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No one could have missed the recent mass of media attention surrounding the impending UK, European and Australian launch of Sony's PlayStation 3. And after months of prolonged waiting, it has arrived. We conduct an in-depth review of this eagerly-awaited games console and discover what all the fuss was about. Sony PlayStation 3 …

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Nice Review

Sounds like a nice machine, but I won't be buying until the price drops...

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HDMI cable

Now, far be it from me to suggest economy measures to someone who's willing to blow £425 on a games console, but why spend £18 on an HDMI cable when you can pick up a perfectly serviceable one from any number of online stores for closer to £4?

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12 hours?

How did you manage to get 12 hours of play out of the console so far.... or did you review this before this morning's launch? :-)

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J T

OH YES IT DOES GET HOT

Incidentally, the PS3 makes hardly any noise and doesn't feel at all hot – even after a 12-hour gaming marathon.

I READ THIS IN THE REVIEW... I JUST GOT ONE IN YESTERDAY, AND EVEN BEING WELL VENTED, WITH A FAN BLOWING ON IT, IT GETS VERY HOT. VERY HOT!

JUST FYI.

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TV connectivity?

So is it only scart and hdmi it supports or does it also do split a/v stuff too? And is there an optical out for audio at all?

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What about the gameplay?

What did you think about the games?

This review is like Jeremy Clarkson telling us all about the cars he takes for a spin and not telling us about the ride itself.

"We conduct an in-depth review of this eagerly-awaited games console and discover what all the fuss was about."

The fuss is about a high power, high price console delivering games that are: ____________________________

(Please fill the space with comments about gameplay)

I appreciate that this section is dedicated to Hardware, but it would be nice to know what the hardware actually does.

Cheers,

Lawrence

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controller

It's not ONLY the ps3 controllers that will work with the console - and usb controller will do. Tried with a friend of mine, his ps3 accepted my usb gamepad perfectly fine (well, with some minor issues)

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re. Gameplay

Hi, Lawrence

Gameplay's dependent on the game, not the console. It's the hardware we're looking at far more than the software.

You'd never say the PC was a bad gaming system because you don't like Doom's basic 'find key, kill monsters, open door' gameplay, would you?

Or maybe Register Hardware *should* be reviewing games?

What do other readers think?

Tony

Editor, Register Hardware

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Anonymous Coward

Re. heat, audio

J T, what can I say - our machine hardly made a sound.

And to Craig Wallace, there is indeed optical out for audio.

Scott,

Reviews Editor, Register Hardware

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re. 12 hours

Yes, Rob, the poor boy's been forced to play it over night. You should see his blood-shot eyes and the number of coffee mugs on his desk...

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PS3 Slump already?

I think Sony have dropped a complete clanger with the pricing of the PS3. I've tried it (and it's excellent) but to me it just doesn't *feel* like it's worth £430 more to upgrade from my PS2. It could be the revelation that Sony are selling them for £260 in Japan that did it.

Anyway I was in Asda today and they have still stacks of PS3's in stock. It didn't look to me like too many people were leaping at the opportunity to buy one either.

You're move, Sony. About £200 off the RRP should do it.

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Overpriced

Unless you really want a blue ray player the console is overpriced! For that price you can buy a decent desktop PC equiped with a discrete GPU and DVI out to connect to your HDTV. Then you have a machine that can be used for a lot of other things and for which the games are less expensive!

Also it doesn't seems to sell well. The french launch event flopped with 50 consoles sold out of a stock of 1000.

It's availlable at the local store but i won't be buying it for now, not at that price!

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Playstation3 on sale in Japan

Not only is the Playstation 3 about £260 retail in Japan but the stores can't get rid of them. When I was there in February they had signs in front of the stores advertising them at a 20% discount!!!! It galls me the price we are forced to pay for them in the UK.

I considered getting one from Hong Kong (£250)... they are a Pal region so we should be able to play our old PS2 Games, right? WRONG!!! Sony have given them NTSC Playstations, so the poor consumers there cannot use the PS3 to play older games or even to watch their DVDs.

