The PlayStation 4

On November 15, at 0001 hrs, I was lucky enough to purchase a PlayStation 4 at Amazon.com.  After a few minutes, all the available units were gone.  I had the package delivered overnight.

PlayStation 4 Unboxed The package was light and seemed smaller than the original PlayStation 3 package.  I immediately opened it to see if everything was in order.

Connecting the PS4 to the TV was a breeze.  Luckily, it also came with an HDMI cable since I didn’t have an extra one lying around.  I held my breath and turned it on, hoping that the unit I got had no problems.  The unit started without any problems and a nice blue light turned on.  The DUALSHOCK 4 controller also had a light turned on.

The boot sequence was quick enough and I went through the setup process without any problems.  After all was done, it prompted me to download an update for the firmware.  The process was okay and I had it up and running in no time.

The previous afternoon, I had purchased the game “Killzone: Shadow Fall” for the PS4.  I also bought the PS4 Eye Camera which costs U.S. $ 59.99.  Plugging the camera to the PS4’s auxiliary port was simple and I mounted it on top of the TV.  Included in the PS4 was an application called “The Playroom”.  Before I could use it, I had to calibrate the camera.  Calibration required me to move the coffee table away to have a clear space between me and the TV.

PS4 Power and Eject ButtonsNotice that the power and eject symbols are quite small.  The buttons are subtly located at the front of the unit.  The top button is the power button and the bottom one is the eject button.  There are two USB 3.0 ports in front which can be used to charge the DUALSHOCK controllers.

The hard drive installed on the PS4 is a 2.5″ 500 GB 5400 RPM hard drive.  It can be replaced by opening the top part of the case.  You can find tutorials on how to do this in YouTube.  So far, I’ve seen one video where the hard drive was replaced with a 1.5 TB hard drive.

The optical disc player is a front-loading unit.  The PS4 supports blu-ray discs and DVD.  As of this time, CDs are not supported.  I’m not sure if this is just a software issue.  Discs can be ejected either via the menu or the eject button.

The PS4 supports recording 15 minutes of gameplay and capturing screenshots.  You can even stream your gameplay to Twitch.TV if you want.  The quality of the stream is okay but a video capture card probably can deliver better resolution and frame rate.  Unfortunately, the PS4 does not directly support the use of external video capture devices, although a few people have successfully streamed using an external device with some hardware workaround.

A few more pictures of the PS4 are posted below:

PS4 Eye Camera PS4 PS4 and PS3

 

 

16GiB of RAM Feels Good

Upgrading my iMac from 12 GiB to 16 GiB of RAM makes things feel faster.  Actually, it simply allows more breathing room for multiple applications to run concurrently,  avoiding things like swapping to disk.

I utilize a bunch of virtual machines (VMs) running different flavors of Linux and,  at certain times,  Microsoft Windows 8.  Once in awhile,  I run a couple of Windows Server 2012 VMs for testing and this requires a lot more memory than Linux.  The upgrade makes running VMs and native OS X applications easy and problem-free.

If you need to run a number of applications simultaneously,  more RAM is good.  Having more cores per processor is another good thing,  especially when your applications take advantage of them.  Finally,   a fast graphics card with a good amount of memory (say, 1 GiB),  makes your games run more smoothly.

Don’t hesitate to upgrade your Mac or PC.
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Gaming On The PlayStation 3

Lately, I’ve been playing games on my PlayStation 3 (PS3).  It has been one year since I last played a game on the console, using it mainly as a blu-ray player.

I’m not an expert gamer and I do it just to pass the time.  However, I like playing games that have very good graphics, the ones which give you a cinematic experience.  Metal Gear Solid 4 is pretty good.  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is also a winner.  Resistance: Fall of Man, being one of the first titles available on the PS3, is showing its age but the gameplay is still okay.  (I miss Gears of War, an Xbox and PC game which is definitely better than Resistance:FOM).

