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Comparison: Is the 40GB PS3 such a bad deal?

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Is the 40GB PS3 really such a bad deal? We stacked a number of systems side by side to see which gaming console is the best value (at least, in terms of hardware). For example, when compared to the Xbox 360, the $399 PS3 may seem like a pretty good deal, provided you're looking for built-in wi-fi and an HD movie player. These two peripherals cost $99 and $179 each for the Xbox 360.

However, let's not forget that the 20GB Xbox 360 includes some backwards compatibility support (the 40GB PS3 does not). In addition, you get two free games with the system.

The 60GB PS3 is in an interesting position right now, as it currently costs the same as the 80GB model. For the same price, you can get a larger hard drive and a free game. The only difference? The 80GB has more limited backwards compatibility support. Patrick Seybold from SCEA reminds us that "There are no plans to lower the price of the 60GB model. The 60GB model has nearly 95% backwards compatibility, so consumers looking for that feature have the option while supplies last."

[Update: Chart updated with user suggested information. Updated with minor corrections. Thanks, readers!]

GamePro compares PS3 sales to those of Gamecube

A lot of people are seemingly comparing the PS3 to a number of other systems. First, it was a 3DO. Now, it's a Gamecube. GamePro took ten months of NPD data and made an intriguing graph showing the sales for both the PS3 and the Gamecube. Although Nintendo's last-gen system featured a number of genre-defining hits, such as Metroid Prime and Resident Evil 4, it failed to capture the same market share as its competitors. The current momentum of PS3 seems to suggest that Sony's system may meet the same fate, if it continues to follow its current trend.

There are differences, of course. Gamecube had a relatively short life span, with Nintendo reusing the technology in its currently best-selling Wii console. Sony has stated a potential ten-year life cycle for PS3, one that suggests they're planning for a much longer life cycle than that of the Gamecube.

Although a price cut and a redesigned system may revitalize sales, Sony could always follow Nintendo's footsteps in the years to come: simply duct-tape two PS3s together and call it the PS4.

Factor 5's Eggebrecht annoyed at ESRB's censorship

Perhaps comparing the ESRB to the Communist hunter Joseph McCarthy is a little extreme, since there's not really a Red Scare in videogaming, but Factor 5 President Julian Eggebrecht made the allusion when stating the ESRB was essentially choking the creative life out of games during a speech at GCDC. What we mean by that is the ESRB fails to approach games as art. Eggebrecht voices his wishes: "I would be happy if in games we could talk about homosexuality, but we're not even at the point where we can admit that humans have heterosexual relationships, and that is a real problem - and it tends to show that games are not being seen, even by our own ratings boards, as an artform."

He mentioned a cheat code in Lair that unlocked a "Hot Coffee" pot -- an actual coffee pot, which others at the GCDC got a kick out of, but he digressed from the humor behind the GTA: San Andreas fiasco. "If you cannot have satire about these things, that is approaching the realm of McCarthyism." Pressing further, he mentioned the movie Eyes Wide Shut, which dealt with relationship issues in marriage, among other things. Eggebrecht wants to see games with that much ... ambition hitting shelves, which require games to be placed on the same art pedestal as film.

Eggebrecht finally got to the meat of his argument -- censorship in Lair. Sony sought a "T" for Teen rating, since the game appeals to teenage gamers, but the ESRB continually knocked it to an "M" for Mature rating due to blood and visible "chunks" of other dragons getting slapped away in fights. In the end, Eggebrecht said, "they let us through with a Teen even though you can use fire - you can set up to five, six thousand people on fire. They burn, they run around and they scream, but of course that wasn't a problem [due to the absence of blood]."

Warhawk review in EGM may change depending on price

Editor's Note: The following reflects the personal opinion of Nick, and does not necessarily reflect the views of PS3 Fanboy staff. PS3 Fanboy does factor price into consideration when reviewing games.

In a complete wrong move on EGM's part, 1UP reports that the reviewers over at the magazine have had little notes posted onto their Warhawk reviews stating, in some form or another, that the review "score should be dropped a whole point if the price was announced above $30." Sure, Sony hasn't officially announced a Warhawk price for the downloadable version and that's a little odd, but I've got problem with this bit of news.

