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PS3 Apparently A Computer 440

Posted by Zonk
from the oh-ken dept.
Rinzai writes to mention an article on Gamasutra, noting a statement by Ken Kutaragi where the CEO states that the PS3 is a computer, not a console. From the article: "He went on to outline a scenario where many parts of the PS3 were upgradeable, much more like a PC, noting: 'Since PS3 is a computer, there are no models but configurations', and continuing (though talking in the theoretical): 'I think it's okay to release a [extended PS3] configuration every year'. It's clear from the comments that Sony is indicating that it will be possible to upgrade hard drives and perhaps even other components easily."
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PS3 Apparently A Computer

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  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shadow Wrought (586631) * <shadow.wrought@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:06PM (#15498147) Homepage Journal
    In a nutshell, Sony is conceding the next-gen console war and trying to take out the home computer.

    'Luck with that one guys.

    • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:13PM (#15498201) Journal
      Seriously dumb move, Sony. One of the things gamers and developers both like about consoles is that they aren't computers. The hardware isn't a moving target. You know your game is going to play the same on every console out there. No incompatability issues.

      Argh. What arrogance and stupidity. What's next, the executives of Sony all line up and moon us?
      • Re:So... (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        They have threatened to punch in the stomach anyone who buys a PS3.
        The price is the price and even without games, we could punch our customers in the stomach and they'd still buy the PS3.
        • Re:So... (Score:3, Funny)

          by Hortense Yaya (954830)
          I hope it's not one of those ripoff deals where you have to send in the registration just to get your punch in the stomach.
      • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by RoadDoggFL (876257) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:56PM (#15498533) Homepage
        I was thinking, with the way Sony's going consoles will lose the common hardware configuration. So it's possble that now there'll just be standard hardware configurations... say if you have certain parts from 2008 then your PS3 could be considered a PS3-8. Well could this philosophy of standardizing hardware be applied to PCs? Sony's edging closer to PCs, what if PCs also edge a bit closer to consoles? Hardware manufacturers could categorize their hardware to meet a specified performance on a specified hardware setup to label their hardware with standardized performance designators.

        That's not to say I'm in favor of this... but having those standards in place, I feel, would greatly help PC developers.They'd be shooting for a 2008b hardware configuration when developing their game rather than shooting in the dark. I realize I haven't really explained this too well and if somebody cares to elaborate further then feel free. I also realize that this would require a certain level of honesty and cooperation among hardware manufacturers that likely won't be happeneing any time soon, just a thought.
        • Already exists (Score:5, Insightful)

          by starm_ (573321) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @06:29PM (#15498732)
          It's called a Mac
          • by RoadDoggFL (876257) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @06:46PM (#15498809) Homepage
            Well I was thinking more along the lines of something people actually care about...
          • Re:Already exists (Score:3, Interesting)

            by halfcuban (972832)
            No it's not. A Mac is a proprietary piece of hardware connected to a proprietary OS (albeit built with standardized and component parts in both) that is made exclusively by Apple (barring the clone years). What the parent is suggesting is an open standard like the MSX, which was a Japanese computer standard that various hardware manufacturers could produce (and software developers could develop for). An American example would be the Multimedia PC standard, which with varing degrees of success, was attempted
            • Re:Already exists (Score:4, Insightful)

