Reviews for Gamers by Gamers…

The PlayStation Powerhouse – PS3 Review

Filed under: Playstation 3 Consoles — Tags: , , , , , , , — Adon Garuda @ 18:41 January 3, 2010



Pros

Integrated Blu-ray Player, Multimedia Power, Rechargeable Joypads, Free Online Gaming, Sleek Design

Cons

High Price Tag, Online lag is a problem; Choice of games does not match Xbox 360’s

Summary

For an ultimate experience in gaming and a complete media centre, you cannot go wrong with this system. Designed to sleek, sophisticated and powerful, it certainly lives up to expectations and then sum…

Sony Playstation 3

Sony Playstation 3

Introduction

The PlayStation 3 is the current next generation console from Sony and certainly looks like one… It boasts the most power from all the currently available machines proving that Sony are keeping one eye on the future.

Features and Design

The PS3 is powered by the “Cell Processor”, a chip which is said to be 35 times more powerful than the previous one. The graphics are powered by Nvidia, the RSX, the Reality Synthesizer Chip, which is clocked at 550MHZ and contains over 300 million transistors. A lot of comparisons will be made with the Xbox 360. From a graphical standpoint, our tests concluded that the PS3 displayed renderings with more sharpness. The console supports full high definition and has an integrated Blu-Ray player. This is what separates it from the Xbox 360.

Looking to the future seems to be Sony’s reason in choosing Blu-ray over other formats. Blu-ray games can have 50G worth of game information, compared to the regular Xbox 360 game discs. Potentially, Sony is better positioned for future releases as games are getting bigger every year. It may be the case that Microsoft will have to release the 720 well before the Sony Playstation 4 comes out.

It also boasts built-in wireless connector or you can use the ethernet cable option allowing you to easily connect to the internet. Up to 7 players can play at any one time and PSP owners can connect their gadget to a Wi-Fi port as either a controller or an additional screen. You can also manipulate media that is on the PS3 through the PSP giving endless options.

The console is available with different options such as colour and hard drive size. An interesting feature that has been removed from the new slim line version is the ability to turn your PS3 into a Linux computer. This allows emulators to work on the system meaning a back catalogue of games up until the PlayStation 1 can be played.

Deciding whether to purchase this console or an Xbox 360, the following two factors need to be considered:

  • Do you need/want Blu-Ray?
  • Which consoles’ exclusive list of games do you prefer?

Technical Specifications

CPU:

Cell Processor

  • PowerPC-base Core @3.2GHz
  • 1 VMX vector unit per core
  • 512KB L2 cache
  • 7 x SPE @3.2GHz
  • 7 x 128b 128 SIMD GPRs
  • 7 x 256KB SRAM for SPE
  • * 1 of 8 SPEs reserved for redundancy total floating point performance: 218 GFLOPS

GPU:

RSX @550MHz

  • 1.8 TFLOPS floating point performance
  • Full HD (up to 1080p) x 2 channels
  • Multi-way programmable parallel floating point shader pipelines

Sound:

Dolby 5.1ch, DTS, LPCM, etc. (Cell-base processing)

Memory:

  • 256MB XDR Main RAM @3.2GHz
  • 256MB GDDR3 VRAM @700MHz

System Bandwidth:

  • Main RAM: 25.6GB/s
  • VRAM: 22.4GB/s
  • RSX: 20GB/s (write) + 15GB/s (read)
  • SB: 2.5GB/s (write) + 2.5GB/s (read)

System Floating Point Performance:

2 TFLOPS

Storage:

  • HDD
  • Detachable 2.5” HDD slot x 1

I/O:

  • USB: Front x 4, Rear x 2 (USB2.0)
  • Memory Stick: standard/Duo, PRO x 1
  • SD: standard/mini x 1
  • CompactFlash: (Type I, II) x 1

Communication:

Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) x3 (input x 1 + output x 2)

Wi-Fi:

IEEE 802.11 b/g

Bluetooth:

Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)

Controller:

  • Bluetooth (up to 7)
  • USB2.0 (wired)
  • Wi-Fi (PSP®)
  • Network (over IP)

AV Output:

  • Screen size: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
  • HDMI: HDMI out x 2
  • Analog: AV MULTI OUT x 1
  • Digital audio: DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL) x 1

CD Disc media (read only):

  • PlayStation CD-ROM
  • PlayStation 2 CD-ROM
  • CD-DA (ROM), CD-R, CD-RW
  • SACD Hybrid (CD layer), SACD HD
  • DualDisc (audio side), DualDisc (DVD side)

DVD Disc media (read only):

  • PlayStation 2 DVD-ROM
  • PLAYSTATION 3 DVD-ROM
  • DVD-Video: DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW

Blu-ray Disc media (read only):

  • PLAYSTATION 3 BD-ROM
  • BD-Video: BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE

Ratings

Graphics 9/10
Audio 10/10
Variety of Games 9/10
Accessories 10/10
Price 8/10

Buy The Sony Playstation 3 From Amazon.com

Buy The Sony PlayStation 3 From Amazon.co.uk

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Rating: 10.0/10 (4 votes cast)
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Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)

Nintendo DS Review – The Lowdown on this great Bundle

Filed under: Nintendo DS Consoles — Tags: , , , , — Mike Cieply @ 00:08 December 17, 2009

Pros

Affordable; Large library of games; Touch screen is easy and fun to use; Built-in microphone; Online capabilities; Many innovative games; Two LCD display panels , GBA backwards compatibility; Long battery life; Free Wi-Fi service; Great stereo sound quality; Many online multiplayer features, such as Download Play and Pictochat; Many accessories like the headset and rumble pak

Cons

Poorer graphics than the Sony PSP; Does not have nearly as many features as PSP; Many “shovelware” games; Uses primitive cartridges as opposed to discs; No analog stick; Web browser will cost you; Unable to connect to GameCube with the GBA games that have this ability; No accessible internal storage; Button layout can occasionally feel awkward

Summary

This affordable, easy-to-use handheld system will certainly please gamers of all types with its huge selection of games spanning many genres…

Nintendo DS

Nintendo DS

Introduction

Nintendo’s latest handheld console has driven gamers and non-gamers alike mad, with its unique gameplay and features. The device boasts current-generation graphics with dual screens; the bottom being a touch screen. Nintendo has been working on the system for years, and everyone can appreciate the value of their labour.

Features and Design

Of the two current handhelds, Nintendo’s is definitely not the most powerful. Its graphics and audio will, to some, pale in comparison to Sony’s PSP. Although the device may be technically inferior, the DS offers a unique way to play games, and has many of its own features absent from the PSP that certainly entice many to purchase it.

Perhaps the main reason one would acquire a DS would be the touch screen. The bottom display panel allows the player to interact with the game themselves, which adds a great deal of fun and creativity to most of the system’s library. Although many games do not use this concept to its full potential (or exploit it too much), the touch screen is an extremely innovative idea that helped the DS sell over one hundred million units. Additionally, for those of you who prefer classic gameplay, many games allow the use of the directional-pad instead.

Another strong selling point is the Game Boy Advance slot, allowing gamers to play titles from Nintendo’s previous handheld. These games can be played on either screen, complete with backlight. This feature adds a strong sense of nostalgia to the console, and all gamers will benefit from this.

The system’s microphone is another interesting feature. Some games (such as WarioWare: Touched!, or Star Fox Command) implement this directly into the gameplay, while others (such as Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, or Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum), use it as a type of communication when playing online. This inclusion offers an online experience similar to that of home consoles. Also, it should be noted that the first two models of the PSP did not include any microphone at all.

