Offical "I have a PS3! Now What?" Sept 13, 2009 7:14:09 GMT -5
Post by Nauren on Sept 13, 2009 7:14:09 GMT -5
FAQ & FACTS
Q. So how much do I have to pay now?
A. As of August 19th, 2009, the PS3 is 299$/€, 29,980¥, 499.95AU$ and 249£. This includes the Slim (120GB), available worldwide from Sept. 1st.
In the US the 160GB bundled with Uncharted dropped from 499$ to 399$.
Q. What is included in regular SKUs?
A. DS3 (SIXAXIS have been discontinued months ago), power cord, USB cable to charge the controller, and composite cable. Yes, still no HD cable. Get a cheap HDMI cable here for instance. Monster cables are overpriced with NO benefit. Ethernet cable is NOT included (been the case for months). HDMI to DVI cables work fine, but your TV/monitor must be HDCP compliant and you need a cable for sound output.
Q. I want to import a PS3, will I be fine?
A. Fat PS3s have universal PSUs (even if not necessarily mentioned on the back). Apparently the Slims might have universal PSUs as well!
Q. Backwards compatibility?
A. All PS3 SKUs can play PSone CDs from the same region than your console. PS2 BC has been removed from the latest SKUs and won't come back with the Slim. Sony's official statement is: "It won't come back, period. Get over it.".
If you really want to play PS2 games, snatch an older SKU. Or buy a PS2 slim. Or wait for software-based BC which might happen. Maybe. Not. I don't know. Leave me alone
Q. I want PS2 BC! I'll track down an older SKU. What should I know to avoid being scammed?
A. Since it can be replaced, the HDD's size is not an indication of the console's BC status. Reliable clues are:
- Number of USB ports. All SKUs with PS2 BC have 4.
- Serial number. This helps to know whether you'll get a "near-perfect BC" SKU, or a "not-so-perfect-but-still-decent BC" SKU.
Serials for full HW BC start with: CECHA (launch NTSC 60GB), CECHB (launch NTSC 20GB).
Serials for HW/SW BC start with: CECHC (launch PAL 60GB), CECHE (early 80GB SKUs).
Q. What about motion controls?
A. SIXAXIS and DS3 controllers use basic motion control, with 6 degrees of freedom. Tilt left/right and forward/backward, and move up/down. Few games use it, and fewer games use it successfully (flOw and Flower probably are the best examples).
Sony is working on their "Wands" which use the PSEye and new controllers. See here and there for infos and tech demos.
Q. I want more GBs. Is that possible?
A. You can use any laptop SATA HDD (2.5") in your PS3. If you already have stuff on your default HDD, you can use the backup utility (you'll need a FAT32 USB key or external HDD). It will save everything, including ongoing downloads.
This feature has NOT been removed on the Slim. The HDD bay is on the front of the console, below the BRD drive.
Swapping the HDD is easy and you can find some photo/video tutorials on the web. (e.g Fat, Slim).
Q. Does the Slim have the same features than the good old fatty?
A. Mostly. Linux support is the only feature removed from the Slim SKU. On the other hand, the Slim can bitstream Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio to your receiver. You can also pair it with your Bravia to use your TV's remote to browse the XMB.
Apart from these minor features, other hardware/software specs are identical to the latest Fat SKUs.
Q. Remote play, what can I do with it?
A. After pairing your PSP with your PS3, you can access your PS3 from anywhere with a WiFi connection. This will allow you:
- Check photos, stream music and videos. You can also stream content from your PC to your PSP through the PS3.
- Play any PSone game stored on your PS3's HDD, as well as a disc based PSone game. And Lair! *cough*
- Play Local-Only PSP games with friends over the internet nad using the PS3 as a hub with the Ad-hoc Party app (Beta) recently released in JPN. More infos and a list of games that support this function here.
Q. What kind of accessories can I use?
A. The PS3 is compatible with a lot of accessories, including mouse, keyboards (USB or BT), pretty much any headsets (the best one being the Official PS3 headset, about 40$/€) as well as some printers. If you are a movie freak, you can also get a BT remote control which is more convenient that the DS3. Like the original 20GB, latest Fat SKUs and the Slim do not have any memory card (SD, MS, etc) reader. With any PS3 SKU you'll need an adapter for PSone/PS2 memory cards.
Q. Are games/movies region free?
A. PS3 games (disc or PSN) are region free, as are PSone classics on the PS Stores. PSone and PS2 games (CDs/DVDs) are NOT region free. This can be an issue for DVDs and BRDs as well (even if a lot of BRD movies are region free themselves).
EU PSone classics will probably not work if you live in the US since (most?) NTSC TVs do not support PAL resolution (576i).
Q. How do I upgrade my firmware?
A. You have 3 options:
- Use [System update] under the System section on the XMB. The PS3 will check for FW updates and prompt you to DL the new one.
