Stand back – I’m an Xbox User – Day 2

13 10 2008

14/10/08 – 24 hours in and so far, i’m actually really impressed.  But the shocking thing is that I’m still yet to play a game!

Lets rewind 20 hours to when I was awaiting the most recent firmware update.  Pretty much 30 minutes on the dot and I was back online in the goodness that is 2.4. something.  

It would appear that my original gripe about the on screen keyboard has been quashed.  As you can see, one very sexy QWERTY keyboard which is a great improvement, not to mention the response time is a dam sight faster than with the Xbox 360.  

First point of call is to get my account up and running and hope that MantisMat is still available.  I must say that I wasn’t all too sure I was doing the right thing, from what I can tell you have Users along side your Playstation ID.

Going with my gut instinct I rush straight to the Playstation Network in order to set up my account.  The process did seem a little long winded, but at each point it felt a lot more secure than setting up an Xbox 360 Gamertag.

Completing the 12 step process was a pinch, certainly helped by the attached keyboard, which is certainly worth a mention.  I was able to exclusively use the keyboard with the curser keys to great effect, to quote Apple “It just works”

Excellent, MantisMat is available and I’m online!

Now to delve into the X Media Bar (must not say Dashboard) and well…  Its quite underwhelming wouldn’t you say.  True it does seem a very lonely place to be, but after flicking through the categories I soon realised I was able to access ANY part of the system in lighting speed.  Being that the Xbox Dashboard has been my hove for over 2 years now, it did take me a while to adjust.  The hardest part to come to terms with is that each message you send or receive is treated more like an email than a simple message.  This was becoming quite a pain to deal with, considering that invites to either games or chat rooms which are no longer active will still show as a new message until read and deleted. 

Well enough of the messaging system, lets see this baby browsing

Holy crap, would you look at that! Big screen internet!

Although I can’t see me checking my emails or browsing for porn on here, it is a selling point for sure and seems to work quite well (although I did keep trying to control it like the terminals at TW@ in GTA4).

Thinking it was about time I played a game, I headed back to the Playstation store.  The store itself like everything else seems lightning fast to navigate although it did have trouble finding what I wanted, thankfully Wipeout HD was a featured so only a click away.

Now for the best part about the Platstation Store.  We’re dealing in pounds and pence here people, no longer will we be forced to purchase credit in advance.  Pre paid accounts are one thing, but the issue I had with the Xbox was its use of points.  After you’ve justified your initial purchase of points, each purchase made is far too easy a decision, because hey, they are only points.  With each purchase on the Playstation Store, your confirming another transaction on your card.  

My night ended not playing Wipeout, as it turns out that when your within a Chat Room, it halts your download (without the handy indication I’m used to getting on the Xbox).  But lets not leave it there, because the chat system is actually really nice.  I was in a room with Phizzy and Rheyr with headsets and cameras (my Xbox 360 camera worked fine) and it was nice to be able to have a few users chatting at once.  Not to mention the ability for everyone to be able to show images and use the simple yet incredibly funny voice manipulation tool.

Lets see what tomorrow brings…. lets hope a game or two.

 

13/10/08 – As listeners to the podcast and members of the community by now know.  I’ve got my grubby hands on a PS3! Thinking it best to get it set up quickly in order to attempt to register the MantisMat username… I thought i’d give it a go.

 

PS3

PS3

As a daily Xbox 360 user, I was interested in what the system is like to set up and use.

So away we go…

First point of call – Getting it on my network.

So from boot up, I’m straight into the menu, which at first glance, isn’t all that intuitive.  After a bit of digging I found how to search for my wireless network.  Sure enough it was found easy, all I had to do was enter my WEP key – so here is the first direct comparison to the Xbox, how well does the on screen keyboard work.

I think i’ll say, its good to use to enter random mixtures of letters and numbers, but I would not fancy writing anything in English.

Allow me to show you what I was presented with – 

 

As you can see, its not your typical on screen keyboard, which has either a QWERTY or Alphabetical layout.  Sony have opted to split the numerics and alphanumerics between a grid of buttons, rather like a phone handset.

So how does it operate?

The user rolls to the cell where the desired character resides, then using the X button to cycle between what is available within that cell.  All works in theory, however once you’ve finished the cycle, the selected character is inserted automatically into the field.  Nice and quick if your accurate, but quite a pain if your a clumsy sod like me.

All in all it was a very nice wizard to set up the network, I think the actual steps to get the system online across my network was a little better that on the Xbox.  Interestingly enough, once the system got online it was aware of the most recent firmware update and “suggested” I go off and download it.  Interesting choice to allow users to decide if they want to update as opposed to forcing it down your throat like Microsoft.  

Well the download has begun as has my stop watch – i’ll be back!


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