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PlayStation 3 vs. PlayStation 4: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 30, 2024
PlayStation 3 is an older generation game console with lower processing power, while PlayStation 4 offers enhanced graphics, performance, and a more extensive game library.

Key Differences

PlayStation 3, released in 2006, introduced a significant upgrade in graphics and processing power from its predecessor. PlayStation 4, launched in 2013, further enhanced these aspects with more advanced hardware and software capabilities.
The PlayStation 3 was notable for its Blu-ray player and multimedia capabilities, a first for game consoles. PlayStation 4 built upon this by offering improved Blu-ray and streaming capabilities, along with higher resolution output.
PlayStation 3 supported a vast library of games, including many exclusive titles that defined the console. PlayStation 4 expanded this library, offering more games with advanced graphics and gameplay features.
The PlayStation 3 utilized the Cell microprocessor architecture, which was powerful but complex for developers. PlayStation4 switched to a more developer-friendly x86-64 architecture, leading to easier game development and enhanced performance.
Online gaming and connectivity were a significant part of the PlayStation 3 experience. PlayStation 4 took this further, offering a more robust online experience with improved social features and integration.

Comparison Chart

Release Date


Hardware Architecture

Cell microprocessor architecture
X86-64 architecture

Graphics and Performance

Lower processing power, earlier generation graphics
Enhanced graphics, higher processing power

Game Library

Large library with exclusive titles
Larger library with more advanced games

Online Features

Basic online gaming and connectivity
Advanced online features, social integration

PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 Definitions

PlayStation 3

Introduced new standards in online gaming.
Playing online with friends became popular with the PlayStation 3.

PlayStation 4

Improved online features and social connectivity.
Sharing game clips is easy and fun on the PlayStation 4.

PlayStation 3

Offers a vast library of exclusive games.
Classic games like Uncharted started on the PlayStation 3.

PlayStation 4

An eighth-generation home video game console.
My PlayStation 4 is the center of my gaming setup.

PlayStation 3

A seventh-generation home video game console.
The PlayStation 3 was my first gaming console.

PlayStation 4

Offers a larger game library with advanced features.
The PlayStation 4 has a diverse range of games for all players.

PlayStation 3

Known for its Blu-ray player and multimedia features.
I use my PlayStation 3 to watch Blu-ray movies.

PlayStation 4

Features a more developer-friendly architecture.
Indie developers have released some great titles on PlayStation 4.

PlayStation 3

Utilizes the Cell microprocessor architecture.
The PlayStation 3's unique architecture made it a standout console.

PlayStation 4

Enhanced graphics and performance over its predecessor.
Games on the PlayStation 4 look stunningly realistic.


What are the key features of the PlayStation 4?

Enhanced graphics, improved performance, and a larger game library.

Can PlayStation 3 play Blu-ray discs?

Yes, the PlayStation 3 can play Blu-ray discs.

Did PlayStation 3 have online capabilities?

Yes, the PlayStation 3 offered online gaming and connectivity.

Is the PlayStation 4 more powerful than the PlayStation 3?

Yes, the PlayStation 4 has more advanced hardware and better performance.

Were there multiple versions of the PlayStation 3?

Yes, there were several models of the PlayStation 3, including slim versions.

When was the PlayStation 3 released?

The PlayStation 3 was released in 2006.

Are there exclusive games for the PlayStation 4?

Yes, the PlayStation 4 has many exclusive titles.

How does the game graphics compare between the two?

PlayStation 4 games have significantly better graphics and resolution compared to PlayStation 3.

Can the PlayStation 4 play PlayStation 3 games?

Generally, the PlayStation 4 is not backwards compatible with PlayStation 3 games, with some exceptions through services like PlayStation Now.

Can I use my PlayStation 3 controllers on the PlayStation 4?

PlayStation 3 controllers are not natively compatible with the PlayStation 4.

What is the main difference in architecture between the two consoles?

PlayStation 3 used a Cell microprocessor, while PlayStation 4 uses an x86-64 architecture.

Is the PlayStation 4 compatible with virtual reality?

Yes, the PlayStation 4 is compatible with the PlayStation VR headset.

Are there any storage differences between the two?

The PlayStation 4 generally offers more storage options and larger hard drive capacities.

Has the online community aspect changed from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4?

Yes, the PlayStation 4 has more integrated and robust online community features.

Are there differences in the controllers for the two consoles?

Yes, the PlayStation 4 controller, DualShock 4, has additional features like a touchpad and improved ergonomics compared to the PlayStation 3's DualShock 3.

What kind of online services does PlayStation 4 offer?

The PlayStation 4 offers PlayStation Network for online gaming, streaming, and social features.

Is the user interface different between PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4?

Yes, the PlayStation 4 has an updated, more user-friendly interface.

Is it worth upgrading from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4?

For enhanced gaming experiences, better graphics, and a larger game library, upgrading to PlayStation 4 is generally considered worthwhile.

Can I stream movies and TV shows on both consoles?

Yes, both consoles offer streaming services for movies and TV shows.

Were there any major design changes from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4?

Yes, the PlayStation 4 has a more modern and streamlined design compared to the PlayStation 3.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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