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December 30, 2006 7:11 AM   Subscribe

The Decline of the PS3 Grey Market: Purchases by eBay arbitrageurs were one of the primary drivers of the Playstation 3 release date frenzy. Predictably, the bubble has now burst.
posted by Horace Rumpole (74 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think we all saw this one coming from several miles away.
posted by smackwich at 7:12 AM on December 30, 2006


The day before Christmas, I had a bunch of last minute shopping to do that drove me, unfortunately, to visit the local mall and Best Buy. Everywhere I went, there were huge signs stating that yes, ps3's were available. Since I have a 360 and 2 Wii's (one I waited 11 hours in line for, the other an unexpected Christmas gift), I considered for a moment finishing out the triforce of next gen machines. Then I remembered that the PS3 is a piece of garbage and saved my money. But yeah - I've seen them in stock everywhere. I think it's funny.
posted by Bageena at 7:21 AM on December 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of shocked that people are returning the systems rather than playing with them (as much as I don't want a PS3).
posted by drezdn at 7:36 AM on December 30, 2006


Well, a lot of these are people who probably couldn't afford to buy one for themselves in the first place. They were hoping to turn a profit for whatever reason, eh? They need their rent money back.
posted by Evstar at 7:39 AM on December 30, 2006


Interesting. I didn't buy any PS3s for resale, or at all, but I figured the price would hold until just before Christmas.

I'll but one the same way I got my 360: after a year and the worst bugs have been worked out, and used so I don't have to sell a kidney to get one.
posted by aerotive at 7:41 AM on December 30, 2006


I was unfortunate enough to find myself in Best Buy on Christmas Eve and the person in front of me in line was buying a PS3. I too thought of getting one, but remembered I don't need one.

I don't feel sorry for those who saw this as a get rich quick scheme and didn't. I also don't feel sorry for those that spent multiples of the retail price to have one.
posted by birdherder at 7:44 AM on December 30, 2006


Teh winars those who stood in line for a day or more, bought one, and then sold it immediately for a four digit sum.

Teh lozerz: those who stood in line for a day or more, bought one, and kept it; and those who bought one for a four digit sum from someone who stoof in line to get one.
posted by elmwood at 7:52 AM on December 30, 2006


The bubble didn't burst. It just shrank down to the retail price. The real burst will come in a year or two when I buy one for one tenth of the price with a stack of cheap used games.
posted by srboisvert at 7:54 AM on December 30, 2006


i'm gonna sound like a pedant for saying this, but arbitrage is where you do two transactions simultaneously in different markets to take advantage of price imbalance between the markets. the ps3 thing isn't arbitrage, it's ordinary, garden-variety speculation.
posted by bruce at 8:02 AM on December 30, 2006 [4 favorites]


Too expensive to buy right now. But, when the next GTA comes out, I will find a way.
posted by UseyurBrain at 8:10 AM on December 30, 2006


Buying a PS3 is like getting a mail order bride. It seems like a fiscally responsible path to exotic and untold pleasures of every kind, but is it ever not that. Oh brother, is it ever not that.

A Wii, on the other hand, is like a chick with a kid. Sure there's the potential for stuff to get wrecked, but it's a whole lot of fun too.
posted by SinisterPurpose at 8:36 AM on December 30, 2006 [12 favorites]


srboisvert? For a tenth of the price? It'll be down to $60 in a year?
posted by papakwanz at 8:37 AM on December 30, 2006


SinisterPurpose: A Wii, on the other hand, is like a chick with a kid. Sure there's the potential for stuff to get wrecked, but it's a whole lot of fun too.

That's just sick! You pervert, you oughta be locked away...

