Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Welcome Change....

Or as Sony has put it in the past, "W3lcom3 Chang3."

I've joined the dark side and bought myself a PS3!

It was a long time coming, and a difficult decision to make due to the horrible dearth of good exclusive games for the system, but I finally pulled the trigger and brought myself back into the Sony fold.

There were a lot of things that went into the purchase, and I won't deny that my feelings about the way Toshiba handled Warner backing out of the HD-DVD camp were a part of the decision. Though I should point out, I did not buy the PS3 to act solely as a Blu-Ray player; I buy game consoles to play games on them and I fully intend for the PS3 to pull its weight as a gaming machine.

Some impressions since getting the console:
  • I really like the media hub capabilities of the system. While the Xbox 360 does much of the same stuff, for some reason I feel like the PS3 is pulling it off better. For one thing the PS3 pulled up my libraries from my computer right out of the box. One thing it did that I thought was stupid was that I had to tell it to play WMA files. Why would that be an option instead of defaulting to "on?"
  • It works well as a Blu-Ray player. I don't have a stand-alone player to compare it to, but watching Shoot 'Em Up last night, the movie looked and sounded very good. To my knowledge (and I could be wrong here), the Xbox 360 does not do DTS, where my PS3 defaulted to DTS when playing Shoot 'Em Up. As a card-carrying DTS fan that was a big plus in my opinion. I should point out, while on the Blu-Ray topic, I don't like using the PS3 controller as a movie remote (hated it on the PS2 too), and I think that Microsoft made a great choice by packing the Media Remote with the HD-DVD drive for the 360. Amazon has the PS3 Bluetooth remote on sale for $20 right now, and that's pretty tempting. It sucks that you are forced to use a Bluetooth remote, since most universal remotes don't have integrated Bluetooth.
  • PlayStation Store sucks. Navigating is a pain, which it shouldn't be one year after its debut. Xbox Marketplace is much better.
  • Along the "media hub" lines, the new "Gaia" Music Visualizer is fantastic. As I've been writing this I have been chilling out to the Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater soundtrack while Earth rotates behind me, and I really like it quite a bit. Also, it seems to me like the PS3 cranks out some outstanding quality audio. Though that could be thanks to my sweet setup, I'm accustomed to my gear, and the music I've played through the PS3 has all sounded very good.
  • They need more Metal Gear Solid 4 videos in the PlayStation Store. Actually, I just need the game. I won't lie, that game is the biggest reason I got the console. Unlike the PS2, it's very likely that the PS3 will only have one MGS adventure (MG Online excluded), and that's a tragedy.
  • The memory card stuff with the system is, to be polite, janky. The memory card reader is essential (and discounted right now on Amazon), but the way the system sets things up is a little weird. The system mimics a memory card on the PS3's hard drive. I had thought you would just be able to put info onto the drive, and the system would be set up to know where to find it, but instead you really don't move past the now-dated memory card system.
  • Can't wait for the Dual Shock 3 to come out. SIXAXIS just doesn't cut it.
  • I haven't gotten into the PS2 and PS1 games yet, but I'm going to be really bummed out when I put in a game that doesn't work the way it should.
  • I may have to buy a Japanese version of Gran Turismo 5: Prologue. Did you know it has not one, but two Ferraris in it?! And the GT-R, along with a nice Z33 Fairlady, is in it too (in multiple colors). And it is compatible with the Dual Shock 3. I don't think I can wait until March, plus it's coming out the day after St. Patrick's Day, and you know how little gets done "the day after."
  • Pricing in the PlayStation Store needs some work. As an example, I really would like to buy the HD version of Tekken 5, but there's no way I'm paying $30 or $20 for it. Try $10. I already paid for it on the PS2, and I don't even get a physical disk when I download it! C'mon Sony.
2008 is getting out of the gate with a bang. It'll be interesting to be in a position to have to decide which games for which console to buy this year, and that's probably a good problem to have.

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