Playstation 3 thoughts (long)

Got my shiny new 60GB Playstion 3 up and running, one of the big draws to me is that I could copy music, photos, and videos to it and use it as a media center. Plus it would play PS2 and PS3 games, browse the Internet, and play Blu-Ray discs. I’d have access to games and all my media from my couch.

I’m overall impressed, the console is cool, love the wireless controllers, the interface is pretty good. PS2 games work fine, paid $12 for an adapter so I could read my old PS2 memory cards onto the PS3 hard drive. Guess I’ll sell the adapter on eBay now, once you copy the memory cards you don’t need it any more.

MSRP on PS3 games is some crazy amount, $60 or something, but I’ve been picking them up on eBay for $15 or so. So far I’ve got Motorstorm, Tiger Woods 2007, and Surf’s Up (for the kids, but it’s not too bad of a game.) Graphics are great on my plasma.

As far as a media center though, I’m a bit disappointed. Firstly, it doesn’t play 50% of my video files. Won’t play FLVs, won’t play certain Divx files, things like that. When I copy my photos to it, it will show them by date or year, which isn’t useful at all. I used to have directory names like “20070625 - Hike on Skyline Drive” My old photo directory structure is totally gone. I don’t I went hiking on June 25th, I need my directory names not dates. Maybe there’s a way to copy the files to the PS3 hard drive in the original directory layout, but I haven’t found it. With the MP3 files it lists them by Artist or Album, which works but still isnt’ the way I originally had them organized. When actually playing songs or movies the interface is good, you can use the sticks or L1 and R1 buttons to fast forward and rewind, hit triangle for a menu, X to play and pause, stuff like that. Pretty smooth and intuitive.

The PS3 web browser app is clunky. It will do basic browsing but it seems to have problems with pop-ups. There’s no windowing system in the PS3 that I can tell, so pop-ups take over the whole page. YouTube works, but haven’t gotten any Flash or Java games to work. Each time a Java app runs the PS3 pops up a message asking if you want to run the plugin. Reminds me of Windows Vista. I got a USB wireless keyboard and mouse to use since entering text on the controller is tedious at best. They work pretty well but I still find myself using the controller for many function too; the keyboard and mouse won’t do everything.

I started thinking that I could install Linux on the PS3, then I could use the Firefox web browser. But if I’m going to do all that I’d really be better off just getting a Windows PC with a big hard drive(s) to put in the living room. I’d be in a familiar environment plus it would store and play all my media, play PC games, and run anything I’d want.

Which brings me back to the PS3, what does it do really well? Well, playing PS3 and PS2 games, pretty much. And Blu-Ray movies. I think for web browsing and media center functions a PC might be best.

I’m still playing and having fun, I think if the PS3 would just play all my video files I’d be a lot happier.

You might try installing some media server software like TVersity on your PC to sort out your video problems. Works great for me on XBox 360.

I actually tried TVersity several nights ago, I don’t think my 54g wireless connection is fast enough. But I’ll play with it more.

Hmmm, works fine for me on 54g, but who knows. Perhaps it’s the processor? I think TVersity ends up doing on-the-fly translation for codecs the PS3 doesn’t understand.

Yeah you can set it to translate or not translate. I’m not sure if TVersity is aware of what the PS3 supports with the latest firmware though.

I don’t think it’s my processor, I upgraded to a dual core AMD last summer, I have 2GB of RAM too.