PS3: Updated Review / Then & Now Retrospectives / Future Predictions

Digital-Nitrate

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I recently read the following excellent in-depth article/review on the PS3 published by ars technica, and thought others may find it just as interesting as I did. It offers a frank retrospective on the continual development and growth of the PS3, as well as links throughout that help recreate the PS3 dateline, all while reviewing the current state of the PS3 platform.

While I disagree with some of the opinions in the article/review and have found some facts that contradict some of what is said, and disappointed to see many of the excellent features and games on the PS3 were overlooked... although not too surprising seeing as how ars technica has had a history of, in my opinion, unfairly casting a bad light on the PS3 early in it's lifecycle. However, despite all that, overall I thought it was a superb and informative read. 👍

More importantly, I also thought that besides sharing the article here, perhaps it might also be interesting for us to share our own personal retrospectives on our own experiences with the PS3, and where we think it's headed.

First the article/review:


They say it got smart: a 2008 review of the PS3
Published: June 04, 2008 - 11:30PM CT by Ben Kuchera on arstechnica.com
The revolution will not be televised, it will be downloaded an update at a time

Back in the crazy days before the current generation of gaming consoles, the console you bought at retail was the console you had for the life of the hardware. My SNES acts exactly the same now as it did when it was first released, and outside of the addition of Xbox Live, the first Xbox system remained largely unchanged throughout the hardware's life cycle. Those days are long over, and now which version of Sony's PlayStation 3 that you bought is only one part of the equation: welcome to the firmware wars.

No console system has changed so dramatically in the time since its launch as the PlayStation 3. We rather notoriously gave the 60GB model a six when it was first released, and we stand by that rating—the system just felt undercooked. What player of high-definition media can't display content in 720p? Also, the lack of background downloading felt like a drag when we tried to use the online store. And the games were mostly terrible; there wasn't anything that looked as good as the titles on the then-mature Xbox 360, much less any evidence that the PS3 was as powerful as Sony had promised. Remember, this was the system that had been hyped from here to eternity, so it was easy to feel let down by Sony's anemic launch offerings. The PS3 never became hard to find, the price cuts began sooner than expected, and the system has been trailing both the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii almost every month since it has been released.

It may sound a bit dire when you sum it up like that, but something has been happening with the PlayStation 3 since launch. The firmware has received update after update. The Blu-ray capability has become much stronger, and it may in fact be the most affordable and fully-featured high definition disc player on the market. The price has come down to a much more palatable $400 for the 40GB model, and the game selection continues to improve, with strong multiplatform support and a wide selection of exclusive games. Finally, the Sixaxis has been discontinued, and in its place now sits the Dual Shock 3: a controller with both motion-sensing capabilities and rumble.

Sony has done an amazing job of rallying behind its flagship system, and where there used to be arrogance there is a now a more realistic sense of what needs to be done, as well as a more open approach to dealing with the press and bloggers alike. Sony launched its own blog to speak directly to the consumers, for instance, and both the PlayStation blog in the US and ThreeSpeech in the UK do a great job of providing news; both sites also have many developers and publishers interacting directly with the comments. Even the commercials for the system have gotten better. This approach seems to be saying one thing to console gamers like us, who were unimpressed with the system at launch: "We're different now. We understand what went wrong. Come home to the PlayStation you know."

So today, in light of all that has changed since the system's launch, we're going to re-review the PlayStation 3 by taking a look at the system you'll get if you buy one today, not the system that launched in November of 2006. Trust us, it's no longer a six.


Blu-ray player and media functions

The first thing that was wrong with the launch version of the PS3 was that its Blu-ray support wasn't exactly the asset that it is today. The original unit's lack of 720p support was criminal, and the selection of Blu-ray titles was weak. No one wanted to buy content for a format that might die, and if they did, the majority of people with high-def displays most likely ran at 720p as the standard resolution.

In May of 2007, Sony launched the 1.80 firmware update, and the game was changed: 720p support was finally added, as was the ability to upscale existing DVDs. DLNA support also came to the system, so that you could stream your content from your home network.

Even as Sony was rolling out these firmware updates, the Blu-ray standard itself was evolving. Different profiles for the standard asked different things of the hardware, meaning that many players wouldn't be able to take advantage of the latest features of some discs. Taking a look at each Blu-ray profile, you can imagine that early adopters of the format aren't happy with the situation:

  • 1.0 is the launch profile, and secondary audio and video decoders are optional, as is local storage and network connectivity. The majority of standalone players fit into this category.

  • 1.1 is a newer profile, and to take advantage of these discs, players need a secondary audio and video decoder to handle picture-in-picture, as well as at least 256MB of local storage for content.

  • 2.0 is the very latest profile, requiring the two secondary decoders, 1GB of local storage for updates and content, and an Internet connection.

Sony has already launched the software update that allows the PS3 to play discs that use the 2.0 profile, called "BD Live," and at the moment the PS3 is one of the few players that will be able to play these discs. What does BD Live get you? Picture in picture, online features like trivia games, and other goodies like downloadable ring tones. The price of standalone players that are fully compliant with the 2.0 spec will most likely be above the $400 asking price of the PS3. Furthermore, buying Sony's console instead of a standalone player also gives you an added insurance policy: with its media processing muscle, hard drive, and Ethernet port, the PS3 is one of the only completely future-proof Blu-ray players on the market. No matter how the spec changes, the PS3 will be able to play it.

Sony's is also the only console to be completely Divx certified, unlike the limited support the format enjoys on the 360. "The recent Xbox update does not support full DivX playback; Microsoft has added support for MPEG-4, which is not the same thing as full DivX Certification," Bruce Lidl, PR manager for DivX Inc., told Ars Technica. "In practical terms, it is true that some DivX files will play back on the Xbox, because DivX is in part based on the MPEG-4 standard. But many early versions of DivX video will not play back on the console, and the device has not been tested to guarantee an acceptable level of quality and full support for DivX video at the proper resolution." In contrast, the PlayStation 3 is fully certified to work with DivX in all its incarnations, a large selling point for people with Divx content already on their network.

The Blu-ray and DivX situation has left Sony with the upper hand over Microsoft in the race to turn consoles into networked home media players. In short, Sony's gaming system is one of the most robust and affordable pieces of home theater hardware on the market: it's the best Blu-ray player, it has a relatively low price, it's fully Divx compatible, and it allows video streaming from your network. Furthermore, regular DVDs look amazing after being upscaled, and the system now takes advantage of all your high-end audio equipment. If you take away the gaming features completely, the hardware is still worth more than $400 for home theater enthusiasts; in a surreal twist, you could argue that Blu-ray is the Trojan horse bringing PS3 gaming to the masses, not the other way around.


Story of Rumble

When the PlayStation 3 was released, it launched with the Sixaxis controller. This was something of a departure for Sony in that it had no rumble, and its motion-sensing technology seemed to have taken some cues from the Nintendo Wii. Without rumble, the controller was light, and the triggers had a much larger range of motion than the Dual Shock 2. Some loved it, some hated it, but it was certainly an interesting choice.

"I believe that the Sixaxis controller offers game designers and developers far more opportunity for future innovation than rumble ever did. Now, rumble I think was the last generation feature; it's not the next-generation feature. I think motion sensitivity is," Phil Harrison famously told GameDaily back in February 2007. The truth is that Sony was locked in litigation with the Immersion Corporation, and rather than capitulate and license the rumble technology, Sony decided to use its power to try to make rumble look passé. The ploy didn't work.

"I really miss the rumble feature, and I already said to Mr. Kutaragi that I want the rumble feature back," Hideo Kojima said, and many gamers agreed with him. Sony ended up settling with Immersion, and almost immediately the tune changed. Sony couldn't wait to work with the company.

In a later interview, Phil Harrison played politics to try to downplay Sony's old stance about rumble. "As to previous statements that I made; we were in a lawsuit—what do you expect me to say? We were in a lawsuit. We were in litigation. Of course I have to defend our view. And actually, I still truly believe that having the Sixaxis controller the way it is is the best way to control games. And I think that we're looking forward to working with Immersion going forward, and who knows where that is leading us."

In April of this year Sony finally released the Dual Shock 3, complete with rumble, and then killed the Sixaxis completely. The Dual Shock 3 is going to be the controller for Sony moving forward, and many games already support the rumble feature. The story of the Dual Shock 3 is one of the most drastic turnarounds seen in the gaming industry.

Holding a Dual Shock 3 in my hand, I can't help but wonder how many gamers who haven't yet bought a PlayStation 3 will even remember this story. For the majority of the system's life, the Dual Shock 3 will be the controller everyone knows, and it's a very good controller. Strong battery life, rumble, wireless... it's what the system should have shipped with from the beginning. The Dual Shock is one of the most iconic designs in the history of gaming, and it's great to have it back, rumble included.

The Dual Shock 3 is yet another way that the system has improved since launch. Rumble is now back, and the PlayStation 3 has the stock controller it always deserved.


Home is where the heart is

Comparisons of Sony's PlayStation Network to Microsoft's Xbox Live have driven quite a large percentage of the online fanboi flamewars. For those that swear by it, the most important "feature" of the PlayStation 3's online network is the fact that it's free, and you won't pay a monthly fee to play online or to get your content a little faster. In contrast, with the Xbox Live you're paying for a unified infrastructure, but it also happens to be a lot stronger than Sony's free service. Some online-enabled PS3 games support voice, and some don't. There is no way to send invites across games. And most annoyingly, publishers may ask you to sign up for many different logins to play their games. So online play isn't a bad experience with the PlayStation 3, but it can be underwhelming after getting used to Xbox Live. Indeed, some argue that Sony doesn't charge you for its service because there isn't much of a service there to charge for.

But Sony's online network is certainly improving as time goes on, and it's expected that Home, Sony's social gaming answer to Xbox Live, will do a great deal to turn the tide of the online war. Home will give you a personal space in which to collect trophies; you'll be able to watch movies with other gamers; and organizing games will become easy—just get everyone together in one virtual room and launch the game. While Sony is promising microtransactions via Home, the basic service will be free to every PlayStation 3 owner.

While Home offers much to get excited about, the problem is that the service has seen multiple delays, with no solid release date in sight. EA's Peter Moore expressed the impatience that many gamers are feeling. "Phil Harrison showed me a demo–it's very cool, but let's go already. And so I'm disappointed that it's been pushed back a little bit again," Moore said to GamesIndustry. "But I really hope it gets going and becomes that portal to the PlayStation Network and we can utilize it. But boy, I just wish we'd get going."

SCEE President David Reeves told CVG that it's possible the service is spending too much time focusing on the non-gaming aspects of the experience. "We've realised that maybe we were too ambitious with the non-gaming applications within Home, getting sponsors and stuff like that," Reeves said. "In that sense we were deserting gamers. So, we're concentrating on the gaming by launching games in Home, and attracting people who are into gaming in first—instead of the Nike people, or Adidas people who are into fashion and not necessarily into gaming." This is good to hear, but as a gamer I find disconcerting how long it took Sony to realize that games need to come first with an online service, well before the "Adidas people." Hopefully the final version of Home will reward our patience.

The PlayStation Store was likewise anemic at launch, but these days Sony has been busy keeping it stocked. Today, you'll find downloadable games for gamers both casual and hardcore, and some of the downloadable titles are so good that they're nearly worth buying a system for. Everyday Shooter, PixelJunk Monsters, Trials of Topoq, flOw—the store is filled with interesting games, and more are coming. So while the Xbox Live Arcade is filled with many remakes and, frankly, disposable games, Sony has done a good job of stocking its own store with a great variety of titles without as much chaff to cut through.

The store itself has also just gotten a reboot that makes the process of shopping much zippier than the web-based monster the store was upon launch.

Sony has another advantage over the Xbox 360 when it comes to online sales: no maximum file size. This has allowed Sony to release full-sized games online and sell them directly to gamers. From Warhawk to Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, you'll find games that you can download directly that are full, no-nonsense releases. This is something Microsoft, with its expensive, proprietary hard drives, is going to have trouble matching. If you fill up your hard drive on the PlayStation 3, you're encouraged to swap it out for a larger one; the process is simple and the system uses off-the-shelf 2.5" SATA hard drives. Contrast that with Microsoft's insistence on charging you $180 for 120GB of space, and you'll see why Sony has won over so many fans in this area.

In conclusion, the PlayStation 3 has come a long way with its online offerings, but the store could still use a good tightening-up to make images load faster, and Xbox Live still trumps the free offerings with its robust feature set; something Home is hoping to change. We've also been promised much more content to buy and download, including video. That's in the future, however, and right now there is still much room to grow. Social gamers are still served better on Microsoft's rival service.


The game's the thing

Unless you're buying a PlayStation 3 simply because it's the best Blu-ray player on the market (and I'm sure many will), the thing you're most interested in are the games. Are there enough titles to justify the $400+ purchase? Are more coming? Let's take a look at some of the best titles that you can buy right now, leaving out future releases and multiplatform titles. (While many developers had issues with ports in the past, that problem is hopefully behind us, as many games now launch pitch-perfect on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.) A look at the exclusives available for Sony's console shows that there is much to like here, and way too much for one budget.


Full retail releases

Gran Turismo 5: Prologue: Sure, it may feel like a demo with its relatively small number of tracks and disappointing online play, but as a hint of what we'll be getting with the full release this has to get your mouth watering. The graphics are amazing, and the feel of actually driving these cars is second to none. Polyphony Digital is the king of racing titles, and this proves it.

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune: There is a reason this game keeps coming up in discussions of the PlayStation 3; it's simply that good. Flawless dialogue and voice acting, mixed with a strong story and pacing, turned what could have been a Tomb Raider knock-off into something special. The beautiful graphics don't hurt, either. This is one of the best modern adventures in gaming, and to say anything more would diminish the fun of simply jumping in blind and playing it. Sony sent us a review copy after Frank and I argued over whether the title would find a place in the crowded market, and we fell in love with the game. How much did we believe in it? We knocked the Mass Effect review planned for the feature down to the gaming journal to make room for Uncharted. We simply thought it was a better game.

Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds: Golf games can be either very calming, or they can be exercises in frustration. This newest version of Hot Shots Golf is both. Easy enough for anyone to play after only a few minutes of practice, but deep enough that the hardcore gamer will be refining their technique weeks after they begin to practice. Fun, stylized graphics, and a lobby-based online mode that allows for 50-person tournaments round out a great practice with nearly unlimited replay value. There could be more courses, but lord knows we'll be sold more content down the road. A great time for everyone, and one of the most approachable games on the system.

Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction: Insomniac has long been recognized as one of the best development studios in the industry, and Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is the proof positive that the status is well-earned. Having learned a lot from the release of Resistance, the team brought their trademark Ratchet and Clank franchise to the PS3 in a big way. Some of the most vast, varied, and incredibly detailed worlds ever to spill from the imagination into a game are the backdrop of this excellent platformer-shooter hybrid. The series staples of shooting, jumping, and upgrading, when coupled with an eye-melting new presentation that screams at a locked 60 frames per second despite uncountable explosions, make this one of the most impressive pieces of software to hit any console yet. And, most importantly, it's just plain fun.

Warhawk: Though the Xbox 360 may be better associated with online multiplayer, Warhawk stands as a beacon for multiplayer done right on Sony's platform. Well-balanced play and tons of flexibility in strategy, play modes, map confirgurations, and more are only the start of why Warhawk is one of the strongest online multiplayer games around. A solid clan system, an integrated friends list, and great voice chat make Warhawk one of the most fully-featured multiplayer titles on the system. Best of all, the game is one of the only to be truly made better by Sixaxis control: flying the Warhawks with a joystick just isn't the same.

Eye of Judgment: Although Nintendo gets all the props for coming up with new ways to interact with games, this mixture of collectible card game and video game is much better than it has any right to be. The strategy is solid, the online play is great, and the whole thing as an experience is almost too geeky for words. Once set up, with a worthy opponent sitting across from you, this is a game that will eat your free time like none other. It's sad that the cards were so easily pirated, but even with each player only owning a starter pack, competition can be fierce. It's a unique idea, with great execution.


Honorable mentions: F1 Championship Edition, Resistance: Fall of Man, Motorstorm, Heavenly Sword


PlayStation Store Releases

Everyday Shooter: Yes, everyone has the dual analogue shooter on their system, and there are many, many of this type of game out there. Why is Everyday Shooter different? Well, the graphics are beautiful, for one, and the music is guitar-based and catchy, in contrast to the techno styles that have become so overdone with gaming these days. Created by one man, Jonathan Mak, and championed by Sony, this is a great experience that takes fairly boring gaming mechanics and makes them all seem new. Trying to figure out how to score the highest points in each level before the song is over adds a certain puzzle aspect to the game, and each level is much deeper than it may at first appear.

PixelJunk Monsters: You take Tower Defense, add an actual character to control, and hone the game-play to perfection, and you've got PixelJunk Monsters. Running around and building turrets to defend your base while picking up the coins and jewels that the enemies drop sounds frantic, and it is, but this game creates a level of addiction that's surreal. The features don't stop there, though: online leaderboards, co-op play, and the ability to use Remote Play to take the game on the road with you via your PSP makes this a game that shows off everything the PlayStation 3 can do. Be sure to download it, but also be sure to clear your schedule.

Calling All Cars: Created by David Jaffe, the man behind the first God of War title, this is a tiny little nothing of a game that didn't seem to spark the minds of many gamers, and that's a shame. The simple play of driving around in your car, snatching the bad guy, and depositing him in jail will grab you, refuse to let go, and whisper in your ear that yes, you CAN make the jump to get the higher point value for your deposit. Online play is even more fun with human opponents cursing and ramming each other. It may sound basic, but wait until you play it.

Trials of Topoq: This is what happens when you mix Tai-Chi and gaming. The game uses the PlayStation Eye to project your image on the floor of each puzzle, and any movement causes the elevation of each section, so the ball naturally rolls downhill. This means you have to make gentle, sweeping gestures to guide your ball down the tower and to avoid the obstacles, and the exercise is both calming and fun. The later levels take concentration, fine control of your entire body, and a clear head. This is another game that deserved more love than it ended up getting.

Super Stardust HD: I got in trouble with our readers by complaining that this seemed to be yet another dual-analogue shooter; their argument seemed to be who cares if it's going down well-worn terrain when it does it this well? Good point. Each level takes place on a sphere as you protect the planets from falling debris, and avoid the enemies. Leveling up each of your weapons gives you some impressive fire power and, while game-play is king, it doesn't hurt that this game is gorgeous.


Honorable mentions: Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, High Velocity Bowling, Blast Factor: Advanced Research


Coming up with these lists involved a few hard decisions, but I hope the point has been made: the PlayStation 3 already has a strong and compelling library of exclusives, and more are on the way. It took a while for us to get here, but if you pick up a PS3 today, you'll be able to choose from a wide selection of retail releases, PlayStation Store titles, and multiplatform titles. No matter what system you have, there has to be at least a few games on this list that you're jealous of.


A better PlayStation makes a better industry

We didn't give the PS3 much love when it first launched. Parts of the system plain didn't work, the online play was all over the place, and the software support was limited, at best. Multiplatform games played noticeably worse than their Xbox 360 counterparts. So many of us had a bad taste in our mouths from all the claims that the PS3 was going to completely blow away the competition, and that the only real high-definition graphics were 1080p. Sony walked into this generation with a set of claims that their launch hardware and library simply couldn't back up, and the company took a bad beating for it.

To Sony's credit, though, they learned. They slowly, but surely, addressed every beef gamers had with the system: the software lineup improved; developers learned how to work with the system; the price went down; Blu-ray won the format war; and the firmware updates kept adding value to the system. (Also, it helped that Ken Kuturagi stepped down, which was a good move. The man was a brilliant engineer, but anyone who believed he should be speaking to the public deserves to... well, to have Ken Kuturagi say crazy things about their products.)

Today Sony isn't simply playing catch-up; the PS3 has grown into a capable system that does almost everything the Xbox 360 can do, and many things even better. As a home theater box it's impeccable, and it's getting better with every update. As a gaming machine the lineup of exclusives is impressive, and more are on the way. Sony failed when it thought that it was unbeatable, and it rallied when everyone thought it couldn't be saved.

In the end, competition is a great thing. Every gamer, no matter what their system of choice, should be happy that the PlayStation 3 has become a worthy contender. Sony will make Microsoft try harder, as both companies fight to have the best games with the best features. The gaming world is better with a PlayStation product in it, and Sony has proven that it's folly to underestimate its tenacity and power in the gaming space.


The Good

  • The best Blu-ray player on the market
  • Rock solid hardware with a minimal defect rate
  • Excellent media functions across the board
  • Dual Shock 3 is a great controller, with many options for creative developers
  • Online store has no upper limit on size of games
  • Storage is a snap to upgrade
  • Excellent convergence with the PlayStation Portable
  • An ever-increasing library of exclusives
  • Home could make great strides in online gaming

The Bad

  • Home has seen too many delays
  • Online play still doesn't measure up to Xbox
  • Backwards compatibility seems to be going the way of the dodo in newer models
  • Focus on media could take away from gaming aspects of the system

Don't think that numerical scores are coming back, but since we're re-rating the hardware, I thought we'd take them out for one last hurrah, since these days the PS3 gets a...

9 out of 10
 

Digital-Nitrate

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I just went to see what looked interesting on the PS3 Developer's Blog, and talk about good timing in regards to retrospectives:

PlayStation.Blog is a Year Old Today
Published on June 11, 2008 by Patrick Seybold // Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media
Tonight’s a pretty big night. We, like every other PS3 owner, are gearing up for the launch of Metal Gear Solid 4 and clearing our calendars for the next few days. While June 12th may always be remembered among PlayStation fans as the day MGS4 blew us all away, June 11th is pretty special to us here at SCEA as well.

June 11th 2007 – the birth of the PlayStation.Blog

We knew from the very first post (600+ comments) that this was something you wanted – a direct-line between the people that create the games you love and those of you that play them. Hearing directly from industry decision-makers like Jack Tretton, Shuhei Yoshida, and Peter Dille was pretty unlikely a couple of years back, but we’ve done our best to make sure that is more the rule than the exception.

In just a year, we’d like to think we’ve become an important resource for both consumers and media seeking exclusive news, screens, videos, viewpoints, and tips from the world of PlayStation. For some of you, we’ve gathered that coming here to read up has become part of your daily ritual, and for that we thank you.

In speaking with bloggers in other disciplines – tech, travel, entertainment, dining – we’ve found that nobody is as engaged with the inner workings of their hobby than gamers like you. 300 comments on a post has quickly become common place here on PlayStation.Blog. 300,000 views of a video? You did it. In fact, the stats are pretty mind boggling – take a look:

  • Total number of posts: 437
  • Total number of photos: 1,200
  • Total number of videos: 80
  • Total number of links to the blog: 10,222
  • Total number of comments: 63,060
  • First commenter ever: Chris Grant of Joystiq!

Clearly, we wouldn’t be anywhere without such a passionate audience. And to give a little something back, we’d like to salute our top commenters – many of whom appear to have spent more time on the blog than any of us!

  1. 40cal
  2. gamesblow
  3. Loucifer
  4. blizzard182
  5. Jeigh
  6. joel
  7. aaquib
  8. Stoffinator
  9. frito
  10. Solace

The rest of the Top 50 can be found after the jump. Oh, and if you see your “name” here, keep an eye on your inbox – we’ll be tracking you down to send you a t-shirt in honor of your dedication. Wear it with pride.



2569624941_18272029fa.jpg

Well that’s where we’ve been – here’s where we’re going in Year 2. We’re going to continue refining the look and feel of the blog, making it easier for you to find more stories with less effort. We’ve seen a surge recently in writer comment replies, and we’re committed to keeping those numbers up – and increasing. Third-party producers of PlayStation titles have recognized that *this* is the place to reach gamers – so expect more series of the Metal Gear Monday variety. And we’re speaking with our counterparts in Europe to bring more PlayStation news to you from that part of the world. We know you’re reading us from across the Atlantic, and we haven’t forgotten about you.

Once again, a sincere “thank you” to all of the readers and subscribers, the editors of other gaming websites who link to us, and everyone who’s taken the time to craft a post for the PlayStation.Blog.

Back to work.
 

Digital-Nitrate

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(saving this spot for easy referencing and updating interesting past & present PS3 stats that others share in this thread)

I've also toyed with the idea of making a PS3 FAQ as it seems with all the new owners of PS3's on this site, and the depth of features it has, there are an increasing number of questions being asked, and perhaps an FAQ could be very useful for many of our fellow members?
 

Duke

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Interesting read. And it backs up my plan to buy a used 60gb machine and update it, rather than buying a new 80gb machine.
 

Digital-Nitrate

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Interesting read. And it backs up my plan to buy a used 60gb machine and update it, rather than buying a new 80gb machine.

You may want to really reconsider. I've heard the software emulation backward compatability with the 80GB model is actually pretty good. In addition, the latest 80GB PS3 use the new 65nm chips, which draw less power, and thus should also lower the average oppertaing dB noise level... not that it's all that loud to begin with, but if it's in an equipment rack or room that get's hot easily, that would be a bonus. 👍

Not only that, but you'll get a warranty, and there is a killer deal right now at Walmart:

Oh, how sweet it is:

2572463929_8e57806002.jpg


$499 + $100 Wal Mart gift card.

That's only $400 for a 80GB PS3 w/DS3 controller and MGS4. :eek:


This deal has me interested enough to consider giving my 60GB to my wife's sister's family, and picking one of these bundles up instead.
 

Duke

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My problem with the 80gb machine's software is that ALL of our favorite games - GT4, Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter, etc - show up on the "May not perform as expected" list.
 

V1P3R

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I'd comment on the PS3's progression, but I'm afraid my disappointment will be mistaken for Trolling. I really do think 9/10 is not honest and kidding everyone dealing with a PS3... Whatever though. :rolleyes:
 

Digital-Nitrate

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Whatever though. :rolleyes:

We still get the picture you keep trying to paint.

: Shrugs: Callin it as I see it.

We get the picture.

