The PlayStation 3 is the third generation in the Sony gaming console range. It was released in March 2007 in Europe, and was the compatible with the first HD TV thanks to its Blu-Ray DVD drive and the HDMI connector, allowing video playing in 1080p on compatible screens.
This new version of the PlayStation abandoned the famous memory card system of the previous versions, instead featuring a hard drive to save game play and to store films, music, and images directly. Thanks to its network capabilities the PlayStation 3 is more than a simple console, it now features a media centre where you can play movies, music, or photos. In 2010, a new firmware update added the ability to play 3D Blu-Ray DVD's, and to activate 3D mode on compatible PS3 games.
The numerous technological evolutions of the PS3 allow the PS3 to run games in a much higher quality, including 3D rendering quality improvements.
The PlayStation 3 is no more or less complicated to repair than the previous generations. Even though it features a few more internal components, it hasn't become any smaller so doesn't require any more precision during repairs and disassembly.
The easiest way to identify which version of the PlayStation 3 Fat you have is by noting the model number on the manufacturer label on the back of your PlayStation 3 Fat. You'll only need this model number to replace the optical drive/block, all other spare parts are compatible with with all versions of the PlayStation 3.
There are 17 different model numbers for the European versions of the PlayStation 3 Fat: