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Sony And The No-Confidence Vote 245

Posted by Zonk
from the spending-your-goodwill-currency dept.
Sony continues to spend the goodwill it has achieved over the last generation of consoles. As widely reported over the weekend, last Friday CEO for SCE Europe David Reeves spoke to the press. "We have built up a certain brand equity over time since the launch of PlayStation in 1995 and PS2 in 2000 that the first five million are going to buy it, whatever it is, even it didn't have games." This 'you'll buy it anyway' attitude has further annoyed gamers already rankling from the announced pricetag. Next Gen and IGN talk about the two sides of the coin, with IGN laying into the company for the lack of HDMI output in the cheaper model, and Next Generation saying that Sony is far from defeated.
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Sony And The No-Confidence Vote

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  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:13PM (#15381756)

    Tying to sell a console without games is like trying to sell a gun without ammunition. Reeves' blithe assertion that their 'brand equity' will induce gamers to shell out 600 clams for their console, despite the dearth of available games, is pure fantasy. There are other consoles out there, that are far cheaper, and have games now. I personally can't imagine how Sony's going to move any of these consoles before the games become available.

    That said, perhaps Sony would have a better chance of moving said consoles if it didn't take its customer base for granted in such a shockingly flippant way. The $600 price tag is bad enough, but Reeves' interview with Computer and Video Games probably cost Sony a lot of business from spite alone.

    Also, from the IGN article:
    In word, Sony downplayed the disparity between the $499 and $599 PS3 versions, citing the primary difference between the consoles at the time of the announcement as the difference in built-in hard drive space, namely 20 GB for the low-end and 60 GB for the high-end. Within minutes, however, journalists homed in on a variety of factors that placed the lower-end PS3 into contention for the dreaded "tard-box" classification of crippled-console.
    Sony, if you've got so much frelling 'brand equity' that you can try to sell us a console for $600 without any games, why do you feel compelled to market a separate, 'tard-box'?
    • Reeves' blithe assertion that their 'brand equity' will induce gamers to shell out 600 clams for their console, despite the dearth of available games, is pure fantasy.

      Basically, Sony is making many of the exact same mistakes Sega made with the Saturn. Given that Sony was Sega's "$299" antagonist at the time, you'd think they'd know better.
    • It's like buying soda at a movie theater. A small is $3.25, and a large is $4.00. But a small is like 8 sips, and a large is 1000 sips. Most people will shell out the extra 75 cents. If I'm going to spend $500 on something, might as well pay the extra $100 for something a lot better. The large soda is a rip-off, but less of a rip-off when compared to the small soda.
      • I don't know what movie theater you go to, but where I go the difference between a small soda and a large soda is more about money. It's about being able to watch a two-hour movie without a bathroom break (small soda) or blowing your bladder out on the way to the restroom (large soda). :P
  • narcissism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:14PM (#15381761) Journal
    Etymology

    After Narcissus, the fictional Greek hero who became obsessed with his own reflection.

    Pronunciation
    • 'när-s&-"si-z&m
    Noun

    narcissism

    1. Egoism; egocentrism.
    2. Love of oneself.
    3. Sexual desire for one's own body.

    --

    I grew up on a farm. If there's one thing that pisses me off, it's people who walk around with their noses in the air. Yuppies, politicians, etc. are prone to this behavior.

    Sony's elitism sure is getting underneath my skin. I enjoyed their console but anymore of this "only-the-rich-are-worthy-of-experiencing-this" attitude and I'm going to take my ball (money) and play elsewhere.

    They do realize that many of their customers also buy their competitor's products, right? By stomping all over Nintendo and Microsoft, they may be alienating a large selection of their consumer base.
    • Re:narcissism (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ekarderif (941116)
      I like pants. If there's one thing that pisses me off, it's the total irrelevance of the first statement in relation to the second.
  • by PSXer (854386) * <psxer@msfirefox.com> on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:20PM (#15381803) Homepage
    In 2000, everybody wanted a PS2 even though it didn't have any real "must have" games. That might have been because of DVD (but DVD in 2000 was a lot more popular with the mainstream than Blu-Ray in 2006) Or, it might have just been the next "must have" item and people wanted it because people who had one were "cool"

    Granted I don't have my finger on the pulse of the entire world, but the people I hang around have nothing but bad stuff to say about the PS3. Sorry the market's so fickle, Sony, but 2001's "xbox is heavy" and "Gamecube is for kiddies" is this year's "PS3 is expensive"

    • Most people I know (including me) didn't get a PS2 until after GTA 3 came out. That's what sold it for me, I played GTA at a friends house and was like "whoa, I gotta get this!". The PS3 will sell well if it has exclusive games that have a similar "must own" factor... though, at the higher price, and more competition, I doubt it will fully replicate the success of the PS2.
    • "but DVD in 2000 was a lot more popular with the mainstream than Blu-Ray in 2006"

      Really? Hindsight is from the present perspective where we are all very familiar with the big benefits of DVDs over VHS.

      But in 2000, most people had not seen DVD in action, players were ridiculously expensive, and more importantly, so were DVD movies. It had barely entered into the equation in PCs.

      The "common sense" of choosing DVD over VHS was not a definitive indicator of DVD's success - mainly because of price.

      One could even
      • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Monday May 22, 2006 @03:37PM (#15383025)
        But in 2000, most people had not seen DVD in action, players were ridiculously expensive, and more importantly, so were DVD movies. It had barely entered into the equation in PCs.

        Not true. I built a computer with a DVD drive and MPEG decoder card in 1998, and quite affordably. By 2000, consumer DVD players were in the sub-$200 range and DVDs were already taking significant amounts of shelf space away from VHS in retail stores and video rental outlets. And at no time did the typical DVD movie EVER sell for about $30 or so.

        By 2000, Circuit City's DIVX experiment had already failed.
    • by Lave (958216) on Monday May 22, 2006 @03:25PM (#15382943)
      You've hit the nail on the head. A lot of the playstation generation (despite what they may claim) were not around for the sega/nintendo years.

      Nintendo were full of themselves, sublimely arrogant and they snubbed everyone around them, released very expensive games, and were convinced they could do as they like. Sega was the same, pushing out cookie cutter games and walking around like nothing could hurt them.

      Sounds familiar?

      Within one generation their empires collapsed. Sega went bust (effectively) and Nintendo fell to 3rd place in the home console market.

      There is no reason this cant happen to Sony, and as you say it based purely on popular opinion. Sony became cool and shot to number one, and now - they seem anything but.

      The real question is, not whether they will fall, but if they will survive it. I doubt they will go bust (but financially they are no where near the shape the public thinks they are) but I do expect them to lose a large amount of market share.

      This is the best thing that could happen to them, whilst sega dropping out of the hardware market has crippled them, Nintendo's 3rd place is the best thing that could happen to us the cosumers. The amount of innovation and free thinking thats come out of them, now they know they have to try, is outstanding.

      I think Sony could do with its own wake up call.

      • True up to a point (Score:5, Interesting)

        by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday May 22, 2006 @05:25PM (#15383776) Journal
        I find the entire discussion as to wich console will win a bit amusing. Price is the funniest since it seems to never have had an effect before.

        But what is even more amazing is how unbalanced fanboys can be.

        For totally nuts check this out. A lot of 360 owners slam Sony for not having the cool controls of the Wii. Hello? Doesn't the 360 have zero innovation in its controller? So you slam Sony for adding only 1 small feature vs Nintendo redesign while being the proud owner of a console that has that same old controller that been used for the last decade?

        Pot calling kettle black?

        I seen a lot of complaining about 360 not being fully backwards compatible. Both the PS3 and Wii promise to be different so how come MS ain't slammed for that?

        It seems that a lot of people got something against Sony. Perhaps it is just a David vs Goliath syndrome, we love to see the big guy taken down a notch and perhaps it has to do with the root kit (then again if you run windows surely you gotten used to be rooted by now)

        However fanboys vendetta's do not make accurate sale predictions.

        So far as I can see the consoles all got their weaknesses.

        • The Wii is simplest, it is underpowered. How long can it last in the years consoles are supposed to stay current. It is not just about CPU, it is the only one to lack a HD (People who buy the lesser version of a console like the 360 core are like people who buy Celerons, not worth talking about) and that means it can't do games that require data storage. I am curious where the Wii is supposed to store all those downloadable old games.

          Will it matter? We will know in 2010 when the next-next generations consoles will start to be talked about.

        • The 360 weakness is that it is the most boring of the three. Not the supposed power beast that is the PS3 and not as innovative as the Wii. It is just x-box version 2. Games look pretty but not earth shattering and not really all that different from what came before. To me the console seems to have lost a lot of its luster and even the fanboys are now just talking about actual upcoming games rather then having wetdreams about what might happen.
        • The PS3 weakness to me seems that the Cell just doesn't deliver its hyped power. There are some nice demos out but they all seem to be cutscenes. Even if they are rendered live this mean little. When you know where the camera is going to be you can optomize a lot. Actual gameplay footage is rare and what is out there just doesn't tell me "supercomputer in your living room". With so many cores why am I not seeing thousand unit air battles?

          In short the real weakness of the PS3 is that it might just not be able to actually produce any games that are richer then the 360 or even worse, the Wii. Rich for me means AI, Physics, unit count, size of area etc etc. NOT resolution.

        Not that any of the console companies are likely to care but I predict that PC gamers will once again look at consoles and go, "nice game kid". Pat the player on the head and go play a real game.

        Or put another way. Console fanboys eat my keyboard!

        • by Anonymous Coward
          I'll do this post as an artistic experiment in how much can be expressed through careful juxtaposition of quotations, simply because you've kindly supplied the very phrase I found myself needing.

          But what is even more amazing is how unbalanced fanboys can be.

          People who buy the lesser version of a console like the 360 core are like people who buy Celerons, not worth talking about

          Console fanboys eat my keyboard!

          Pot calling kettle black?

          Thankyouverymuch.

          (To spell it out: please, all of you, stop identifying w

  • by Doomstalk (629173) on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:26PM (#15381861)
    I looked up the word "hubris" in the dictionay, and there was a picture of the Playstation 3.
  • by Gadzinka (256729) <rrw@hell.pl> on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:26PM (#15381865) Journal
    You know, it used to be that Nintendo then Sega owned the game console market, but it didn't prevent them from losing position when their next interation of console was an overpriced crap.

