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Top 10 PS3 tips and tricks

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ps3 small

ps3_small.jpgThe PS3, you can do a lot with Sony’s games console, such as playing games and watching Blu-ray movies. But there is more, much more to the console than meets the eye. This is Absolute Gadget’s guide to getting the most out of you next-generation console.

Tip no. 1 – Start your game where someone else left off

Sometimes you just can’t get past that boss creature in Tomb Raider and it can really start grating after numerous instances of Lara Croft dying. So what better way of getting over it then skipping past the difficulty on onwards to the next level.

The way to do this is search online for “PS3 games saves”. There are literally thousands of these lying around the internet so you can pick up someone else’s finished or half finished game. Simply save this to a USB memory stick and upload it to your PS3. In the relevant game you can head to the menu and select the USB drive inserted and copy it to your hard drive. Et voila, you’ve got past the big baddie. Shame you didn’t do it for yourself – where’s the achievement?

Tip no.2 – Check your gamepad’s charge level

The wireless gamepad’s one drawback it that you can’t tell how much juice is left. And you only find out when the game no longer responds to you button pressing and you die horribly. The way to ensure you have enough power to finish Grand Theft Auto (or any game) is to press and hold the PS button. An indicator will appear and will show up on screen as a small battery. A full battery means you are fully-charged up and ready to play.

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Tip no.3 – Make a free video phone call

Ever wanted to chat to your fellow gamers and even see what they look like? No, well sorry we are going to tell you. For this you need to have a USB headset and an EyeToy camera (if you haven’t got them – go out now and buy them we’ll be waiting until you come back).

Once they are both plugged in you simply choose a friend and press triangle. select Start New Chat and write them a message. If they are also playing online at the same time as you, they will be given the option to accept your videochat.

At this point if they too have the necessary equipment then two windoes will open showing you and your chum, so you can chat away. And it doesn’t stop there – you can have up to six gamers joining in the video fun at any one time and all for free!

Tip no.4 – How to reset the video settings

Yes you have your PS3 set to output pictures to your glorious high-definition television, but then your mate calls you up and want you to come around to play your PS3 on his small portable telly. Trouble is that you won’t be able to see a screen once hooked up as it is at a different resolution (i.e. standard definition).

There is a way around this. switched off your PS3 and then restart while pressing and holding the power button. This resets the PlayStation 3 to its basic resolution setting and from there you will be able to choose the defition and cable connection from there ensuring lots of fun for you and a friend.

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Tip no.5 – Playing that new PS3 title you picked up abroad

What most people sadly don’t realise is that if you went to the US you could pick up a few PS3 games at bargain prices and then play them on your console when you get home. The titles aren’t region coded so fill your boots. Unfortunately this is not the case for PS2 and PSOne games.

Tip no.6 – Grow a bigger disc

Unlike the Xbox 360, Sony doesn’t stop you from changing your hard drive to something a bit bigger – so it could be worthwhile buying the cheapest PS3 and upgrading the disk yourself.

Inside the factory-built PS3 can be found a Seagate Momentus 5400rpm 60GB 2.5inch SATA drive. Find another (more capacitous) hard drive with the same physical dimensions and connectors and this should be an easy task.

To do this, take off the cover flap with your fingernails. take out the blue screw and slide the drive over to the right and pop it out of the console. The caddy holds the drive with four screws that can be easily removed. Then pop in your new, bigger, drive, put the screws back in, slot it back into the console, slide it over to the left to fix the connections back properly. Put the blue screw back in place, put the cover back on and restart the PS3 (you did remember to turn it off before you attempted this, didn’t you?)

Restart the PS3, and click on yes to the messages. A simply check in the system settings should confirm the new disk is working fine.

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Tip no.7 – Getting the PS3 to display your iPod photos and music

Not many peple realise that it is perfectly possible for the PS3 to read video and audio files off an iPod (or indeed any USB stick). the trick is to “force” it to do so.

Simply go to the menu and choose the option you want (i.e. Photos, Music, Videos), press triangle and select Display All. This will show every file on the iPod or stick. Don’t get put off by the folders your stuff is there somewhere.

Tip no. 8 change album cover artwork

If you saw our Top 10 iPod tips and tricks feature you’ll realise that sometimes machines get album artwork wrong or at least not quite to your liking.

To get around this sorry state of affairs, simply download a picture of the correct artwork from the internet (Amazon usually comes up trumps for this) and transfer it to a USB stick into a folder called “Picture”. Copy this to the Photo menu (it’s that triangle button again) and go the Music option, selecting the album foler with the wrong artwork. Press triangle again and choose information. Go then to the Photot menu and choose the new, better picture and you are done.

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Tip no.9 – Get multiple browser windows on your PS3

Surfing the web on your PS3 console can be handy but sometimes you want functionality such as multiple windows. To do this, open the browser application from the Network option and go to a web page. Now press triangle and select “open in new window”. Now type in a new web address and do the same again. Do this until you have six windows open.

Pressing L3 gets you into multi-page mode. You can navigate through the webpages by clicking on the left stick.

Tip no.10 – Share downloads with friends

If you buy stuff from the online PS3 store you can share this on up to five PS3s.

The PlayStation Store logs how many times each purchase has been downloaded by each user. On your friend’s console you can create a new user and log into the store with your own ID. You can find your downloads and port that across to your mate’s PS3 and they get it for free!