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6 reasons why the PlayStation 3 is better than the PlayStation 4

The current console generation has been around for a few years now and are starting to come into their own. The problem is, they’re still not perfect and their predecessors are still outshining them in some respects. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One still aren’t where they should be in terms of functionality and features.

I still have a PlayStation 3 and while I have debated selling it off to purchase its younger sibling (the PlayStation 4), I’ve finally decided it isn’t a good idea. Here are six reasons why I’m keeping my PlayStation 3.

Backwards compatibility for bygone eras

Yes, I’m starting with the grandfather of all reasons: backwards compatibility.

Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launched without the ability to play games from their predecessors, which seemed to be a head-scratching decision for consumers. Even more so was the inability to play games from even further back.

Last year, Microsoft announced that it would be implementing backwards compatibility with the Xbox One for Xbox 360 games, and have mentioned the possibility for original Xbox games as well. So far, Sony has offered a stream service and modification of select PS2 games for the PlayStation 4. To me, that’s still not enough.

Here we have the PlayStation 3. This 10-year-old console allows me to play a range of games from the PlayStation 2 and PS1 eras. Its robust library will keep me busy for years to come, especially since I’ve yet to complete Persona 2, 3, or 4. So far, Sony doesn’t seem awfully interested in allowing PS1 or PlayStation 2 games to play on the PlayStation 4, which is a shame in itself.

PlayStation 3 backwards compatibility

Following on from the above reason, the PlayStation 4 doesn’t allow playback of PlayStation 3 games, and I have a lot. Having two different Sony consoles under my TV to play games is an inconvenience. It has been mentioned by Sony that this isn’t impossible, but would be difficult. Maybe the PS4 should have been built with PS3 games in mind?

The PS3 has an incredible range of exclusive titles, such as Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5, the Uncharted series, The Last of Us, and exclusive Final Fantasy games. While some of these have been ported over to the PS4, why should I have to purchase them again?

The Blu-ray player

When Sony was still muddling around with the PlayStation 4, the PlayStation 3 was one of the strongest Blu-ray players on the market. It was able to playback 3D Blu-ray titles before the PS4 ever received the ability. It’s still one of the best Blu-ray players on the market.

Online play is free

There was a time when Sony allowed players to play online for free and that time was with the PlayStation 3. Unlike its rival the Xbox 360, which required a Microsoft Gold Account, the PS3 allowed gamers to play online regardless of subscribing to PlayStation Plus or not. In fact, I can pop Destiny into my console right now and play with others without a second thought. It’s quite nifty.

New releases

While this point won’t be relevant forever, big titles are still being released on the PlayStation 3. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Destiny: The Taken King, Alien Isolation, and the soon-to-be-released LEGO Marvel Avengers are all on PlayStation 3. If you’re not too worried about having over 25-30 frames a second then you can still enjoy these on your older console. In fact, some multi-platform titles don’t look much better on the newer consoles, such as the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot.

All of these newer titles are cheaper on the PS3, and with the weakness of the South African Rand, price is king.

It plays music CDs

Yes, Millennials, I’m that old that I still use music CDs. The PlayStation 4, with all of its raw power still cannot play music CDs, because of reasons.

And there you have it. I absolutely love my Sony PlayStation 3 console, but if you disagree please vote in the poll below or comment in the section at the bottom of the page.

What do you think was Sony’s best console ever?

Author Bio

Graham van der Made: Staff Reporter
Graham started out as an electronics manager at Take2 Home Entertainment and went on to spend a further ten years in the South African ecommerce industry. During this time, Graham founded and managed an online geek and hobby shop. He has always had a passion for writing and has contributed... More


  1. DiFiasco

    February 1, 2016 at 10:45 am

    …and the PS3 was a overpriced, convoluted junkpile of mismatched architecture that drove up development costs for games and made pretty much any third-party title inherently unstable from the get go (subject to fixes). It also suffered from similar, if not as frequent, reliability issues faced by the Xbox 360.

