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Gadgets & Gizmos

November 08, 2001|Aaron Curtiss

PS2's DVD in Control

It only took only a year, but Sony's PlayStation 2 finally has a remote control that makes its DVD player something other than half-baked. Although still far from perfect, the PS2's DVD playback capability is greatly enhanced by Sony's $20 remote.

Before this, PS2 owners either had to use the game controller to watch movies--an utterly awful option--or pick up a remote made by companies such as Saitek Industries. These options were adequate, but they offered only the most basic functions.

The Sony remote beefs up those choices with features such as three-speed scan and slow motion. The package includes software upgrades that fix most of the PS2's infamous playback glitches.

All that new software--about 2 megabytes' worth--fits on a memory card that must be plugged in for the remote and the new features to work properly. In addition, the remote's infrared receiver must be plugged into one of the console's two controller ports.

Since it's impossible to play games and watch a DVD at the same time, hogging a controller port is not a huge deal. But it is inconvenient. If players want to launch a two-person game, they have to remove the infrared receiver from the port.

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