OnLive - A new Era?

GDC is currently in full flow and the biggest story for me has been OnLive. The press conference from GDC is very impressive. New titles available over the internet instantly. No downloading, no patching, any platform. Run on an inexpensive micro-console connected to a TV via HDMI or in a browser using a plugin on low specification Mac’s or PC’s. How?

The game isn’t played locally. You connect to a server and the game is played there. What your seeing on your TV or computer screen is streamed video. The concept just sounds so….wrong. Technically it sounds like an impossible proposition. Lag, key to an enjoyable online game, would surely kill the service.

Watching the launch presentation and the lag issue is addressed. Typical video lag is quoted as 500ms. OnLive have developed a system where video lag is 1ms. The service is demo’d and certainly looks quick enough with no lag. There looks to be a little lag during the Crysis demo though. However, remember this is Crysis running on a low end Dell. Admittedly it’s not running at a high resolution or frame rate but none the less it looks extremely playable. The other demo host then joins in a multiplayer game via the micro console. Again a very seamless experience is demonstrated and it certainly all looks impressive. The servers are located 50 miles form where the demo takes place. Not that far away. During the Q&A the developers quoted 1000 miles as being the current maximum distance for the service to remain playable.

One other key difference is how visual the service looks. A great 3d interface. Video streams showing games that your friends are currently playing, something that I’ve wanted for years looks to be finally available. Demo’s that don’t take an hour to download – they start almost immediately. The end to patching. The end of piracy! The end of cheating via patches and add-ons!! Games that you no longer need to buy – renting a game is finally an easy option with no need to download

At this point, taken on face value, this is a game changer. Zero hardware costs to play the latest games on consoles. No more upgrading to the latest 3d hardware on PC’s and Mac’s. I still smell bullshit though. A company can develop this and be in stealth for seven years. Really?

I still have issues with lag and also bandwidth requirements. I really can’t see lag not being a show stopper with this service. The requirements for OnLive are also going to blow many people’s bandwidth cap’s. Playing online with a console or computer at the moment needs just a 1/2Mbps connection. For SD, OnLive requires a 1.5Mbps connection and for HD it needs 5.0Mbps. SD was described as Wii equivalent and HD as 720p, 60fps. A consistent 5Mbps connection would quickly use up VirginMedia’s download limits and hence throttle the connection to make OnLive unplayable and that just an example for one broadband provider. Faster connections are coming but many come with very restrictive download limits with OnLive would need to address.

I also think there will be cost issues. Low cost entry was emphasised but a monthly subscription before games are bought/rented is not everyone’s cup of tea.

The hardware needed to run this must also be massive. They talked about custom chips and virtualisation but to run that many game instances, to decode video that quickly and serve out that much data so quickly. Just doesn’t seem possible as it’s such a leap over what anyone else is doing right now. Surely the video will be compressed and show artefacts. Look at the many HD video that can be downloaded or streamed now as an example. Definitely low par compared to current gaming expectations. What about surround sound which is now standard on console games. Surely a 5Mbps stream couldn’t provide a 720p stream with surround sound audio as well?

It must be bull.

But then look at the companies signed up to the service – EA, THQ, Ubisoft, Take2, Warner Bros, Epic, Eidos, Atari, Codemasters, 2D Boy, Crytek. The games shown weren’t old 2d games either. Crysis, Hawx, GRID, Burnout and many current FPS’s. Then remember the demo’s looked really good.

We won’t have long to find out. A beta launches in America in summer 09 with a launch in winter 09. Disappointing but understandable that it’s America only at the moment. I really want this to work. It could change the games market radically. Based on current knowledge though I can’t see it working. Time will tell and I can’t wait to see what happens.

Edge 200

Edge magazine was first published in 1993. Today the 200th issue popped through the letterbox. For a reason only really known to me I have every issue. I did think about dumping them when i moved house but I didn’t and I’m glad I didn’t. Despite the arrogance and the twatty writing that can sometimes get in the way of a good review, i still enjoy the magazine and get a lot out of it even in this age of t’internet reviews and Metacritic ratings.

To celebrate, Edge are using 200 different covers for their 200th magazine. Quite a novel idea with no way of anyone collecting every cover issue. However they have published all the covers which I’ve grabbed and loaded into this Edge 200 Flickr set. My fav covers and/or games are listed below.

