For months I waited, satisfying myself with reading, reading, reading about the Playstation 3. Words were but morsels, and I realized how limited they could be. Previews and reviews are good up to a time, and they do well to fill you up. Then the words spill over and they lose meaning. But the machine arrived last week, and words have not been necessary since.
The funny thing about anticipation is the inherent worry it comes with. When you put together electrical components of a machine you’ve longed for, the worries come in installments, too. I was concerned about whether the machine would work, whether the wireless controllers would work, whether the CDs would work, whether the switch would blow out, whether the sulphur-heavy atmosphere would corrode metal parts. In the end, I dimmed the lights, adjusted the room temperature and, saying a prayer, turned on my PS3.
Simple enough. In went a first-person shooter called Resistance: Fall of Man, a game that I had read about extensively. It did what it was supposed to. It ran smooth as butter. Within five minutes, I was on my way to saving the planet from giant bugs with imaginative weaponry. But here’s the thing: They didn’t feel like bugs, and it didn’t feel like a game. After a particularly lengthy and bloody battle at a bus depot, I was trembling with excitement. I’ve been playing for 19 years now, and few games have had that effect. In this case, it’s partly the game, and mostly the machine. The PS3 allows over a dozen characters on the screen at the same time without any lag or jarring pauses, and each one of them could make distinct sounds that you can pick up. But while Resistance is a very good game, it isn’t the sort you’d buy a console this expensive for. That will come later, when games from the Resident Evil and Final Fantasy franchise show up.
Besides this, the PS3 plays Blu-Ray DVDs, has Wi-Fi, and acts as a storage device, too. I’m sure there’s a lot more to tell you about, but I haven’t checked. It can store pictures and things, but really, who cares? I’ve got some games, they play brilliantly, and the family watches the games too. And to think the first batch of games haven’t really tested what this machine can do. It’s everything I could ask for until the PS4.
PS: I got mine for the equivalent of Rs29,000 in Dubai. It’s expected to be out in India in April, for around Rs35,000.
Write to Rahul Bhatia at firstname.lastname@example.org