The PStwo arrives for Grand Theft Auto
Sun Oct 17th 2004, 8:31pm

My PStwo (aka mini PS2) just arrived Friday. I was truly shocked as I pulled it out of the box--it's so small it almost rivals a Linksys router. See the top picture and note the ball-point pen for scale. I'd been saving one of the cubbyholes in my entertainment center for it, but quickly realized it simply doesn't need it. Note how the massive Xbox just completely dwarfs it in the bottom picture.

I'd held out on getting a PS2 all this time, content with my Xbox (and, preferably, PC), but with GTA: San Andreas coming out later this month for PS2 only I finally had to shell out for it. I'd far prefer a PC version (having played III and Vice City on my PC) but who knows when or if they'll ever port it. So... hopefully getting to play San Andreas now versus later will be worth the $150. And from what I've seen so far I think it will be.

Err, slight correction to the above. The cost of the PStwo is actually $175, not $150 as commonly advertised, since you have to buy a $25 memory card to save your progress in any game. And what game would you be playing that you wouldn't want to save your progress? This would be my only real beef with it so far. I remember now they pulled the same sham with my old PSX, however many years ago. I ended up leaving the unit on for days not wanting to lose the bonus cars I'd unlocked in Ridge Racer. $25 for an 8MB piece of flash memory. Come on.... Boo, Sony!

So in the meantime I picked up the double pack of GTA III & Vice City for PS2 to get used to the new controls. I'll say, as expected, the driving around part is inherently more intuitive with the PS2 controller than with a PC keyboard and mouse, but I'm finding (granted, once you get over the learning curve) the mouse is actually smoother and more precise than the thumbstick for steering. Worse, I'm finding myself wishing for more fingers to perform drivebys effectively: I can't seem to hold down L2 or R2 with the appropriate middle finger, and use "X" and "Square" with the right thumb as needed to pace my target, while somehow also hitting "O" with an as-yet-unacquired second right thumb to fire.

I expected walking around to be far inferior on the PS2 and in fact it is. On the PC version, you have a constant cross hairs in the middle of your view, and just like in any FPS for the PC, you aim and shoot with the mouse. On the PS2, there's this weird targeting system where you R1 to target your victim, then L2 and R2 to cycle between targets. Just trying to aim your guy in the right direction and shoot doesn't really seem to work. I far prefer the PC way, as I'm finding my ass getting kicked while I'm fumbling through choosing the right target. Maybe Vice City, and hopefully San Andreas, will be better. We'll see how this goes.

And of course, there's simply no question which is better on the issues of graphics quality (PC wins, 1280x1024 vs. 640x480), mods (PC), patches (PC), save/load times (PC), level change load times (PC), and ability to play your own MP3s (PC). But hey, it's obviously a console gaming market these days.

Visitor comments
On Sun Oct 18th 2009, 1:40pm, Visitor posted:
I wanna get grand theft auto trilogy and a new yellow memory card when I get 16 years old

On Sun Oct 18th 2009, 1:41pm, Visitor posted:
I wanna get grand theft auto trilogy and a new yellow memory card when I get 16 years old