126 - Head Over HeelsHead Over Heels how I loved thee. This was a great game that I played on my beloved Amstrad CPC 464. Got to love that tape drive.

This was when isometric gaming was all the rage but it was the mixture of graphics, puzzles and pixel perfect jumping that made for such a great game. Isometric Batman was also a great game at the time but nothing compared to Head Over Heels.

A remake was made available for the PC, Mac and Linux. It’s available from this website. Playing the remake now and it’s just not the same though. Slow gameplay and very dated graphics show just how far things have moved on.

148 - F-ZeroI played F-Zero to death on the SNES. This might have been my most played game thinking back. I completed it over and over, chasing times that were published in magazines at the time and beating them.

I can still remember the music even now. Where’s my SNES emulator? Even better, the SNES is in the attic. Might get dusted off this weekend.

Thinking back through all my consoles, surely the SNES was the best overall? Great pad, a real step forward in graphics and some classic games – Mario, Zelda etc.

30 - Space marine - Doom seriesDoom – played the demo when I was at uni. In fact I’ve got my mum to thank for buying the demo. She was at the post office, felt sorry for me and picked up a PC mag which had the 8 or 9 level demo on the cover. One install later and I was on the PC for the rest of the night. I guess it brings back memories of my first multi-player games over at Lewis, Dave and Ricky D’s flat. Descent. Can still hear Ricky shouting it even to this day. In fact I’m sure it was Ahhhhhh Descent ya bastard. Those were the days. Dave’s lucky arse has also just popped into my head. The joys.

85 - BombermanBomberman was the multiplayer game of choice on the SNES where we were at uni. Dave and his speedy boot obsession. Me and my golden bomber obsession. This was a game that never got dull.

Even loved the recent Xbox Live version. Also need to clarify something – I didn’t cheat golden bomber. Honest. I was that good.

A few years ago I went a game’s exhibition in Edinburgh where they had the 10 player version that came out on the PC Engine. I still remember Graham noticing when I was playing even though I was four or five players away from him. Simple game but so much depth, strategy and fun.

150 - WipeoutWipeout – first game on the PS1 and one that sticks in the head even today. Ground breaking visuals, great design throughout the game thanks to The Designers Republic and sound like I’d never heard in a game. The gameplay was solid too. Really did take gaming forward and sold many a PS1.

Roll on many a year and Wipeout HD on the PS3 is still pretty ground breaking. Graphics to die for and solid handling via the much maligned PS3 pad. Good choice of tracks, a good online mode and custom soundtracks had me scouring the internet for all the soundtracks o previous Wipeout games. One of my favourite PS3 games so far.

188 - Halo 3Halo 3. Multiplayer perfection. It’s now served over a billion online games in it’s short life and new maps that have just come out have extended the game even further. I don’t know what it is about Halo that appeals so much to me. Even when I used to do split screen multiplayer with Graham and Roy it was great despite shady Roy colouring his character especially so he could screen watch. Happy days. Happy, happy days. So much of my time on Halo 2 and Halo 3 was spent with Robert aka Foe Real. So many class gaming moments. Will he ever return?

So that’s my fav’s. My subscriber cover will have to do although I may take a spin out to the shops later this week just in case a fav cover is lurking on a shelf. Yep, very sad but I don’t care. So is there anything that you like in the Edge covers that I haven’t mentioned? Any great gaming memories triggered by the artwork? Comment away please!

Race Pro

There’s been a real lack of racing games on the 360 recently. There’s always been a healthy amount of racing game from arcade through to sim like but since GRID (which i really didn’t like apart form the graphics) and Forza 2 (so long ago now) there’s been hardly anything. Thank goodness for Race Pro which was released last week.

Now unlike most games that I pick up, first impressions aren’t very good. Graphically this isn’t a looker and while proficient enough it suffers from frame rate issues, stuttering during playback and a fairly standard career mode that does nothing new.

Online options are also more limited than similar games and suffer from some issues. Hosting a game can be problematic at first as when a new player joins the game the hosts game stutters. Even worse, to change car choice you need to drop the game and restart the multiplayer room. You can change the track your racing on while using the same cars but that’s about it. Pretty poor. Scoreboards are also full of glitcher times. Sigh.

