I have had my Cobra for 2 weeks now and tested quite a few games and movies in different formats. The product is very good and feels special, and you instantly recognise that from the snake-skin themed box and black foamy protector around the dongle. Once I ditched dongles for CFW on 3.55 I loved it and one of the main reasons is that I don't have to switch on, reset, eject and all of that but the Cobra does not require you to do that. As long as it is inserted in one of the PS3s USB ports, you can boot, switch off etc in any way you please and without the dongle inserted at all the PS3 will act like a completely legitimate OFW on 3.55, which is cool.
One of the Cobra's main stand-out features is it can play region-free PS2 backups with no framerate-switching issues, I felt I should do some experiments with this.
I have tested my original PAL and NTSC games on both a NTSC 60gb and a PAL 60gb although being in the UK my PAL collection is far greater than my NTSC one and the results are pretty much the same. The exceptions are always going to be titles such as the crap-fest that is Tekken Tag Tournament on a PAL 60gb which is to do with Sony's emulator and nothing to do with the Cobra. However, I tested my original PAL Tekken Tag Tournament on my CECHA01 (60gb NTSC) and it works flawlessly so yes, Sony were just lazy to fix this emulation issue on PAL 60gb/80gb NTSC PS3s (CECHC03/CECHE01 respectively).
These are the games I've tested so far on BOTH consoles with and without issues (specific titles will get analysed later in this review).
Ripping these games takes a while at times so I shall add more from my collection later (all are original rips unless a backup is obtained to prevent my sealed games from being opened), all are orginal no greatest hits or platinum.
Pretty much ALL of these games run fine although a few have minor graphical bugs to major issues on PAL 60gb's like for example on Silent Hill 2, the main character's leg will disappear and reappear randomly which is already known and is simply a bug from Sony's emulator. However when this title is played on a NTSC 60gb, this glitch no longer appears:
Deus EX (PAL)
Farenheit/Indigo Prophecy (PAL)
FIFA 2003 (PAL)
FIFA 2004 (PAL)
FIFA 2005 (PAL)
FIFA 06 (PAL)
God of War (NTSC)
Gran Turismo 3 (PAL)
Gran Turismo 4 (PAL)
Grand Theft Auto 3 (PAL)
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PAL)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PAL)
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (PAL)
James Bond 007: Nightfire (PAL)
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PAL)
Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (PAL)
Pro Evolution Soccer 5 (PAL)
Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (PAL)
Project Zero/Fatal Frame (PAL)
Quake 3: Revolution (PAL)
Rayman Revolution (PAL)
Rayman 2: Revolution (NTSC)
Rayman 3 (PAL)
Rayman M (PAL)
Red Faction 1+2 (PAL)
Resident Evil 4 (PAL)
Road Trip Adventure (PAL)
Shadow of the Colossus (PAL)
All the Silent Hills from the Silent Hill Collection (Silent Hill 2, 3, 4: The Room - all PAL)
SSX Tricky (PAL)
Tekken 5 (PAL)
Tekken 5 (NTSC)
Tekken Tag Tournament (PAL) - Runs great on a CECHA01, runs the same poor performance as before on a CECHC03
Tekken Tag Tournament (NTSC)
The Getaway (PAL)
The Getaway (NTSC)
Virtua Tennis 2 (PAL)
WWF Smackdown: Just Bring It (PAL)
WWF Smackdown: Just Bring It (NTSC)
WWE Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth (PAL)
WWE Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth (NTSC)
WWE Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain (PAL)
WWE Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain (NTSC)
WWE Smackdown vs Raw (PAL)
WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2006 (PAL)
Battle Arena Toshinden (PAL)
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX (PAL)
Descent 2 (PAL)
Driver 2 (Disc 1 and 2 - PAL)
Gran Turismo (PAL)
Metal Gear Solid (Disc 1 and 2 - PAL)
Rayman 2 (PAL)
Road Rash (PAL)
Rogue Trip: Vacation 2012 (PAL)
Silent Hill (PAL)
WCW Mayhem (PAL)
WCW Nitro (PAL)
WCW/nWo Thunder (PAL)
Worms Armageddon (PAL)
World's Scariest Police Chases (PAL)
WWF SmackDown! (PAL)
WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role (PAL)
All games are running fine overall but bugs that I have found are and are quite inconsistent are if you are playing 'slobberknocker' mode on WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It, there are random crashes and I have tested this with both NTSC and PAL versions of the game but this occurs only on my PAL 60gb PS3.
Driver on PS1 sometimes crashes and at random displays a disc-reading icon for about a second during missions within undercover mode. This however may be down to my own personal rip, although my disc looks fine I shall obtain an alternative backup and test further.
