Hey, back again. Had a good excuse for not updating this week -- I was working! None other than David "All The Real Girls" Green emailed me to do a storyboard gig for a series of commercials he's shooting in the near future. Everything went well and now it's back to writing and blogging.
Anyway, I just got back from Best Buy where I got a chance to try out the new Playstation 3. They had two games available for demo: a basketball game and an off-road racing game. I watched someone else play the basketball game and wasn't too impressed. Other than some terrifying close-ups of the basketball players complete with unsmiling expressions and the lifeless eyes of animated corpses, it looked like most basketball games I've ever played: boring. Good graphics but boring.
The offroad racing game was a different story. Amazing graphics. Sharp imagery, no visible pixelation, no slowdown when there was a lot going on on-screen. When you crash your car while engaging the Turbo, there's a visceral, cinematic view of the destruction in slow-motion; when the car impacts say, a boulder on the race-course, the part of the car that does the hitting shatters into a hundred distinct pieces each with its own unique trajectory; sometimes the entire body of the vehicle breaks up against the unyielding impediment with stunning realism -- as of right now, the PS3's graphics appear to be a little more robust than than the XBox360's graphics. The question is are the manlier graphics on Sony's new console worth $200 more? As of this writing, without having had a chance to try out PS3's other games, I'd say no. The truth is it's hard to get a real sense of how much you're going to like a particular console when the entirety of your exposure to it consists of 3 or 4 5-minute game-playing sessions at Best Buy. Am I going to plunk down $600 on a PS3 on the strength of one cool racing game? I need more. I need to sit with the system, take it apart, stare at it, feel the way the ultra-fast processors feel in my hand while I roll them around like dice. I need to PLAY that thing, know what I mean? Besides, Microsoft and Sony have obviously upped the ante with their consoles, but what about upping the ante on their games? Where's the next-gen game?
Which brings us to the Wii, (Hinesy's early favorite). Nintendo's Wii came out today in the States and if anyone's raising the stakes for new and exciting ways to play video games, it's Nintendo. Wii's winning raves from the most jaded gaming types for it's intuitive motion-sensitive gameplay. You swing the controller and you're either swinging a tennis racquet, slicing with a samurai sword, fishing, racing, or whatever else you can think of. AND it's $50 cheaper than the 360's core system, so does that make the Wii the best bet for just having a good time playing video games? Neither Target nor Best Buy had a playable display of it today -- just a screen with an infomercial playing on top of the console set behind a plexiglass case -- but just from watching the informercial Wii looks like a helluva lot of fun, even if the graphics aren't state-of-the-art. As always, the most important question is which console's going to have the best games over the next few years -- right now nobody seems to stand out on that score. Anyway, before I geek out too hard, I'll just say they all look pretty cool, but I'm leaning towards the 360. "Halo 3" will be coming out for the 360 next year, and that's going to be something to behold.
Anyway, later this week I'll tell you what I thought about "Borat" which I saw Friday night. And I'm out.