- Download the update file on your PC and transfer it to your PS3 using a USB key.
- New FW are available on recent PS3 Games.
Most FW updates are mandatory. You won't be able to connect to the PSN before upgrading. When such updates are released, a popup will prompt you to upgrade your FW when you boot your PS3.
If the update takes a long time, something is wrong with your connection or the servers are being hammered. The average normal time is <5min as reported by many users.
Q. I want to stream stuff from my PC to my PS3, what do I do?
A. You'll have to use one of the dedicated PC programs available, called media servers. Once you launch it, a new icon will appear under each the Music/Video/Photos sections on the XMB and you will be able to access all files tagged as shared on your PC.
PS3s can't read .flv or .mkv files, but that's about it. There can be some issues with a few avi codecs as well. The most popular media servers, such as TVersity (Free, PC only) and PS3 Media Server (Free - PC, Mac) can transcode files on the fly so you don't need to worry about this.
Official GAF thread for streaming is here.
Q. What is this games sharing I keep hearing about?
A. As part of their DRM system, Sony allows the activation of a PSN account on up to 5 systems at a given time. As a side effect, you can share your account with other people. It can be considered as a bad practice by some people, but Sony does not forbid it. Note that a few games (Warhawk, GT5P) have a 24h restriction limit i.e. if you play a shared game on a system, you won't be able to play it on another one for 24h.
Things to keep in mind:
- Do NOT save your CC infos on the PS Store, unless you completely trust the people who have access to your account. Likewise, people who share your account have a complete control over it. They can change your email/password and completely screw you.
- If your system dies, you might get it disabled by Sony, but it can be a PITA.
- If you sell your console, remember to deactivate your account yourself in the Network section.
- As you have to create a new user account on your PS3, do NOT delete it even if you do not plan to access the linked PSN account anymore, as this will prevent you from playing previously DL'd games.
See here for more infos.
Q. So, what's up on the PSN store?
A. Kassatsu (and Tanod before him) does an excellent job (with some help from other GAFers!) each week with his PS Store threads. Don't forget to try to spot the wrestlers
JP and HK stores have no update schedules, content can be up any time over the week. EU stores are usually updated around 2pm on Thursdays, while US store is updated around 5pm EST. Note that content can be different between countries in the PAL region.
You can create as many Store accounts as you want, but you'll have to create a new user on your PS3 for each account. You'll find a guide for the creation of a JP account here.
Most (if not all) Western CC do not work on HK/JPN stores. Some EU cards (VISA) work with the US store. You can still import PSN cards from different import stores. JPN and US cards have been available for a while, and Sony has announced the release of EU cards (20 and 50€) during Gamescom.
Q. The XMB background is boring, what can I do?
A. Well, you have bad tastes obviously, so this can't be helped. However, you can use custom Themes on your PS3 (under System>Theme on the XMB). You can find free/premium themes on the stores and free ones on many dedicated websites, some of them being PS3 friendly (you can DL themes directly from your PS3's browser). Note that you can transfer it via a USB key for instance, but remember to create a PS3 folder, and a THEME subfolder, and put your files in the latter.
If you have some time in your hands and feel like an artist, there are many themes compilers out there. You'll find one in the Official PS3 custom Themes thread, along with awesome themes including our very own m0dus'.
Q. What is Playstation Home?
A. Home is a free app you can choose to install on your PS3 (~3GB). It's a virtual online community, and you start out with one apartment, a few clothes and furniture, as well as being able to customize your avatar.
From your private apartment (which you can invite friends in) you can go to a variety of "rooms" that have a number of different things to do. You can go to the movie theater and watch some exclusive videos with other people; play minigames with others in the arcade and other areas; visit third party rooms from EA, Ubisoft, etc. and play games like Poker, or buy virtual clothing items/furniture from the mall and other stores within Home. (These items cannot be shared with other users/friends.)
There are other features like Game Launching that allows you to take people from within Home to your private game servers in Warhawk and FarCry 2, and then boot back into Home when you're done, but Home as it stands is very much a closed, unique experience.
Official thread is right here.
(Thanks Chubigans for writing this section!)
Q. Is there any point having photos stored on my PS3's HDD?
A. PS3 has a comprehensive photo viewing utility. It has some great features, such as generating 3Dish cards and printing your pictures on them as a sort of scrolling visualization, the ability to sort the photos by color, or mood, etc. Great for family gatherings.
(Credits go to AbortedWalrusFetus)
Q. Life... with... Playstation?
A. It's a news feed from sources all around the world, allowing you to read some news tidbits while your PS3 crunches numbers in Folding@home, a cloud computing program dedicated to the study of proteins folding from the Stanford University. You'll find more infos on this topic on the Official Website. It's the only thing that you will be able to do while folding as it uses most of the Cell's processing time.