              by NeoBeans (591740) * on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:27PM (#15499603) Homepage Journal
              No it's not. A Mac is a proprietary piece of hardware connected to a proprietary OS (albeit built with standardized and component parts in both) that is made exclusively by Apple (barring the clone years). Three faults to what you're saying:
              1. Macs are now using bog-standard Intel CPUs, graphics subsystems, and can even run Windows [apple.com].
              2. Sony, in no way, is providing an "open standard" that other manufacturers can leverage. Hmmm, sounds like that would be proprietary by definition. The PC platform has a "standard" that everyone has to walk lockstep on, courtesy of the Microsoft DirectX APIs. Older equipment can't support the new APIs and is not supported. Of course, with Microsoft as the sole provider of the APIs, well... that's a standard only in the sense that Microsoft is a 900 lbs. gorilla making the standard.
              3. Finally, given the need for hardware vendors (such as NVidia and ATI in the graphics card market) to differentiate themselves, it's entirely possible that when one leapfrogs the other, there can be a signficant difference between the vendors' products regardless of API compatbility. So there is not market pressure to provide such a standard.
              That said, it'd be nice from a developer's standpoint, but keep this in mind -- game developers are extremely resilient and seem to handle the differentiation on the PC platform well. And when they don't, the gaming community seems to spend the $$$ to upgrade and build new systems to run the games.
      • Not that it really matters. Back in the early days of the PS2, game bugs weren't exactly super-common. Nowadays, however, companies pump this shit out so fast that they can't do proper Q&A. I'm not necessarily trying to say that bugs are a new thing, just that there are a shittonne more of them these days than ever before.

        My point is that the hardware isn't really the problem anymore. Yeah, it's a factor, but it's pointless until they actually start writing code that works for the hardware they can be
      • Re:So... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by be-fan (61476)
        You're assuming Sony's going to be upgrading the CPU or something like that. That's not necessarily how they'd do it (and its probably not how they'd do it). They could very well tell game developers "program to the low-end PS3", and upgrade other parts of the machines for other functions. For example, a DVR add-on could upgrade the hard drive. Game developers would never notice, because they'd be working to the 20GB spec in the low-end PS3. They could release networking upgrades (eg: wireless for the base
        • While Sony seems to be pretty much 'all over the place' with regards to their descriptions of the new console, what they are really trying to do with this 'its a computer' type marketing schpeal, is try to emphasize that they are focusing on making a 'computer' that is designed to be component-based, not 'fixed' with it's hardware.

          For example, look at a typical home stereo. It's built of several individual components, a tuner, an amplifier, a cd player / dvd player, etc.

          What if the gaming console went the d
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DrXym (126579) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:27PM (#15498320)
      It seems weird for them to call it a computer. I would think a better tactic is to call it a multimedia centre. That would require that the PS3 can perform in such a role. Technically could, but this is Sony we're talking about here. The XBox 360 could have been that too but MS chose to NOT allow you to rip DVDs to the device and NOT have any kind of PVR functionality (even through a dongle) and NOT be any damned good for video content at all unless you stream from a PC (wtf?).

      If Sony could produce a device which some or all of those things, that they could score a major coup. After, all most people only have so many plug points and space by their TV. If this thing can play discs, then why not store them too. They could sweeten the deal for themselves by having a built-in movie download service for $$$.

      The system has the potential, but it remains to be seen if Sony being Sony will cut off its nose to spite its face. Again.

      • Re:So... (Score:3, Informative)

        by Don Tobin (320926)
        XBOX 360's Media Center Extension compatibility is actually not any good even if you DO stream from a PC. Ask anyone who has a reasonably sized media library how their experience went with media discovery and the ludicrous symbolic link methodology utilized in the process. After waiting 3 days for your XBox 360 to unfreeze you might be able to select a song before it freezes again.

        Where would you like to freeze today?
      • It is supposed to run Linux. Assuming it is a full distro that you have real access to (which may be assuming too much from proprietary Sony) - they can't stop you from ripping DVDs, adding linux supported capture cards, and becoming a real multimedia center.

        If it could do all this easily enough - they might have convinced me to get one.

    • No seriously - they are. Acording to Sony, the PS3 is not a gaming console [dailytech.com]. Sony Computer Entertainment's Worldwide Studios president Phil Harrison is "We believe that the PS3 will be the place where our users play games, watch films, browse the Web, and use other [home] computer functions. The PlayStation 3 is a computer. We do not need the PC." It is supposed to replace desktop computers, be a total media center and play some games on the side.

      Oh yeah, it'll cure cancer too.
    • In a nutshell, Sony is conceding the next-gen console war and trying to take out the home computer.

