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Welcome to a technical introduction to the Sony PlayStation 3. The Sony PlayStation 3 (or PS3 for short) was first introduced to the Japanese market in November 2006, approximately one year after its main competitor, Microsoft’s Xbox 360. The PS3 was designed and developed by Sony Computer Entertainment as a successor to the highly successful PlayStation 2 games console which to date has achieved total worldwide sales of 97.5 million units (as of January 2009). The PS3 however is designed to be more than just a traditional games console. It is a home entertainment computer that can be used for all of your digital media requirements and as a result it’s specification is vastly superior to that of its predecessor. The main areas of advancement compared to the previous generation PlayStation consoles are as follows:
The technical heart of the PS3 is a specially designed CPU (central processing unit) named the Cell Processor (standing for Cell Broadband Engine Architecture) which was jointly developed by Sony, Toshiba and IBM over the four years from 2001 to 2005. The Cell Processor combines a general-purpose processor with additional processing elements which serve to greatly accelerate multimedia and grapical processing capabilities, making it an ideal choice for use in a gaming or multimedia device such as the PS3. It is this processor that gives the PS3 the power to process and display games in high definition at resolutions at up to 1920 x 1080 pixels. The Cell Processor is also intended for other uses in both Toshiba and IBM products, although the PS3 represents it’s first commercial application.
The console introduces a built in hard drive for the first time in the PlayStation family. The size can vary from 20GB to 160GB depending on the specific model. The drive can also be easily upgraded by the user to a maximum capacity of 500GB at the time of writing. This enables games to be partly installed on the integrated hard drive for faster loading and saving without the need for external memory cards as in the previous generation PlayStation consoles. Coupled with the consoles internet connectivity the hard drive can also serve as a store for downloaded content including games and movies.
A major feature of the PS3 is the inclusion of a Blu-ray optical drive. In this respect the console was well ahead of its time when introduced in 2006 as no stand-alone Blu-ray players had even been launched. The inclusion of a ‘free’ Blu-ray player in the PS3 is seen by many as the reason for the demise of Toshiba’s rival high definition format, HD-DVD. The console is also able to play regular DVD’s and CD’s.
The PS3 also introduced a number of other firsts to the PlayStation series including Bluetooth-powered wireless controllers, USB 2.0 ports, a HDMI output for connection to your HDTV and a built-in wireless 802.11 network connection. A wired Ethernet port is also available, a feature carried over from the PS2. It is these network capabilities which also allows the PS3 to receive regular updates by Sony, generally to introduce new features, especially concerning the ever-evolving Blu-ray playing capabilities of the console.
Originally known by several names, the PlayStation Move was originally unveiled in June of 2009. There was a huge debate within Sony Entertainment as to what to call the motionless controller. The press had continued to incorrectly refer to it as the Magic Wand or the Wand. Sony eventually called it “The Motion Controller” and on September 2009 the name, “Move” was coined and used as the proper term for the controller.
The controller was in the works by Sony Entertainment as early as 2001. Early prototype versions of the Move were in circulation such as the Eye Toy but these motionless controllers failed to capture people’s attentions. By 2008 Sony had finished work on the Move and was ready to launch it to the public.
With the public and media giving the PS3 Move rave reviews, the Move was being applied to all Sony PlayStation wireless games. The first game to utilize this was Dual Shock 3, which enabled a player to use the analog stick of the Move for the use of the sword in game. Rumors also at the time speculated that Sony had developed the Move in retaliation against Nintendo Wii’s wireless Nunchuck remote, but Sony denied any of those allegations.
The Move was finally released in January of 2010, being just a bit too late for the Christmas rush but right in time for all those viable game players to spend their Christmas money on this new remote. The logo probably has to be the most innovative thing with the PlayStation Move, a blue squiggly shape which is supposed to be a representation of the light trail left by the Move as you move it about with the lighted sensor sphere within.
The Move was an automatic success which also incorporated a large selection of third party video game support, something very rare for new out-of-the-box designs such as the Move. Even today the Move sells almost a hundred thousand units.
