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Want to know what's wrong with the PlayStation 3?

Brad Gallaway's picture

Heavy Rain: The Taxidermist Screenshot

So the wife and I put the baby to bed a little earlier (and easier) than usual, so we ended up with a bit more time left in the evening than we usually do.

After an episode of Torchwood (Season Two, and wow, Gwen is a moron) we were kind of spinning our wheels until I remembered that I bought Heavy Rain's The Taxidermist DLC quite a while ago, and had never gotten around to it. Since we're both fans of David Cage's games, more or less, that seemed like a good direction to go.

The key word there? SEEMED.

At 9:09PM, I had pulled the Heavy Rain disc out of my stack, had it spinning in the PlayStation 3 (PS3), and was promptly greeted by a required update message.

I really don't know what I was thinking, since I had kind of assumed we'd be able to play it right off the bat. Naturally, there was an update that needed to happen, just like there ALWAYS is every time I turn the machine on. Then, after the update downloaded, it needed to install.

We waited a while, and after the install completed, the game started up. However, I hadn't realized that there wasn't enough free space on the hard drive and Heavy Rain is another of the oh-so-wonderful forced-install PS3 games. It wouldn't play until I deleted some data.

I have to say, I find few things as irritating as a console game that will not play without being installed to the drive.

Disc.

Console.

Turn on.

Play.

This is a very simple concept that has been happening without issue for a few generations now. The fact that I have to turn my system on at least half an hour before I intend to actually play never fails to infuriate me.

Sony PlayStation 3 Image

Anyway, getting back to the sequence of events... after scanning the drive and seeing what was expendable, I axed the DC Universe Online beta content, and was a little taken aback at how long it took to delete. With that gone, there was enough space to install Heavy Rain, and so that process began.

I meant to time exactly how long the install of the game itself took, but I was getting a little heated by this point and I forgot. Regardless, it took quite a bit of time. In fact, I actually had enough time to straighten up my office and tidy up the rest of the house. I did a few dishes. Literally.

After the game had completely installed, I jumped into the menus to figure out how to access the DLC. As I was trying to navigate, it seemed as though my controller didn't work properly. After a moment or two, I realized that the game now automatically defaults to use the Move as the primary means of interface. I don't even own a Move controller yet, and the console did not auto-detect that I was using a wireless pad. A small issue, perhaps, but still irritating. However, that was not nearly as irritating as finding out that for some reason, the Taxidermist DLC that I had previously downloaded needed to be downloaded again.

After the series of downloads and installs I'd just been through, this one took the cake. Still, by this point I was bound and determined to play the damn thing, so I began to re-download the purchase and walked away to do some deep breathing and calming exercises.

The DLC download completed, installed itself, and the wife and I finally began to ACTUALLY PLAY The Taxidermist at 10:43PM—a little more than an hour and a half after we originally intended to begin.

Now, talking about The Taxidermist DLC itself, I didn't think it was bad at all. It was essentially one scene taking place in a house that had five different endings, and it was definitely creepy and interesting enough to keep our attention for two of those five. We both also found it interesting to return to Heavy Rain after such a long time away from it… the controls felt alien and unfamiliar, but we were quickly reminded of what a great job it does in terms of creating emotion and tension. Was it worth $5? I think I'd say so, considering that I've paid more for worse, and that I picked Heavy Rain as one of my top games of the past year.

So, we definitely enjoyed The Taxidermist, but we both felt as though we had seen enough by 11:26PM… about forty-five minutes after pressing start.

That's right, it took twice as long to access the content as it did to play it through to completion two separate times.

What's wrong with the PS3? That is.

Category Tags
Platform(s): PS3  
Developer(s): Quantic Dream  
Key Creator(s): David Cage  
Series: Heavy Rain  

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Updating games on Xbox360 vs PS3

Brad, your frustration is my frustration as well. It's worse if you happen to own both a PS3 and Xbox 360, cause Xbox 360's update process is way less hassle-free.

From experience, Xbox 360 games update so much faster than PS3 games. Also, on X360, once the update finishes, there is no install dialog, and the game starts up again automatically.

Does anyone really complain about this? Because you seem like the only person who did. So late into the PS3's product cycle, yet I'm still hoping Sony would eventually address this issue.

It's the Sony Way

Well the PS3 can do everything...including frustrate users. I think you could've skipped the update (which I bet was the Move patch) by pressing triangle or circle when you saw the update prompt. But yeah, that's pretty much the norm for the PS3. Lucky you didn't have a fairly updated game like LittleBigPlanet where you have to download tons of patches (if you haven't been playing regularly) before you can get back into the game. It's a damn shame Sony can't be bothered to fix things like that.

You can skip any and all patches on PS3

You can SKIP any and all patches on the PS3 and go straight to gameplay. It even tells you on the screen.