  2. disqus_mA3WgDie9h

    February 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    stoopid hipster

  3. Deviant

    February 1, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    It could also be a dual tuner pvr with the playtv add on.

  4. GrahamZA

    February 1, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks for the insightful reply 🙂

  5. GrahamZA

    February 1, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    I didn’t know about this at all (wasn’t available in South Africa). Looks neat. Did you have one and what did you think about it?

  6. GrahamZA

    February 1, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Indeed Sony did make a mistake with the architecture, which it looks like they’ve learned from. This especially affected titles from Valve and Bethesda.

    The PlayStation 3 does have far better reliability than the Xbox 360. It did have some bouts of its problems, but that can be said for all consoles.

    SquareTrade conducted a study where it found 23.7% of Xbox 360 units failed, with 10% of PS3, and only a 2.7% failure rate for the Wii. Here’s the link: https://www.squaretrade.com/htm/pdf/SquareTrade_Xbox360_PS3_Wii_Reliability_0809.pdf

  7. disqus_mA3WgDie9h

    February 1, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    PS4 is made for next gen, to better compete with master race PC, why would I want to play ps2 games or listen to music CD!!!!! on it. I havent even fucking seen a CD in ages. There is a market for 2nd hand games, or if you want to play old games, play it on the console you had for it. You dont go and complain if you swap your tape deck in for a cd player that you cant listen to your tapes anymore? On that note, good on PS3 that they had bluray, but its still the standard so dont know why you lists that as ps3 being better….PS3 also had HDMI, so do you that as “better” as well then?

    PS3 remastered games look 10 times better on PS4 btw. Couldnt believe the difference of Uncharted. And the AAA titles that still gets released on PS3 as well is not close to the same standard.

    This obsession with old stuff is cooler is beyond me. YES, i LOVED my PS3, but time has come to say good bye.

  8. HyDrO

    February 1, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Yeah because the new gen systems running an x86 architecture are doing so much better with stability and not needing fixes (Fallout 4, AC Unity, Batman AK, Halo MCC). Playstation 3 was a great system as was the 360, the 360 was just a better design with a power pc architecture and 512k unified memory (as the PS4 is a better design to the Xbone). The biggest problem with the PS3 was 256k max RAM bottleneck hence the 16x more memory on the new generation of consoles. The cell was more tough on developers initially but they overcame that. Now we have under powered x86 consoles that developers have to learn to develop for with dynamic resolutions and frame rates. So PS3 wasn’t all that bad, seems like Xbox One is harder to develop for with a Jaguar CPU and 768 shader GPU.

  9. disqus_mA3WgDie9h

    February 1, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    And also, as a trendsetter PS2 was the true legend anyways

  10. GrahamZA

    February 1, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    And the PS1 was better than the PS2 🙂

  11. GrahamZA

    February 1, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    For your first paragraph: because you don’t play CDs or PS2 games doesn’t mean others don’t, right?

    There is quite a large market dedicated towards older titles, which means there must be something behind it. Sometimes jamming Sim City 2000 or Super Mario Bros 3 is actually fun 🙂

    You’ll see the article was geared towards PS3 in general and not specific models. The Xbox 360 didn’t launch with an built-in HDMI port, but started receiving them after a few revisions. In that regard, stating the PS3 is better because of HDMI inclusion is a moot point.

    With titles still being released (cross generation), the gameplay and games are still the same, but it’s only the graphics that’s different. Tilts like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain are the same except for the graphics.

    You realise you’re arguing with an opinion piece, right? Now, before you call me another name — which isn’t going to change my mind — you’re welcome to come back with some well constructed arguments around the PS3 and I’ll happily debate. Until late 🙂

  12. Yaseen Essack

    February 1, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Buy an Xbox one it does everything as well

  13. disqus_mA3WgDie9h

    February 1, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    But you cant be prejudiced toward a next gen console for not looking to the past. You can take all those CD’s, migrate it to a media server as mp3’s and still listen to them on the PS4, just like all those have to watch again Beta Max tapes that you put onto DVDs. And changing CD’s once its done is a hassle, so plus point for PS4 in my books.