One in three PS3 games is designed specifically to be used with the PlayStation Move in mind. There are a good variety of PS3 Move Games available that are not too shabby as most of the games are quite entertaining and fun. Unlike controller specific games of the past for older game consoles, PS3 Move games don’t leave you wanting more. It is no wonder the PlayStation Move is so popular, and has made the PS3 into much more than it was on release. Whether or not the PS3 Move was designed in retaliation to the Wii, it certainly was a brilliant move (no pun intended).
Are you trying to buy the PlayStation 4 game console before Christmas? Then, without knowing it, you might have joined a group of millions of gamers who might currently be experiencing “learned helplessness” as you read this.
According to Dr. Martin Seligman (an American psychologist), learned helplessness is a psychological condition in which human beings stop all goal-seeking behavior because of a perceived lack of control over the outcome of any given situation. With the Christmas holidays just around the corner, and the latest PlayStation 4 news being that it is completely sold-out everywhere, learned helplessness might actually be the biggest challenge gamers are facing nowadays, a test far tougher than those typically encountered in “BioShock Infinite”, “Dragon’s Crown” and “Tomb Raider”, to name just a few Sony popular video games.
But learned helplessness is not an adequate answer to the PS4 shortage problem. The biggest obstacles in life are not to be found in unfortunate events, but on how people construct their views of reality through dysfunctional thought processes and language, according to another famous psychologist: Dr. Albert Ellis (1907-2007). To put it in another words: “Pessimism never won any battle”, as Dwight David Eisenhower (American 34th President) once said.
So what are the latest weapons PlayStation 4 gamers should acquire if they are to win the real-life quest of acquiring the most sought-after electronic treasure of the decade? Guess what: as in a classic PS4 game, the tools at your disposal must be electronic as well.
Because life is full of surprises, sometimes powerful tools and resources do appear in the most unsuspected places. That’s when Wiialerts enters the stage. Originally designed to track down the once elusive Nintendo Wii (back in the days when it was very hard to find), Wiialerts.com now scans online stores such as GameStop, Amazon, Best Buy and Wal-Mart, and then sends you a text with the latest news about PlayStation 4’s availability as soon as this or any consumer electronics you might be searching for is back in stock. Yes: the PlayStation 4 (Wii’s rival) included in the equation.
This modern-day approach of surviving in the wild allows you to “beat the crowd”, as once happened when Best Buy recently found some PlayStation 4 consoles and made them available to the public (they were gone after just nine minutes: the latest news travel faster than light). Given the competitive edge Wiialert provides to its subscribers, it is more than probable that those lucky few who got the chance of buying a “sold-out” PS4 heard the news via the aforementioned website champion.
Wiialert, however, is not your only option to fight back the so-dreaded “sold-out” news headline. Like any mysterious vigilante out of a dark and exciting PlayStation 4 game, Wiialert does have a couple of powerful sidekicks by its side: Zoolert.com and NowInStock.net. Because these sites work exactly the same way as Wiilalert, suffice us to say that signing up to all three online services would be the best advice to those who still hope to get a PS4 before Santa Claus comes to town.
So what are you waiting for? That there is still a real chance to own a PlayStation 4 before 2014 must be a great reason to overcome any learned-helplessness inclination, in favor of a more productive and successful mindset. The latest PS4 news this week are that you might still be able to buy a PlayStation 4 in an “out of stock” world. After all, isn’t overcoming all adversities the goal of any true PlayStation 4 gamer?
The last years have seen an incredible growth in gaming console popularity. We see that besides the established users of consoles, a lot of people are converting everyday from the “good-ol'” PC to a gaming console.
Now this happens for a number of reasons. The main reason is that a lot of great games now have exclusivity to one console or another, deliver better multiplayer experience and after all a mental dissociation between working at a computer and separate gaming, comfortable on your couch with your friends or family.
Last year we were presented with great promises of next generation gaming experience. But did it deliver?
Well, let’s review one of the main gaming consoles, Sony PlayStation 4 and see for ourselves.
Compared to PS3, the PS4 is a purebred gaming console, having better hardware, slim design and new controllers to satisfy even the most demanding needs.
The PS4 is slim (only 12.01×10.8×2.09in), sharp, light weighted, with clean lines and is available in two colours, shiny white and jet black.
