November 3, 2006 - With our PlayStation 3 test system finally in hand (at last!), we snagged a bunch of USB and memory devices from around the office to see what works and what doesn't. One thing that we've discovered is that the current software version of the test system is somewhat stripped down. It doesn't feature support for Blu-ray playback, Internet browsing, expanded PSP connectivity or so forth. We're expecting to receive our retail systems early next week, specifically Monday if things go well, where we'll be able to comment on some of its media functionality. But in the meantime, we've been able to see what sort of devices the test system supports.
The first device we tried was the original EyeToy. After plugging it in, its power light came on but the PlayStation 3 didn't prompt us in any way. Heading into the System Settings menu and then its Accessory Options sub-menu, we found a Test Camera option. Happily, we soon saw ourselves smiling back at us in our HD screen via the EyeToy's CCD sensor.
EyeToy Support - Check
Next up, we went with the EyeToy's biggest competitor, the Xbox Live Vision camera. Since it's supported on the PC, we figured it may work just fine. When we plugged Vision into the PS3 however, we were greeted by a message in the upper right-hand corner of the screen that said that an unknown USB device had been connected. Heading back to the camera testing screen confirmed that our new next-gen system doesn't like talking with the Vision camera.
Xbox Live Vision Support - Negative
Sticking with the Microsoft brand, we popped an Xbox 360 wired controller into the system. We saw the same message we got from the Vision camera, and as expected, the controller provided no sort of input.
Xbox 360 Controller Support - Negative
Next, we popped in a USB keyboard and mouse. Both powered on and look like they're supported perfectly well, what with options in the System Settings for left or right-handed mouse use, typing speed and so forth. The USB keyboard did indeed work perfectly fine anytime that a keyboard could be used. We quickly input our WEP wireless key much faster with the keyboard than we could have done with the SIXAXIS in hand.
We didn't have the opportunity to test the USB mouse, being as the test system doesn't have Internet browsing capabilities. We can confirm that, at least on the test systems, you can't use a mouse to control the Cross Media Bar. But, it powers up fine and we didn't receive an error, so it looks like it works perfectly well.
USB Keyboard Support - Check USB Mouse Support - Circle (We think it works but can't test it)
We attempted to pop a Memory Stick into its appropriate slot, and unfortunately nothing really happened. As mentioned, the test systems don't currently have full media functionality, so we couldn't browse pictures or whatever through it.
The same was true of the PSP. We didn't receive an error of any sort, but there wasn't a way to interface with it. The Remote Play option that we'll see on the retail system isn't present on the test unit, and none of its contents showed up in any of the media tabs.
Memory Stick Support - Not On Test PSP Support - Not on the Cross Media Bar
So that's what we've tried on our test system. It seems that trying out many of these things on the final retail system makes more sense, so we'll give those a shot again next week when the system shows up.