I’m a big fan of the PlayStation Network. Since the PS3’s launch, via a delicate but powerful combination of gradual firmware updates and some hard work from SCEE with regards to the actual Store, the PSN has become a force to be reckoned with, especially as it’s (currently) free. However, since moving home midway through December and the inability of some companies to maintain a decent broadband connection, I’ve been off the grid.
The area I’m now in doesn’t have a 3G mobile network, and barely manages 2G according to my Hero, so although I can share the ‘phone’s connection with the PS3 it’s not going to let me connect to the Network in any reasonable capacity. At first, I thought this would be terrible – I’d not be able to download whatever’s on the Store and I wouldn’t be able to see what my friends are playing at any given time. Actually, as it happens, it’s been a revelation.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that long term having an ‘offline’ PS3 is preferable to one connected to the great white cloud we call the web, but during the family-based Christmas period it’s been a blessing from above. I’m not bothered by friends requests from people I don’t know, or randoms asking me when TSA’s going to be updated next. I don’t have to sit through five hundred signing in notifications either, which is great when watching PlayTV.
And yes, I know that I’m currently missing out on Braid and Blue Toad, but I’ve finished Braid on the 360 and Blue Toad, according to the all knowing Edge, isn’t very good so I’m not in a rush to spend my downloadable bandwidth on those two particular gems. I did manage to borrow someone’s connection and download the GTR for Forza III (and Team 17’s wicked Alien Breed) though, but I’ve stayed offline on the Xbox too. It’s just better.
The biggest issue, of course, is TheSixthAxis. Whilst playing games offline has meant I can catch up on some older games without being hassled, writing for the site has had to take something of a backseat too until a whisper of something approaching a decent bandwidth drifts past my mobile, but each time I check it looks like we’re not missing much news anyway. Sure, there’s talk of a FFVII remake but who really cares about that?
So, yeah, it’s back to the family and the occasional blast of Jericho or Heavenly Sword or Half Life 2, something I’ve been meaning to re-play for over a year and only now, in this post-Killzone 2 generation, does the storyline actually shine. Sure, the graphics are pretty poor in comparison but at least there’s a distinct lack of generic buzz-cut foul mouthed ‘spare marines’ to get in my way. Just Barney shouting ‘Hey Gordon’ over and over again.
And once that’s done, I’ll play through Portal again. Couldn’t ask for any more.