The Playstation 3 has had a chequered life so far since it was released in November 2006. Though it was hyped beyond all reality to begin with, it failed to deliver what Sony had promised, and left the Xbox 360 as the console of choice for serious gamers. However, a lot has changed in the 18 months or so, but is it enough to now justify the early claims?
When the PS3 was launched back in November 2006, it was generally received well, with early adopting gamers looking to upgrade from the ageing PS2 rushing out to buy one despite the high price. It was also well received by the press, who couldn’t really see how Sony could fail to build upon the incredible and long lasting success that the Playstation 2 had enjoyed.
However, there were a few non-believers in amongst the reams of hyperbole, most notably from high profile technology blog Ars Technica, which at the time wrote a scathing review on the 60Gb launch PS3.
They criticised the HD limitations of 480i available by using the standard composite cables, the Sixaxis controller, the lack of big titles available at launch, the poorly implemented multimedia options, the online functions, and the high price. Phew, that was a mouthful.
They concluded the review by awarding the Playstation 3 a score of six out of ten. Which probably made Ken Kuturagi cry in to his cornflakes.
However, here we are a year and a half later, and a lot has changed. The system is still selling poorly, with the Nintendo Wii kicking it’s butt on a monthly basis, and the Xbox 360 keeping up with it despite being a year older. But in terms of known issues with the system, Sony has one wonders. So Ars Technica decided to re-review the PS3 in its new and improved current state.
The review basically details how constantly evolving firmware updates have helped the PS3 go from a giant empty monolith to a machine starting to realise it’s potential. 720p support was added, the Blu-ray profile was improved so that the PS3 is now regarded as one of the best Blu-ray players on the market, and cheap too.
Then there was the launch of the Dual Shock joypad with rumble function, which saw the Sixaxis finally consigned to the dustbin. Home is then brought up, the fabled online service which is meant to be far superior to Xbox Live, or at least it will be if it ever launches.
Then there are the games, which have improved immeasurably. Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, and Warhawk are all cited as reasons to buy a PS3. The price has also come down considerably since launch, and the Playstation 3 is no longer just the domain of the rich.
The review concludes by scoring it a nine out of ten, and while some problems may remain, Ars Technica now seem to think the PS3 is finally living up to the incredible hype it received at launch.
Do you agree, disagree, don’t care one iota? Let us know in the comments.