Archive for December, 2007

PS3 UT3 Gets First User-created Mod

As Darrin pointed out in the shoutbox, UT3 has its first user-created content. It’s a small multiplayer map called DM-Shrine, created by a modder for the PC.

dmshrine.jpg

It looks like the Epic folks took this map and baked it for the PS3 for our enjoyment. So the question becomes: how does one import this map into UT3 on the PS3? Here are the steps, right from Epic:

  1. Unzip the file to the root directory of any memory card that is readable by your PlayStation 3. It is already in the proper directory structure but, just in case, the path and filename need to be: ps3\savedata\blus30086-modimport\userdata.jam
  2. Boot up Unreal Tournament 3 on your PS3
  3. Go to the “Community” menu
  4. Choose “My Content”
  5. Press the [SQUARE] button to “Import Mod”
  6. Follow the directions on the screen to import it from your memory card.

I’m a bit confused by the first step which says to use the “root” directory and then gives an example that is not the root. Oh well.

Have any of you who own UT3 on the PS3 given this a try?

UT3 on PS3 Gets First User-created mod

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12/20 U.S. PSN Update

(See a montage of the PS Eye software on PSN here)

Regurgitating official PlayStation blog post:

Downloadable Games

  • Toy Home ($9.99)
  • Snakeball ($9.99. free demo available)
  • Trials of Topoq ($4.99)
  • Mesmerize: Distort ($1.99)

Add-On Content

  • Warhawk: Omega Dawn ($7.99)
  • Folklore Holiday Add-On (free)
  • Motorstorm Holiday Skin (free)
  • Guitar Hero III Holiday Song (free)
  • High Stakes Poker Add-Ons (free)
  • Rock Band Songs ($1.99/song)

Demos

  • BlackSite: Area 51.

PS1 Classics

  • Warhawk (PS1 version, not PS3) ($5.99)

Plus a ton of game videos, movie trailer, ps3 themes, and a wallpaper.

There will be no update next Thursday due to the holidays, although I think this easily makes up for it.

Someone better post impressions of the downloadable games. I am traveling for the holidays, so won’t have a chance to try these for a few weeks.

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Logic3 SoundStation 3 PS3 Speakers Review

After Henning’s sceptical post about Logic3′s SoundStation 3 PS3 Speakers, Logic3 got in touch and asked us if we would be interested in testing them out for ourselves.

I volunteered as I have been looking to get new speakers to go with my PS3, since the speakers on my TV are so poor.

Firstly, I’d like to get the boring bit (for me anyway) out of the way; the specs:

# Powerful 20 Watts RMS total output
# 6 x Patented Wave9™ neodymium 1¼” (32mm) drivers
# 2 x Hi-X 4”(100mm) Sub-woofers in each speaker

That might mean something to you but it just goes straight over my head. The speakers are also pretty light and don’t weigh more than 1.5kg each.

Before I move on to the performance of the speakers, I have to say they look pretty damn cool next to my black HDTV.

They also match the PS3′s piano-black finish, mirror strip and curves, and as you can see from the pictures below, they fit in perfectly with my other AV equipment that take pride of place in my living room.

The left speaker has the equaliser switch where you can choose between Movie, Game and Music. Strangely, out of the 3 settings, I prefer Game for playing games, listening to music and watching movies. Everything sounds clearer. It also has a very cool looking blue light when you turn it on.

The remote is pretty small and you can control the bass, treble and volume, aswell as putting the speakers into standby mode. You can’t change the equaliser settings though, which is a bit of a disappointment.

Bass Kicks Ass

After taking all of 5 minutes to set up the speakers with my PS3 (remember to change the Audio settings on your PS3 to SCART/AV Multi, instead of HDMI) , I decided to start the test by listening to Robyn’s With Every Heart Beat:

Listening to music

Now, I’m no expert in the field of audio but I immediately noticed a big difference between the speakers built into my HDTV and the sound that came out of the SoundStation3 speakers.

Not really a surprise you may think but considering the £70 price tag, I wasn’t expecting much of a difference.

The bass was noticeably impressive, even more so when I listened to Amy Winehouse’s Tears Dry On Their Own

Next up I tried out a couple of Blu-ray discs starting with Planet Earth. David Attenborough’s voice was a lot clearer and more prominent without having to turn the volume up to excessive levels compared to my TV speakers. Casino Royale also benefited greatly from the speakers, especially in the Game setting.