Wait, you weren't talking about a 3-some?
posted by papakwanz at 8:38 AM on December 30, 2006


I have one, and it's freakin' awesome (full disclosure, I work for a firm that markets PlayStations). I just used it this past week to play online games of Resistance all week, which is one of the funnest FPS games I've ever played. When it wasn't doing that, it's a media server playing childrens MP3s in the living room for my 1 year old, and after she goes to sleep in the evening my Wife & I just spent the week watching the first season of Dexter (from Showtime) which I bitorrented & put on the PS3. If I were more of a geek, I'd yank out the internal drive and put in a larger (off the shelf) HD and install Yellow Dog, then the thing could be a mini-PC for the living room. Full(er) disclosure, I love the Nintendo Wii, and I completely see the value in the XBOX 360, but for the kinds of games I enjoy and the media server functionality, the PlayStation is a pretty good deal. Also, though, it should be noted that I'm crazy rich.
posted by jonson at 8:43 AM on December 30, 2006


Here in rural Missouri I regularly saw the line up of people waiting for days in front of the stores for these things. They were a hard-luck lot, people who had obviously scraped together every last dime to buy one of these things in the confident expectation of selling it for two grand or more because that is what they saw someone doing on Fox news. I feel sorry for the poor bastards.
posted by LarryC at 8:47 AM on December 30, 2006


...it should be noted that I'm crazy rich.

I was wondering how you had the time to find all those Flickr collections of people taking pictures of people taking pictures of the belly buttons of people taking pictures of people admiring great works of art reproduced in Jell-O and Legos. Carry on!
posted by Mister_A at 9:02 AM on December 30, 2006


bruce: I disagree. I think this would count as arbitrage because it is serving two identifiably different markets, markets that certainly have a price differential to exploit.

Now, if people were buying PS3's and then setting up shop next door to the retailers and trying to sell at a higher price, then that to me would not be arbitrage.

But, when the PS3 came out, there were two easily distinguishable markets: a) people willing to camp out to get one at retail price and b) people willing to pay way over retail to avoid camping out.

I don't know enough about the PS3's market to know if supply ramped up enough to meet demand, or if demand dried up after this initial rush of purchases. The 2nd is a much bigger problem for Sony.

It would only be speculating if they expected the PS3 to become higher priced in the future. Buy one today for $600, sell 3 years from now for $1800. I don't think anyone waiting in line expected that.

It was a very short (turns out almost fleeting) price imbalance between two markets, which has now evaporated.

SinisterPurpose: that was a great post. Equating a PS3 to a mail order bride is a kind of mind I can appreciate.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:03 AM on December 30, 2006


the ps3 thing isn't arbitrage, it's ordinary, garden-variety speculation.

Speculation implies a potential loss. With the PS3, you can always return it for full purchase value.

In other news, the Wii is now available for a mere $529, or a little over twice retail.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 9:04 AM on December 30, 2006


Sony says that the PS3 will end up being much more powerful than the 360 but because it is difficult to take advantage of all the power it won't be available until years down the road. I'm not sure whether I buy that. And if I did it would be a bizarre selling point. The fact is right now 360 games look as good or better than Ps3 games. The Saturn's best games can hang with the playstations best games graphically but the saturn proved to be a bear to program for. And it didn't do so well.
posted by I Foody at 9:04 AM on December 30, 2006


All I want is for the PS3 to ultimately crash and burn too, so I can pick one up at a fraction of the original cost. By then, someone will have ported XBMC to it or come up with some other slick Linux-based open-source alternative and my dreams of a functional HD media center on the cheap will come to fruition.
posted by drpynchon at 9:04 AM on December 30, 2006


My prediction is that the PS3 will continue to struggle in the marketplace in comparison to the Xbox 360 and especially the Wii, until Sony cuts the price to something more reasonable and/or lines up exclusives that move consoles like Grand Theft Auto 3 did. The price tag is just way too high for the average person to pay, so only the most hardcore of hardcore gamers will buy it. You can buy two Wiis for the price of the "cheap" PS3!

Another problem is getting developers to release original or exclusive titles if the system's installed base is too small for them to make a profit. As long as the installed base is too small, there won't be many games, and as long as there aren't many games, no one will want to buy it.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:05 AM on December 30, 2006


Sony says that the PS3 will end up being much more powerful than the 360...

Sony says a lot of things about the power of their consoles that turn out to be complete bullshit. It's just marketing hype. They did the same thing with the PS2.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:08 AM on December 30, 2006


A Wii, on the other hand, is like a chick with a kid. Sure there's the potential for stuff to get wrecked, but it's a whole lot of fun too.
posted by SinisterPurpose at 10:36 AM CST on December 30


My favorite line from a college friend is "It's no problem if a girl has a kid... that just means she does it."
posted by Ynoxas at 9:11 AM on December 30, 2006


Y'know, technically speaking, this is a BLACK market, since it's the resale price of something that can't be gotten for the established price and instead sells for whatever the buyer's willing to pay.