An unannounced price shouldn't affect a game's review score by such a significant margin. It's tough to grasp what the point of dropping a review score is because of a game possibly being priced above the rumored price created by the media. Does it make you enjoy it less? Does it make the graphics worse? Does it hinder the framerate? It might dissuade people from buying the downloadable version if it were, say, $50, but if that's the case, the retail version is a great deal. If the downloadable version is $30, that's a budget title and a great deal.

It's a bit difficult to explain, which is exactly why the EGM staff are concerned about how to review the game. I'd like your take on the situation, in that case! Is there a difference between buying a game due to price and buying a game due to quality? Price does affect many people's willingness to buy, but should it necessarily affect the score given to a game by reviewers getting the game for little or no cost?

LittleBigPlanet and Killzone win Game Critics Awards

Was there any doubt that LittleBigPlanet is the most original game of E3? The Game Critics Awards have named Media Molecule's 2D wonder the "Best Original Game" of E3 this year (a week after we named it the best PS3 game; and Joystiq also named it the "Best Original Game").

In addition, Killzone earned special honors in graphics -- it didn't match the visual fidelity of the original trailer, but boy did it get close.

Finally, the Game of the Show was Rock Band ... a multiplatform release that'll find its way on PS3. Not a bad line-up of awards for the PS3, no?


Warhawk making split-screen sexy again

Modern multiplayer games have nearly killed something we loved from the Nintendo 64 era: split-screen multiplayer. Now that our televisions have more pixels and are larger, shouldn't we herald the return of split-screen multiplayer? Warhawk is proud to boast four players on one screen, and if you're running on an HDTV, each section of the screen will still have more resolution than full-screen games from the PS1/N64 era. We hope that other games will follow Warhawk's path and make split-screen gaming sexy again. Do you agree?

Check out new screenshots in our gallery below:

Gallery: Warhawk

Logitech: PS3 controller alternative, or shenanigans?

Calling Logitech's new wireless controller a "PS3 controller" is a bit of a stretch. We'd love to watch anyone with this controller play Folklore once it comes out. Yeah, having trouble capturing those souls? It's because the darn thing doesn't have any motion-sensing technology in it. They gave it rumble, though. This brings us back to our original point -- this controller is not a PlayStation 3 controller, rather, a wireless PlayStation 3 compatible controller to play your PS2 games with the rumble goodness you so dearly miss.

For $40 and the added joy of repeated AA battery purchases (50 hour battery life? Hats off, if possible), did Logitech really think this peripheral through before releasing it to the masses? If it's going to be a PlayStation 3 controller, it should include both rumble and motion. It's called forward-thinking. PS3 will have rumble eventually, but motion is an integral part of the system. Bottom line: if you want to play your PS2 games wirelessly on the PS3 with rumble, this is a decent option. Don't try to play Lair with it, though. Your dragon will never, ever, ever move.

[via Joystiq]

Rant: SOE needs to offer more compelling PlayStation Store content

Sony Online Entertainment had a fairly sizable role in the PlayStation Store development thus far. They offered the original IP Cash Guns Chaos and helped fund Sidhe's Gripshift on its graphical upgrade for the PS3 reissue. Gripshift was enjoyable for the first 30 minutes we played it, but the tracks were so easy and uninspired, we soon lost interest. It was hardly compelling. Did we miss something here? Also, SOE helped secure the deal to port those Midway classics we've come to both tolerate and despise. Although not one Midway classic burned our eyes with anticipation, we've been so hungry for content, we downloaded nearly all those titles anyway. Perhaps we're not being true to the spirit of classics, but we envision something a little more meaty than an unabridged arcade port with online multiplayer. Mortal Kombat II fared okay in our book but Championship Sprint and Rampage definitely lost something in their translation, and it was mostly fun.

Continue reading Rant: SOE needs to offer more compelling PlayStation Store content

Has Sony failed to understand the casual gamer?

In a recent interview with, Nintendo VP of marketing, George Harrison, said that Sony and Microsoft have both attempted to woo the casual gamer but both failed due to a lack of understanding of the casual gamer. Specifically, Harrison mentioned the Sixaxis as Sony's failure:

"We can already see some of the things they've tried. For last year's E3, at the last minute, Sony rushed out their Sixaxis controller as an effort to respond to the Wii remote. We saw Microsoft roll out Viva Piñata as their killer app for the Pokemon set. And neither of those worked really well.

