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Is The PS2 Your Next DVD Player? 180

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the its-not-all-roses dept.
Si V reader writes "In the Sony PlayStation2 as a DVD Player, SE tells how to get a DVD system when you buy a PS2. They think that the DVD functionality of the PS2 is the one brilliant move Sony made in this otherwise unimpressive launch. In Japan I heard that most of the purchases were because people wanted a cheap full featured DVD." The article discusses the elitism in every industry (but specifically in home audio) and talks about the practical problems (controlling your DVD player with a remote on a wire?) to video/audio quality compared with a more expensive DVD player.
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Is The PS2 Your Next DVD Player?

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  • In response to the reote on a wire bit: My first VCR, purchased in the early '80s, had a remote on a wire. It's not that big a deal. Yet being the techno-hyped atmosphere in which the PS2 was released, I can almost give you my GAR-ON-TEE that before the year is out either sony or some company will market wireless controllers for the PS2. I've seen wireless keyboards and mice, I've seen wireless networking; wirelss consle controls aren't all that farfetched. A remote controlled house however...

  • Guess what I dont want the PS2, The only thing i will use it for is a dvd, I play all my games on PC. I had a PS1 which I got as a gift, but the games i loved were on PC so the PS1 was a paper weight. Id rather get a Really good DVD player than a PS2
  • There's already at least one out. It's called Airplay [airplay.ca] and made by a company called Eleven Engineering [eleveneng.com]. Uses RF, no less.
  • I've got a PS2, and the DVD playback works great, except that I can't figure out how to change the aspect ratio =P Everything is stretched vertically. Anybody know how to change this? On my computer's DVD decoder (Creative DXR2) it's an option in the menu, but I can't find anything in the PS2's menus...
    --
  • it is a game machine, not a DVD player, stop hyping it as such, that is all I am saying.

    I personally believe that it is a known fact that up-in-coming systems are far superior to the power that the PS2 has. Sony is trying to make a point of hyping everything EXCEPT what the damn thing is supposed to do in an attempt to attract as much market as possible before people wait.

    Yes, that is how it should work, but I just find it to be a ridiculous scheme.
  • It's true, all in one devices do tend to stink but this one has the makings of an exception to the rule. If we could figure out a way to gain remote access then we'd be sailing. Also, is their a way to hook up a longer corded controller to the main box? One of the troubles I've had with nearly every game system is the lack of length to the cords. They always get pulled taut and wind up knocking the bong off the table.

    1. O P E N___S O U R C E___H U M O R [mikegallay.com]
  • The first night I tried out the PS2 as a DVD player, I decided to pack up my other (brand new) DVD player and give it to my parents. It has performed wonderfully ever since.

    In spite of the various other complaints I've heard about the PS2, I've got to say that I think it's the best console on the market. In addition to the DVD thing, they've got better games (or will, at least) than Nintendo et al. are likely to come up with any time soon.

  • That's like complaining your Athlon 1200 can't play DOS 1.0 games.

    - A.P.

    --
    * CmdrTaco is an idiot.

  • I put forth a solution to the PS/2 vs PS2 debate.

    [A] Sony in much the same way that they rebranded the PlayStation1-PSone could 'rebrand' the PS2 to wait for it...

    PStwo

    [B] Or...the insane IBM lovers relieving themselves over ibm beating sony on the whole PS2 acronym debate should really get a stronger grip on their wildly tangible imagination's (G.A.L.)

    either way its an inherently stupid thing to raise in light of those two ports at the back of your computer above the USB


    do you guys actually like the old-skool IBM corp.?! oh and sony nicked their PStwo design from cray!. There thats'll get me flamebait
  • Can anyone name any other console that received this much hype at it's launch?

    The X-Box.

    Sorry, it hasn't been launched yet!

  • I had an opportunity this weekend to perform a similiar test using my Sony WEGA XBR and a Playstation 2. I was unimpressed by the playback quality when compared to my reference player (also a Sony).

    My friends and I could all see and hear differences using the Matrix and Toy Story 2. There was a couple of spots in the Matrix where it almost seemed liked the player couldn't 'keep up'. Sounds weird but I don't know how else to explain it.

    Though I must say we had a blast playing those games... that is an impressive game machine and will be really interesting to play in a year or so when they nail down how to program for it :)

    kc.
  • http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20001104& mode=classic
  • Go buy the Component cable for $10. It just doesn't come with one since not many people will use it.
  • Replace Fantavision with SSX

    You could be right - but I have 1080 already. I'll need persuading before I buy yet another snowboarding game. I don't own any version of Missile Command... maybe it's time I did :)
    --
  • The PS2 is does NOT support progressive scan YET. Sony intends to add prograssive scan output sometime next year...
  • The only way I'm ever likely to spend a penny on a video game, is if I buy a console for its other uses -- and DVD is a big one. Inclusion of DVD playing on the PS2 is pretty much the only thing that matters to me. Playing games would be a bonus (admittedly one I'd be paying for).

    That said, I'm gonna wait a while. Beside the current shortage-induced inflation of PS2 prices, Indrema offers some of the most appealing vapors that's ever wafted in my direction: DVD, DVR, web browsing with an LAN connection to my home gateway for the price of a PS2.

    If Indrema has more than an ice cube's chance in hell, those non-game features why. If it materializes in a timely manner and enough people buy it for DVD, DVR, web (and free games), the market will be too large for non-free developers to ignore and maybe, just maybe, Indrema will be able to make some money and stay in business.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yes, but can you get _good_ DVD players that ALSO play bleeding-edge games? The selling point is not only the dvd player, but the actual gaming system.. Let us not forget this.
  • No I didn't just rip Johnny Mnemonic :D

  • How about "Unimpressive Logistics"? You've got to admit, the quantities available are somewhat... disapointing.

