I received my first Blu-Ray movie from Netflix yesterday afternoon, “Gone in 60 Seconds”, (one of my favorite movies of all time), and came to the conclusion that next-gen DVDs aren't really something to be terribly excited about. My TV is 36-inches, and I couldn't really see any stellar quality from anything other than the introductory CGI for one of the studios that worked on the film (flying through the desert with lightning going on to the big tree). That looked amazing, but the movie only looked alright. However, it was produced in 2000, so perhaps more recent titles look better?
Great movie though, I did encounter a bug in the PS3 playback software about midway through the film… something that's been reported with this movie… that the playback freezes and you have to skip the scene and rewind. Not a huge deal, it's new technology and this was the only hiccup.
What I am excited about with next-gen DVDs is that they can store more on them, which means increased bonus features, plus better quality is always a possibility.
Tony Hawk's Project 8
One thing I've noticed is that Amazon seems to sell most next-gen games for $49.99, versus $59.99 in-stores. And, they offer free shipping (plus no sales tax in most states). This is fantastic for anyone complaining about the new price-point. However, the free shipping is also crappy shipping; an idea around this is if you upgrade to Amazon Prime (which is something small [$] yearly) you get free two-day on everything… so whatever floats your boat.
I traded in my copy of Tony Hawk's Project 8 for PS2 (which sucked), for the Playstation 3 version. At first, I hesitated since I figured it was basically the same title… but I was pleasantly surprised that it was 90% different.
For starters, the Playstation 2 version separates each area into a map… something somewhat different than what Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, the previous title (which was fantastic), had at least attempted to avoid. The Playstation 3 version of Project 8 has the entire game's world as one seemless area, with no load times. It's extremely well done.
The graphics are clearly a step-up from the PS2 version as well, which only offered progressive scan (480i/480p).. versus the PS3's full-HD (720p/1080i/1080p). However, the people's faces look rubbery and fake… c'mon Neversoft. There's even frame-rate lag (game slow-down, skipping) in some situations, which is weird, but this was reported and doesn't affect gameplay nearly at all.
Also, the goals you're sent on in the next-gen [PS3] version are much more interesting, and the map order, being seemless, makes more sense. One feature offered exclusively to Playstation 3 is the support for the controller's “tilt” sensing; in that you can balance the board, steer, and even activate certain tricks.. just by moving controller in certain directions. I prefer the old style (button mashing), but A+ for effort to the developers.
So, in the end, I now own [for PS3]:
- Tony Hawk's Project 8
- Need for Speed: Carbon
- Resistence: Fall of Man
…plus my entire PS2 library. I could not be happier; between the Wii and the Playstation 3, the only thing I want now is the new Grand Theft Auto 4 coming later this year. Even though the fact that I own a PS3 has sunk in, I'm still incredibly excited to play it (and the Wii) and Sony has done an excellent job so far. (It's just too bad that they're so damn expensive!)