Got the PlayStation 2. Got no games still. Until I get a job after I graduate from College (~1.5 weeks) I really can’t say for certain when I’ll have the “money to spare” since new jobs have this nasty habit of not kicking in money-wise for a few weeks. Joy.

At any rate, when I can buy a game, SSX is the one I’m gonna get. Not that I’m hugely big on Snowboarding Games or anything, but it looks cool, plus I don’t care about football.

In the meantime, here’s my impressions. The DVD playback is lots better than my APEX AD600-A, but it’s still not as good as my DVD Encore from Creative Labs is. Oh well. Haven’t tried any “problem” DVD’s (Terminator 2: Ultimate Edition, The Abyss Special Edition) but I’ll probably rent one soon. I might use it as my primary DVD player, except for that whole “Macrovision” thing. I don’t know what I’ll do about working around that – I’ll probably just rig a second switch on the way to the TV, but man it’s a pain. Can’t gripe, though – were it not for Macrovision I surely would copy these things.

I could attest to the “texture smoothing” bit the PS2 does if I had ever played PSX games extensively – don’t expect Bleem! though – these games are still elegantly crappy looking (the two demo discs I have, that is).

Ironically, what I really find myself wanting to do is get Intellevision Classics and fire that up (or even better – the Atari 2600 disc) – now that’s an abuse of technology!

Aesthetically, I was surprised – this thing is a lot smaller than I thought it would be. It’s like 12-13 inches long (wide, whatever). It’s smaller than my Sony VCR. Somehow I thought this thing would be standard DVD/CD player/component width (which would make sense – it’s skinny, it’s black, it turns off in the back – it’s a piece of stereo equipment!) but nope – it looks pretty small on top of my APEX player (its temporary home).

There’s a piece of equipment calling itself the “horizontal stand”. There’s a “vertical stand” – a blue wedge dealie which holds the thing up and keeps it from falling over when it’s on it’s edge, but this “horizontal stand” is for looks only – it has no chance of falling over in its normal position. But I get the thing out of the box and all hooked up and I realize – it looks naked without the stand – kinda like a “racing stripe”. So I’ll probably get one. Yep – I’m a sucker.

Remember back in the Nintendo 64’s heyday (yes, it did have one) when people griped about games costing $60 and $70, due to the cartridge format? Well when I buy SSX, I’ll pay $50 or less. That’s all. Nothing else. Unless, of course, I want to save my game. In which case I’ll have to fork over $35. That brings the TCO of this game to $85. Progress!

“But you can use the card for multiple games!” true – so over the long term I will save money. Except for those game that take up the whole card (NFL 2K on the Dreamcast comes to mind). Plus, the PS2 DVD cases have a slot for a card, so they’re encouraging you to get a lot of memory cards. It’s akin to the “our console is cheaper!*” *but it doesn’t come with a game notion that became the norm a while back.

All I know is to hell with the parents – I want a damn demo disc, not a flier to send in for one (which is what I got). When the parents of America griped to Sony that anything they put on the PSX demo disc was too violent, Sony decided to wash their hands of the demo disc pack-in idea. Bastards.

Anywho, something else with the PS2 bit I think is funny is the whole memory card management concept. I don’t remember how many bytes was on a PSX memory card, but let’s say it was 30K. Well, Sony divided this up into 2K “blocks” (15 per card) so that they could just say how many blocks a game took up, and save the user from having to do math or worry with base 2 numbers. On the back of a PS2 game, however, is a measurement in kilobytes. So now you have to just figure out or remember how much memory you have left. Can’t decide if this is good or bad…