    Don't think for a moment, that it's something completely different with Sony. The attitude they present toward their customers is just ripe for detronisation. And it's a good thing...

    Nothing to see, move along.

    Robert
    • that's the thing I always find funny.

      everyone is suddenly thinking Sony is the only company in the history of corperations to act like they are better then everyone else.

      Correct me if I am wrong but didn't Microsoft pull this off years ago (and still pulls it off today)? Didn't Apple act this way back in the 80's (and once again today)?

      Nintendo did it with the SNES (going into the N64 they were acting like everyone would buy it simply because it was Nintendo), Sega did it going from the Genesis to
      • Just like when Nintendo charged $300 for the N64 (I couldn't find them anywheres around here for less) even though both their previous systems sold for $200

        The N64 launched at $200. You went to some sucky stores if they charged $300.
      • The N64 launched for 199$ like every nintendo console ever.
      • where did the change happen and when did I miss it? Microsoft announced $400 for a 20gb hdd version and everyone is all excited about it and doesn't think it's strange and they justify it instantly. Sony announces a $600 60gb hdd version and suddenly everyone shits their pants and can't understand why they are charging so much for it...what? A new processor is being used, a true next gen drive is in it, it can read just about every kind of card you can think of, yet no one can justify it, Yet when it comes
  • It is false to believe that a free market offers any value in "goodwill equity" of any sort. I'm a businessman, and every time I provide a product or a service for my customer, the only equity that exists is the expectation that I will perform exactly as I am supposed to for a given payment, and that customer will pay me for my performance. The believe otherwise is a quick way to end up out of business.

    I see it every year -- some kid takes over pop's huge business because the old man had a heart attack. The kid (usually in his 30s or 40s) drives the business into the ground and below within 2 years. He believed that the business didn't need to constantly re-win back old customers solely because they'd been around for years. Sony is no different than the businesses I see failing every year, even ones who have been around for 100 years and are now gone.

    Every time a customer makes a purchase, it is with an expectation. No law is needed to protect the customer, because the customer can destroy a business in no time -- if each and every customer who is "hurt" by a previous transaction refuses to make a future one. Does "goodwill equity" give a customer a reason to buy again? Certainly. Does it mean the customer will be willing to accept one grievance or one mistake? Absolutely NOT.

    To think that previously happy customers will forgive a mistake is to think that life is all happy-happy puppy-love bubble-gum and kisses. It isn't. This is business. You give the customer what they're paying for, or you go away.

    Sony, go away. Please go away. You made too many mistakes, and the only goodwill you should be seeing is the clothing charity.
    • your comments are very true

      I see it every year -- some kid takes over pop's huge business because the old man had a heart attack. The kid (usually in his 30s or 40s) drives the business into the ground and below within 2 years

      Which is ironically exactly what happened to my dad's business - altohugh to be fair I wasn't involved so it wasn't me making any mistakes. Customers can be a wii (get it?) bit fickle about what they buy although I do think that an amount of brand loyalty exists. Sony has quite
    • Right on. Sony lost me as a customer when I paid a premium price for a CRT monitor that was given great reviews, but quickly died on me. It was obviously made out of crap parts and Sony had no interest in providing any meaningful warranty service (ship it both ways at my expense, yea right, its cheaper to buy a new one). So I bought a new monitor of a different brand and never again gave any thought to Sony products. I've heard only bad things about newer Sony products, like their "MP3 players" that don't a
    • No law is needed to protect the customer, because the customer can destroy a business in no time -- if each and every customer who is "hurt" by a previous transaction refuses to make a future one.

      Of course, this assumes the customer realizes he's been hurt. Or perhaps knowingly hurting a small percentage of your customers is acceptable because it's more cost effective. Or perhaps you've just taken over a business with a good reputation and are perfectly happy to destroy the business in a year or so, har

      • "Of course, this assumes the customer realizes he's been hurt." ... "The market may self-correct, but it doesn't do so instantaneously."

        Agreed, but you forgot the music industry. They've been seriously hurting artists and customers for decades, and the market still hasn't corrected.

        • "Agreed, but you forgot the music industry. They've been seriously hurting artists and customers for decades, and the market still hasn't corrected."

          I don't think he did. The market is self-creating in their case, but it is taking longer because they've had a complete monopoly for so long and they still have a lot of popular artists on their side. There simply wasn't an alternative in their case, but now there are alternatives and more alternatives keep arising. But it is happening. I think that proves hi

      • Of course, this assumes the customer realizes he's been hurt.

        If someone doesn't know they've been hurt, have they really been hurt? Losing something you didn't know you had is a small loss.

        Or perhaps knowingly hurting a small percentage of your customers is acceptable because it's more cost effective.

        If it's more cost effective to not pursue business with a particular group of customers, then it's more cost effective. There's nothing saying that a company *has* to try and sell to every last person. The marg
        • When a harmful monopoly is in place, the market has failed. One can only hope that whatever economic mediator is in place acts properly to restore the market to viability.

