Posted by John on November 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, PS3!

Happy Birthday, PS3!

Sunday, 27 November 2011 06:00

In honor of the PS3’s 5th birthday last week, I started thinking about my experiences with the console. I purchased a PS3 at a discount from a Cicuit City about a year and a half after its launch, and it’s been the entertainment center of our household since, from games to DVDS and Blu-Rays to streaming movies over the Internet. The PS3’s past has been spotty, but its future is bright.

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The first so-called “next-gen” console I owned was a Wii, but I lusted after Sony and Microsoft’s offerings. The Wii provided Zelda, adorable Mii’s, and sore muscles, but I longed for so much more. In college I lived in an apartment with a couple of dudes (though I’m now married with two kids and still attending college), and mere months after the PS3’s launch one of my roommates spent a whole paycheck and purchased one. I had my first real next-gen video game moments with that machine.

Besides a collossal amount of time spent with the 30 minute demo for EA’s Skate (seriously, I probably spent 12+ hours playing that demo 30 minutes at a time), I have had some incredible gaming experiences with my own shiny black box.

I played Heavenly Sword to its rather abrupt completion, and found it to be an enjoyable if flawed experience. The facial animations and the voice acting are still impressive, and the combat is enjoyable with a decent amount of depth.

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune gave me some of my most memorable gaming moments, and really elevated my perception of a game’s ability to tell an engaging story.

The scene in the Nazi submarine is one of Uncharted’s first real cinematic moments; Drake’s slowed movement, combined with the tight quarters and deliberate camera angles, provides genuine tenseness without resorting to a cheap scare. Numerous little things lend enormous realism to the adventure; the way explosions make your “ears” ring is a detail that still impresses me. Drake is immediately likeable (”I had everything in control until they blew up the boat!”), and Elena is absolutely adorable. The controls don’t hold up quite as well today, especially in comparison to its two sequels. The way Nathan holds and aims rifles is painfully awkward, but the way he swings around cover to fire a pistol is excellent. There’s definitely the possibility that the rifle thing is intentional, to communicate Drake’s inexperience, and that’s how I’ll choose to interpret it. It all adds up to a sweeping cinematic adventure that is still memorable to this day.

I’ve had some great experiences with my PS3; here’s to many more years and trophies.

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