Playstation 3: First Impressions

April 28, 2008

PS3

I’ve been maxing out the credit card recently, so was pleasantly surprised when I found out that I had accrued enough hotpoints for a brand spanking new Playstation 3!

I’d been itching to get an AppleTV, but when I found out about the media capabilities of the PS3 I was sold.  I’m a keen, but amazingly crap, gamer too!

Here’s my first thoughts.

Getting Physical

The packaging ain’t gonna be Apple, but I was up and running in no time at all.  The PS3 is pretty heavy, much more so than I expected.  And it also felt a little fragile.   It’s certainly not like the original PS1 and PS2s – which have undergone “one hell of beating”.

The SimAxis controller is great though, and whilst it feels no different to the original PS2 controllers, there’s actually some motion sensors inside!

Starting Out

Ok – so you turn the box on in eager anticipation!   You get a nice string quartet playing the startup jingle!  Lovely.   But then it says “you need to update your system”.   Gah!!!   SIXTY minutes later – it finally did it.  Yes folks, you buy a PS3, and needs to go off for an hour or so to update the firmware.   You can, of course, opt out of this, but it was a disappointing start.

Gaming

I’d held off the PS3 deliberately until some solid titles started appearing.    But then GT Prologue, Pro Evolution Soccer 2008, and Grand Theft Auto IV (out tomorrow) are now on the scene.   I can’t speak for the last one, but the quality of the games are incredible.

I gave the online gaming a shot (which again frustrating involved downloading updates to games – another sixty plus minutes).  OK, but not brilliant.  Not sure if it’s the internet connection or not.   Plus, compared to the whizzkids out there I’m crap – so I get hammered every time.

Media

So, I have an iMac at home with a 500GB hard drive attached.  Lots of photos, lots of music, lots of movies and UK television!

I tried installing a couple of different media servers:

First up was TwonkyVision.   I found this good enough for pictures and music, but awful for video.

Next up was EyeConnect.  Good for video and pictures, but not for music.

Interestingly, I only appear to be able to stream avi formats.   The mp4 format most of my movies and tv are in streams, but stutters every 3-4 seconds.   Aaarrrgghh!   Help would be much appreciated.

PSP Remote Play

Here’s a cool wee feature.   You can hook up your PSP to access content remotely (from anywhere in the world) over your PSP.

I was accessing content from my PSP, which was being served via my PS3, that was sourced from my iMac!!  Photos, videos, music – the lot.   And apparently there are some games coming out that are PS3 and PSP compatible.   Pretty amazing stuff.

Only issue here is that the streaming was a bit slow so the videos weren’t great.

In Summary

In summary, once those bloody downloads were out of the way, the PS3 has been a good experience.  Not great.  But good.   I now have a home media server that is almost exactly what I needed – I just need to nail the mp4 streaming.

Only thing now is that I need a nice big HDTV.

Which means the missus will want a nice new sideboard to put it on….

Sigh.  Technolust is never ending.

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One Response to “Playstation 3: First Impressions”


  1. I unconditionally love my playstation 3. It is an incredible device with so many fantastic games that have come out of late, not to mention that it plays blu-ray. If they keep on releasing good games and adding features like the netflix thing I don’t understand why anybody would want any additional system.


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