Sony can bite me!

I finally took the plunge and purchased a second hand 60GB PlayStation 3. I waited and waited for any positive news regarding a possible firmware update for the 40GB model that would fully implement software emulation for PlayStation 2 titles, but all Sony ever had to say about it was that it’s never going to happen.

Months back, I fixed the problems I was having with my old fat PS2, turns out it was just a dead battery. But even so, I had started receiving disc read errors when playing certain games. Metal Gear Solid 2, in particular. Rather than spend close to $200 on a new PS2 I decided to put that $200 towards a PS3 model capable of playing PS2 games.

The only such PS3 released in Australia was the 60GB. It’s not the perfect solution, as unlike the NTSC 60GB and 20GB PS3s, it is part hardware, part software compatibility. That is to say, it has the PS2′s graphics processor, the “Graphics Synthesizer”, but the PS2 CPU, the “Emotion Engine” is emulated with software. This means compatibility is nowhere near 100%, however it is good enough for me as almost all my games work perfectly.

Unfortunately, because they aren’t made anymore, 60GB PS3s have become quite rare and sort after, making them hugely expensive. They often sell for more than their original RRP of $999. However, I was lucky because I managed to snatch one up for $900 including a set of official Sony component cables and Casino Royale on Blu-ray.

I managed to sell my 40GB PS3 for $582, which seems high for an 8 month old console, but I still had 16 months warranty left plus I included Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, which I had two copies of. The rest of the money I was able to make up by selling off old accessories and games, such as my Action Replay 2 v2 and Vib Ribbon.

The 60GB PS3 I bought was in excellent condition. It had the inevitable scuff marks from wiping dust off of it, but so did my 40GB. The Blu-ray drive is in perfect working order and there is no signs of a failing HDD, though I will likely replace it in the future anyway.

Apart from being able to play PS2 games, there are other advantages too, such as an extra 2 built in USB ports, flash card readers and SACD support. Of course, there are disadvantages. For starters, as of May it has been out of warranty, so if it fails it will cost me something in the region of $150 to fix it. Also, it has a 90nm Cell processor which equals higher power consumption and more heat.

Overall, I am extremely happy with it and to be honest, it was now or never to sell my 40GB PS3 as the new 80GB PS3 is now available in stores for the same price and it comes bundled with a DualShock 3. In terms of features, it is indentical to the 40GB it is replacing, it just has more storage space. There is talk however, that it uses even less power hinting that Sony may now be including 65nm RSX chips, joning the 65nm Cell introduced in the 40GB.

The Final Step

After closing the Hideout a little while ago, my need for any form of external hosting was greatly diminished. The other websites hosted on the same account were seldom used also, so it made sense for us to end it.

I’ve moved my blog over to WordPress.com because I don’t need the flexibility of a self hosted WordPress blog and now I don’t need to worry about upgrading WordPress at every point release.

The web hosting company we were with was Host Gator, and apart from a recent stuff up concerning a password reset, the experience has been very good. I would recommend them to anyone looking for cheap, reliable, shared hosting.

Final Fantasy XIII on Xbox 360

E3 is on at the moment. Microsoft have already had their press conference and it was pretty jam packed with content.

If I were a PS3 fanboy, the most depressing news to come from it is that Final Fantasy XIII is no longer a PS3 exclusive! What in the world were Sony thinking (smoking?) when they decided to not do everything they possibly could to retain exclusivity.

There is some clarifying to do however. FFXIII will still be exclusive to PS3 in Japan, but it will appear on both the Xbox 360 and PS3 in English speaking territories. The obvious reason for doing this, is that Xbox 360 has a greater audience in North America and it makes sense for Square… but not for Sony. This is one occasion when Sony should have done a Microsoft and pulled out the wallet to “make things right”. If Sony want to get the PS3 ahead of the Xbox 360 worldwide, they need to tie-up exclusives, especially with the price not looking to be lowered anytime soon.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII is still a PS3 exclusive, but never-the-less I fear it may be time to bring back my custom “Sony is run by idiots” logo.

There is more bad news (good news for Xbox 360) owners. There will be exclusive Resident Evil 5 DLC (downloadable content) for Xbox 360 and Games for Windows. Fallout 3 will also be receiving “substantial” DLC on the Xbox 360 and Windows platforms, though this doesn’t really bother me because Fallout 3 is BANNED in Australia.

