Do It Yourself: More Storage For Your PlayStation 3

Turning The PlayStation Into A Media Repository

Sony’s PlayStation 3 (PS3) has been available since 2006, but today's models retain only the core feature set from the original. The latest PlayStation 3 Slim is, well, slimmer than the first revision, and it's available with 120 GB and 250 GB capacities for $349 and $429, respectively. Whether or not you’re a gamer, you can’t ignore the console as an all-around multimedia box that also serves as a Blu-ray player. Today, we're looking at what it takes to replace the built-in hard drive with a larger storage option, so that you can turn your PS3 into a respectable data repository.

Sony has already sold more than 30 million PlayStation 3 units, making it one of the dominant products on the console market. It competes with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii, trailing those two in overall sales, according to The console right for you depends on a few different factors. 

First of all, there's a chance that a game you like is only available on one console. If so, your choice is already made. Otherwise, we can generalize about the three options. Nintendo's Wii just aims at fun. It doesn’t support HD video, digital audio, or similar media-slanted technologies. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 bridges the PC and gaming console worlds by interfacing with Windows Media Center on a conventional PC. And the PlayStation 3 comes with a Blu-ray player, on top of its slightly-superior hardware. From a purely technical standpoint, PS3 is the way to go.

The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 qualify as media servers, but we’ll only focus on the Sony product in this article. As mentioned, the current rendition comes with either a 120 GB or 250 GB hard drive. This is sufficient for most users, but if you want to really store all your pictures and video, especially high-def content, then you’ll probably run out of storage capacity rather quickly. Luckily, the PlayStation 3 Slim can be upgraded with a larger hard drive, and we exchanged the built-in 250 GB disk with a new 640 GB drive.