Check the Official GAF Thread here and if you wish to donate some of your CPU time for a good cause, make sure to join the GAF team! (#51353).
Q. OMG I can't connect to the PSN, what's up?
A. Oh, well...
1. Breathe normally
2. Resist the temptation to post a thread on GAF. This will probably end up with 30 backlash posts and 20 "OMG NEW FIRMWARE MEGATON".
3. Follow this link to check the network's status.
If the network is up, something might be wrong locally, or your internet connection is dodgy.
Q. I have connection issues. It's not stable/voice chat is crappy/etc.
A. Make sure that you have an adequate NAT type. You can check it under System>Network.
Type 1 = Direct connection between your PS3 and your modem. Good.
Type 2 = Your PS3 is behind a router. Good.
Type 3 = Bad. To fix it, you can use the UPnP mode if you router supports it, or set your PS3's IP as DMZ.
You can also forward ports manually, here's some help.
Q. My PS3 is getting f'in loud lately, halp!
A. This is likely not normal, the PS3 should be quite silent. Your worst enemy is dust. Sony recommends to vaccum the console's vents once in a while. Always put it in a place with decent room for a correct air flow. If it's out of warranty, you can always open it and clean the cooling system yourself, if you feel like it. There are some photos/videos guides out there.
Q. When I press the "Home" button on my DS3, there's a fucking battery life icon masking the clock. The hell is this crap?
A. You lie, this never happened. And stop complaining about the font size. You can complain about the awful grey border around friends, tho.
Since so many people are getting their first Blu-ray player as well when they get their new PS3 slim, I think we should remind people about the hidden calibration screens on Sony's Blu-ray movie discs:
With a Sony Blu-ray movie inserted and playing, go to the main menu. Hit the Triangle button. Enter 7-6-6-9. ("SONY" spelled out on a phone keypad.)
Voila! Free calibration screens!
More info here
(Thanks to Pristine_Condition!)
Turning this option on will enhance contrast, so basically colors will "pop" a lot more. Keep in my mind only monitors and a limited set of HDTVs are compatible with this. You can check your TV's manual to see if it is supported, or use this guide. If you are not sure, do NOT use Full RGB as it will do worse than better.
Tax-free US PSN
When you create a US PSN account, use a fake address in a state that does not apply any taxes. Examples: Oregon, California, Alaska, among others.
Hardcore D-RPG that will make you curl up in a corner and cry. Only available in Asia for now (The HK aka Asian version has a full english translation), will be released in the U.S in October.
S-RPG with beautiful art and genre-redifining gameplay.
A-RPG with colorful graphics and a nice use of the SIXAXIS/DS3.
Play. Create. Share. Tons of content, extremely fun co-op, and a powerful yet simple level editor!
Insomniac's famous Action platformer's debut on the PS3. Also check Quest for Booty on the PSN!
Sucker Punch's take on sandbox games. Fun gameplay and a cool good/evil karma system.
Certainly one of the most visually impressive FPS out there. Challenging SP campaign and addictive objective-based MP.
Very controversial game, mostly because it is vastly different from its predecessor. Packed with content: SP campaign, up to 60p competitive mode, and a popular class-based co-op campaign. Resistance: Fall of Man is certainly worth a try as well.
Late port of one of the most successful and acclaimed new FPS franchises. Very atmospheric FPS which contains some RPG elements
aka Texturezilla. Excellent TPS with platforming and puzzles bits, and an awesome cast of characters.
The epic conclusion to a 20 years old franchise.
Revision of the original title (PS2) divided into a series of twelve chronological episodes containing parallel and intersecting scenarios for multiple playable characters. Also available as episodic content on the PSN.
Maybe the most popular online MP game on the PS3. Almost 2 years old and the community is still going strong! Steep learning curve, but a very fun, balanced and addictive game. Lots of great additional content as well.
Outstanding twin-stick shooter, PSN GOTF for many GAFers! SP and MP add-ons are a must-buy as well.
2nd and 3rd entries in the PixelJunk series. Monsters is a tower defense game, and Eden is a psychedelic platformer.
Second game from ThatGameCompany (flOw), a beautiful, poetic and relaxing game that perfectly uses the DS3's motion control properties. A must have.
HD remake combining elements from several past titles in the series, Wipeout HD features extremely sharp graphics (at 60fps) and tons of content, especially for a $20 title. Photomode includes some fancy options and certainly makes mindblowing shots. Sony Liverpool recently released the Fury extension, adding new tracks, modes, and skins.
Fun online MP game focused on an original CTF-like mode, featuring job-based cooperative gameplay and some RTS-like tidbits (resources and building). Except that the flag is the other team's princess and you can feed her to make her harder to rescue.
Next-gen brick-breaking game by Sidhe (of Gripshift fame). An extremely fair pricepoint (especially for EU) for an original, hardcore game in a retro arcade genre.