Ok, not exactly. Its probably been 25 years since I’ve been seriously interested in a console.
To tell the truth, I’m still not particularly interested in console gaming systems.
Confused? So was I and then in a fleeting moment of clarity, it all came together: I needed to buy a Sony Playstation 3.
Two things led me to this conclusion: 1) Blu-ray Disc won the format wars and 2) I wanted to set up a media server so I could access music, video and photos from our home theater complex(tm). For us, that means the place where we watch TV and have a modest surround sound system hooked up. I’ve been jealous of a buddy of mine who archived all of his cd’s in FLAC and streams them all over his house using a SlimServer/Squeezebox on his home network. I wanted to do something similar. I also wanted to step up to Blu-ray since we love HD but are growing increasingly dissatisfied with anything on cable.
Two hardware purchases were not in the budget. So, after poking around a bit, the PS3 seemed like a pretty decent solution. They recently released a bluetooth “normal” remote so you can watch DVDs without having to do everything by game controller and a series of relatively recent firmware upgrades allows the PS3 to recognize DLNA compliant media servers. With a bit of wrangling, most internet radio is supported as well. In researching a bunch of this stuff, I’m now nearly cool having learned an entirely separate set of technology subculture jargon.
So in classic Potshot fashion, I went shopping for a DVD player and came home with a game system.
Sony seems to have a way of making neat things and then totally screwing up the support and marketing. PS3 today seems to be more of a media center/extender than a game system. Too bad they’re only just figuring this out. Something Microsoft seemed to figure out with Xbox earlier. Too bad they bet on HD-DVD. Oops.
I must say, hooking it up and getting it on our wireless network was pretty painless. Likewise, upgrading the firmware over the internet was one click simple. Downloading and setting up a media server on one of our other machines to share music, etc. was very easy. There are a number of decent free or low cost options out there (like TVersity). Enough that I probably downloaded and installed four or five and will continue to play with them to see which we prefer. Unfortunately, Squeezecenter (the new name for Slim Server) is not one of them. Its free and pretty slick, but its not DLNA compliant so the PS3 wont recognize it.
Overall, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. One box, two solutions. So focused on the Blu-ray and media center aspects of the system, I didn’t even bother to buy any games for it before it arrived. So it occurred to me, maybe I should pick up a game or two to play. But which one?
Of course, all the usual blam blam blam games came to mind, but I thought I might want something that was, well, more Mrs. P friendly and that we could both play. Now anyone whos gone PvP with Mrs. P knows she’s not afraid of fragging yer ass or getting fragged, but lets say the CODs and Ultra-Mega Death Champion fighting games of the world are not her strong suit. She does have a weakness for cute though.
Only one solution for the inaugural console game then: Lego Star Wars: the Complete Saga. I’ve gotten lots of feedback from friends that they’ve really enjoyed the game despite playing it with their kids. To paraphrase much of what is written about it: peeps love Star Wars, peeps love Lego, what’s not to love?
We’ve only just taken the plunge, but so far its proving amusing and entertaining. I’m sure there’s more where this came from.
Not bad for a blu-ray media center.