    Combined with the impressive launch, it makes it even more sad that you can't get one!
  • Does the PS2 DVD player offer a 16x9 enhanced mode for widescreen/widescreen ready TVs?
  • Dreamcast had wicked games straight away. It had Soul Calibur, still the best fighting game I have ever played. Soul Blade was good on the PSX, but SC is much better. It looks incredible, and plays so fast. Crazy Taxi, another wicked game was also out from the beginning.

    Of course, this is neither here nor there. Im sure the psx2 will have good games. I wont be buying anything though, DC or PSX2. (even with DVD's) -

    Dont wont no DVD player, ohh no.
  • Well, the reason I got mine is because 1) I lost my original "modded" PSX. I have a ton of games that the PS2 will still play, and in some cases make look better (Final Fantasy IX, anyone? I can't wait for it!). I was gonna buy a new PSone and a seperate DVD player, but I saw that the PS2 had a DVD player and I *hate* watching movies on my PC. One unit, two functions. 2) harddrive port, USB, killer 128 bit architecture.. Someone's gonna port Linux to the thing and it'll make one *hell* of a desktop machine. This could become strategic in the Linux community's bid for more domination. If the only OS available for the PS2 is Linux, well, you just got yourselves a nice, captive audience to prove yourself to. And once they run Linux on their PS2, they may even switch to Linux for their PC. Isn't this what the Linux community wants? Oh, and that would make it one unit, 3 functions.. :)

    Just something to chew on..

  • But the "great unwashed" still own VCRs. A DVD player would be a neat toy to them, but that's it. They can still go to Blockbuster and rent the very latest releases on VHS. The fact that the great unwashed can already buy cheap DVD players doesn't mean that they will.

    On the other hand, here's a game system that's so hyped it's still nearly impossible to buy. So it must be good. The "great unwashed" will buy it in droves.

    But predicting that people will buy PS2s to get a cheap DVD player is looking at it backwards. Five years from now, we'll look back and it will be undoubtable that the PS2 was the single thing most responsible for legitimizing the DVD format and having it pass VHS in popularity.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you recall, the first games for the [Insert any console system here] sucked. It takes a while for the programmers to fully utilize all that the console has to offer. Dreamcast has had over a year now, so it's games-programmers are becoming veterans with the system. So, if the graphics only 'looked no better' than your dreamcast, then wait a year. The PS2 graphics will blow Dreamcast away.
  • I bought it as a DVD player. I have(had) a PSone with games that just happen to work with the PS2. Bugger off.
  • All I know is I saw a crapload more Dreamcast ads around its launch than I did PS2 garbage. I saw a grand total of ONE (1) commercial for PS2, and I watch a bit of TV. Dreamcast was everywhere for its launch, AND the system was actually available!

    Want a DVD player? Buy a DVD player. Save yourself for Nintendo's Gamecube [nintendolegacy.com] if you like games.

  • Let me try out a little syllogism on you.

    DVD players play DVD's.
    Playstation 2's play DVD's.

    Playstation 2 is a DVD player. Decent DVD player+excellent console=$300 well spent.

    The remote control problem will sort itself out presently.

    Also note that Sony didn't write the article. Sony says that the PS2 plays DVD's (which it does) and that this is a useful feature (which it is). It's not like they're promising that it will "Give you good feeling" like Chinpoko-mon. (If you haven't seen that episode of South Park, you're really missing out).

    Of course if I have to wait till the end of the 21st century for augmented reality and neural interfaces like the PS9, I'm going to be bent.
  • are available for just about every console system out there. If there isn't one for the PS2 yet, I predict that it won't take very long before one is made.
  • I didn't object at all to Sharky explaining in his article that it was aimed at a different end of the market to who would be an audiophile. But as an audiophile myself, I do have an objection to being called a snob or elitest scum. A skiier who has the ability to ski down Everest, buys a pair of $5000 skis. Does this make them a ski snob? A hobby chef spends $150 on a nice carving knife, does this make them a cooking snob? I think not. They merely have an appreciation for the finer elements of their hobbies. I'm blessed with nearly perfect hearing. I'm blessed with the ability to find things in music that most people miss. I listen to music as an escape from the world, as an alternative to drugs or whatever your vice maybe. I merely enjoy the finer elements of a good sound system. And seeing friends leap up from their chairs as Trinity hits the glass window in the Matrix never gets boring :)
  • How many people in region 1 really care about playing other region DVDs? European prices are higher. The small minority of region 1 customers who really feel they'll come across other region DVDs should go get an all-region player, but for the VAST MAJORITY in region 1, a region 1 player will do. How many people currently in region 1 go "Oh damn, I really want to play this PAL VHS tape I have lying around..."
  • But..but.. I like evil :(
  • Sharky's review was a great editorial that really pinpointed the intended market for PS2, but I think they (and everyone else) make too big a deal about the lack of an IR remote.

    I've got a moderately high-end home theatre setup with a standalone DVD player and kickass programmable universal remote. Thing is, after you press PLAY there's not much need for the remote until the movie is over. If you've got to pause it when you hit the bathroom, would it be so hard to make a stop at the wired controller on the way?

    ---

  • Sorry, but I'm a home theater buff, and I hate to tell you, but $650 will get you EITHER a good DVD player OR a keeler amp. I, personally, would put the money on a good amp ( good brand name like Onkyo, Denon, or even the Sony ES series ). A good DVD player gives you some great features, but if you don't have the equipment to harness this greatness, what's the point. Start with your sound and picture, THEN work on the extras.