          The trouble is that the economic mediator is all too often subject to bribes (called "campaign contributions" in polite company) from members of the oligopoly. Otherwise, we wouldn't have DMCA, copyright term extension, full penalties for subconscious copyright infringement, trademark dilution, continuing recognition of patents on math

        • Or perhaps knowingly hurting a small percentage of your customers is acceptable because it's more cost effective.

          If it's more cost effective to not pursue business with a particular group of customers, then it's more cost effective. There's nothing saying that a company *has* to try and sell to every last person. The marginal cost of winning some people over is just too high.

          There's a difference between not pursuing certain unprofitable customers and "hurting" a small number of your current customers.

    • It is false to believe that a free market offers any value in "goodwill equity" of any sort.

      I think there's a reverse sense: it isn't so much customers' goodwill towards the company, it's customers' belief that the company harbors good will towards them.

      I'll buy from companies I believe are full of people working their butts off for me. I'll tolerate a fair amount of crap from such companies. The list of Apple's crap would fill a thick notebook. It bothers me, I keep running gut checks, but it isn't e

    • I have two words for you:

      "Ford" and "Firestone"
    • Ah... more "we need no steenkin laws, the market takes care of everything." While I do agree to some extent with your proposition, I don't agree taking it all the way to the end.

      There is a value in a brand, and there is a monetary value associated with it. How much is it though? No one knows for sure. The simplest way really is to check the stock market: tally all assets and revenue, subtract from capitalization, and you get some left over stuff that can be qualified as the value that people associate with
  • They Had My Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:26PM (#15381870) Homepage
    They had my money. They built up brand equity. I was ready to buy it. Even if they pulled a 360 and charged $400.

    Then they announced it would cost $600. And did I mention that there aren't really any games I really want to play? Just MGS4 and maybe Assassin's Creed.

    Nice try Sony. You lost your brand equity. It was alredy eroeded with the PSP (how about some good games for once?). I was full-on Nintendo before all of this. I still like Nintendo best and will buy their console.

    But I won't be buying a PS3 for over $400. I may even wait for $300. I won't be buying a 360 for over $300.

    Three consoles, two shot themselves in the foot (as far as I'm concerned). Who will win? The expensive one, the MORE expensive one, or the reasonably priced one with about a dozen games that I want to play?

    Hmmmmmm......

    • I'm not sure I agree about not buying a PS3 on the "expensive" idea. I made a post a few days ago, Is the PS3 really more expensive? [slashdot.org] offering that the PS3 is not really that much more expensive once you factor in Federal Reserve currency devaluation. The Central Bank has destroyed the dollar by almost 50% over the time since the PS2 was launched. Considering that devaluation, the PS3 really isn't that much more expensive. If you follow that thread, you see that the PS2 versus PS3 in Europe (which didn't
      • Re:They Had My Money (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:36PM (#15381949) Homepage
        Maybe the PS3 is reasonably priced compared to previous consoles if you take inflation into account.

        But Nintendo is still only charging $250 or so

        And $600 just strikes me as WAY TOO MUCH. Even if it is not that bad historically. I could buy a decent laptop for that. I could buy a new HDTV. I could pay 2 months of car payments on a VERY nice car.

        If MS wanted $400, Sony wanted $600, and Nintendo wanted $400 then I might be willing to pay more. But if Nintendo can sell their console (that I REALLY want) for $250, then Sony won't get me to buy their "ultra powerful do all" console (that I'm somewhat interested in) for 2-3x that.

        And that assumes Nintendo doesn't go with $200 (1/3 the price of a PS3) or $150 (1/4 the price).

      • It's useless to value an entertainment item in relation to the price of gold for two reasons: the price of gold relative to other commodities is not stable and nobody buys consoles with gold. Try comparing the prices based on growth in expendable income instead.

        I doubt you will find a 200% increase in median expendable income between 2000 and 2006.
        • I doubt you will find a 200% increase in median expendable income between 2000 and 2006.

          People making median income are generally schmucks who don't realize that the same dollars they're getting paid in are going down in value significantly. Let's look at the M2 money supply figure of January 2000 -- 4675.6 billion. Now let's look at the M2 money supply figure of January 2006 -- 6738.0 billion. That is a 44.1% money supply inflation rate over the 6 year period. Ouch. Looking at the M3 figures is even m
          • Certainly the dollar has had better days; I think the major reason it's maintained value as well as it has is that big investors are having trouble finding great non-dollar investments.

            The price of the PS3, though, has nothing to do with your income or my income. Sony's target market doesn't think in gold, and they have experienced a significant drop in gold-standard wages since 2000. Not that the value of gold is "real", either, but it gives you some idea.

            That's the reason I cite the median. Even Warren
      • ...the PS3 is not really that much more expensive once you factor in Federal Reserve currency devaluation.

        Oh, yeah. This is why plasma TVs are actually cheap and Mercedes is the new Hyundai. In other words, you're trying way too hard.