It's true that Nintendo knows how to dominate a certain kind of casual gamer market, but it seems a bit disingenuous to be writing off the Sixaxis as a failed attempt to capture Nintendo's market share. Sony has never particularly positioned that motion-sensitivity of the Sixaxis as a lure to the casual gamer. They've marketed it as a feature that adds to existing games and allows you to do things you've never done before (see LAIR and Warhawk). It's true that they have utilized the motion sensitivity aspect of the controller to create more easily accessible games like Blast Factor, flOw and Super Rub-a-Dub, but unlike Nintendo, thats that's clearly not their whole focus.

Continue reading Has Sony failed to understand the casual gamer?

Championship Sprint motors hits PSN tomorrow, we're still bored.

The PlayStation Store seems to be on a mind-numbing sprint through the bargain bin of old classics, however this recent entry might struggle with even that very definition. Championship Sprint was an arcade treat in its heyday, but without the acrid smell of burnt pizza cheese permeating the air and the ching-ching-ching of tokens being dispensed nearby, we're not sure reliving this classic on the PS3 is going to evoke the same sense of guilty pleasure we once experienced. Pray tell, why exactly would anyone care to relive this classic without standing at the machine itself with a vice-like grip on the steering wheel (sans Force Feedback, we might add)? There is plenty of ripe fruit in the Sony catalog, so where are the classic gems from the lucrative and expansive PlayStation gallery? How many times can we ask for Twisted Metal? How about SOCOM? Honestly, lets skip the brussel sprouts and head right for the ice cream.

For interested parties, Championship Sprint hits the PlayStation Store tomorrow, on May 31st, for $4.99. We suppose it's better than nothing, but not by much. Comments and suggestions on preferred PlayStation Store titles would be a fantastic addition here, so post away. Give Sony some ideas! Now, if you don't mind, we're heading back to the recesses of our couch to complete our Pirates of the Caribbean Blu-ray marathon. Wake us up when something more worthwhile is on.

Firmware 1.80 up for downloads, our opinions also available

The hotly anticipated system update has gone live as of exactly midnight EST. Without a minute to spare, we downloaded the new update and test-drove the two most important features: 1080p DVD upscaling and 1080p PS2 game upscaling. What do we think?

We have to admit, we're disappointed by the DVD playback. We tested a couple of DVDs from the amazingly hilarious show Scrubs. The difference between the original 480p image and the upscaled one is minimal at best. Perhaps it was the show itself, but the only added factor by jumping the resolution up was a slight decrease in grainy faces in the foreground. No beats of sweat clearly visible, no defined facial lines beyond what the original DVDs had displayed. This may be due to the fact that the TV we used only could get 720p/1080i -- so that may have been a reason.

On the software side, we booted up a number of games: Rogue Galaxy, Phantasy Star Universe, and Dawn of Mana. Yes, we love RPGs. The difference was surprisingly substantial. In the case of Rogue Galaxy, where jaggies were minimal to begin with, the difference got rid of the remaining backwards compatibility errors. However, if the upscaling is set to "full screen" and the smoother is turned "on" then you might stare at something that's a lot more blurry than you're used to. Not jaggy -- blurry. PSU suffered horribly with jaggies and the upscaler worked well. It's not perfect, but it's acceptable. With the smoother turned on, the clothing and actions of characters just seem ... smoother. How about that? Dawn of Mana simply got a smooth boost, since it looked mostly fine anyway.

Overall, we greatly approve of the PS2 upscaling capabilities. PS One titles ... well ... there's not much to upscale anyway, but they did what they could. Nothing worth mentioning, but it's a nice touch to make the games looks less dated. Parasite Eve 2 is actually fairly good looking upscaled. Almost an early PS2 game. We have no true opinion on the DVD upscaling since we don't have a 1080p HDTV, but what we were able to view wasn't much different. How about you guys? What are your thoughts?

