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PS3 Home

Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2007-08-24 01:58:14

State of the PlayStation Address

Before delving into the subject of today's comic, here's an update on my Xbox 360 repair saga. After 10 business days and two real weeks, I still hadn't received the box to send my console to Microsoft for servicing. After calling them up, they eventually told me why: they hadn't sent it. Brilliant. After ascertaining the address of their repair center, I mailed it off at my expense. I'll regale you with any further Microsoft shenanigans in a future post.

I just wanted to share that one Microsoft service rep had the unmitigated balls to inform me that I was lucky I'd been dicked around, since they would've charged me $99 if they'd actually gotten around to sending their box.

On to the PlayStation 3! Here are the exclusive titles in current release that I've got some smidgen of interest in:

Motorstorm - terrific, albeit shallow racer

Ninja Gaiden Sigma - remake of a title I've played to death

Resistance - solid shooter

Super Stardust - downloadable game I haven't played, but heard it's Geometry Wars on crack

Planet Earth - really want to watch this BBC documentary in high definition

That's not much 9 months after launch. The PlayStation 3 reminds me of the Nintendo 64, only without Super Mario 64 and GoldenEye. After utter domination of the industry with the NES and SNES, Nintendo faltered with their next system. Similarly, to date, Sony has failed to deliver with the PS3 after two amazing systems.

Despite my massive criticisms, I've been waiting for a reason to pull the trigger on my wallet. I've had a lifelong love affair with Sony products and it wouldn't take too much to win back my consumer dollars. As a big fan of Factor 5 (Rogue Squadron II is one of my all time faves), I was wondering if Lair would be the exclusive to warrant my PS3 purchase. Sadly, it appears that they've essentially reskinned an X-Wing to look like a dragon, without significant advancement in gameplay. I'm currently eying Heavenly Sword, hoping that its gameplay will match its gorgeous visuals. Every other PS3 title I'm interested in have 360 counterparts, that run smoother on the Microsoft console, and benefit from the superlative Live online service. (Although, I am tempted by the PS3 Stranglehold Special Edition, which includes Hard Boiled in high definition!)

I am intrigued by PlayStation Home. With the success of virtual spaces and avatar driven systems like Second Life, Sony is developing its own meta-social network. You can play interior decorator by purchasing furniture and other accoutrements for your Home - prepare for microtransaction based rapings. Trophies, akin to the 360's Achievement Points can be displayed here. People can congregate in your Home to watch movies from your hard drive or DVDs. (I anticipate lots of *bow chicka bow wow*)

I've been sarcastic so far, but the way Home is able to integrate with games is fascinating. The Home service (which purports many more features than I discuss here) looks to be an improvement over the PS3 navigation crossbar, or the 360's blades system. A person's Home can serve as a game lobby - if you congregate together with your friends, you'll enter the same game instance together, without having to deal with the hassles of creating a server and inviting friends one by one. Likewise, when you stop playing, you'll be spit back together into your Home.

Unfortunately, this applies only to games that integrate Home, as opposed to every 360 game mandated to function on Live. Sony's online network is the wild, wild West, contrasted with Microsoft's quality consistent closed system. Sony simply does not have a good track record when it comes to operating system type software: just look at the firmware update logs and their inability to bring their PSP and PS3 stores online. Every department in Sony runs as a separate entity, and the hardware engineers have historically pooh-poohed their software counterparts. The glory days of the Walkman still echo throughout their organizational philosophies. Home could be something great (imagine navigation through Xbox Live as a customizable virtual space via a personalized avatar), but I have serious doubts as to Sony's ability to deliver.

All I've done in this post is to rip Sony apart, but even the few signs of life they're displaying are stoking my longing. I want to want the PlayStation 3, and these meager offerings are almost enough. Show me just one good reason Sony, and I'll plunk down the $500.

Now Playing - Otogi (Xbox)

David Vargas David Vargas: (dave-deleteme[at]-deleteme-squishycomics [dot] com) 2007-08-24 15:41:40


Home DOES sound like a cool idea, but unless all games on the PS3 benefit from it, I don't think it's enough to sell me on the thought of spending $500 bucks.

I loved my PS1 and love my PS2. The PS3 is going to have to do quite a bit more to make up for the bad taste that Sony left behind when stating that they expect us to simply "work more hours" for a PS3.

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