I truely can't say I like the PS3 or it's games so far (especially, considering what they seemed to promise)l

Fair enough, and considering even you admit you are in the minority, and have shown a certain lack of understanding on many of the capabilities and usable features of the PS3, both promised and deliver; and considering what examples you have used in past cases when making similar judgments; at least we now can use this to determine how much/little validity to place on your current and future opinions about anything that has to do with the PS3...

Although I assume that won't be necessary, as it would make no sense for someone who actually believes what you are saying to keep using or even owning a PS3, and thus if such a person continued to post visceral biased and often unfounded attacks on the PS3 platform, especially when they are based on such little amount of info, and often unture, then they are likely just being a troll looking to stir up trouble... and I'm sure you wouldn't want to be that kind of person.

Thanks for clearing all this up though. 👍
 

Joey D

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GTP_Joey
GTP Joey
I have warmed to the PS3 more in terms of games. I will admit most games do look better on the PS3 over the 360, mainly because the PS3 will do 1080 and for some reason my 360 is stuck in 720 and won't change. There just isn't much in terms of game though that excite me. I keep buying multiplatform games for it, but that's just because they look better. I'm really hoping for a good RPG to come out that I haven't already played or already have (Oblivion, Mass Effect, etc.). I'm not even remotely excited for GT5 yet because it's probably a year or more away.

I still dislike the PS3's controller and wish the R2/L2 buttons were a bit different. I know there are things out there to make them feel better but I haven't been able to find them yet, I'll keep looking though. I guess I've just been used to the Xbox style controller for so long it feels weird to have the PS one in my hand.

I do like love Blu-Ray movies and I still think it's the best feature on the whole system, the DVD upscaling is also quite nice. I still haven't gotten a huge selection of Blu-Rays yet, mainly because I either can't find the movies I want or the prices still are unthrilling to me. I do have the Blade Runner Collectors Edition and the Close Encounters of the Third Kind Collectors Edition as well, they are both fantastic sets. I still need to get 2001: A Space Odyssey. I also have a couple documentaries such as Blue Planet and Planet Earth, both look amazing as well. I plan on getting When We Left Earth as well when it comes out.

I also like the fact that the whole system is wireless, I hate having cables ran all over the room unless I can help it.

The games in the PSN store seem much better than those in the 360's, and I am tempted to say I like PSN more. But they are different and are each good in their own way. I think Echochrome has to be my favourite so far, although some of the levels are damn near impossible. I also love the fact I can reclaim lost PS1 games, although I wish the selection was better.

Overall I am enjoying the PS3, but I don't think I would give it a 9 out of 10, probably more of a 7 out of 10 until some better PS3 only games come along, which I'm guessing will be closer to the holiday season. It's great system as far as technology goes and I know I will continue to use it often, if just for the Blu-Ray capability.
 
629
United States
South Texas
RRoD#9799827.3
We still get the picture you keep trying to paint.

Great lead in post, and a simple, pleasant response to an obvious xbot. Those that are apparently on the m$ payroll are certainly very easy to spot, regardless of claims that they are 15 or 16 years old, or whatever.
 

Joey D

Swedespeed
Premium
44,110
United States
Holladay, UT
GTP_Joey
GTP Joey
There isn't anything wrong with the 360 or their fans, there are plenty of PS3 fans that a flaming fanboys as well and think the PS3 is god's gift to the world. It works both ways. Honestly both systems have their faults and strengths, which is why I own both. I enjoy the game selection for the 360 more than the game selection for the PS3, but the PS3 does a lot more technical stuff better like the Blu-Ray movies, DVD upscaling, and visuals.
 
629
United States
South Texas
RRoD#9799827.3
Honestly both systems have their faults and strengths, which is why I own both.
Well, over the last few years, I've made a few posts on gtplanet relating to the fact that I bought an XBOX360, and that during a period of a very few months, and because of the Best Buy Product Replacement Plan, I was able to sell my third (3rd) 360 in a brand new, sealed box, state. Both of the units that I actually attempted to play failed within a very short while, but the second unit at least operated for more than one week, unlike the first.

I've also posted elsewhere on these forums where I had a problem with my (almost) launch 60GB PS3, and had to send it in for a replacement earlier this year. The turn-around time for the replacement to arrive was impressive, and I received a brand new console.

The difference in the capabilities of each of these two competing console that I have owned, straight out of the box, is immense, with the PS3 being what I consider to be an actual next-gen machine. Beyond that, the support that I received from Sony in an attempt to diagnose the problems with the system was much better than that which m$ provided, which was zero (0). With that said, I hope you continue to enjoy your 360 for as long as it functions. :dopey:

LOL
 

Joey D

Swedespeed
Premium
44,110
United States
Holladay, UT
GTP_Joey
GTP Joey
I've had one problem with my 360 and that's because I knocked it off a table and broke it. I've had one problem with my PS3 which bricked itself for no reason as I can see. I had a terrible time with Sony's tech support as well and it left a rather poor taste in my mouth with having to deal with them in the future. The MS support wasn't much better though. On both occasions the systems were returned to Best Buy and were replaced under the replacement plan.
 

Sprite

Beanbag Brain
Premium
6,515
United Kingdom
Horbury, West Yorkshire
GTP_Sprite
Well I think I should start my retrospective by giving some background to where I came from and why I've ended up with a PS3. Like a few GTP-ers Im old enough to have started my game playing on a Spectrum, Now granted I was young but never the less I still started my slippery slope to Gamingdom here.

