I picked up a PS3 today. I didn't think I'd be able to get my hands on one until the spring. I was reading Digg today, and someone posted a link to an online tracking tool called iTrackr. The unique thing about this tracking tool is that it tracks local inventories instead of online ones. I've been using PS3Finder for the past month or so, but it only tracks online stores. Because most of the online stores are only selling PS3s in those insidious bundles, PS3Finder isn't too useful to me.
iTrackr is much more useful. Not only does it track local inventories, but also it will notify you of updated inventories by email or text messages to your mobile phone. After hearing about it, I created an account on iTrackr just to see if there were any PS3s in nearby shops. To my surprise, both the GameStop and EBGames nearby were showing the 60GB PS3 in stock. Now, according to iTrackr, neither GameStop's nor EBGames' inventories are 100% reliable, so they recommend calling to confirm supply. Heeding that advice, I called the EBGames store near my house. Sure enough, they confirmed that "a couple" 60GB models were in stock. They wouldn't hold one for me, so I hurried over to the store to purchase it. I also picked up a copy of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance with the unit. The shop was out of Sixaxis controllers, and their HDMI cables were overpriced. So, I picked up an HDMI cable at and a Sixaxis at the local Target store.
I have to say that despite the paucity of software, the PS3 is an impressive machine. Not only does it look nice in my entertainment console, but it's also very quiet. I particularly like the black chassis, as it blends in with my equipment nicely (contrasted to the gloss-white Wii, which stands out). I won't drone on about the features or GUI, as those have been detailed in other reviews ad nauseum. I will say that I don't mind the GUI, which is based on the XMB found on the PSP. While I'm sure it could be better, it's one I'm familiar with. As noted earlier, I hooked up the PS3 to my SXRD via HDMI (@1080i). Because my receiver does not have HDMI inputs, I had to hook up the audio via Toslink. I opted to network it via wired Ethernet instead of wireless. I recently added four Ethernet ports behind the entertainment console, so it was easy to connect. Also, we already have 3-4 wireless devices connected into the access point at any given time, so there wasn't any need to clog it up even more.
I've played around with Marvel Ultimate Alliance for a bit and it looks nice at 1080. The Sixaxis controller is very similar to the older Dual Shock 2 controller, although it is much lighter due to the lack of force feedback. The online features are rudimentary at best, but hopefully Sony will add more features in the near future. It would be nice to have the same level of functionality as Xbox Live.
Bottom line is, I'm happy with my purchase despite the lack of software at the moment. Once again, I was able to get my hands on a new console without standing in line and without having to buy a ridiculous bundle. More importantly, I now have a Blu-ray player in addition to a game console. Once the selection of games improves, the PS3 will really come into its own.