As aforementioned above, the platform has compatibility with Wi-Fi, which opens up many doors in the multiplayer aspect. Using Wi-Fi to connect to Nintendo Wi-Fi connection, gamers who own a DS can connect with friends and strangers alike in many different ways. First and foremost is multiplayer in a game. In some games, players can compete against others online. The DS connects to other DS consoles across the world, so one can virtually play with anybody, anywhere. You can also save friend codes, which allows you to quickly connect with people you personally are familiar with. Another interesting feature is “Download Play,” which allows two DS systems to play the same game together, even if only one person actually owns the game. For example, someone who does not own Mario Kart DS can still race against a friend of theirs, if that friend owns the game. This feature is enormously helpful and great addition to competitive gaming. Pictochat, another feature, allows up to sixteen people to enter a chat room and communicate by either typing, or drawing images on the touch screen. There are four chat rooms total. The only drawback is that players must be within sixty feet of each to access the same chat room. Finally, Nintendo offers a web browser for the system. The Opera-based internet browser is inserted into the Game Boy Advance cartridge slot, and allows one to access the internet, which is certainly a welcomed addition.

Besides the main features mentioned above, the DS menu includes a customizable clock and calendar. The system, additionally, allows owners to create profiles, which can customize settings to someone’s own personal taste. The DS also has multiple backlight settings and an alarm clock.

In short, the Nintendo DS is a tremendously innovative and ground-breaking platform, with a massive selection of software that is constantly growing. When you get right down to it, Nintendo has achieved their goal. They have created a console that redefines the way people play games and, ultimately, is a load of fun. The Nintendo DS is a must-have for all gamers, whether they have been gaming for decades or are just thinking about starting. The DS will live down in history as one of the greatest consoles, let alone handhelds, ever developed.

Technical Specifications

Size (closed):

5.85″ wide / 3.33″ long / 1.13″ tall

Weight:

280 grams

Upper Screen:

Backlit, 3-inch, semitransparent reflective TFT color LCD with 256×192 pixel resolution and .24 mm dot pitch

Touch Screen:

Backlit, 3-inch, semitransparent reflective TFT color LCD with 256×192 pixel resolution and .24 mm dot pitch with transparent analog touch screen

Brightness:

Two settings

Color:

Capable of displaying 260,000 colors

Memory:

RAM – 4 MB; VRAM – 656 KB

Wireless Communication:

IEEE 802.11 and Nintendo’s proprietary format; wireless range is 30 to 100 feet; multiple players can play multiplayer games using just one DS game card

Controls:

Touch screen, embedded microphone for voice recognition, A/B/X/Y face buttons, plus control pad, L/R shoulder buttons, Start and Select buttons

Input/Output:

Ports for both Nintendo DS game cards and Game Boy Advance Game Paks, terminals for stereo headphones and microphone

Other Features:

Embedded Pictochat software that allows up to 16 users to chat at once; embedded real-time clock; date, time and alarm; touch-screen calibration

CPUs:

Main CPU – ARM 9, 67 MHz; Secondary CPU – ARM 7, 33 MHz

Sound:

Stereo speakers providing virtual surround sound, depending on the software

Battery:

Lithium ion battery delivering six to ten hours of play on a four-hour charge, depending on use; power-saving sleep mode; AC adapter

Languages:

English, Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Italian

Color:

Silver and Black

Ratings

Graphics 8/10
Audio 8/10
Variety of Games 9/10
Accessories 10/10
Price 10/10

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Buy the Nintendo DS from Amazon.co.uk

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Rating: 10.0/10 (6 votes cast)
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Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)

Nintendo Wii makes a great home package for everyone

Filed under: Nintendo Wii Consoles — Tags: , , , — Adon Garuda @ 03:56 December 8, 2009

Pros

Innovative; Motion-sensing abilities; Large Game Library; Easy-To-Use; Virtual Console adds Nostalgic Feel, Ultra-Affordable, Built-in Wi-Fi

Cons

PS3/Xbox 360 are more powerful; Graphics capabilities means lacking in high-end A/V options; AA batteries to charge remotes; sensor bar required, cannot play CD/DVD’s

Summary

Despite its Cons, its innovative controllers and fun game-play make this console simply irresistible.Regardless of age, this little toy can liven up any party…!

nintendo_wii_bundle

If you are interested in this console, you can get it cheap at Amazon through this link. There are many great bundles available, you are sure to find a package that meets your  needs.

