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Smoke and Mirrors from Sony and Microsoft 581

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thinking-about-the-games dept.
An anonymous reader writes "History tells us: Don't believe what you're hearing about the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.There was a lot of hype last week about the next generation of game machines. Microsoft said the Xbox 360 will ultimately reach 1 billion consumers worldwide, while Sony gave a laundry list of features for the PlayStation 3, showing some jaw dropping footage along the way. (Nintendo promised a Revolution, but didn't go much further than that.) I hate to be a wet blanket, but it's time to come back to reality."
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Smoke and Mirrors from Sony and Microsoft

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  • by Eunuch (844280) * on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:15PM (#12647890)
    I usually remembered some fantastic games coming near the end of the lifecycle, like Earthworm Jim 2 for the SNES or Return of Joker for NES. Developers learn the intricacies of what you can do, and do more amazing stuff as time goes by. Better perhaps than even these artificial demos. Respect the software.
    • The original Star Raiders [newmediareader.com] for the Atari personal computers.
    • It's a little different now though... back in the day with the NES and SNES all games were programmed in assembly and there weren't GPUs and whatnot. Now most games are programmed in higher levels like C++ so the understanding of how the system doesn't really matter like it used to. It'll be up to the compiler writers to get close with the hardware..not the developers. Although some still program in assembly (how do you think they pulled off the FFs on PS2?)...it's pretty rare.
      • by daVinci1980 (73174) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @04:22PM (#12648593) Homepage
        No, that's simply not true. What has happened is that game programmers (and game companies in general) have realized that about 90% of the code they write takes up roughly 10% of the total CPU/GPU time.

        In this 90%, they can be fairly wasteful with their choice of language and how tightly they bound their algorithms. (There are even game companies that write the bulk of this logic in LISP.) In the last 10% of code, performance is critical. This is the code that takes up 90% of the CPU and GPU to execute. This is the code that must be (and still is) carefully hand optimized, tuned, and tuned again.

        However, this is all sort of moot because on current generation consoles, memory is at a huge premium. Most console developers will simply not touch STL (for example) with a 30 foot pole. The performance characteristics of the STL are not well known (in the specific sense), and neither are the memory requirements.

        Don't kid yourself, it's still not the compiler writers that are making games more optimal during the life of a console. A simple example is GTA3 to GTA3: SA. It's not like the PS3 suddenly grew 3X the memory... And yet GTA3:SA is dramatically more rich in terms of both total content as well as content running at any given time. And although I'm too lazy to look up other examples to dispute your claim that games don't get better over the lifecycle of a console, rest assured there are a very large number.
        • Just to nitpick (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Moraelin (679338)
          "What has happened is that game programmers (and game companies in general) have realized that about 90% of the code they write takes up roughly 10% of the total CPU/GPU time. In this 90%, they can be fairly wasteful with their choice of language and how tightly they bound their algorithms. (There are even game companies that write the bulk of this logic in LISP.)"

          While that is technically true, I often see it become false anyway. Why? Because you can be _incredibly_ wasteful with that 90% of the code if y
          • Re:Just to nitpick (Score:3, Interesting)

            by daVinci1980 (73174)
            I think you might have misunderstood my post.

            This might be true in enterprise programming, but my point was specifically directed towards game programming, game programmers and game companies.

            In game programming, you can be wasteful. Within the realms of viable solutions to the particular problem that you are solving at the time. Keep in mind that a game programmer would not consider using (for example) EJB to solve his scripting language problem.

            Because unlike enterprise applications, time to execute is
    • Indeed. One only has to look at Super Mario Brothers 1 and 3 to see the quantum leap that was made even on 8 bit hardware. The console manufacturers obviously want to hype new machines, but hype is, after all, a marketing ploy, and it's not as if marketers are paragons of truth and virtue. They'll gladly sell you on features that don't exist or aren't quite what they say.
      • Not exactly (Score:3, Interesting)

        by autopr0n (534291)
        Later NES games, including SMB3 included extra chips to improve the NES's performance. games on CD, obviously, can't do this.
      • The step from Super Mario Brothers 1 to 3 is, in fact, two quantum leaps.