Once I moved away from the Speccy and went to the Amiga 500+, then Atari Jaguar Shush stop laughing. Then Sony a well know electronics manufacturer decided that the home console market was too juicy a pie to let Sega and Nintendo eat all to themselves, now we all know that some companies failed to overturn the two giants and grab a market share, but Sony decided to take the plunge with our beloved Playstation 1, we (me and my old man) got the console day of launch and enjoyed many years of gaming, playing classics like FFVII, MGS, GT1, GT2 & Tombraider. Sony seemed unstoppable.

Then came the Playstation 2, Sega had obviously bowed out with the Dreamcast, which was a great console, But Nintendo with its unbeatable presence in the handheld market marched on the gave us the Gamecube, much like its predecessor the N64; power wasn't an issue but development was, I don't disagree that they have some fantastic games, with a fare few that remain some of the best games I've ever played and I still own my Gamecube to this day and it's in mint condition.

But Sony's war machine was too mighty and its warriors too great in numbers, but something was coming, something big and gnarly, it had a giant X on the top and looked... Well ghastly and unimaginative, but it did pack a punch and was allot more sophisticated than the PS2, but the PS2 having its fans in huge numbers and a catalogue of games sat pretty and the new upstart was always snapping at its heals.

Then it arrived, the 360 and the upstart became a man, a big burly gun toting, alien blasting marine. Now I own a 360 Elite and I will just say these few words, yes its got some snazzy games, GOW, Halo, Forza, PGR to name a few top titles, but lets be honest here I didn't play them hardly at all, in fact I've spent as much time playing GTA4 (on the PS3) than I have my whole 4 games I have got for the 360, I got Blue Dragon, and I must say I love the Graphics, but its a dull game, I got Forza and PGR4 and I hated both games, and I got Halo 3 touted as the 360's legacy classic, with unrivaled gameplay and top graphics and after about maybe an hour of playing it; the sheen wore off and I realized it isn't all that I hoped it would be, and since that day, the 360 hasn't been turned on.

Now the PS3, the whole point of this post, let me start by saying that I was truly beside myself the night of Launch, I stood with my old man outside my local Gamestation at midnight to get my PS3. I was caught up in the fever that was Playstation 3 and Sony's warhorse galloped into town at full speed and decimated my all my worries and fears, because I did fear the coming of this console, as I wanted it to be as good as I hoped, and if it wasn't I didn't know what I was going to do, PC gaming was an option its too expensive, the 360 wasn't floating my boat and the Gamecube was aging along with my PS2.

But after the dust settled and I switched it on for the first time I understood all the hype, I understood what good old Phil and Kaz had been saying, I understood that online gaming had to become part of my life and then for the first time I realized that the Playstation brand was going to change the way I saw gaming and played games. Now Like back in the day with the PS2 the PS3 brought something to the mix I was just as excited about other than gaming, this was BD as the PS2 gave me DVD. My family aren't rich by any means these consoles provide a bargain when they hit.

So how many people see a £600 console as a bargain, I did, because I'm a tech head (or like to think so) and I could see the prices of BD machines at £1000 been way too expensive, now my pops had got a Sony Full HD LCD and we wanted to see all this HD for ourselves. Now this aspect is still my biggest thing I use the PS3 for, as our BD player, I don't know if you all spotted this but BD is defiantly future proof and I will tell you my theory why, Sony see a 10 year lifespan for the PS3, I know 1080p is good but Quad HD is on its way and at a pace too so 50GB disk holds a 1080p movie quite nicely , but what happens if Quad HD hits and the PS3 can only shake a 1080p movie out via BD, well we have 200GB disks on the way too, this will not only more than likely allow for quad HD but bigger games storage too, hell Peter Jackson might be able to fit the LOTR movies on one disk (one for each film and those been the extended versions).

Games wise I must admit that the titles have been lackluster to say the least, not because the PS3 is bad or underpowered, but because all the games coming from UBI and EA have been rubbish ports from the 360. Again I know we have had some nice games too, and things seem to be picking up pace, especially with MGS4 and GT5p these two games have made me love the PS3 that much more, and with titles like Killzone 2 and Shadow Of Colossus 2 coming I cant see why the PS3 cant enjoy all the success of its two aging siblings.

For the future of PS3 I see a nice steady pace this time around compared to the firestorm that was PS1 and the surge that was PS2. PS3 in comparison to them is more like a swift breeze, its not going to knock you over but it will surly take you breath away once or twice. PSeye and other things like that are going to see a nice steady incline in usage, but they need to make more of the SIXAXIS and from what I can tell people don't seem too enthused by the rumble feature of the new DS3. Nintendo are still there and are doing remarkably well this time around and this is because they have gone for a different market and Sony have hit the market they were aiming for, youngish men with some bread to spare and the 360 its hitting the mass-market of young to verging on the pre-pubescent male and its worked as the division that the 360 sits within at M$ has started to make a profit.

Do I think the PS3 can last 10 years? Well to be honest I hope it does, but I think if M$ get their act together in about another 6 years they will have the Xbox830 or what ever they will call it, out on the shelves and selling. I hope PS3 will last and adapt to the changing times and fit and mould itself to what is new and hip, and yes it maybe limited in the main hardware stakes but with firmware we have already seen it can be adapted to bring us new things. But only time will tell, and it maybe that Sony's machine gives up the ghost in 5 years and makes way for the PS4.