    I still have my old nintendo and when the kids jam on there, I also like to show them how to master the trampolines on Circus Charlie. I just dont expect my PS4 to be able to let me play it on there just because I got my nintendo in 1993 for christmas from my dead uncle joe. But then again I also dont diss my car for not allowing me to pedal like I used to on my mountain bike.
    AGAIN, discussions around HDMI and bluray cant be seen as plus points for the PS3 against the PS4 because, again, its still the standard. If the PS4 had to revolutionised that with some new format the rage from you guys would be even greater.

    Cross generation gaming experience i solely blame the developers and not the console, and like you stated the PS4 DOES provide better graphics… Then again, I AM a bit of a graphics whore, hence why im eating 2 minute noodles for dinner while watching movies on my gaming PC with an up to date GPU I couldnt quite afford.

  14. John Meyer

    February 1, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    If you buy something for backward compatibility, then you should stay in the past with the old consoles. New consoles cannot be as powerful as they could be if you want them just to be compatible.

  15. Jon

    February 1, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    I have both my PS3 and PS4 hooked up to the same TV. I really don’t see what the problem is. There are games out now that look better on the PS4, and some that are exclusive to that console. For instance, I recently traded in my copy of GTA 5 on the PS3 for a shiny new PS4 version.

  16. Aaron Guy

    February 1, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    There is actually real games on ps3. The ps4 just has indies and remasters. I still regret buying it. Once Nintendo releases more information about the nx I will be selling my ps4

  17. Kisai

    February 1, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Only the first generation PS3’s were completely backwards compatible (the ones with 4 USB ports), all other models only support “downloaded” PS2 classics, which means you are re-buying some of them if you don’t have the first generation PS3.

  18. Paul Peck

    February 1, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    How can you possible blame the developers and not the console for backward comparability, the device does not exist for the developers to code on???????
    This is 100% a decision on the Console itself, they made a decision that it will not be, so they can remaster old games for the PS4, personally I don’t really want to play a remastered games, I want original games, this is why backward compatibility is the number one reason why many people have not gone forward with the PS4.

  19. harlemsfinest027

    February 1, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Spoken like a man who doesn’t really have a PS4

  20. harlemsfinest027

    February 1, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    PS4’s Spotify app squashes all need for a CD, in addition to your valid point regarding MP3s

  21. harlemsfinest027

    February 1, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    …except 1080p

  22. APowerfulJedi

    February 1, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    I like my PS4 however the reality is that my PS3 gets used about 90% more. A lot of that has to do with the amount of games I still have for the PS3 that I didn’t get to finish/start because of time. There is no way I’m going to trade the same game in for the newer console because it looks pretty, because pretty didn’t get me to purchase the game to start with. I’m with you on the older games, when I have a party at home inevitably the older games and/or consoles I have get started for some cool battles. Because of this many both young and older have went out and purchased older systems because of the type of game play in many cases are lacking with today’s games.

  23. disqus_mA3WgDie9h

    February 1, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Cross generation and backward compatibility is 2 different things. I dont care about backward compatibility, I dont buy new tech to play old ass games. Therefor the developers should be able to get more done on the PS4 than the PS3 so cross generation games like MGSV should be better on next gen

  24. redeyedjedi410

    February 1, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    It’s really only the controller charge (last days/weeks before I ever need to charge it) and the XMB (the fact that you can look at your friends list/downloads etc.while watching Netflix/a cutscene in a game is something small that I miss).

  25. LamarxVannoy

    February 1, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    I like both systems, but have since jumped to PC, and you can play any playstation game from any era, alls you need is the right programs.

  26. Movie Blue Diving Suit

    February 1, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    “The PlayStation 4, will all of its raw power still cannot play music CDs, because of reasons.” Really? Because of reasons? Oh.

