Get Your Game On
OK ... I've kept you waiting long enough. In a nutshell, as game play and graphics go, the PS3 looks great - a big improvement over the PS2. Everything just looks smoother and more detailed, and there is almost always something going on. Backgrounds in Ridge Racer 7 appeared nearly lifelike at times - even while whizzing by at 100+ mph. Having walked Pebble Beach Golf Links several times, I can tell you that playing Tiger Woods PGA 07 is like taking a virtual tour. It is perfect down to every detail (though the weather in Carmel is usually more overcast).
The best games really show off the PS3's superb graphic abilites when objects are in close-up. In Call of Duty 3, the texturing of the armored metal and the battle-worn paint on a tank that you catch a ride on look like they could have been lifted right from Saving Private Ryan. If you could reach into your TV and touch it, you know exactly what it would feel like. You can practically taste the rust and grit of the desolate, Chimera-run alternate universe that is Europe in Resistance: Fall of Man.
Not all of the launch titles are winners out of the gate. Mobile Suit Gundam Crossfire is embarassing, with horrible control, chunky graphics, and choppy frame rates. I wouldn't pay $6 for this game, let alone $60. Lighting effects and court detail of NBA '07 are steps above what last-gen consoles offered, though they weren't up to the polish of the other titles. Players tended to look plastic and waxy. (Though I didn't get a chance to play it, the online scuttle says that NBA 2K7 is the basketball game to get.)
While the PS3 is currently the only gaming platform that offers the ability to game in full 1080p resolution, the majority of launch titles don't support that resolution. Of the 12 titles I received, only three (Marvel Ultimate Alliance, NBA '07, and Ridge Racer 7) can actually be played in 1080p. The others run in 720p. Of course, if you don't have an HDTV, you can still play using traditional composite video cables and format the output for a 4 x 3 television. But, really - if you don't have an HDTV, here's a word of advice: Save the $600 you'd spend on a PS3 and put it toward a new TV.
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