I'm up in the air about playstation 2. I have the money for PS 2, but I am not sure.
I've heard about Indrema. With the price and computing power being so much greater than PS
2, I wonder if I should just wait on it instead of buying the PS 2. I want to know if what
they are saying about Indrema is true. They say it will cost $100, have a 64MB memory
size. If you could contact me back with any information you have I would greatly
Kenny Clary (Raven)
Thanks for writing. You're right that the Indrema is something to keep an eye out for, and
it does have 64 MB of memory. It also has a 600 Mhz processor, an upgradeable graphics
processor, comes with either narrow or broadband support, and an 8, 30, or 50 GB hard
drive, among a bunch of other really spiffy specs. But it will start at around $299 (the
implication is that models with bigger HDDs and faster modems will cost a little more),
and will be available at the end of 2000, beginning of 2001. After speaking with Indrema
reps, I know they are working very hard to get the product to market soon, and I know that
the GF! crew is very excited to see the L600 in action.
The only problem is that the system isn't here yet. While it's hard to say, "Buy them
both," that would probably be the best solution. While the PS2 is undoubtedly going
to be a big success and very impressive, Indrema is the kind of system that could really
shake up the market. With the recent big-name support of folks like RedHat, CollabNet, and
Linuxcare, not to mention the recent corporate shift to Linux-based operating systems,
Indrema looks to have a bright future. I suppose the best thing to do at this point in
time is wait a few months. Odds are if you don't already have a PS2 pre-ordered you'll
have a hard time laying hands on one anyway, and by the time supplemental shipments of
PS2s arrive the Indrema might just be out. If you haven't already, check out our interview
with John Gildred, CEO of Indrema, available here.
You can bet that GF! will have as much Indrema coverage as possible as soon
as more info is available. We plan on getting in on the system at the ground floor.
PS2 Demo Disc?
i am getting the ps2 and am wondering if it is gonna come with a demo for games. ive
been trying to find this out but no one seems to have an answer. if you know can u please
e-mail me and let me know.
Thanks a lot for writing GF!. According to the latest reports, the PS2 will
not come with a demo disc. The CD it comes with is an instructional disc
that shows you how to work all of the hardware, gives a short clip of DVD
video, and includes the DVD driver in case you need to copy it back onto
your memory card. It's a bummer that we won't get even short tastes of the
great new games coming for the system. Keep an eye on GF! for the rundown on
all those games you don't get to sample. Reading the preview or review is
the next best thing.
PS2 Vs. DC
Dear GamesFirst!, I read that video memory is an important factor of any
console's games and it's graphical output. Being that Dreamcast has 8MB of
video memory and PS2 only 4MB of (VM), does the extra 4MB of VM in the
Dreamcast give it any advantage over the Ps2?
One other thing I think you can help me with is as follows: The anti-aliasing in the
Dreamcast is in it's hardware, whereas the PS2's is in its software. Is this true? And if
so how does this difference affect the gameplay of either systems? Once again, are there
any advantages or disadvantages? Any information you can give will be very appriciated.
I'm giving some second thoughts as to getting a Dreamcast instead of a PS2 because i'm
realizing a Dreamcast might not be as bad as alot of people were protesting it is. I
really can't afford to have both consoles and games and accessories etc. at the same time.
I'm also realizing that Dreamcast is aquiring an impressive library of games. Can you help
me in any way? -Ameer Baksh
You are right about the video memory on the two systems. It's hard to say what the 4MB of
video memory is going to do to the PS2. The DC does have 8 MB of video memory, and the
other systems (Indrema, Xbox, presumably GameCube) will all have more. It all depends on
how developers make due with the smaller amount of memory. It is possible that they could
work around the issue, and we on the playing end of things would never know the
difference. We don't want to doom the PS2, but it looks like the system will be troubled
by graphics issues like this throughout its lifetime.
The anti-aliasing is another graphics issue the PS2 is facing right now. Most video
cards include anti-aliasing routines in the hardware. It is standard on PC cards, and the
DC, as well as other console systems, have approached the issue in the same way. However,
the PS2 Graphics Processing Unit doesn't have built-in anti-aliasing routines, and that's
irked many developers already. On our end, anti-aliasing difficulties come out as what is
known as "fry." Pop in Resident Evil or Tomb Raider, or any other 3D game that
has large, tiled floors, and you can see the fry as you move your character around. As the
camera moves, it looks like each tile flickers and, almost, bubbles. When we got to see
Munch's Oddysee, the highly anticipated Oddworld sequel, at E3, the only complaint I heard
about the system had to do with the anti-aliasing routine, and the fry was noticeable. Munch's Oddysee has been delayed until
Spring 2001 (it was going to be a PS2 launch title), partly because Oddworld Inhabitants
is dedicated enough to write a routine to compensate for the lack of anti-aliasing
functions in the PS2 GPU. Some developers will take the time to write routines to fix the
anti-aliasing, and some developers won't. It's sure to become an issue to consider when
looking at new PS2 games.
The Dreamcast is an appealing console system. I won't lie to you: We like the system over
here at GF!. There are tons of great games coming out for it, and DC owners have a lot to look forward to this
fall. It is ahead of the pack in supporting online play, and highly original titles like
Seaman and Shenmue keep it cutting edge. The PS2, however, is also going to be an
impressive beast. It may not be the ultimate answer to all of our gaming dreams, as so
many gamers have hoped, but it will be dang fun. And if broadband access continues to
improve and Sony's plans for online support come through, the PS2 crowd will undoubtedly
have a lot to look forward to in future Christmas seasons. It's a tough choice to make,
and one that nobody else can make for you. Check out the titles, maybe rent a few, and do
a comparison. If it's possible, wait until after the PS2 has come out, compare the systems
side-by-side, and then make your determination. Either way, the graphical prowess should
probably not be your biggest concern. Game graphics will always improve and, with the
possible exception of the Indrema, any console you get is going to be behind-the-times in
a year. Consider the library of games, cost, and future titles in development to
really make a decision.
I hope we helped. Take care,