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Has the PS3 Lived up to Your Expectations?

I’ve now had my PS3 for over a month and a half and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s lived up to my expectations, and then some. Paying £425 for the hardware alone is a lot of money, and that’s even before you buy any games or extra pads etc. For me, the £425 I paid for it is money well spent and I haven’t regretted it, not even when I could’ve got it for around £60 cheaper just two weeks later! Why? Read on and you’ll find out. 😉

It’s All About The Games, Man!

Firstly, the games have impressed me, despite the lack of some really big names. Whenever anyone comes round to mine I always show off MotorStorm (using the bike) first and it never fails to amaze them, and that’s including some of my 360 owning friends. Oh yeah, and I’m using a 32″ SDTV so I can’t wait to get a 1080p HDTV! Of course, people like my dad and girlfriend claim they can’t tell the difference. 😐

MotorStorm is of course graphically stunning but it’s gameplay is equally enjoyable and the online play is a lot of fun. Resistance is also one of the best FPS I’ve played, which isn’t saying much because I’m not a big FPS fan, but it’s more enjoyable than TimeSplitters, Black and Killzone etc. The online play is a lot of fun when it clicks into place. Some of the games can be absolutely chaotic with very little lag on most occasions. I haven’t got a headset yet but I’m sure that will add a lot of fun to the experience.

Both games are due updates this month and I find myself in a very peculiar predicament. I would normally sell games when I finish them to help fund new purchases but with both games being enjoyable, offline and online, and with the updates arriving soon, the lifespan of each game could be extended indefinitely. Never thought I would hold on to either game for this long.

I also have Oblivion for the PS3, and just like MotorStorm, it shows of what the PS3 is capable of doing. I have only played it for around an hour but it was enjoyable and I’ll definitely devote more time to it some time in the near future.

The final game I’ve got for the PS3 is Call of Duty 3 (borrowed from a friend) and although it’s very impressive graphically, it’s just not as fun or fluid as Resistance. That goes for both online and offline play.

Overall, I’m very happy with the games I’ve played on the PS3 so early in it’s life, despite the lack of some big games that were supposed to be out now. Looking at the release list of exclusive and multi-format releases due this year, I’m really going to struggle to buy, and find the time to play, all the possibly great games heading our way. DMC4, GTA IV, Mercenaries 2, Heavenly Sword, Lair, Warhawk, Calling All Cars, Kane & Lynch, Ratchet & Clank Future, Drake’s Fortune, Half Life 2 Orange Box, Killzone PS3 etc. All these games in the first year of a console’s life. Fantastic stuff!

Online Play. What’s That About Then?

Before I got my PS3, I had a very negative view of online gaming and especially PC gamers. I thought they were a bunch of overweight, sad bunch of individuals who spent 15hrs a day perfecting their skills to ‘pwn noobz’ and shout abuse at them over their headsets. I couldn’t see myself enjoying online gaming.

With the PS3 giving you free online gaming out of the box, I thought I’d give it a shot and see what all the fuss is about. The first game I tried was Resistance and despite getting ‘pwned’ quite frequently (not anymore 😈 ) I had a lot of fun. I could see why so many people enjoyed online gaming and it’s even better when you play with/against people you know. MotorStorm was the same. Great fun despite failing to win any of my first 18 races online.

So I’m now an online gaming convert and it won’t be long before I get myself a headset so I can trash talk with my friends and discuss tactics during team based games on Resistance. What a turn around!

The PLAYSTATION Store has also been a good addition to the PS3. Having the ability to download demos like Ninja Gaiden Sigma (must buy!) and Everybody’s Golf 5 is great for people who want to try before they buy and don’t have the opportunity to buy magazines with playable demos or simply refuse not to buy the magazines. You can also delete the demos once you’re bored of them or if you need the extra space.

So Long Suckers!

Having a built in HDD is also a great plus point to the PS3 and not just from a developer’s point of view. Not having to use memory cards is, quite frankly, great! I used to have 3 memory cards for my PS2, 2 for my game saves and one for my girlfriend’s game saves, and it could get a little annoying having to switch memory cards after my girlfriend had finished playing Wallace & Gromit (worst game ever made! 😡 ) and she hadn’t switched memory cards back over and I wouldn’t know until I’d turned the game on and got comfy!

Now that is no longer a problem. Having so much storage space is great even when you take away the GB’s that have been kept for the OS and other little bits and bobs. Adding up the cost of 3 memory cards and the limited storage space and you can see the benefit of a built in 60GB HDD in every PS3, great for deveolpers and great for us gamers.

I can also say goodbye to wired pads aswell! My pads used to always end up a tangled mess that would never straighten out no matter how much I tried. On top of that, they limited you to how far away you could sit from your console and somebody walking past could trip on the wire and unplug the pad while you were in a frantic boss battle! 😡

Now I can sit as far away as I want and in strange positions without worrying about the wires getting in the way or being a tangled mess. Yes I love the SIXAXIS pad. The lack of vibration isn’t even something I’ve thought about. Whether I buy a new pad once Sony and Immersion release the new vibrating SIXAXIS remains to be seen, but the wired pads have certainly not been missed.

PS3: A Multimedia Hub

One area of the PS3 I haven’t taken advantage of is it’s multimedia side, such as storing videos, music and photos. I was never too bothered about storing photos or videos on my PS3 but one aspect I was looking forward to was storing songs on the HDD and playing them in games that allowed you to create custom soundtracks. MotorStorm would’ve been that little bit sweeter if they had that option as I don’t like 80% of the songs featured in the game. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be at the time.

Until games start supporting this feature then I won’t be storing any songs on my PS3 any time soon. Having that as an option though, is great and one that will add a lot to future games that support custom soundtracks.

The web browser has been used quite a bit though and although it’s not as good as using Firefox on my iMac, it’s very handy when I want to check out the latest gaming news and read a few of my favourite websites without having to go into the other room and turning on the Mac. Using the SIXAXIS to type with isn’t great but it does the job and it’s not so bad that I need to get a keyboard and mouse.

Best Still To Come

Despite the PS3 not doing great numbers in Japan or North America at this moment in time, I think it’s had a great first few months and things will only get better with Home and the PLAYSTATION EYE coming later this year and unique games like LittleBigPlanet and Afrika still to come, not to mention big names like Metal Gear Solid 4, Gran Turismo 5 and Final Fantasy XIII to follow.

If Sony can grant my wish of having the ability to access the XMB while playing a game and start ramping up the content on the PS Store (especially the EU Store) and ironing out the BC problems, I can only see great things ahead for the PS3 and gamers in general.

Overall, I’m very happy with the PS3 and everything it does out of the box. I knew what I was getting before I bought it and it’s turned out to be great value for money but it’s worth remembering the best is yet to come and I can’t wait!