Grey markets are when you have something that isn't available for sale in a given area at all (e.g. PC Engine/Turbografx-16 in Australia).
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:16 AM on December 30, 2006


Man, Sony should have just sold these things off itself, rather then wasting all that money. And no one lost money here, the price is still more then retail, didn't this happen with all the other consoles?
posted by delmoi at 9:23 AM on December 30, 2006


At the last couple of systems launches I've thought to myself, "Preorder a couple of systems, get them on the first day and sell them on eBay for a little profit. Nah... knowing my luck, I'd do it the year that supply was actually higher than demand and wouldn't make a dime." Looks like I might have been able to make a little money, but my gut instinct was right this time.
posted by papakwanz at 9:31 AM on December 30, 2006




srboisvert? For a tenth of the price? It'll be down to $60 in a year?

Life isn't worth living without hyperbole.
posted by srboisvert at 9:45 AM on December 30, 2006 [2 favorites]


Bighappyfunhouse - Are those pictures culled from ebay auctions for PS3s?

Wow.
posted by porpoise at 9:54 AM on December 30, 2006


Too expensive to buy right now. But, when the next GTA comes out, I will find a way.
posted by UseyurBrain at 4:10 PM GMT on December 30


Why not just get a 360? GTA isn't an exclusive title anymore.

And jonson, of the things you described, the only thing the 360 can't do is play Resistance. But I prefer Gears of War anyway. Then again, if you're filthy rich you can actually enjoy full 1080p though on a big screen, so that's definitely a perk.

I'm not a big fan of the PS3, but like has been mentioned, I'm gonna give it a year before I pass my verdict. A few good things (having used one at work, as they aren't even out yet here): it's fucking quiet. Liquid cooled, I think. Definite plus. Lots of connections and true HD support is smart future-proofing, just not worth the price... yet. The blueray discs have been somewhat iffy so far, so we'll see how that goes. Especially in regards to HD DVD.

Be curious to see how the European launch goes. Some rumours going around before Xmas that the launch was gonna be delayed til September. Doubt it's true, but says a lot about consumer confidence in Sony at the moment. I also wonder how many European customers are buying the (now) readily available PS3s months ahead of the official release date...
posted by slimepuppy at 10:01 AM on December 30, 2006


Doubt many europeans are buying US PS3 imports; HDTVs haven't taken off much here at all.

PAL is better than NTSC, so less pressure for the upgrade, and europeans have smaller living rooms anyway, so we don't need the 50" widescreen to be able to see the thing. Plus, electronics are overpriced here in comparison. There's also been very little content being broadcast in HD; a few channels on satellite, and that's about it. Over the air HD broadcasts don't start in some places until 2012.

So with no HDTV to take advantage of the 1080i/p res, and the region locking so all the games would have to be US imports, and the generally lacklustre launch titles, and the price... can't see much demand here for US imported PS3s. Hell, can't see much demand for the PS3 full stop.

The wii on the other hand... since I bought mine (first console I've owned in 15 years) pretty much everyone I've played with on it with has wanted to buy one, about 15 people. Including my non gaming sister, and my non-gaming parents. I'm expecting wii shortages to last well into the new year.
posted by ArkhanJG at 10:18 AM on December 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


I just wanted to congratulate the poster on a fantastic thread title. Clever, that.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:22 AM on December 30, 2006


Speaking from experience of standing in many lines to get a Wii, I'm glad to see the black market died for the ps3. With the Wii lines, there were only 2 or 3 people there to make a buck, and everyone else was a true gamer that scoffed at them. With the ps3, no one that got one locally on day one intended to even play the thing. And that's great, because I knew it'd crash quickly, but I thought it'd take until after xmas to do so.

I ended up getting one on amazon, through their lottery thing. At first I wasn't impressed, since it just felt like a ps2 with better graphics, but now that I've got another couple games and played with the web browser and video player, I'm fairly impressed. I'm actually going to get a 1080p LCD so I can fully enjoy it.

