I talked a little while ago about my excitement over the upcoming release of Grand Theft Auto 5. It’s only two tantalizing days away as I write this and I’ve had it on pre-order for about 6 months. It’s fair to say I’m ready, but I almost wasn’t. My old PS3 died after 5 years of honourable service. It didn’t owe me anything but it did leave me with a dilemma. The PS4 isn’t that far away and I didn’t want to spend a load of cash on a new PS3 at this stage. So what to do? Buy a new PS3, borrow one, wait for the imminent arrival of the PS4?
My old PS3 was the bread bin shaped one and these are known to commonly overheat and stop booting after a lot of use. You can fix them by resetting the temperature sensor or repairing the thermal compound on the CPU. I didn’t fancy open console surgery much, I’d done it before unsuccessfully with a friend’s machine. Luckily I’d seen some guides to melting the paste without opening the case using a hair drier and a cardboard box to trap the hot air. I used to watch a bit of MacGuyver and I fancy myself a hacker so I had to give it a go. My first problem was that being a mostly bald man these days I don’t own a hair drier, I realised this after opening the bathroom cupboard and not being able to find one. I managed to borrow a hair drier though and I gave it my best shot. It didn’t work, in hindsight I’m not that surprised. So I searched some electronics exchange stores around town for a decent second hand model.
Eventually I bought a used 160gb PS3 Slim for £129.99. Not bad hey and it even comes with a 6 month warranty. Happy days. I set it up yesterday. I’ve been able to get Netflix and BBC iPlayer on the big screen again without tying up my laptop too. It’s much quieter and nicer looking than the old model. I hooked it to my home network and media streaming is working nicely from Mediatomb on the laptop. So I’m happy, and more importantly I’m ready for GTA5. Bring it on!
With the excitement around the online elements of the game it made me think back to a conversation with a friend many years ago on the release of GTA San Andreas. It was about 10 years back and online gaming was really hitting the mainstream for the first time I can remember. Games like World Of Warcraft offered online worlds and whole new lives for players. You could be a wizard or a starship captain or many other things. As I’ve said before tales of magic or sci-fi are alright with me but those kind of games have never really sucked me in. Give me an online city where you can go and be Tony Soprano. I mused to my friend “wouldn’t it be great if GTA was a massively multi-player online game? An experience you could share with friends.”, he thought for a moment and then replied “nah that’ll never happen”. Well he was wrong, it may have taken 10 years but finally the good folks at Rockstar Games have seen fit to create a massive online world for GTA5, one that will adapt and change as the developers add new characters and story lines. You can enter the city, buy a place to live, join a crew and go on missions. The trailers look amazing and this could be the really killer feature of the game in my view. I suppose time will tell on that, but I just wrote all of this so I can say “hah, I told you so!”. Now that I have my new PS3 I’m ready to find out.
If you don’t see or hear from me in a couple of weeks don’t worry, I’m fine. I’ve probably just migrated to a new life in Los Santos for a while. Please keep calm and send pizza, that’s the best thing you can do 😉
Thanks for reading this random set of GTA related thoughts, if you made it this far. Anyone else getting the game? What are you most looking forward to? You can drop a comment below and tell me if you like, but that’s completely up to you.