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My Bad Date With a PS3

Susan Arendt | 28 Aug 2008 21:00
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My viewing had apparently caught up with my download. I had thought it curious that the PlayStation let me watch my movie immediately instead of making me wait a few minutes the way downloads on Xbox Live did, but assumed that there was some technological whiz-bangery at work that was simply beyond my ken. I was clearly wrong. I simply had to wait for the download to get far enough ahead so that I could watch the movie without interruption.

Leaving my PS3 chugging along, I wandered off to kill some time. I folded the laundry, walked the dog, paid some bills and read a few chapters of my book. By the time I returned to the couch and hit "play," I felt confident that I'd be able to watch the rest of my movie in peace. And peace is exactly what I got, when the sound cut out about 20 minutes later.

Buffering, please wait.

Are you serious? How bloody slow was this download, anyway? I began to suspect that it would take less time to read The Spiderwick Chronicles than it would to watch it. Feeling somewhat less charitable towards my PlayStation 3 than I had earlier that day, I brewed some iced tea, loaded the dishwasher, cleaned the catbox and took my book out on the porch to read yet a few more chapters. Then I walked the dog again, just to be sure that this time, I'd absolutely be able to finish the movie without that stupid progress bar reappearing.

Alas.

By the time the credits began to roll, I'd politely been asked to wait four more times. Total time spent attempting to download and watch the 107-minute long The Spiderwick Chronicles: roughly three and a half hours. An hour and a half of my life needlessly frittered away because I was trying to talk myself into liking a console. It reminded me of the time I went out on a date with a guy with whom I had no chemistry simply because he had a lot of really great qualities. Guess what? It didn't work out. You simply can't force a relationship to happen because it makes sense on paper. Someone - or in this case, something - either wins you over, or they don't.

The PlayStation 3 has yet to win me over. As much as I enjoyed games like Uncharted and Folklore, they're just not enough to wash the taste of frustration and annoyance out of my mouth. Perhaps LittleBigPlanet's Sackboy, who's so adorable I bet he pukes rainbows, will be able to change my mind. Maybe BioShock and its new content will woo me into the PS3-lover's camp. Maybe Home will exceed my expectations and be not only breathtaking, but habit-forming. Play games long enough, and you learn that anything can happen, and what you hated yesterday will become your obsession tomorrow. For now, I just wish I could trade in the $6.01 in my PlayStation wallet for Microsoft Points.

Susan Arendt tends to root for the underdog, but not for the Underdog movie. That should simply never have happened.

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