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Delaystation
March 16, 2006 5:08 AM   Subscribe

to my left is a youngish software developer from Yokohama, incandescent with rage. To my right is the finance officer of a major games publisher. Worryingly, he is tapping sums into a pocket calculator and shaking his head...
It shouldn't have been a surprise (...) but yesterday's announcement (pdf) from Sony has crushed 14 year-olds of all ages. The Playstation 3 is shaping up as a great IT Disaster. The 'Times' man in Tokyo - Leo Lewis - elaborates, muses on being a games geek in Akihabara (with cash and a proper job) and explains the delights of "beer flavored alcohol", just what we need to drown our sorrows.
posted by grahamwell (61 comments total)

 

see. Someone could have just posted a link to a yahoo news article saying PS3 was delayed. But no, intead we have a juicy post. Thanks grahamwell.

Personally I think they promised too much this time and won't be able to deliver until the technology is more feasible.
posted by cavalier at 5:12 AM on March 16, 2006


Meh. Perhaps I'm getting old and crotchety, but the forced obsolescence of video game consoles is beginning to irritate me. Plus, I liked video game consoles better when they were about PLAYING VIDEO GAMES, not watching movies, listening to MP3s, recording TV, and all the other things my computer does just fine.
posted by Dr-Baa at 5:18 AM on March 16, 2006


Mr. Kutaragi will be the first to the wall when the REVOLUTION comes... "viva la mario"
posted by Dreamghost at 5:20 AM on March 16, 2006


I'm still slightly shocked that anyone thought Sony were telling the truth about the PS3 turning up in Spring in the first place. For a company with such a record of outright lying, they command a weird amount of loyalty. Certainly, in the gaming circles I frequent on the 'net, the November date is considered a lot closer than the 2007 launch an awful lot of people were quite reasonably predicting.
posted by terpsichoria at 5:25 AM on March 16, 2006


Yeah, the fact that this doesn't surprise anyone in the U.S. is interesting.

I find this shit amazing at this stage of the game. Someone needs to introduce Sony to Netscape, an object lesson in making absolutely sure to take Microsoft seriously.
posted by selfnoise at 5:35 AM on March 16, 2006


Thanks for reminding me to order the wife's GeForce 7800GS. Oblivion ships in four days.

That Sony is continuing to royally fuck up this launch should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody. Why in the fuck any serious game developer would not be aware of this, and especially why any finance officer of any company ever would bank on Sony's release dates is beyond me. They're the 3D Realms of hardware companies, and SOE is the SCO of MMORPG developers.
posted by Ryvar at 5:36 AM on March 16, 2006


Erm... that last part should say something along the lines of 'the November date's impressively close compared to the 2007 launch lots of people were expecting', rather than saying that November is closer than 2007. Which is, y'know... obvious. Um.
posted by terpsichoria at 5:36 AM on March 16, 2006


I don't quite understand the point of this post. Also, which one of those links should I be reading first?
posted by SharQ at 5:37 AM on March 16, 2006


Oh, I'm sorry. The point is here's a fantastic blog (the main link) about an interesting story (the PS3). Just read the blog and you'll see why it's 'best of the web'.

On the story, remember FUD? Some of this is just comic, like whether or not you'll need a hard disk. How could any developers not know that? But watching this unfold is fascinating for us who are older and worldly wise. For teenagers it is, literally, heartbreaking.
posted by grahamwell at 5:41 AM on March 16, 2006


Plus, I read it was going to cost $500.

The thing is, with the gaming demographic getting older, I can actually see them sustaining that price.
posted by Paris Hilton at 5:42 AM on March 16, 2006


On the story, remember FUD? Some of this is just comic, like whether or not you'll need a hard disk. How could any developers not know that? But watching this unfold is fascinating for us who are older and worldly wise. For teenagers it is, literally, heartbreaking.

I remember getting all excited about the Saturn and Playstation (I even felt the release of the 32x was exciting, it meant the beginning of the 'next generation' of video gaming was really here)

But now it's just, who cares right? This happens every 3 or 4 years now so it's not really a big deal.
posted by Paris Hilton at 5:47 AM on March 16, 2006


terpsichoria, you aren't kidding about that loyalty thing... it's amazing and a little creepy.

My guess is that they don't make it to the US with the PS3 until March of 2007. I posted to that effect on Slashdot the other day.

And then an AC (Anonymous Coward) posted back something to the effect of, "Wow, just one day and you were proven completely wrong, I hope you like how it feels!" And he linked to an article about Sony saying they'll ship the PS3 worldwide in November.

This is the SAME Sony that was saying until last month that they were on track to ship the PS3 in March. This is the SAME Sony that just admitted that they won't even have _dev kits_ finished until June. And yet, somehow, I was "proven wrong" by these people saying they'll ship in November.

I suspect that you won't see these things easily available until about June of 2007, and I bet there are going to be tons of problems with them. Microsoft, meanwhile, has hardware on the ground, and adding features is mostly just a matter of writing code. They're, well, fairly good at that code stuff.

If the Revolution ends up being as cool as it sounds, I suspect we'll end up with two markets.... HDTV owners will buy 360s, and SDTV owners will buy the Revolution.

I strongly suspect Sony is headed for a gigantic faceplant with the PS3.
posted by Malor at 5:48 AM on March 16, 2006


Concidering how badly Sony fucked up the PS2 launch, I wait in eager anticipation what a complete catastrophe the planned worldwide release is going to be.

Ultimately it's going to be the same thing as the 360: people who hate it will keep hating it and point out all the faults, people who love it will keep loving it point out all the great things about it. And I'll stand on the sidelines, vaguely amused, waiting for the price to drop and decent games to come out.
posted by slimepuppy at 5:50 AM on March 16, 2006


I was excited about the ps3 for a while but it lost it's luster.

Then I remembered that Nintendo makes FUN games that I can play in 5 to 10 minute increments (all I have time for anymore). Now I am getting ready to support the revolution.
posted by Mick at 5:55 AM on March 16, 2006


Just goes to show -- do your gaming on a PC. They can't deley the introduction of the PC.
posted by jfuller at 5:58 AM on March 16, 2006


Here's a question: if Microsoft wins this round are we going to see a revitalization of the PC gaming market?

Consider the development of XNA, and statements by senior execs admitting culpability in the waning of PC gaming with subsequent promises to amend that.

The latter is pretty recent, and it suggests to me that Microsoft has known what an abortion Sony had on its hands for months now - in their minds, they've got the adult console market sewn up for the next year or longer due to PS3 development complexity. So where does this leave Microsoft? Back in the PC market, the only real reason for home users to chose XP over OSX or Ubuntu/SuSE these days is games. If they let that die, they stand to significantly accelerate the erosion of their core monopoly.

This may just be wishful thinking on my part, but I'm beginning to hope that they might actually make good on their recent promises as a result of Sony's fuckups.
posted by Ryvar at 6:04 AM on March 16, 2006


To my right is the finance officer of a major games publisher. Worryingly, he is tapping sums into a pocket calculator and shaking his head...

That must've been a Japanese publisher. This news has has been positive for the North American publishers: Activision added 74 cents, 5.6 percent, to $13.95, and THQ jumped $1.07, or 4.3 percent, to $25.98 on the Nasdaq. Electronic Arts gained $1.44 to $54.38.

"We believe this is the single biggest issue to drive these stocks over the next nine months, as investors have worried about a PlayStation 3 slip into 2007," McNealy wrote in a report. "Based on our recent industry checks in the supply chain, we believe that components will be gathered for PlayStation 3 box assembly starting in July, which means a fall launch for Japan, North America and Europe is reasonable."

The above quote and more info can be found here (Video Game Makers Rise on Sony Delay)

And here's some more info:
Game Makers Not Impacted By PS3 Delay

THQ, Activision shares jump, Sony news on PlayStation 3 seen as catalyst
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:08 AM on March 16, 2006


Just goes to show -- do your gaming on a PC. They can't deley the introduction of the PC.

Well, no, but all the games that get released for it can be American MMOs and first-person shooters, right?

I'm in the odd position of being extremely cynical about Sony themselves, but being vaguely excited about the PS3 nonetheless. Everything Malor and Slimepuppy said up there is true - there's a huge chance this generation will be the one where it goes horribly wrong for Sony, being last off the grid with hardware that may be prohibitively expensive and may not look significantly better than its competition. The thing is, the PS2 is a complete nightmare of a machine, too - not vastly more powerful than the Dreamcast and significantly less so than the Cube and Xbox, and with one of the worst controllers I've ever used - but the developer support it still enjoys (Disgaea 2, Shadow of the Colossus, Kingdom Hearts 2, Okami etc etc) means I play a lot more games on it than either of the other current-gen consoles. If the same is even partly true with the next generation of hardware, and the big third-party devs stick with Sony for the breadth of their market, they could release practically anything and have me pick one up a year or so down the line, just to play the exclusive releases that will inevitably have turned up by then. Of course, if all the devs jump ship to the 360 or Revolution I'll be even happier, but considering that the former is already dead in the water in Japan and the latter is still a bit of an unknown quantity as regards power and suitability for 'traditional', non-freehand games, I can't see it happening for a while if at all.

I actually really like the way the last generation has gone, with Nintendo (through the DS much more than the Gamecube, admittedly) championing quick-to-develop, relatively graphically simple games with new ideas, accessibility and good old-fashioned fun at the forefront, Microsoft covering the online/competitive US-developed side of things and Sony's enormous userbase meaning that lots of interesting ideas, experiments and curiosities like Katamari get released and translated amidst the torrent of mediocrity. It'd be a real shame for any of the current Big Three to drop out of the hardware business, as I think the last generation's seen more truly classic games than any before it.
posted by terpsichoria at 6:15 AM on March 16, 2006


Viva la Revolution!
posted by dig_duggler at 6:22 AM on March 16, 2006


It'd be a real shame for any of the current Big Three to drop out of the hardware business, as I think the last generation's seen more truly classic games than any before it.
posted by terpsichoria at 6:15 AM PST on March 16 [!]


Spot on.

On another note, I want the PS3 to be all that Sony is promising. I just don't trust them as a company to deliver on those promises.
posted by slimepuppy at 6:25 AM on March 16, 2006


I'd rather Sony delay the launch then do what Microsoft did with the 360 and realease a product that had major defects. At my local best by about 30% of the 360 units they sold had to be sent back to microsoft. It's always better in gaming to delay the launch of something and come out with a good product than release something that is glitchty.
posted by afu at 6:26 AM on March 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


I thought Halo was pretty good. Cartoony, but fun.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 6:29 AM on March 16, 2006


And seeing as the PS3 won't be worth buying until the next iteration of Grand Theft Auto comes out anyway, this doesn't hurt my feelings too much.
posted by dobie at 6:37 AM on March 16, 2006


I think I've discovered the perfect way of dealing with all this console uncertainty. My plan is to stay one generation behind at all times. I just bought a PS2, and at this point, there is wide consensus on the best games ever made for it. Plus, I can buy them cheaply on eBay. No worries about spending $50 only to be disappointed; I have yet to spend more than £5 (about $10) on a game. Whether the PS3 comes out in November 2006 or April 2007, by the time I've played through all the great games for PS2, the PS3 will have been been out for years, and I can repeat the process.

Really, it's the perfect scheme. The only drawback is a lifetime of constant, stomach-churning envy. If I can figure out how to turn that off, I'll be golden.
posted by yankeefog at 6:38 AM on March 16, 2006


It honestly seems like nintendo is the least evil of all these companies.