    Just my $.02
  • THINK BEFORE YOU BUY SONY PRODUCTS I wouldn't ever say 'don't', cos I'm not like that and well sony make some really nice stuff, (vaio's...etc) but their attitude more and more is towards trying to tie people into buying multiple sony products over other makes through proprietry integration. I'm scared of sony because they have no real competition in alot of their markets, people will buy sony just because its ...., sony are becoming an electronics M$. Sony is so big that while one department embraces open source and linux for intelligent devices the other stuffs MSPocketExplorer on their mobile phones. And memory sticks just screw Compact Flash - the standards there already so why 'reinvent it' (I betcha have to pay royalties if you wanna produce your own memory stick!) Oh and theres at least 3 types of memory stick now - hows that for integration... be different...think you I really want this before you fall for sony's marketing sleight of hand. "Fuck 'em if they ccan't take a Joke" -J.R.B.D.
  • I can still remember the first video recorder my dad bought (when I was five), it had a remote on a wire. It was great fun to play with while watching tv (and when you're a bit overactive I guess)...
  • I don't see any big breakthrough here.

    I'm sure that, just as CD players are everywhere now--there must be at least a dozen in my home--DVD players will be too.

    Every computer, laptop, and perhaps even car drive (to play movie audio and DVD-Audio) will be DVD compatible when the chipsets and pickup assembly becomes commonplace

    I don't know how many folk will use a PS2 for their primary DVD player. You want a simple little box that sits with the rest of your stereo equipment and has simple controls.

    It may make it as the primary DVD player for the kids, though.

    --- Speaking only for myself,

  • by Godai (104143)
    A "cheap DVD player"? That damn thing is retailing in Canda for $425+!!! You can get _good_ DVD players for less than that!


    Wood Shavings!

  • Luckily, my dad works for Toys R Us, and I had absolutly no problem securing my own PS2 :) but as for the dvd playback quality, i have no problems with it. and if you don't have a hot shit top-of-the-line tv, you won't either.

    #airyk
  • I own a PS2 and I bought one of the wireless remotes (sucker)I'm not impressed by the operability of the DVD on PS2. It's a clunky little interface and not all the buttons are labled correct for all the movies. And the remote is really just a wireless controller that has all the buttons mixed up.

    But on the other hand I bought it as a gaming system (for $300 and if you paid more then your a bigger sucker than me for buying that remote.) It does kick ass for games and if you deny that then you either got bamboozled into buying a Dreamcast or need to wake up and smell the reality that is NHL 2001.
  • sorry, I am a college student. I have a computer, and a DVD player, I don't need a PlayStation to be a DVD player. I need a PS2 to be a PS2. They shouldn't be hyping it as a DVD player is all I am saying.
  • by Fr05t (69968)
    Oh great now I need to teach my cat how to fetch! Took him weeks to compile his first Kernel so I imagine I can have him ready before the PS2 hits Canada. :P
  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Monday November 06, 2000 @07:02AM (#646527) Homepage Journal
    You missed the point. Why are people going to bother buying a $200 DVD player when their VCR works just fine (and all of the movies still come out on VHS)? However, if they buy a PS2 they might start looking at those couple of shelves of DVDs at BallBuster. Really, for most people, there is no reason to buy a DVD player yet, since their VCR works fine (and the DVD player doesn't let them time-shift (a term they don't even know)), but the PS2 is super keen an nifty, and omygosh, it can play DVDs too!
  • Thanks all the same, but I'll be sticking with my Apex 600A. I prefer players with ways around the MPAA's unethical practices.

    That said, I might look into this for games, when and if Square goes for the PS2. I do think DVD is a better format for games than the GD-ROM's we get with the Dreamcast and GameCube (forget the proprietariness; it's all about capacity).
    ----------
  • Like, for instance, the Linux-based Indrema [indrema.com] game console?

  • by ardiri (245358)
    have you seen the prices being asked for PS/2 machines on e-bay? i wouldn't call them cheap :)
  • I doubt I'll be using my IBM Model 80 PS/2 [tripod.com] for DVDs.

    For starters, it's a 386.

    For seconds, it doesn't even have a CD-ROM let alone a DVD drive (the prospect of adding more weight to this beast is... unwelcome).

    And finally, the thought of having to move this hulk out of my study, downstairs to the lounge, frankly fills me (and my back) with dread. Anything with a bright yellow sticker saying "CAUTION! DO NOT ATTEMPT TO LIFT THIS GREAT BIG FSKING HUMP OF METAL ON YOUR OWN, MATEY, YOU'LL REGRET IT REAL SOON" (anyone remember the exact words?) is something that, like cast iron cooking ranges, should be put in place FIRST and the building constructed around it AFTERWARDS.

    More [inetnebr.com] and more [tripod.com] on the great beasts.

    (mind you, it plays Doom like a bastard so I can see how people could confuse it with a console)

    --

  • Goes to show Nintendo [nintendolegacy.com]'s ahead of the game again, they're already developing a wireless controller for Gamecube called the Wavebird.

  • cool... this, if nothing else, shows the power of advertising... I haven't heard anything about this, and I've seen so many ads for Playstation games and consoles it hurts.

    Is Indrema advertising anywhere other then this site? I want to know if have actually missed the ads or I am buying the "wrong" computer magazines...

