Saturday, July 19, 2008

PS3 Update

While it seems like every time the PlayStation 3 undergoes a firmware upgrade is plagued by people trying to blame broken systems on the update, last night's 2.40 update seems to have caused genuine issues with many posters over at the official PlayStation forums. Owners of PS3s in all shapes and sizes have been reporting that their systems were loading to the initial PlayStation wave screen and simply hanging there after applying 2.40. No icons, no controller functions, no nothing, just the wave across the middle of the screen. 1

Octopiler is intended to become just such a compiler—one that can take in a sequential program that's written to a unified memory model, and output binaries that make efficient use of the massive, heterogeneous system-on-a-chip that is the Cell Broadband Engine. This is by no means meant to disparage all the IBM researchers who have done yeoman's work in their practically single-handed attempts to move the entire field of computer science forward by a quantum leap. No, the Octopiler paper is full of innovative ideas to be fleshed out at a further date, results that are "promising," avenues to be explored, and overarching approaches that seem likely to bear fruit eventually. But meanwhile, the PS3 is still due out in 2006. 2

In July, the Wii and DS showed no signs of slowing down: they sold 425,000 and 405,000 units respectively. Pretty amazing stuff, considering many people are still having a hard time finding Wii hardware on store shelves. Even with the supply constraints, the little system with the big waggle came out on top. Nintendo also claimed three spots on the top 10 list for software sales, with Wii Play at number three, Mario Party 8 at number five, and Pokemon Diamond Version at number seven. Nintendo doesn't have anyone to worry about—no one came close to its sales numbers. 3

One can only assume that the update was the catalyst that caused certain data on affected hard disks to become corrupt, rendering the system unbootable. It would certainly explain why only certain systems are being affected, and why Sony couldn't have caught the problem in the first place. 4

Considering this was Sony?s first attempt at building an online community you can't expect it to be XBOX live. It?s nowhere near as good as the XBOX live community. However, give Sony some time and they will make it better and deeper. 5

Sony still needs to deliver some top-notch gaming titles in the coming months. While Sony's price cut is a good move, Microsoft has responded in kind, dropping the price on the Xbox 360. Indeed, Xbox 360 hardware may be on the upswing, too. With improved systems trickling out, HDMI now standard on Premium models, and top-notch games like BioShock and Halo 3 either available or coming in the near future, things are looking up for Microsoft. 6

Oh come on the game looked great. The gameplay was not so great though, especially for someone who loved system shock 2 because of the different approaches one good take to achieving your goals. In Bioshock you need to go in guns and hands blazing the majority of the time. 7

It seems like early adopters of the PS3 actually ended up with the best systems. While not the best price at least it had all the features originally touted. 8

No, of course it isn't. Developers will make something happen. That "something" just isn't at all likely to rise to the full potential of what the Cell could be capable of with another decade of industry-wide effort on heterogeneous multiprocessing systems. 9

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), based in London, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and sales of PLAYSTATION(R)3, PlayStation(R)2, PSP(TM) (PlayStation(R)Portable) and PLAYSTATION(R)Network software and hardware in 102 territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania. SCEE also develops, publishes markets and distributes entertainment software for these formats, and manages the third party licensing programs for the formats in these territories. 10


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