: Ben's Week In Review: March 24

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Ben's Week In Review: March 24

The week of the PS3 launch in Europe has been chock full of news, so of course, there's plenty to talk about. Let's get to it.

PS3 Firmware Update Version 1.6

When this was detailed, it appeared we finally had the big update we'd been hearing about. Thankfully, we get background downloading - works good, by the way - and the crucial update that allows the PAL PS3 to play PS2 games (72% of the PAL PS2 lineup, too). Another major feature allows the user to select an automatic disc start on the system, which it didn't used to have, but I still like going to the menu to start. Oh, and for PSP owners, the Remote Play option has been enhanced to the long-awaited wireless capability. In other words, provided you're within your wireless network, you can use your PSP to tap into the PS3 and check out any media you have stored in there. Pretty damn cool...too bad I don't have a PSP yet.

It appears all the firmware updates to this point have worked well, and this one has helped to bring the PS3 a step closer to realizing its full potential. Let's hope Sony keeps going down this path.

Folding@Home Doing Great

As we learned yesterday, the Folding@Home endeavor is already churning up big numbers. After first reporting on this, I was somewhat skeptical as to how useful this would really be, but as it turns out, plenty of PS3 owners are helping out. And the data the researchers are receiving has been spectacular, thanks to the processing power of the PS3, as it's even greatly outstripped PCs in terms of TERAFLOPs returned. Now, I'm still not entirely sure how this will ultimately assist in mapping genes and discovering cures for currently incurable diseases, but I'll assume the scientists know what they're doing.

So if you own a PS3, I see no reason why you shouldn't participate. Heck, just turn it on, find the Folding@Home icon in the Cross Media Bar, click it, leave the system on, and go have lunch or something. That's it. How hard is that?

Euro Gamers Get Bravia HDTVs at PS3 Launch?!

Okay, what the hell?! Yeah, I know they were the "put-upon" because Sony delayed the PS3 for four months over there, but even so, how come the first 100 in line got a 46" Bravia HDTV to go along with their PS3? We got the Blu-Ray of "Talladega Nights." Yippee. Regardless of how the PS3 is doing right now, those first 100 consumers in line got one hell of a gift, and they're likely to walk away thinking Sony is God's gift to man. Me, I hate to feel cheated (after all, I did get my PS3 back in November), but I will freely admit I'm totally jealous. Yeah, it was only 100, but even so, it's a great PR move by Sony. That story got circulated everywhere, if you hadn't noticed, and that's the kind of news Sony could use right about now.

What's that Island of Rhodes site all about?

The new website, which clearly depicts Kratos in the background, is haunting my dreams. Sony would only say it's for "true God of War fans" ('raises hand'), but we have no idea what the "Island of Rhodes" is, nor do we know if it's referring to a new GoW project. It doesn't appear to be the upcoming PSP installment- that has already been confirmed, so why would Sony be tight-lipped about the launching of that game's official website? And it seems far too early to be something related to the far-in-the-future God of War III for the PS3. So what is it? What's going on? I can't decide if I should be excited or not...

Of course, Sony also said to "think of the original God of War," so that gives us some clue. Maybe they're talking about a re-release of the original with an added quest entitled, Island of Rhodes? Or maybe the site refers to the movie that we know is in the works (the screenplay is complete)... Come on, guys, what's the harm in giving us a little bit of info?

Personal Gaming Update

So as I reach the end of the stellar God of War II, I have a decision to make- do I replay it, or do I get started on Splinter Cell: Double Agent, which I've been putting off for months? I adore the SC franchise and I've been wanting to play the latest installment for a loooong time, but GoW II is just so much damn fun...and besides, I get to go through progressive play, which only adds to the appeal. Then again, I could bypass both and finally go through Okami, which I've been putting off even longer than SC: DA. Thankfully, there doesn't appear to be anything I really want in the next few weeks, so I have some time to catch up.

I understand that The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for the PS3 is now out, but I will not - I repeat, will not - play that game. And it's not because I don't like RPGs (on the contrary, it's my favorite genre), but it's simply because I couldn't possibly find the time. And I know for a fact it would suck away a hundred hours, which I can't afford to lose, so Oblivion has to stay away from me. The temptation won't claim me! I swear it.

3/24/2007 Ben Dutka

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