September was a pleasantly quiet month, giving me time to do all kinds of paperwork and minor jobs that have been lingering on my to-do list for a while.
It also gave me time to get a Playstation 3 and feel a little less out-of-date. My experiences:
- I felt incredibly uncoordinated after years of no gaming. It got better, but I still feel like I need to upgrade my nervous system.
- The Metalstorm off-road car racing game is great fun and looks amazing.
- Resistance Fall Of Man doesn’t seem like a significant update compared to Doom/Quake/Unreal of years ago. I miss a run button. Single player was the same old monotonous moving forwards, shooting, opening doors, shooting bigger things, moving forwards. Even after finishing the single player mode, I am still helpless in the face of online players. That’s me flailing around wondering who is shooting me.
- The PS3 can’t find Rhythmbox’s “media server”, though the “UPnP sharing support” plugin should have made this possible. Bastian had the same problem.
- Rub-A-Dub is a great game. It makes people laugh. It uses the motion detector on the controller.
- You’re not allowed to register an online name that’s anything like your real name or email address. So everyone has stupid names involving random punctuation and numbers. This is probably to protect children or other unsophisticated users. But online identities aren’t very interesting without a link to real identities. People like to find their real friends, and like to know where their new friends are. Heavy users don’t want to be anonymous. It misses out on a large part of the online community experience. I am Moorai, until Sony figure out that it’s phonetically similar to my real name.
- When you register an online account (needed to use the Playstation online store), you have to choose your country of residence. Then you can choose your language, but you are forced to choose the German language if you live in Germany. But I don’t want the UI in German. When I lied and said that I lived in the UK then all the prices were in UK pounds instead of Euros. This is annoying. I created a second user so I can use the PS3 in one language and change users when I need to purchase something – I haven’t tested that idea yet.
- It took me a while to figure out that the PS button in the middle of the controller could be long-pressed to turn off the machine, or pressed to quit a game.
- The browser is pretty crappy and never zooms to a useful size. It can’t play Apple’s movie trailers or YouTube videos (Update: It can play YouTube, though it’s not smooth). I would have used them lots.
- The Playstation store has some movie trailers, but just a tiny selection that hasn’t been updated recently. I like movie trailers. Please give me more.
- The playstation can show images and play music (not Ogg Vorbis though), but you’ll have to get past a bug that I am amazed is not fixed: When you select the memory card or USB Stick, it will show a “no files available” (or similar) message. Only when you click the options (green triangle) and select “show all files” (or similar) will it actually let you browse through your files.
- The 3D photo slideshow is amazing and useful, particularly when you manage to make the PS3 play music at the same time.
- Even if the PS3 became a really usable media server/player, TV tuner/PVR, etc with access to internet TV, I’d feel bad about having an always-on device that has a fan, suggesting that it draws a lot of power.
Overall, I’m happy with the PS3. It provides simple distraction, with some extra gimmicks. I feel vaguely part of the proper gaming world again – the one that has lots of buttons and needs to figure out what they do. It’s nice that they will update the software over the internet every now and then.