Make the most of the great features of PlayStation 3 that won't cost you a thing.
So, that large, inviting present beneath the Christmas tree really did turn out to be what you wished for, and now you're all set to experience some of the most spectacular video games around. Yet PlayStation 3 offers far more than just cutting-edge interactive entertainment. Even better, loads of features and services available on PS3 won't cost you a thing.
It's free to join PlayStation Network
Slipping that Blu-ray Disc into your PS3 is only the start of what you can achieve with PlayStation. As soon as you've linked your PS3 system to an Internet connection, you can create a Sony Entertainment Network account via the XMB™ Menu of your PS3.
It's simple to do and once you're registered, you can join in with a world of free online gaming possibilities, whether you want to dazzle opponents at FIFA 13 or take up the gauntlet thrown down by some of the most fearsome Call of Duty: Black Ops II players on the planet.
Free from PlayStation Store
How would you like to have great games delivered not just to your door, but straight into your PS3 system? That's what PlayStation Store lets you do, and with a Sony Entertainment Network account you can also try before you buy, by downloading free demos of the biggest games to enjoy whenever and as many times as you like. Some game trials and add-ons are also free to download from PlayStation Store, as well as some wallpapers and themes.
PlayStation Home, meanwhile, is a thriving online space which offers a host of free mini-games and exclusive content from the biggest games around. A buzzing virtual world packed full of games, it's also the perfect space to hang out with your PlayStation Network friends.
Stay up to date
Evolution happens fast with PlayStation, and you can stay right up to date with progress for free via your PS3 system. The latest trailers showing the hottest forthcoming games and movies can be viewed by heading to PlayStation Store, while eu.playstation.com and PlayStation.Blog at blog.eu.playstation.com, delivering news and in-depth features on all things PlayStation, can also be accessed using your PS3 system's web browser.
Stay in touch with the latest on your favourite games wherever you are by downloading the PlayStation Official App to your smart phone or mobile device, too. It'll also let you check your PlayStation Network trophies and keep up to date with your friends' online status.
Get your party started
SingStar is now free to play – all you need to do is install it onto your PS3 straight from the XMB™ Menu. There's no need to switch between Blu-ray Discs, and there are even some demo songs available for you practise your chords on before you head to PlayStation Store to buy more tracks.
Treat the eyes as well as the ears by downloading VidZone from PlayStation Store and stream thousands of music videos direct to your PS3 system this party season. It's easy to create the playlist that perfectly matches whatever you and your friends are into. And whether that's rock, dance, hip hop, indie or anything else, you can easily head to dedicated Zones to watch and listen to the best of that genre of music.
Great memories when you want
Hard to keep up with your favourite films and TV shows over the festive season? Then download BBC iPlayer, ITV Network and 4oD to your PS3 and catch up with them any time you want. Best of all, they're free to use. All you need is a Sony Entertainment Network account and an Internet connection to start viewing.
Want to bring your cherished photos to life? Download PlayMemories from PlayStation Store to arrange your snaps into a slideshow to enjoy on your TV screen, complete with a soundtrack of your choice. You can even view photos taken with a 3D camera in stereoscopic 3D, as long as your PS3 system is connected to a 3D TV.
Add a built-in Blu-ray Disc player to the mix, and PS3 can comfortably become your entertainment hub, effortlessly handling whatever you require straight out of the box. Stay tuned to eu.playstation.com over the coming months for more on how to get the best out of PS3 for free.
Spelunky, Dust an Elysian Tale and more, available now