Why keep a 17GB expired beta on your system from two weeks ago then complain you have to delete it? Beta's over, plus it's 17GB. It takes that long to delete stuff on PCs too.

The PS3 has mandatory hard drives. That lets you have stuff like said whopping 17GB open world MMORPG that you can't on the competition's systems with their new 4GB memory packs (which incidentally wasn't enough memory to play Halo Reach co-op at launch, but I never saw that article here).

It's not a PS3 thing. Blame Quantic for a 2GB MOVE patch which sucked anyways. Default controls remain better imo. You should be happy you could play DCU on a console at all. It's a great game.

I sorta disagree...

I've owned a PS3 since 2008 so I think I have plenty of experience in dealing with updates and here's what I have to say:

While updates in general suck, your anger should be pointed at the developers, NOT the system or PSN service itself.

You see games like GTA IV for 360 and PS3 taking different approaches to loading - on the 360 you don't need to install it - on the PS3 version it's required. Why? Because I'm guessing developers found it was easier to load content off a HDD instead of a disc constantly...and since not every 360 user has a HDD, they couldn't "force" an install on it like they could PS3.

That said, you can also blame developers for the shady way they approach game releases now also. They don't release completed games or ones that have been tested thoroughly. Their solution is release first, path later. Sony & PSN have no say over how often developers patch their games...so you can't blame them.

The only thing you can really connect to Sony is when there is a system update...but quite honestly, as long as you connect your system to PSN's service every 4-6 weeks, you're good to go patch-wise. A few months back I had gone through a 2-3 month time when I didn't play online and when I wanted to start using it again, I had to update the system. I could've complained, but every PSN update almost always add some bit on functionality (like Home, Netflix, etc.).

Point is, this is going to happen on all game systems now. The **ONLY** reason why you don't see it on the 360 is that not everyone has a HDD...and Microsoft can't really force people to do bunches of updates if they lack the hardware to do it completely.

Just wait until the next generation! It'll be neverending updates across ALL systems. Oh joy!

Well...

At least you're not turning on your console hoping that it doesn't decide to die on you and hold the content you purchased hostage until you transfer licenses to the new machine... sometimes multiple times, since it doesn't always "take" for some reason. Can you tell this has happened to me? Maybe more than once?

I find that much more disconcerting than the occasional wait on the PS3. As a consequence almost all of my multi-console arcade downloads are PS3 at this point.

DLC suggestion

1) go into your router settings and make a QOS rule for your PS3- set your PS3s Mac address priority to 'Highest'.

2) Download DLC overnight.

Could be worse, I have a 1.5 mbps connection and anything over a Gig usually takes 12 hours or more.

btw (conspiracy theory)- Ive always had a sneaking suspicion that Sonys network gets the short end of the bandwidth in the US, to mix metaphors.

Devs not the problem

@ Scott C.

"You see games like GTA IV for 360 and PS3 taking different approaches to loading - on the 360 you don't need to install it - on the PS3 version it's required. Why? Because I'm guessing developers found it was easier to load content off a HDD instead of a disc constantly"

First off the reason Devs force installs on PS3 is because of the speed issues of running games off Bluray, a disk format Sony stuck in PS3 to win a format war, NOT developers, there is no one to blame but Sony for that issue.

You then go on to say, its the devs fault for releasing the games unfinished and patching later, but foolishly you seem to forget the games are released just as unfinished on 360, yet the updates go much faster and are far fewer, again, this is a Sony issue NOT a developer issue.

And finally, the 360 does get a lot of updates, hard drive or not, they just go quicker, and install themselves, and there are far fewer.

I'm always amazed at what lengths people will go to defend Sony and perpetuate the delusion that Sony can do no wrong.

Re: Devs not the problem

Okay, the Blu-ray issue has been dead for years now. YES, when there was a competition between Blu-ray and HD-DVD, I wanted HD-DVD to win. Not because it was supported by the 360, but because I thought it was technically superior to BR...and at that time, I wasn't a fan of Sony at all. I knew deep down if HD-DVD won, the PS3 would be finished.

With that said, Sony won - you may not agree with thier tactics in winning the format war, but Blu-ray is where HD content lives. As a result, the PS3 has become the main Blu-ray player for most consumers who watch HD content.

So if Blu-ray discs load slower than DVDs, oh well. I'd take the ability to watch beautiful HD movies on my PS3 than have stuff load off a disc and be stuck watching DVDs at best.

BTW - Your argument about XBox loading games faster off disc is crap because up until the XBox Slim release, I'd argue virtually every person that had a HDD installed their games to it so they wouldn't have to hear the system's loud DVD drive. In comparison, the PS3 has always run virtually silent.

"You then go on to say, its the devs fault for releasing the games unfinished and patching later, but foolishly you seem to forget the games are released just as unfinished on 360, yet the updates go much faster and are far fewer, again, this is a Sony issue NOT a developer issue."