    Kierthos
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This week I threw most of the DVDs I could find at this thing, comparing each one to my $600 Toshiba 5109 DVD player (see, I pretend to appreciate only "good stuff" too), and in most cases there was no discernible difference in graphics quality between the two on my 12 year old Mitsubishi 27" TV (via SVHS cables) and little if any audible difference running it through a low-end Kenwood home theater package.
    Is this guy TOTALLY brain dead?!?! The Toshiba 5109 is marketed towards folks with TV sets that can accomodate a progressive scan image! His 12 year old Mitsubishi TV is interlaced, producing an NTSC image via his s-video cable. HOW does he EXPECT there to be a difference here??? MY GOD, MAN! You don't buy a $600 DVD player that was MADE to be used on an HDTV and then bitch about it looking bad on a TV using 50 year old technology. Goddamnit, Sharky! Be thankful that the 5109 even WORKS on a non-HD set.

    My motto: RIGHT TOOL FOR THE RIGHT JOB.
  • In case you havnt noticed theres about 5-6 brands of wireless remotes for the ps2, at least there is at my local wal-mart. from around 9$ to 30$, but of course you have to ask how well they work but still, has to be better then a wire from your ps2 to your couch
  • Yeah, but if they ran a Red Hat story, then we'd just get all the "/. is not Linux-specific" assholes posting...and if it was BSD, then all the "WTF is a BSD story doing here" assholes would start posting...

    *sigh* everyone's a critic
  • NO.

    Note:
    PSX2 == Sony
    PS/2 == IBM
    PS2 != ( Sony && IBM )
  • Reminds me of what I did when N64 came out. I bought one, played with it for weeks. Got bored with it, and sold it to someone for the same price I had bought it for.

    Got to play with a new toy for free.

  • but PC games I want to play are still being developed, and I like to tweak my PC as much as possible so I get what I want from PC's. I cant tweak the operating system, add memmory, install a bigger hardrive faster CPU etc on a playstation2 making it boring for me, its notjust the game for me. Hell I am thinking of building a PC for my Entertainment sysetem with a no region code dvd player and all the other goodies I can think of, have a virtual desk top so I can control it from any other pc in the house and have fun, hmm time to get to work
  • You have a $120 DVD player, you have a $1250 computer that has more power than the PS2, and therefore see no point to this story or any point in the PS2.

    Can I come over and watch Monty Python DVDs and play some games? I thought not. Bugger off; you're not the only Slashdot reader, you know.
  • So, what you're saying is it's perfectly okay to like the things you like, but things that you don't agree with aren't correct groupthink.

    Sounds like Slashdot to me.

    - A.P.

    --
    * CmdrTaco is an idiot.

  • Come back in 6 months and tell me if the PS2 is selling for $5,000.
  • is that a standard cable is fine for video games, but if you want really good video, you want to buy a premium cable, such as a Monster cable. Those things get expensive at the lengths you are probably talking about.

    Yes, I'm in the snob (but not elitist) category. My DVD is an $800 model and I probably have over $600 in premium CABLES for my home A/V system. But they do make a difference. Get 'em at Best Buy (or local equiv) and take them back if you don't see an improvement.

    One thing that I do find adventageous about using the PS/2 as a DVD player is the controller as the remote. The remote for my DVD player died, and because of how the DVD's are programmed, an awful lot of them can't be played by simply plugging in the disc and hitting the Play button. It really ticked me off last night as I bought American Beauty over the weekend and I can't watch it until my new remote comes in.

    But at the same time I can't really work with console game systems as I had five operations on my right thumb and I just can't handle the controls.

    --
  • Yes. 16:9 anamorphic works fine. I used it last night watching Sneakers. You have to set it in the DVD setup menu before you start the film, but it works great.
  • Every time I go into my Blockbuster, the DVD section seems to grow by another shelf section (short shelves). It has gone from two sections a year ago to three rows front and back as of last week.

    I have been told they are already making plans to eliminate a good chunk of the "Blockbuster Favorites" area in favor of increased spaced for DVD movies and console games.

  • *sarcasm alert*

    Non-Free Food, of course!

    Don't eat any food that you do not have Free access to. This includes preparation of ingredients, a detailed list of ingredients, a detailed recipe, and the freedom to distribute your own version with or without a fee.

    Citizens, unite! Do not eat another KFC chicken leg or drink another Coca-Cola! Boycot non-Free foods!

    Oh, and of course the distribution of non-Free music. Please do not use gnapster as it is software used to connect to a non-Free network, used to distribute mostly non-Free music in a non-Free format. Please distribute only Free music encoded in Ogg Vorbis format using Freenet.

    ;)
  • I have about 3 dozen DVDs, and there have only been a few times where the compression has been noticeable. There were a couple HORRIBLE scenes in the X-Files season 1 collection, especially with scenes with high contrasts. 99% of the problems I've seen have been with large areas of darkness. Most of my DVDs have dealt with it very well; some haven't. These kinds of scenes are brief, however, and I quickly get over the trauma and move on.

    The guy who has a film setup in his home theatre is either moderately wealthy or moderately insane.

    For the "full theatre experience," I go to the theatre.
  • LOL... why on earth was I moderated down for that?

    Geez... som people really shouldn't be allowed to moderate...

    Bjarne
  • Mines due for delivery Dec/Jan! brillant black, quattro, 180 coupe but thinking of doing the goapr or another depending on what it feels like when I get it as I've only driven the 225. Seems like alot of programmers out there have purchased this car. To get more back on topic, Just purchase the TT it comes with a rather nice audio system and I dont think you'll miss the ps2 dvd player. :)
  • Has anyone seen the second round of playstation 2 available anywhere yet? They were supposed to be shipping 10,000 more units every week, but I haven't seen any websites update their stocks since the first shipment.
  • Not to mention that that particular commercial (the PS9) is one of the most ill-concieved ever.