        The bottom line for many of us is this: The PS3 is debuting at a higher price than either of its two competitors, and a higher price, even considering inflation, than all but a couple (Neo-Geo and 3DO) consoles in history. Whatever your dollar analysis says, the Xbox
      • Actually, after factoring in inflation, the only consoles that come anywhere close to the PS3 are the Neo Geo, the 3D0, and the Sega Saturn, none of which were all that sucessful.
      • To quote Jerry Holkins, "This would be great if I were buying it with money I used to have, or perhaps spending valuable, inflation adjusted 'Future Bucks.'"
      • Inflation increases, but wages stay the same. God bless America.
    • It was alredy eroeded with the PSP (how about some good games for once?)

      the PSP won't have a whole lot of good games for another year, it will mainly be platformers and titles that lauch for everything. If you'd looked into it before buying you could have saved yoruself the trouble of buying it a whole year too early. In a lot of ways the psp is a lot like the original PSX that way. If you can manage to hold onto your psp for another year there will be a lot of decent games worth playing for it. in the
      • Actually, you will probably see less quality games for the PSP in a year. No one is going to want to spend a PS2-esque budget on a portable game they can't port to something with a better user base. Most of the best PSP games are ports in one way or the other. When developers stop writing PS2 code, much of the incentive to make PSP games will vanish with it.
  • by interiot (50685) on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:29PM (#15381890) Homepage
    Now that both the 360 and PS3 will offer HD DVD/Blu-ray drives without HDMI, there's a LOT of rumors going around that hardware manufacturers have brokered a deal with studios to delay turning on the ICT flag until 2010. If so, that would make the $500 PS3 more viable, IMHO.

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060521-6880 .html [arstechnica.com]
    http://www.engadget.com/2006/05/22/studios-wont-do wngrade-hd-video-for-now/ [engadget.com]
    • Aye, it looks like the hardware is going to sabotage DRM, willy nilly. Sony's argument will be along the lines of, "well, there are a lot of non-HDMI HD monitors up there; we'll make HDMI mandatory in the next generation of DRM, when players are cheap. Get the foothold, then start locking it down."

      The problem is that by that time, HDCP will be thoroughly defeated as well.
    • HDMI is also completely irrelevant if you only want to play games on your games console. The HDMI encryption is not and never will be needed to play games in HD.

      And for those whining "what about two years from now when I max out my credit card to get a big-ass plasma TV set?", I say buy one of the $100 BR players which will probably have better features by then anyhow. I have never used a PS2 or an Xbox as a DVD player, and I never will use a PS3 or X360 to play HD video discs.

      • "I have never used a PS2 or an Xbox as a DVD player, and I never will use a PS3 or X360 to play HD video discs."

        So if you've never used it, where do you find the authority to judge it? *rolly eyes*
    • Oh, I see, so I'm supposed to buy this new DRM-crippled hardware because the studios may promise to be nice for a few years? I don't think so.
  • If sony ditched the Blue-Ray they could potentially drop the price but $200 or more. I wonder if they have considered doing it. There is no reason to expect games to need Blue-Ray for a few more years and Sony could even get away with providing it as a cheap addon in a few years. If they push out a few AA titles that require it then people will buy it too. But making people buy a blue-ray drive when noone wants one now is just stupid. Sony! Either GIVE AWAY blueray drives if its that important to you, or p

    • They should be ditching it on at least the $499 'tard box' version, since it will not be able to play the movies in 1080p High-Def when ICP starts being implemented on Blu-Ray disks.

      But of course, this isn't about marketing a useful product...this is about pushing a standard.
      • They should be ditching it on at least the $499 'tard box' version, since it will not be able to play the movies in 1080p High-Def when ICP starts being implemented on Blu-Ray disks.

        This doesn't make any sense at all.

        The BD drive in the PS3 is being used for games, not just movies. Developers will now have 50GB of texture storage, as opposed to 4.7GB (realistically, due to streaming limitations on DVD's second layer). Sure, it's true that most games don't use up even a full DVD, but a lot of the biggest g
        • You claim that they will have larger textures, and more of them so things aren't repeated. Games such as Final Fantasy can now have truly unique enemies that aren't just palette swaps of other textures.

          I disagree. These games have the potential to do as you say. But whether or not they actually will is a different story. It's all a matter of capital, and how much the producers are willing to spend on the creation of the game. Creating these unique super high res textures will take a lot of hours.
        • I call bullcrap.

          Even the highest textured games don't need GBs of it, you can't store enough of it in memory to make it useful, you don't have the bandwidth to stream it all off disk, the 2nd layer of DVDs can be used for game data (they control what goes where sector), any multi-DVD games currently are usually overflowing with FMV not textures, and there's this new technology called "shaders" that totally eliminates the need for a lot of static textures.

          With bigger cpu/gpu resources, it's going to eliminat
        • PC's have had the capabilities of the 360 for a while now. And there've been some games with super hi-res textures to take advantage of the best systems out there. Yet they still tend to fit on a single DVD, and that's with several sets of textures for different vidcard levels. It'll be a while before the need to move beyond 4.5 GB comes along.
    • Forcing the cost of blueray into your next gen system with be the death of both..

      Sony's M.O. with the PS3 is awfully simple: they desperately want to "leverage" their existing PS/PS2 market dominance to win the next-generation DVD standard war. Sure, they needed to come out with another console, because the market expected one -- but if there's anything on Sony's corporate mind other than a win for Blu-Ray, I don't see it. Everything else about the PS3 is more of the same.

