up lines though. Just to be on the safe side.
Starring In Your Own Movie
The PlayStation Eye camera is pretty diverse, and with the free software available either on the disc you purchased it with, or via the Store, you'll be able to film your own antics in no time. It's simple enough for anyone to get to grips with quickly, and a little imagination can go a long way in making something that has anyone participating doubled over with laughter.
Catching The Game
With the addition of PlayTV, the PS3 can be the ultimate home accessory completing the circle of offerings from Sony and potentially bullying any other device under your TV into submission. Offering a digital service, it will allow you to record you favourite shows whilst playing others, or whilst you're busy gunning, driving or sleuthing your way through the latest games. Most impressive is its Remote Play functionality, allowing you to use the PSP to not only adjust the settings for upcoming recordings, but to also watch recorded and live footage from anywhere in the world with a wireless link. If that doesn't give you goosebumps, then no level of high-tech media access is likely to at all.
Remember, an underused console is an unhappy console. Give it a little treat once in a while with a high-definition film and a light serenading from the music collection on it's hard-drive and you might even notice those load times decrease.