On Boxing Day morning, I went out looking for deals on a PS3. I ended up getting one from Walmart with 2 free games, inFAMOUS and Batman: Arkham Asylum (I also picked up an extra controller, which was bundled with Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction). Now, I’ve got an older, rear-projection TV, which, for high-definition, only supports 1080i and only through component video, so I wasn’t sure how well the PS3 would work with it – I’d heard in the past that the PS3 doesn’t upscale like my 360 does, and that most games would only be 720p, so if this was right then I would be stuck with standard-definition, which would not look good on my big-screen TV.

When I opened the box to the PS3 later that afternoon, I was very surprised to find that it only shipped with a standard-definition cable, which is pretty much an outrage in this day and age. My 360, which I bought within a year of launch, shipped with support for both! So now I need to go out and get the Sony component cable, which is $35 at Future Shop, and I’m still not sure that the PS3 will actually work right with my TV once I get it. Because there’s a custom connector on this cable on the PS3 side, there’s not much in the way of alternatives; in fact, the “generic” version is actually priced identically at Future Shop. The PS3 does have a standard HDMI output, and HDMI cables are easy to find cheap (as long as I don’t buy them at Future Shop), but my TV doesn’t have HDMI inputs, so that doesn’t actually help.

Amidst Boxing Day shopping euphoria, it seemed perfectly logical that I should look at the TV deals first instead of just buying the cable. After all, new TVs would have all the modern connectors, allowing me to hook up the PS3 and anything else that might interest me without having to worry, and it’s not like there weren’t other issues with my current TV that were starting to annoy. Also, I wouldn’t have to go out shopping again, since it made sense to do the shopping online where I could compare various retailers and look up reviews. And if I didn’t find anything worthwhile, I still had the fallback plan of buying the cable and hoping it worked.

In the end, I bought a Samsung PN50B530, which I pick up in a couple of weeks. It’s a 50″, 1080P plasma model, with all the inputs I need (at least for now). I’ve temporarily hooked the PS3 up to my smaller, standard-definition bedroom TV, so I’m not disappointed by the resolution. When my new TV comes in, I’ll hook the PS3 up to that, move my current big-screen TV into the bedroom, and figure out something to do with my old bedroom TV later.

Of course, now I need to buy some sort of stand….

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