Friday, January 04, 2013

The New PS3

My new PlayStation 3 has arrived, replacing my nearly-dead launch unit. (This is a similar story to mine.) Can't say I'm too excited as I never wanted to replace my original PS3, but since I used to write about video games for a living, I just wanted to give a few thoughts on the newly-redesigned system. I am happy to have a working system again, but, well, this ain't the same PS3 I once knew.

This is the Uncharted 3 bundle, which comes with the aforementioned game (that I don't care about) as well as some online game (that I don't care about). I looked for a bare-bones system and surprisingly couldn't find one, which I thought was odd. Most past systems were available both with and without pack-in games at this stage of their... er... "careers", precisely because so many people are replacing dead early units and may already have all the games and accessories they need.  So I wasn't too happy about paying for pack-ins. $269 seven years into a console's lifespan is hard to swallow, even with Christmas money paying for most of it.

The newest model is definitely not as much of a luxury item as the original 60GB model I have, which felt like a piece of pretty high-end home electronics. The new model definitely feels more like a game console circa 1997, despite Sony's push to make it a trojan horse streaming and gaming appliance (both MS and Sony have the same strategy with their game systems).  It's kind of cheap and plasticky, with its manual slide-open, top-loading drive and lightweight casing.  It's impossible not to knock it over by inserting a disc or even just hitting the power button unless you hold it steady with your other hand.  The original PS3 seemed made to stand vertically; the new model seems really ungainly in that position, even with its "stand" that makes it look like you left a compact disc sitting under it when you put the PS3 down. Horizontally, though, it's like the PS1 - you need to have a bunch of empty air above it to insert discs.

And obviously, no more backwards compatibility with PS2 games.  I didn't use this much but it was nice to know it was there - I still have a ton of PS2 games that I like to think I'll play again (and some, like Rez, that I actually do occasionally).

At least I was able to repair my old PS3 to work long enough to transfer my system over. I was glad to be able to get around the copy protection on game saves - wtf is that about?? Even if you're diligent about backing up your PS3 in case of failure, you're going to lose half your save games if your old system ever dies. That was a pretty nerve-wracking 90 minutes, though - I don't know how long my repair's going to last this time (previous one lasted maybe 3 hours of actual use), and I don't know what happens if you turn off one system while transferring... which only starts after formatting the new machine. But luckily, it made it through.

Oh well, so I'm back up and running, and my wife and I can watch movies and I can play games again. Hopefully this one will last me until the PS4... or Xbox 720, if Sony keeps pissing me off. (I've got beefs with them beyond this.)

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About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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