Now while these guys
October 30, 2000 8:27 PM   Subscribe

Now while these guys are not exactly the most unbiased source for an evaluation of the PlayStation 2, they have nonetheless backed up their evaluation with a lot of convincing hard information on the performance and in particular about the financing. If these guys have got it right, Sony's going to take a bath on this; they'll never come close to recouping their costs of production, let alone all the research they did. If these guys have it right, Sony will lose money on the PS2 as long as they sell it. This Is Not Good. (Unless you hate Rambus, like I do, because this means both of their markets will collapse.)
posted by Steven Den Beste (19 comments total)

 
Oh, it may seem premature to declare the PS2 dead on the day of its introduction. But you have to rememeber that it's been out in Japan for a long time already. They're doing their numbers based on the Japanese experience with the PS2.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 8:31 PM on October 30, 2000


Has it not already been covered that the money comes from the games and not the units?

There are to go for talk about performance.


Of course real gamers (cough) will probably own one of each.

posted by
john at 8:56 PM on October 30, 2000


Tell me something, and I ask this as a friend not a foe-- why are engineer types always so keen to "hate" various companies? Is it because their inferior (or in some cases, probably, superior yet annoying, or expensive, or what have you) products affect your daily life/work, or is it derived from purely ideological reasons?
posted by s10pen at 8:59 PM on October 30, 2000


Last week I was drooling for one of those PS2 units, but now I find myself hankering for a GameCube.

Does anyone know if the GameCube will play DVD movies? That's actually a big consideration for me . . .

Whatever happens with PS2, DreamCast, or the GameCube, it seems as though we're on the verge of another gaming revolution. I've not been interested in video games since I convinced my parents to get me an old school Nintendo back in 1988 - suddenly, I feel like whining to them again . . .
posted by aladfar at 9:24 PM on October 30, 2000


I did not want to get my Playstation three years back, my wife wanted it. I thought I was over console games. I was so wrong. I have enjoyed the hell out of this box. I have a pretty strong feeling there is brand loyalty to Sony that is gonna tip in their favor.
I have been amazed and pleased with the evolution of games on the original system, I do believe the last wave of games pushed the system to the outside edge of it's capability. I imagine this new platform is gonna scream louder and louder over the next 4 years. I could be wrong, but I doubt I will be sorry. At least no sorrier than your average Sega Saturn owner.
I suspect all the Dreamcast owners are braying to keep their machines from becoming doorstops.
posted by thirteen at 9:48 PM on October 30, 2000


Mostly, I just posted to close that tag.
posted by thirteen at 9:59 PM on October 30, 2000


Nintendo have done it again. That cube thingy has potential, and they have obviously realised that developers need to be able to make games for their system.
posted by Zool at 10:29 PM on October 30, 2000


aladfar: no it won't, at least thats the official statement so far. It uses some proprietary DVD format apparently, and would require more.. er, bits (my engineering studies coming to the fore here) to be able to play DVD movies. I don't know why its an issue... everyone should have a DVD player anyway. :)

Dreamcast is actually doing fairly well in terms of quality so far. But I got my bets on Nintendo, rising from the mediocre effort of the 64, and reigning once again over the others. From the sound of things so far, they're getting it Right.

Hope they'll change the appearance of the Cube though.


posted by aki at 11:03 PM on October 30, 2000


From the calculations, they need to sell an average of 14 games to every PS2 owner to break even. No console in history has ever exceeded 9:1. If that's what they achieve, they'll lose about $50 per unit.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:15 PM on October 30, 2000


s10pen, I don't hate companies as a general principle. But Rambus is a special case: they tried to foist off an inferior technology and blackmail companies into using it, and when that failed they used extremely sleazy tactics and a hell of a lot of lawsuits to try to force every company making any SDRAM to pay a royalty to them, royalties they probably are not really entitled to.

Rambus has managed the unbelievable feat of making themselves more hated in this industry than Microsoft. This article is probably the best single summary of why that I have available, though I've been collecting other links.

About a week ago, Craig Barrett, head of Intel, said "We hoped we were partners with a company that would concentrate on technology innovation rather than seeking to collect a toll from other companies." That represented Rambus losing its last friend in the industry, and I speak literally.

Meanwhile, Micron is suing Rambus to try to get all their patents nullified, and I think they have a good chance to succeed. Twice before this has happened by other companies, but Rambus was able to settle. But Micron is out for blood, and from reading their complaint I think they have a good chance of winning. Micron isn't going to settle.

