Later this year Sony will release the PlayStation 4 (PS4), the creatively named successor to the PlayStation 3 (PS3). While the new console will entice many gamers, the PlayStation 3 is still a good choice for gamers who can’t afford to start over with a new generation of consoles.
The PlayStation 4 is the newer console, but its predecessor as a giant library of games to choose from and is cheaper. PlayStation 3 games won’t look as great as PlayStation 4 games, but that doesn’t make them any less fun. Some recent games even come close to matching some of the games Sony and other companies showed off at E3 this year.
Here’s how the older PlayStation 3 compares to the new PlayStation 4 in a variety of categories.
PS4 vs. PS3 Head to Head
To put it simply, the PlayStation 3 is cheaper than the PlayStation 4. The PlayStation 4 will retail for $399 when it debuts sometime this holiday season. That price will only include the console and a single DualShock 4 controller.
The PlayStation 3 currently sells for $299 with a number of pack-ins to make the price worth it. Gamestop currently offers two PlayStation 3 bundles that come with two games each. One bundle comes with God of War: Ascension and God of War Saga (which contains the first four God of War games), and the other includes Infamous 2 and Gran Turismo 5: XL Edition.
Both PS3 bundles also include 60 days of PlayStation Plus which gives gamers access to even more games, and a single controller.
The new PlayStation 4 will use a custom AMD Jaguar system-on-chip that’s similar to the Xbox One and gaming PCs. The hardware breaks backwards compatibility, but makes it easier for developers to create games for the platform, especially indie developers.
The PlayStation 3 uses a custom Cell processor that breaks backwards compatibility with the PS2, but can play PS1 games. The processor made it difficult for some developers to program for the PS3 in the early days, but now it’s not a problem.
Both the latest version of the PS3 and the announced version of the PS4 include built-in 500GB hard drives. Those large hard drives mean gamers can store dozens of games on their consoles without going through the trouble of finding games to delete. Gamers can also replace those hard drives with even larger ones should they feel the need to.
A video game console is essentially useless without a large selection of games. At its E3 press conference Sony claimed it will have 140 new games available for the PlayStation 4 within the first year. It didn’t show nearly that many, however. The exclusive PS4 games the company did show included Infamous: Second Son, Drive Club, Knack and Destiny. Third party publishers will also support the console with next-generation exclusives including The Division and NBA Live 14.
After seven years the PlayStation 3 has an impressive lineup of games available. That list includes classics like Uncharted 2, Heavy Rain, MLB The Show 13 and Gran Turismo 5. Sony and other publishers will continue to support the PS3 going into 2014. The recently released The Last of Us and upcoming games like Gran Turismo 6 and Beyond: Two Souls are exclusive to Sony’s current console.
Many of the multiplatform games shown off at E3 2013 on the PlayStation 4 will also make their way to the PlayStation 3. Games such as Madden 25, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, FIFA 14 and the fascinating Watch Dogs.
The PlayStation 4 uses the new DualShock 4 controller that look very similar to the PlayStation 3 controller with a number of enhancements. The sticks on the controller are now concave instead of convex, making it easier to grip them. The triggers are also greatly improved for better performance in shooters. Sony also added a touchpad and a share button to the controller in addition to a few changes to the grip.
Many who held the controller such claim the PS4 controller is a much better controller than the PlayStation 3’s controller. Griffin McElroy of Polygon, for example, “fell in love with [the controller] instantly.” Some even preferred it to the Xbox 360 controller.
The PlayStation 3 DualShock 3 controller is very familiar, and is essentially the same as the controllers for the PS1 and PS2. The only difference is it has motion sensors and its wireless. instead of wired.
Both the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 4 offer essentially the same online services. Both can use PlayStation Plus which will give gamers access to free games for as long as they pay for the service. On the PlayStation 4 that will include Drive Club: PS Plus Edition at launch.
There are only two big differences between the console’s services. The PlayStation 4 will have access to Flixster and the gamers who want to play online with the PS4 have to pay for PlayStation Plus. The aforementioned free games should ease the pain of that requirement, however.