PlayStation 3 Hands-On: CD/DVD/BD Playback
Yesterday, we brought you our in-depth rundown of the PS3's backwards compatibility, and after that, we dove into other forms of entertainment.
We first popped in some music CDs just to see how things worked, and while the PS3 sometimes has to take a few seconds to "obtain disc information," they all played fine. It's hardly a stereo unless you've got one hell of a sound system sitting in your entertainment center, but it's good to know everything is fine on the music front. Later on, we certainly want games that allow us to use our own music; like in certain Xbox titles where users can rip songs into the system and play with those tracks in the background. That's a fun option.
Then, we started the tedious process of transporting the system between two TVs (one HD, one not), and unsurprisingly, everything about the PS3 is brought into full vibrancy and clarity on the HD. We did notice a difference between our Blu-Ray disc and the standard DVDs, but any non-anal viewers sitting back in their couches may or may not spot the picture changes.
We also confirmed what we already knew- that if you're playing your PS3 games on a standard-definition set, the resolution gets scaled down to 480p. But damn, on a fully HD 1080p TV, the games spring to life in a way you can't possibly appreciate if you're playing on an old TV. This, of course, means that HDTV is the single most expensive "accessory" in gaming history, but unfortunately, it appears to be a necessary one in the future.
In general, we're not saying you shouldn't own a PS3 if you don't have HD. That's just silly. But the difference between standard viewing and high-definition, especially in the games, is significant. Hopefully, if you don't already have HD, it's within your means to get it...you won't be disappointed.
11/18/2006 Ben Dutka