Thursday, May 24, 2007

The PS3 Is An Even Better Media Console - Too Bad There Are Still No Games For It

Say what you will about the PS3 - it's expensive, it's big, it's a dust magnet - it's one powerful console. And Sony just keeps making it more powerful. Case in point - firmware 1.8 was just released, and it effectively turns the PS3 into an upscaling DVD player. The back catalog of PS1 and PS2 games will also be upscaled to HD resolutions with this firmware, so across the board, the PS3 is now delivering a full high def experience.

That's not the only change - PSP remote play is being enabled across the net. So, assuming you leave your PS3 on 24/7, you can access its content from any Wi-Fi connection using your PSP. That means photos, music, and maybe even video can be streamed directly to you. Sony has done a great job ramping up this feature. Initially, remote play was only available via a direct connection with the PS3's built-in Wi-Fi. In a later firmware update, the access was expanded to your internal home network. And now, the net. Scheduled for firmware 1.9 - intergalactic access.

But one problem remains for the PS3 - the game library is still pretty slim. Sure, there are a bunch of ports, but none of them would drive a system sale. The fact is, you can count the number of titles worth owning on one hand. You could say the same thing about the Wii as well, but with its drop in the bucket price, it's just not that much of an issue. But there is hope for the PS3 - many AAA first party titles are on the way, and scheduled for release before the end of 2007. So now may not be a particularly strong time for Sony, but things are looking up for the holiday shopping season.

So Sony, keep cranking out the updates, but don't forget about the games. They are, after all, the main ingredient in a game console.

For the full list of features in the new firmware, you can pimp the press release here. And just to clear things up - no, things didn't go backwards. The 2.0 firmware we reported on previously is still in the works, so just chill and enjoy what you have for now.

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