The sound of explosions and gunfire was quite impressive, especially due to the impact that the bass made during the louder scenes.

The volume of the speakers is quite impressive. I didn’t need to turn them up past the half way mark during any of the tests. Compare this to my TV which is usually turned up to 10 out of a possible 100 for when I game and up to 30 when I watch DVD/Blu-rays. Any higher than 40 and the sound distorts.

For general watching the volume of the speakers didn’t need to be turned up to the halfway mark but anywhere past that was just too loud. As a point of reference, you really shouldn’t need to go past that level.

If you live in the middle of nowhere you may want to turn the volume up to it’s highest setting but it was more than loud enough at the halfway mark, even for DVDs and Blu-rays, which normally suffer a massive drop in volume compared to games and music.

Planet Earth

Finally, I got to the best part of the test. Games! I tried out the superb Super Stardust: HD, first without custom soundtracks then with them enabled. I love the music in SS: HD anyway but the speakers really emphasised the bass throughout and the general sound effects came through clearly despite the music.

I then tried the atmospheric All Ghillied Up mission on Call of Duty 4. Superb. The sound of your sniper shots, Capt. MacMillan whispering in your ear guiding you through the Chernobyl wastelands, guards chattering, dogs barking etc, all sounded superb and really added to the level of immersion.

Playing games definitely brings out the best in the speakers which should come as no surprise as they were designed specifically for the PS3.

The atmosphere during the All Ghillied Up mission from Call of Duty 4 was superb:
All Ghillied Up sounds great


VERDICT

If you can’t afford to pay for the full 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound experience or you simply don’t have the means to fit all 5 speakers in your room, then these Logic3 SoundStation3 PS3 Speakers will do an excellent job.

They don’t compare to the full surround system experience but they are a big step up from my HDTV speakers, which is made all the more impressive by their relatively cheap price.

They look great, they are easy to set up and their overall sound quality for listening to music, watching movies and playing games on your PS3 is great value for the price. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending or buying these for my PS3. They are definitely worth the asking price and gave great value for it.

This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of Logic3 PS3 SoundStation 3 Speaker System provided by Logic3.

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Activision’s Greed

If you haven’t heard, here’s the backstory. Harmonix and Red Octance develop the Guitar Hero games which require a guitar peripheral. Red Octance gets bought by Activision, and Harmonix gets bought by MTV. Activision gets one of their internal studios to make Guitar Hero 3. Meanwhile, Harmonix develops Rock Band, a new game that can use two guitar peripherals, a mic, and a drumkit. The game Rock Band comes with one guitar, a mic, and a drumkit. It would be nice if a Rock Band owner could use the Guitar Hero guitar as a second guitar when playing Rock Band. And this is exactly the case on the Xbox 360.

But not on the PS3.

Harmonix has a patch ready to go that would allow PS3 owners of both games to use their GH3 guitar while playing Rock Band. But Activision has blocked this from occuring, asking for money.

Do I really need to go on? Here’s the relevant information from boston.com:

Activision spokeswoman Maryanne Lataif said her company was willing to work with Harmonix to make the various game controllers fully compatible with one another. “Unfortunately for Rock Band users, Harmonix has been unwilling to discuss an agreement that will allow us to provide that option in a manner that maintains the high standards people have come to expect from Activision,” Lataif said.

She added that any agreement will involve someone at Harmonix writing a check. “We believe we should be compensated for the use of our technology,” said Lataif.

I find it hard to fathom that a company would be so small minded, petty, and greedy. Activision sold gamers a guitar. If they want to use said guitar in a different game, Activision shouldn’t even be part of the equation anymore. They’ve already been compensated.

It irks me even more that this is not even an issue on the Xbox 360. Why does Activision not have a problem with Xbox 360 owners using their guitar in Rock Band, but it wants to shaft PS3 owners?

I’m not buying any more Activision games until this is resolved in our favour. This is just ludicrous. And yes, that means I’m not buying the next Call of Duty either, even though CoD4 is my favourite game right now.

Activision: smarten up!

Guitar Hero’s Activision takes hard line in controller fight with Rock Band maker Harmonix

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