I would mention the new Blueray regions, but I think I need to go find a quiet corner and calm down a bit...

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they are starting to throw free games...

I went shopping this midday and here in belgium I noticed that there was still a pile of PS3 at the electronic shop.

The local toy shop is now giving away one free playstation game of your choice (value 59.95€) if you buy the 599€ playstation. That's pretty much a 10% price drop 3 days after the launch!

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Overpriced or Overstocked?

A quick check today shows that I can still walk into most of the major retailers and pick up a PS3 off the shelf. A slight difference to the launch of the XBox/PS2/Xbox 360/PSP and still the Nintendo Wii.

Either Sony have managed a massive reversal in fortune regarding production of the elusive laser for the Blu-Ray, or the things really aren't selling that well.

Given the price of the unit they currently only really target the Sony fanboys, and the must have early adopters. The recent announcement of reducing the functionality and compatibility of the UK version seems to have alienated the former (myself included), and the latter have yet to fill the void.

Hopefully this apparent slow start will be a kick up the proverbial for Sony, who have treat EMEA as a second class priority, but want to charge first class prices.

Under the circumstances it seems difficult to justify the 95% rating given by El Reg. Personally I'll wait for the inevitable damage recovery cost cuts to kick in before buying one, or alternatively will turn to the import market.

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Gold badge

Overpriced due to the newness.

It's overpriced as it has just been launched, maybe if Sony wasn't giving out free TVs at the launch the price could have been lower.

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Fed up with them

I disagree. I think that for once even the "early adopters" so ruthlessly targeted by Sony's pricing strategy in the UK have decided that the mickey has been taken once too often.

I mean... at £430 I'm not considering whether to buy a PS3 vs an x-box. At that price I'm wondering whether to buy one of those NVidia 8800GTX "monster" graphics cards for my PC instead, and look forward to pretty much the same games at half the price as well.

The Blueray drive should have been offered as an upgrade. Personally I have no need for a HiDef DVD player at all. As a result the whole box is massively over-specified and burdened with manufacturing costs it can't sustain for a few years yet.

Personally I just wanted a next-Gen games machine. I didn't need all the DVD/Media centre crap that comes with it. I can't believe that wasn't apparent to Sony from thier market research.

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I'm Sorry, but...

...95% for the playstation 3 is a bit ridiculous. To claim you're just rating the hardware is slightly moronic, otherwise, I'd give my kettle 93% and my toaster 95%. Both do the job, the PS3 hasn't.

I've played a PS3. The loading times seemed to be almost obsessive.

The main games seem to be:- Resistance (dull, and the visuals don't even have the right to shine Gears Of War's shoes), Motorstorm (a fun racer that seems to be well recieved) Oblivion (Hello year old 360 and PC title that everyone already knows) and VF 5 (coming to 360).

The rest seem to be just mediocre versions of games that are multi-platform anyway. Virtua Tennis 3 is a prime example. Why is there no online play, when the 360 version has it? Senseless.

OK, you can make the argument for the blu ray, which I have seen its performance in, and I must say, I was impressed. However, why do you need to spend £425 to buy into a format that hasn't proved itself in any way. There are only a few titles, and I'm damned if I'm buying all my DVD favourites all over again.

Another thing, why can't we buy the 20gb version? Are sony taking the p1ss? Are they actually? Because, it seems that they want to screw europe left right and centre. £425 translates to $836 US. They pay $599 for it over there. This would mean that sony loses $241 on each one they sell in the states, as each one costs an estimated $840 to produce (source: wiki). Meaning they only lose $4 on each one they sell here? How can we just bend over and take it up the *** from them?

You can say what you want about MS's childish launch-ruining tactics(I think they were just that-however, sony's stooped lower in the past), but they have a point to say "you're late", they are late! and they're too expensive, with a console that doesn't play any of the decent PS2 games, has games that aren't better than 360s, on an unproven format, with few exclusives...

This might be 95% in a few years, but now, I doubt it.

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Re.Re. Gameplay

Thanks for the reply, Tony.

