I recall when the Playstaiton 3 launched. The 20GB PS3 was sitting on shelves everywhere, outcast, outfavored by the larger 60GB model. Now, they have the 40 and 80GB models… but this isn’t just about the size of the hard drive. This is the backwards compatability debate. I won’t go in to all of the details: if you’re reading this page, i’m sure you’ve already read all of the details (summary: 20/60GB PS3’s have PS2 hardware inside and should play any PS2 and most PS1 games – the 80GB does it via emulation software – the 40GB doesn’t play PS2 games at all). I, like many, wanted to get the most out of my PS3 purcahse, so I intentionally hunted for a model with hardware backwards compatibility. Now that the 40 and 80GB models are out, the 60GB model (at online auction) are selling for more than the brand new 40’s and, in some cases, even more than a brand new 80GB.
So here’s what you do. Buy yourself a 20GB PS3. Still sometimes more expensive than a retail 40GB, if you’re dedicated enough to auction hunt, you can still get a deal (I got mine for less than $340, shipped). I know, having a 20GB drive isn’t as enticing… where will you store all of your installed game content, downloaded demos, and PSN games? Lucky for you, the PS3 makes it insanely easy to upgrade your hard drive.
First, you need to buy one. Specifically, you need a laptop hard drive, not just one out of your computer. And not just any laptop hard drive, it must be a SATA drive. Then you have other decisions to make – the RPM’s of the hard drive, the capacity, cache size, brand… it sounds expensive, and confusing. Let’s make it easy.
This Drive is cheap, 7,200 RPM (compared to the default 5,400 RPM’s of the PS3’s drive of choice). It’s also 40GB! There, you’ve sped up your 20GB PS3, and doubled the size – for thirty five bucks (less than the cost of a game!). What’s that? Not enough space? You don’t trust no name hardware? Alright… how about this Seagate drive? Seagate is the brand of choice inside many first gen PS3’s. This one is less than fifty bucks, 80GB, and still 7,200 RPM. What are you waiting for?
Oh, you don’t know how? Lucky for you, GamesReports made this extremely easy how-to guide, almost two years ago. Get to it!
One additional note, if you’re still shopping for your PS3, I would encourage a little bit of additional research. I neglected to realize that my 20GB PS3 didn’t feature wireless networking, or a few other features… lucky for me I have a 10/100 switch behind my TV. But if hard drive is your biggest determining factor, go right ahead and bookmark this page. 😉