However, this is a game from SimBin, renowned for their PC racing game pedigree. Move the settings to professional, turn off all the driving aids and switch to manual gears and you’ll find the best driving sim on the 360. It feels superb and online play has been excellent so far despite the shortcomings already mentioned. I’ve spent a couple of nights now online with the game and it is very rewarding and will definetly be the racing game of choice until Forza 3 eventually appears.

The physics just feel right. Unlike other console racers where there physics, or lack off, are soon exposed everything in Race Pro feels real. You can flip your car and I have done a couple of times now. Most other racers refuse to flip no matter what you do. Also refreshing is the car and track choice. A variety of tracks are making their first appearance on the 360 and Race Pro is all the better for it’s track variety. The cars are also varied, each having their own unique feel and sound. One thing that really does annoy though is that cars need to be unlocked before you can play them online. What a daft decision. By not having at least a car unlocked on each class makes it difficult to join random races online until you’ve played quite a bit of the career mode which is fairly dull and unrewarding. It also makes it difficult for friends to pick up the game later in the year and join in online until they have unlocked some cars. Ill thought out and a lack of understanding what players want from a game, both offline and on.

The fact that it’s graphics are a bit of a let down should not put you off this game. It’s a shame but doesn’t detract from the games main selling point – highly realistic racing. While some issues may be fixed via a patch I don’t hold out much hope as we haven’t really see many games get better and better with patches (online Burnout Paradise perhaps?). I love the game and hope others pick up and enjoy it too but it will be a hard sell for Atari. It would be great if there’s enough sales for a Race Pro 2 with better graphics and presentation and a larger range of online options and tracks. The racing engine deserves it.

New Xbox Experience

On November 19th (just three short days away) all Xbox 360 owners will get a new dashboard delivered to them – the strangely titled New Xbox Experience. I was selected in the latest round of previews so I’ve had the dash since Friday. So what can you expect later this week?

The dash does a quick install followed by a reboot. You then download the new dashboard which took me under two minutes. You then watch a swanky video before your presented with the avatar creation screen. Microsoft are chasing the Wii market so everyone has to create an avatar. The creation options are pretty varied – a lot more than I remember on the Wii but I found it harder to get a character that was a look alike despite the greater options. It’s no surprise that an avatar specific store is also on it’s way which would explain why the clothing options were underwhelming. They had lots of options but you couldn’t change the colour of any of your choices. Cha-ching! The avatars can be used within games but I’d expect to see that in Arcade titles only. With the avatar creation out of the way your dropped into the new dashboard.

Dash

Instead of blades and moving right to left through options you move through a vertical list. The animations are very quick and it’s easy to get around. It’s a lot more visual than the previous dash so it’s good to see the speed is there with all the extra gloss. The first, erm, folder (not sure what the proper name is) is Welcome which introduces the new dashboard – this menu can be disabled – as far as I can see that’s the only one that can be removed or customised in any way. These folders look as if they are based on Coverflow as seen in OS X. The other menu’s are as follows:

My Xbox – For me the hub of the system and will become the most used menu. Access the current game, access other games installed on your hard drive, media libraries and your 360 settings.

Friends – Shows your friend list. This is really well animated and highlights the avatars well. However it is slower to see who is online as you can only see a few friends at any one time. However it display friends parties really well and it looks easy to join parties from here (based on the Microsoft video detailing the party feature as I don’t know anyone else with the new dash).

Party

Inside Xbox – shows you stuff from Microsoft – behind the scenes videos and other stuff like that

Game and Video Marketplace – A really nicely animated menu for the marketplace content but you can also browse via a three screen system which makes finding content in these large folders a lot easier. At the dashboards official launch you can also browse the marketplace content from the xbox.com website and seemingly tell your Xbox to download any content you select.

Browse

Events – For special one off type events and more social gaming

Spotlight – Combines bits from other menu’s and shows you the game in the disc drive, lets you access your gamercard, see achievements – all standard stuff. You also get to see adverts and not just for games – anything could appear like the Subway advert in the above screen.

There’s also a couple of missing menu’s for Europeans. We don’t have Netflix here so don’t get any of those features and also Primetime is missing, rumoured to be delivered next Spring. Primetime is where Microsoft hope to provide more social gaming akin to the Wii with games like 1vs100. Not a big miss for me and something to look forward to next year.

