So I had been procastinating from a game console purchase since Xbox 360 first launched in the market 2 years ago. And really for two good reasons; First, I am not a fanatic gamer, or rather I have no spare time to indulge myself in gaming. For the last 4 years, the fact that I only have a handful game titles (Winning Eleven, Fifa 2006, and a very old version of Project Gotham Racing) for my old Xbox console, probably sumed it all. Secondly, I have been wanting to assess if a game console like Xbox 360, can double up as a media extender for my home media network, which I had implemented 3 years ago. Having a rather space-constraining TV console, it means I can’t just add another console equipment without taking out existing ones.
So I procastinated, until a week ago.
Ironically, I purchased the new game console on impulse. This is despite all the while, I had been trying to find time reading up on the difference between PS3 and XBox 360 (yes, procastination again)
Attracted mainly by the pricing of the new PS3 (40G version). At $560 (cost me $650 because it is bundled with Winning Eleven 2008), versus $799 when it was first launched, it sounded to me like a no-brainer. Even the Xbox 360 Elite model was still priced at $799 at the point of consideration. I reckoned a 40G harddisk space is good enough for me, plus I can double it as a Blu-ray player without additional cost. Value for money, I told myself.
Of course, the lack of homework means I uncover all the unknowns like a treasure hunt game after I purchased the set. Luckily, it is not all buyer remorse as there are pleasant surprises as well. “Bad thing” first; The 40G version of PS3, has hardware scaled down so that it no longer provides backward compatibility, i.e. PS2 supportability. It also does not have flash memory card slot, and have only two USB ports instead of 4. Luckily, all these are not big bummer to me. Nice to have, but not exactly something that will make the purchase a raw deal, at least for me.
What it pleasantly surprises me are uncovered features that were forces to my procastination in the first place. Come to think of it, why didn’t I check them out before splurging on the PS3, is beyond me. That’s why it’s called impulsive purchase, right?
First of all, all PS3 comes with Wifi 802.11b/g built-in support. Nice to know that, but alittle embarrasing for me to find it out so late. That effectively gives me an upfront saving of almost $200, for choosing PS3 over Xbox 360. Secondly, PS3 can double up (or should I say triple?) as a UPnP media player OOTB (out of the box), something I have heard of, but couldn’t verify until I lay my hands on it. (edit: Xbox 360 reportedly has this support as well)
In anycase, the game play is facinating, probably due to better video quality (unfortunately, no HD-ready plasma, so it’s only 576i video output :() as well as the digital audio output to my amp receiver. Had abit of challenging getting the game titled “Call of Duty 4” (nation-wide out of stock!) but finally got one while I was in US. Will digress later on how realistic the game is, but otherwise what really got me excited (other than the game COD4) is the readily-available UPnP media extender capability!
There you go, I was so excited that I can finally connect to my home media server, and display all my home medias (musics, movies, photos) on my plasma TV, that I decided to capture them into a video.