Way back in the day, I was a Sega person. Like everyone else at my college, I had a Genesis (Jenny), but I followed Sega into the Saturn (good system, far too expensive, some memorable games), and the Dreamcast (outstanding system, some fantastic games). Then Sega came to an end due to their own pricing, strange marketing, and lack of third-party support… oh, and the relentless PS/PS2 juggernaut. Afterwards, I had to find something else. On a weekend where my wife (girlfriend at the time) anticipated us being snowed in and unable to escape from visiting her parents house, we picked up a PS2. It was Sony who killed Sega, but the whole "love the one who defeats you" vibe is strong here.
That PS2 was good to us, both for that snowed-in weekend and the couple of years since. I've previously mentioned the number of cooperative multiplayer games that we enjoyed. The PS2 also had Katamari Damacy, one of the greatest games of all time. Also, any number of fighting games (Virtua Fighter/Soul Calibur), solid jrpgs (Disgaea), platformers (including the awesome and fun Ratchet and Clank series), video board/card games (cheers to Culdcept), and basically any single-player game you could ever want… as long as you could live without Zelda/Mario and Halo. Which we easily could.
(And as an aside, what's the deal with Halo? The single-player game is completely average, and I've already played the Quake series and both the original and revised Counterstrike, which are better than Halo multiplayer. This is the same phenomenon that prevents me from enjoying any modern group-based reality show: I watched the first four seasons of The Real World during their original broadcasts. Everything else is a permutation or reaction to the original, with very little innovation. It just amazes me that in a world where Half-Life and its sequels exist that Halo can be that popular.)
So we got on the PS3 early, and it's been even better to us than the PS2. Netflix plus Blu-ray plus excellent scaleup of normal dvds would have been enough to make it a good purchase. However, we've picked up a few games (Ratchet and Clank, Rock Band, Assassin's Creed, Ninja Gaiden) that really make the system sing. There's also the PlayStation store that has demos, downloadable content, and complete small games (Pixeljunk Monsters, Super Puzzle Fighter, Everyday Shooter) that are the perfect cost-to-joy ratio. It makes me smile when I come home from work and my wife is trying to rainbow a level on Pixeljunk Monsters.
And we got on PS3 early, before Sony dropped two things we've come to love:
- Backwards-compatibility! So we still drop in our PS2 Culdcept and relax to old-school good fun. And I'm planning on picking up PS2 God of War 2 now that it's a greatest hit.
- Card readers. When I lost the cable connecting our camera to my computer, my early-rev PS3 had a card reader and USB capability that bailed us out. Not ideal, but got us by.
It's an excellent media machine, with easy connection to my computer for browsing photos and watching avi's. Going through your photo album on a big HDTV with company over was surprisingly satisfying. It's my preferred way to show photos now. Also, Blu-ray won. The PS3 is the best blu-ray player in existance, and will continue to be so because of the frequent firmware updates.
People complain about the lack of a huge catalog of games, but honestly I'm a new dad, work a full time job, and have a WoW habit. I'm happy with a few excellent games.
PS3 gets a big thumbs up.
- Cooperative multiplayer overview
- Pixeljunk Eden is joy
- Historicity and WoW
- Game Riding Shotgun
- The Offseason