How does my PS3 suck? Let me count the ways...

When I turned 30 I decided to get myself a present and buy a Playstation 3.  I had long ago traded in my PS2 - the gaming device/DVD player that carried me through college.  I felt that it was time to see how awesome this new Blu-Ray experience supposedly was.  As Sony is generally known for their ability to make decent media players, TVs and gaming devices, I thought it would be worth picking up at least a used one.  I decided that the hype behind why everyone thought - it was overpriced, and underperforming was just rumor, and found one on Craigslist that was a good price for a used 60GB PS3(one of the hardware backwards compatible ones).  It came with a few games, and I thought it would be a great addition to my home theater because I've always had some nit-picky problems playing music and movies through my Xbox 360.  I have an iMac for a primary computer, so it makes it a little challanging to get through some of the hoops required to get media to stream from the computer to the TV set.

I bought the PS3 with the intention that I'd stream media first - like watch Hulu through the built in browser - the day after I bought it, Hulu blocked the Sony PS3 browser.  Not Sony's fault, but definitely put a huge dent in my plans since I already had an AppleTV with Boxee on it - that Hulu had blocked several months ago as well.  Things were not looking good for the TV situation with both my primary video playing devices blocked by the web service I wanted to use most.

So, I've moved on with the media plans... but now, I had another problem.  Macs and PS3s don't really like each other much, so I had to purchase a $20 piece of software called Rivet that made my Mac a DLNC compatible media server, so that the Xbox 360 and PS3 would be able to stream music, movies and pictures.  What's funny is I already had purchased Connect 360 to play movies from my Mac on the 360, but it was a transcoder - so technically, it was changing the format as it was transmitting to the Xbox 360.  Rivet was a pure streaming software, so I was happy to change it for that reason alone... However, as it turns out the PS3 is just about the crappiest media player on the face of the earth when it comes to streaming media.  I use a 100 Mb wired connection to all my computers and devices in my home.  The PS3 and iMac are connected through my router, and I get solid throughput when streaming and copying large files over the network.

Unfortunately, the PS3 doesn't care that it has a nice wired network to work with - it falls flat on its face constantly while streaming video and music.  Not only does the PS3 constantly put errors on the screen while streaming video, but apparently, it doesn't buffer the content well as it's streaming, so I get a lot of stuttering, stops, freezes and videos crashing.  However, the Xbox 360, using the SAME Rivet software, plays the same videos perfectly without a single hiccup.  So it is - the PS3 is a terrible media streaming device, and practically worthless for the purposes of why I bought it.  Granted, I have played some of the games, and they are nice... but the primary use of it was to be a media player, and its lack of consistency, and horrible support for network streaming make it the worst streaming device I've ever used.  Even my old original Xbox with XBMC installed on it streams better movies and music over a wireless connection in my bedroom.

Sony, why did you break the buffering of video to your device when it's streaming from firmware 2.42 -> 2.50? I think it's worth pointing out that your PS3 still costs 1.5x that of a comporable Xbox 360. Why doesn't Sony fix the problems they've created in your firmware, and make the PS3 a device actually worth paying that ridiculous price for?

Comments

  1. Here's my question, now that you own all three consoles of this generation, which are you least inspired to play GAMES on? I can easily guess you'll play most on the 360, but between the PS3 and Wii, which is more fun? Do you even own enough games to form an accurate opinion of the gaming quotient for each? If not, do you think you ever will? As a platform strictly for games, throwing away the Marketplace and the Blue Ray, do you think Sony has any chance of catching up in the US?

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  2. Out of the 3 I have, I'd have to say the one I play least is the Wii. It's not that it isn't fun, I'd say it's the lack of hardcore titles, the crappy looking graphics, and the fact that the games are too campy. There are only so many Mario games I can stand.

    The PS3 definitely has some good games, but the 360 by far as the most consistent experience with the games and controller. I just like the offset thumbsticks of the 360 rather than the two at the bottom of the PS3's decade old design.

    It's hard to talk about the 360 without talking about Live because it's such a major part now of all the games that come out on the 360. Everything is tied to that experience, so it's nice to have that ability to have feedback (with the Meta game), and quick online capability.

    I haven't played any PS3 games online yet... but I've heard that the games can sometimes lag or drop completely because of the way the online stuff is hosted (by one of the gamers playing - not a server).

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