PlayStation 3: Day 1 Impressions
So we come to the close of our long day, and while we're certainly tired and even a bit burnt out, the time was well worth it. We brought you into the PS3 box, went through the hook-up and start-up process, toyed around with the interface and menus, and did as much backwards compatibility testing as we could. And as we conclude today's hands-on coverage, we'll sum up as best we can.
First of all, the system itself is a very pretty piece of hardware. Let's face up to facts, here- the PS1 and PS2 were both ugly as sin (although the PS1 wasn't too bad), and in terms of aesthetic appeal, the PS3 is certainly a step up. The controller is still ridiculously light, but we think we can get used to it...provided those new R2/L2 buttons/triggers work out okay. Best of all, though, the time it takes to start everything up and dive in is extremely short. We like that. A lot.
The controller was charged and ready to go out of the box, and worked fine throughout the day. However, for whatever strange reason, we had to re-select the Sixaxis by pressing the PlayStation symbol in the center whenever we tried a PS2 game. This didn't happen with any PS1 games we tested, but every time we put in a PS2 game, the Sixaxis fell offline somehow and we had to click it back on. After doing that, though, it was fine for as long as we wanted to play.
The PlayStation store had the features Sony said it would have at launch, and we were able to successfully download and view a game trailer. The rest of the options on the menu screen, including the system setup and even the option to install Linux, were readily apparent and easily accessible. It didn't take us long to familiarize ourselves with the majority of the console's features, and although we've still got stuff to cover, the progress we've made thus far is substantial.
And lastly, we certainly put the system through its paces, as it was working hard for a total of about 8 hours; downloading, browsing, setting up and registering, and putting in dozens of different music, movie, and game discs. How's about that backwards compatibility demonstration the PS3 put on for us? Pretty good, I'd say.
The PS3 did get warm, of course, but even after a 3-hour stint of b/c testing, the ramped-up fan wasn't very noticeable. It's an awfully quiet machine, for the most part. Of course, reliability is always a concern with any launch system, but so far, the only glitch was when the system froze once during the Store registration process. We can't judge the reliability after one day, obviously, but at least there's no sign of failure just yet.
Be sure to come back tomorrow where we do a little multiplayer, download one of those online Store games, and 'gasp' finally crack open some PS3 games. We've got other things later on, too, like PSP connectivity and online play, so today is hardly the end of our coverage. We're off to get some rest before starting fresh tomorrow.
11/17/2006 Ben Dutka