At the back side you can find a HDMI, Ethernet, digital optical audio port (no more analogue audio or video outputs) and, at last, the AUX port for PlayStation Camera peripheral.
On the front, the PS4 has a slot-loading Blu-ray disc drive and on the right we find two USB 3.0 ports. A line bisects the console integrating the power and eject buttons.
The console’s ventilation is well made and generated little to no noise.
Overall, the PS4 is an attractive, beautifully shaped, not too large, built with quality materials and it fits perfectly with a modern type furniture.
On the inside, we found that Sony used a similar configuration to Microsoft. Using an octa-core x86 AMD Jaguar CPU, backed by 8GB GDDR5 RAM, and a Radeon GPU with 1.84 TFLOPS, the PS4 is very powerful and, an important point is that it is developer-friendly.
Also, the console includes a 500GB hard drive for additional storage that can be upgraded.
The PS4 is capable of running videos or viewing photos in 4K but we don’t expect it to run games at this resolution.
Thanks to this specs, we found that the PS4 is generally quiet, occasionally getting noisier (especially when loading game discs), it sometimes does get warm, but not above common sense, the games ran smoothly, the graphics were great so we had no complaint in this department.
It seems that Sony heard all the gamers’ cries about the DualShock 3 and decided to make an improved and better controller.
And so we witnessed the birth of DualShock 4.
The controller’s dimensions are 6.4×2.0×3.9in, it weights 7.4oz (a bit more than it’s predecessor) and its design is pretty similar to the DualShock 3. But make no mistake, DS4 is far from DS3.
The new controller is a lot more comfortable, no matter the hand size and is a lot more precise. Depending on the order of the players synced to the console, the controller will emit a different front-facing colour for every player and the peripheral camera tracks the movement of the controller accurately.
The dual thumbsticks are a lot more precise and having a more concave shape really helped the thumbs to not slip. New major addition, besides the lightbar mentioned before, is the speaker, a new Share Button and a touchpad.
The touchpad feels comfortable on touch, it’s responsive, smooth and basically works like the touchpad presented on laptops. (Note: We hope that developers will make use more often of this feature as it is a great addition.)
The DS4 also has a 3.5mm jack so you can plug any headset directly into the controller.
We’ve seen a lot of people saying that the DualShock 4 is the best controller Sony has ever made and we tend to agree, using the DS4 was a delight.
Note: PS4 supports control voice input. You can use a microphone or a camera to enable this function.
If any of you owns a Sony TV, you will see the striking similarity between the TV’s interface and the PS4’s interface. It seems that PS4 moved away from the look of PS3 and while it retains the predecessor’s interface speed, the new one is a lot more flexible.
The main characteristics of the new interface are simplicity, flexibility and user-friendliness.
Booting up the PS4 is almost instantaneously (from cold it takes about 15 seconds) and afterwards we are presented with a simple to navigate design comprising a three level menu.
The main menu consists of the games you have installed and some other additional apps, the top menu is a notification bar (alerts, messages, trophies) and at the bottom, the options and updates.
Note: The PlayStation 4 Orbis OS does not require an internet connection to function, but being connected to the internet does provide more functionality.
A new addition to the PS4 (April update) is the automatic connection with a PS Vita. It means that even if you turn off the TV you can continue playing on PS Vita due to a direct WiFi link.
Besides the PS Vita you can also connect smart phones or tablets that can also act as second screen devices.
One of the PS4 strong points is the Social Media. Opening the What’s New page, you can keep track of your friends activities, social feed, see who’s online and overall have a better experience when trying to play social-focused games.
Another good feature made better is the PlayStation Store. The Store is easy to navigate, you can easily find the games you want and if your download is stopped because of a sudden power-cut, you are presented with a resume option.
IF you used the old interface from the PS3, the PS4 interface will feel a lot more intuitive, simpler (no more PS3 confusion) and easy to use.
What about the games?
All games must be installed on the console storage before they can be played, although one can play a part of the game before it finishes installing.
Since the PS4 is more than a year out, a lot of games have been exclusively created for this platform. Games like Resogun, Assassin’s Creed 4 or Infamous Second Son played smoothly on PS4, the graphics were good but more recent games, like The Order 1886 have really shown what the PS4 GPU can deliver.
