Malik  (5/17/05) 

Sony Finally Unveails Their Combatant 

Well, it's not a bit of a surprise that the "Playstation 3" has now been announced in a real way. Yeah, at Sony's pre-E3 press conference, as seen at Gamespot, Sony has announced that the PS3 will be called the PS3. Yeah...ummm...ok. 

However, Sony also released a, hopefully, prototype design of the PS3. The thing looks like a sub-woofer for a home entertainment system...or a really lame looking PC. Either way, the look of a console means nothing. After all, the XBox looks like a piece of shit and it's still a good selling system. However, the part that has me concerned the most is the design of the controller. While the buttons all look about right...hell, it's just a standard re-issue of the PS2 controller, which was a re-hash of the duel-shock on the PSX. However, the shape of it looks so poorly conceived. It's not that I'm guessing off of speculation or something...this is a design that has been used for third party PS2 controls in the past, and I know that this is just not anywhere as ergonomic as the standard PS2 controller. Hopefully Sony will wise up on this... 

At least these controllers sound impressive in their abilities. They will run on Bluetooth with about 24 hours of life between charges. Not too bad...although I would like details on the charging method and speed before I get too excited. I mean we know the 360 can use the USB to trickle-charge it's controllers...what about the PS3. At least we can hook up 7 controllers to one PS3. Now that's a good call for Sony to enter into the realm of real offline multiplayer gaming. 

Beyond that, the PS3 will supposedly be able to (Wi-Fi) connect with the PSP. This will, in theory, let the PSP be played on a TV, via the PS3, with a possible using of the PS3 controllers. This not only shows that PS3 is wanting to take Nintendo down in the handheld market, but ehy are doing all of Nintendo's tricks, but with even more gusto. 

While the controller looks really lame, the specs for the PS3 are insane. The system will use Blu-ray next-generation DVD drives which are just massive in their storage potential. Also, for more storage, the PS3 will have a memory card slot, a SD card slot, a memory duo (like the PSP) slot, and a detachable HDD. The only questions are what size the HDD will be and if it comes packaged with the system or if it's extra. If Sony has learned anything from Microsoft in the current generation, that HDD WILL be standard issue. 

On top of the storage abilities, the specs for the actual hardware make the PS3 more powerful than a good deal of the PCs currently on the market. The CPU will run at 3.2 GHz, 256MB main RAM, and 256MB VRAM. The Nvidia RSX graphics processor is supposedly more impressive than 2 GeForce 6800 Ultra cards, and will run at 1080p. On top of that, it will boast 512 MB of RAM. 

Also, the PS3, despite how most people simply want their consoles to play games, will feature video chat, photo viewing, blah, blah. On top of all this, the system can also be displayed on side-by-side HD TVs to give a 32:9 perspective. I guess that's nice...if anyone actually has enough money to blow on side by side HD TVs of the same size in one room. Quite frankly, if anyone takes advantage of this, outside of special businesses...I hate you. 

Also, it sounds like the standard issue of Sony-style titles will be some point. There will be FPS with Unreal Tournament 2007 (hopefully Sony has tweaked their controllers to actually be good with FPS in the next generation...unlike the PS2), driving with a new GT (as if this is a surprise...GT will never die, or go through a real evolution in a sequel), a Spiderman game (Sony, who makes the Spiderman movies giving the world more Spiderman on their consoles? Who 'da thunk it?), more Metal Gear Solid, more DMC, more Tekken...I can't help but ask; why doesn't Sony try to wow us with something new for once? How long have we seen these same franchises? How long can we be excited about them?

The only real news in this, for me at least, was that Sony is ready for a online battle with Microsoft. The PS3 will be ready for Internet access out of the box, and they will have a constantly running "Playstation World" network. Although it sounds more like Sony is trying to just follow Microsoft's lead than to be innovative. You can buy random and pointless shit for your games, blah, blah.

While it sounds like Sony may be ready to take on Microsoft in a massive next generation also sounds like Sony is just getting lazy in their current number one position. Maybe a shake up is what Sony will need, and possibly recieve from the 360, to get them out of this stupid lazy attitude.