    1.) In 75 years, they only go through seven Playstation?
    2.) Wow, the PS9 does all kinds of nifty (and biologically dangerous) stuff! Uh, so what's the PS2 do?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Do you remember in high school, how when you went to a party that had beer...you were stoked just to get it? It didnt matter that it was cheap swill, a step above sheep urine, it was beer and you didnt know better, and you were happy. What happened? Soon you got to college and someone introduces you to a green bottle import and you never looked back. The point is, your level of exposure influienced your preference. This is the way things are with the PS2. The masses of us are still in this giddy "Keystone" drinkin phase when it comes to DVD technology. HDTV is not the standard and less then 10% of us could give a rats ass about the differences between DVD technologies, because we are still using standard televisions. But it seems the few snobby, "Heine" drinkin, tech freaks with money to wipe their ass with, arent content to just sit in front of their $12k entertainment center and enjoy. They feel it their duty as superior visual beings to come throwin out specs that amount to fractions of line resolution in difference and are totally useless to the average consumer. ITs like someone with a Mercedes pulling up next to a Neon and getting out and explaining why his machine is functionally better then the Dodge. Let it go man! The PS2's DVD player works fine! My simpleton senses notice no difference between it and my previous DVD player , on a 32" tv. I find its performance well worth the $300 I paid, and it plays games to boot! Maybe there is something to be said for not "adjusting your palette" and stickin with the Coors and Neons. Both get you where youre going ;)
  • DVD really needs to reach critical mass, I would truly hate to find that not enough people have bought players and disks for the format to receive continued support (now I don't think that is actually going to happen...)

    But I have been fearing the day that DVD goes mainstream for some time. At the moment, a large proportion of the DVD buying audience are audio and videophiles, and film-lovers. We won't buy a disk if it doesn't have great extras. We won't buy a disk if it only has a 4:3 pan&scan image - we want cinematic widescreen. At the moment, the publishers have to make the effort to produce high quality disks to suceed.

    But when everyone and their dog has a DVD player, will they publishers still put in the effort? My girlfriend doesn't understand why I rate DVD over VHS, and when she looks at films in the shop, she would rather have the 4:3, how can we stop this insanity? People are just used to the shape of their TV set, and seem to think they are missing out if the top and bottom of the screen are black. Look at VHS in the shops, how many films come out in widescreen? Its the few, and you have to wait for the 'special edition'.

    Anyone out there share my paranoia? Someone please convince me this isn't going to happen.
  • The reason I won't use the PS2 as a DVD player is that it:

    a) is restricted to DVD region 1.
    b) uses Macrovision to prevent me from using my VCR to switch between it and my Sega Dreamcast.

    In addition, licensing fees from the PS2 go to Sony and the MPAA, who are waging a war against free speech and the Constitution every day.

    Enough said.
  • by slim (1652)
    A PS2 at RRP in the UK costs £299. You may have trouble getting one, and even if you do, IMHO there is only one interesting game at launch (Fantavision). The DVD player will be locked to Region 2, and there is no known software hack (there might be a hardware hack).

    While the Dreamcast doesn't have a built in DVD player, Gem (Dreamcast's UK distributors) are currently pushing a bundle deal where you get a Dreamcast and a rather nice Encore DVD player together for £300. The Encore DVD player has DTS digital output, a built-in Dolby Digital decoder, and it's multi-region out of the box. You'll also be able to play Dreamcast games on one TV while playing DVDs on another. Oh, and there are dozens of really good Dreamcast games.

    The bundle is available in most UK Dreamcast outlets, including places like HMV and Virgin, and online outlets too.

    Plug over. I do not represent Sega, I just really like my Dreamcast. Nothing against Sony -- I'll certainly buy a PS2 when the price drops a little and the 2nd generation games start to trickle through.
    --
  • Sony would be wise to release an addon that allows my Sony remote to run the unit.

    My system includes the STR-DE845 (receiver), which comes with a two-way programmable remote. Maybe not the ideal situation, but I could buy one of the wireless remotes and then program my controller to send the same signals. Of course, I already have a Sony DVD player and none of the PS2 games look all that great, so I'll hold off until spring and maybe buy it when FFX comes out...

  • At least he had the balls to post without the AC nomenclature.

  • I have a PS2 - I've noticed from personal experience that the output quality (both sound and video) is as good as or a bit better than my old (mid-range) DVD player. That combined with DTS output, component output, and the support for progressive scan output in the future, is a pretty nice set of features.

    However, the area where the PS2 lacks is in the area of control. It has only one speed of FF forward and back (apperas to be 2x - I'll miss the 30x from my last player!), and I've read that it has only slo-mo forward and not backwards (again, with only one speed).

    Also, even with the wireless remote you are missing a few easy things. To get to a title or DVD menu, you have to go through an on-screen PS2 menu and select the menu choice from there. Same thing for numbers, you get the on-screen menu and enter numbers through that screen. There's not really a way around that either - all the remotes can really do is emulate the buttons on the controls, which have the same limitations.

    For now I'm giving away my old DVD player to family, but at some point I might have to buy another DVD player. It makes a great first DVD player, but probably for anyone really serious about DVD's they'll eventually want a dedicated player.
  • Figure it this way...

    Every new console starts out at $199.99 (mightaswell say $200)

    The PS2 starts out at $299.99 (mightaswell say $300)

    The extra $100 is for the DVD player. Compare it to DVD players at $100 and it's not too bad a deal. It's not going to be the best player on the market. Sony would screw themselves over if they did that (they make a couple high-end DVD players themselves).

