One of the benefits in owning a PlayStation 2 console is its built-in time travel chip. Those with Buzz! controllers, or membership at a video rental store, can fire up any one of the six versions of Buzz! available and effortlessly lose hours and hours tapping away at a small plastic box, and debating such crucial questions as "what is the capital of the Ukraine?", or "what am I doing at home on a Friday night being mocked by an animated game show host?".
Previously, Buzz! titles have only been available for the PlayStation 2, and they've fared admirably. Buzz! The Big Quiz even won the 2006 BAFTA for best Casual and Social game. So what real benefit can we expect from a PlayStation 3 version?
We were provided with some early preview code for Buzz! Quiz TV from Sony, so after updating the firmware on our in-house debug PS3 we fired it up and settled back for a few rounds of outlandish fun.
The first obvious difference is that we were asked if we'd like to connect to the PlayStation Network - a hint that there's more than just the conventional Buzz! format lurking within. Unfortunately in our preview build this feature was unavailable, however from what we can gather the transition to the PS3 will enable massive amounts of user-created content to be added to the game.
This is either going to be a spectacular success, or a dismal failure, and I suspect it will all come down to adequate policing. There have been hints from the developers about "racist content" being flagged and dealt with, but it seems hard to imagine how this will work all of the time, and all it takes is one or two objectionable questions to bring the whole concept crashing down, especially for families. We'll have to wait and see.
One thing is certain however, there is a lot of content already built in. During the approximately four hours we played Buzz! Quiz TV, we didn't see a duplicate question. Good news indeed, as the last time I played Buzz! The Hollywood Quiz, it was flung aside after a few games as there were just too many repeats.
Quiz TV sees a return to all your old favourites such as "pie fight" and "point stealer", and even ones you hate such as "pass the bomb". A new addition is the ability for the losing player to choose the next question category, particularly useful if you're getting thrashed by a group of intellectuals, as you'll be able to switch to '80s music and clean up.
The single-player mode appeared to be largely unfinished, so it would be inappropriate to deduct points due to the lack of a leaderboard, as this must simply be something still under development. The graphics however were flawless - you can really see the power of the PS3 is finally pushing the Buzz! franchise in the right direction.
Unfortunately we didn't get to sample the wireless Buzz! controllers that will début with Quiz TV, but then reviewing the absence of a wire is tricky at the best of times.
As usual, Buzz himself is fairly good at explaining things, so Sony has persuaded him to star in this promotional high-definition video that YouTube has butchered into low-def for us. Enjoy!
(Oh, and the capital of Ukraine is Kiev, in case you were wondering, and you're at home on a Friday night playing games as it's more fun than being refused entry at a nightclub because your shoes aren't shiny enough, or you don't have breasts.)