Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The PS3 may be getting interesting, but proceed with caution...

Kotaku - PS3 GDC Keynote
Joystiq - PS3 GDC Keynote

Well, up to to this point the PS3 is proclaimed to a great machine so far. I will remain skeptical, because Sony blinded me from the Xbox platform before. Just remember, Sony doesn't have the best track record with new formats or providing experience living up to their claims.

Before I start talking about the good things, let's cover what misconceptions Sony has provided about the PS3 so far. First, 1080p is just another way to false hype the PS3. Second, Bluray will not be viewable in even 720p without an HDTV that supports HDMI and HDCP. Lastly, the PS3 will pass the expense of features to the consumer that they may not need (Wireless (consoles aren't mobile), dual HDMI out, Bluray (if it fails)).

1080i vs 1080p: Should you care?
Check the quote about 1080p and framerates
HDCP Fiasco
No HDMI means no full HD

However, the PS3 now brings online matchmaking, a hard drive, Bluetooth wireless controllers, and flash card readers to the mix.

Flash card readers are exciting, assuming they allow you to store save data on them. This would mean for once that Sony WOULDN'T be making a proprietary format to save games to. However, there are vulnerabilities by using standard flashcards that we can only hope they will address. We don't need game hackers screwing up our online experience.

Even though we still must be weary of the quality of the Playstation Network, it should be great to have the ability to only have one username and a more standard platform. If it is anything to Xbox Live or even Nintendo WiFi, then it will be a good service. Supposedly it's free, and there's never a complaint for that. If this service is worth anything, then we should see some pressing competition from Microsoft.

Bluetooth is what a lot of people are missing with the PS3. I see the question, "Why would you need seven boomerang controllers?" That's just a misunderstanding of Bluetooth. The spec is 7 bluetooth devices. So it could potentially support Bluetooth Cameras, Keyboards, Mice, PDAs...the list could go on. It's for peripherals, not seven-player games. For those who might ask, the PSP is NOT Bluetooth, it uses 802.11b. This is probably why a wireless card is in the PS3. But if you don't have a PSP, then the wireless function is only useful if you don't wire your house (which is a mistake, wireless access isn't stable enough for online gaming of this magnitude).

The new Resistance (f.k.a. I-8) game looks appealing, and I'm curious to see how fun Gran Turismo Vision will be. None of the other offerings (Killzone, DMC4, SoCom, Metal Gear Solid, etc.) interest me at all. To me, the Playstation brand has provided the best RPGs, so I'll need to see FFXIII or Xenosaga 4 to get really excited.

For me, the PS3 is a mixed bowl of excitement, but my perception of it is getting better. Going balls out for it like we did with the disappointing PS2 seems like it would be a mistake. I'm proceding with caustion, and recommend that everyone else do the same.

But with 3 fantastic systems available this year, hopefully gaming will be revitalized and gain more players.