Microsoft also revealed there will be a significant overhaul of the Xbox 360 dashboard, with a lot of new features. The only good news for PS3 owners to come from this press conference is that Viva Pinata 2 is an Xbox 360 exclusive.

Back to non-fanboy mode. I think it’s fair that all gamers, no matter their platform of choice get to experience great games. If I didn’t think this, I would be the biggest hypocrite known to man as I’ve long been pushing for games to be available on Linux. But I categorically do not like it one bit, that Microsoft is presumably paying huge amounts of money to secure exclusive rights to DLC.

Sony’s press conference is tomorrow and I have a sneaking suspicion they are shaking in their boots. Boy has Sony dropped the ball.

TAFE is finished!

Last Wednesday, the 25th, I submitted my final piece of TAFE work.

It was a long and boring assignment on Managing Complex Projects, Managing Quality and Development Methodologies.

Over the past two weeks I had three practical exams on Windows Security, Linux Security and Enterprise Wireless Networks. By some miracle I was able to achieve full marks in all three despite going into them feeling less than confident.

If I had to pick one exam that contained the most BS, it would have to the wireless one. Each student was given an incredibly unreliable D-Link wireless bridge. I was one of the two lucky ones to actually get their bridge working on the day and it was seen to be working by two teachers, however when it came time to get my exam marked it had stopped working!

I lost one mark because of this and I was pretty pissed. But then, suddenly, without me touching anything the bridge started working again! Thankfully I got that extra mark, but I cannot believe I was going to penalised for the crappy equipment we were told to use.

Thankfully, I don’t have to put up with that shit anymore though.

Metal Gear Solid

The wait is almost over for MGS4. From mid June it will available to purchase standalone or in a bundle with a 40GB PS3 here in Australia and with a 80GB PS3 in America. Yes, I am still miffed at Sony for dropping PS2 backwards compatibility!

Last week, I purchased a mint condition copy of Metal Gear Solid 1 for PSX. The non-Platinum original version. It cost me $56, but it was well worth it. I played through it again and confirmed that it’s lost none of its magic.

I also finally finished collecting all the Dog Tags in MGS2, including those on Extreme difficulty. Although, I’m ashamed to admit I had to use my Action Replay to give myself infinite rations for some parts. It was just too hard! I purchased MGS2: Sons of Liberty when it was first released back in 2002, but about a year later Konami released MGS2: Substance which contained additional content such as 500 standalone missions. It also has a whole new set of Dog Tags to collect. I already have Substance for the original Xbox, though I will likely end up purchasing it for PS2 as well.

MGS3: Snake Eater was released in Australia in 2005, but I never played it because my PS2 was broken (or so I thought). But now I have decided that I must play it before MGS4, even though chronologically it takes place before the original Metal Gear, I still want to experience the evolution of the gameplay. MGS3 also had a re-release (this time called Subsistence) which included the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake games based on the MSX2 versions.

TAFE permitting, I should be able to finish MGS3 before MGS4 is released and if not, it’s no big deal really. I have plenty of time.

EB Games – Complete Bullshit

According to Kotaku, EB Games, possibly the worst video game store franchise in the history of man kind, is the only store in Australia that will be selling the Limited Edition version of Metal Gear Solid 4… AND THEY’RE ALREADY SOLD OUT.

This is absolute bullshit. Now I’m going to be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars on eBay for a copy. Maybe I could just import it from somewhere and bypass the robbery Australian gamers have always experienced.

AVG Anti-Virus 8.0

Grisoft recently released the free version of their latest Anti-Virus software. AVG has always been my favourite anti-virus suite because it’s light weight, yet still scores well against the expensive solutions.

However, something I used to do when installing the old 7.5 version was to untick Email scanner and Resident Shield. The E-mail scanner was pointless to have installed because I don’t use local email. The Resident Shield, which scans files when they manipulated in anyway, is important for some but for people who are extremely careful it just slows down your system.

In 8.0, the Resident Shield cannot be unticked during installation and while it can be disabled from within AVG there is no way to ignore its status, which means AVG is constantly reporting that there’s a problem.

This is very disappointing. Hopefully they add the option to ignore the status of each component in a future update.



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