Sleek packaging can’t hide flaw of mediocrity
The new PlayStation 3 gaming console has been out for just over a week now, but it has already gotten into the hands of over 200,000 gamers nationwide.
The console is the third in the PlayStation series and has created a culture of hype: some of the newest consoles are selling on eBay.com in excess of $5000, when the console retails for $500 to $600. Spawning fights in lines at retail stores around America and resulting in several hospital trips and at least one gunshot wound, the PS3 has stolen our hearts, health and wallets, but is it worth it?
At first glance the PS3 box is not so big – at least, not bigger than the box the XBOX 360, its competitor, came in. Out of the box, the console is about the same size as the 360 as well, if not a bit fatter. First impressions of the console are stunning.
Its glossy black finish is the same as used on the Sony PSP and is very stylish. It gleams in the light and shines in the dark with its own subtle lighting, but it is prone to showing fingerprints. The shiny, glossy coating will show even the lightest touch of the finger.
The PS3 set up is easy: just basic plug-and-play. Users just remove the cords from the package, plug into the port on the PS3 and the proper ports on the television, and start gaming.
Another interesting feature of the PS3 is being able to remove the hard drive and replace with any size laptop hard drive. This is a major advantage over the XBOX 360, where Microsoft provides the replaceable hard drives. This feature is much cheaper than the Microsoft one, and allows for unlimited expandability.
The PS3 controller is very similar to the old controller. The feel is the same, the weight is nearly the same and the control is nearly the same.
“With the heritage of the PlayStation system’s basic controller design still intact, gamers are now able to play the controls they’ve grown accustomed to while harnessing the added intuitive movements of the multi-axis controller,” said the PlayStation America Web site.
The only difference is the addition of the Sixaxis wireless function, which allows the player on-screen to move the direction that the controller is moved. This is similar to the controller for the Nintendo Wii, but is a bit less intuitive. The Sixaxis is a bit jerky, and the coordination between when the controller is moved and when the object on screen reacts is a bit lagged. With any luck, this feature will be fixed in future games and made a bit more usable.
The presentation of the PS3 is strong, but the quality of the games is where it all counts.
The first game, and one of the biggest release titles for the PS3, is Resistance: Fall of Man. Overall the game is basic and lacks the finesses that were promised in the PS3. The graphics are those that could easily be replicated on the XBOX 360, and the game play is average. It feels like a typical shooter. Although, for the price paid for the console, it should really feel much better.
Ridge Racer 7 was also mediocre and performed well for a racing game, although it felt a bit too typical. The controls were easy to master and really brought the old arcade feel of Ridge Racer to the modern console.
Few students at CU stood in line for the PS3, as there were not many consoles available, but some did share their opinions of the console.
“The PS3 is a very good piece of hardware, using nine separate processing cores,” said Dan Nadler, a sophomore astrophysics major. “(It’s) supposedly faster than the XBOX 360. The 360, however, has been out for a lot longer and developers are familiar with the software. The PS3 controller does not rumble and the Sixaxis does not work very well. The higher resolution of the PS3 is a plus, and developers should be able take advantage. The PS3 was not impressive at launch.”