First Days with the Playstation 3

“Ed, duck for God’s sake,” I bellowed while I held down the L2 button for sweet life.  Both of our health bars were flashing red and I could see bullets whizzing over our heads.  If we didn’t do something, the Chimera were going to kill us both.  “I want you to go back to the bridge and get health,” I said, settling on a course of action.  

“What are you going to do?” my husband asked.

“Get us out of this crap.  Now go,” I said.  On his half of the screen, I watched him crawl back towards our last checkpoint.  I took a deep breath and released the L2 button.  I lept over the barrier I had been hiding behind and started shooting.  A hail of bullets hit me, but I managed to take down the three hybrids before my screen went grey and I died.  “Take that you $*/@@@****’s,”  I yelled. 

Most of us will never be firemen or police officers or astronauts, but in my first evening with my PS3, I slaughtered enough aliens to feel like a hero.  [Want to continue reading about my digitial exploits?]

When I unpacked my PS3, my hands literally shook with excitement.  I had been drooling over the crystal clear graphics in magazine ads, and I had been anxiously anticipating the games due out (mainly Resistance, Final Fantasy XIII and Heavenly Sword).  I was finally going to see at least one of these games in action. 

Set-up proved easy.  The menu interface is intuitive and easy to scroll through.  I skipped over the often maligned online feature and spent a few hours with Resistance: Fall of Man.  The graphics and game play were as impressive as I had hoped (review to come).  The controller is remarkably lightweight and fits comfortably in my hand.  The fact that it’s wireless is also clutch (pun intended).  While Resistance doesn’t use the Sixaxis’ motion sensing abilities, I’m looking forward to seeing this feature in action.  I know that NHL 2K7 utilizes motion sensing for cross-checks (AWESOME!), but this control has received mixed reviews.

After temporarily sating my taste for blood, I decided to see what was available online.  This proved more labor intensive than setting up the system.  I don’t have wireless internet, nor do I have the 60 gb version with Wi-Fi, so I had to unhook the modem from my pc and drag it across the house.  This created a treacherous obstacle course of wires (I’m thinking a longer cable or a centralized router might solve this problem, though). 

Once I had a connection, set-up again proved rather easy.  The only major disappointment was the fact that I had to install a patch that took approximately 30 minutes to download.  “Didn’t this thing just come out two weeks ago?” my husband belly-ached (he had apparently not satisfied his blood lust).

When we were finally up, I created a profile and headed over to the PS3 store.  Here, users can download game demos and movie trailers for free and purchase exclusive games.  I like that you can download demos (especially when games are $60 each), and some of the exclusive games that PS3 will eventually offer look fun (I’m really excited about a Sudoku challenge title).  Soon, we’ll also be able to download PS1 games.  However, right now the pickings are pretty slim. 

Sony has also taken heat over backwards compatibility issues.  I tested PS1 and PS2 titles from my personal library, and they all worked.  I’ve already purchased a memory card reader ($14.99) so I can use my PS2 and PS1 memory cards (those hours with Final Fantasy XII were not a waste).  Additionally, on December 15th, Sony will release an adapter ($9.99) that will allow players to use their PS2 controllers on the PS3 (Good news.  I was worried about how I was going to play Guitar Hero).  So rumors of a major backwards compatibility problem seem greatly exaggerated.

Overall, this is a remarkable system with arguably unprecedented capabilities.  If given the choice of a 20 or 60 gb system, definitely pick up the latter.  The basic system is no dog, though, and many the features it lacks (mainly Wi-Fi and Memory Stick/SD/CompactFlash Slots) are mere inconveniences.

I look forward to spending more time with my new BFF and, as always, informing you, my loyal readers.

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