But I have to admit the Wii is still more fun for the sheer simplicity and joy. I'd rather get a full body workout and have tennis elbow from a wii than simply sore thumbs from the ps3.
posted by mathowie at 10:37 AM on December 30, 2006


Sony says that the PS3 will end up being much more powerful than the 360 but because it is difficult to take advantage of all the power it won't be available until years down the road.

PS3, meet Betamax. Betamax, meet PS3.

A Wii, on the other hand, is like a chick with a kid. Sure there's the potential for stuff to get wrecked, but it's a whole lot of fun too.

So, the 360 is the smart, extroverted, green-eyed girl who when you propose to her she whips out a EULA pre-nup?

Doubt many europeans are buying US PS3 imports; HDTVs haven't taken off much here at all.

Huh. I would think the World Cup would have spurred lots of European HDTV purchases.
posted by dw at 10:51 AM on December 30, 2006


With the Wii lines, there were only 2 or 3 people there to make a buck, and everyone else was a true gamer that scoffed at them.

I remember seeing the Wii line in front of a Seattle Fred Meyer and thinking that it was a really strange mix of people -- kids with stacks of board games, Japanophiles, college students, and a few adults. It was like nerdcore Deadheads. The Fred Meyer employees didn't know what to make of it. The cashier was talking to the person in front of me in line about the line. The person in front of me, a 50-something woman, goes "Do you feel safe walking to your car with those people out there?" And I'm thinking, yeah, those 15 year old boys playing Axis and Allies are just looking for the opportunity to mug/rape/murder a 20-something female checkout clerk, and standing in line for the Wii finally gives them an MO!

Some people just don't get gamers.

I really didn't get the Wii until I played it. Now, I want one. Though I'm not about to pay $500+; I'll wait for the supply to normalize in the spring.
posted by dw at 11:02 AM on December 30, 2006


Why is anyone surprised that the Wii is selling so well? It's a fraction of the price, and a lot of it's appeal is aimed at kids, so parents with modest incomes can afford it.

I still think the motion sensor control thing is a gimmick, and won't last long.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 11:03 AM on December 30, 2006


dw writes "I really didn't get the Wii until I played it. Now, I want one. Though I'm not about to pay $500+; I'll wait for the supply to normalize in the spring."

In what universe is the Wii $500?

Ours was $420 (CAD), including a game and an extra controller.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:10 AM on December 30, 2006


I still think the motion sensor control thing is a gimmick, and won't last long.

Hmm... I'd suggets trying it.

And if you've tried it and still think that, well, that's an interetsing opinion but i'd really have to disagree.
posted by Artw at 11:12 AM on December 30, 2006


jeff: I thought the DS was a pretty stupid idea. After actually seeing it, I shut up.

I thought calling it the Wii was a catastrophically bad idea (I thought the Revolution was much better). Now I find myself using the term without laughing. In fact, I think it may actually replace the original slang term in the English language.

My lesson: I have learned that it's not smart to bet against Nintendo these days.

Everyone who is playing the system RAVES about it. (and I didn't think the Wiimote was a bad idea at all, I thought it sounded fun from the very start.) Everyone. I don't know ANYONE who's played that system who doesn't like it.

They're not selling the Wii to you, the hardened gamer. They're selling it to your mom.
posted by Malor at 11:23 AM on December 30, 2006


I still think the motion sensor control thing is a gimmick, and won't last long.

Nike is going to put that thing in a shoe with an LCD readout (and maybe Wi-Fi) within 24 months, I bet.

It will be everywhere.
posted by jamjam at 11:27 AM on December 30, 2006


I still think the motion sensor control thing is a gimmick, and won't last long.

I had a lot of fun with my gyration mouse and FPS in front of a projector. that was a gimmick, requiring annoying setup. It's native in the Wii.

I don't have one, though Wii has the best chance of me picking it up in the new year. Why? It looks the most fun, pure and simple. My computer can output insane graphics, etc., but that doesn't necessarily translate into fun. Gameplay, my friend, gameplay. Eye-candy's a gimmick, if you really want to go there.
posted by Busithoth at 11:28 AM on December 30, 2006


In what universe is the Wii $500?

The eBay universe. You can't find one on the shelves anywhere in Seattle.
posted by dw at 11:32 AM on December 30, 2006


We got a preview of how the Wii v. PS3 fight would pan out last year, in the handheld market.