Thank you, Pelican PS2 to PS3 adapter

If you were unfortunate enough to sell your PS2 before reading about the failed attempts to play the original Guitar Hero on PS3, you aren't alone. In fact, upon first hearing the news of this little gadget, you probably jumped up for extreme joy and knocked yourself out on a low-hanging ceiling fan. Jeesh, be more careful! Now, we've all been patiently awaiting this very product since it was known to be in the works since November. Thanks to Pelican and their beautiful PS2 to PS3 adapting magic, we can finally rejoice, hold our original Guitar Hero controllers high, and rock ourselves out silly.

See, some of us actually made the tragic mistake of assuming everything would be fine, without bothering to physically check adapters or reading any news about incompatibility. And so, with rage-like Hulk powers, we may very well have smashed everything in our living rooms when we realized the horrible, staggering truth. While most of our audience was probably savvy enough to avoid this type of disastrous end, we were stubbornly unwilling to part with this cherished product that literally, brought us tears of joy. Yes, tears of joy. Game on, beautiful rock stars of the gaming world. Game on.

[Via Joystiq]

Region free in Europe? Only with a HDTV

The other day I was out shopping in London and decided to pick up another game for my imported US PS3 (FEAR, for those of you who are curious). This is the first PAL region game I've bought, but knowing that the PS3 is region free I wasn't worried about compatibility issues. When I got back and put the disc in the drive, I was met by a very disappointing message: "This game not supported (80028F10)". Confused, and a bit pissed off, I did some Googling and stumbled on a very helpful thread on the official European PLAYSTATION forum.

It turns out that there's an issue with US/JAP PS3s running 576 lines of resolution (the European standard). That is, they can't do it. So European games that don't support 480i/p simply won't play. The only solution is to step up to the lowest common resolution for all regions, 720i/p. Of course, for that you'll need a HDTV and a high definition connector for your console. As a result, FEAR is fast becoming the most expensive game I've ever bought.

It's difficult to say whether this will affect people who are planning on nabbing themselves some US games for their PAL PS3s. If you have any anecdotal evidence showing that this works fine, then let us know. As for the Americans out there who are looking forward to importing Singstar next month, you'll probably suffer from this same problem if you've yet to take the plunge and gone HD.

What's one Red Ring of Death between friends?

We like pictures. You guys must know this, because one of you (allmodcons) has sent us one. A photograph snapped at the Union Square Gamestop in New York City. You can see a cropped version to the right, if you're feeling too lazy to click through. It's an Xbox 360 display case with an unfortunate case of Red-Ring-of-Death-itis. That's the proper medical name, I've heard.

I'll admit that when I saw the image schadenfreude got the better of me. I took some pleasure in Gamestop's misfortune and smiled to myself. Doing so without any malice toward the Xbox 360 console itself or its owners, however. We at PS3 Fanboy love our 360 owning brothers (and sisters). Don't spread this too far, but some of us even own one ourselves. Crazy, eh? We may tease them about their embarrassing hiccups from time to time, but like the well-intentioned siblings that they are they give as good as they get. We'll be the first to mention the number of times the PS3 has overheated at a retail booth (or even at the TGS), or its low sales figures. Remember the Xbox 360 dressed up as a PS3? That was pretty embarrassing, too.

A bit of good natured ribbing on each side makes things a bit more fun and interesting, I think. That's why it's OK to have a chuckle at pictures like this from time to time.

Console war? More like a console pillow-fight.

[Thanks Nick]

Jaffe unhappy at the internet - quits blogging

Yesterday, David Jaffe announced on the NeoGaf forums that Calling all Cars! was delayed (again). The general reaction on the Internet to the announcement was disappointment mingled with acknowledgment that fixing bugs is a worthy reason for a delay. Some people took it better than others though and when our parent site Joystiq compared Jaffe to "a little girl struggling to keep her favorite doll out of the garage sale bin," they clearly hit a nerve on the outspoken developer.

Though he didn't specifically call out the Joystiq post as the one that pushed him over the edge, Jaffe posted another one of his infamous rants in which he expressed his ... strong dissatisfaction with a certain 'unnamed' website and declared that he is going to stop blogging:

"I'm going to go dark. My stylings have upset some folks within the biz I care very much about and that I can not live with"

Personally, I'll miss his blog but he's such a volatile guy that maybe some time out of the limelight will be good for him. According to Jaffe, we can expect to hear from him next in July when he announces details on his next PSN title - or until somebody gets him drunk on camera.

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