        1 - 2 - 3

        Perhaps you meant "dramatic improvement". A quantum leap is a value changing from one value to another without any intervening values. Turning on a light via a switch is a quantum leap, turning up the dimmer isn't (on human scale).

    • I usually remembered some fantastic games coming near the end of the lifecycle, like Earthworm Jim 2 for the SNES

      OMG yes... the level where you're dressed as an albino weasel and you're swimming in a giant colon while Beethoven's Moonlight Sonatta plays as the level music...

      I don't know what these guys were smoking, but they should share : )
    • Sadly, the shorter development cycles for these platforms means that these developers have less and less time to mount those sorts of learning curves. We seem to be entering an era where game developers need to relearn their skills every 3-4 years or so.
  • Reality? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Oculus Habent (562837) * <oculus DOT habent AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:15PM (#12647897) Journal
    Since when does reality have anything to do [penny-arcade.com] with videogames?
    • I think the most interesting figure I've seen is that the PS3 can do 2 teraflops. I may be being very, very dumb here but that sounds impossibly high. There are machines in the top 500 supercomputers that won't do 2 teraflops peak - am I missing something here or is that comic actually fairly accurate?
  • Here's my reality... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by garcia (6573) * on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:15PM (#12647903) Homepage
    History tells me that I shouldn't expect anything exciting from new consoles yet I still am intrigued by the work the marketing teams go through to bring us their latest and greatest... I am even more intrigued that we have people posting this crap (as if we didn't already know it was all bullshit) to their blogs and making themselves sound like they know something we don't.

    Since so many people these days are into spouting off basically unsubstantiated rumor and making it appear legit through our "new media outlets" I'll go ahead and state what *I* believe the console makers should do!

    Enjoy.

    You know what I want from gaming consoles? Something *new*. When I say *new* I don't mean hi-def resolutions, better sound, faster game play, or even high density storage mediums. When I say *new* I mean I want to see something I have never in my life seen before...

    Problem is that we are stuck in a loop of the same rehashed cafeteria lunches with gaming. "Green beans" slopped on my tray is the same as "Emerald Pods". HL2 and Doom3 are the same as Wolf3D and various others.

    It really disappoints me when I am thrilled with simple games like Ms. Pacman, Tetris, and Bejeweled variants yet I am extremely bored with "amazing and real life AI", "hi-def graphics", etc.

    Gran Turismo 1 was the end all of racing games apparently as GT2, GT3, and now GT4 (and various other similar racing variants) have all been abysmal remakes of the original. I remember saying how revolutionary Quake1 was. Everything after has been bleh. I think I have made my point...

    Sony and MSFT: You want to make me excited about a console? Give me some really incredible titles that are something new and exciting rather than just renamed and rehashed green beans. I guarantee that if you can impress me with some titles you can impress all the people and even those that believe that people like me are just ignoring the "important subtle differences between similar genres". You don't even have to have fancy pre-fab rendering, lifelike graphics, or tons of CPU horsepower. All you need is a new and revolutionary idea that makes me want to play it again and again and again. You won't even have to spend millions on hardware and software research.

    Hopefully this will give you a few ideas of what to do. I'll be waiting...
    • by sehryan (412731) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:25PM (#12647990)
      Sounds like you might be a closet Nintendo fan, as they have put out those types of games for years. And they seem to be setting up to do something amazing for the next generation.
      • by garcia (6573) *
        I wasn't aware that this "article" had anything to do w/Nintendo. It mostly mentioned both Sony and Microsoft's attempts as hoodwinking the public with their glitzy shows of current vaporware.
        • He was pointing out that what you were asking for (innovative titles that focused on fun instead of graphics) have been delivered by Nintendo for years.

          "Wake up, your dream is Nintendo." is basically the message.
        • I wasn't responding to the article, I was responding to you. Nintendo is doing everything that you are asking for. Try it on sometime, you might like it.
    • Open the systems to anyone and everyone to develop new programs and make it easy to share those programs with other users. With the power these boxes have there are a lot of possibilities but as always the mainstream is going to play it safe and try to deliver only what they have experience with.

      Let some small companies and opensource projects have a real go at the possibilities and see if they can't crank out something innovative. It could be the next killer app.

      I think the PS3 is going to be significant
      • I doubt it... the only reason we don't see open consoles already is the fact that Sony, MS and even the beloved Nintendo all make royalty checks and licencing fees off each game released for "their" system. If consoles became an open comodity they would only make money off the games they make themselves...which would hurt MS and Sony especially. None of the big boys are willing to give it up for the good of everyone else...not as long as they have a say. :/
    • "You want to make me excited about a console?"

      They don't want to make YOU excited about a console - They wanted to make the millions of MTV babies with all of their disposible income excited. These execs are just saying exactly what they need to say to make a gazillion dollars for their respective companies. This happens in every industry, I'm not sure why it's a surprise that it's happening to video games.

    • What you seek (something really new) I feel like might be delivered through really different interfaces - which is why both the PS3 and Xbox 360 have cameras.

      To me the most intersting demo of all was the person from EyeToy where he manipulated virtual cups using real ones, filling them with water and pouring them out. It's sort of the next step in better physics models when we can affect the game world using real objects.

      I'm not 100% sure the direction will pan out, but at least it's something kind of ne
    • by cowscows (103644) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:35PM (#12648105) Journal
      There are some new and original games coming out, it's just that it's sometimes hard to find them, because the big sequels are the ones that get he majority of the hype and advertising. That's kind of a bummer, I'll agree.

      I think Nintendo hears what you're saying, and tries to be creative in a lot of ways. That sort of gets overlooked, however, because they tend to then brand all of their ideas with their big franchises, Mario being the number one example. So the PS and Xbox fanboys rant about how 50% of the games available for the GC are just mario games, ignoring the fact that there's a whole lot of variety within the Mario universe.

      I don't have anymore of an idea what Nintendo's big Revolution is going to be than any other random guy on the street, but I have found their games to be fairly consistently fresh and fun.
      • by Valiss (463641) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @04:13PM (#12648499) Homepage
        ...and in fact, I *still* play Mario Kart (and a few others) on my SNES from time to time. And everyone that comes by the house that I can convince to play it with me agrees, it has a lot of gameplay value and stays fun for hours.
    • You know what i want from consoles?
      That they stop to get the pc titles turned into crap.
      Please, someone give them a keyboard and mouse and have them taste what a fps is really about. I'm fed up with seing auto aim, horizontal layout of ennemis, waves of them walking straight toward you, huge weapons, MEGAHuge huds and microlevels, and ter-r-r-r-r-ible textures.
      Go back!
    • Nintendo DS - the touchscreen and microphone are used in very interesting ways in some of the games. "Feel the Magic" involves a few minigames where you have to blow out candles, or blow a sailboat across a lake. There's also a few yelling games, but I'm usually embarassed by blowing into my portable game console already, hehe. There's the "Wario Ware" game which I haven't played, but looks similar, with interesting mini-games.

      There is true variety out there, the DS does it for me, and it's great to pick
    • I was saying it in a next-gen consoles thread yesterday and I'm glad I'm not the only one who is feeling this way.

      These new consoles just don't have "it". They're incredibly powerful, but what will be done with that power? Exactly the same thing that was done with less power, last generation, only this time it'll be prettier and shinier.

      The market has stagnated. There aren't many new game CONCEPTS, that are appealing, that seem to require the horsepower of the new concoles. Think about it:

      Katamari Da
    • by brkello (642429)
      You know what I want from gaming consoles? Something *new*.

      No, actually what you wrote has nothing to do with consoles. What you want are more innovative and quality games. I do want my consoles to have hi-def, better sounds, new features. You don't need to write a letter to Sony and Microsoft because (for the most part) they don't make games. You can write a letter to Nintendo because they still make a lot of games. And yes, there are innovative games on the PS2 like Katamari Damacy. But with genre
    • by tgibbs (83782)
      You know what I want from gaming consoles? Something *new*. When I say *new* I don't mean hi-def resolutions, better sound, faster game play, or even high density storage mediums. When I say *new* I mean I want to see something I have never in my life seen before...

      Well, don't expect a new console to bring it to you. Quake is a rare example of a game that was revolutionary because of hardware. The rather basic concept behind Quake had been running around for years, and the hardware finally caught up. But
  • Why not though? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by coop0030 (263345) * on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:18PM (#12647923) Homepage
    Why wouldn't a company pimp it's product? So maybe they do get carried away, but they have to generate hype somehow.