    This was marketed at LOW-END customers - ones who want a game system, and also might want a DVD player. The people who are buying it just for the DVD player are a little nuts (if all they wanted was a DVD player they could do much better with a standalone for the $$$) and many of the people who are just buying it for the game system aren't going to use the dvd player part much (if at all - I fall into this category myself - I have a standalone player that does just fine - I'd rather save the PS2's motor for games ;) ) - but the people who want BOTH are getting a treat - a cheap DVD player and a decent gaming rig.

    The fact it'll replace an old PS1 and still play the old games is a nice touch, IMHO - I didn't have a free port on my switchbox for another system (4 port switch - cable/vcr on part 1, DVD on port 2, PSX on port 3, DC on port 4) so I just disconnected the old PSX, gave it to my little nephew, and hooked the ps2 up in it's place. The texture smoothing is nice on some games (Vagrant Story and Parasite Eve 2 in particular) and the CD speed increase works quite well on most games (Squaresoft games don't like it though).

    All in all, a nice little upgrade to my PS1, the ability to play the new PS2 games (still waiting for MGS2 and a decent RPG - Summoner is holding me over, but there's really nothing special about it but the storyline), and a backup DVD player (when we move it'll take a while to unpack the whole entertainment system - the PS2's dvd player may get some use then, or it may not - we may be too busy with FF9 ;) )

    For someone without a PSX or a DVD player, it opens up a LOT of stuff for them, and for $300 it's not too bad for all it can do. Of course in a year the price will drop to $250 (the console drops to $150, the DVD stays the same) and in 2 years down to $200 (console to $100, DVD stays the same again)...
  • VCDs you buy are pretty much limited to Hong Kong movies, anime and cheap porn. But those of you who haven't run Windows in a while may be surprised to know that even the freebie video editing software that comes with DV camcorders and firewire cards can burn VCDs. It's quickly becoming a popular way to distribute home movies.

    Shoot digital footage of the kid, edit it on your PC, and burn a couple of VCDs for the grandparents. It's easier than writing out to videotape.
  • If you recall, the first games for the [Insert any console system here] sucked. It takes a while for the programmers to fully utilize all that the console has to offer. Dreamcast has had over a year now, so it's games-programmers are becoming veterans with the system. So, if the graphics only 'looked no better' than your dreamcast, then wait a year. The PS2 graphics will blow Dreamcast away.

    Well, I'm a Sega zealot, but I can't argue with your logic here. The obvious message you're giving is: buy a Dreamcast now, enjoy its superior gaming for a year, then when the PS2 catches up, buy one of those. It will be cheaper by then, too, and if we're lucky PS2's network functionality will have been rolled out.

    I'll be buying a PS2; I can't pass by Silent Hill2, and I'll need Fantavision at some point: but it's just not mature enough yet.

    By contrast, Dreamcast was streets ahead of anything (bar a PC) you could buy on its release date. I had Power Stone and Sonic Adventure on day one, both classic titles I still go back to. Soul Calibur came a few weeks later; there's nothing on PS2 that looks quite as lovely.

    Um, is Metropolis Street Racer out in the USA yet? It's seriously nice, especially if you've ever been to San Fran, Tokyo or London.
    --
  • I can't argue with that one bit.

    I think that both the unimpressive logistics is what made for the impressive launch. Had the PS2 been more available, everyone would be sitting at home, happy with their new PS2, but instead we keep hearing about it since everyone doesn't have and still wants one.
  • It's certainly nice that it plays DVDs, and a lot of people who get it as a game console will probably use it as their DVD player too.

    But wireless remotes are third-party, and it won't play VCDs, SVCDs and so forth, as any cheap DVD player will do for half the price. Indeed, it's one of very few DVD players that can't play VCDs. Heck, for the PS2's price of $300 USD, you can get a 5-disc DVD changer from a reputable brand and have enough money left over to buy a couple of DVDs.

    So it's a pleasant enough feature, but it's hardly a reaason for anyone, much less a /. reader, to buy a PS2.
  • Actually, I remember being firmly impressed with my Playstation 1 bought on launch day, with Wipeout and Ridge Racer. Coming from a SNES and a Genesis, it was pretty cool stuff. The other Namco titles, which made up the rest of the launch titles were pretty ropey - Cybersled was nasty.

    Same with Mario and Goldeneye for the N64 - got mine after the price-drop though. There haven't been many kick-ass games since for the N64, mind. Maybe Zelda and a few others.

    Odd trivia for you - according to Game Over, Sony developed a 'Playstation' to compete with the NES/SNES a few years before the PSX. The 'X' on the CD Playstation was to indicate this fact - eXtended. So the new machine is either the PSX2 or the PS3 - like Rambo movies.
  • by dboyles (65512) on Monday November 06, 2000 @06:26AM (#646604) Homepage
    Yes, there is elitism in every community. Many Slashdotters wouldn't be caught dead using AOL. Driving enthusiasts would rather walk than use an automatic transmission. And audiophiles scoff at the notion of using a video game console as a source for music.

    I consider myself a budget audiophile. I have a stereo that I feel sounds better than any of my friends'. And yes, I sometimes get caught up in the hype of what looks coolest, etc. To use computers as an example, how many Slashdotters would use an iMac even if inside was an Athlon 800 MHz with 512 MB of RAM? Ok sure, you'd use it, but don't tell me looks don't matter.

