Like its closest competitor in the console market, the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 is a powerful computer underneath it all. Like its more mundane, desk-bound counterparts, it’s capable of doing more than merely playing games — a fact that Sony has capitalized on by creating a number of uses for the system. Here’s a look at what the system is capable of as a part of your home entertainment setup.
1. Play Blu-ray movies.
This is still one of the biggest selling points for the console. The PS3′s even been updated to support playback of Blu-ray 3D movies.
2. Play DVDs, too.
The PS3 is billed as an HD device, but that doesn’t mean Sony forgot about the millions of people with large DVD collections. The system not only plays them all, but converts them to HD resolution as well.
3. Watch your video files.
PlayStation 3 has built-in support for most popular video formats, including MPEG, DivX and Xvid. Files in these formats can be played from its hard disk, USB flash drive and hard drive and from any computers connected to it via your home network.
4. Edit and upload your videos.
The PS3′s video editor feature lets you edit videos stored on its internal hard drive, adding text and transitions. The finished products can be easily uploaded to Facebook and YouTube.
5. Watch Netflix, Vudu, Hulu Plus, and more.
Like the Xbox 360, the PS3 can stream video content from popular services like Netflix and Hulu Plus (with subscription). Sony’s console also supports Vudu, an alternative option featuring full-length movies and TV episodes for rent and sale.
6. Catch live sports.
The MLB.tv app for PS3 lets you watch live Major League Baseball games on the console, if you subscribe to the service. Recently, DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket programming was also made available to PS3 users.
7. View photos.
There are multiple ways to view your photos on the PS3, from a slide show in Photo Gallery to a more elaborate 3D presentation, courtesy of the newer PlayMemories app.