    I think it is completely wrong of them to use pre-rendered images, and say it is actual gameplay footage (killzone, anyone?), but I can't imagine that this early on the developers have even gotten close to figuring out the nuances of the systems.

    It all comes down to the games. If a console has powers like a supercomputer, it still won't be fun if the games are terrible.

    You don't play the hardware in the console, you play the games. That's all there is to it.
  • by FlyByPC (841016) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:19PM (#12647928) Homepage
    ...I've never really understood why people (who probably have a fairly modern PC) would be interested in a console system such as an XBox or PlayStation. PCs (of whatever flavor) are so much more capable and customizable than consoles, and are much more flexible as well.
    • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:23PM (#12647979) Homepage Journal
      Funny, I've never understood why people will pay $x000 for a tricked-out gaming PC when they can get the same performance from a $x00 console.
      • by Skye16 (685048) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:39PM (#12648160)
        Funny, I've never understood how people think a pentium 3 733 has near as much horsepower as an athlon 64 3000+. Or that the game even looks nearly as good on the console.

        As a huge fan of both consoles and PCs, they both have their place. I would never try to play an FPS on a console. I tried getting along with it for months with Halo 2, but it was like trying to ride a monkey instead of a horse. It's just not meant to be. I also would never want the "latest and greatest" cutting edge game to be on the console - why? Because the graphics aren't going to look nearly as good - how can they, when the video card is about 3 or 4 years old?

        Making blanket statements isn't going to work. Consoles do some things well, PCs do some things well. Until I can treat a console like a PC (ie: hook it up to an extremely high resolution monitor and have the option to use a keyboard and mouse), for me, it's going to be my second choice system. With that said, trying to have all my friends huddle around my monitor as we play Double Dash isn't going to work either. There's certain pros and cons to each, and it's up to the individual to decide what they like more - high powered FPS games with input devices that allow for much higher response times, or something that always "just works", can be played with tons of friends, everyone sitting around the living room drinking some beers.
      • >> Funny, I've never understood why people will pay $x000 for a tricked-out gaming PC when they can get the same performance from a $x00 console.
        >>

        Well personally, I'd never buy a console. One, games are tertiary to me, and were, even when I was a kid. And while I do enjoy the occasional FPS (Halflife and its decendants, especially), my favorite genres of games are 4X and wargames, followed by adventure games (which have lamentably disappeared over the past 10 years.) Civilzation I,II, & II
    • I have two pc's, a ps2 and an xbox. I use all of them.

      I can't hook my PC to my surround sound stereo system or my HDTV. I can't lounge on my sofa using a controller from my PC either. I have to hunch over a keyboard, mouse, and a flat surface for the mouse and a monitor for my PC.

      So playing a shooter, or a puzzle game works better on the console. It's more enjoyable.

      But playing something that requires a lot of type, or fine cursor control, work better on the computer. For example, The Sims (lots of mouse
      • I can't hook my PC to my surround sound stereo system or my HDTV. I can't lounge on my sofa using a controller from my PC either. I have to hunch over a keyboard, mouse, and a flat surface for the mouse and a monitor for my PC.

        That's slowly changing, though.

        With a simple piece of shelf-board for a keyboard & mouse, I have the DVI video of my Mac mini hooked up the the HDMI input of my high-def projector, and a USB-TOSLink adapter to provide surround sound when watching movies and HDTV. Not only has
    • That may be, but for the price of a gaming-caliber PC, you can easily buy a computer that's sufficient for email and word processing, and a console (or two), and games, with cash left over.

      Remember, there's still a fairly significant gap between "fairly modern PC" and "gaming PC" -- at least for the latest and greatest games.
    • by 0racle (667029) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:29PM (#12648032)
      I cant play Xenogears, Xenosaga, most Final Fantasies and a whole host of other games on my PC's. You don't buy a console because of the hardware, its all about the games you can get on it. You wouldn't happen to also be the type of person who can't understand why someone would choose to run Windows over Linux when their livelihood requires they run something that only runs on Windows are you?
      • That's what I was going to say exactly. I own all 3 consol systems. I always have my pc, but as a game is released for a consol that I want to play enough, I buy the consol and the game if I don't have it.