Sony supplied a wildly powerful device, which performed several secondary functions beyond playing games. Nintendo supplied a device which was much more modest in processing power, but featured a novel interface. And it did little but play games. While both systems were still in development, folks looked at the numbers and the screen shots and predicted victory for the PSP.

But the PSP was a mess. The bulk of the titles were watered-down PS2 games, and the poor design of the controls made 3D games frustrating. That analog nub ain't impressing anybody. The DS, on the other hand, provided more imagination for far less money. The control scheme which many dismissed as a gimmick was embraced by developers. Sure, not every stylus control is brilliant, but plenty make good use of it.

And it was enough. Nintendo's DS crushed the PSP. Many titles are providing market penetration in places gaming hasn't tapped in decades. Meanwhile, Sony is marketing the PSP as everything but a games machine, or resorting to desperate viral tactics.

So, yeah, I do feel a bit of pity for the folks who dropped four figures on the PS3. Reckon they can store it with their Betamax player, Saturn & Virtual Boy, as a closet full of cautionary tales.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:33 AM on December 30, 2006


At this point, advanced graphics are like movies with tons of CGI work...who gives a shit how good they are if there isn't a good story/game to complement them? I played a few games on the 360 a couple of weekends ago, and it didn't take long before I got bored; same old games, with slightly better graphics = zzzzz. The Wii, on the other hand, is fun.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:46 AM on December 30, 2006


I was debating between a PS3 and a Wii and eventually went with the Wii mainly because I could not see myself buying the PS3 at its asking price. And since I have a PS2, backwards compatibility actually made it even less attractive.

Graphics specs and whatnot doesn't really do much for me at this point since everyone's claiming to be the best. I felt like trying something new. Just got the Wii this morning after standing in line at the Nintendo World at around 7:30 am. The store opens at 9. They ran out of tickets around 10 people behind me. But there was pretty much a consensus with people I talked to that for Wiis at the Nintendo store, the supply was artificially restricted (around 100 being sold daily? Can't be just daily shipments) and having eBayers putting them up for sale at 500-600 bucks was just for them to help maintain hype.

Anyhow, I also wanted to just throw in that I don't regret purchasing a Saturn at all. I don't know what the purely US market was like since I lived in Asia, so maybe here it was sort of a sucky deal for people. I don't know, I always thought Sega's story wasn't a cautionary tale for gamers and more a cautionary tale for game companies. But don't take my word, I'm just a wistful Sega fan.
posted by kkokkodalk at 12:14 PM on December 30, 2006


Ynoxas: It would only be speculating if they expected the PS3 to become higher priced in the future. Buy one today for $600, sell 3 years from now for $1800. I don't think anyone waiting in line expected that.

One other difference between reselling PS3s and speculation. You can always return your unsold stock of PS3s to BestBuy for a full refund!

mathowie: Speaking from experience of standing in many lines to get a Wii, I'm glad to see the black market died for the ps3.

Kind of sad to see one small businessman taking shots at others..

And that's great, because I knew it'd crash quickly, but I thought it'd take until after xmas to do so.

Anyone who watched Xbox 360 last year could see exactly what would happen.
posted by Chuckles at 1:54 PM on December 30, 2006


I still think the motion sensor control thing is a gimmick, and won't last long.

Well, in my opinion, the motion sensing per se, like what Wii Sports uses, is of a limited use- kind of a non-core gamer approachable novelty thing, but hard to get a lot of complex/finely-controlled game dynamics out of.

However, the ability to use the thing as a mouse is pure money. Just like with the DS, there are whole new possible genres of games opened up. I'm really hoping for Starcraft Wii (or an RTS of similar quality.)
posted by blenderfish at 2:37 PM on December 30, 2006


jonson, Resistance looks very cool, but my problem with Playstation is that they rely very much on third-party support to build their gaming library. With PS2 they had a year's headstart and locked the marketplace down, allowing them to get exclusive agreements with companies like Squaresoft. This time, however, it's Microsoft with the ten million unit headstart, and it's going to be hard for Sony to keep up.

It will be interesting to see if Microsoft can take a share of the Japanese market with a few solid RPGs. Blue Dragon seems to be doing decently, but it's only a small step and they whittled away the one-year advantage in that market.

