Three Speech’s event over at PlayStation’s 3Rooms was over a week ago now, but we’re still been receiving lots of questions asking about the night. So here’s a definitive round up from one of Three Speech’s regular contributors, Steve Boxer. And we’ll be back with news of further Three Speech events in the New year…
Three Speech took over Sony’s 3Rooms PS3 demonstration space in London’s trendy Shoreditch on 12 December, and attendees – many of whom had travelled considerable distances – were rewarded with perhaps the most comprehensive demo yet of the PS3’s myriad abilities.
Whether or not the PlayStation 3’s multimedia skills – which are way ahead of other consoles – will actually convince punters to buy the console remains to be seen, but the PS3 can certainly do some impressive stuff which we never suspected it would be capable of.
SCEUK PR guy Jonathan Fargher took the controls, working his way through the Cross-Media Bar, roughly from right to left. One slightly surprising development was instantly obvious – the PS3 was hooked up to an iPod via a USB cable, and Fargher was able to show how tracks could be easily played on or ripped to the PS3.
Next up was the photo library functionality, which included a neat mini-program that arranged photos into a scrapbook-style photo album – visual effects included making digital photos look like printed ones, and the software extracted date and time info automatically from the photos. A more conventional slideshow format had a neat twist – its software worked out the focus of each photo and zoomed slowly in on it.
The PS3’s web browser – with its ability to open multiple pages and let you flip instantly between them – looked impressive. We were briefly shown how to log onto the PlayStation Network using one username covering all games (below this piece, you will find a weblink that lets you register a PSN account) and add friends to your list. It was confirmed that individual games which generate a large amount of downloadable content will have their own dedicated areas of the PS3 Online Store. Later, Phil Harrison confirmed that Gran Turismo HD will be available as a free download, with its downloadable content also on offer without charge.
But perhaps the most impressive part of the demo was the interaction between the PSP and the PS3. Hook up a PSP via a USB cable or WiFi, and you will be able to use it to access all the content on your PS3. And thereby download any music tracks, photos, videos and so on to the PSP. Sony confirmed that, at some point in the future, it will be possible to access the PS3 from your PSP remotely (that is, beyond WiFi range), so if, say, you’re overseas, you’ll still be able to download all the multimedia content on your home PS3 to your PSP. There’s no doubt that the PS3 is the most multimedia-savvy console yet – but will that convince people to buy it?
By Steve Boxer