Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

First Impressions

It's lunchtime on the day of the PlayStation 2's launch here in Europe - I checked out what some of the early buyers thought of the console

It's been a good few hours since a lot of people picked up their brand new PlayStation 2 consoles, and a lot of people are now dashing home in their lunch hour to deposit the machine and even check it out. We spoke to a few of the people whom we met picking up their consoles this morning in Watford. John, who it turns out is a busy executive for a major telesales company told me that he'd been "toying with it all morning" after setting it up in his office at work. "It beats the hell out of the ITN news," he told me, "although the BBC gives it a run for its money [laugh]." When asked what he thought of the games, John commented that "SSX is the most exciting," but that Ridge Racer V "was a big let down. There's nothing new here that I didn't get to play with in Type 4. What are they playing at?" Did he buy anything else? "Yep, an 8Mb memory card and another controller. I just ordered another mem card on the Internet as well as FIFA 2001, the demo of which is fantastic." Bethan, supposedly a mother from Hemel was eager to speak to me. "It's actually really good. I hadn't expected that I would enjoy it, but I thought I'd try it out before Nathan got home from School." The games, then? "Well they aren't very easy to control, but that hockey game [NHL 2001 -Ed] is good fun!" So even busy housewives can take time out to play with the new console. Reckon Nathan will be happy then? "He doesn't even know I've got one for him, he'll be thrilled when he opens it on Christmas morning." Christmas morning? Poor lad. The others were unfortunately a little pre-occupied. We know the feeling, time for another go on SSX.