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Posts Tagged ‘Video Games’

“Who is Your Daddy and What Does he Do?”

November 28, 2007 Leave a comment

ps3

The Sony Playstation 3 recently celebrated its first birthday even though the models sold a year ago are nowhere to be found. A 20GB version and a 60GB version debuted. The 20GB was discontinued shortly after the new year, and the 60GB model was replaced with the 80GB over the summer. In 2000, when Sony released the Playstation 2, DVD sales were just starting to take off. Everyone wanted a DVD player and Sony was still capitalizing on the success of the original Playstation. Kids would tell their parents about a DVD player and it could also play games on the side. My first DVD player was a Playstation 2. Fast forward a few years; we have Toshiba and co. pushing HDDVD and Sony pushing Blue-Ray.

The trouble is, other than those really wanting the latest and greatest (present company included), there isn’t a real necessity to make the switch from DVD to a new Hi-Def format. This isn’t the switch from analog to digital, many people still don’t have HD Televisions and the format war hasn’t helped matters at all. So what is the reason to buy a Playstation 3? Where’s the draw? What’s new?

Sony is one umbrella. Playstation used to have its own branch of Sony but now it’s all under one roof which is exactly what the Playstation 3 is. It’s quite possibly everything you need aside from a television and speakers to create a powerful all-in-one media center. Of course, continue to market it towards gamers as a game system but that is not the main potential of the audience. The only minor thing holding it back is the lack of video/audio inputs to use as a receiver from the TV. However, the 80GB version plays DVDs, Blue-Rays, houses music, has HDMI and optical outs for discreet audio, accepts multiple card formats and has multiple USB inputs, and let’s not forget how important wireless is today. Anyone remember what the PSX tried to be?

psx

Well the PS3 accomplishes this task completely. Sony needs to market the PS3 to a much larger audience. The average gamer is over 18 years old and they’re the first adopters of all this new high end technology. That’s the Playstation 3 market. Sure it plays games, but that’s one thing out of the many it does very well. The Playstation 3 cannot be a success without mass diversification. Time will tell if it’s a successful game machine but I think that’s a secondary factor at this point. The games will come and when they do, people will say, “On PS3? Sweet! I already have one of those!”

The Playstation 3 is the ultimate media center at the moment. It’s not a $3000 Windows media center that doesn’t even play games. It’s a $500 media solution for everyone with an HD Television or those looking to make their TV the center of their media experience. Let’s not forget it’s also quite a good looking machine. It covers a large footprint but a gorgeous foot it is. So come on Sony, tell us what we need to know about the system. We all know it plays games, but more people need to know everything else it can do. There is where Sony will find the success of the Playstation 3.

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Windows Vista: A Quick Review

November 9, 2007 4 comments

The System

Processor 2xIntel Xeon 5150 Dual Core 2.66GHz (4CPUs)
RAM 3GB DDR PC5300 667MHz
Video ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB Ram
Hard Drive Maxtor 140GB Partition

For anyone not keeping up, this is actually an Apple computer which I used bootcamp to install Windows Vista. I did a clean install of Windows Vista Business edition. Keep in mind bootcamp is NOT emulation software. It turns the computer into a full-fledged Windows machine. The two operating systems never interact. Vista Business edition is missing features mostly related to entertainment. Heaven forbid if I can’t make high def movies in Vista. I do, after all, have OSX running on the other side. Let’s get on with it shall we?

This is by far the easiest installation of Windows I have ever done. Excluding the time to set up bootcamp, it clocked in at just under 1 hour and I had to do very little in between. As soon as Windows installed and I added the Apple drivers for video card and keyboard support, I did a Windows update. It was so nice to not have to restart between every single update per Windows XP. However a restart for Windows still takes forever. I’ll have exact time for you in the near future. It is nice how the desktop loads in the background and everything is ready to go once it’s presented to you unlike having to watch individual parts load like in previous iterations.

I’ll dive more into this later when I launch my Vista and Leopard comparison, but Vista does look pretty for the most part. Although Flip 3D is by no means 3D. It’s like taking a few pieces of paper and offsetting them to see what’s written on each one. It could easily look a lot better though OpenGL, but the window designs are nice. I will be sticking with the stock theme instead of reverting back to a Window Classic look.

Big red flag coming up: Check my system stats again…3 Gigs of RAM. Under my system info in Vista…2Gigs of RAM, whaaaaaat? After scouring some forums, it appears the 32bit version of Vista only supports 2GB RAM. I hope this is something remedied in Service Pack 1. I found this in a mac forum to be exact so if you’re a PC user and do not have this issue, let me know. With games having a 1GB minimum these days and Vista occupying 600MB to run, things could get a little choppy over time.

Most annoying part of Windows Vista, all the permission Windows needed to do anything…ANYTHING! I understand this is to protect people from themselves, but if you’re so prone to problems like this you probably shouldn’t be using a computer in the first place.

Stability-wise, I was able to stop and switch between Gears of War and Civilization IV pretty easily without too much of a performance hit. Speaking of performance, I did add the system info gadget. When I installed XP through bootcamp, XP only saw 1 of my 4 CPU’s. Thank god Vista sees them all. However, it does a really poor job of distributing the work across the CPU’s. One will shoot up to 100% while others remain quiet. The Maxtor HD I have is extremely loud in the first place, but I will be doing nothing in Windows, and it will still be searching for something for minutes on end so I don’t know what it’s trying to find.

Windows Vista is definitely a visual departure from previous versions, but the underlying principle is still the same for how you move around. A few more bells and whistles while moving some stuff around that I’m having trouble finding. The new Start menu is a nice touch removing the annoying scroll lists of program files. How it maintains the games in a file is a neat idea but when I was trying to explain to my girlfriend about how to load Civ IV, I stopped and said forget it. It’s definitely not set up for someone new to Windows. I’m sure the folder can be moved but it shouldn’t have to be.

I am looking forward to Service Pack 1, assuming Apple says it’s ok to go ahead with the install. Hopefully it will take care of the RAM issue and CPU throttling. So a little longer than a short review but now I can bring my Leopard and Vista comparison to you.