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Monday, January 8, 2007
PS3 is completely underwhelming
We finally got the PS3 hooked up in the office today and I have to say it was pretty underwhelming. Now, anyone who reads this blog knows that I am pretty down on Sony, so take this for what it's worth. However, there were 4 or 5 other people in the room and all of them shared the same opinion.

Issues I had:

Setup
We plugged in the HDMI cable between the TV and the PS3. We powered up the TV and the PS3. We got a black screen. We toggled the power on and off a couple of times and still nothing.

We eventually had to break out the manual to get the PS3 to reset its settings and work on our 1 year-old 42" Samsung HDTV. The solution? Hold down the power "button" on the front for 5 seconds. That's intuitive.

Not sure what was wrong; however, we suspected that the PS3 was set up for 1080p and our TV is 1080i. Dunno, but it was a crappy out-of-the-box experience.

Another annoyance involves powering it up. The PS3 has a power switch on the back of the unit. THE BACK! That is in addition to the nearly invisible power "button" (it's not even a button, just a slightly raised power icon) on the front. You have to turn both on to get the PS3 powered up.

It took us over 10 minutes to get the PS3 hooked up and working.

PS3 UI

Who ever designed the PS3's default interface should be fired. It is awful. The first experience you give users of this $600 1080p HD-capable console is a black-and-white set of icons? We all thought there was something wrong with our TV.

And once you get over the lack of color, the menu system is frustrating too. It's as if Sony took everything that would be intuitive and added 2 or 3 layers of complexity on it.

The funniest part was that we COULDN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO START THE GAME THAT WAS IN THE PS3! We had the Madden 07 disc in the PS3, but we couldn't find where to start the game in the PS3 menu system. Eventually we stumbled upon it; however, it wasn't very obvious.

Controller
The controller is where the rubber meets the road in terms of gaming. The fact that Sony didn't really redesign the controller means that the PS3 feels just like the PS2. Seems like they would want to differentiate the products in the hands of the consumer (even if just with a superficial upgrade).

Gameplay
So after all of the frustration in getting the PS3 set up and starting up a game, was there really any improvement in the gameplay or the graphics? Nope. It was just like looking at the XBOX 360 version of Madden.

The other guys in the room questioned whether it even looked as good as the XBOX 360. To my eye, it seemed to be pretty much the same.

I didn't bother trying to watch a Blu-ray movie because I had seen enough. If the PS3 ever overtakes the XBOX 360 in market share, I will be shocked.

Being an XBOX and Nintendo fan, I still welcomed competition from Sony in order to keep the companies on their toes. However, this thing is pretty lame all the way around.

About Shawn Morton

Married father of 6; VP of Social Media at JPMorgan Chase; gluten-free; gadget enthusiast; hair metal aficionado; #Movember man View more on LinkedIn.