The Rapture: A post about the PS3

I have, in the past, been quite vocal about my dislike for Sony products. Specifically, the Playstation, Playstation 2, and the PSP. All of which I own, all of which I hate. In fact, I have no idea why I even bought a PSP. I didn’t want one, and just had £125 in my pocket one day when I saw a white one for sale for £125. Fool and his money, etc.

My main gripe with all of these, but the PS2 the most, is the controller. I loathe it. It’s not a device for helping me make my man on the screen do what I want it to do – it’s a tool for making me die over and over because I can’t work it. Maybe my hands are broken, but I simply cannot get on with it. The sticks are in the wrong place. The dead zone is huge. There’s not enough resistance. The d-pad is terrible. The buttons with shapes on – I can never remember which is where (oh! the fun I had with the QTE bits of GTA: San Andreas). And so on. I’ve said all this before.

However, I had a little bit of head sickness a couple of weeks ago, and bought a Slim 120GB PS3, second hand, from someone locally. I don’t know why. Especially since I couldn’t think of many PS3 exclusive games I wanted to play on it, and PSN was down so I wouldn’t even be able to buy any games from that. Anyway. I got it home, and there it sat for almost a week until Katamari Forever was delivered. Which I’ve now completed.

Thoughts!

The console itself is quite nice. It’s a little bigger than my (old-style) 360, and I’m not keen on the curved top (I can’t put anything on it then, y’see), but it’s OK, and I like the finish on the plastic. The recessed slot load drive is a bit odd, and I keep thinking discs are going to get scratched on it when they’re spat out, although that probably won’t actually happen. The unit is nice and quiet, even when reading from disc (although PS1 games seem to be quite a bit louder for some reason – but not excessively so), which puts the WHOOO!!!! LISTEN TO MEEEE!!! WHOOOOOOOOOO!!!! of my 360 to shame.

The cable for the controller is too short, so I had to find a USB extension cable for when I was charging it. Also, I hate the way you have to resync the controller with the console when the battery runs out completely. I probably won’t be letting the controller battery go flat again, mind.

The controller could generate an entire ranty post all by itself, but I will say that I hate it. It’s worse than the PS2 one, even with the bits on L2/R2 that the previous owner (thankfully) fitted to fix the trigger shape problem (the triggers are normally, and stupidly, convex). The analogue stick dead zone is even bigger than the Dual Shock 2, and it’s still the wrong shape and the sticks are in the wrong place.

I never liked the “XMB” on the PSP, or even the name “XMB”, truth be told, but on the PS3 it’s bigger and even more unwieldy. All the sub menus and options and stuff are a nightmare to navigate, and I can see all my installed games listed in the same “column” will become a pain when there’s more of them.

I don’t understand the point of Home. Lots of areas that take ages to “install”, but contain nothing of interest? What am I missing? It’s a glorified chatroom, yes?

The Store is OK, much the same as the PSP one. Not really much to say about it, except it works – now at least 🙂

I do have an issue with the games and demos downloaded from the store, though. You have to install them, which in the case of Little Big Planet and InFamous took ages. Like, 20 minutes for the latter. And it can’t be done in the background. It seems silly they can background download, but not background install!

I also have an issue with turning the console off. When I do this via the controller, it doesn’t shut down straight away – I have to wait. I have to wait because I want to make sure it’s off before I turn it off at the wall (like my 360, I won’t leave it on at the mains), and this is a pain. What is it doing? Why won’t it just go off?

What else? That’s it for now, I think. I’ve had other issues with it (the Store being down, and slow when up – neither of which are the console’s fault, and the way the console always takes control of my HDMI auto-switcher even when I turn another device on after it – but this could be the fault of the other devices or the switcher).

Overall: pretty much as meh as expected. Of course, it’s all about the games (and Katamari was great), but I’ve not been converted.

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