The Playstation 3

Envy me, ladies and gentlemen, for I have gotten to spend several hours over the past few days futzing with the most enviable piece of consumer electronics of the season. For those of you reading this sometime after January 1, 2007, or for those of you who have been living in a hole for the last 3 months, I refer to the hyped and extraordinarily rare Sony Playstation 3. So, does it live up to the hype? Read on…

The console itself
As others have noticed before me, the Playstation 3 is really, really quiet, which is nice. It’s also pretty huge, but attractively enough designed to look good in a living room. The console has these weird touch-to-push buttons on it which are really slick but irk me from a usability perspective. I’d like to know when I have pushed a button, or else I’m just going to push harder. The eject button generally gives an indication (by ejecting the disc), but the power button seemed kinda fiddly, and in general, I refer buttons which click or depress when you push them. Call me old-fashioned. On the subject of ejecting discs, the PS3 does something I’ve never seen a console do: on ejecting a disc, it does not terminate the game and go back to the main system menu, even though ejecting a disc is almost always preparatory to loading up a new game. The game in progress continues, and you need to explicitly tell the PS3 to drop back to the system menu so you can load a new game. The menu’s a little overcomplicated, although I don’t have the complaint others have that the text is too small.

The controller works, as far as I can tell, mostly like a PS2 controller. The SIXAXIS motion-sensing whatever-it-is is hardly even used, and never in a non-gimmicky way. Rumor has it that the motion-sensing was a last-minute addition, and the way it’s used in these games, it’s believable.

But a console is no more than what you put on it. So how ’bout them games? My response: Eh. We had a stack of about 15 games, but sports don’t interest me, so I stuck to first person shooters and combat-action RPGs.
Call of Duty 3, Resistance: Fall of Man, Dark Kingdom, Marvel Alliance, Genji: Dyays of the Blade, Gundam Crossfire

La régle du jeu

[Screenshot]I’ve fallen insanlely behind, and so I’ve forgotten most of what I had to say about this. Too bad. It’s a comedy of manners, which slips at times into outright farce, and of course becomes a tragedy at the end. The camerawork is, while fairly sedate by modern standards, lively and reinforces the films farcical aspects, especially during the chase scene. The characters were well-played but had somewhat disappointing plot-arcs: Saint-Aubin seemed to have some sort of plot that only got hinted at, and Octave I was disappointed to see demoted from his role as independent stage-manager to the interclass drama to a participant theirein. It’s nonetheless a very good film, although to my personal tastes La Grande Illusion was a bit more interesting.

See also: IMDB, Wikipedia.