Fixed that for you: How PS3 can go out in style

Can Sony’s PlayStation 3 repeat its predecessor's impressive 13-year run? Sure, and here’s how.
How the PS3 can go out in style
Fixed that for you: How PS3 can go out in style © Sony
By Jon Partridge

The PlayStation 4 is well and truly here, but that doesn’t mean Sony’s last gen console is old news. In fact, with its massive back catalogue of blockbuster titles dating back to 2006, iconic controller and PlayStation Classics library, there’s every reason to think the PS3 will last as long as its predecessor, which sold for 13 years before finally being discontinued. There’s still work to be done for Sony’s PlayStation 3 to win the battle of last gen however, take down the Xbox 360 and extend its legacy: here’s how we think Sony can do it.

Proper PS2 backwards compatibility

We’ve been waiting for Sony to add PlayStation 2 backwards compatibility to the PS3 ever since it launched, and while a select few launch models featured hardware capable of playing your classic games, the option was phased out, but it’s about time it made a return with Sony’s added know-how now. HD remasters are great, but it’s not worth splashing even more cash on games you already own, and there are plenty of PS2 games we’d love to replay that haven’t been given the HD treatment anyway. C’mon Sony, save us some space in our entertainment centres and boost the PS3 with classic gaming powers, or at least add PS2 games to PlayStation Now.

Faster Wi-Fi: 802.11n/ac

While the PS3 has Wi-Fi powers, we’d love to see Sony update its console with the latest – and fastest – wireless spec to boost your download speeds and give you a better connection for when you’re gaming online that doesn’t require miles of Cat5 cabling dragged across the carpet. The latest PS3 Super Slim model still boasts the same Wi-Fi spec as the original console when it launched in 2006, which is why we’d love to see Sony boost the hardware to let you game further away from your router and net you faster speeds.

Redefine the DualShock 3

Dualshock 3
Fixed that for you: How PS3 can go out in style © William Hock / Flickr

Is it just us, or was the DualShock 3 a step back from the PlayStation 2’s brilliant pressure-sensitive pad? For starters, the tacky R2 triggers have never felt satisfying while the Sixaxis motion capabilities have always felt tacked on. Did you ever use them, even in Grand Theft Auto IV? And if you’re only just grabbing a PS3, the use of mini USB on the pad just feels extremely outdated: we want to see the DualShock 3 given one last overhaul that fixes the triggers, swaps out the mini USB port for a smartphone-friendly micro USB, and given a battery life boost too.

Improve the terrible browser

The PlayStation 3 has plenty of apps to access all sorts of streaming media, but if you’ve ever wanted to check your Twitter feed inbetween gaming bouts, you’ve had to deal with the terrible web browser that’s built into the OS. Not only is it slow, but it lacks plenty of modern features that you’d find on your laptop or tablet which is why we’d love for Sony to fix up the web browser. The Xbox 360 has Internet Explorer now, so Sony could do with granting the PS3 one last web update before calling it a day.

Bring back the slot-loading disc drive

Super Slim PS3
Fixed that for you: How PS3 can go out in style © Sony

While the first generation PlayStation 3 was mocked for its size and resemblance to a George Foreman grill, what Sony got right was its slot loading drive. That returned in the ever-popular Slim model, but, for some reason, Sony ditched it with the latest Super Slim model. Of course, it’s all to cut costs, but the latest refresh launched at around the same price point as the previous version, with less hard drive storage, plus you’re given the awful slide-loading drive that’s unsatisfying and prone to breaking. It also means that the eject button on your remote control simply won’t work any more, which is a nice parting gift from Sony.

Remote Play – Play PS4 games on your PS3, and vice versa

Remote Play is one of the best features of the PS Vita and the upcoming PlayStation TV, letting each act as an extender for your PS4 gaming and play home console quality games almost anywhere. But we’re puzzled as to why the PS3 isn’t capable of boasting the same skills – it’s certainly got the raw power to handle it (you’ve been able to stream some PS3 games to PSP for years). We’d also love to be able to stream up PlayStation 3 games to our PS4 consoles, letting us kick back with classics without using tons of bandwidth on PlayStation Now, but it looks like all we can do is dream.

Add cross-game chat

Here’s where the Xbox 360 has the PS3 beat and always has: cross-game chat. We’d love to be able to trash talk with our friends, even when we’re not in the same game and plan what we’ll be tackling next, but we’re simply not able to. We’d even love to see cross-platform chat make an appearance, letting us chat with our PS4-owning pals, but it’s looking unlikely. The PS3 can’t cope with chatting across games due to memory limitations, meaning you can likely rule out cross-platform talking too, but it’s a shame Sony can’t use some of its new-fangled cloud computing skills to provide a workaround, even after all this time.

Let us play PlayStation Portable classics

Sony’s oft-forgotten first PlayStation handheld, the PlayStation Portable, still has plenty of top-notch games waiting to be played, but it's since been succeeded by the PlayStation Vita. We’d love to see Sony open up its back catalogue even further with PSP titles to play on its PS3 console, ranging from the hefty catalogue of RPG classics to the phenomenon that is Monster Hunter. It’d be one way to revisit the portable that never really took off and give us plenty of nostalgia.

What would you change about the PlayStation 3? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below...

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