My PS3 Renaissance

250GB PS31

I haven’t been playing a lot this year, but all it took was me ordering another HDMI cable from Monoprice.

That’s how it started – me using my PS3 about 1000% more in the past week than I have in the past year. I only had two HDMI cables – one dedicated for the 360, another for the PS3. Then I got an AppleTV and used the PS3’s cable for that. I rarely used my PS3 after that.

But then Kevin sent me Uncharted 2 and suggested I get Playstation Plus, Sony’s version of XBOX Live, but you don’t need it to play online. It’s like buying in to Playstation Store sales and getting free games for the length of your subscription. Now I own almost every Resident Evil game. Now I can play Demon’s Souls, which I hear is good. But that stuff is on hold, because I’m still working through a backlog. Point is that I never not have something to play.

I know to many PS3 owners all this stuff is old news. It’s easy to see how much Sony is courting game players compared to Microsoft. Where Microsoft nickel and dimes you (MS points, ads on the dashboard, proprietary HDD), Sony doesn’t.

For example, here’s a quick table I came up with.

Xbox Live vs PSN
Feature Xbox Live Sony PSN
Dashboard covered with ads in yearly subscription Yes No
You can upgrade storage with standard 2.5 HDD No Yes
Free online play (that I never use) No Yes
Indie Game Selection Big Bigger

Sony, I believe, has realized its mistakes with the PS3. That’s why they’re going with X86 architecture with the PS4. That’s why they’re actively courting indie game developers.

But Playstation Plus put it over the top for me. Downloading gigs and gigs of stuff has been the main reason my PS3 has been on almost constantly since subscribing.

I still have a bunch of games I want to play on my 360, but I’m now catching up on the PS3 exclusives I missed. They’re good enough to overlook my complaints about the Dual Shock. And yes, the D-Pad is better on the Dual Shock than it is on the 360.

  1. Photo by pseudogil 

Skryim buggy on the PS3

And David Houghton blames the players for excusing Bethesda and letting it slide:

They’ve been getting away with it for years, and that’s why as much as I’m loving Skyrim (on my 360), I can never truly support Beth as a company. Name one Bethesda-developed game in recent memory that has been released in an acceptable technical state. You can’t, because there aren’t any.

Development on PS3 is sometimes noted as difficult1 compared to the Xbox. The reason it’s called Xbox is because it’s a box that runs DirectX, Microsoft’s development platform for games. If you’re going to release on PC and consoles, like Bethesda does, it makes more sense to do it the Microsoft way.2

That’s not a legitimate excuse for neglecting PS3 development, but I think it’s at least some insight for why cross-platform games on the PS3 aren’t as good as they could be.

  1. Sony executives say that’s on purpose to weed out the amateurs. That sounds like nonsense. 

  2. I think a case could be made that this is the reason why there’s a high-level of platform agnosticism nowadays. The same games are everywhere because Microsoft has made inroads with their development tools, but if you’re going to release on consoles you might as well make a PS3 version. The choice between 360 and PS3 becomes less about games and more about console features. 

“Next generation to arrive in 2012” by Nathan Brown

Next Generation Edge Magazine reports that devs are already working on games for the next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft. Sounds about right.

I’ve been thinking about buying a new 360 (stop looking at the knife) because I like the controller better and all my friends are on Xbox Live. With this news I’ll probably wait it out.

You Down with AvP? No, Not Really.

I’m not into winter sports and activities, so cold weather is what I call Xbox weather. I’ve started off this season of my winter olympics by finishing the Aliens vs. Predator game from last year.

The AvP game from the early 2000s was one of my favorites on the PC. I’d set aside some time to play it, turn off all the lights, close my windows, and have the marine campaign let me relive the Aliens movie for the first time again.

But this version from 2010 felt like more of the same. Instead of feeling like I’m playing the Aliens movie, I felt like I was playing a rehash of the earlier game.

All my enjoyment of this mostly applies to the marine campaign. As an alien I’d climb walls and ceilings and get disoriented. The Predator campaign feels like the marine campaign as an afterthought, but with cooler toys. And the finishing moves don’t make a whole lot of sense to perform, especially while people are shooting at you. Also, what’s the point of harvesting all the civilians as an alien? They don’t turn into little face huggers that can assist you. They don’t do much of anything from what I could tell.

I wish that instead of making the same game three times—for marine, alien, and predator—they would just make a really awesome marine campaign instead of making you play through the same levels differently.

Aliens vs. Predator: Not horrible, but if you aren’t a fan of Aliens or Predators, skip.

Konami’s HD Remakes

Konami has announced HD remakes of Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 and Silent Hill 2 and 3.

I wondered why they took backwards compatibility out of the PS3 in later models, but then I actually got a PS3 and saw the classic titles on their store. Now I see these HD remakes.

When DVDs came out people upgraded to them from VHS, and the same happened when BluRay came out. Now we’re doing it with video games.

I’ll at least buy the MGS collection.