  27. ismailmarsh

    February 1, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    NX will flop. Ps4 is way too far in the lead. It is over.

  28. ismailmarsh

    February 1, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Street fightee 5 only on ps4. Game over.

  29. Zeroman

    February 1, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Exactly. Backwards compatibility is dumb. Why cripple a new system with this “feature”. Play old games on the old console that they were designed for and new games on the new console. If you have hundreds of games on PS3 that you haven’t played because of time I don’t see how backwards compatibility will fix that.

    Reasons PS4 is better than PS3.
    1. Can play PS4 games…
    That’s really the only reason needed (but there are lots more).

    Reasons PS5 will be better than PS4.
    1. Can play PS5 games…

    Simply put, if you don’t want to play new games don’t buy a new system.

  30. Nintendians

    February 1, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    its somewhat better than ps4, atleast i could go back play ps3 games. only the 1st ps3 models could play ps2 and/or ps1.

  31. TDR

    February 2, 2016 at 12:41 am

    And I’m here still playing with my GameCube games on my Wii and PS1 games on my PS3. Backwards compatibility does come in handy since I don’t have my PS1 anymore but still kept my games since I upgraded from PS1 to PS2 back in the day. Though it is understandable that PS4 can’t play PS3 since I heard that the PS3’s architecture is hard as hell to emulate especially if its purely software based.

  32. Steve-o

    February 2, 2016 at 2:01 am

    You missed one of the best parts – playing movies off of USB. The PS3 is great at it and we often watch (legal) digital copies of movies on it. It’s very convenient to have 5 movies on a USB stick – pop it in and just continue on as we want to.

    Yes, it’s a little lazy to not want to flip out Blu Rays – but sometimes it’s nice to be a little lazy and not have to find/shuffle discs.

  33. ihavetopickastupidname

    February 2, 2016 at 4:31 am

    I would really like to get back into some of the better maps of BF3 if only it could be played on PS4.

  34. ihavetopickastupidname

    February 2, 2016 at 4:50 am

    You’re completely missing point, but, on the other hand, I understand the financial fleecing of companies like Sony to keep from focusing on BC when releasing an updated model.

    The point you’re missing, is you shouldn’t have to stack consoles in your entertainment center to play the myriad of games that everyone has in their arsenal. Each new console should have the ability to play the previous releases, the reason why is new hardware designs (e.g. PS4) could easily play old games without issue, the issue Sony doesn’t want to address is the programming (i.e. software) changes they need to make to allow the older games to play on the new console.

  35. ihavetopickastupidname

    February 2, 2016 at 4:54 am

    As I said software is what Sony is too lazy to address because they are enjoying the revenues of their laziness.

  36. ihavetopickastupidname

    February 2, 2016 at 5:04 am

    That would include only those that had SquareTrade coverage. Correct?

  37. motorbicycle

    February 2, 2016 at 5:11 am

    While I love the PS3, this list is irrelevant. These items do not make the PS3 ‘better’ than the PS4, merely different. While I would love it if they could support all of the things you mentioned on your list, the sad reality is that these items are now being phased out for new technologies. If you want to move forward, which is Sony’s goal, you cannot sit on the past and expect change to happen.

  38. Joe Smoe

    February 2, 2016 at 5:22 am

    I called into the local gamestop and they informed me that one can pick up a ps4 with playstation tv and do the whole ps now ordeal to obtain most, if not all, those glorified ps3 games I keep hearing about. Now for me, I’m a casual gamer on a tight budget and I’m being constantly persuaded back and forth between specifically the ps3 or ps4.
    Question: For someone who hasn’t bought a console since the first gen x360. Which console should I pick up? Ive only played a few older sports games and cod games on ps3, not even the “best” games out there for ps3, I’m a newbie so to speak. I remember shadow of the colossus being one of the most fun games I’ve played. Not sure if that’s remastered for ps4 or not.