The gameplay feels great on most games thanks to the awesome controller, the graphics are really good but even if it providing a great gaming experience, Sony has a tight competition with Microsoft.
What we hope is to see more developers push the boundaries of the PS4 and to show us what this little console is really capable of.
As a conclusion we say that the Sony PlayStation 4 is a really great “purebred” gaming console, with great performance, featuring great game titles and worth every penny.
The PlayStation 4 launched in North America on November 15th, 2013. Some two and a half years later, the PlayStation 4 has received many changes to the overall design and interface. When the console originally launched it had a very simple user interface that was lacking many features. Since launch we have received an abundance of new notification options, more social connectivity, SharePlay, PlayStation Now, PlayStation Vue, a re-branding of PlayStation Music that now incorporates Spotify, and many more features. What does all of this mean for Sony as a company? These new additions have continued to help the PlayStation brand lead the pack in console sales, selling millions more units than its counterparts in the Wii U and Xbox One. But what can Sony do to continue to maintain this dominance in the console market?
One great way to accomplish this task is to continue pushing the envelope on the PlayStation technology and the services they are offering. New apps are added almost every week. New games are releasing every day. The console now boasts an array of games that contains hundreds of unique experiences for every variety of video gamer. Not only is the catalog strong now, the lineup for 2016 is looking bigger and better than ever. Some games to mention that should be coming out include Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, No Man’s Sky, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and Street Fight V. Those are just the games that are console exclusives to Sony’s system. Not to mention the amount of third-party games that will release even more games on the console this year.
PlayStation is constantly innovating and we believe they will continue to do so well into the future. Now that we have looked at what is currently going on with the PlayStation 4, let us take a look at where it is headed and what you would like to see added to the console. We mentioned a good amount of the releases coming up, but what other things will Sony be adding to the interface and feature list of its console? Will they add folders to help clean up the user interface a little bit? Could they allow users to change their PlayStation Network ID? Some rumors even suggest they may be creating a PlayStation 4.5 that would add increased performance in a better package that may be announced soon. What would you like to see? We value our readers’ opinions and are always striving to have them as part of the conversation. Your opinion creates the backbone of our site and with it we are able to provide the best possible content out there. Thank you for reading.
in the early nineties Nintendo was the undisputed king of the video game industry. SEGA had tried to compete with the NES and the SNES home consoles with their Master System and Mega Drive, and while the latter did a lot better than the former, Nintendo were still firmly in first place once all the sales were counted. As the SNES and Mega Drive generation was winding up, SEGA started toying with the idea of using CDs instead of cartridges, even going so far as to release the SEGA CD add-on for the Mega Drive.
Nintendo, for their part, also dabbled in CD technology. They held talks with Sony, famous for their work with CDs and the accompanying hardware, to help them build a CD drive for the SNES. Sony spent time and money learning about the gaming industry and building their prototypes but negotiations between the two Japanese companies broke down. Depending on who you ask, either Nintendo agreed terms with another company in secret and let Sony find out at the last minute, or Sony were asking for too much money and Nintendo baulked on the deal. Whichever is true, the result was still the same; Sony was out on their ear in regards to the SNES-CD. While that deal hadn’t worked out for anybody, what became clear was that the gaming industry was moving towards CD as their medium of choice.
Sony decided to use what they’d learned and developed working with Nintendo to create their own console and enter the fray; they dubbed it the PlayStation and released it in 1994, about two years before Nintendo would release their next big console. What nobody expected was that Sony would ultimately dethrone Nintendo as the most popular console manufacturer in the world and begin a twenty year dominance of the industry.
One of the main reasons that Sony was so successful with the original PlayStation was their superb marketing of the console. Prior to the PlayStation, almost all games consoles were aimed at children. Sony made a shrewd move in specifically targeting young adults in their marketing, making PlayStation a hit among gamers that had grown up with a Nintendo console but now wanted something a little more, well, grown up.