Hmmmm, what system gets the most attention by developers when it comes to multiplatform titles? It certainly isn't the PS3! The 360 gets more attention and it's probably because XBox Live is more popular overall and financially it probably makes sense for devs to lessen the # of updates since Microsoft probably charges them for every KB downloaded via XBL. But when it comes to PS3 ports, I'd bet 80% of the time it is buggier than the 360 counterpart. So yeah, it might need more updates.

And as far as file size, it probably has something to do with the type of files/compression/etc. each system supports. If you've ever used a Mac, you'd know software almost always is larger in file size than the Windows counterpart, and that has to do with the way Apple stuff is packaged and what supporting code is preinstalled on the system. That doesn't mean one is inferior to another, it just means different companies have different standards.

And finally, the 360 does get a lot of updates, hard drive or not, they just go quicker, and install themselves, and there are far fewer.

I'd need to see actual proof of this. "Quicker" is in the eye of the beholder. My connection at home is 1mb...to some used to 5mb-10mb, that would be dog slow. XBox, PS3, PC or Wii, it doesn't matter --- if you have a slow connection, you'll have slow downloads.

Besides, at the end of the day, while you are singing the praises of Microsoft's online service, I can smile knowing I haven't paid one penny for online content and multiplayer on the PS3 in the 3 years I've one it. If I used my 360 in the same way for as many years, that would have set me back at least $150. So if I have to wait an extra 15 minutes every couple months while content loads, so be it - I'm saving $50 every year for that minor inconvenience.

PS3 updates take as long as Xbox

These issues you are complaining about are because you obviously do not play PS3 that much. It has, on average, the same amount of game updates as xbox 360. PSN servers have, on average, the same connection speed as XBL. The PS3 deletes data quicker then xboxs system software. These points have all been proven (google it).

In fact this happens on most games (including xbox), if you install a game and then delete it and install DLC quite a long time after, the following will happen:

1. You will need to reinstall the game (albeit only required on a tiny amount of PS3 games).
2. You will need to install all the patches.
3. Because DLC wasn't supported when the game was released, the updates add the functionality for it in. Because of this you will need to reinstall and redownload the DLC.

Just to confirm this happens on both consoles and they take about the same amount of time to download,delete and install data (PS3 is actually a tiny bit faster). FACT.

Own both systems

I own both systems and I can tell you right now if a game is released for both systems hands down I buy it on 360 just for the simple fact the required updates go by almost instantly.

It is the worse thing ever that an up download takes as long as it does on the ps3 and even worse still is the fact that once it downloads you STILL have to wait for it to actually install the update, which sucks, terribly!

I prefer the Update method

I prefer the Update method Msoft uses with the Xbox 360, however, I've never had as difficult a time as you had with the Heavy Rain DLC.

Do you use your Ps3 on a daily basis? I find that people who turn it on maybe, once a week, feel like they get prompted for updates constantly. As someone who uses my Ps3 daily, I have gone several weeks at a time without any update prompts.

And yes, it took FOREVER to delete the DC Online Beta from my Ps3 HDD. It was over 13 gig (the bigger the file the longer the removal period, but it still took longer than I thought necessary.

blu ray drives

Unfortunately, the reason that games need to install on the ps3 is because blu ray discs are only read at one speed. Red laser drives, xbox dvds, can be read at variable speeds.

PlayStation Plus

With PlayStation Plus the PS3 installs your updates for you when idle... Obviously you'd have to have the game installed first but really I've never had a big problem with updates.

360 patches are fewer

"You then go on to say, its the devs fault for releasing the games unfinished and patching later, but foolishly you seem to forget the games are released just as unfinished on 360, yet the updates go much faster and are far fewer, again, this is a Sony issue NOT a developer issue.

And finally, the 360 does get a lot of updates, hard drive or not, they just go quicker, and install themselves, and there are far fewer.'

360 patches are fewer and far between because microsoft only allows so many free updates. Devs know this and have to make sure they get EVERYTHING in the limit or their going to be up sh*t creek without a paddle. PS3 can have as many patches as need be, so devs will put out a few patches on the ps3 to make sure they get it all on one patch on the 360. 360 also has a memory limit for patches which cause them to be quicker. I don't know of a limit for the ps3. i am a ps3 owner and this infuriates me but theres nothing I can do :(

blu ray only one speed?!?

Anonymous wrote:

Unfortunately, the reason that games need to install on the ps3 is because blu ray discs are only read at one speed. Red laser drives, xbox dvds, can be read at variable speeds.

From which fortune cookie did you retrieve this false information?