        Now given a choice of a system to buy a game for, pc gets precidence because it can be patched, usually made to look better, has free multiplayer, and is usually moded. The next rank is the xbox because it has a hard drive and tends to move a little quicker. Next is ps2 cause it's controler is a little bi
    • All of the best games (and I use just about any definition of the word you'd care to name) are quitee simply, headed to consoles first.

      The PC game market is still OK but what company is going to escape the lure of a far larger market with far fewer support hassles?

      You can already hook keyboards and mice to consoles. For a while now PC gaming is going to be console hand-me-downs, and it's not going to take long to happen once the next-gen consoles are out.
    • I'm inclined to believe these consoles will be whipping out the polygons at a rate far beyond my parents' $330 eMachines box. They need a GPU about as much as they need an HDTV.
    • Personally, the dividing line for me is the length of the game. I find console games are good for short, not too strategically minded games, whereas computer games are for longer term, character development type games. Then, of course, there are things like console games are more oriented to multiple players sitting around the TV vs a single person logged into a PC. In the past, my computer has also had far superior graphics plus network play. Of course, all of that has been changing since the last cons
    • Consoles are all about the "killer app" (just as comptuers are). I bought a PS2 instead of a normal DVD player so I could play Katamari Damacy and Romance of the Three Kingdoms as well as watch DVDs on my big screen TV. Now I'm looking at an X-Box to play Dai Senryaku because I'm getting my ass kicked by friends who can practice all the time. There are certain games I wish to play and they only come on consoles. Which console I buy also depends on which games I desire to play.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Keeping your PC up-to-date in order to be able to play current titles is expensive (you need to upgrade more frequently than with consoles), and still you may end up with games that only "sort of" work.

      With consoles, the specifications of the console are well-known, and good games are optimized to make use of exactly as much power and features as is present. Additionally, unlike PC games, the games can be designed with better assumptions about the controller (although as a plus for the PC, a mouse+keyboar
    • PCs i use for things other than games mainly (although i do play sim city 4 a bit on my mac) , I have my consoles for games They are cheaper than alot of graphics cards .I dont want to buy windows either as its about the same price as a console just to get alot of games to work (those i cant get on linux or mac(
    • I'll tell you why I got involved with consoles: Upgrade hell. I have a boatload of games on perfectly good media that I can't play anymore because my computer no longer supports whatever odd hardware requirements that game had. Every upgrade I've done has killed some of my games. Soundcards, video cards, motherboards, processors, RAM (yes, Virginia, having more than the recomended amount of RAM has killed some of my games), Windows service packs, etc....

      And I'm sick to death of it.

      My copy of Tomb Raide
  • HYPE (Score:2, Insightful)

    by COMON$ (806135)
    That is because HYPE is free publicity. Let people become so enamored with the dream that they defend what they do not know to the death. Then no matter the price tag or the downfalls they will cling to it.

    That is the beauty in smoke and mirrors.

  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:19PM (#12647934)
    ...that ALL Xbox 360 gameplay demos were actually run on Apple Power Mac G5s [com.com].

    Seems like they'd have prototypes at least stable enough to demo at the premier gaming and entertainment show of the year for something that's supposed to ship in less than a couple quarters...

    In fact, I can't believe that TIME and all of the huge mainstream coverage that Xbox 360 has gotten hasn't mentioned this. All many of the articles say is that the Xbox 360 is using "a processor from IBM", something likely to not raise most anyone's eyebrows.

    But to not mention that Microsoft's multi-billion dollar entry into the next generation of console gaming, heavily watched by many investors and financial sectors, uses the processor family that *Macs* have used since 1994, and most closely related to Apple's current computers, so closely, in fact, that their own Xbox 360 development and demos runs directly on Power Macs? I mean, yeah, I realize that Microsoft or anyone using the best processor architecture for a particular application isn't news; but Microsoft using *Macs* to develop AND demo their next generation console isn't worth a mention to anyone but C|Net?
    • Every Apple/Mac site that I've run across.

