by Mike Shea on 22 October 2003
I will be writing a full review of SSX 3 on Playstation 2 but I wanted to post this quickly since it makes a big difference in my choice. The Playstation 2 version of SSX 3 supports both 16x9 widescreen and 480p progressive scan video as well as four channel DTS sound. SSX 3 is one of the best action / sports games available on any console. It is fast, has a huge scope, excellent control, and is incredibly fun. If you have any console, pick it up.
If you have all three, pick up the Playstation 2 version which includes the only online play version available. EA Sports does not support Xbox Live, proving they agree with my statement that Xbox Live is a blatent rip off. Xbox Live is a sales tax for the extreme over-engineering of the Xbox console.
The Playstation 2 version of SSX 3 is available in 480p progressive scan. To activate it, press and hold both the triangle and "X" buttons on the controller. You will see the snowflake spin and then be prompted to enable progressive scan.
Widescreen woes. At the Best Buy last night they had so many extra copies of the Fullscreen that I had to really hunt for the widescreen release. The widescreen was buried under a huge six foot square block of of full screen releases. Worse yet, they had the full screen jammed into the widescreen section of the front display.
Two weeks ago I bought a copy of Animal House and didn't realize until I opened it that it was the full screen release. There was so little difference in packaging that I didn't realize there were two versions until it was too late. They allowed me to return it but I got a lecture; "make sure you buy the right one". The right one? They know which one is the right one but make me go through the detective work to find out for myself?
Two releases, one gimped the other correct, is a major problem for consumers, the retail chains, the producers, and the films themselves. Two releases means up to twice as much inventory, higher production costs, and probably a higher price tag for both copies.
I talked to a salesperson at the Best Buy to explain my concerns. By having so few widescreen releases available buried under so many full screen releases, a lot of people will end up buying the right one. This would skew their sales numbers, "hey, lots of folk bought the full screen release". This is not customer satisfaction.
The producers, directors, and enthusiasts know that widescreen is the right way to watch the movie. Educate people on the advantages and only the ignorant will argue against it.
Release widescreen movies only with a one page explanation of the advantages. It will cut down production costs, inventory costs, shipping costs, and returns. Releasing widescreen movies only will increase profits.
Widescreen.org has an excellent article on the reasons for pan-and-scan. Contact Wal-mart and Best Buy and tell tell them to sell widescreen movies only. StarWars.com also has an interesting comparison of Attack of the Clones in widescreen and full frame. Even Lucas knows the difference even if he forgot how to make a good movie.