After months of playing the waiting game, serious game fans among the general public finally got their hands on Sony Computer Entertainment's Play Station 3 (PS3) at the Tokyo Game Show on Saturday and initial reactions were all favorable.
Titles such as "Resistance: Fall of Man," "Genji: Days of the Blade" and "Ridge Racer 7" will be among the games available at the console's Japan launch on Nov. 11 but there was also considerable interest in some of the software that is on show in an unfinished state.
"Heavenly Sword" from SCEI, which is slated for release some time in early 2007, is a swords and sorcery game featuring a heroine on a stereotypically impossible quest. Keen gamer Rei Itoh from Tokyo spent 20 minutes playing the game this morning and was eager to buy both a PS3 and a copy of "Heavenly Quest."
"It has such great graphics -- the cut-scenes between games are just like movies," she said, adding that the destructible scenery made hacking furniture - as well as dastardly opponents -- to pieces a welcome feature.
We collared another would-be PS3 owner, Dan Bourque from Canada, in line waiting for a taste of the new first-person-shooter (FPS) "Resistance: Fall of Man." He told us: "We shouldn't expect too much from a new console at first, as it's unfair to the developers -- they need time to find out what the hardware can do.
"A good FPS has to be the benchmark of a console, so I am excited about checking out Resistance," he continued. On the sensitive subject of price he said that, although a relative would be buying him a PS3 as a gift, "US$600 dollars is just way too much -- that's a price to make your eyes bleed."
Bourque also singled out the unusual "flOw," a game featuring simple graphics of worm-like micro-organisms moving through water that are controlled using only the PS3 controller's motion sensors, and the off-road racing game "Motor Storm" for praise. "FlOw," he said, was "intuitive and fun but only worth $10," while "Motor Storm" featured "gorgeous physics and was cool but as hard as hell."
The motion sensing used in "flOw" is something he hoped to see in more PS3 games in future, but for the meantime he said he would have to get his hit of simple, fun gaming from Nintendo's Wii, which he also intends to purchase if he can "get his hands on one."
When asked for her immediate impression of the PlayStation 3, a Japanese gamer who declined to be named remarked "sugoi kirei," which means "really pretty" in Japanese -- a pithy phrase that may well sum-up how the next-generation console battle will be fought in the minds of consumers.