Our PS3 play-a-thon

Written by Wil Harris

May 11, 2006 | 01:20

Tags: #formula-1 #gran-turismo #playtest #ps3 #virtua-tennis

Companies: #e3 #sony

You can read out opinion of the Nintendo Wii here, but we also had a chance to go hands on with the PlayStation 3 out on the show floor. Unlike Nintendo, Sony put out around 50 consoles on its booth with a number of different titles, allowing anyone to just rock up and play.

We were treated to a glance of the back of the hardware for the first time. We also got to go hands on with the new controller which, frankly, feels just like the old one. The analogue sticks are a bit more sensitive, and the triggers are a bit bigger, but it otherwise feels exactly the same. Whether that's a good thing will depend really on how much you like the current PS2 controller.

So how did the games line up?

Gran Turismo: Very little generally changes between the GT iterations when it comes to the actual nitty gritty of the racing gameplay, and the same is true here. The PS3 offers nothing by way of innovation, although we don't doubt that there are new game modes and tracks in there somewhere. The graphics are undoubtedly pretty nice - although, in our opinion, no better than Project Gotham 3 on the Xbox 360. If you are a massive GT fan, then you'll love this, but it's nothing new.

Virtua Tennis 3: Awesome. We're big fans of Sega's arcade racquet-em-up, and this looks like being the best version of it yet. Again, there is nothing new here apart from some shiny graphics. Unfortunately for Sony, Sega were showing off the game on the Xbox 360 on its own stand, and it actually looked better than the PS3 version.

Formula 1: This was probably the best looking game on the PS3 booth, but once more offered nothing new in terms of gameplay - just some really, really nice looking F1 cars.

Warhawk: This was perhaps the most original thing we've seen. It was designed to make use of the new controller's motion sensor, and the difference between the Wii controller (and Nintendo's gameplay ethic) and the Sony controller is clear to see here. Whereas the Wii controller defines the gameplay, the Sony controller really has motion sensing as a gameplay enhancement. The effects of its use were subtle in-game, but really quite cool. Definitely promising, and something of a sleeper hit on the show floor.

Overall, we will confess to being a little disappointed with Sony's E3 showing. There were no amazing titles to play, with the new Metal Gear Solid being shown off in a video yesterday, but not playable on the floor here. Gran Turismo is sure to please racing fans, but the lack of Ridge Racer or new Final Fantasy on the floor is also disappointing. When it comes to the battle of South Hall, there's one clear winner here - Nintendo.

Has what you've seen of the PS3 impressed you or lefting you wanting more? Let us know over in the forums.
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