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Old 03-02-2008, 05:12 AM   #1429
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,149
Web Browsers for Video Game Consoles
Various Systems

As we all know, it is simply not worth surfing the internet unless you are doing it from a videogame console. Computers like Macs and PCs just aren't robust enough for the internet whereas consoles excel. So I figured I'd do something a little different this time around and compare the web browsers for the various consoles that have them legitimately. By that I mean provided officially, not hackware or anything lame like that. To the best of my knowledge, the only consoles which have web browsers are the Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo Wii and the Sony Playstation 3. Devices like the CD-i, WebTV and crap like that do NOT count! Now let's compare how they all do!

The Japanese Dreamcast Broadband Passport allows more options
when you hit the L or R button, or S1 and S2 on the keyboard.

The old Gamefan website viewed on the Sega Saturn Netlink.

General Info and Features
Just some of the basic features, cookies, bookmarks, speed and crap like that.

Sega Saturn:
The Saturn browser comes with the Netlink modem and can only be used via dial-up. If you didn't already have your own ISP, you could sign up with Concentric. I think they went out of business or have merged with someone else since this came out. The Saturn browser is called Planet Web and you can use a keyboard and mouse or a standard controller. Cookies are not allowed, but bookmarks and e-mail addresses can be saved to the Saturn internal back-up RAM. Obviously the Saturn Netlink is the slowest of all browsers.

Sega Dreamcast:
There are many different browsers for the Dreamcast. The ones released in the US are all Planet Web. They are upgrades to the Saturn Netlink version. They also can be used with a mouse and keyboard, and the Dreamcast keyboard is excellent. Sites tend to load very slowly and a broadband version of the browser was only released in Europe. Even that version is pretty slow. In Japan they had the the Broadband Passport. This is an excellent browser, all things considered, and is much faster than Planet Web and allows sites to store cookies on the VMU. E-mail is also supported on all browsers.

Nintendo Wii:
The Wii uses the much-hated Opera browser. However the browser is actually decent here, and isn't tremendously similar to the computer version. Broadband is obviously supported and dial-up is not. Good! Using a keyboard is absolutely out of the question. Nintendo wants you to put in all text and URLs via the painful Wii Remote method. It is the only browser which does not allow keyboard control. I assume the browser allows sites to place cookies, and loading speed is fairly quick. It's not a bad browser, but even simple tasks like scrolling up and down a page are made a pain in the ass simply because of the Wii Remote method of control. This browser is also costs money. I have no idea why, as it is worth none. It used to be free, but then Nintendo decided that they hate you. Fortunately I was able to get it while it was free.

Sony Playstation 3:
The PS3 browser works well, but there are many options that you might want to check out to make sure it is performing and displaying the best it can for your setup. It defaults to a small 4:3 box, and that's pretty lame. Any USB keyboard is supported. Obviously it can save bookmarks and cookies because the PS3 is totally next-gen and is built for futuristic technologies like that. It is even faster than the Wii browser, but the PS3 is so much more way powerful than the Wii that this shouldn't be surprising. The Cell processor speeds up the internet and gives you full power in a 3D netherworld! Only the PS3 can satisfy. However, I'm not biased.

The PS3 can have multiple windows open at the same time.
If you press (I think) L3 (left analog stick) the windows
will shrink so you can see them all and pick one, just like
Mac OS X does it, only not quite as cool.

Page Accuracy
How well does each browser represent the website on the TV screen? Does it mangle it completely? Does it look as it should?

Sega Saturn:
It was pretty close for it's time, especially since the normal computer resolution back then was 640x480, and the Saturn web browser actually runs at the same resolution. Todays web pages are highly unlikely to even load into anything tangible at all.

Sega Dreamcast:
It's pretty far off from what the pages should look like, especially since most web sites are much larger than the 640x480 limits of this browser. Fonts are often too big as well... in fact they seem to be always the same size.

Nintendo Wii:
Pretty close. You can have it display in a widescreen mode if you like which helps sites have a little bit of breathing room.