That said I'll probably buy the PS3 when GT5 comes out, play that hard core for a couple months and then wait for the next generation of game system :P
posted by delmoi at 6:39 AM on March 16, 2006


It's karma. I hope SONY gets eaten alive for their DRM debacle, and that their competitors stand over their still steaming corpse with a sure knowledge that they're next. Of course that won't happen, but to me, that would be perfect capitalism.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:41 AM on March 16, 2006


delmoi: You're probably right. GTA:SA made me buy the PS2 because I couldn't wait for the PC version to come out, so it stands to reason the sequel will get me to buy the PS3.

blue_beetle: Microsoft is completely in bed with the trusted computing movement. You think secretly installed malware on your system is bad? Try mandatory remote attestation.
posted by Ryvar at 6:45 AM on March 16, 2006


if i was being cynical (not an entirely unusual position for me to take up) I'd think that Sony pushed the Spring '06 release date in order to force Microsoft to rush out the 360 in order to get to market first. That part of the plan certainly seems to have worked - the 360 just looks DREADFUL, I can't think of a single game on it that I'd particularly want to play, and graphically there's nothing on the 360 to match Shadow of the Colossus, Black or Okami. The PS2 seems to be more than holding it's own against the 360 right now, because developers just know how to use the machine better and they haven't had to rush out a load of crap games.
The clever part of Sony's plan is that by launching a fuill year after Microsoft they're no longer perceived as second place in the next gen race - I suspect that one year in the novelty of the 360 will have worn off and its' games still won't be looking much better. The games industry has always been about the retreating horizon of desire anyway - the "next gen" is always around the corner - and I suspect that by the end of the year the 360 will be "last gen" and the PS3 will be the new "next gen", probably accompanied by some decent games unlike the mediocre slurry of 360 games.
I'm no huge fan of Sony, but I hope they (or even better nintendo) win this. I know it's a cliché, but Microsoft have absolutely no imagination and everything about the 360 (like the XBOX before it) is targeted towards the most banal and mindless traits of the mall-visiting teenage US male. A game like Shadow of the Colossus doesn't appear on the XBox because it doesn't appeal to that target market - i shudder to think what would have happened if it had (they probably would have added realistic machine guns, a soundtrack full of licensed american guitar music and bonus rounds where you got to shoot suspicious looking middle eastern gentlemen).
posted by silence at 6:48 AM on March 16, 2006


I had an hour with the chief exec of Konami and asked him what he had lined-up for the PS3. "Nothing", came the grunted reply. And this was Konami.

as a longtime Winning Eleven fan, I can just say

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

*shakes fist at Sony*
posted by matteo at 6:52 AM on March 16, 2006


Wonder if this means we'll have to wait until 2007 for Halo 3 now?
posted by TeamBilly at 6:56 AM on March 16, 2006


Great post grahamwell. I'm not that enthusiastic about the PS3 (or Xbox360), I'm still enjoying my PS2 and Gamecube. I'll be very interested to see what the games are like for the Ninty Revolution, though.
posted by chrid at 7:09 AM on March 16, 2006


I'm not surprised that Sony is delaying the PS3. Sony has been on a "everything and the mp3-playing kitchen sink, too" run with its systems, and that's what's causing the delays. They could have the system together now, except for the BluRay, and have games out to face down the 360 and Rev this summer. By waiting, they're hoping to get a price drop on the tech that needs to go into the system.

Hopefully the delay will also get their online support in gear. Live! is just lightyears ahead of what Sony has been pitching for their online support. I'm not sure they know what's going on at all when it comes to head-to-head play. I have both a PSP and DS and the act of playing over wifi with the latter is so much more painless than the former.

Sony does have the single player realm pretty well locked up. The Xboxen seem more targeted towards head-to-head-via-internet while Nintendo loves its party games.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:13 AM on March 16, 2006


(ps - My Gamertag is Waitsing. Let's fight!)
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:14 AM on March 16, 2006


As one of the guys who had a PS2 on order months before they actually shipped... I've long reckoned that the PS3 is a wait-and-see console.

