Saturday, November 11, 2006

I have PS3 cooties, bust a Pinata, and emerge tomorrow...

Well it seems that PS3 systems have snuck into town laying it wait to snag unsuspecting customers. Yep it seems that the local Target stores have set up PS3 interactive units within the last couple days. One of the employees at work came in tonight and told me about it, so after work I headed up the street, hoping there wouldn't be a large throng of people surrounding it (since they closed in 30 minutes I didn't think there would be).

Arriving at the store I looked toward the endcaps thinking this would be the logical location, instead it was just down the videogame aisle looking like the other two interactives there, a widescreen lcd monitor, and little black dualshock looking controller. It was running a video loop when I walked up and pressed the X button, then the display changed to a familiar sight.

Wow! It's a giant PSP. I've seen screen shots a while back of the interface, and sure enough if you've ever used a PSP this will be second nature. There was a lot of the options (settings, internet, and others) that came up Option not available, but there were sample items in the MP3, Movies, and Photo menus on the system. The main draw was the two game demos under the Games menu, ah yes tucked away were playable demos for Motorstorm, and NBA 07. I don't like basketball so guess which one I tried out?

The first thing to do is "activate" the Six Axis controller in the main menu of the game demo there are a couple options under the controller header one of which is to turn 'wireless motion on' or something to that effect. Now the problem lies in the fact that Targets interactives all have the controller mounted to a semi-rigid plastic arm that protrudes 6" from the case. Not to mention your only about a foot away from a 24" screen that your looking up at. It took the first lap of the race to get the feel for the controller (I don't think it was calibrated 100% because driving straight required a 10 degree tilt to the right) and after that was pretty smooth. The crashes were kinda cool as the truck explodes into little pieces, and you will spot individual items (shocks, springs, wheels, etc.) all exploding outward.

The graphics on Motorstorm were good, I've seen better on the 360, but they weren't bad by any means they just looked different, I can't put my finger on it. It looks like the display was set to 720p (when it goes from the 'dashboard'(!?) to the game demo the monitor clicks off and shows the video input/resolution on screen) so maybe the demos wouldn't run in 1080p or the monitor didn't handle that resolution (my guess). Overall it looks kinda neat (not $600 neat mind you), and there are a couple other titles I'm interested in trying with an unteathered controller. The Six Axis control could be really cool for some games, but hopefully all will come with an option to play either way in the settings.

Check out this story on Kotaku about the PS3 Japanese launch, scary stuff.

A couple of the guys on the latest 1Up Yours podcast were saying some pretty positive things about Viva Piñata. It came out Friday, but with such a packed week of releases I think it got overshadowed a bit. What's up with the wired ass package Microsoft? I don't care what kind of outer wrap/package/box/doohicky you put on my game as long as there is a regular DVD case somewhere in there that fits with all the rest of my DVD cases. (I'm looking at you Gears of War... Lucky I had one of the BB pre-order cases to drop my game and manual in). Back to VP, they explained it as almost a cross of Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, and Pokemon mixed together. I'm really interested to try it out and see how it plays.

Tomorrow (maybe today)... I'm so confused. Sunday is Emergence Day yes indeed the big Gears of War kick off is on the way. The official Xbox site has a post up listing out all of today's festivities. They start at 12:01am but they don't mention what time zone, I'm assuming Pacific so that will be about 27 minutes from now.

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