Now that 360 is so far ahead, it appears as though Sony might start to lose some of its exclusive licenses, or at least their three-month exclusivity window on some new games. Rumors are that most of the killer software coming in '07 and '08 will launch simultaneously on the two systems, though whether this is true of GTA IV is as yet unclear.

Finally, what is up with the whole "six-axis wireless controller" campaign I've been seeing? Isn't the fifth and sixth axis just the x/y axis on the D-pad? Is that all they're marketing? That technology is like a decade old.
posted by The God Complex at 2:46 PM on December 30, 2006


Kind of sad to see one small businessman taking shots at others..

I've never really considered Sony a small business.....
posted by Bageena at 2:55 PM on December 30, 2006


With PS2 they had a year's headstart and locked the marketplace down, allowing them to get exclusive agreements with companies like Squaresoft. This time, however, it's Microsoft with the ten million unit headstart, and it's going to be hard for Sony to keep up.

Sorry, but:

Dreamcast Release Date (US): September 9, 1999
Playstation 2 Release Date (US): October 26, 2000

So, the Dreamcast had a >1 year headstart.

And, by the time it was announced the DC would be discontinued in January 2001, the DC had sold about (drumroll) 10 million units.

The difference of course is that Microsoft didn't release the Sega CD, 32X, and Saturn, and Microsoft isn't almost out of money. And EA is developing for the 360, and, well, there are a lot of differences. But the headstart and sales numbers alone aren't sufficient to prove anything.

Dreamcast Wikipedia
PS2 Wikipedia
posted by blenderfish at 2:57 PM on December 30, 2006


Sure beats laudanum! Text NSFW, picture NSFTemporal-Logic
posted by lalochezia at 3:17 PM on December 30, 2006


Kind of sad to see one small businessman taking shots at others.

You have got to be kidding. Reselling PS3s on eBay is hardly a legitimate small business. I doubt even 1% of the people who resold PS3s for a profit are paying any taxes on that profit.
posted by MegoSteve at 3:25 PM on December 30, 2006


blenderfish, we're talking about Microsoft and Sony here. Dreamcast was more of an inter-generational system than a next-generation system at the time, anyway, though I did love the controllers.

But the headstart and sales numbers alone aren't sufficient to prove anything.

No, they're not, but in conjunction with the fact that Microsoft has the money to bankroll their operation (as you already pointed out), and the fact that it's already been announced that most of the three-month-exclusive windows that Sony enjoyed are disappearing thanks to the popularity of the 360 (and Sony's perceived tenuous position in the industry, having swapped places with Microsoft in the past year), and it's enough to suggest that Sony will not duplicate the sheer domination they did in the last generation.

I bought a 360 a month ago because it only cost me $250 Candian after I traded in an Xbox. And because they had Gears of War. I was never a big Xbox fanatic (got xbox used about a year ago from a friend's brother), and supported Ninendo from about my eighth birthday onward. I also had a gamecube, and will proabbly buy a Wii next year if enough good apps are out for it. But I think it's pretty clear that Microsoft has managed to out-maneuver Sony this time and given themselves a pretty good chance of remaining on top.
posted by The God Complex at 3:27 PM on December 30, 2006


But I think it's pretty clear that Microsoft has managed to out-maneuver Sony this time

I agree, and believe me, As a developer, I'm pulling for the 360. A number of my friends (including me) who would have never dreamed of buying an XBox 1 now have a 360. However, I am very cautious about declaring any sort of winner this soon. Playstation really does have a lot of brand equity, among consumers and publishers both.
posted by blenderfish at 3:42 PM on December 30, 2006


Definitely. I do think that the Wii launch really managed to undercut Sony, though. Wii became the "it" toy of the Christmas season, like 360 was last year, and it certainly doesn't feel to me as though Sony has the momentum one would expect at this point.
posted by The God Complex at 4:10 PM on December 30, 2006


Most of you guys are missing the point ... it's not the hardware, it's the games.

The Dreamcast failed because of a lack of games, period. Besides Soul Calibur, was anything really good and offering up huge replayability? The PS2 didn't start flying off the shelves until GTA3 showed up and the Madden engine kicked into gear. Gamecube owned its niche, but it was still a niche item of Mario / Zelda / Resident Evil. The Xbox had Halo and ... well, that was the only true killer app, really.

