Posts Tagged ‘ PS3

Back among the Living

This has not been the best month so far. Just as MK was starting to feel better, I felt a familiar rawness at the back of my throat and a creeping lightheadedness. After a week of being unaffected by whatever MK had caught, it mugged me one afternoon while I was doing a little housework.

These two bouts of sickness could not have been better timed to screw up my life. First it reduced how much time I could spend researching and writing a feature for The Escapist because I was busy taking care of MK and household chores, and then it forced me to actually write the damn thing with a strobing pain between my eyes. This meant requesting another deadline extension from an editor I’ve never really worked with before. Always nice to get a relationship off on the right foot like that.

In other news, I bought a PS3 from Amazon, asked my parents to send me the 5.1 surround system I’d loaned them, and tried to buy a TV. So I now know exactly what the home entertainment setup will be, and how it will be arranged for maximum viewing pleasure… I just don’t have any part of it yet.

We found a really good deal on a used HDTV here in town, but when MK went to check it out the seller basically reneged and admitted that she was waiting for a better offer. She was also a catty bitch. There were thinly veiled snide remarks at the fact that MK and are not married, an implication that she’s doing us a huge favor by selling us this TV if she does sell it to us (a pointed look at MK’s frayed housework clothes), and a reminder that this woman cannot do anything until her “chaaaasband” gives his say so. It was great.

Since this TV could save us a couple hundred, however, we’ll wait for this progressive couple to get back to us. Besides, it’s not like we have anything to hook the television up to right now, since PS3′s are apparently tough to come by right now. Best Buy has no idea when they’re getting the next shipment, and could not reserve me a unit. So I just bit the bullet and went with Amazon. Not sure when I’ll get the console.

However, when I do get all the pieces together, I’ll have the best entertainment center I’ve ever owned. And I will finally be able to watch some of my favorite movies on a real screen, with a great surround setup, and the option of high-def. I can predict a lot of Michael Mann blu-rays in my near future (Mohicans, if it ever comes out on BR, Heat, and Collateral). But the inaugural movie is likely to be Ratatouille Blu-Ray or Die Hard.

The broader question for me is how to get the most out of my PS3. I worry that if I just end up using it as a BR player, a place to stream Netflix, and an occasional gaming platform, I’ll be under-utilizing it. I also have to admit that I have misgivings about the the BR format. I keep hearing that there are a lot of half-assed transfers , and that you cannot trust a BR disc to deliver BR quality. That would drive me crazy. I notice stuff like that.

In the meantime, before all the components are delivered, I will continue watching TV on my little laptop and it’s mighty 15 fps when streaming Hulu. But when I dream, I dream of home theaters.

A Time of Plague

I’ve been trying to get some work done around here, but I’ve been kind of distracted by the fact that MK has been stricken with some sort of “stagnation o’ th’ lungs”, as the butcher of All Creatures might say. I’m not exactly certain what’s wrong with her (medical science is still working on that) but she’s been kind of zonked out for the past four days.

That’s not ideal in a small apartment, where the living room shares space with the office. Besides which, I have a hard time motivating myself to do much cooking or cleaning when I’m the only one with an appetite or an interest in the apartment’s cleanliness. So I’ve mostly sat with MK here in the shadows, trying to get some research and writing done.

As it has in the past, Good Old Games has come to MK’s rescue. She bought an old childhood favorite, Creatures, and has been happily curled around her laptop for most of the last 72 hours. She’s less miserable when she’s playing it. It seems to be such a remarkable game that I have a hard time believing it exists: it’s a late 90′s genetic sandbox game, where you monitor a population of Gremlin-like creatures and try to make them robust and self-sustaining while addressing potential problems like disease or genetic defects. There’s no saves beyond a self-overwriting autosave. You screw up genetic line or an entire species, you can’t go back and undo it. You just have to fix it.

It’s something I’m going to have to take a look at, because it seems to be very similar to the game that people once believed Spore would be. MK spent several hours trying to perfect a cross of the game’s three species that would combine the best of each, but she eventually had to admit defeat as undesirable traits kept manifesting and the mature crosses showed no inclination to procreate.

Unfortunately, we also lost an old nemesis this week: MK’s HP laptop. In the three years we’ve owned it, I would estimate that it has been broken or RTMed for at least one year. Now, eight months after yet another round of repairs and six months out of warranty, it’s videocard is dead. We will probably not be repairing it, since I have every expectation that another part would fail within a few months.

Since we primarily used MK’s laptop for media,  it seems like it is time to get a TV. And if we’re getting a TV, we might as well get a console to play DVDs and stream media. So that’s exciting. Now I just need to pick one: PS3 or 360?