Arnold's Press Pause and Rewind: May 13th
I got Spider-Man 3 this week for the PlayStation 2 and
PlayStation 3. When I popped in the PS3 version, it made me
realize how cool it is that we're able to explore virtual cities
the size of our own. Take New York City, for instance, as it it
is the basis of the Spider-Man 3 game. You get to swing around,
in what seems to be, a nearly 1:1 rendition of Manhattan. And
while the detail of the city is really off in most parts, simply
the fact that videogames give us the ability to explore a scale
that large is phenomenal.
Despite their mediocrity, the True Crime games (or at least True Crime: LA) for the last-gen consoles, really did a splendid job of rendering their respective cities with solid attention to detail. It's even more impressive considering the technology it was done on. The Getaway was arguably the first to render an entire city in such true fashion and led the way for the rest.
I eagerly anticipate the day when I get to explore a full scaled New York City (including all of the boroughs) and track down my own house. I think a scale of that size is still a bit off, if you think about the manpower it'd require to accurately go around a city and photograph its every crevice. But with everyday tools like Google Earth and other pre-photographed satellite image software, it'd certainly make the job of rendering streets easier.
PS3 Firmware 2.0
The next item up on my platter is this alleged 2.0 update for the PlayStation 3's firmware. Some of those features indicate something we've all been waiting for: custom soundtracks and possibly even enhanced PSOne and PS2 emulation. The alleged upgrade list notes access of the cross media bar (XMB) during gameplay. If that is the case, that means I should be able to access my music folder, hit play and resume my game with the songs on my HDD playing, instead of the in-game soundtrack.
Then there's the 'PlayStation and PlayStation 2 options' feature that's making me raise an eyebrow. I'm probably way off with my predictions, but I sure do hope that those options include some sort of scaling mode that'll make previous-gen games look good on HDTVs (i.e. rendering in 480p or 720p). On top of that, boosting a game's stuttering framerate and enhancing load times via PS3 would be amazing. A lot of this stuff is supposed to be coming, so I hope that this update brings it to us. And we're finally getting the long overdue wallpapers feature.
NPD Numbers Are Approaching...
I just realized, as I'm writing this, that the newest NPD numbers are supposed to hit this week. Last month's numbers weren't exactly golden for Sony's PS3 and PSP, but the PS2 did sell extremely well, yet again. I'm hoping that the PSP's price-drop and the PS3's decent wave of software will be enough to push a few extra consoles out of the door for Sony. Likewise, it'll certainly be nice to see how Microsoft's Xbox 360 Elite performed in April, considering its new price-tag and all.
This One's Outta' Here!!
Lastly, Sony sent me a copy of MLB 07: The Show this week and I'm very impressed. After the terribly lackluster MLB 2K7 from 2K Sports and Kush Games, it felt great to play an amazing baseball game. I honestly can't even remember the last time I played such a solid MLB game. I skipped out on previous MLB titles largely because I wasn't really in the game scene for that time, but I'm glad that I'm back to play this. Look for a review of it shortly. I will say this much, though, if you have a copy of MLB 2K7, go trade it in for Sony's MLB 07: The Show this week.
5/13/2007 Arnold Katayev