Sony Playstation 3:
You have to go into the options to tell it to fill your entire screen, but most sites look exactly as they should. Unfortunately if you are surfing on a 1920x1080 TV, some of the text may seem a bit too small and the sites themselves may be too small to fill the screen. The PS3 browser has a cool anti-flickering filter for 480i and 1080i TVs.

My Chrono Trigger review being displayed on the Wii. Yay.
Can the browser read and post on the forums here on this fine site?

Sega Saturn:
Uh, no. Probably not. I think it would probably die trying.

Sega Dreamcast:
The Planet Web browsers can read the forums, but they will look ugly. Every time I try to post on the forum or even log in, the browser usually crashes. However the Japanese Broadband Passport (which is mostly in English anyway) indeed lets you read and post on the forums. I have done so before and everyone was amazed and sent me free cash for being so awesome.

Nintendo Wii:
Yup, the forums look pretty good and posting is easy... if you can deal with the shit-tastic Wii Remote. Since Nintendo hates you and your entire family and wants to see them in pain, keyboards aren't supported and therefore your posts will likely be very short. So much hate within Nintendo and their products.

Sony Playstation 3:
Oh hells yeah! The Sony Playstation 3 was built for the Magicbox. You can use a keyboard and post stuff like crazy! It is super way-powerful and invincible. Totally incredible!!

Typing an e-mail with the control pad on the Saturn Netlink.

The Magicbox Forums main page displayed on the Dreamcast Broadband Passport.

The Wii playing an awesome Youtube video.

Can the browser play videos hosted on the popular web site called "Youtube"?

Sega Saturn:
Not a chance.

Sega Dreamcast:
Nope. Broadband Passport complains about plug-ins or something like that.

Nintendo Wii:
Yep! Does it fairly decently as well.

Sony Playstation 3:
Indeedy-do! Upscales Youtube videos to HDTV resolutions... but of course they still look like Youtube videos. Upscaling does not add detail. Duh.

The Playstation 3 displaying it's powerful graphic hardware by playing back a video from Youtube. Amazing!

Porn Ability
The internet is completely useless without porn. So how do these browsers stack up in your endless search for digital poontang?

Sega Saturn:
The Saturn is easily able to find and display much porn, however when you are ogling the porn on your screen, the colors flicker back and forth like some sort of Amiga HAM (Hold and Modify) mode. It makes the porn a little less thrilling and a bit annoying, but only a little. The Saturn enjoys displaying porn with it's graphics chipset, and it tries it's hardest. It would rather display porn than, say, Sonic the Hedgehog. That's why a true Sonic game never appeared on the system.

Porn on the Saturn Netlink, censored for your protection.

Sega Dreamcast:
All of the Dreamcast browsers are able to display porn, and the DC loves doing it. You can hook it up with a VGA cable and get glorious VGA porn so you can see that extra little bit of detail in the nooks and crannies. If you have the proper equipment you can even view the porn in 480p on your HDTV. Fantastic!

The Dreamcast's window is a little too small for most porn.

Nintendo Wii:
You'd think that Nintendo would block porn sites from being accessed on their console, but surprisingly they don't! The Wii will display all the porn you can find, and it will load it super-fast as well. I am thinking that maybe Nintendo designed the Wii to be a porn system. The Wii does porn very, very well. 16:9 and 480p support make sure your Wii porn looks pretty damn good.

Since the Wii's resolution isn't any higher than the Dreamcast's, porn can be compromised.

Sony Playstation 3:
Wow! Sony sure knows porn! The PS3 browser displays porn in incredible HDTV resolutions so you can even see her kidneys when you "look inside"! Since the resolution is so high, some pics may seem too small. You can click the R3 button (the right analog stick) to resize the image in most cases. The images draw really fast and you can even save them to the PS3 hard drive to e-mail to friends or use as your PS3 wallpaper! They should call the system the Pornstation 3.

Porn in HD! You might have to look long and hard to find something that will fill the high-res screen.

Overall Assessments
Ya know, surfing the web on a game console really sucks!
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