Seeing that Sony is actively pushing PlayStation 3 not just as a game system but also an inexpensive (in relative terms, seeing that Sony's standalone Blu-Ray drive goes for $1000 compared to $500/600 for a PS3) entryway into high-definition movies via the installed Blu-Ray drive, it's not surprising to see a remote control as an alternative to using the Sixaxis controller. While it's not an absolutely necessary purchase, as the standard controller works decently enough if all you need is the basics, the PS3 remote is a vital buy for those who take the Blu-Ray movie side of the console seriously especially since that's just about the only option in these early stages of life for Sony's new hardware, as the competition hasn't gotten around to making 3rd party versions. Long as you can actually find one of these in stores, the price is right at just $25 and it works as good as you'd expect, and offers more than just use for movies.
Recommend this product?
Sony's remote is unique in that it doesn't use the standard IR like the PS2's remote, but instead uses Bluetooth. Setting the remote up to work with PS3 is a snap, with a few steps to register the device with the system, and once you do that, it'll always be tied to that system, with no other accessories to plug in or adapters to use. If you wish to set it up with another PS3, it has to be re-registered and once you place it on another PS3, the original system you had it registered to will not remember it in the first place. Whew it might sound complicated but it's not a real big deal since chances are you'll never do this unless you have to replace a PS3. Because it's Bluetooth, it has great range, but because PS3 lacks an IR sensor for a regular remote, you can't add it to a Harmony remote or even a regular old universal remote, nor can the PS3 remote do anything for your TV or other devices. If you're into that sort of thing.
In addition to handling movie playback, it has plenty of other uses. It can be used to boot the console up, and shut it down as well. It'll eject a disc from the drive when needed. It can be used to control music options, whether it's stuff you've ripped to the HDD, or a music CD. If you're not going to be gaming and just want to access the PlayStation Store, browse the web or check up on system updates, it can be used to maneuver through the XMB though accessing the store and WWW works better with either a controller or keyboard/mouse setup, as the remote just hops from clickable to clickable, which is a lot slower than just moving a cursor around. The only thing it can't do is actually play games itself, not even role-playing games or basic casual games. Though it has all the PlayStation buttons on the thing, and a decent enough d-pad (of sorts), it can't play Go! Sudoku, even if a remote would be an excellent option for a game like that which doesn't require a lot of effort.
Unlike the short and stocky PS2 remote, the PS3 remote is a sleek and thin device that fits in better with your other remotes in comparison. There's nothing revolutionary about how it operates when watching a movie - it has all the usual features you've come to expect from any DVD player, though it does have the 'pop-up' menu control for accessing the menus in a Blu-Ray movie without actually leaving the movie you're watching. Strangely you can still access the menu that pops up when you hit triangle on the controller which is the software version of the usual commands, a strange thing given you're holding the remote that can do the same thing. But otherwise this thing works extremely well and has ridiculous range, as it's possible to access menus or eject discs from another room in the house. Which sounds like a fun prank to play on people unknowing of your Bluetooth abilities. The 2 AA batteries come included in the package, rounding out what's in the box. No discs or sensors or anything else required. Set it and forget it, as they say.
There's not a whole lot else to mention at a paltry $24.99 (far cheaper than many expected), it's a great add-on for PS3 that works like a champ and if you're stocking up on Blu-Ray movies, or are using the system to play your current DVD collection, it's a vital accessory unless the controller has done you fine up until now and even then, the Sixaxis should be retired for this sleek remote. You could whine that the Bluetooth-only setup makes it a narrow device that has no other use, and how it blocks out other universal remotes, but if that's something low on the priority list, it's not a problem. It simply works, and works well, and can handle more than just movies, as it makes PS3 a decent enough entertainment hub for watching videos stored on the HDD, music from CD or the HDD, or just wandering through the XMB looking through save files or whatever. Sadly the PS3 remote is harder to find than a PS3 itself lately (finding mine at Wal-Mart was a post-Christmas miracle), but if you see it, don't hesitate to buy it if anything you've read here sounds like something good and just. Or something.
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