      Personally, this is the part of the "next generation" console battle I'm curious about. A big deal was made about how badly Doom 3 performed when it was ported to OS X, of which there are two main reasons used to explain the issue:

      Video card drives
      Porting from the Intel to the PPC architecture

      Basically, because the system was optimized for the x86 processor line, several "hacks" had to be used to get it comperable to the PPC. That's not saying "Intel good, G5 b
      • Yes, exactly...I was just talking with one of my colleagues about this. Granted the OS and hardware on all of these consoles will be proprietary, but the fact that the general architecture is PowerPC/POWER, it's got to be at least marginally easier to take some of the titles to Apple hardware running Mac OS X. Right now, there are game SDKs that make it easier for developers to bring cames to PC, GameCube, Xbox, PS2, etc., and I'd think that with all of the consoles going PowerPC architecture and running pr
    • Something that also isn't mentioned is that MS has lost hundreds of millions on the Xbox. That was built using a modified PC architecture. How much will they need to break even on the Xbox 360 considering it has required significantly more R&D?
  • by porcupine8 (816071) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:19PM (#12647936) Journal
    You know, it would be nice if you could at least tell where the submitter's comments end and where the first paragraph of the linked article begin. Quotation marks, anyone? "From the article:" perhaps?
  • by Wesley Felter (138342) <wesley@felter.org> on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:20PM (#12647944) Homepage
    Hey, those are difficult graphical effects to do right. I don't think I've ever seen realistic smoke in a console game yet.
  • by tepp (131345) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:21PM (#12647953)
    The Xbox 360 is a new console. That's great. I'll certainly buy one shortly after launch.

    But it's JUST a new console.

    I saw the MTV Xbox 360 launch tv show and was amazed at how they hyped this thing up to be, gosh darn it, the next best thing since loosing my virginity. I mean, the one shot where they first reveal it to a crowd of screaming geeks, and it's up on a platform above the crowd, lit from above... that shot was nearly identical to the scene of the Jews worshiping the Golden Calf from Moses. I intoned to my husband, "We worship our new god! We worship our new god!" as the crowd screamed... he laughed, I didn't. It just pushed my awareness of hype from beyond "silly yet trying to get publicity" to "serously wierding me out".

    I mean, it's just a game console. It will be a good game console. But in five years time, there will be a new game console to replace it. And so on in another five years. Technology marches on and we will continously be updating our consoles. This one is JUST a game console, heck, it won't even give me a hand job. Now if it came with a vibrator attachment... maybe I'd call it a revolution....

    But seriously, game companies, lay off the insane hype. It's just a game console.
  • Hype is fun. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taikiNO@SPAMcox.net> on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:21PM (#12647958)
    The reality is too, that hype is also fun.

    I'm waiting for the games that are coming out, not just the console itself. I wasn't jazzed about the PS2 particularly,until I saw games I liked for it.

    the MGS4 trailer has me hot in the pants.
    • I agree with you until the last line. What's so great about that trailer? It shows virtually nothing about the game. Mildly amusing, yes...
  • Item! Game consoles might not change your life after all. I know, it comes as a complete shock to us at CNN as well... but after researching this report, it turns out that game console companies sometimes hype the technical potential of consoles, and those expectations are seldom realized.

    In our next report, we will demonstrate that political candidates from both parties often fail to keep their campaign promises. We're pretty sure this one will knock your socks off as well. ... at least, if you are as
  • ...the rehashing of what we just reiterated, we bring you this article.
  • by grungebox (578982) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:25PM (#12647994) Homepage
    But shouldn't someone edit that to say, "The latest Game Over column at CNN Money notes, 'History tells us: Don't believe what you're hearing about the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.There was a lot of hype last week about the next generation of game machines. Microsoft said the Xbox 360 will ultimately reach 1 billion consumers worldwide, while Sony gave a laundry list of features for the PlayStation 3, showing some jaw dropping footage along the way. (Nintendo promised a Revolution, but didn't go much further than that.) I hate to be a wet blanket, but it's time to come back to reality.' Here's a link to the rest of the article." or something to that effect? It seems to me that "anonymous reader" is not giving props where props are due, bordering on plagiarizing. I know, we can all RTFA and find out he stole the paragraph verbatim, but isn't that like releasing a book called "Fahrenheit 451" and then putting a small endnote that says, "Oh, um, this was written by Ray Bradbury."?
  • It sounds like a big number, but factor in that the average lifespan of a unit is about 2 years under average usage. If you leave it on all the time, drop that by a third. If the lifespan is supposed to be 5 years, you have 3 units per user, some will break more. I'm on my 3rd PS2, and I play MAYBE three hours/week. So if they can sell 333 million of them, and get people to replace them when they break, they can hit a billion.
  • Reporting Games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:27PM (#12648012) Homepage Journal
    This kind of critical reporting is the difference between journalism and PR ("public relations" or the "press releases" that are its lifeblood). But gaming journalism still has a long way to go