Thanks for reading this drivel and if you have made it this far you deserve a medal. All of what I say is just peculation and pretty much nothing based on fact at all, I don't state that I'm an expert with these things and I never will, and from reading back what I have rote I come across as a bit of a Sony fanboy and if thats what I am then so be it, but I'm not a M$ hater and never will be. Do I love my PS3? Yes.
 

Duke

Keep 'em separated
Staff Emeritus
24,041
United States
Midlantic Area
GTP_Duke
God and I get called a troll... I could easily call Tig a PS3 fanboy. wow... REMOVED BY MOD. :rolleyes:
Is there a reason you insist on flogging this horse? Not dead enough for you, yet? A PS3 is like an abortion - If you don't approve of them, don't freaking GET one. Why must you continue this anti-PS3 crusade?

I don't much like MicroSoft as a company, and I'm not thrilled by the Xboxes I've played. I think the controller sucks.

But I don't continually go around from thread to thread and say Xboxes are a ripoff and people who buy them are morons. There comes a time that you need to leave it alone for a while, for your own health.
 

nick09

(Banned)
6,169
United States
NY
nlck09
I prefer a playstation system because I grew on it, I'm conformable with it and if a xbox system is your choice vip3r, you don't need to troll on everyone who has a different system to switch.

If you don't have anything good to say, don't talk about it.
 

FoolKiller

Don't be a fool.
Premium
24,553
United States
Frankfort, KY
GTP_FoolKiller
FoolKiller1979
I just got a DS3 and after using it I certainly have not missed rumble at all :(
Mind if I ask what games you have tried it on? It is noticeably different on PAIN! and SSHD. And then while playing Metal Gear Solid 1 I realized that the game wouldn't be much without it. I mean, it rumbles every time you get spotted (adding to that "oh crap!" feel), Naomi uses it as a massager to heal your arm, and Psycho Mantis just plain freaks me out with it.

And do you know how nice it is to be in a heated fire fight and not have to rely on a flashing red outline in the HUD to know when you got shot by someone off screen?

I mean, in some instances it is definitely a case of didn't have it didn't need it, but then on other cases it adds so much, and on others you get a "didn't know what I was missing" feeling where if it was never added you wouldn't care, but now that you have it you never want to lose it again.

I like symmetry, even though Liquid Snake tells me symmetry is a sign of impeding extinction.


For me, I bought my PS3 just shy of a year ago and I have loved every second of it. It made me want to get a PSP, which I did. I was one of those who saw it as the whole machine it could be and not just as a game console that does other stuff too. Part of it helps that my PC has a Tuner card and video recorder built in, so all those HBO movies and auto races I recorded on the hard drive I could stream to my TV via sharing. My blank DVD usage dropped of dramatically, because I didn't have to burn my videos to disc to get them on my TV.

Along the way I was treated to these incredibly intriguing, and mystifying trailers for Metal Gear Solid 4. So, I bought the Essentials Collection to get up to date. The stuff on the PS3 now has made me go back and look at things I missed from the PS1 and PS2.

Then the demos. Free demos that can be downloaded straight to the system were great. And occasionally a few of them made me want to buy a game I hadn't had much interest in. This includes on the PSP. Because of demos I bought F1:CE, Resistance, Echochrome, and Patapon (I don't list GT5P because I would have gotten that anyway). I want to get Uncharted and Civilization Revolution. They also made me borrow and rent other games, notably Motorstorm and Heavenly Sword.

And then there was the Blu-Ray. Increasingly I was noticing that more and more movies from Netflix were creating issues with my DVD players due to damage to the disc from multiple users. I switched what I could to Blu-Ray and the scratch coating has made a huge difference, plus even on my SD TV I can still see a clarity difference.

And the PS3 is what gave me the ability to motivate my wife to want to get an HDTV before the switchover happens. Because if it looks that good now....

It is kind of funny because I never had any of the complaints people did a year ago and now I am even happier because its functionality has opened my gaming up to a whole new level of fun. I never knew games under $10 would be sucking my wallet dry and keep me from household chores.
 
5,741
Simcoeace
Apropos not all that much: I bought my PS3 back in November with the 5 free Blu Ray movie offer. I just received the movies TODAY - about 7 months later. :rolleyes:

Still, glad I finally have them...
 

Duke

Keep 'em separated
Staff Emeritus
24,041
United States
Midlantic Area
GTP_Duke

Because I find it very difficult to use due to the non-symmetrical placement of the sticks - they are ALMOST symmetrical, but not quite. They should either be substantially different from side to side (which wouldn't be a problem) or exactly the same (which wouldn't be a problem). As it is, they are just a PITA to use - not quite different, not quite the same. And perhaps it's just my hands, but I find the 4 ABXY buttons to be in a bad place.

As it is, it's clear that it was deliberately designed to be enough different from the DS2 to avoid a lawsuit, but not with any regard to improving playability.
 
448
Wittgenstein
I hadn't noticed they were off-set like that! I haven't found them too bad but for FPS I still prefer a keyboard and muse, perhaps I'll get used to the SIXAXIS.

So far the SIXAXIS feels better for MGS4 than it does for RFoM or Uncharted, although I love both these games too.