Sony and the PS3

Partying with Sony, PS3 Style

Last Thursday, Sony hosted an interactive look at the new Playstation 3 and launch titles. Fifty lucky winners from Sony Playstation Gamer Advisory Panel (GAP) were able to try the PS3 firsthand. GAP is an exclusive group of gamers that are invited to join from being members of the Playstation Underground forums. Being a member of GAP gives you fun benefits like being part of beta tests, being able to enter cool contests, and an online forum.

The setup for the party was very impressive. Flat Panel televisions (Sony of course) were set up on the walls. Like frames to pieces of art that were being played on them. The televisions were 1080p enabled and you can tell. Every game, every screen looked amazing. Next to the screens was a small table which held the PS3 and a wireless controller. The room was very minimalist, yet stunning to look at. In the back area of the art gallery were three rooms setup as a living room. This was an extremely affective way of showcasing what it might be like to have a PS3 in your own living room. Of course if your living room you had the best television you could buy, along with the best surround sound speakers.

The first thing I went to see is the new menu system. All Sony products are going to be moving to the PSP type menu system. I have always felt that the PSP menu system was made extremely well. It’s not only very functional, but also well organized and very clean looking. To this day on my 360 Dashboard, I still have to hunt for where things are. A great addition to the PS3 that I was not aware of was the ability to store pictures and then play them in a slideshow. I like this addition because I host a lot of gaming parties and in the beginning when people are just starting to get there, I can run pictures from past gaming parties on the TV while people are talking and getting settled. The slideshow is really calming and very professional looking.

After all the prettiness, it always comes down to the games. Sony did not disappoint. There was quite a mix of games at the event. Heavenly Sword or Warhawk were sadly not in attendance, but the games featured more than showed off the abilities of the PS3. Sports games looked amazing on the PS3, but everything is going to look amazing on the PS3 so you have to look beyond that. What I noticed, both with the basketball and the hockey game is that there was no lag. The sports figures ran smoothly and nothing seemed to jerk or feel weird.

I am not a fan of racing games, but with the new PS3 controller I was finally able to actually play through the game without constantly driving into a wall. The controller was quite sensitive to my touch, and little movements went a long way. I actually found myself having fun playing a racing game!

I was unable to play Genji due to long lines, but I watched a few people play. Of course the game is beautiful, but it seemed extremely slow paced for me. Meaning, that the game would show that you have 8 enemies surrounding you, instead of hitting you at once, one or two hit you at a time. I just felt that the game moved slowly and didn’t allow for full use of the power of the PS3. I was actually quite disappointed by that.

Lair was also being shown at the event. It seemed that people weren’t quite sure what to do, but flying the dragon by using the controller seemed fun and effortless. Again, I was surprised by the little amount of movement you needed to change course.

Halfway through the night, they showcased some of the casual/arcade games that will be available for download. Flow seemed really fun and addictive. Very relaxing too. A game that appeared a lot like Geometry Wars was also showcased. To me, it was easier to see what was going on in this version than the Geometry Wars version.

I played Marvel Ultimate Alliance, which I was anxious to play. Each console version will have things that are unique to that system. But from what I saw, the game is identical to the 360 version.

The hit of the night was Resistance Fall of Man. In the living room areas, Resistance was being played and it really utilizes the surround sound. You can hear bullets whizzing by behind you. The game looked like a final release version. It was extremely polished. Resistance is fun to play even for a non-first person shooter like me. I also get easily scared by aliens jumping out and scaring me, but I was so immersed in the game I wanted to just get them all. It will take a bit of practice for me to get used to the controls, but people that seem to already know first person shooters were able to pick this game up and go. I have heard that the game is capable of a 40 person multiplayer. That is going to be amazing!!

The night of course had to end and soon we were being ushered out. I got one last moment with a PS3, since I probably won’t see one in my living room until next year. I highly advise joining the Playstation Underground groups with hopes of getting into GAP. The people that organize the GAP forums and experiences are some of the nicest people I have ever met. It is very cool when you meet people that work in gaming that have the same passion for gaming as you have. Of course, with hot guys like these at events how can you not love Sony?