    FTFA:
    "It's not hard to forgive the hardware publishers for a little bit of hyperbole at E3, the annual trade show of the video game industry. It is, after all, their moment in the sun. But now that the crowds have gone home and the booth babes have changed back into street clothes, it's time to recognize that a fair number of the promises made last week will quietly fade away."

    The best time to report critical insights, especially those counter to PR claims, is during the "moment in the sun". When everyone's paying attention. Otherwise, reporting is a footnote, and the PR floods the media. Result: most people believe the unopposed PR. Gaming coverage has been improving, as competition heats up in a bigger market of people with competing interests, not just gaming.

    To see how badly "reporting" can go wrong, just look at the synthetic world of national and international affairs in the mass media, rarely insightful, and totally distorted in representing reality. With games becoming ever more realistic, and reality ever more bent to our imaginations, it's ironic that reporting on reality becoming more of a fantasy game, while gaming reporting becomes more realistic.
  • For the benefit... (Score:5, Informative)

    by MrNemesis (587188) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:28PM (#12648029) Homepage Journal
    ...of all those who haven't seen it yet;

    Here [games-digest.com] is an article where the chief financial officer of nVidia confirms that the supposedly "in-game" footage from the new PS3 is a load of cobblers, cos the RSX chip isn't finished yet and doesn't exist in a workable form.

    Sigh... it's the emotion engine/missile guidance systems all over again.
    • From the link: That still casts some doubts on the PS3's barn-storming E3 presence, and particularly whether much of the footage (as it appeared to be) was done, at best, using the game engine to create cut-scenes, or whether it was really realtime, in-game footage.

      One could imply the following two points. One, that current nVidia hardware is capable of rendering those images. Two, the "in-game engine", without the benefit of massive 3D accelleration, was capable of doing those visuals without RSX. Do
    • Precisely Not (Score:3, Informative)

      by oGMo (379)

      Here is an article where the chief financial officer of nVidia confirms that the supposedly "in-game" footage from the new PS3 is a load of cobblers

      No, the specific quote from the article is "Burkett has commented that the visuals had been created on current nVidia hardware of roughly the same power as the RSX." That is, they don't have the RSX done, but they have hardware that's more or less equivalent to the specification in some form (maybe not on a single chip or card).

      Sigh... it's the emo

  • I RTFA... what a pile of fluff. Lets summarize.

    Look that former two generations of console unveilings vs gameplay post-release. Imply trend will continue.

    This guy got paid for that? Where the fuck do I sign up for that job?
  • Instead of Microsoft telling us how many units they are going to sell. (GOING to sell, not MAY sell), why not give some reasons why they think that? No wonder so many people can't stand Microsoft, they seem to arrogant with their projections. To them, they're not projections, they're fact, or whatever.

    Now I'm not trying to bash them or anything, but maybe not as many people would loathe them if they just started managing their PR a little better.

    Its like some vacuum salesman (a younger guy) started off tr
  • Moore's Law makes thirtyfold increases in power over less than 5 years unlikely (though not impossible - that's a misstatement of the law). I wouldn't be surprised if, like the Revolution, the other two consoles are about 2-3x more powerful than their predecessors, or perhaps slightly more, as they were released before the GameCube was.
  • enough of the information-less, ad-revenue seeking , spectacularly headlined articles about the XBox please. Lets just wait until there is some real news, shall we?

    EVERYONE over-hypes their product during a show like that. I expected some world-shocking revelation, but this is largely a prediction that things aren't going to be as claimed during the show based on how things came along with previous models. Whoop-tee-fucking-do.

    Now, if Microsoft had demoed the XBox as if it was all ready to be shipped, bu
  • As he says in the article... only a few games have ever been offered in 1080i, "the current standard for HDTV"

    True, only a few games offer 1080i or 720p... But there are multiple standards for HDTV (Not just 1080i), and the games have all look damn good in widescreen HDTV on the XBox. Halo 2 in 480p (which no standard analog telivision offers) looks quite nice.