    Perhaps I should get to my point. The way I see it, there are a couple of extremes in the audio world. The first is one that wants a system that sounds great and looks even better. Truly great-sounding audio systems rarely blend in to the decor of one's living room. So sacrifices have to be made. The other extreme could care less what the system looks like, as long as it sounds next-to-perfect. The latter could be placed in the genre of "audio hackers." They'll put coverings on the walls to absorb sound (I'm guilty of that one), have bags of sand to absorb vibration, and will usually have somewhat of a frankenstein system of components that don't look like they match. You won't find any remote controlled sliding glass doors with those folks.

    So which of these groups would be more likely to accept a PS2 into their audio setup? Well, neither one, probably. Both groups generally have the philosophy that you should do one thing and do it right. The first group I mentioned figuratively drives the Audi TT (drives great, looks stunning). The second group drives the pieced-together Grand National (looks ugly IMHO, but hauls ass for the dollars you spend). The group that would use the PS2 drives the Dodge Caravan (wants a cheap, all-in-one box).

    Sorry, guess I went a little analogy crazy.
  • While it's a great secondary feature for it to have, if you are buying it mainly for DVD playback, save your cash and get something else. Last time I checked the Apex 500 DVD player was only 100$USD at Circit City. The Apex 660, which has a slightly better picture and the ability to play MP3 CDs, is only 150$USD. Now not having seen a PS2 I can't authoritatively speak for it's quality, but I have to assume it's not significantly better than that of the Apexes.

    That said, if you want a game console AND a DVD player, the PS2 is certianly a great value. You get to play all your PS1 games (with lower load times) all new PS2 games plus DVDs. That's pretty hard to beat for a sinlge unit. However, just remember that if movies are your thing, not games, there are cheaper options.

  • I have actually held off from buying a DVD player because the PS2 can act as one. I am hoping the audio/video quality is as good as a dedicated DVD player. The inclusion of DTS cinema sound is a good indication. I am awaiting the 24th of November (European launch date) to get my hands on one. It has been pre-ordered since June! :)
  • by BRock97 (17460) on Monday November 06, 2000 @05:26AM (#646611) Homepage
    This is a great reason to buy a PS2. Being it is from Sony, it has both Dolby Digital 5.1 AND DTS support. IMHO, the DTS is the icing on the cake, as from personal experience, it seems that the stereo in the rear channels is clearer, and in better proportions then what the straight 5.1 can offer. Further, the moved the DVD player off of a seperate memory card, and built it into firmware. This was a biggy in Japan, with memory cards becoming corrupt as a result (something which has been fixed). If I had something bad to say, it would be the lack of an IR port on the unit. In my case, where I have a complete Sony setup, I have one remote that works all units. With the PS2, you have to use the joystick, or if you pay the extra money, a different remote that plugs into one of your joystick ports (something, as of right now, sounds buggy as the pass through isn't working as promised for some; so, in effect, you lose a joystick port). Sony would be wise to release an addon that allows my Sony remote to run the unit. Only thing I didn't like.

    On a different note, I have finally had a chance to see a PS2 and its games (Madden, and 2 driving games that left no other lasting impression) and I was not impressed as it looked no better then my Dreamcast. Where are the software titles to really show off the unit?! Guess I will have to wait for Metal Gear Solid 2.

    Bryan R.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't know what other people have experienced with the PS2 as a DVD player, but I have ben unimpressed. The PS2 system seems to have problems with several DVD's, mainly ones with special features, and also the navigation features are poorly designed, making it dificult to do things such as chapter switches and the like. As I said, I don't knwo what other people have experienced, but I would personally pay extra for a stand-alone DVD player rather than rely on a PS2
  • by Alan Shutko (5101) on Monday November 06, 2000 @05:29AM (#646617) Homepage
    There are a lot of _other_ ~$200 DVD players out there. The only differences between them and the PS2 is that they have wireless remotes and you can actually buy one at the moment.

    Sure, they won't play games, but perceiving the PS2 as providing DVD players to the "great unwashed" is incorrect. The great unwashed can already buy cheap DVD players a whole lot easier than the PS2. (I know, because I have one.)
  • You got that right. I currently own three players, two DVL-909 and one DV-505 Pioneer player. I have applied the jumper wire mod to the MPEG board on all three, and one of the DVL-909s had the DTS firmware and has received that mod also.

    Sure, it's annoying to have to switch regions when I want to play my import anime DVDs, but I can.

    I'll add another reason: 3) it probably has its own share of the annoying firmware bugs that plague cheaper players. Not only is this bad for the owner of the machine, but it causes companies mastering DVD discs to avoid features that screw up cheap-ass players, thus affecting every DVD owner.

    I'm sure there are those who will say "but doesn't Sony make the most bug-free DVD players out there?" Sure they do for their regular players, but this is from a different division of the company, and likely isn't even running the same (debugged) code as their regular players.

  • by n3rd (111397) on Monday November 06, 2000 @05:31AM (#646620)
    They think that the DVD functionality of the PS2 is the one brilliant move Sony made in this otherwise unimpressive launch.

    Woah, wait a minute here. Did these guys miss the PS2 selling for $5,000 on E-Bay? Did anyone else see the video of the release in Japan? The stores were packed!

    Considering all of the hype that surrounded it's release (both US and Japan), I would say it was actually a very impressive. Can anyone name any other console that received this much hype at it's launch?
  • The goal of any journalistic organization is to report the news that is of interest to its audience. I don't need Rob or any Slashdot poster forcing his opinions down my throat. If you want to protest the MPAA by not buying DVDs, that's fine. But a personal agenda shouldn't prevent the posting of a story that has to do with DVDs.
  • I talked my wife into one pretty easily, considering the price and the number of consoles we already have....