      They clearly won't ditch the Bl

  • by ofcourseyouare (965770) on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:38PM (#15381966)
    What does Grandpa Sony still cry about every night? About losing the VHS vs. Betamax war back when he was a lad.

    The way to understand Sony's otherwise inexplicable behaviour is this: games on PS3 are just a means to an end. For Sony (and for MS/Xbox), the prize is not to control gaming; the prize is to own every home's entertainment computer, and the format it uses to show movies.

    As they say in the interview, Sony have clearly decided that they will still sell five million PS3s, even at this price. And let's face it, when you count the Japanese market, they're probably right.

    Sell 5m PS3s and they establish a user base for Blu-Ray - and kill HD-DVD. Thus they hope to win this decade's version of the Betamax vs. VHS war. Thus Grandpa Sony can stop crying at last and young Mr. Sony feels heroic.

    That may be the strategy - but of course that doesn't mean it'll work. Sony's repeated desire to corner the market with a new content formats (UMD etc) has led them to disaster before, and may do so again. Perhaps in years to come young Mr. Sony will be crying every night about destroying the PlayStation franchise...
    • As they say in the interview, Sony have clearly decided that they will still sell five million PS3s, even at this price. And let's face it, when you count the Japanese market, they're probably right.

      This forecast I agree with. Sony will probably never come close to selling 100 million PS3's they way they did with a previous console, but five million units sold over the first couple of years seems like a reasonable prediction.

      Sell 5m PS3s and they establish a user base for Blu-Ray - and kill HD-DVD.

      This for
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:39PM (#15381976)
    Even with the engine blown. A brand name keeps getting revenue, even when the brand by itself turned from a bleeding-edge world leader to a mediocre copycat. It takes a while 'til customers get peed off enough to dump a brand they trusted. But they eventually do.

    Sony's engine is blown. Yes, they'll sell this generation of consoles. No matter what. People loved their PS, they loved their PS2, they'll buy the PS3. No matter what. But, and here is the problem Sony has to solve, the PS4 sales will rely on the PS3 results as much as the PS3 sales will benefit from the PS2 experience.

    Because a ship that's dead in the water takes an incredible amount 'til it gets going again.
    • Though Xbox debuted at #2 in the console wars, so that's not to say that a giant ship can't muster a giant amount of resources to get it going again. But yes, even if they do that, it's rather more wasteful than simply keeping the engine going the whole time, and not dragging along a heavy anchor named Blu-ray.
  • by the_skywise (189793) on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:42PM (#15382000)
    This isn't "politics". Sony is making a product that will sell or not.

    Lest our gentle readers forget, a few weeks ago an analyst pointed out that Microsoft could've sold XBox360's for nearly $700 last year and the market would've purchased them all.

    The XBox360 doesn't have HDMI at all! (Of course that's coming this year)
    The XBox360 was supposed to have HD-DVD and it doesn't. (Of course that's coming this year though who knows what port it'll hook up to. If I'm using the wireless adaptor and have two wired joysticks I have no spare USB ports for an HD-DVD player... oops, guess I'll have to get an XBox360 branded hub.)

    Given what tech they were showing at E3 (very little), the truth of the matter looks like Sony can't build enough units to meet demand at an XBox360 competitive price point. So up the price which will cut down on the demand and also maximizes revenue generation. Then, in January, if sales are sluggish (and you've weeded out the production run kinks) drop the price to match the XBox360. If sales are still strong (and they could be) keep it at that price because the market will pay that much for it.

    Am I ticked about that? Yeah. I have enough spare cash floating around that I could be an early adopter, but I won't. $500 for a video game system (plus $40 for one more controller, plus $60 for ONE game so you're really looking at $600) is just ludicrous.

    But then some people pay $100/month for cable TV with all the frills (not including broadband support).

    But I'll pre-order a Nintendo wee-wee at $200 (maybe $250)...

    But "No confidence" vote? Sony could be making the *perfect* video game system here and I still wouldn't buy it at that price point. On the other hand, if they make some really cool games for it and don't drop the price, maybe I will...

    But that's what capitalism is all about Charlie Brown...
    • The XBox360 was supposed to have HD-DVD and it doesn't. (Of course that's coming this year though who knows what port it'll hook up to. If I'm using the wireless adaptor and have two wired joysticks I have no spare USB ports for an HD-DVD player... oops, guess I'll have to get an XBox360 branded hub.)
      The HD-DVD drive connects to the rear USB port. It includes a couple of extra USB ports on the drive itself, so your wireless adapter would connect to that. There's even a clip on the back of the drive to attac
    • If I'm using the wireless adaptor and have two wired joysticks I have no spare USB ports for an HD-DVD player

      The HD-DVD drive will be designed to attach to the USB on the back of the machine, and will have a pair of USB ports on it. If you let me do some figuring, here...

      3 - 1 + 2 = 4 ...will result in you having a bonus USB port when you're done.
  • From the article:

    The $499 PS3 model will be able to transmit games in full 1080p High-Definition via component cables without a problem, and far more surround sound receiver-amplifiers support optical-audio than HDMI.

