What is a PS3® Network Adapter?

A PS3® Network Adapter is a built-in feature or an external accessory that enables your PlayStation 3 console to connect to the internet, unlocking a world of online gaming, content streaming, and social interaction. It's your gateway to a vast digital universe. Curious about how to maximize your online experience? Let's dive deeper into the possibilities.
H. Bliss
H. Bliss

A Playstation 3 (PS3) is a gaming console, which is a device that reads PS3 video games. A PS3® network adapter is a part used within the gaming console that allows the PS3® to connect to a network, and can also be called a gaming network adapter. This device comes already installed in the gaming console. The PS3® network adapter helps a game player connect to other players to participate in interactive multiplayer gameplay, usually through a server connected through a local area network (LAN) or the Internet. A PS3® network adapter can be either wired or wireless, depending on the model.

Many models of the PS3™ console have been released by Playstation®, including models with different levels of memory capacity and different models for varying countries around the world. Most, but not all, models of Playstation 3® have built-in wireless networking features. Wireless Internet capabilities come standard on the slim PS3™ model or any models of PS3™ with a storage capacity over 40 gigabytes (GB). The original 20 GB model does not come with a wireless wireless PS3® network adapter, and an adapter was not made available for the original 20 GB model of the Playstation 3®.

A HDMI® cable.
A HDMI® cable.

For a PS3® network adapter to connect to a multiplayer server, it must either connect to the Internet or connect to a gaming server set up on the home network. PS3™ consoles with wired Ethernet network adapters must be connected to a router using a category 5 (CAT-5) cable. The router also needs to be connected to a modem with an Internet signal to get access to PS3™ gaming content online.

Cat 5 cable with RJ45 plug.
Cat 5 cable with RJ45 plug.

Playstation 3® is the third console released by Sony Computer Entertainment, after the Playstation 2® (PS2) and Playstation®. The Playstation 3® comes standard with a built-in PS3® network adapter that connects to an Ethernet network. Other features of this type of console include Bluetooth® connectivity and the ability to output to a high-definition media interface (HDMI) cable. The Bluetooth® connectivity can be used to access wireless PS3™ controllers and headsets that use Bluetooth® technology.

The online gaming network for PS3™ that is run by Playstation® is called the Playstation® Network (PSN). Features included for members of PSN include access to multiplayer online gaming, voice and video chat with other members, and online trophies for accomplishing gaming milestones. Users can also rent and download movies to play on the PS3™ through the PSN.

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Discussion Comments


@Soulfox -- It is important to remember how quickly technology changes. When the PS3 was introduced, wired networks were very common. Wireless connections become common and, lo and behold, everyone wanted to connect to the Internet that way. Sony just kept up with the times by releasing a PS3 with a built in wireless adapter.

Even those who don't have one of those are not completely out of luck. There were plenty of wireless USB adapters made that can get that PS3 online. Search around just a bit and you can find one easily.


That's the problem with the PS3 or any modern video game console. There are so many versions of them available that it is hard to figure out exactly what you have when you are trying to figure out things such as whether you have a built in wireless network adapter so you can log onto the Playstation network without having to plug your computer with a wired connection.

If you get a model without a wireless adapter built-in, that is a shame. Who the heck uses wired networks anymore?

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    • A HDMI® cable.
      A HDMI® cable.
    • Cat 5 cable with RJ45 plug.
      Cat 5 cable with RJ45 plug.