PlayStation 3 Setup

Playstation's 3 flash memory ports
PS3: Triple flash inputs

If you managed to get your hands on the hottest console of the year, you'll have been encumbered by nearly eleven pounds of Sony's hope for the future. The size and weight of the glossy black box makes it the largest game console since the fall of the Soviet Union .

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The Playstation 3 is only slightly larger than a full sized DVD player, having been designed to sit either lying down or upright on one side in the tower configuration. Its front slot method of loading disks makes the PS3 better suited for the upright position than Microsoft's Xbox 360 (which relies on a sliding tray).

Inspecting the outside of the contoured box, you'll notice a host of A/V connections on the back (more on those later) and an array of USB ports along the front that can be used for I/O or charging up your wireless controllers. This is one big point for PS3 over the Xbox 360; Microsoft wants you to buy rechargeable battery packs for its controllers separately. Another PS3 I/O feature not included with your Xbox 360 is a set of three flash storage slots tucked under a door. The uses include SD, CompactFlash, and Sony's own Memory Stick.

HDTV Connections

If you're picking up a PS3 at a retailer any time soon and want something better than composite video (that's the single yellow RCA plug) be sure to buy the cables you'll need to hook it up to your high definition television. If you're looking for composite, it's the single yellow RCA plug that connects to your standard definition TV.

Xbox 360: includes wiring for HDTV

If you've got a recently manufactured HDTV, chances are you've got an HDMI or DVI input. If you've got DVI only, an HDMI to DVI adaptor on the back of your HDTV's DVI connection works nicely. However, be careful of the HDMI you choose; Sony has employed the age-old practice of grossly overcharging for the official Sony PS3 HDMI cable. Since there is nothing unique about a Sony PS3 HDMI cable, any HDMI cable (at much lower cost) will work just fine.