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?