PS3 Rocks!

Yes – Kelly got me a Playstation 3 for Christmas!  She rocks!  She had all family and friends as far as Massachusetts looking for one.  She went to EB Games because she heard that they were getting a few in.  The lady there said they weren’t coming in that day, but she had a feeling that she was lying.  She noticed a UPS driver carrying boxes labeled "EB Games" so she followed him through the mall back to EB Games.  The lady there quietly waved her to the side, rang her in, double-bagged it, and sent her on the way.  I had no idea and was looking for one via my geek ways – email and web services that scour the big retail outfits online looking for inventory changes.  She told me to keep looking even though she had already bought mine.  I actually found one online at Circuit City and ordered it.  I called her all excited and told her and she responded in a stern tone "You F-ing suck!"  I completely destroyed her Christmas surprise by being my usual geek self.  I sent her a beautiful bouquet of wild flowers as a peace offering, but of course it had golden rod which she’s allergic to.  All is well now, anyway!

NOTE: There are many reviews online that do a much better job describing it with video and pictures, so this is about my impressions.

The PS3 is very heavy, but beautiful.  Sony did a great job with the packaging of the unit.  I really like that there is no external power brick – just a simple AC cord.  It is unbelievably quiet when turned on – it’s quieter than my PS2.  The navigation is similar to the PSP, but with much better refinements sprinkled here and there.  The only tough part I had getting online was entering my WEP key for my wireless network.  It’s fairly long and complicated and I had mis-typed it the first time.  The password entry sucks since once you enter a character, it turns into an asterisk (‘*’), which makes it tough to spot errors.  I wish they would get rid of this.  Once online, I set up my sign-on and took a quick spin to the Sony store.  I didn’t have much time since we were leaving to open the rest of the presents at Dennis and Linda’s.  When I finally got home, I really had fun playing with all the neat features.

I imported some pictures from my camera’s SD card and copied them to the hard drive.  The photo album slideshow is very slick!  The only problem I saw with some of the slideshows that it was tough to navigate back and forth as some didn’t seem to let you.  This needs to be fixed.

Kelly got me Chris Daugherty’s CD, so I ripped that to MP3 to the hard drive, which was very fast.  The visualizations were cool (similar to Windows Media Player) and were kind of controllable with the analog stick.

Getting on the Internet was easy, but it really sucks without a keyboard.  I eventually tried a wired USB, but a wireless Bluetooth mouse and keyboard would be ideal.  They really need to work on this area, though.  I have my system set to 1080i, so the browser is almost unreadable.  I could find anyway of making larger (I already increased the font and maximized the screen) and readable.  I have a feeling that if I dropped to a lower resolution, it might look better, but this is not convenient at all.  The browser is okay, but going to Sony’s main Playstation site ran out of memory similar to how the PSP browser does.  I understand on the PSP, but that’s not acceptable on the PS3.

One thing that really annoyed me about the Playstation store was that no matter if I was downloading a video or demo, the PS3 was useless until the download was complete.  This thing is running a Cell processor capable of running some crazy number of calculations per second, but it can multitask downloads?  What’s up with that?

I’ve heard people complain about the wireless controller, but I love it.  I like the the rumble feature, but I wouldn’t give up the wireless functionality for it.  It’s very comfortable and I love being able to turn the system on and off from the couch.  Sweet!

Okay – on to the games.  It came with Resistance: Fall of Man and it looks awesome!  Those guys do some amazing work!  It reminded me of Quake 4 quality graphics on my PC.  The game is really fun and shaking off an attacker is really cool.  Go read an online article for a better review than I can give.  I downloaded Gran Turismo HD and love it.  The graphics are crisp and clean and the game is very fun.  I unlocked all the cars in an afternoon.  I tried some of the other demos like Blast Factor or something like that.  It reminded me of Robotron in a petri dish.  The graphics were also fantastic and it used the motion feature of the controller in a cool way.

I haven’t watched Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby yet since I’m not a huge fan of Will Ferrell, but I loaded it and it looked amazing.  We did watch Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and working like a charm.  I’ve changed my NetFlix subscription to use Blu-ray where available.

I haven’t tried loading any PS2 games yet, but I did buy the memory card adapter.  I was able to hook up the EyeToy and it worked fine.  I have plenty of time to try!

I tried the Remote Play with my PSP and it was very slick.  I listened to some music and looked at a few pictures.  I didn’t try much more than that, though.

Overall, this is one of the nicest systems I’ve used.  It does everything I expected and it’s only going to get better.  I read that there will be some major firmware updates for the Europe launch in March, so Sony is committed to providing regular updates.  The only thing I ask is that you please please fix the browser readability.

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