I had reservations before getting the dash but I really like the new system for everything apart from the friends list which feels slower to access the same information as before. However the blades haven’t gone away entirely. Hit the guide button from the dash or in a game and you access a blade based menu that gives you quick access to…well, everything. Friends lists, messages, party setup, media playback, marketplace and system settings. So the best of both worlds.

Guide

This menu is called the Quick Launch Bar and is really snappy to use. However a couple of times I’ve had issues getting back out of the QLB. Pressing B should take you back a page but I’ve had it hang for 5-10 seconds a couple of times. Not sure if that was due to the game running in the background or not but it was a bit annoying.

This update doesn’t just change navigation options – there’s a few new features that should have a big impact on how I game. The first is Parties. You and up to seven other friends can create a party. The party can then move from game to game as a group or just chat privately while each group member does there own thing – play different games, watch movies etc.

Party Options

You can set the party up so that you need to invite friends or just allow friends to join without invites. The party feature is a godsend as the amount of swearing, screaming, shouting and singing on Live can be intolerable. Certain games seem to attract a higher amount – Fifa for example. It will be great to setup a party and then play Fifa as our club without constant interruption. This is another feature I couldn’t test as no one I know has the dash.

The second new feature is game installs. You can now install a game fully to the Xbox hard drive and play from there rather than the disk drive. This allegedly makes the game quicker to run but without a stopwatch I couldn’t tell. The biggest impact is on noise – the disk drive on the 360 is noisy as hell and not having that spin makes the 360 a lot quieter and allegedly less hot too. This is such a big deal for me, so much so that I bought the 120GB hard drive so I can take full advantage of installing. So far it’s been excellent. I’ve installed Fifa, Gear of War 2 and CoD:World At War and all work well. The installs take anything from 5 to 15 mins depending on game size. While installing though you can still access the guide menu which is nice.

I noticed a few other things in the last couple of days. Launch a game and you’ll get a pop-up telling you that friends are also playing the same title. I also turned off auto playing of games when inserted so that I could play the game from the hard drive – even though the game in installed you still need the disk to verify that you own the game. One other issue is with NAT settings. After installing I had some issues getting into Fifa games. Only a couple worked out of 20 or so attempts. On checking my NAT settings, which were previously Open, they had moved to Strict. The advice was to reboot my router which I thought strange but that worked so I’d advise you to reboot your router after upgrading or at the very least check your NAT settings. The check was also a lot faster than on the old dash. Thankfully video and music playback from the Mac still works as does selecting custom soundtracks in game.

So overall a very nice upgrade. The dash looks a lot nicer than the old one and if your put off by it’s looks you’ve still got the old blades available via the guide button. In fact the guide button is a lot more useful than it is today. I would have liked to see some more new features like the ability to take pictures in game rather than each game providing it’s own functionality, take video’s in game and upload to Youtube or a Microsoft site.

What’s surprising is that we are getting this new look and extra features without having to buy a new console. Usually this type of upgrade would only come with new hardware so it’s nice to see Microsoft not resting on it’s laurels and trying to innovate and improve the dashboard further. On improving the dashboard it also widens the lead that it already had on the PS3. Sony really need to take a long hard look at it’s own dashboard system and hopefully learn from the 360’s better features. Here’s hoping that the upgrade goes well for all on Wednesday and we don’t experience any Live issues which would be a real shame.

iPhone 3G - First Impressions

So after Friday’s fiasco yesterday went a lot smoother and I picked up my iPhone without a hitch. Apple called, I went in to the store, was taken by the queue’s and processed within 10 minutes. Sweet but a shame that couldn’t have happened on Friday. So how is the iPhone? Beyond expectations so far.

Front ScreenSetup was straightforward and unlike Friday Apple weren’t activating in store. I popped in the sim, plugged the iPhone into the dock and registered the iPhone via iTunes. O2 then sent three texts with O2 logins, passwords and welcomes. The phone came half charged so you could use it right away. That all took 5 mins. Using the touchscreen for the first time is a joy. The phone feels great in the hand. It’s not too sllppy but it does grease up very quickly. The screen is easily cleaned but the back isn’t. It collects fingerprints and dust/dirt which is hard to remove. Anyone who has a PS3 will know what I mean. I’ll be picking up or ordering a case protector – probably won’t bother with a screen protector though. It looks really durable and if it’s like the last iPhone will be good at resisting scratches. What’s also notable is how loud the speakers are and how clear the reception is. I was impressed and according to Shakeel it’s a step up form the original iPhone. So what did I do first? Hit the Appstore.

