PlayStation 3 Hands-On: Start Up
So once we got the thing unpacked, it was time to fire it up. Here's the details of the PS3 start-up:
We went to hook it up, all disappointed that we'd be forced to use the standard A/V cables. After a hard-target search of a variety of retailers, it soon became painfully obvious that accessories for the system were almost non-existent on Day 1. EB only had controllers, and that was it. No dual-USB charger cables for the Sixaxis, no remote, no memory card adapter, etc. However, Best Buy is probably your best bet for accessories, because they at least had HDMI cables.
So a search for any sort of S-Video cables was futile, but we had a pleasant surprise when we removed the PS2 in favor of the PS3- our Monster S-Video cables are compatible with the PS3.
So that was definitely a good thing. Then all that was left was to plug it in and snap in the Ethernet cable, and after a quick glance at the user manual (can't be wasting too much time with that, now can we?), we turned on the PS3 for the first time.
We found out some time ago that the Sixaxis controller included in the box would be ready to go immediately. And as it turns out, this was - thankfully - very true. After hooking it up via the USB cord, which is awfully short, by the way, the system recognized the controller and we were good to go.
There's been a lot of talk in the media lately regarding the Sixaxis; specifically, its very light weight and R1/R2 button alterations. First of all, the drop in heft is certainly due to the lack of rumble, but while the controller does feel unbelievably light, it's as comfortable as the DS...probably because it is the DS with those two small changes. As for the R1/R2 buttons, they're like half-trigger, half-button now. But until we really start using them, we can't yet conclude if this is an upgrade or not.
We also plan to test out the tilt sensitivity if we get the chance. At launch, only a few games have the option of utilizing this facet of the Sixaxis.
Moving along, it takes only a few seconds before you're delivered straight to the main menu, and your very first prompt involves that system update. It's a five-minute download and about a four-minute install, so we were delayed approximately 9 minutes before we could move forward. This didn't seem to be as big of an issue as some of the naysayers wanted us to believe.
Once that was done, we roved around a bit and checked out the options. The system settings can be customized to within an inch of their lives, and besides the very obvious Video, Music, and Friends icon, the first option to draw us was the PlayStation Store. After all, we found out yesterday the Store was all set to go, so of course we wanted in.
We first had to register, and if you have a USB keyboard to plug in, the process will be ten times faster. Using the controller to do this is both frustrating and time-consuming; it took a while just to figure out exactly how to input the letters and characters with the Sixaxis. It's a truly terrible interface. Near the end, you're asked if you want to input your billing information, which you will need an active credit card for. Clearly, this is for purchases at the Store.
If you look at that story linked above, it's 100% accurate. Everything that's listed in the article is available online at the Store right now. There are those two full downloadable games (we're going to try out Blast Factor later on tonight), and some trailers and playable demos. We intend to download the Resistance demo, but at 865MB, it takes at least a half-hour, and quite frankly, we had other things to examine.
But we did manage to successfully download and view the much smaller Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom trailer, and that worked well. It doesn't take long to save and view the trailer; we hope it will be as fast when we attempt the playable demos.
And then we began other fun stuff, including testing backwards compataibility, CD, DVD and Blu-Ray playback, multiplayer/online, and more Store stuff. All that and more to come!
11/17/2006 Ben Dutka