The Getaway (PAL) does not boot at all, just kicks me back to the XMB and The Getaway (NTSC) hangs after the PlayStation 2 boot-up screen. I know this is not the fault of my copies because if I run the game via disk, it boots regardless of via Cobra CFW mode or OFW 3.55, definetly a Cobra issue. Not all bad considering it's the only game I have seen with this problem as I can just leave my copy in the PS3 but an issue nonetheless. This doesn't matter that much for me personally from a video-perspective though since the PAL version of The Getaway features an NTSC/PAL selector in the options.
Now for another issue but this one is a bit weird. Rayman Revolution (PAL) will not boot on a PAL 60gb machine (hangs at loading screen after saying "press start" but animation of Rayman on a rocket continues, doesn't freeze), although it will via original but the weird thing is that I can get the NTSC version Rayman 2: Revolution to boot flawlessly on a PAL 60gb machine.
This is a 100% Cobra issue as I have used another copy that is a PAL and the exact same thing happens.
I have used this with multiMAN/other homebrew once I updated my PS3 to Cobra 3.55 CFW and have had NO problems compatibility-wise whilst using the Cobra USB.
If trying to play in discless mode via multiMAN, WWE SmackDown vs RAW 2011 is very buggy and with or without the attempt in discless mode various glitches occur such as freezes, no sound etc. With the Cobra I made a ISO with their ISO creator from their site and I have played the game discless with ZERO freezes, game runs flawlessly with Cobra. Popular games such as GT5 also work fine with cobra, discless/ISO included, although multiMAN does a fine job of this itself.
I have ripped 6 Blu-ray films (5 PAL region, the other NTSC) and the Cobra does what it says it does in playing region free Blu-ray movies. Same goes to the 11 DVDs that I tested.
Ripping all these games/movies is a breeze, although the time it takes to rip a game is fine, I feel the overall transfer rate could be improved upon especially if you compare to the latest version of multiMAN. The integrated FTP within the Cobra USB Manager is simple but more than adequate with fast speeds and solid connection. I've had no problems creating ISOs, deleting them, FTPing, making directories etc...all work well. One criticism I do have though of the Cobra USB manager is it looks like crap compared to the latest versions of multiMAN so this should be improved upon in future updates.
I have tested all my PS3 games and ALL of them work discless and in ISO form although I only have about 30 PS3 games.
I and others have complained about the Cobra USB Updater application that you use on your PC to update the flash memory/firmware of the device as at times it can not actually detect your dongle despite having the drivers installed on your OS. In my case I am running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit and in the Cobra's user guide, their screenshots illustrating what you need to do, they are using Windows XP so maybe it is an OS issue. Regardless this needs to be fixed as I and others shouldn't have to pray that our device will finally update.
Another great aspect to the Cobra is for those who do not want to put strain on their Blu-ray drive's laser or simply do not have a working Blu-ray drive at all, you pretty much never have to have a disc inserted. In the 2 weeks I have had the Cobra USB, I have not had to use the drive for anything outside of experimenting. This was a big selling point for me but as I said previously in my big collection I have only seen 2 games that do not work via disc and I hope this is rectified in a future update. Overall though, I am very pleased so far with the compatibility.
In conclusion this is one of the best purchases I have ever made in gaming as it FULLY unlocks the potential of your PS3 from a PlayStation perspective, especially if you have the best version of the PS3 ever made - the 60gb models, although preferably a CECHA01. There are however, with almost anything, issues with making this product perfect and I hope these issues are fixed when brought to the Cobra teams attention. As I previously stated, I have a lot more PSX/PS2/PS3/DVD and Blu-rays to test so maybe Cobra could open an official forum with a compatibility list for games regarding their bugs, performance, region and PS3 model factoring in respectively.
Bottom line: If you want to truly unlock the potential of your PS3 and have the bonus of a fully backwards compatible model, play all games discless, PSX/PS2/PS3 backups as ISOs, play region free films and keep all the functionality of 3.55 CFW, the Cobra is for you and at £20/$35 it would be hard to turn down and not support one of the few significant developers of the PS3 scene.
Last edited by Persian_McLovin; 08-18-2011 at 01:38 PM.
PS3 60gb BC NTSC
PS3 60gb BC PAL (500gb upgrade)
Xbox 360 Slim 250gb
Xbox 360 modded with JTAG (250gb HDD internal, 1TB HDD external)
Xbox with Xecuter 3 CE (300gb HDD)
Limited Edition Black Wii modded with WODE (250gb HDD)
Limited Edition Xbox Crystal