PS3 – What more can I say?

Not much new to report from Planet Playstation at present. Over the weekend I downloaded yet another operating system update. That is now the fourth update since the console launched. There is definitely plenty left to fix/improve though so Sony will likely be busy for quite some time yet! The download took around 15 minutes (no idea on it’s size but that is on a 1mb connection) then a further 10 minutes to install and update the console. Each time you update the console like this you have to hunt around for your USB lead as the system demands you connect your controller for re-synching, a minor niggle I guess but strange considering the Xbox 360 has no trouble chatting with it’s controller?

Over in the USA people are still struggling to get hold of a Playstation 3 and recent sales figures show a marked drop in numbers for Sony’s baby. This is of course pretty much down to the lack of supply but it’s not good to have quite this much of a scarcity at launch for your product, particularly when your competition is so strong. Originally Sony predicted a 400,000 shipment of units in the USA at launch but this figure is now conservatively estimated at being only 200,000.

What does this mean for us? Well the rumour mill is in full swing once more and the doubters are predicting the ‘March’ launch could get put back once again as Sony builds units to satisfy the US & Japanese markets as promised. With some analysts estimating a $300 loss on the sale of each Playstation 3 it’s going to be a tough time for a few Sony executives in the coming months.

On the games front more disappointment came with the news that Motor Storm would now not feature any online play upon release! Online play will be included later for the European launch, scant consolation to anyone who already has a Playstation 3 and was looking forward to this particular title! They will now have to pick up a Japanese version and enjoy the more singular delights instead.

Gran Turismo HD was another casualty this week. This flagship title has seen much screenshot and video cock-waving and forum-post fanboy appraisal but it too has now faltered. The content is being ‘held over’ for the GT5 game due in 2008 and it will now appear as a limited 10 car 1 track download ‘concept’ demo which can be downloaded on December 24th by Japanese PS3 gamers only!

None too happy times to be a Playstation 3 gamer then as the lacklustre games roll on and the disappointing online experience continues. Sony will need to work hard to turn this into a positive success but then again no one can deny that the PS3 will sell. 102 million PS2 units is not something to be sniffed at and the high street recognition for the ‘Playstation’ brand is sure to bolster them for quite some time. Will gamers sit waiting for the much needed improvements though? Certainly this Christmas many will be taking home an Xbox 360 or a Nintendo Wii as the interminable wait for Sony will seem just too much hassle.

Stop waffling and tell us about the chuffing games!

Right then, on with the show! I’ve waffled about the machine for a while now let’s start to have a quick run down on a the games I’ve played!

First up, Ridge Racer 7 which is better known to us as Ridge Racer 6. They are basically the same game, it’s just the PS3 version trying to say it’s more current and therefore that equals better.

Now I’m not the world’s biggest console racer fan, not by a long chalk – just check my gamer card or games played list for confirmation there – so I only whacked this in for a quick 5 minutes (I will come back to it later) but on the whole from what I recall of playing the Xbox RR6 (briefly) it doesn’t look like some great techinical and graphical advance that everybody was proclaiming.

In fact if anything it seems to just look ‘brighter’. This is manifested by a lack of shadow and shading/lighting effects on the surroundings as you whizz past at silly speeds. Now don’t get me wrong here, in terms of speed, frame rate and graphical finesse it is up there with the best but it seems to be lacking something and I wasn’t surprised to find I am not the only one who has noticed the shortcomings of the PS3 version!

The level of texture quality just isn’t up to that of the Xbox 360 incarnation along with a lack of lighting/shading effects which is what I had seemingly noticed when I played!

Ridge Racer 7 then is not enough reason to rush out and buy your PS3 console just yet, will the other titles fair any better? 

Right we’ve ploughed through a few episodes now and you will hopefully be getting a fuller picture about the trials and tribulations of Playstation life! How are your opinions forming? Do you plan on getting a Playstation 3 the minute it comes out? Have you re-considered based on anything I’ve discussed? Is there a burning question that I haven’t answered yet but might be able to?

It’s a two way thing this review so if you are reading it (You know who you are!) then let me have your opinions and comments please!

Ok a change of tack now as I’m going to give you a run-down on the Motor Storm demo. Motor Storm by Evolution Studios was one of the few Playstation 3 games to be shown to the masses at this years E3 event. Now when I say ‘shown’ what I actually mean is that a lot of people saw a video CGI render sequence which was just a concept and wasn’t running on a Playstation 3. It was Sony’s usual CGI marketing trick which quite frankly fooled no-one as the quality of graphics was going to be near impossible to replicate on the actual console! Please note though; the following images are actually screenshots in-game these are not CGI renders.

So here we are months later at the launch of the Playstation 3 and Motor Storm is due out in early December. In the meantime Playstation 3 owners can hook up to the online store and grab a free demo download which weighs in at 456mb. This was an offer too good to resist as the underground hype for Motor Storm is approaching that of Gears of War on the Xbox 360.