I hate any "high tech" company which relies more heavily on lawyers than it does on engineers.

posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:29 PM on October 30, 2000


Sorry, I got the wrong link for the article describing why I hate Rambus. Try this one instead.

posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:39 PM on October 30, 2000


Technical penis-length measurements aside, the proof is in the pudding, or more precisely, the games. I'm still skeptical that the Dreamcast will have very long legs compared to the PS2, but when you look at the screenshots of DC's Metropolis Street Racer vs. PS2's Gran Turismo 3, I have to say I'm pretty darn impressed with the Dreamcast.
posted by Potsy at 1:23 AM on October 31, 2000


I'm going to wait another year before I even consider getting a PS2. My girlfriend's brother will have one I can play with soon enough, but games that really start to take advantage of what the PS2 has to offer won't start rolling out of the development houses until they start working on their 2nd PS2 game.

It's an entirely new architecture, and it takes a while for coders to get familiar with an environment. Sure, by the time the company's first game is released the main coders know the environment pretty well, but there'll still be crufty old bits of what is essentially work-around code. All the little nooks and crannies and tweaks have yet to be discovered.

Also, in a year the GameCube and XBox will be coming out, and Sony will be dropping the PS2 price. :-)
posted by cCranium at 6:14 AM on October 31, 2000


my bad on that missing tag. Doh
posted by john at 10:22 AM on October 31, 2000


cCranium, I agree, I have a Dreamcast and it's taken a while for anything to justify buying the console for has shown up, I think Metropolis Street Racer might just be it (I played a pre-release recently and it plays as good as it looks).
The PS2 is still young, there are a huge number of Sony devotees out there now who have been waiting for the PS2 with baited breath (and will be paying the full price). The Playstation really changed the demographic of games consoles, I'd given up gaming when I sold my Atari 800XL but bought a PSX a couple of years after it was released, the games had only really started offering something approaching sophistication.
I bought a Dreamcast and was sorely disappointed by Sega Rally, I went back to my PSX and have hardly touched the Dreamcast since, but MSR has encouraged me to dust it off and give it another chance. I suspect in a year or two I'll be buying a PS2 for half the price the people queueing at the stores now are paying and getting some great games into the bargain.
Don't write off the PS2 yet, the Dreamcast didn't offer much different from the PSX when it was first released, a year later and we're beginning to see what it can do. If the innovation displayed on the PSX cam be carried forwards to the PS2 there should be some really cracking games coming up.
posted by Markb at 12:02 PM on October 31, 2000


cCranium, I agree, I have a Dreamcast and it's taken a while for anything to justify buying the console for has shown up, I think Metropolis Street Racer might just be it (I played a pre-release recently and it plays as good as it looks).
The PS2 is still young, there are a huge number of Sony devotees out there now who have been waiting for the PS2 with baited breath (and will be paying the full price). The Playstation really changed the demographic of games consoles, I'd given up gaming when I sold my Atari 800XL but bought a PSX a couple of years after it was released, the games had only really started offering something approaching sophistication.
I bought a Dreamcast and was sorely disappointed by Sega Rally, I went back to my PSX and have hardly touched the Dreamcast since, but MSR has encouraged me to dust it off and give it another chance. I suspect in a year or two I'll be buying a PS2 for half the price the people queueing at the stores now are paying and getting some great games into the bargain.
Don't write off the PS2 yet, the Dreamcast didn't offer much different from the PSX when it was first released, a year later and we're beginning to see what it can do. If the innovation displayed on the PSX cam be carried forwards to the PS2 there should be some really cracking games coming up.
posted by Markb at 12:03 PM on October 31, 2000


cCranium, I agree, I have a Dreamcast and it's taken a while for anything to justify buying the console for has shown up, I think Metropolis Street Racer might just be it (I played a pre-release recently and it plays as good as it looks).
The PS2 is still young, there are a huge number of Sony devotees out there now who have been waiting for the PS2 with baited breath (and will be paying the full price). The Playstation really changed the demographic of games consoles, I'd given up gaming when I sold my Atari 800XL but bought a PSX a couple of years after it was released, the games had only really started offering something approaching sophistication.
I bought a Dreamcast and was sorely disappointed by Sega Rally, I went back to my PSX and have hardly touched the Dreamcast since, but MSR has encouraged me to dust it off and give it another chance. I suspect in a year or two I'll be buying a PS2 for half the price the people queueing at the stores now are paying and getting some great games into the bargain.
Don't write off the PS2 yet, the Dreamcast didn't offer much different from the PSX when it was first released, a year later and we're beginning to see what it can do. If the innovation displayed on the PSX cam be carried forwards to the PS2 there should be some really cracking games coming up.
posted by Markb at 12:04 PM on October 31, 2000


laugh
posted by john at 2:52 PM on October 31, 2000


wow, the Mushroom gotten a helluva lot better than since I was reading it regularily. Thanks for reminding me about it!
posted by cCranium at 4:36 PM on October 31, 2000


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