Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Prestige, Blu-ray and PS3 BC

Film watched:
The Prestige

Guessed the twists, but still an engrossing well told story.

Watched my first film on Blu-ray the other night, this being Silent Hill, one of the better game to film adaptations out there. As my plasma can only handle this at a maximum resolution of 1080i via VGA, this was not watched in the full 1080p glory, but was still a good indication all the same.

The verdict? Very good. Noticeably sharper and certainly a jump from DVD, but still not a massive jump. Then again my Philips plasma features Pixel Plus, which enhances normal SD viewing anyway, up scaling this to a higher resolution, so the gap between SD and HD is probably less noticeable. It is still obviously of a higher quality than DVD, but not enough to warrant buying a separate Blu-ray player had I not purchased a PS3.

As such, I will likely buy the occasional Blu-ray disk, but will not be replacing my DVD collection any time soon.

Now I was somewhat harsh about the PS3 backward compatibility in a previous post and whilst this is still warranted, Sony after all have failed to meet their original promise of near 100% compatibility (at least in Europe), there are a few good point about the backwards compatibility which I felt I should mention.

1) All games are displayed at 576p if you have a HD set. This obviously gives a much sharper picture than 576i, which can be good for some games, but bad for games where the graphics are not up to scratch. 480p or 480i is not supported by the European PS3 (strangely), so if you try to play games at this resolution the aspect ratio of the screen is all wrong.

2) PS1 games look surprisingly good at 576p via hdmi.

3) Some games which should not be compatible for the PS1, do in fact work. I have tried my Final Fantasy games and was surprised to find out that they all work.

4) The compatibility of the games is ranked as: no issues, minor issues and noticeable issues. I have now played games with both minor issues and noticeable issues. The most I’ve notices so far are very occasional frame jumps and slightly odd aspect ratios, and some cut scene FMV problems. Nothing really that bad (unless a game is FMV dependant).

So overall, not bad… but could do better. Certainly it is a good thing for the small percentage of people who don’t already own a PS2 or PS1.

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