ad info




TIME Asia
TIME Asia Home
Current Issue
Magazine Archive
Asia Buzz
Travel Watch
Web Features
  Entertainment
  Photo Essays

Subscribe to TIME
Customer Services
About Us
Write to TIME Asia

TIME.com
TIME Canada
TIME Europe
TIME Pacific
TIME Digital
Asiaweek
Latest CNN News

Young China
Olympics 2000
On The Road

 ASIAWEEK.COM
 CNN.COM
  east asia
  southeast asia
  south asia
  central asia
  australasia
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 SHOWBIZ
 ASIA WEATHER
 ASIA TRAVEL


Other News
From TIME Asia

Culture on Demand: Black is Beautiful
The American Express black card is the ultimate status symbol

Asia Buzz: Should the Net Be Free?
Web heads want it all -- for nothing

JAPAN: Failed Revolution
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori clings to power as dissidents in his party finally decide not to back a no-confidence motion

Cover: Endgame?
After Florida's controversial ballot recount, Bush holds a 537-vote lead in the state, which could give him the election

TIME Digest
FORTUNE.com
FORTUNE China
MONEY.com

TIME Asia Services
Subscribe
Subscribe to TIME! Get up to 3 MONTHS FREE!

Bookmark TIME
TIME Media Kit
Recent awards

TIME Asia Asiaweek Asia Now TIME Asia story

MARCH 20, 2000 VOL. 155 NO. 11

T E S T   D R I V I N G   T H E   P S 2
Listen to the Kids: "It's Smoother, More Realistic"
By SACHIKO SAKAMAKI Tokyo

A week before stores in Japan put the PlayStation 2 on sale, Sony quietly unwrapped eight of the new consoles at its showroom in Tokyo's Ginza district. Hundreds of game freaks turned up, even though Sony hadn't advertised the event. How did they know to come? For weeks, fans hungry to try out the PS2 had been showing up at Sony headquarters, hoping for a sneak preview. So on Feb. 26, when they finally found what they were looking for, they quickly called friends on their mobile phones. Within an hour, the place was packed with fans eager to test drive the device that's been billed as the Porsche of game machines.

The Sato sisters don't look like your stereotypical game fanatics. For one thing, they're girls. Madoka, 18, and Mai, 13, dropped by the Ginza building after taking in an art exhibition. At home, the Sato sisters and their three younger siblings have to scramble for playing time on their one PlayStation console, which is usually switched on from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. Mai had already gotten a glimpse of PS2 at a show Sony put on the week before. Now she was hooked.

    ALSO IN TIME
Indonesia: Rising From the Ashes
Charismatic former guerrilla leader Xanana Gusmão brings hope that his beloved East Timor will finally be freed from centuries of fear
Starting Over: Love and food bring the crowds to the Burned House
'I Don't Feel Prepared to Lead this Country': Xanana Gusmão discusses the past and looks to the future
East Timor's Reconstruction: Is aid doing more harm than good?

Business: Sony Plays for the Big Stakes
After breaking the mold to create PlayStation 2, the Japanese company is hoping its new game box will make it a major Internet player
Test Driving the PS2: Listen to the kids: 'It's smoother, more realistic'

South Asia: Into the Breach
In tense South Asia, U.S. President Bill Clinton may face one raw, ruptured relationship he cannot heal
Viewpoint: Flirting With Trouble: When he visits the subcontinent, Clinton should stick to feel-good diplomacy

Books: A Tale of Disillusionment
Duong Thu Huong's latest novel drifts gracefully through a Vietnam plagued by soulless ideologues

Books: Bland Fare
A 'hot' Indian novel caters to foreign tastes

  RELATED STORIES
TIME
The Son Also Surprises
With a stunning takeover of Hong Kong's telecom giant, Richard Li steps out from the shadow of his tycoon father, Li Ka-shing

The Name of the Game
Hong Kong investors flock to a dotcom firm with no track record. Why? Three words: Li Ka-shing

Dotcom Mania
As Asia's Internet start-ups race toward lucrative listings, investors have dollar signs in their eyes

CNN
More news from East Asia
"It felt so good," says Madoka. On the PlayStation machine at home, she prefers fighting games, like Namco's Tekken. A PS2 version of Tekken was on hand, and Madoka perceived a definite improvement. "When I won, it felt as if I actually won the fight," she said. "The image is better than that of regular video. You can watch your favorite scenes over and over again in clear images."

The buzz on PS2 was generally positive, with one exception. Most of the games now available don't take advantage of the machine's full capabilities. Only 10 new titles are being sold, although games for the original PlayStation will work on PS2. Sony plans to release 27 new titles by the end of March, and several players said they'll stick with the original PlayStation until the latest, killer games hit the market.

Eighth-grader Matthew Ireton, 13, doesn't seem like the patient type. He already spends a couple of hours a day--six on weekends--bouncing among PlayStation, Sega's Dreamcast and the Nintendo 64 at his home in Tokyo. His father works for Warner Bros., which is conducting a promotional tie-in with Sony, so he had a chance to try out the PS2. His analysis:

The joystick controls? "Wow, they're really light. Controls are getting so heavy now, but these are light." So light, he confessed, that he wasn't able to hit any home runs in a virtual baseball game.

The speed? "The load time is a lot faster. I don't have to wait as long for the game to come up."

Graphics? "On the other PlayStation, they're choppier, like the hands on the fighter. But here they're smoother, more realistic. You can see the shadows on the race car when it goes under the bridge."

Would he buy it? Not yet. "It's supposed to be better than Dreamcast, right? But right now, I don't see much difference. Still, the companies making games for PS2 are the best in Japan, right? When they come out with games, I'll want it."

Write to TIME at mail@web.timeasia.com

This edition's table of contents
TIME Asia home


AsiaNow


Quick Scroll: More stories from TIME, Asiaweek and CNN

   LATEST HEADLINES:

WASHINGTON
U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

MANILA
Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

ALLAHABAD
Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

COLOMBO
Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

TOKYO
Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

BANGKOK
Thai party announces first coalition partner



TIME:

COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state



ASIAWEEK:

COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness


Launch CNN's Desktop Ticker and get the latest news, delivered right on your desktop!

Today on CNN
 Search

Back to the top   © 2000 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.