Friday, April 10, 2009

And Yet Even More Flash on the Playstation 3

Since I've actually been picking up some hits on my posts about using my Playstation 3 as a media center, I thought I'd mention another issue that has come up. It appears that the PS3 does have some issues with its Flash implementation - in an earlier post, I described how the PS3 browser locked up while pausing a Hulu playback.

Last night, I tried looking up some old Red vs Blue videos on Google Video. I got to a page of search results, but at that point, the PS3 browser again hung up on me. I'm not sure what the root cause was here, but the search result page is a fairly busy page, with lots of subframes and embedded objects (and now that I think about it, that's fairly different from the standard Google search page, which is usually pretty clean). At any rate, the browser lockup this time was more severe - the browser never responded to stop/refresh/back/etc. I was eventually able to exit the browser back to the main XMB screen, but the XMB itself was now locked up. No background animation, no scrolling menu items, no response to the controller. I had to hard boot the PS3 by (gasp) actually standing up, going over the PS3 and holding down the power button. Everything came back up as normal after the reboot. I was finally able to find (and see) what I was looking for over on YouTube.

I think the bottom line is that Flash playback is possible now on the PS3, but only under fairly "ideal" circumstances, and failure can result in a hard lockup. If an occasional reboot is the worst problem, then it falls into the "barely acceptable" category - after all, the PS3 isn't a general purpose computer (at least for most people), and so I'm not usually multitasking on it. If I'm watching a video, that's usually all I'm doing on it (well, maybe a download of some DLC in the background). But if we ever get into a Red-Ring-Of-Death-type situation, where a crash leaves the thing unbootable...

Well, suffice it to say I'll be unhappy. I haven't done very much scrounging around the Intertubes yet to see how widespread this sort of thing is.

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