I'm starting off with the different PS3's that are available. You will notice that there have been many revisions of the PS3, the 20GB , 60GB, 80GB v1, the 40GB, the 80GB v2, and the whooper, the 160GB model.
You may or may not have heard, but the 20gb, and the 60gb have been eliminated. Sony's reason was they were expensive to make. I believe it was a bad launch for the system due to price, available titles, and the economy.
In 2006, people were already in a financial crunch, even though it is worse now, '06 was the beginning of things to come. Sony probably thought that people would jump at the chance to own a top of the line system, like they did with the PS2 6 years prior to that. The problem was people didn't respond.
Now, I will say for the price of the 60GB at launch, it had the best of the lot as far as features. For example, the PS2 Emotion engine was included, making it fully backwards compatible, Wi-Fi connections, and the only system to have a multi-type card reader. The most recent PS3 does not have card readers or any type of backwards compatibility with the PS2 vast library of games.
I believe if Sony was ready a year earlier of the initial PS3 release, we might have seen a better fight between Sony and Microsoft.
The other thing I still have issues with is RAM. 512MB??? That's it?? Half is for the main system, and the other half , which is GDDR3, is for the RSX, a Nvidia produced chip of sorts for the system.
Well since I just got a 20GB model for under $280 USD, I am impressed with the system. Even though it's lacking the most notable features such as a larger hard drive, the Wi-Fi, and card reader support, I have since made up for it by owning a multi-card reader, as well as a larger hard drive to add to it for cheaper than what it would cost to find a 60 gb model. By the way, most 60 GB models are going for at least $500 USD, with the next highest being the 20 gb going for $400. Also with my 20 Gb being fully backwards compatible, I can run programs like USB Advance and run PS2 games from an external hard drive.
I'll get into that later.
Now so far I have one game, Ridge Racer 7, and two downloadable games Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection Online, and Soldner-X. Tekken 5 DR is in HD, and very nicely done on most stages, and the others stages with more detail still show the level of blurriness found on Tekken 5 for PS2. Soldner-X looks OK, but I like the old sprite(y) look for my shooters.
Now on to an actual disc-based game, Ridge Racer 7. The game was a launch title in '06, and for those that don't know, no more than an update to XBOX 360's Ridge Racer 6. It could have been titled Ridge Racer 6 Revolution, in the spirit of Ridge Racer's humble roots from way back in the PSX days. I believe "7" was used to make it sell, and make buyers think it was an all new game, but it isn't.
The concept is different, this time you have to qualify with the different manufacturers, then you are invited to race, then qualify some more, and it continues. The other cool feature is you can customize your cars with different parts, from different manufactures. A cool feature not seen in any of the previous games.
Graphically, it has more detail than 360's RR6. This part, I apply to the shared stages between both games. If you want side by side video then go to youtube for that, and you'll see what I mean. But this does not mean PS3 is any more powerful than the 360. RR6 was a launch title for the 360 in 2005, so Namco had time to improve for the PS3.
The final feature which I think puts RR7 in a higher tier than the previous games is the slipstream feature. In RR6, if you were lucky enough to get ahead, you could maintain a sizable lead, but RR7's slipstream feature makes the races tougher, because the computer controlled cars can use this to their advantage. What may seem like a big lead can get cut down in seconds due to the slipstream, which isn't working for me as of yet.
Now, 2-player mode is where the 512 MB of RAM shows it's limits, bringing the frame rate down to 30 FPS. I was greatly disappointed by this, to the point where RR6 was broken out just to alleviate the pain of bad frame rates.
Now That's all I have for now.
More on the diff's of the PS3 later.