Sony would put the PlayStation in nightclubs and have celebrities endorse the console or be photographed playing one. Games generally started to drift more towards an adult tone, and new titles like Tomb Raider were seen as altogether cooler than Mario or Zelda. Ultimately, Sony took a hobby that was generally seen as for children and openly mocked by many, and helped to make it into the more respected medium that we see today. While it would be silly to say that they did it out of the kindness of their hearts – they made a hell of a lot of money through making gaming more accepted in the public eye – we can’t overlook what they did. Sony made gaming cool.
When it came time for the next big Nintendo console, the N64, the company surprised a lot of people by announcing that it would still use cartridges instead of CD. The logic behind the decision made enough sense; CDs are much easier to pirate than cartridges, and they feared that using CDs would cost them a lot of money thanks to copied games. The decision to stick with cartridges and the extra two year development time Nintendo had with the N64 meant that the system was more powerful than the PlayStation and load times were virtually non-existent. Cartridges did have downsides though – they made games more expensive to produce, they were harder to develop for, and it meant that the N64 would struggle with storage, music quality and FMV.
Squaresoft had long been working with Nintendo and had brought all of their previous Final Fantasy games to Nintendo consoles. But seeing the extra storage space CDs would afford them, and knowing that they could push the boundaries of production values with higher quality cut-scenes, Square jumped ship and decided to produce the next title in their Final Fantasy series for the PlayStation: Final Fantasy VII.
It’s impossible to overstate just how important Final Fantasy VII was. As an RPG, it introduced millions of gamers to their first Japanese role playing game, and the subsequent popularity of the genre meant that role playing mechanics began to filter into practically every other genre. Today we have RPG systems in FIFA.
But as important as Final Fantasy VII was to games, it was even more important for Sony. Final Fantasy had become a big deal in Japan and the move to PlayStation meant that sales for the console went up in Sony’s homeland cementing the console’s position as the one to own for fans of JRPGs. In the years that followed, the PlayStation would see dozens of top notch JRPGs released, and even today this period of time is remembered fondly as a golden age for the genre. What was more surprising was how well Final Fantasy VII was received outside of Japan, though.
While the Final Fantasy series had been fairly popular among gamers around the globe, Final Fantasy VII became a phenomenon. Thanks to stellar reviews, contagious word of mouth, and a hefty marketing campaign, Final Fantasy VII went on to be a massive hit that meant more to the industry than just some impressive sales numbers. Gamers embraced the story of Cloud and Sephiroth, and hungry for more, JRPG sales generally went up. Final Fantasy became a premier brand, and future releases for the series became events that gamers would look forward to.
Final Fantasy VII also featured impressive – for the time – visuals that wouldn’t have been possible had Squaresoft made the game for the N64. The quality of the FMV sequences in Final Fantasy VII was one of the major talking points surrounding the game, and the cinematic edge that Squaresoft brought to the title was something that other games still replicate to this day.
Thanks largely to Final Fantasy VII the PlayStation made a serious mark upon the gaming industry, and from there things only got better. The extra power the N64 had technically was negated by the increased storage capacity of the discs the PlayStation used, and the higher quality of music and video that available to developers. Titles like Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Resident Evil and Tomb Raider simply wouldn’t have worked on N64, and they all became major selling points for Sony’s console. What’s more, Nintendo had no answer for games like these, instead generally sticking to the tried and tested games like Mario and Zelda.
While the quality of Nintendo’s games remained as high as ever, their hardware had let them down this time around. Whether they underestimated the threat of Sony as a credible competitor or whether they didn’t realise the impact that CDs would have upon the industry, Nintendo were finally number two to another company in the gaming space. By the end of the generation, the N64 had sold around 32 million units, while the PlayStation racked up over 100 million in sales.
Late in the generation, taking inspiration from the N64 controller which featured an analogue stick, Sony released the first Dual Shock controller and changed the way we play games forever. Nintendo made a clever move in including an analogue stick in their controller since 3D gaming would require a little more precision than the standard D-Pad would allow. But Sony took the idea and did something ingenious with it. With one analogue stick to control the player character, and one analogue stick left to control the camera, the way we play games was redefined. Microsoft and Nintendo have both copied this approach since, and now the control scheme is so commonplace that playing a 3D game from before the dual-analogue time period feels awkward.
