PlayStation 3 Slim / Firmware 3.0 Announced

ps3-slim-01

Today Sony announced the PS3 Slim. So whats different? The price for starters. The PS3 slim is now $299 (down from $399), has a 120GB hard drive, a matte finish, and actual power/eject buttons. What I am most excited about, however is the reduced power consumption. My current PS3 (a 40GB) uses 380W, the new Slim uses 250W. Quite a big drop, which gives me hope that I’ll be able to play games while the AC and gaming computer are on, ya know, without blowing a fuse. It’s good to see Sony finally getting into the game as far as price is concerned. I’d like to upgrade if I can get a decent trade in price for my current PS3… gotta remember to put the 40GB hard drive back in there. The slim is available for pre-order and will be released “The first week of September” shortly after firmware 3.0.

Firmware 3.0 was also announced today. The bulk of the update is to the UI. There are some additional features added to the themes menu including animated themes. I’d really love to see a theme of Old Snake smoking like the loading screen for MGS4. They finally fixed the clock/charge level overlay. They’ve also changed the layout of the friend’s list and replaced the Information Board with a “Whats New” which seems more useful.

Demon’s Souls

Back in the day of the original Playstation King’s Field was one of my first games. I fell in love with it, despite its slow plodding pace, almost complete lack of story, and brutal difficulty. Demon’s Souls, a new PS3 game by the same developers, is out in japan/asia, and I’m thinking of importing it. The asian version has english voice/text so it should be easily playable, and I dont think they are bringing this guy over to america. decisions…

Is this Sony’s “BIG” announcement?

Sony announced last week that today they would be making a big announcement. This morning they devulged that the PS2 is dropping in price to $99.99. If a 10 year old system dropping in price is a big announcement, then im not sure they understand the meaning of “big”.

Hopefully this is just a April fools announcement and the real biggie will come out later today. Hopefully.

Qore game vouchers

When Qore first came out I was excited. I thought it would be cool to be able to see developer interviews and get early demos of games that will be coming out in the future. The reality of it is, I was never all that impressed with Qore. There have been several episodes which I’ve really gotten a lot out of, and this month’s Burnout Paradise segment is pretty good. What I’ve been really surprised by recently is all the game vouchers they’ve been emailing me. When I signed up I got Calling All Cars, which was expected. A few weeks ago they emailed me a voucher to download Syphon Filter for the PS1. Then, yesterday I got another voucher for High Velocity Bowling. So far thats like $25 worth of downloadables for a $25 subscription, plus all the demos and video content. Didn’t shake out to be that bad of a deal after all. I may resubscribe at this rate.

Sixaxis finally pulls its own weight – Flower Impressions

flower

So, last night I picked up Flower from the PSN. I’ve only played the first 2 levels, but I was really impressed with it. Normally when games use Sixaxis control it kind of makes me want to barf. I couldn’t get used to it in Wipeout, or Motorstorm, but in Flower it really works. The goal of the game is to fly around and tap unbloomed flowers in the landscape and when all of the ones in the area are bloomed life and color is restored. Its a really simple premise, but it translates to really fun gameplay. Visually, this game is ridiculous. every blade of grass is visible, and waves around as you pass by, the colors are amazing, and the lighting is fantastic. Flower is the perfect game to play after getting a Platinum trophy in Fallout 3 (woo hoo!). Oh, and its only $10.

Playstation Photo Gallery – Some Thoughts

I feel that I must preface this writeup by first saying that I’ve never really gotten why people would want to look at photographs on their TV. Having slide-show functionality and ability to organize photos on a computer is something that has always been possible so having that functionality elsewhere isn’t really that exciting for me.

That being said, for those who do want something like this the Photoshop Photo Gallery seems like it would be a good choice. It gives you the ability to organize photos by date and time, what camera was used to take the photo, colors within the photo, number of subjects, ages, and even facial expressions. Some of these are admittedly pretty cool. Once organized you can create playlists to be used for slideshow purposes.

The program itself is well put together, looks cool, and uses some pretty interesting effects for page transitions and stuff. It seems responsive and quick to load as well. I havent tested if it can display Raw images but I doubt it. If you are at all interested in displaying photos on your PS3 its worth the 104MB download in addition to the 2.6 firmware update to check it out.

Playstation 3 Firmware 2.60 – Photogasm

Today on The Playstation Blog Eric Lempel spills the beans on the imminent release of firmware 2.60 for the Playstation 3.

In this update they add a few notable features:

  • support for DivX 3.11
  • Guest access to the Playstation Store which lets people without a PSN account browse the store.

Also added is a new Photo Gallery application which looks pretty rad. Check out the walkthrough video.

GC 2008 – Playstation Announcements

Sony had their press conference today in Leipzig, Germany. They announced some pretty cool stuff that will be making its way stateside this year.

First, they announced a new 160GB PS3 bundle that comes with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. It will have the same functionality as the new 80GB one, which means no backward compatibility.

They announced a new revision to the PSP hardware, the PSP-3000 includes a new LCD screen, and a built in microphone for use with Skype. The entertainment packs will stay at $199, while a stand alone PSP will still be $169.

Finally, Sony announced a bluetooth keyboard (pictured above) that will snap onto Sixaxis or Dualshock3 controllers. I guess it even has a mode that turns the main key area into a sort of laptop style touchpad. I dont know how that will work but sounds pretty cool. It also has buttons that will jump straight to your friends list and message box on the XMB.