    The main selling point was the DVD player. Hey, it kills 2 birds with one stone.

    I don't mean to be sexist, it just seems that the "norm" is that men want to buy these gadgets, and their other halves want to know why...
  • What does being from Sony have to do with having DD5.1 and DTS? There is no special relationship between Sony and DTS. In truth, *ANY* dvd player with digital audio out (copper sp/dif or optical toslink) will do both DD5.1 and DTS because "bits is bits" and the actual DD5.1/DTS processing is being handled by the receiver, not the dvd player.

    As for the reviewer in the original article, I have to wonder about his level of comprehension. Here's why: He talks about comparing the PS2 to his Toshiba 5109, and then quips that he likes the high-end stuff too because he paid $600 for the toshiba. But, he also states that he is using a 12 year-old magnavox TV.

    The one thing about the Toshiba 5109 that makes it "high-end" (besides the price) is that it is a progressive DVD player (i.e. it supports displaying a gorgeous de-interlaced image on an HDTV), it is well known for producing relatively poor image quality in interlaced mode. With his 12-year old TV, the only output he can view from his Toshiba 5109 is interlaced. So, you have to wonder why this guy wasted $600 for a player from which he can only get relatively poor image quality from?

    I'm not saying the PS2 has poor image quality, or poor audio quality, you really can't tell either way from the review, we just know that it is at least as good as a bad dvd player on a 12-year old TV.

    What I am saying is that the reviewer seems to be a real hypocrite for ranting about "audiophiles" and such for a page and a half, and then he turns out to be the worst of the worst himself -- a guy who wasted his money on a high-end dvd player that he can't even make use of properly in his system, and doesn't even seem to know that he's screwed himself. That's not the kind of guy whoose opinions I would trust.
  • my next DVD player is my PC. With the ATI All In Wonder Radeon [pricewatch.com] I'll have an integrated entertainment package. I don't play games very often, but about the only reason I'd get a PS2 (err... were they thinking this acronym through?!?) is for Gran Tourismo 2000

    ----

  • Why try to watch "Matrix" with that controller??? I purchased a "real" remote when I got my PS2. It was only $20... http://www.gamefusion.com/game-fusion-network/gf-n ews-2/gf-news-2-archive/june-2000/1.shtm l
  • It'd be cool for a day after you realised that buying PS2 was a mistake, and the money you forked out for the machine could actually buy a decent DVD player. One that will fit nicely in your video cabinet, with a nice remote control and one that your mates won't break in a drunken stupor on a Saturday night playing Tekken after a heavy drinking session :)

    -- "Hey Bob, come look! I've never seen a penguin so small!"

  • Can't resist this rant:

    Hey dickhead, I paid and extra 100 dollars to get it first. Why the FUCK do you think I got 650 for it on e-bay when you can go out and buy it. Because I had one before ANYONE else.

    You'd be funny if you weren't such a Moron.

    Note to moderators : horrible, not socially acceptable, probably should moderate this down. Couldn't resist though. Sometimes you have can't let the little bastards get you down.

  • The goal of any journalistic organization is to report the news that is of interest to its audience.

    I so TOTALLY agree!

    From the story: "the ps2 is a cheap full featured DVD" player

    The problem is that they are NOT reporting the news that is of interest to the audience. The two most important features of any DVD player are that it:

    1) Doesn't support an assault on the U.S. Constitution.
    2) Doesn't restrict how we play DVD's in any way.

    The Sony PS2 does not have either of these features, therefore it is very far from a "full-featured DVD player", like those available here [codefreedvd.com].

    It's not groupthink. It's FACTTHINK.
  • The first VCRs had corded remotes...

    And they were mono, had 3 speeds which no-one could figure out.
    You could tune a maximum of 12 channels, which you had to turn one of 12 little nobs to adjust the tuning on each one.

    And WE LIKED IT, becuase we could record, unlike these namby -pamby PS2.

    heck ,PS2 was an IBM Computer back in the day with a wierd kinda slots, but I digress...

  • by AFCArchvile (221494) on Monday November 06, 2000 @05:40AM (#646659)
    By purchasing a PS2, you're supporting an evil empire and a demonic leech (Sony and Rambus). At least when you buy a DVD-ROM drive for your computer, you can play it with whichever program you wish to use.

    Also, here's a DVD advertisement circumvention procedure: Play, Stop, Play, 01 [enter]. I guarantee that this procedure does not fall under the DMCA, even though it does circumvent the stupid ad screens.

  • by cluge (114877) on Monday November 06, 2000 @05:40AM (#646661) Homepage
    Bought it for 399.00 Sold it for 650 plus shipping on e-bay. Now I'm getting a REALLY good DVD player and surround sound amp.

    I guess your right......it provided me with a great dvd player.

  • ...as for the controls:

    There at least 2 (maybe more) IR Remotes on the market that plug into the PS2's controller port and allow you to run the DVD functions with a nice little remote like you'd expect. They are both third-party products

    • Saitek - Allows you to connect both controllers at once (has a pass-thru) but I've been told the IR control is weak and a couple of buttons are mis-labeled
    • InterAct - Work's great but uses up one controller port (you'll need to yank it out every time you player 2P+ games) as well as blocks USB and iLink ports
    If anyone knows of others let me know, I'm searching for that perfect one (Maybe sony will put one out?) I was kind of hoping my nice collection of 5 sony remotes would already do something with the damn thing (they control every other damn electronic thing in my place ;-) These both were likely rushed to market along with all the other third-party stuff in order to get them snatched up with the first round of consoles.

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman

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