  39. ben lee

    February 2, 2016 at 6:34 am

    What the heck? Ps4 cannot play simple music cd? Where they’d wanna put the 100mb music on a blu ray? Or u wanna throw and consider all ur worth media collections like useless forever just because a new gen player was born,with limited capabilities.total ripoff.

  40. David

    February 2, 2016 at 10:37 am

    And free online gaming…

  41. motorbicycle

    February 2, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Well, the PS3’s lifespan will not last much longer in terms of development. The PS4 is receiving all of the newest and most updated titles nowadays. It also has plenty of casual games, like Assassin’s Creed and GTAV. They stopped updating GTA on the older consoles. While the PS4 isn’t perfect, it is probably a better bang for your buck in the long run. Keep in mind that you do need to pay an annual fee to use PSN on it though.

  42. Derp Derpison

    February 3, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Good point, but it’s worth noting that all PS3s are capable of playing PS1 titles, IIRC.

  43. Keshu Rao

    February 3, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Cell architecture proved decisive especially in the latter years, 1st party games are best examples. Whiteout the more powerful cell engine, ps3 would’ve found it difficult to overtake X360

  44. Keshu Rao

    February 3, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Ha ha

  45. DiFiasco

    February 4, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    The new x86 systems are doing fantastically better! In fact, any issues on the consoles themselves are often present in the PC version as well! Get it straight

  46. DiFiasco

    February 4, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    …and yes, the PS3 WAS that bad.

  47. DiFiasco

    February 4, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    The PS3 was moderately more reliable than the 360 in terms of physical stability, but the 360 was far more reliable in terms of development/software stability.

  48. HyDrO

    February 4, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Get what straight, your comment was dumb. “x86 systems are fantastically better, any issues on x86 consoles are often present on x86 PCs” which isn’t accurate anyway. Only a special kind of stupid would believe an x86 Jaguar CPU is fantastically better than previous generation CPUs.

  49. DiFiasco

    February 11, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Anything over 3% is considered ‘bad’ btw

  50. Tueksta

    February 15, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    The title is misleading. The article is about “6 reasons why the PlayStation 3 is better _for me_ than the PlayStation 4”. It’s ok, you don’t have to buy a PS4 right away, if you’re not ready to move on from the PS3 and to look forward into the future instead of clinging to the past. But don’t blame Sony for not catering to your personal needs, ditching CD support and PS1-games makes a lot of sense. It’s not PS 3.1 but 4, after all. Don’t you think?

  51. Aaron Guy

    February 25, 2016 at 8:07 am

    Ps4 and nx are different generations , noob

  52. Aaron Guy

    February 25, 2016 at 8:12 am

    I have a shitstation 4 , its a glorified ps3 but only plays unpolished garbage. Lol yeah I own the trash system, but real gamers have more than one system they play on, maybe its time for you to become a real gamer and try something else Sony pony

  53. José Julián Negrón Mendoza

    May 2, 2016 at 6:35 am

    They dont know it it, but they know they bought the ps4 because of hype. If you learn how to waste ur money, you will realize that right now, its better getting a ps3 over a ps4, since the ps3 is not the current gen, the console and games drop at good prices, it has more games than the ps4 still. It kinda does everything the ps4 does, hell, the only thing i can think about is just the graphics, the ps4 may have better ones, but thats it. Eventually u will wake up and realize that selling your good old ps3 with tons of games for just a ps4 was a mistake, and right now, i prefer owning a ps3 than a ps4. Economically speaking, its a roberry if u ask me. Hell, i dont need no damn playstation plus bullsht to play on the ps3. Why do they even charge money on the ps4, sony has made a trillion with that system and they still want more huh?