    Where the pain will set in, however, is when Blu-ray movies begin making use of HDCP/AACS copy-protection and the infamous "Image-Constraint-Token" (ICP). At the demand of the major Hollywood studios, both HD-DVD and Blu-ray standards have been developed to support this next-generatio

    • so there you have it. 1080p, sure... Blu-Ray support...sorry I can't see how that is going to sell.

      Question: How many sets on the market accept 1080p over component?
      Andwer: I know of one consumer grade 1080p native display that supports 1080p over component (Westinghouse 42" LCD), and it's an undocumented feature. That's it.

      If th PS3 console has a 5+ year lifespan, not having HDMI is a huge mistake. Granted, in the last 5 years we've seen Component, Firewire, DVI, and then HDMI for HD content, but
      • I couldn't agree more. I think it's dumb not to include the HDMI output. And to include the wireless controllers I think is a waste! Just include the wired controllers and lets those that want wireless shell out the few extra when it comes time to buy the additional controllers.

        Personally, I only have a wireless controller because it was a gift, otherwise I'd be quite happy with just the stock (and replaceable) wired controllers.

        As for the harddrive, well... what can I say, ... storage is dirt cheap thes
  • Remember, after the 2004 election:

    "I have political capital, and I intend to spend it."

    And his approval rating just keeps going down. This post is not meant to be political or anything, just it sounds rather similar. From my personal experience in the world, it seems that whenever someone is bragging about things they did *before* it's usually because they don't have anything to brag about now. maybe i'm wrong.
  • I came to a conclusion.

    IGN has some very solid points about this.... Sony might respond to some of this and salvage the "gimp-end" of it's box offering.

    And Mr Colin Campbell is a Snooty McFancyPants who doesn't realize that being "next-gen" will help you for naught if your product is also "not-purchased". There are some terrific consoles out in the mothball fleet to attest to this fact and he probably owns every single one of them.

  • by ThePolkapunk (826529) on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:59PM (#15382169) Homepage
    When I was in Gamestop last week, the sales rep told me he had received many more people asking if they could reserve the PS3 than the Wii. Not only that, he claimed that a bunch of people were willing to put up the $600 now (plus some kickbacks to him) if they could get one promised the day it comes out.

    Ironically, he said that gamestop as of this time has no plans to allow preorders for PS3 due to the limited numbers they expect to receive (he said they estimate 1-2 per store on release day).

    If he wasn't lying, there's apparently a strong calling for it, at least in my neighborhood.

    I thought Sony's price point was ridiculous, and I have no plans to buy the PS3 when it's anywhere near $600, but perhaps Sony is right in believing their fans will buy anything with the "Playstation" name, no matter what the cost.
    • When I was in Gamestop last week, the sales rep told me he had received many more people asking if they could reserve the PS3 than the Wii. Not only that, he claimed that a bunch of people were willing to put up the $600 now (plus some kickbacks to him) if they could get one promised the day it comes out.

      If he wasn't lying, there's apparently a strong calling for it, at least in my neighborhood.

      An alternate explanation: the would-be PS3 buyers want to profit off a likely shortage. I mean, wouldn't you

    • "Not only that, he claimed that a bunch of people were willing to put up the $600 now (plus some kickbacks to him) if they could get one promised the day it comes out."
      I know some people that are trying to do the same thing... They are idiots!
      They saw the EBay prices for the 360 and are trying to make big bucks off the PS-3.
      Throw in a few hard core Sony fan boys with more money than brains and I think you see PS-3s sell out.
      From a gamers point of view why would you rush out to get a PS-3 or even a 360? I di
  • Xbox 360 price cut (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Animats (122034) on Monday May 22, 2006 @02:04PM (#15382224) Homepage
    Fry's in Palo Alto just announced a price cut on the XBox 360. The base machine is still $299, but the higher-priced bundles just dropped over $100. This makes sense; some of the accessories were way overpriced, and there's a huge glut of unsold XBox 360 accessories left over from the holiday season. eBay prices are now slighly below retail.

    With that happening to the XBox 360, Sony is going to have real trouble at a higher price point.

    On the developer front, the general reaction to the Cell processor is "groan". (Except for audio guys, who finally get their very own CPU.) The Xbox 360 is a 3-CPU shared memory multiprocessor driving a conventional graphics chip, something well-understood by developers. Porting from an x86 PC (or an original XBox, which is an x86 PC) to an XBox 360 is straightforward. The Cell is a new, wierd architecture, little limited-memory CPUs with bulk DMA access to main memory. (Architecture people will remember unsuccessful supercomputers of the past organized like this.) In fact, Sony already has had a huge architectural disaster. Originally, the Cell was supposed to do the rendering. That was a dud, and Sony had to put a conventional graphics chip on the back end, running up the cost.

    It's certainly possible to develop good games for the thing, but the extra work required means the games willl be out later. It took about two years before the PS2 hardware was really being used effectively. The PS3 is completely different from the PS2 and will require new techniques. So Sony is launching late on a machine you can't just port to. Not good.

    What's really going to happen is that the early PS3 games will be doing most of the game work in the main CPU and the graphics engine, mostly ignoring the Cell processors. If the game talks to the network, one of the Cell processors will be handling that. Audio work will be in a Cell processor. PS3 games will probably have really good sound, because there's plenty of extra Cell CPU capacity to devote to audio. As Lucasfilm people like to point out, good audio will compensate for lousy graphics, but the reverse isn't true.

