The Playstation 3 is a superior platform to the Xbox 360, from a hardware point of view. The PS3 delivers a larger hard drive, wireless Wifi internet connectivity (the Xbox requires a hard wired RJ45 internet cable) and web surfing and internet media connectivity similar to a smart TV (for example, you can connect to Netflix directly through your PS3). The hard drive is also user upgradeable, as opposed to the proprietary and expensive Xbox hard drive upgrades. You also get a Blu-ray DVD player built in to the PS3 (the Xbox 360 has a conventional DVD player, not a blu-ray). And the actual game processing hardware was brought to market a year later than the Xbox, and beats it soundly in terms of speed and graphics processing capability.
However, this extra processing power doesn't result in better looking games; both platforms are roughly equal in terms of frame rates and general game appearance. Most gaming enthusiasts acknowledge that although Sony might have the edge in horsepower, they didn't couple it to the ground very effectively. The gaming experience is pretty much the same on both platforms.
On the downside, the wireless controller connects with the console using bluetooth technology. This, unfortunately, shares the spectrum with wireless computer keyboards and mice (both work at 2.4 Gigahertz). The result is that the controller can interfere with the computer keyboard or mouse, or vice versa; and there's no fix. You must give up one or the other. This can be a real frustration, if the PS3 is in the same room as the computer.
Another big frustration is the top loading, mechanical, non-motorized Blu-ray tray. To load a DVD (which you'll be doing a lot, if you actually intend to play games) you push a mechanical button on the front of the unit. This pushes a mechanical holding pin out of the way, and a spring snaps the top sliding door open with a hollow snap. You then load the disk in from the top, grasp the console on the right hand side with one hand, and physically slide the door shut with your left hand (against spring pressure). This must be done carefully, as it's easy to jam the door in its track; it wouldn't surprise me at all to see a lot of these doors broken in the next year or so, particularly as many game consoles are bought by adults but used by children. The door mechanism simply isn't very robust, and is easily broken.
Another major difficulty with this arrangement is the fact that you must leave a good 8 - 12 inches or more of free space above the console in order to make room for your hands when changing the game DVD. If you intend to position the game console in a home media center, this really chews up the space. The heavily ribbed top surface of the console also collects dust easily, and is quite difficult to keep clean.
The newest incarnation of the playstation 3 - dubbed the 'super slim' model - is not as good as the 'slim' predecessor. You get a larger hard drive; but Sony has gone to ridiculous lengths to economize on the construction, without passing a penny of the savings on to the customer. The result is a cheaply built but expensive game console that I believe is not strong enough to withstand regular use by children. I also worry that the internal electronics, which have also been subjected to severe cost cutting measures by Sony, will experience some teething problems over the next year or so. I am not aware of any electronics problems with the current PS3 model; but given the obvious cost-cutting measures that Sony has gone to, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest to learn they'd economized on the electronics right up to the edge of reliability - and possibly past it.
My best suggestion is that you try to find a playstation slim. Failing that, grit your teeth and purchase a super slim; or buy an Xbox 360; or simply wait for the next generation of game consoles, due out in the next year or two.
This game console is a big step backwards. It's still a better hardware value than the Xbox 360; but not by much.