  54. greg

    May 7, 2016 at 8:38 am

    thats good for what you want people should have an option who do like to do that hell most people don’t take care of their old systems and they die out so they can’t just keep their old system and play the old games

  55. Scott Jenner

    May 16, 2016 at 7:41 am

    I bought a used PS3 for $99 and games only cost between $1 and $15 at the most. So for less than $200, I have an awesome game console and dozens of great games. If I spent $400 on a new PS4, I may get 2 games at $60 each and pay over $500 for just 2 games! The PS3 still has awesome graphics with tons of dirt cheap games. I don’t see the point yet of buying a new overpriced PS4 and spending $60 per new game. Maybe in few years, I may buy a used PS4 for $99 and then the exclusive PS4 games used for $1 each. Only down side is there are not many new PS3 games being made now but with thousands of games used that I’ve never played, I am not worried.

  56. Scott Jenner

    May 16, 2016 at 7:42 am

    True the PS3 is best bang for the buck. However, Uncharted 4 is not available on PS3 which pisses me off. I love the Uncharted games that I’ve played on my PS3. Same with Assassins Creed Syndicate.

  57. Scott Jenner

    May 16, 2016 at 7:44 am

    used PS3 is best value right now. I had the old first gen Xbox and loved Halo but sold it and did computer gaming for a while. Then bought used PS3 for cheap and tons of great games. Maybe in 5 years, will buy used PS4 and/or used XONE when I buy a larger second tv.

  58. Scott Jenner

    May 16, 2016 at 7:45 am

    true like uncharted 4 is PS4 exclusive not released on PS3. Thats ok I have hundreds of games to play yet for PS3.

  59. Scott Jenner

    May 16, 2016 at 7:45 am

    sony had to cut corners someplace to make $$$

  60. FreedomFighter

    June 5, 2016 at 12:47 am

    After buying the PS4 im thinking about buying the PS3. I want to play older games and have access to ps3’s large library of games. The PS4 is still very limited. I wouldnt mind owning both.

  61. FreedomFighter

    June 5, 2016 at 12:52 am

    im feeling the same way. The PS4 want ready in my opinion. Its lacking a lot of features and only has a few games that i actually wanna play. Uncharted is an OK game but not a game changer. Super over hyped game. im not gonna complain too much tho. it has stunning graphics. So far voerwatch and ratchet and clank are my favorite.

  62. FreedomFighter

    June 5, 2016 at 12:53 am

    seems like such a simple feature tho.

  63. FreedomFighter

    June 5, 2016 at 12:54 am

    GTA is over rated.

  64. FreedomFighter

    June 5, 2016 at 12:55 am

    My PS4 requires some weird things to make it turn on. Sony is cutting a lot of corners.

  65. HyDrO

    June 14, 2016 at 4:57 am

    Key word is “MY”, and what those requirements would be aside from hitting a button is likely specific to your particular PS4 and not the vast majority. In which case, stating Sony is cutting corners appears a hollow statement that lacks substance for arguement.

  66. Chris Burdick

    June 22, 2016 at 5:06 am

    Pretty good article. 👍

  67. Muhannad TheDon

    July 11, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    There still much more reasons to it:
    The interface design of ps4 system is actually sucks, lame and complex.
    The fact that not only you can’t play online for free, but also you can’t check on your trophies unless you are online as well… seriously..!
    The outside design of the console is utterly ridiculous, the power switch is nearly invisible, the edge on the rare of the console where the ports are, force you to left the console up every time you need to plugunplug a cable, why..?

  68. ravnwood

    July 14, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    The reason for lack of backward compatibility is mainly due to the PS3. The PS3 uses a complex cell processor. A lot of effort was put into the initial PS3 to make it able to run older PS2 games. So much so that it was dropped for subsequent releases of the PS3.

    For the PS4, they would need to include a cell processor or emulator to run the PS3 games in addition to the PS4 games. My bet is that future releases (PS5?) are more likely to be backward compatible since Sony has gone back to more industry standard components.
    Personally, I have no plans to upgrade from my PS3.

  69. Michael Harper

    July 22, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    I bought A 1tb PS4 only to find that I can’t store my music library or photo library on the 1 tb hard drive. It seems impossible to believe that Sony hasn’t included this feature as that was the main reason I used it. Please fix it Sony or loose another very loyal customer.