I guess I went a little bit crazy and picked up a fair few app’s. I did this via iTunes and they sync’d quickly…but then again they are all pretty small. Since that first splurge I’ve downloaded via the Appstore application on the iPhone. Works really well even over 3G. The nice thing is the Appstore will tell you when updates for your purchases are available. Previous phones have depended on me to update the software which I never did. So, some quick thoughts on the apps.
Continue reading “iPhone 3G – First Impressions”

Killionaire Video Test

Playing Halo on Friday and I managed to get a Killionaire. Woo hoo. So to celebrate I’d though it was time to take a video and test not only the Panasonic TZ5’s video performance but also to try out the different online video hosts to see which works out best. The video is of me laying waste with the gravity hammer in Halo. The video was shot in 720p mode using the TZ5. Some shady rawk music was added to increase authenticity.

Ideally I’d like to upload and show the video in HD. For that I’ll be trying Vimeo and Viddler. I’ll also throw the video onto Flickr, Youtube and .Mac website. First up is Vimeo.


Killionaire from Ian D on Vimeo.

The first realisation is that upload speeds really have to pick up as uploading 120Mb HD films is very time consuming. 120Mb is probably over the top for what this video is but it’s more of a test than anything else. Vimeo has a nice easy to use interface and once the video is uploaded it converts it into flash. The quality is very good (well I thought so) and you can also view it full screen. There is also a link to the original video so you can download it if you really wanted to. Currently there is a limit of 500MB of uploads per week.

Continue reading “Killionaire Video Test”

Another word for miscellaneous?

  • Just had a great week of work. Weather was glorious and I got a lot done around and outside the house. Also organised for the fireplace to be removed and replaced with something nicer and safer. It turns out our chimney is a bit defective and potentially dangerous so that needs a new lining. A horribly messy job awaits but needs must and it means I’ll need to decorate afterwards. Just hope the back gets a bit better as it’s very sore today. Too much straining this week.
  • Loving the Thunderbirds Specsavers advert.
  • GTA IV. Metacritic shows it’s the highest rated game. Ever. While reviews and scores are all pretty subjective it certainly is a must own title. The world simulation is so impressive. You can easily lose yourself in the game and forget about doing any missions. Driving around, phoning people, taxi runs, sight seeing, surfing the net etc. So much to do and it’s so enjoyable doing it. Mission have been pretty good so far although I’m only 15% into the game. Multiplayer is also starting to show some hidden depths. The free race modes are a great laug and very unpredictable. Cops n crooks is also a favourite with a lot of strategy required behind a seemingly simpe concept. This game has months of gameplay. Whenever I load it up I do a couple of missions and a little exploring – a great mix which is keeping the game very fresh.
  • Battlestar series 4 is a return to form so far. Certainly up there with series 1 & 2. Episode 3 is a highlight so far.
  • Summize is a nice way of searching for topics on Twitter. Also let’s you track tweets on topics you are interesed in – iPhone for example.
  • Scottish football – totally mismanaged. I hate the fact we still have the split in the SPL and no winter break. We also need more movement between the leagues. Having only one team drop from the SPL just isn’t enough. In fact, four leagues is too much. Two bigger leagues would be far more interesting and sustainable for Scotland. However the biggest joke has been the lack of support for Rangers in their Eufa Cup quest. Back in 2003 Cetic were given a free week before the final to help them prepare. Not so Rangers who have been forced to play two games against strong opposition the week before their final. Shame.
  • Can’t wait for the final on Wednesday night though. Changed flight so that I can get back to Glasgow from Bristol on Wednesday afternoon. I just hope there are no delays!!! Do not fail me Easyjet. Do not dare!
  • Not that it will be this year (and probably won’t be until end of next) but I’ll replace the desktop Mac and laptop Mac with…one laptop. Keeping data in sync between the two is easy with .Mac but it’s keeping software installed on both that’s a pain and to be honest the only thing I’d miss is the desktop real estate. A 24 inch screen is very nice and is far more productive than a laptop’s screen. One option to consider is a screen for the laptop but that’s way in the future. Resolution independent software and higher res screens may be a reality by the end of 2009.
  • Monotone is a photo theme for WordPress. It’s pretty simple but has nice archives and also colours each page by analysing the photo displayed on it. Very neat. I set up Crackle and Pop on WordPress.com and may use that to publish photo’s. Individual photo’s that is with links to Flickr sets. Time will tell – need to take mor ephoto’s first.
  • Gears of War 2 trailer. Looks very impressive. Roll on November.
  • Codemasters get the F1 licence. So yet again we’ll get an F1 game with great intro’s, great graphics but questionable handling (try the Race Driver demo to see what I mean). Maybe the 2009 rule changes will make for a better game…and a more exciting F1.

