The original 60 GB PS3 is my favorite console of all time (because it did *nearly* everything all later PS3s did - the original did not do Bravia/HDMI sync - with the addition of having a PS2 built into it), but that's probably cheating at the purpose of the thread. Even without the EmotionEngine chip, I'd still have to pick the PS3 because all of them could play both PS3 and PSX games. However, that's probably also cheating because my favorite 'standalone' system would have to be the PSX, what with its Legends, Stories, Fantasies, Tactics, and, above all, Xenogears.
All of that excepted, I still have to say, like some others on this thread (especially KBG29), the PS3 was, far and away, my favorite console last generation. This was the case in terms of controller, value proposition, and games. I will say, however, that there were two features that the 360 had that were sorely missed on the PS3.
This is discussed here: https://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9186018). Also, I can’t overstate how much I prefer an included Li-ion battery over regular disposable batteries or separately sold charge packs.
I really liked how compatible and versatile the PS3 was.
Whatever you may think of Kutaragi’s statements regarding the PS3’s initial price, it seemed that he was quite intent on making sure that the PS3 didn’t rely on very many proprietary accessories. Not only I was able to use any USB or Bluetooth keyboard, mouse, or headset I owned, but it also accepted a standard PC desktop cable for power, a standard mini-B USB cable for charging the controllers, and the same A/V cables that both the PS1 and PS2 had used (proprietary for PlayStation, but not for the PS3). As a result, I was able to use my component cables and optical audio from my PS2 to enjoy HD and surround sound without buying anything else and long before I bought a TV with HDMI.
Part of what made me love the original Xbox was the fact that the HDD was standard. While I had the 40 GB Linux kit for the PS2 and that was great for backing up memory card saves, almost no games actually used the thing (FFXI, Socom 3 and Socom Combined Assault are all that readily come to mind). So, all PS3s coming equipped with an HDD, eliminating the need for memory cards and allowing me to put music on it (like the original Xbox in both cases) made me quite happy (I know that a 12 GB super slim was eventually released, but this was at the end of the generation). The fact that I could replace this drive with any standard SATA laptop HDD increased the value for me significantly, given that I could get a 640 GB HDD brand new for less than a game or a controller.
The PS3, like the PSP before it, and the Wii, was region free (this, of course, didn’t apply to movies, PS1, or PS2 games). Since I lived in Japan for the first year of the PS3’s life, this feature was extremely welcome (and, especially, later before it was clear whether Demon’s Souls was getting a release outside of Asia).
The 60 GB model, in addition to the card readers (which I used regularly), had WiFi built in, eliminating need to buy any proprietary adapters. And WiFi was pretty much necessary back when I was sharing apartments with people.
I also liked that online was free (and I miss it being free…good on MS for moving in that direction again). I honestly never had any issues with online connectivity or download speeds (April 2011 hack notwithstanding). I don’t know if this was because of how I administered my routers and firewalls, but none of my IRL friends ever had any issues either. Who knows, but we definitely played online a lot, so hours of exposure isn’t the intervening variable.
The PS3’s other network media functions were also great. Remote Play and DLNA Media Server were in frequent use. I recall more than a few times when I was at the university library studying and had grown tired of the music I had on my PSP. So, I used remote play to boot my PS3 at home and then used my PS3 to stream music from my desktop (if I hadn’t moved it to my PS3 yet). Nothing special now, but at the time it was mind-blowing to me.
The PS3 also had Ad-Hoc Party, which was free, awesome, and made playing PSP games like Dissidia, MGS, and MHFU cooperatively with geographically distant friends possible.
The PS3 also understood CDs, DVDs, DVD -/+ Rs, DVD RWs, and, of course, Blu-rays. This added another vector (in addition to network and memory cards) for moving or just displaying music, photos, videos, etc. onto the PS3.
Number of Players
The PS3 could support up to 7 controllers at once. The only games where this ever seemed to come into play were sports games, but 7 player hockey, football, etc. was a lot of fun. Very fond memories.
Valkyria Chronicles was my favorite game of the last generation. White Knight Chronicles II (which included WKC I) was my second favorite. Demon’s Souls was my third favorite. Factored in with all of the more high profile exclusives people often cite (e.g. Last of Us, Killzones, Uncharteds, MGS4, GoWIII, Warhawk, LBP, Gran Turismo, SARPBC), there really was no other choice for me. There just weren’t a lot of games on the Wii that interested me, or they were games I had on my GameCube (e.g. Resident Evil). And almost every 360 exclusive game I was interested in either ended up on the PC or on the PS3 (usually with additional content). So, my Wii and 360 libraries each have 10-15 games, while my PS3 library (just discs) sits at over 100.
Major Cons For Me
Starting with the original Xbox, custom soundtracks were a big deal for me. Unfortunately, the support was a per game situation. Also, unfortunately, the PS3 ended up taking the same approach. One thing I always loved on my 360 (and later, Vita) was that custom soundtracks could be used with every single game. Moreover, this music could be streamed from the computer. Just. Awesome. Made grinding in Lost Odyssey go by so much faster.
While the PS3 eventually had a neat text party chat, this didn’t solve the party play and voice chat problem. The 360 definitely nailed these features. Eventually, my friends and I just started using a separate voice chat program, solving, at least, the latter issue. We got so used to this that we still just use a separate program, not even bothering with party chat on the systems that do have it.