  • After the rootkit fiasco, and the downright abuse of players and Mad Magazine worthy mis-management of SWG by SOE, I wouldn't buy a dollar for a nickel from them.

    Sony and SOE both are collapsing from incompetent management and their complete disregard for their customers.
  • by Sarusa (104047)
    This is like the old slam on Apple fanboys, where Steve could crap in a box and call it iShit and people would buy it in droves. Please don't flame on whether this is 'accurate' or not about Apple users, it's just the insult that immediately came to mind when I read this.

    He's basically saying they could crap in a box, label it PS3, and you'd pay $600 for it.

    And he might be right.
    • Except that even in Apple's case that just isn't true. There have been plenty of Macs that have just bombed in the market (MacTV, the Cube, Newton, etc...).

      A $600 price point is well into the "what are they thinking?" category for me. It's going to take some seriously killer games to convince me to drop that kind of cash on a console.
  • From the Next-Gen article:

    What Sony needs are a couple of games that really stand out, and that are guaranteed for launch. Over the next six months, an elite set of PS3 launch titles will begin to emerge that puts the product back on the radar of all those people you just know will be lining up on PS3 day.

    What, like the titles announced for the Wii? Or titles that are currently coming out for the 360? This entire piece read like a fanboy article in favor of Sony. Not just a pro-Sony article, but a fanb
  • A lot of people taking Sony's side on this one - including Next Gen - seem to me to be missing the point. "The price will eventually go down," they say, "and this allows Sony to profit off the early-adopting suckers in the meantime!" Everyone predicts that in a year or so PS3 will be competitively priced and widely available, and Sony hegemony shall be restored.

    But... isn't this kind of a competition for third-party developers? A year from now, if Xbox has 10 million installed users and Sony a fraction of t
  • I remember a Next Generation cover that was a beautiful, if slightly low-polygon count, scene. Full-page bright color, every line flawless. No jaggies. High-resolution textures.

    Headline: With playstation graphics like this, can 3DO keep up?

    Now, the thing is, those weren't playstation graphics; they were at least 100dpi, putting us up to about 850x1000 pixels; a tad larger than the PS1's standard display. They were higher resolution than anything the PS1 could do at any speed, and indeed, the PS2 can't
  • Honestly, I see all the crap that Sony is saying as even more reason not to buy one of there consoles. I bought a PS1 back in 97 because FF7, what can I say I loved 4 and 6. The first one I got didn't work out of the box and I had to return it(never a good thing). About year after the PS2 came out the second one stopped entirely(so it lasted about 3 and a half years :P). I had been saving for a DVD player at the time it died... I ended up spending the money on a PS2 so I could watch DVDs and play my PS1
  • Sony's Gambit (Score:2, Redundant)

    by spoonboy42 (146048)

    The predictions of doom surrounding the PS3 (especially with regards to the very high launch price) are, of course, flooding the Internet. Nevertheless, I think they are very premature.

    In a historical context, the PS3 is somewhat like the Neo-Geo home system [wikipedia.org], or the 3DO [wikipedia.org]: It is a console with vastly more raw processing and graphics power than its contemporaries, but also a significantly higher price tag (although, it must be said that 50% over the 360 pales in comparison the the massive price difference be

  • All the fanboys who think BluRay is good for games because it allows for so much more content - I hope you enjoy paying $70+ for the games.

    PS3 is already so late to market and so difficult to develop for, it is going to end up with a much smaller game library than the Wii or X360. PS3 will not enjoy the position of being the "target system" like PS2 did. Now X360 is the target system and PS3 will get the watered down ports. That's the advantage of being the first console to hit critical mass.

    Wii of cou
  • by finelinebob (635638) on Monday May 22, 2006 @04:47PM (#15383525) Homepage

    They must have training seminars for executives of all Sony divisions in how to show the proper level of contempt for customers. From DRM'd CDs installing rootkits to its failure to acknowledge it's a non-factor in portable music players to how it handles its online games (my personal pet peeve) to this?

    What's good for Sony is good for the rest of the world. Just give them your money and don't ask any questions.

  • by darkhitman (939662) on Monday May 22, 2006 @05:01PM (#15383612)
    Outsourcing is bad.

    Particularly outsourcing your marketing department.

    Particularly outsourcing your marketing department to Hell.
  • by HaloZero (610207) <protodeka&gmail,com> on Monday May 22, 2006 @05:25PM (#15383777) Homepage
    My major roadblock at this point with getting an Xbox 360 is the cost. I can't drop 399$ on a console. It's ludicrous. To shell out that much on a console with only a handful of playable games is disturbing, almost. Some of the most hyped titles - Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, for example - apparently aren't even worth the plastic the disk is printed on from a playability standpoint.

    Bloody hell, I'm consdering just stretching my PS2 until it dies, and then giving up the console gaming entirely. Unless the Wii can blow it all away, then I might keep one of those around, but the Xbox 360, and the PS3 are just too damn expensive.

    I really don't care about Bluray, or HD-DVD or this that or whatever. Just want to play some games.

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