Bill Kunkel (Editor-in-Chief, "Tips & Tricks" Magazine) gives expert video advice on: What is the "Sony Playstation 3" (PS3)?; What are the general graphic capabilities of the Sony Playstation 3?; What type of controls does the Playstation 3 use? and more...
What is the "Sony Playstation 3" (PS3)?
Sony PS3 is probably the most ambitious game system to be developed since the 3DO was developed back in the 1990's, and both systems have had terrible launches for the same reason; they are very much overpriced. People don't want to pay $700 dollars for a game system especially when there are comparable game systems out there for $250 and $350 dollars.
What are the general graphic capabilities of the Sony Playstation 3?
Certainly the graphic capability on the Sony PlayStation 3 is the highest resolution of any of the systems. Of course, you reach a point where it becomes a question of what kind of television are you playing it on. I mean, we learned with the release of some of the XBox 360 games, like Dead Rising, last year, that if you play them on a non-high definition television, the text that appears at the bottom of the screen begins to bend because the resolution on the game is higher than the television can really handle. 'Virtua Fighter 5' is out on the PlayStation 3, and it's exquisite. There's a scene where they're fighting in the water, and water effects are traditionally some of the most difficult effects to capture. The reflections, everything, is magnificent. It's absolutely beautiful. On the other hand, if you look at a game like 'Years of War', it's also beautiful in its own way and its own style. In terms of clarity and graphics, the PS3 is a powerhouse.
What type of controls does the Playstation 3 use?
The PlayStation 3 uses controls very similar to the standard Xbox, and PlayStation control system. There are basically two analogue joysticks on it, and a bunch of buttons on top, on the bottom, and on the side. One of the differences is that they had originally announced that they were going to put in motion sensitive devices; it kind of looks like the bat signal, with the two wings coming down, so on some games, like driving games, you'd be able to steer a car like that.
What are some games that show off the capabilities of the Playstation 3?
One game that shows off the capabilities of the Playstation 3 is definitely "Resistance: Fall of Man." I mean, it's a beautiful, beautiful game. "Virtua Fighter" is, for a 3-D fighting game, magnificent. It's as nice as anything you've ever seen in an arcade. They always used to talk about "arcade-quality graphics." Well, these are graphics that are as good or better. If you've got a plasma TV screen, it's going to look better than anything you're going to see in an arcade. Absolutely fabulous.
Can I play Playstation 2 games on my Playstation 3?
As for compatibility with the Playstation 2 to the Playstation 3, it appears to still be in doubt as to which games are going to be playable. The same problem exists with the Xbox and the Xbox 360. I think everyone sort of assumed that the Xbox 360 would play all Xbox games, but it doesn't. The problem is connected to the engine of the game. The engine is what drives the game. You could play five different games and they're all using the same engine; they're just using different graphic overlays, because it's so expensive to build an engine for a game. So, if the game uses an engine that's already been translated to make it playable on both systems, then any game that uses that engine will be translated over. However, some of the games, a lot of the games, fall through the cracks on both systems, and as far as I know, they are not all playable. Maybe, over the course of time, we'll be able to download them, or they'll eventually find complete compatibility and some way to do it, but as of right now, the systems are not completely compatible. Just because you have a Playstation 2 game it may or may not, just as an XBox game may or may not, play on your Xbox 360.
What are the networking capabilities of the Playstation 3?
Right now, the Xbox is the only console system that really has first-rate modem play, because the Xbox live technology is phenomenal.