Nostalgia might paint Nintendo as the leaders of console gaming; they were the explorers that went out into uncharted territory. But Sony was the company that used what they discovered to build the gaming industry into what it is today. PlayStation has been the premier brand in video games longer than Nintendo ever was.
Part of the reason for that is the success of the original PlayStation console. The first steps into 3D gaming might have been awkward, but once the foundations were laid, console gaming was changed forever. The PlayStation helped to establish that via a combination of clever marketing, shifting people’s perceptions of the industry, and championing a few key franchises that would go on to be some of the biggest in the world.
Today, the original PlayStation is remembered as a console that changed gaming for a lot of people. Whether it Final Fantasy VII being their first RPG, Metal Gear Solid being the action movie that they could play, or Silent Hill scaring the pants off them, the PlayStation was a massively important moment in video game history, and a console that gave us an incredible library of games.
From perks to guns to maps to special ops mode, gamers are eagerly awaiting the latest Activision title Modern Warfare 2. The first sneak peak we got was in the initial trailer for the game which included some hazy bright green images of perk symbols. There were boots with wings on, (doubt you will be flying!) a larger circle with an arrow pointing down and two daggers crossed to name but a few. Speculation about these perks have been rife across the internet with some being obvious such as the boot with wings on more than likely being a speed perk.
News of the guns that will and wont be available have been released and many fans have been happy that the P90 has been taken of the roster. One Modern Warfare fan stated ‘the P90 is just too good a gun, if you have it and the other guy doesn’t he is going down, it makes it an uneven playing field.’
Infinity Ward have put a lot of effort into the landscapes that will appear in MW2 and the reaction of gamers everywhere to the new settings have been fantastic. The number one thing people have been talking about and getting excited about is the new Special Ops mode. Robert Bowling the community manager revealed details of this at the E3 exhibition. There will be separate missions from the single player which are more difficult to complete and will have time trials attached to them, very exciting! The major highlight of this mode though will be the fact there is a Co-op mode! This means you and your buddy can play for hours trying to complete all the missions and then after that play for hours trying to beat your previous best time! Modern Warfare 2 looks set to rock!
No matter if you’re young or old, there are many games which bring a lot of fun to your family. A lot of families like playing activities involving cards. Others get hours of fun playing classic board games for all the family. Board games are a great way to spend a few hours with your family. It is easy to keep everyone happy as there are so many it’s impossible not to find one you all can enjoy. When you find the perfect one for your family, you will be surprised at how quickly the hours pass by playing a great board game. You will definitely have a great time playing but we can’t guarantee there won’t be fights though!
The history of board games date back thousands of years to the ancient Egyptians who enjoyed a game called Senet. Every society and civilization has a history of board games. Boards were made by etching the guides or grids into stone, leather or wood. These days most boards are rectangular or square in shape and made from modern materials such as plastic. They can be easily folded up for easy transportation and are perfect for taking on family holidays.
A player uses pieces or counters to move on a pre-made board. Before starting the game, each player must choose their preferred piece. There are genres to cater for all tastes. Rules can be extremely complex such as those found in strategy games or very straightforward with only one or two key rules.
Each board game has its own conditions for winning but the majority share some basic rules. Some games are based purely on strategy where you must out think and outperform your opponent. On the other hand, there are games involving rolling dice which are all down to luck. Many original games were battles between two armies and most modern games are still based on defeating your opponent using the number of counters, attaining a position or receiving points.
Of course, learning anything new takes time and it depends on the game how long. Mastering some board games can literally take years but in general all have simple, basic rules. On the other hand, there are some games which have complicated rules but can be easy to play. A great advantage to playing is that beginners can often just jump straight in after learning the main rules. For beginners, it is common to develop your own strategies whilst playing.
A few great examples that most families will either have or have heard of are chess, checkers and monopoly. All three are simple to learn for everyone including children, but can become more complicated the more you learn. In the case of monopoly, close games can last for hours and seem never ending. Creating a timer in order to have a definite finishing time is a great idea for people concerned about a never ending session. Take care of any cheating, not unheard of in fun, casual family events. It’s your turn!