GTA IV - It's Here

Some initial random thoughts from my first 30 mins on single player…and first three hours on multiplayer. If you want it summed up in one word – unmissable.

  • Very cinematic intro – don’t skip it!
  • Rich environment, great graphics. Lot’s happening around you that you need to spend time looking at and taking in. So big. So much to see. Massive scale.
  • Cars are varied and handle superbly. Different and takes time to get used to and you need to brake. Loving the wheelspin’s and momentum of vehicles.
  • Not done enough single player to say any more. Same old GTA fare by the looks of it which isn’t a bad thing!
  • Multiplayer takes a bit of getting used to. it probably helps to have done some offline missions first and get used to targeting, cover system, changing weapons. I didn’t and i suffered!!
  • Multiplayer offers the whole of Liberty City if you want it. Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and a few other modes that I didn’t have time to try. Cops and Crooks is a great game mode though. So much fun! So many ways to kill/die. It can feel overwhelming though.
  • Thankfully there’s an option to respawn nearby where you died. Keeps you close to the action – anything else could lead to boredom crossing the map to get to enemy team.
  • Racing modes are fun. Losing car after death though and getting a scooter can be frustrating but superb for your frineds.
  • Rockets on a small map is frantic. Rockets look superb!
  • No mute. Loud Americans! XBox Live should allow you to default voice communications by region/countries. Mute all yanks!
  • Helicopters! A great way to travel.
  • In just one night so many memorable moments. First time I used the sniper to stop a car was superb. Seeing and driving cars with no tyres. Cheesy in the fire engine. Me not being able to kill anyone. Me not being able to drive. Class
  • It’s a sandbox game so don’t expect the honed multi-player of Halo, CoD, Forza etc. it really is up to you how you want to play.
  • Soundtrack ticking boxes so far. Heard Queens One Vision and some Phil Collins tonight.

So. Some initial thoughts mostly all positive. One also closing note. Glad I picked up 360 version over PS3. Some reviews have mentioned better graphics on the PS3 but this comparison between both shows me that any difference is hard to spot. It’s also been found today that the res of the PS3 version is 640p against the 360’s 720p, that the PS3 multiplayer service has been down and had connection issues today and also that the PS3 version is freezing. Solution – delete your game save and also the game install. Nasty. Xbox Live (for me anyway) performed without a hitch tonight. Great to login and see 15 friends all playing the same game. Can’t wait to really get into the game. More thoughts probably next week on how it plays after a few days.

GTA IV OXM Review

Shamelessly stolen from elsewhere but copied below for, well, Roberts benefit mostly (I should really be sending an e-mail at this point but others might find it interesting). GTA IV launches two weeks tomorrow in the UK and the first reviews are starting to surface. Below are links to a scanned copy of this months OXN review.

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Two weeks feels a long time away. I can’t wait to play this online.

Rumble

So only a day after picking up GT5 Prologue I decided that the PS3 pad really had to go…and that meant ordering an import Dual Shock 3 from Hong Kong. A couple of days later and the pad was delivered. It certainly doesn’t address many of the flaws of the PS3 pad but it did do at least two vital things – add weight and provide rumble support.

Dual Shock 3

The rumble feedback makes all the difference and add’s to the realism in GT5 (thoughts on this soon). It also makes gaming on the PS3 feel more familiar. When rumble was first added to the PS1 pad’s it all felt a bit odd at first but it then became default for all consoles and it’s taken as a given. Gaming on the initial PS3 pad just felt…empty. This has now been resolved and it’s also good to get back to a pad with weight which also feels more rebust than the creaky original.

It’s a real shame though that Sony didn’t think to redesign the appalling triggers, fix the dead zones on the sticks and tweak the design so that they are less cramp inducing. Many can debate on which console is the best. Little will argue that the 360 pad is one of the best ever which smacks the PS3 pad silly.