And this complexity was, in microcosm, like much of the functionality of the PS3 in general. It's gorgeous on the outside. But inside, its heart and soul needs time to blossom. Sure, some of it's very user-friendly. Put a game or a movie in, and, boom, the graphics are better than your Xbox 360 or your standard DVD player. If you're excited about old school gaming with your original PlayStation games, the device may or may not work with them, depending on the game. If you try to go online to buy old school games or try to play online with a pal, the service daunts you. See, before you go online, you have to register. If you don't have a USB keyboard to plug into the PS3 to help you add your personal information, you're in for some pain. I didn't and I had to use the wireless controller to 'type' on a virtual keyboard that works like texting does on my cell phone. It wasn't intuitive, and it took a lot of time. Then, after I spent a half hour keying in my information, the online server knocked me off, and I lost all of the info I had so painstakingly keyed in. I wanted to play online and see what Sony had to offer in its store. Yet I was beyond daunted.
When it wants to, the PS3 can play nice. Playing Resistance: Fall Of Man, one of the three Sony launch titles, is a terrific experience, after you play for about five hours. This graphically-alluring first person shooter eventually coaxes you into its world with wild environments and super-smart A.I., artificial intelligence that may be better than Microsoft's hot fall offering for the Xbox 360, Gears Of War. That's saying a lot.
You won't be able to get the currently sold-out PS3 before next year, and maybe that's a good thing. If you wait to buy one, Sony will undoubtedly have worked out the online and offline kinks. And the games, a year into the PS3 generation, will be a look and play better, too. Already, Capcom's upcoming hack-and-slasher Devil May Cry 4 looks otherworldly, with game play in the air and background graphics that look like something out of a high budget Hollywood action flick. Why will it take so long for the good games to arrive? With any new console, it takes six months to a year into launch for developers and programmers to really understand the machinations of such a complex machine. My hope is that trying to date the PS3 will be worth it in the end, and I'll have five or six years of bliss before the next generation of hardware befalls me once again.
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