Introduction

The Nintendo Will is one of the most popular consoles in the world today, with over 56 million units sold. It was released in 2006, but it was conceived as early as 2001, when the Nintendo GameCube was seeing its first release. Its most unique feature are the innovative motion-sensitive controllers that give players the control to directly interact with their favourite games.

If you are the type of person who requires HD capabilities, Blu-Ray/DVD Support and superior surround sound, stop reading now. If you want this, buy a PlayStation 3. However, should you be games connoisseur, a person who grew up with Mario and Zelda, then the Wii should be on your Buy-It-Now-List.

Features and Design

Although being part of the next generation bracket, its Processor and GPU will not go toe-to-toe with the PS3 or Xbox 360. It is roughly twice as powerful as the GameCube, but it does not woo audiences for its capabilities. Due to its restraints, it is not the type of machine to show off your new HDTV.

On the other side of the coin, the Nintendo Wii’s remarkable combination of unique motion-sensitive controllers and their emphasis on fun gameplay make this console irresistable. It is the cheapest of the three next generation consoles so that allows it the opportunity to become someone’s second console, the non-serious one.

The console is very small and light. It measures 1.75 inches height by 6.25 inches width by 8.5 inches breadth and comes in white. When running, it can be placed horizontally or vertically and comes with a stand to add stability if the latter is chosen. The console uses Wii discs and can play older GameCube discs.

The system comes with 512MB of internal memory which can be used to stored saved games, photos, downloaded Virtual Console Titles and other information. More memory can be added to the system using SD Cards. They are cheap and easily available.

The Wii’s navigation is done through a series of pages called Wii Channels that take advantage of the WiiConnect24’s always-on design. The Mii Channel lets users create avatars, Miis, which are used in certain games.

The Wii’s Virtual Console offers the bulk of the system’s online content. It is the opposite to the Playstation Network and Xbox Live in that classic video games from generations past are played. It now supports NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, and Neo-Geo titles. For this feature alone, the system is worth every penny.

The system’s unique wireless controller is what really sets it apart from other competitors and all the consoles that have been previously made. The Wiimote, has motion sensors that enable the user to input directly using a particular motion, for example your tennis or golf swing.. It can also play sound sound and also includes an in-built rumble pack, giving games a more realistic feel.  It can also be connected to an analog stick, making the “Nunchuck controller”.

This truly is a console that everyone can enjoy. It has the capabilities of livening-up any party and can bring you one step closer to childhood if you decide to walk down memory lane…As of December 2009, there are hundreds of games in many different genres. If you haven’t decided to have a Wii, now is a great time…!

Technical Specifications:

ATI Hollywood

  • 90nm Process
  • 243 MHz
  • Napa: Graphics Processor with 3MB Embedded Memory
  • Vegas: Audio DSP and 24MB 1T-SRAM
  • Starlet: ARM9 Processor (I/O, Communication, Security)

IBM Broadway CPU

  • 90nm Process
  • PowerPC
  • 729 MHz
  • 32-bit Integer
  • 64-bit Floating-Point (or 2 x 32-bit SIMD)
  • 64KB L1 Cache (32KB Instruction + 32KB Data)
  • 256KB L2 Cache
  • 2.9 GFLOPS

CPU External Bus

  • 64 Bits Wide
  • 243 MHz
  • 1.9 Gigabytes per Second Bandwidth

Memory

  • 24 Megabytes MoSys 1T-SRAM
  • 64 Megabytes GDDR3 DRAM

Storage

  • 12cm Wii Optical Disc (DVD Based)
  • 512MB Internal NAND Flash Memory
  • SD Memory Cards

Ratings

Graphics 8/10
Audio 8/10
Variety of Games 9/10
Accessories 10/10
Price 10/10

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Buy The Nintendo Wii From Amazon.co.uk

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Rating: 7.3/10 (8 votes cast)
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Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)