Note that I’m not playing the latest and greatest games.  I’m a bit hesitant to spend $50-$60 on a new game since I’m not yet an expert gamer.  I usually buy old and/or used games.  Amazon.com is one good source of them.

Will Apple Change Things Again?

Apple is going to unveil a new product today that will supposedly change the way we do things one more time.  A new device is rumored to be the new product, possibly a tablet that functions as a souped-up iPod touch but with more features.  Pricing will be an issue: the price must meet the sweet spot for most users who want to buy the device.

What should this tablet do?  Aside from running most iPhone and iPod touch applications, it should also function as a reader like Amazon’s Kindle.  Games might be more fun on a bigger screen.

Basic applications such as email, web browser, word processor and even spreadsheet might turn out to be more usable on a tablet.  Perhaps this tablet can be connected to other devices including a keyboard and a mouse (although the latter might not be needed since the tablet is touch sensitive already).

Whatever.  I hope it does a lot of useful and fun things for it to be worth buying.  I hope inputting text does become easier, given the size of the thing.  Anyway, in a few hours, the mystery will be revealed.

Have fun!

Whatever…..

There’s a rumor floating around that Apple may update the Mac mini with what’s inside those new MacBooks.  If true, I will be quite happy to upgrade my first-generation Intel Core Duo-based Mac mini (running at 1.66 GHz).  There is still hope yet for the loveable Mac mini.

Meanwhile, my MacBook has been doing fine.  I am now typing in the dark with just the keyboard backlight on.  The backlit keyboard really is useful under these conditions.  Too bad the 2.0 GHz version of the MacBook doesn’t have the backlit keyboard.  It should come standard since I don’t think it is much trouble to include it.

Reading the latest Costco magazine, I found out the VMware Fusion can be had for $ 49.99 on Costco.com.  However, when I went to the site, the price was $59.99.  What gives?  It would have been nice if the price was as printed in the magazine.  Anyway, it is still cheaper than buying it from Amazon.com by just about $3 or more.

I was looking at a couple of sites that sell DDR3 memory for the new MacBook.  On MacSales.com,  a 4 GB kit costs about $129.99.  Meanwhile, Crucial sells theirs for $141.99.  I used to buy from Crucial and I’ve been happy with my purchases.

I was browsing around the social networking sites to check on my friends.  I commented on a few status messages and even had a chat with a schoolmate from college.  I find these sites useful for communicating with old friends, and even some friends whom you meet along the way.

Looks like there are a lot more games coming out now for the PlayStation 3.  This is good news for PS3 gamers.  A dearth of good games that take advantage of the power of the PS3 has haunted the game console for a couple of years now.  Hopefully, these new titles don’t disappoint.

Well, I’m starting to feel sleepy now….whatever……

Metal Gear Solid 4 Game


Metal Gear Solid 4 Game

Originally uploaded by ajdv

Today, I got my copy of the game Metal Gear Solid 4. I took a couple of pictures of the disc before playing the game (see my Flickr page).

I have played the first 30 minutes of the game. The graphics are magnificent. This game is indeed a gem for Playstation 3 owners (of course, you’d have to be a fan of this genre of games).

Right now, I’m playing the game using the easiest mode since I’m not at all a hard core gamer like my brother. Still, it is fun to play and I think I get better as I spend more time on the game.

The New Playstation 3 80GB

Tomorrow, the new Playstation 3 80GB model will be released here in the U.S.A.  It will come with DUALSHOCK 3 controllers (which supercede the previous Six Axis controllers) and will be bundled with the much awaited game, Metal Gear Solid 4.

A friend of mine is ordering one tonight.  He wants to finally take full advantage of his HDTV (a Sony Bravia).  Aside from playing games, watching Blu-ray movies is the goal.

My Playstation 3 is the 40GB model.  It has been serving me well both as a Blu-ray disc player and as a game console.  Once in awhile, I pop in a CD and watch the nice visualization.  Right now, I am also thinking of getting the DUALSHOCK 3 controllers.  Maybe I’ll get them when I have Metal Gear Solid 4 already.