Playing around my PS3’s menu system, I noticed something weird. It was a word that was out of place, something that definitely didn’t belong on the virgin PS3, and something I recognized as my own, only I had no idea what it was doing under the media submenus of the PS3 XMB. Then I realized that it was the name I’d given to my tabletop PC, which I use very little these days. The PS3 had recognized it from my home network without any guidance.
Checking it out, all I had to do was turn on Windows Media Player 11’s media sharing (three clicks) and then give the computer the go-ahead when it asked if it could share media with the “unknown device” (the PS3), a further click. As if magic, it just works, precisely the way these things ought to work. Sure it’s got some limitations like not being able to play Windows media formats or AVI, but overall, I’m impressed. It can even copy all of my media into its hard drive.
The reason I’m so surprised by this is that I could never get my Windows XP system to play with the Xbox 360. I tinkered with it for several nights, only getting as far as the two systems recognizing each other’s existence, and wasting many hours of my life in the process. I still don’t know what’s wrong – probably my router – but none of that seems to bother the PS3.