Having stayed up almost the entire night to play around with my new PS3, I am ready to note down some initial impressions on the device.
Although my LG television claims to be able to do full-HD at 1080p, I have found that it is not quite true. It comes with three HDMI ports but only HDMI1 can do 1080p, and quite badly at that. When I plugged the PS3 into HDMI1, it worked 90% of the time but there were glitches in the graphics every few seconds. The television reports itself as capable of 1080p and the PS3 sets itself to that. I had to manually configure the PS3 to run at 1080i and now it works on all three HDMI ports. I’m not sure if this is a problem with the television or if this is a problem with the HDMI cable but since it is working now, I will not bother too much with it for now.
The PS3 that I bought came with version 2.85 firmware. As a result, I am unable to use many of the online community applications, which require an upgrade to version 3.01 firmware. I have already downloaded the latest firmware update but checking the Internet, it seems that there are bugs with the latest firmware. So, I think that I will hold-off on upgrading the firmware to version 3.01 for a while, at least until I have investigated this issue further or if I run into any stability problems with the console.
As for the PS3, I did not buy any games yet. So, I have primarily been using it to stream videos onto the television as a HTPC device. I would have to say that the built-in up-scaler for the PS3 works very nicely. Most of the videos that I have been streaming, are standard-definition videos that need to be up-scaled onto high-definition. In fact, from a distance, it looks very nice and from up close, the graininess looks somewhat akin to BD movies. The colours look bright too and needless to say, the frame-rates are high enough to make the videos look smooth. As for full-HD videos, they are extremely crisp and play smoothly, unlike on a PC.
However, my PS3 comes with a Region 3 DVD coding and hence, I am unable to play most of my DVD collection (which are mainly region 1 or 2). That is a minor issue as I fully intend to transcode my entire DVD collection onto a digital format, something that can be streamed onto the PS3. For the moment, I have most of it figured out except for how to get subtitles to work. There are no problems with English movies but for some of my Japanese/Korean DVDs, I would need to find a way to insert sub-titles into the media.
A final note about the games – they are a bloody rip-off in Malaysia. I went shopping for some games today and found that in all cases, the prices of the games in Malaysia were 200% of their equivalent prices online. For the price of a single game in Malaysia, it is possible to get two of the same game online. This applies to all the major games including Fallout 3, Grand Theft Auto 4 and what nots. Thankfully, there is no region protection for PS3 games and I would be able to purchase the games online and have them delivered to Malaysia. I will try to do that soon.