Only 15 comments? Quick,

Only 15 comments? Quick, somebody post a link to this article on a PS3 forum! ;-)

The limit on patches isn't

The limit on patches isn't always good - I've played a few multi-platform games like IL-2:BoP that have received patches on PS3 and not on 360 because of MS's policies. Generally, when you look at multiplat releases, they patch the same things in both systems - ie, what you're suggesting doesn't happen for most games (multiplats form the majority of both consoles' gaming libraries).

You seem to prepare hard to

You seem to prepare hard to get accustomed to PC fun. ;-)

This article is how many (PC) demo xy got released threads work. Many comments on the issues everyone has, "i have awesome download speeds", or not, and opinions on the game in the minority.

I even think PC has less wasted time in the patching process, because PC is really for everything, uses his cores for something. I can surf the net meanwhile, i can even play another game in the meantime. While the game loads its patch or even while installing. Though the box seems to be the most user friendly device here. I usually switch to my PC when waiting on the PS3 to finish. I never felt like i needed to do something else while the box updated.

Errrrrrr

Seems to me you do not know how to manage data, also unlike the 360 you can pop out the Hard drive and pop in a fresh one if you run out of space or just upgrade to a larger HD altogether, tho I would say you need a HD just for beta/demo stuff.

The 360 is as bad at the ed of the day its up to the user to understand the nuances of the system IE how much crap you have on your hard drive and what you need to delete to keep a decent amount of free space.

PS:Welcome tot he 90s you may even be able to run a computer if you can master free scape. :P

Standards?

Come on, Brad. Is this sort of article what GameCritics is really about?

You usually post some great, thought provoking articles which have us all contributing quality replies which continue the flow of ideas.

This article contributes nothing to the community and is better found on a site like N4G.com.

What you've offered is like a motor journalist finding their car battery dead and back tire flat, then turning around writing an article about it and how it's the car manufacturer's fault that these things have ruined your Sunday drive.

It's boring and it's not what this site is about. It's also contrary to the excellent articles you've done before.

D

Hmm..

Though I can agree...patching and updates can be a bit annoying, and I'm sure I'll have plenty as soon as I get moved in, as I haven't made phsyical contact with my PS3 since October =/... but a good portion of your issue seems a bit...self inflicted. I rarely download betas and demo's so I already find that as wasteless space that gets deleted immediately after sampling...but thats subjective. However, if your an average gamer, you should know the bounds of your hard drive space-which could have prevented a good bit of this 'hot mess' And skipping patches will help with the much needed isntant gratification, though I often forget about this myself. But either way, the next time you decide to purchase a game, do your self a favor and upgrade your hardrive. They're cheap, and with an exception to backing up and loading data, you should be back up to run in less than than half the time the frustration of having limited hard drive space caused you.

Rant?

A lot of the points I would like to make have already been made. This seems like something you should have left to your blog, Brad! It's not so much in keeping with the tone of the rest of the site. Installs do annoy me too but this is a little much I think. I love this site because I get opinions on the games and the industry from people who love them. You can find a rant re: the bugbears of either console on any fanboy forum going.

My 2 cents anyway:

I own both consoles. The Xbox definitely has the edge in online support and controller design, but I prefer the Playstation 3 for its free online play, better DLC pricing (real money as opposed to Microsoft's points nonsense), and the fact that it's a rather excellent bluray player. Stupidly priced upon release but it still beats the Xbox (slim or no) as a piece of hardware - worth the install times I think!

Those pesky load times

Being fortunate enough to have both the 360 and PS3, I almost always go with the 360 when the game is multi-platform. Why? Because the PS3 requires that often lengthly game data load, whereas the 360 is virtually plug-n-play (especially if I'm offline). While some may say "big deal", having young children myself, I can understand where Brad is coming from.

There's been more than a few times where after getting the kids to bed, doing a few chores (e.g., bills, laundry), I've sat down and fell asleep while waiting for the PS3 to finish updating itself or the game (yeah...I'm old). As time becomes more precious (especially when dealing with a job, the house, children, the wife who asks why you're staying up to play a game rather than spending her last moments of consciousness for the day with her, etc.), convenience becomes increasingly important. I've never fallen asleep waiting for a 360 game to boot up (after that, however, all bets are off).

Blame update process

It's true you can skip that patches and just not log in, which is what I usually end up doing, which in turn only leads to more updates when I actually *want* to go online. As a consequence, I just end up not being on PSN hardly at all.

When this kind of a discussion turns into "blame the developers" or "blame the user", I think it only points out the obvious: the update process itself is flawed. When you find yourself playing something on XBLA or a hand-held while waiting to download a patch or update on the PS3, you know there's a problem.

A console should be a plug and play device. This is one of the things that first led people away from PC gaming back in the day. Microsoft has simply done a better job in that area, so kudos to them. But as one poster pointed out, devices are becoming more connected, and as more content is available via downloads only, this will only get worse.

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