    I'm no expert HDTV, gaming, or hardware... but clearly neither is this guy... Though the overall point he makes is valid, he shouldn't blame it al
  • An anonymous reader writes

    No he/she didn't...that's cut-and-pasted from the article. Credit where it's due.

  • After all, these days just coming up with ideas for what you're going to do with all the excessive horsepower that anyone will (a) care about and (b) believe takes real talent.

    Of course, claiming that vN+1 will do what you promised vN would do also works pretty well.
  • by ahfoo (223186) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @03:56PM (#12648331) Journal
    It seems like Microsoft is feeling a bit chafed about the Longhorn release date and so they're sort of overcompensating in the console market to get something, anything out before Sony. So, I wouldn't expect much from this thing beyond what's already in the X-Box and there's a lot there already so I'm not saying it's a piece of shit. It might not be a lot more than what's already in place.
    The interesting one is the PS3 both in terms of the Cell and the BluRay. Now that's some real new toys. Obviously BluRay sounds rad especially since it's meant to be writeable from day one. That's a welcome change in the optical market. But what about the Cell?
    Just in the last day or so there was a blurb on the Cell and Open Source over at the EETimes. Of course the announcement about opening the specs is great and welcome and exciting. But at the same time there were some things that didn't sound too hot. Or more accurately, sounded a bit too hot and power hungry.
    I was excited about that new AMD Geode running at 500Mhz at one freakin watt. Now that is the kind of thing that I see as exciting. Sure, one of them might be nothing, but at one watt you could have eighty of those things running instead of a single Cell running at 3.2Ghz.
    And although they said the Cell could be clocked beyond 3.2Ghz, the EETimes seemed to be suggesting that it couldn't be configured to run that fast and still be air coooled. Whoa, that doesn't sound so good.
    I'd say these kinds of issues that we're seeing in the PC market about power consumption at these ultra high clock speeds are going to be the same for games. These seem to be limits to CMOS manufacturing, not some vendo specific limitations.
    If that's the case, then the CNNMoney article is probably quite correct that there's going to be some disappointment in the cards. A nice little warm-up for the Longhorn debut.
  • by ProppaT (557551) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @04:05PM (#12648407) Homepage
    Kutaragi of Sony just announced that the PS3 isn't a game console, it's an entertainment system. From the beginning, Sony's been trying to turn the Playstation into something it's not, an all in one household entertainment system. This time around, Microsoft is making no qualms about the fact that they've designed the X-Box to be more than just a gameconsole as well.

    So, we have the PS3 which isn't a game machine but just happens to play games.

    The X-Box 360, which is touted as a media center that plays games.

    -and-

    The Revolution, the console that Nintendo company big wigs say is designed to play games, games, and more games. In fact, 5 generations of games all under one roof, most of which will be instantly accessible over the internet at little or, in some cases, no cost.

    I don't know, I've got media center and powerful computer covered. I have a 7 disc DVD changer, so no console is going to replace that. I have a ReplayTV. I also have a stereo that I stream audio from my computer and the internet to, so I can't see myself using any of the music functions on any of these consoles. What I want, to complement all of this, is a game console. Do Sony and MS actually expect me to toss out my entire entertainment system to replace it with their all in one box? Heck no...I don't want to pay extra cash for things I already have.

    Looks like I'm going to be buying the Revolution this time around, the only console without an inflated price and an identity crisis.
    • Looks like I'm going to be buying the Revolution this time around, the only console without an inflated price and an identity crisis.

      And the only console we know absolutely nothing about. Oh wow, it can emulate previous game titles? Show it to me! You can't, because it doesn't exist yet. Seriously, it is ludicrous to be picking a console before you know what games are going to be on it and how well it will perform. You are just a Nintendo fanboy spouting the same garbage every other fanboy is. You t
    • by hazee (728152) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @08:00PM (#12650287)
      Do Sony and MS actually expect me to toss out my entire entertainment system to replace it with their all in one box?

      Given the stupid curved sufaces on both the new Xbox and the PS3, the answer would appear to be yes.

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