Saturday, January 20, 2007

Yellow Dog installation results in new-gen "theory"

*Note, this is not a video of my machine, just someone running a SNES emulator on Yellow Dog

For those thinking that the PS3 is currently a replacement for your computer or modded Xbox, think again.

I ran through the Yellow Dog install last night, which requires a DVD and a USB thumbdrive for the bootloader. It took way longer than expected, and it didn't run as fast as you'd think a 3.0Ghz multi-threading processor should. I'm sure this will improve, but we need to keep in mind that Sony is NOT providing access to the PS3 GPU. This kills the chance for strong-running emulation or even quality stand-alone games.

It was nice to use Firefox instead of the Sony-provided browser. In the end, it was cool to have a Linux PC without building another box (not that I don't have 8 computers already, but a linux box is never a bad thing). My hope was that the PS3 could replace my laptop in my gaming rig, but it looks like that's a ways off. Not to mention it won't be running AVP2 any time soon, unless some Linux version appears and GPU access is granted.

During this whole process, I realized one thing: the PS3 is designed for HDMI use. The text is an eye-strain to use even in component due to the glowing effects they use in the "game-os". We pulled out our Westinghouse 27" LCD to try it out and everything was comfortable to read. The only problem was that LCD TV's and HDMI reveal all of the imperfections in textures on EVERYTHING. Sloppy shading even on Gran Turismo HD becomes prominent. This is why I like component connections on rear-projection TV's. That slight softness actually makes games look better. Play Halo 2 on an LCD and you'll see what I mean.

Overall, it will be interesting to see how this develops. I assure you that most people will not want to go through the hassle to get this up and running though. If you strictly want an easy-to-use gamebox, the PS3 is probably not for you.

I've come up with a 3-part metaphor because of this experience:

The PS3 is like work. Your career can be fun at times, but at other times it's a giant pain-in-the-ass. Not everyone likes to take their work home, but some people love it all the time.

The Xbox 360 is like a hobby. We love our hobbies. They can be taken seriously, or just be plain fun. They take work at times, but we love doing it as often as possible.

The Wii is pure entertainment. Just unadulterated fun. You pick it up, and having a good time. There's really nothing to take seriously, just swing around and let loose.

The question is, with your personal gaming habits, which sounds right for you? I like all three, but gaming is my hobby, which is why I still think the Xbox 360 is the best console for me.


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