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What can you really do with a PS3?

Updated on April 17, 2008

It's just a games console, right? Wrong!

There are a whole slew of things you can do with a PS3 that make it the most useful box you'll ever buy for your living room.

Here you'll find tips & tricks, ideas and info on how you can get the most from your PS3.

P.S. Want to get daily PS3 info? Visit PS3 Attitude for your Playstation 3 news.

Music

The Music section of the XMB (Cross Media Bar) allows you to do so much more than just play MP3 files. Here's a few ideas...

  1. Rip CDs directly to the PS3 hard drive - the PS3 will search the Internet for the track and album information to save you having to type it in
  2. Copy the ripped files to your mobile device (PSP, iPod, Walkman etc.) - just plug in to one of the USB ports and the PS3 will usually recognise your device
  3. Stream music from your PC or Media Centre - using DLNA, the PS3 can connect to your Media Centre or a PC running a DLNA server (Windows Media Player 11 or Nero for example) and stream your music through your TV or Hi-fi
  4. Keep all your music in one place - put your music library in a folder called MUSIC on an external USB hard drive. The PS3 will access it automatically, and you can set your PC music application to access the MUSIC folder for everything too. The PS3 recognises one folder of depth after MUSIC, so don't let your PC software create folder after folder...
  5. Stream music from your Walkman - just plug your mobile device (PSP, iPod, Walkman) into the USB port and you can play all your music through your TV or Hi-Fi directly from the device.
  6. Use your PSP as a music remote control. Requires at least PS3 firmware v2.20; it is possible to connect to your PS3 using the PSP Remote Play feature and select the audio output to be the PS3 in the Settings...Remote Play menu. This means you can control the music playing from your connected audio system using the PSP without switching your TV on, and from anywhere in the world (although this is more useful if you're actually in the house!)

PSN

The PlayStation Network is more than just a multi-player gaming platform...

  1. Connect a webcam or a PlayStation Eye to your PS3, then connect with your friends and family around the world. Use the PS3 as a video conferencing system.
  2. Send a broadcast message. Go to Message and choose Create Message. Select up to 12 friends and send the message. Then, go to your Sent messages area, press the triangle, choose Edit and select another 12 friends. It's quick and easy to send a message to all 50 of your friends in just a few moments.
  3. Just played an online game and want to connect with the player you teamed up with? Go to the Players Met area to find them and send them a friend request. Doesn't work with all titles, but is supported by most games.

Video

The video section of the XMB is flexible and able to deal with a lot more than you imagined...

  1. Play DivX movies on your PS3. Since v2.10 of the PS3 firmware, the PS3 is able to play videos with a .divx extension or DivX/XviD encoded movies with a .avi extension. There are some that don't play, but check out the solution below.
  2. Convert your videos from almost any source for free using PS3 Video 9 - just Google it and you can convert movies in a flash.
  3. Copy videos to an from your PSP or mobile video device, such as a Video Walkman or Video iPod.
  4. After PlayTV launches in the UK and Europe (expected Summer 2008) you can watch and record TV programmes on your PS3. Recorded programmes can be 'moved' to the Video area of your XMB, and then copied to any supported device (see above) for playback whilst mobile.
  5. Open the 'Information' section of your video and type in an 'Album' name. Then press the square button to arrange your videos By Album. This makes it easy to arrange videos in categories, such as Movies, TV, Music etc.

Other stuff

What else can the PS3 do?

  1. Connect a webcam or a PlayStation Eye. Set the camera up so you can see your house. Then, you can connect using Remote Play on the PSP, go to the Chat feature and see your home anywhere in the world. Great for checking everything is OK when you're away.
  2. Import games from other countries. Remember, your PS3 is region-free for gaming, so go ahead and grab games using web-stores that allow for international shipping.
  3. Google 'PS3 game saves' and download a game save that helps you out. Put it on a USB stick or drive (or any supported memory card for the 60Gb version), press triangle and copy it to your hard drive.
  4. Upgrade your hard drive. The PS3 uses a standard 2.5" SATA drive (5400rpm) and you can replace it yourself without invalidating your warranty. ALWAYS back up your PS3 to an external device first. We recommend using a USB hard drive.
  5. External USB hard drives must be FAT32 formatted to work with the PS3. If you buy a hard drive that uses NTFS, you can pre-format it on your PC by finding an application called FAT32FORMAT. Just Google it.

The Most Important Thing...

...is to have fun with your PS3.

Play games, watch movies, listen to music, browse the 'net, record TV (soon), connect a PSP via wi-fi, chat with your friends and generally spend the rest of your life on a sofa - heaven!

Like this lens? Got a PS3 tip to add? Have some feedback? Add your blurb right now...

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