And as for the "Spring 2006" date, I never once believed it. The only thing that makes sense is a date just before Christmas, with pre-orders accepted just when school begins. I tend to agree with the postulate that Sony pushed MS into dropping the 360 before it was golden, brown and delicious -- at this point it mostly is half baked.

There's no doubt the PS3's technical potential is vast, but it will take years for that to be plumbed. I won't be pre-ordering a PS3, but I know I'll own one someday, because there will be a game that justifies its purchase. Until then, these are the golden years for the PS2 -- and we still play PS1 games, and the N64, and the GBA, and the DS.

After years of professional game reviewing in the late 90s, all I'm really interested in now are the fringe games -- Rez, Ico, Fantavision, Katamari, Vib Ribbon, Electroplankton, etc -- games that bring something unique and interesting to the screen.

And you know what? You don't need gigaflops of horsepower to make a unique and fascinating game. You need a designer with a vision, and a development team who is competent and confident on a stable and well understood platform. It will take a couple years for the PS3 to get there, and until then, there's all these other devices in my house, with development teams going gangbusters on them.

For me, the most important part of yesterday's announcements was the price drop on the PSP and introduction of Flash support. With Flash comes homebrew development -- if not sactioned, at least permitted. I predict dozens if not hundreds of truly excellent PSP-centric Flash games to be available online by the end of the year for free or pennies.

(n.b. Okami is *pretty*, but having played the demo would debate how *original* it really is. The sumi-e technique is interesting, but in the end just another way of having the protaganist learn skills (familiar to anyone who's played this sort of title before) throughout the game. Overall it seems to be a mostly stock platformer with breathtaking visuals. The final game may revise my take, though.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:22 AM on March 16, 2006


graphically there's nothing on the 360 to match Shadow of the Colossus, Black or Okami.

Uh, silence, you haven't been paying much attention have you?
See Fight Night, Project Gotham Racing, Call of Duty 2, Condemned, Ghost Recon etc. etc.
posted by slimepuppy at 7:27 AM on March 16, 2006


Game Informer has a bunch of details on the PS3, most disappointing of which is that Sony has tapped GameSpy to handle their online component, in the hopes of competing with Xbox Live. Um, anyone who has used GameSpy for matchmaking should be dismayed by this.
posted by NationalKato at 7:36 AM on March 16, 2006


Delays, choice of online partners, disc support choice, none of these things is going to hamper sales of the PS3. There is a monster fanboy base that is going to eat it up no matter what. Also, don't forget about the Japanese market, which is extremely loyal to Sony. They haven't bought 360s, but they will all buy PS3s.
posted by poppo at 8:11 AM on March 16, 2006


This was just announced? I bought my kid a PS2 three weeks ago. I asked the GameStop manager when he expected the PS3 release. He said they might be out by Christmas but he wasn't holding his breath.
posted by mischief at 8:20 AM on March 16, 2006


Also, don't forget about the Japanese market, which is extremely loyal to Sony.

Don't forget about the PSX, which was avoided like the plague by the Japanese market. Sony is not invincible in Japan.
posted by Dr-Baa at 8:20 AM on March 16, 2006


I haven't bought a gaming system in years but I think I'll buy a revolution. For whatever reason it's gotten me really excited. And the fact is besides HD support 360 games don't look much better than xbox games (to me). PS2 was a successful system all around but it really wasn't much better than dreamcast, yet everyone was convinced that it was great when it came out. And everyone made a big deal about the fact that it worked as a shitty DVD player. Who even used it as a DVD player? Their doing the same thing again and I wonder if people will still eat it up.
posted by I Foody at 8:28 AM on March 16, 2006


touche, Dr-Baa
posted by poppo at 8:38 AM on March 16, 2006


What I Foody said. Regardless of how awesome their graphics are, neither the PS3 nor the 360 really seem all that interesting. Nintendo seems to be doing something new and different, at least.
posted by unreason at 8:46 AM on March 16, 2006


And the fact is besides HD support 360 games don't look much better than xbox games (to me).