The landscape now is much different. The 360 is all about Live and the Live Marketplace -- who knew the killer app for 360 would be Geometry Wars? GTA and Madden won't be a Sony exclusive. The Wii games are interesting, because they're so different, but what will the next wave of games offer for the Wiimote and Nunchuck? And there's no online component, really, for Nintendo.

Microsoft is the big winner here, hands down. This will be more clear once the next Rockstar and Madden games show up, each with purchasable Live content. And woe to Sony on the day the first good MMO appears for 360 and Live...
posted by frogan at 4:33 PM on December 30, 2006


Live is nice, but I have yet to pay a dollar for it.
I've used a couple of one-month trials, but it should be free. I'm hoping the competition from Sony & Nintendo will force Microsoft to make it free or very, very low cost.

Marketplace doesn't interest me at all. I will never spend anything there. And MS's point system is stupid--please just tell me what something costs in dollars and cents, please.
posted by aerotive at 5:06 PM on December 30, 2006


Dreamcats had an awesome fishing game...

No, really...
posted by Artw at 5:07 PM on December 30, 2006


Dreamcast had plenty of good/interesting games, none of which sold very well. Frankly, looking at them now, I wonder if they weren't a few years ahead of their time. Space Channel 5, Seaman, Samba de Amigo, Jet Grind Radio... all would be great titles for the Wii or DS, come to think of it.
posted by MegoSteve at 5:14 PM on December 30, 2006


aerotive writes "I've used a couple of one-month trials, but it should be free"

Why 'should' it be free? Because you don't want to pay for it? I fail to understand this statement.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:31 PM on December 30, 2006


Funnily enough, a coworker of mine recently was running around the office bragging that he had scored himself a PS3 in time for Xmas, and how cool that was. I calmly asked him "And what games will you be playing on it?" His answer "Guitar Hero 2." Umm... which is a PS2 game. Great, you just spent 600 bucks on a system to play a PS2 game which you could've played.. on your PS2. Dumbass. By no means am I a fanboy of any console. I understand that these are companies who are out to make money, and their loyalties are to their own pockets, not some drooling game nerd. I have a 360 because of Oblivion and a Xbox because of Halo. I want a Wii, because I played the sports package at a friend's house. I bought a PS2 because of GTA III. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that GAMES make the console. The Xbox was a POS before Halo and Live. It's the experience, not the amount of pixels on screen. Right now, a PS3 is nothing but a glorified Blu-Ray player, and after Beta and Mini disc, Sony doesn't exactly have the best track record with exclusive formats. I'm not saying Blu Ray WON'T win the DVD war, I'm just saying I'm cautious enough to wait and see after Sony's history.
posted by Debaser626 at 5:32 PM on December 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Most of you guys are missing the point ... it's not the hardware, it's the games.

I know, but having the highest market saturation for your hardware is the best way to secure exclusive licensing agreements.
posted by The God Complex at 5:51 PM on December 30, 2006


Debaser626 : "His answer 'Guitar Hero 2.'"

That's hilarious, since, according to this, you can't play Guitar Hero 1 or 2 on the PS3.
posted by graventy at 7:05 PM on December 30, 2006


The God Complex: Finally, what is up with the whole "six-axis wireless controller" campaign I've been seeing?

Six axes of motion sensing-- three translational and three rotational. (type sixaxis into wikipedia.) Sixaxis does not have the pointing component of the Wii (which, as stated above is IMO the real killer feature.) Also, Sixaxis does not have rumble.

having the highest market saturation for your hardware is the best way to secure exclusive licensing agreements

Yep. It's a virtuous cycle-- more people buy, so more publishers publish, so more people buy... It's really all about everyone (publishers and consumers) having faith in the product. This is why it is so necessary for Sony to have a completely brave, positive, face, even when things go wrong.

