The PlayStation 3 (PS3) is a dedicated machine – 'games console' – for playing video games, which connects to your television. The third in Sony's extremely successful series of game consoles, the PlayStation 3 was released in 2007. Its sales have lagged somewhat behind those of its competitors – Nintendo's Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360 – but it has still sold over 47 million machines worldwide.

A newer version of the PlayStation - the PS4 - is now available to order.

The PlayStation 3's key benefits and features

  • The PS3 is powered by what is arguably the most powerful computer hardware, compared to its competitors, and is known for some of the most technically impressive games available.
  • The PS3 was the first console to produce a full 1080p HD (high definition) image – giving it a clearer picture on a TV screen.
  • The PS3 is the only games console currently available that can play high-definition Blu-ray discs, the successor to DVDs. As well as being able to play all the Blu-ray movies available, it can also play 3D movies on a compatible television.

  • There are many varied games available on the PS3, including the popular Uncharted action-adventure series and the bestselling Gran Turismo driving games.
  • The console can handle old PlayStation 1 games, but other than a small number of early models, no PS3s can play PlayStation 2 games.
  • The PS3 has online capabilities, allowing users to play over the internet against others and download smaller games. Unlike its competitor Xbox Live, most of the PS3's online functions are free, though they're not as extensive as on the Xbox Live.
  • In 2010, Sony released its Move peripheral for the PS3 in response to the Nintendo Wii's motion-sensing capabilities. The Move is a camera that, when placed in front of the television, can track the movement of controllers held before it and, therefore, those holding the controllers. The overall effect is similar to the Wii's controller system, but with more precision. Move was released with a selection of sports games and is compatible with a number of the PS3's recent shooting games.
  • At time of writing, the PS3 costs between £230 and £270, depending on the size of the internal hard drive. The Move setup (with camera, one controller and game) costs around £50.