I'm not trying to nitpick here, but as has been said previously in this thread, there are certain titles in the 360 lineup that are head and shoulders above the Xbox in terms of sound and vision. Looking at the 360 version of Fight Night Round 3 (compared to the Xbox and PS2 versions) is like seeing two different games. Add to that list Project Gotham Racing 3, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, and the upcoming Epic release Gears of War, and it's hard to say these titles look similar to Xbox games even when viewing on a standard-def monitor.

To say otherwise says more about your vision than it does the graphical and sound quality of these games. Keep in mind, I'm only referring to graphics and sound. Gameplay is always a dice roll, but I will say that Fight Night, Ghost Recon, and HDTV-Widescreen NHL2K6 are amazing games.

When the screens and videos came out online prior to launch, I also felt the same way as I Foody. When I bought the 360 and played some of the launch titles on my standard-def TV, I was only moderately impressed. Recently, I bought a widescreen HDTV and am frequently floored by some of the more recent titles (and I'm a long-time PC gamer with F.E.A.R., Half-Life 2, and all the bells and whistles of an SLI-enabled PC).

Will it replace my PC? No. As a matter of fact, I've preordered Oblivion for the Pc and not for the 360. However, to say the graphical and audio improvements are not much better than the original Xbox only tells me you haven't seen the right titles in person and in HD yet.
posted by NationalKato at 8:49 AM on March 16, 2006


However, to say the graphical and audio improvements are not much better than the original Xbox only tells me you haven't seen the right titles in person and in HD yet.

That might be true, but that probably means that the resellers aren't doing a good job of demonstrating the 360's capabilities. Which, in turn, means I'm simply not in the market for one. I'm currently in agreement with Foody also--I'm not impressed. The 360 graphics don't do anything for me. Then again, every time I go into my local Best Buy or the like, all I see is a couple kids playing King Kong with a couple polygonariffic dinosaurs beating up on each other, and I think to myself, "I've seen BETTER graphics on late generation XBOX games."

So maybe we're speaking from a position of ignorance, but it ain't our fault.
posted by fusinski at 9:10 AM on March 16, 2006


I'd say that it is your fault, fusinski. At least to an extent.

Like music, the market is a lot more varied/complex than it used to be. There is not just one game that everyone is talking about. There are several consoles and several games out on these consoles every month.

If you're interested in good games (whatever that means to you personally) you're going to have to be an active consumer. Being passive about games and consoles is going to leave you with the latest 'big' title being advertised and publically discussed, this usually being a sports title from EA or the likes. Like the Top 10 music lists, top 10 games lists aren't quite as indicative of what is the best quality game out there anymore...

Yeah, part of the responsibility lies with the resellers and games companies, but I'd say that the people buying the consoles and games better do their own research.

But then again, I'm a big nerdy McNerd nerd and work in the games industry, so my view is probably skewed.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:26 AM on March 16, 2006


I'll admit those are impressive screens, but it's clear that there are diminishing returns. Playstation 2 was unambiguously much better than playstation and now the distinction is murkier. What seems to be the case with the PS3, 360, hell even PC games is that there is less and less return on every unit of graphical power. The difference between doom and quake is greater than the difference between quake and quake II is greater than the difference between quake II and quake III ... etc.

I think pretty soon (during this generation or the next) game makers will have to find different ways to make games better than just improving the O of the IO. Gaming systems have progressed through multiple iterations with large changes in the AV out put and minimal changes in the method of input. The Revolution is a response to this.

Another example: Look at arcades, throughout the 90s-00s arcades had increasing trouble competing with increasingly powerful home consoles, trying to beat them at the graphics game became almost futile. How did they respond: novel input devices.