Debaser626: The Xbox was a POS before Halo

No such time. Halo was a day 1 launch title. It's kind of funny reading the early reviews of it, which were often along the lines of "it's pretty good for a launch title, but I can't wait to see what comes along a year from now."
posted by blenderfish at 7:10 PM on December 30, 2006


I'm not saying Blu Ray WON'T win the DVD war... Debaser626
I'm going completely out on an interweb limb and saying Blu Ray will crash and burn like pretty much every other attempt by Sony to lock in a media format.
posted by eurasian at 8:43 PM on December 30, 2006


Is anyone actually really dying to get hold of either HD format?
posted by Artw at 8:46 PM on December 30, 2006


Is anyone actually really dying to get hold of either HD format?

Well, if you have an HDTV (I don't, yet) it would be pretty nice to have an HD-DVD player given backwards compatibility. I'm not in any rush, but the fact that I could pick up a 1080p HD DVD hook-up for my 360 for only $200 means I would definitely get one if I bought an HDTV.

Mostly I'm glad Microsoft made it an option for the 360, rather than the route Sony went to try and solidify it's doomed platform (like others, I don't trust the words "sony" and "new media format" in the same sentence).

Six axes of motion sensing-- three translational and three rotational. (type sixaxis into wikipedia.) Sixaxis does not have the pointing component of the Wii (which, as stated above is IMO the real killer feature.) Also, Sixaxis does not have rumble.

Thank you. It still seems like a pretty lame thing to be pushing as hard as they are, given that the Wii has a far neater controller innovation, but at least it makes slightly more sense.

Interestingly, I'd probably miss the rumble. Early on in the days of rumble, I thought of it as a useless gimmick, but now I find that I enjoy it quite a bit. Chainsawing somebody in half while playing Gears of War wouldn't be nearly as fun without the force feedback.
posted by The God Complex at 8:59 PM on December 30, 2006


I was undecided on the console war until I played both a PS3 and a Wii. Needless to say, now I can understand why the Wii is still so hard to get: it actually delivers the fun, novel experience at a low price that it promises.
posted by tehloki at 2:15 AM on December 31, 2006


As a developer, I'm pulling for the 360.

Please explain? Is the 360 better to develop for, or what?
posted by papakwanz at 8:39 AM on December 31, 2006


I hear that from a developers point of view a 360 is like two Power PC macs strapped together.
posted by Artw at 9:27 AM on December 31, 2006


Debaser626: The Xbox was a POS before Halo

No such time. Halo was a day 1 launch title. It's kind of funny reading the early reviews of it, which were often along the lines of "it's pretty good for a launch title, but I can't wait to see what comes along a year from now."


Ah yes... I didn't buy the Xbox until after I had played Halo at a friend's house, about a year after it released, but you are correct. That sentence should have been: "The Xbox would've been a POS without Halo."
posted by Debaser626 at 9:43 AM on December 31, 2006


For the money, I'd rather have a camera than a ps3, but if I had enough for both, I'd definitely pick up a 60GB PS3, if only so I could run Linux on it!

It's not at all a bad computer for $600, but as a gaming platform, it does seem a bit much given the current lack of games.

I for one am very glad that the speculators/arbitrageurs/whatever you want to call them mostly failed. Perhaps at the next launch people won't be so interested in hogging all the machines just for resale, leaving some to the rest of us who wouldn't mind paying retail.
posted by wierdo at 1:16 PM on December 31, 2006


Please explain? Is the 360 better to develop for, or what?

Microsoft has put more effort into making tools which help make developers' lives easier. Also, the hardware is more straightforward (symmetric cores, unified memory architecture, unified shader architecture), so it is easier to get a higher percentage of the theoretical power of the hardware. There are a couple other reasons, too, that I won't go into here.

I hear that from a developers point of view a 360 is like two Power PC macs strapped together.

I think I know where that analogy may have arisen, but I wouldn't put it that way, exactly.

[MS's Xbox 360 specs]
posted by blenderfish at 2:48 PM on December 31, 2006


I like how people who keep saying that Sony has never dominated a media format have never heard of Umatic, Beta SP, or Digibeta... Or even DVCam or HDCam.

They may have failed spectacularly in consumer formats, but still dominate the professional world (at least in the US).

Also, Blu-Ray is hardly Sony's baby, like HD-DVD it has a consortium backing it. Sony went with it because it offers a higher capacity, which ultimately could be very good for games.
posted by davros42 at 3:40 PM on January 3, 2007


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