The Force Unleashed Demo

Wow. That’s just about all I can say. I played the demo, available for PS3 through the Playstation Store, and wow. As short as it is, it shows off all the force powers and lightsaber tricks, and even closes up with a sample boss fight complete with contextual button styles ala God of War and Resident Evil 4. I was hugely impressed with the level of detail, smooth control, and just overall awesomeness. The game releases on September 16th, and I am certainly changing my pre-order over to the PS3 version. The advanced physics and HD format are not to be missed in a game like this.

New Playstation3 Arrives

It’s not just a new model — it’s at my house. Yes I got a PS3. And wow is this a fantastic piece of hardware.

First off, the thing is attrative. The piano-black finish goes perfectly with my Samsung LCD TV. Looks right at home.

Setup was a breeze. Single-cable goodness with HDMI. The system also comes with 802.11b/g, so the network connection was simple, and fewer wires mean less complication — two whole wires, power in and signal out. The one hiccup was forgetting to uncheck 1080p mode, which my TV does not support.

I first tried Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, and it just blew me away. Easily the best-looking racer I’ve seen, the incredibly detailed car models and sweeping environments came to life.

I also tried DVD playback. Up-sampled DVD content also looks amazing, a great feature.

I set up DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) service through my Windows XP system, and the PS3 was able to pick up all my music, videos, and pictures. You can browse playlists and folders wirelessly and stream any content from your home PC system. Great for watching recorded videos or showing off the latest vacation pics without messing with CDs or memory sticks.

I did have problems connecting to the Playstation Network. I’ve tried a couple times but I’ve been unable to connect to the service for one reason or another (although other online features such as the web browser, and of course streaming content, works fine).

I’m very much looking towards playing the couple PS3 titles I’ve been looking at, including of course Metal Gear Solid 4, and I look forward to the full release of Gran Turismo 5 sometime next year. I may even transfer my pre-ordered The Force Unleashed from the Wii to PS3 — although lightsaber combat with the Wii remote is pretty compelling!

Wolfenstein Reboot

The crazy people at id Software have announced a reboot of the classic Wolfenstein series. The new shoot proves to be as atmospheric and wierd as the first, released many years ago. I hope they can capture the essence of the games; it’s been a long time since we visited with B.J. Blazkowicz.