Ever play a light gun game without a light gun? It's no fun. Or samba de amigo without maracas? And console FPS shooters are really hurt by the awkward targeting. I'm not sure the implementation on the revolution will be solid enough but I do think that nintendo has the right idea.
posted by I Foody at 9:48 AM on March 16, 2006


It wouldn't be the first time Sony have a huge fiasco in the gaming market. This may be prehistory for most of the people here, but does anyone remember MSX?

The ironic thing about it, of course, is that Microsoft was also in that boat...
posted by Skeptic at 10:29 AM on March 16, 2006


I think where you'll see the most marked improvement in gaming, with multi-threading architecture and all the pixel-power these machines have, is in AI. I'm hoping the Elder Scrolls' Radiant AI will be the beginning of this trend, where the CPU opponents are as smart and as adaptable as human opponents. Epic is famous for their CPU AI in the Unreal series - and their next game in the Unreal Tournament series looks to be continuing down that path.

fusinski, I'll second slimepuppy's comment: if you're only using screenshots and in-store promotions, you're not getting the full picture. And that's really not entirely your fault, but it does warrant further research if you're interested in the 'next-gen' of videogaming.

As for the Revolution...meh. I've never been impressed enough with the games on the Nintendo consoles (post 64) to purchase one...and the new controller doesn't excite me either. Then again, I was never a fan of alternative controllers like the Light Gun or Eye-Toy.
posted by NationalKato at 10:32 AM on March 16, 2006


I haven't had a console since the original Nintendo (that's right, the original Nintendo, the one that came with SMB and Duck Hunt and that crappy plastic gun) came out when I was in junior high. Since then I've been so involved in PC games that I've gotten completely out of touch with them; if I wanted to buy one, I don't think I'd know where to begin.

But fortunately I've been having so much fun playing EVE (and earlier, City of Heroes) that whenever the thought that I might be missing something comes up, I just shrug and look forward to the day I can finally fly a Raven and pod some Stain Alliance pilots.
posted by quantumetric at 11:40 AM on March 16, 2006


It honestly seems like nintendo is the least evil of all these companies.

Nintendo can be evil enough. The NES had DRM on it, before anyone even invented the acronym. Apparently faults in the DRM chip contributed to the blinking red light problem the console had. (And blowing into your game cartridge never really helped, either.)
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 12:23 PM on March 16, 2006


I think it's ridiculous that this whole thing is because of Sony's devotion to BluRay having DRM. And no one in the industry will learn that lesson. They'll all find other things to blame it on, rather than realizing that Sony has suffered this because their philosophy for combatting piracy is expensive, difficult to implement and ultimately ineffectual.
posted by shmegegge at 12:25 PM on March 16, 2006


I'm not suprised they're delaying. I know they were rushing when they realized how much of a lead the 360 was going to have on them. But when it became obvious that you couldn't, you know, buy a 360, they probably decided to slow down and try to get everything right.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:40 PM on March 16, 2006


I Foody: I used my PS2 as a DVD player, and now my actual DVD player has broken as a result of my disembowlling it with a spatula (don't just, just don't), I'm using it again! There's a Family Guy DVD in there as we speak.

That said - its a craptacular DVD player. Really, really bad. But it goes occasionally and I'm too lazy to either get a better one or move my PC in front of my bed.
posted by Sparx at 1:22 PM on March 16, 2006


When Nintendo was more powerful in the market, they were extremely evil. The only reason they seem like nice guys now is because A) they're in a weaker position and can't demand what they want, and B) Sony is doing it instead.

Admittedly, it's been quite some time since they were in the driver's seat, and perhaps they'll be better if they ever get back there, but I wouldn't count on it.

Remember, Nintendo is the one that says that you have _no right_ to make a backup of your media, even though US law says (well, said) you do.
posted by Malor at 1:26 PM on March 16, 2006


It seems to me that the biggest problem the 360 has at the momentis the relative scarcity of HD sets in homes. Microsoft have so far really only sold the 360 on graphical power, which is only apparent when hooked up to a HD set. But nobody really has HD sets (particularly here in Europe), and as a result people are buying the 360 on the basis of graphics, plugging it into an SD set, and are not very happy at all.