Perhaps 'gameplay' is not the right word.

What I am interested is how the hardware you describe delivers the gaming experience in terms of graphics, smoother action, 4D surround sound with vibra-control head massages, etc...

I'd love to read game reviews too, and get the opinion of techy types that may be as crap at games as I am ;)

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Rent before you buy

Having like most of you here I quite eagerly anticitpated the arrival of the the ps3. when the day came that I could finally see these amazing graphics we were promised, I must admit I was very dissapointed. The game in question was motorstorm, two days later i saw the same game on a 40 inch tv, and to be honest it looked like a different console, I was amazed by the graphics, much smoother and detailed. Can someone please explain this massive difference, I cant imagine it being down to the amount of lines or interlace, progressive modes. Funnily enough the poorer display was on a 32 inch Sony.

So as you can imagine I will be renting a ps3 before I buy one.

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Re: Rent before you buy

I'm guessing the second time you weren't playing it in High Definition.

As Sony chose to omit an HDMI lead from the PS3 box (another £40) I'm guessing a lot of peeps who bought the PS3 box are already pissed that they can't hook up with HDTV without coughing up all over again.

Frankly, Sony couldn't have cocked this release up any more if they'd gotton Ken Livingstone involved in it.

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Best gfx hardware in a console?? hmmm

best gfx processors in a console? hmm.. not done your research have you. the gpu in the 360 is DX10 hardware compliant whereas the PS3s NV offering is only a DX9 compliant one.

The reason for this was Sony originally wanted their Cell CPU to do all the gfx work however it was hard enough for them to get it to run at all so they fell back on NV to produce the GPU instead.

The GPU in the PS3 has difficulty doing FSAA and AAA at 1080p due to the limitations of the pipelines in the hardware.

Hopefully they will find a way to address this with the Cell or it could leave Sony and their HD *cough* Revolution in the dark...

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What about the negatives?

I have to say I wasn't impressed with the review it merely scanned over the media hype and gloss already out there from Sony. I would have expected El Reg to be more cynical and get into the crux of the whole situation.

For example, there was no mention of the racing game which was reported last year to be released with 0 tracks and 0 cars. This meant that if you bought the game on the High Street you couldn't even play it until you spent even more money downloading the tracks and cars.

You also let Sony off way to easy. This is the company that thinks since most people don't know what a root kit is, why worry about installing one on their computer. This is also one of the companies that was found guilty of pricefixing. This is also one of the companies that have sued over 20 000 consumers for file sharing. Lets not forget that they also have less than ethical factory environments with insanely long hours for their underpaid staff. Did I mention DRM yet? Sony are one of the main pushers of DRM in the world, not to mention the vast sums of money they spend lobbying congress and other governments to bend legislation in their favour at the cost of consumer rights. They were one of the main campaigners for new laws in the US which have harsher mandatory jail sentences for having the latest Britney O'Conner^WSpears in a shared folder on their computer, than for killing someone.

Easily one of the -the- most evil companies in the world and you give them a glowing 95%? I expected much more from you guys, I really did.

Alexander Hanff

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Anonymous Coward

Disappointing review

I'm afraid, like others here, I just didn't get any idea of what it's like to actually play the PS3. I got plenty of information about what it looks like sitting on the floor and the wires that don't come with it but practically nothing about how all the extra horsepower is put to use in games. We got one sentence about its graphical prowess - right at the end of the review: "You can see virtually every blade of grass, bead of sweat and piece of shrapnel flying about in the heat of battle." But we got an entire paragraph about the experience of pairing the Bluetooth controllers!

In a 5-page review of a groundbreaking games console I would expect to know at least a little about how the new hardware will change console gaming. Things like loading times and frequencies; graphics: not just good/bad but a deeper analysis of things such as anti-aliasing and draw distance; will AI be better now that it has a proper CPU? (a significant failing of the last generation of consoles) etc etc

Overall I thought the review was very superficial; about half was information you can get without even turning it on. Maybe an update in a few months about the actual experience of owning and playing a PS3?

Cheers

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