I recently took my PS3 over to my parents along with the whole Rock Band get up to play with my family on Christmas Eve. Everyone had a great time playing, but I couldn't get any video or sound from the system when I got home! I was very frustrated, but Google and the PS3 manual came to the rescue with a solution.
Unfortunately, the solution ended with me having to restart the PS3 from scratch. This meant all my save games were lost forever! I've decided that I'll backup my system if I ever move it around again and luckily Sony has made this process simple enough. You can see their support page on the Backup Utility for all the details. This obviously could have happened when you had the old Memory cards on PS or PS2 as well, but it seemed that I was more likely to forget those somewhere rather than have them crash. This generation of gaming hardware has just advanced to such a point where it's clear that these are full fledged computers and not just toys anymore.
I'd be very happy if there was some way Sony would add a backup to PSN feature so I could simply upload all my game data to a server and be done with it with a single tap of the X button. Afterall, I can always redownload anything from PSN that I have before. I'm mostly concerned with the saved games here.
I found this procedure for backing up the hard drive for an Xbox 360 and it seems like much more of a hack than a supported process. What's the deal with that Microsoft?
It's been over a year since this commercial about Windows running on a Mac was all over televisions, but I've yet to walk into an Apple store and see a Mac running Windows Vista or Windows XP. I still don't think it's common knowledge that people can simply install XP or Vista on their Mac's or that they can buy one from MacMall.com or other retailers with a Windows OS pre-installed. OSX is great, but there's some instances when you might want/need a Windows machine. Why shouldn't it be the same one? The latest Macs are great for Windows-based gaming too. I agree that getting people into OSX is a good idea, but some people might be more willing to make the switch first if they're made aware that it's easy to dual boot or just run Windows (when you need it) through Parallels.
I was in an Apple Store today (which was still crowded with people despite the economy) and there was someone who walked in and almost immediately started talking to a sales rep. It became clear to me that this was going to be their first Apple Computer and they were concerned about the switch from "PC" to Mac, but the sales rep started by touting all the great features of OSX. I never even heard a whisper about Boot Camp. This is a feature that's somewhat buried on the Mac website, but surely it'd be a good selling point to mention if a customer is obviously concerned about losing Microsoft Windows.
It's pretty clear to me that the entire lineup of Macbooks, Macbook Pros, and Mac Pros are substantially more stylish and have fairly good specs. There will continue to be people making the switch or considering higher end "PC's" with more features. There's always the question of just how much extra you're paying for this and the ability to run the Mac OS without violating the EULA, but there's plenty of people happy to pay a couple hundred extra to get that shiny Mac. There's people still buying the high priced Sony laptops for similar reasons. Why not continue to emphasize just how great the Mac is as a Windows PC?
If you know me or have been following me on Twitter for any amount of time, you have most likely noticed that I'm passionate about a few industries and video games is one of those. I grew up gaming on an Atari 800, Atari ST, 286, 386 DX/40mhz, ran a BBS, coded my own games in Pascal and was a huge fan of the early Sierra adventure games. When my friends and I started playing Warcraft, Unreal Tournament and Team Fortress, I always wanted to have one of the fastest computers among us. This meant building new PCs constantly from parts gathered at the best bargains I could find from all around town and spending a lot of money.
While I did get an NES and SNES as a kid, I always felt that my hardcore gamer side wouldn't be thoroughly satisfied by a console hooked up to a TV. I've watched as game consoles have come and gone and was a late adopter of the PS2, but when the PS3 came out and promised Full HD movies and games, I was ready to be an early adopter of the console.
Finally, I could buy a 1920x1080 progressive scan HDTV for my living room that would be almost as high resolution as I'd get from a computer monitor and I'd have movies on blu-ray in Full HD via the PS3. Well, the $600 PS3 was almost a mandatory peripheral to my new HDTV based on this criteria and it'd just have to follow the HDTV purchase. In fact, it followed the TV right to the register the same day. I felt a little insane and a bit like a baller (even though I really didn't have a ton of money and in retrospect probably could have stood to spend a little less money), but it felt completely worth it at the time. Now, I got home and was impressed by the HDTV and the lovely 1080P goodness of blu-ray and the PS3, but I was instantly upset that most games were in 720P.
So, you're probably wondering why this is titled "PlayStation Home Beta for everyone". Well, the PlayStation Home Beta is out and everyone can use it now. I was lucky enough to have a slightly early go at it, but really I had expected it so much earlier that I really expected it to be complete by now and not still in Beta. Of course, I expected more quality games to be out for the platform as well. But, all in all I still believe that the PlayStation 3 has a much more future looking vision with the platform and while I've read so many blogs and people talking on forums about their disappointment of Home, I've got to say I think it's going to be great.
The Nintendo Wii's success and continued success was largely a surprise to most of the industry and although everyone knew casual gaming was big and knew it's always been a powerhouse for Nintendo, the pieces never really became clear until the sales figures of the Wii showed up. I see PlayStation Home as a great outlet for the casual gamer that's in the hardcore gamer of all of us. It's something we can hop into late at night, stroll up to an arcade machine and pretend to deposit quarters or explore worlds that sponsors of the environment are likely to put together. I've already caught myself getting sucked in on a game in the arcade and I can only imagine how more arcade games and more islands could be created just for sponsors with fun events and get to know other players sessions. I think there's a huge growth opportunity for Home and I know PlayStation is working on it, but it's really unfortunate that it's just now starting to show.
So what's really disappointed me with Home and several other games in this generation has been the lack of 1080P support despite all the press releases saying how it'd be running in 1080P. This is true for the 360 and the PS3, but I'm more surprised that Home wasn't in 1080P. Sony pushed the platform for HD and the biggest community part of the platform that they've been pushing for the longest time runs in 720P instead of 1080P? That doesn't make any sense to me. I know it's processor intensive, etc., etc., but that's really the only thing about the whole thing that's got me down... I bought a 1080P display for 1080P visuals. Please oh please stop with the 720P madness. I suppose it doesn't really matter too much, but it still bugs me a little. Hopefully we'll see more 1080P content in 2009 and less 720P.