The market penetration of HD sets is only going to increase, but not at the rate Microsoft need/are hoping for. The real problem is the massmarket, where the real money lies. While the technoliterate may be buying HD sets or getting ready to do so, much of the massmarket only have a hazy idea of what HD is, if at all.

To make matters worse, in the last few years here in the UK (and I think most of the rest of Europe) we've had a rapid change to widescreen broadcast, which has led to huge sales of widescreen CRT sets, which have been the standard for several years now. And those things last a long, long time, so there's even less incentive to buy a new telly.

I think Microsoft put far too much emphasis on a technology which can't be used by the majority of users. I'm personally something of a rabid gamer, and techno-literate with it. But I don't have a HD set yet, and will only get one once there's actually a source for it (Sky HD, DVB-T HD if it ever happens, HD-DVD/Blu-Ray, etc). But I'm absolutely not going to drop a grand on a new TV just so I can play the latest iteration of middling-quality MS games. Should the 360 get a handful of genuinely good games, then I'll be in the market, but only once I've got that HDTV.

MS have seriously misjudged the market, in my opinion, and are going to get burnt even more so this time round.
posted by influx at 2:12 PM on March 16, 2006


Wait wait wait wait wait...

I had an hour with the chief exec of Konami and asked him what he had lined-up for the PS3. "Nothing", came the grunted reply. And this was Konami.

WTF? Isn't he forgetting something?
posted by joedan at 4:11 PM on March 16, 2006


Oh, and seanmpuckett: Fantavision is a horrible piece of crap game, but the intro is so hilariously bad that it might be worth the retail price of four bucks.
posted by joedan at 4:16 PM on March 16, 2006


Another thing about the 360 is that nobody, from what I've heard, has actually written a game that uses more than one processor thread. You are looking at about 1/7 the amount of firepower that the box actually incorporates. 360 games are going to get better, believe me.

Meanwhile, our programmers breathe a sigh of relief that they have 8 or 9 months more to learn how to program for the PS3. They can concentrate more on the 360 now, as can we artists!
posted by zoogleplex at 4:48 PM on March 16, 2006


> Another thing about the 360 is that nobody,
> from what I've heard, has actually written a game
> that uses more than one processor thread.
> You are looking at about 1/7 the amount of
> firepower that the box actually incorporates.
> 360 games are going to get better, believe me.

I can tell you assuredly, without a doubt, from first-hand experience coding a shipped 360 title, that at least we used all three cores.

From hearsay, I can tell you that other titles do, as well.

Of course, developers will get better at using the hardware over time, but that it simply hasn't occured to any developers to use the multiple cores yet is pure myth.
posted by blenderfish at 11:52 PM on March 16, 2006


Nintendo can be evil enough. The NES had DRM on it, before anyone even invented the acronym. Apparently faults in the DRM chip contributed to the blinking red light problem the console had. (And blowing into your game cartridge never really helped, either.)

What the hell are you talking about? The blinking problem was due to cheap connector pins getting deformed. Blowing was always one of those stupid urban legends that everyone did despite it not doing anything because, really, how does blowing into a cartridge fix poor contact inside the NES? A new connector pin fixes all those problems.

The only "DRM" the NES had was being a proprietery format. I mean, Christ, their region locking was just a differently shaped cartridge.

You can call Nintendo on all its anti-competitive behaviour in those days, which was evil, but what you just said was bullshit.
posted by mkn at 10:18 AM on March 17, 2006


Hey, blenderfish, thanks for the first-hand data. We're still in the basic stages of our next-gen transition here; one of our games we've developed for PS2/XBox is now getting ported up to 360. I don't think we're using all the cores, either... :\
posted by zoogleplex at 11:50 AM on March 17, 2006


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