      They already did at E3. Try to find the video on Google Video. The first 20 minutes is endless chest beating and boasting how much the PS2 sold and a few stabs at Nintendo (we are not interested in gimmicks). The next 10 minutes is videos of gamers saying how they look forward to the PS3. There's even a girl who's looking forward to blu-ray.

      Next five minutes is Gran Turismo HD on replay mode.

      Seriously, w

  • That wont save it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sanmarcos (811477)
    Consumers of gaming consoles buy consoles for gaming, not because it is a computer.

    Even with the "extra" feature of being a computer, at the price it is, it will most probably sell very badly, if not fail.

    Sorry Sony, you made a *serious* mistake. Remember that money is one of the most important things in this world, even if it comes and goes.
  • Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by GillBates0 (664202) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:07PM (#15498158) Homepage Journal
    ...so is my Abacus.
  • Makes sense (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DavidLeblond (267211) <me@@@davidleblond...com> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:07PM (#15498161) Homepage
    Its certainly priced like a computer, not a console.

    So if the PS3 is basically a computer, why not get a computer?
    • Actually it's priced higher than some computers. Currently I can get a low-end Dell with LCD monitor for $600.
    • Re:Makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:28PM (#15498328) Homepage Journal
      So if the PS3 is basically a computer, why not get a computer?

      Because a hot-shit graphics card will run you $400; You can get the PS3 for the price of a graphics card, DVD-ROM, case, and a decent power supply, and you still don't have motherboard, cpu, memory, hard disk, or a game controller.

      Also because the PS3 is supposed to play PS1, PS2, and PS3 games, as well as Blu-Ray movies (FWIW). PC plays PS1 games, and not necessarily all that well.

      • But you don't need a top end video card to play games. And a decent computer will have more processor power, a larger hard drive, more ram, and run programs other than games. As a computer, the PS3 is lackluster. As a gaming console, its overpriced. This is Sony trying to do damage control (and failing).
        • Re:Makes sense (Score:4, Informative)

          by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @06:18PM (#15498672) Homepage Journal

          But you don't need a top end video card to play games.

          The PS3 has top-end console graphics. I think it's only fair to try to spec high on the PC.

          And a decent computer will have more processor power

          More than a PowerPC with 8 cell SPEs behind it?

          a larger hard drive

          PS3's hard disk drive is upgradable.

          more ram

          This is your one correct point.

          and run programs other than games

          PS2 (by design - the linux kit) and the PSX, Dreamcast, and Xbox all do this (through hacking, and linux)

          As a computer, the PS3 is lackluster. As a gaming console, its overpriced.

          If they can successfully market it as both, then it's a nice second computer/set top box, and a nice gaming console, and (if anyone cares) a Blu-Ray player.

          The memory is kind of serious but not at all a show-stopper. You can get quite a bit done in linux in 64MB, especially if you're willing to forego KDE and GNOME. Doing so greatly reduces the value of using it as a primary computer, but is fine for a terminal or set top box. This unit has 256MB, which is completely usable, even with KDE or GNOME, and which is quite spacious if you forego them.

          So, I completely disagree with all of your points except for the memory thing, and only half-agree with that.

    • Re:Makes sense (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Shihar (153932) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:30PM (#15498343)
      Maybe you like kludgy 1st person shooters and the inability to play most RTS and turn based strategy games, and hate quality MMORPGs?

      Personally, I'll probably get a Wii. Why? Wii knows what it is. It is the thing I bring out when I have a few friends over and we want to screw around playing whatever insane game Nintendo has brought to the table. Wii is also priced such that it recognizes that it is not the center piece of my entertainment. Wii looks like it is going to be cheap, fun, and just the sort of things to waste some time with when the friends are over without pissing off my girlfriend for being anti-social.

      If I want FPS, play on line, or do anything that requires graphical power to run, I would rather just use a computer. I don't tie want to tie up the TV to play an MMORPG or waste hours on some online FPS. Further, the controls on a computer are many times more satisfying then those game pads for the type of games it takes a computer to run.

      Personally, I think the PS3 is a grievous mistake. Wii is going to clean up the casual gamer market and hardcore gamers are going to take one look at the PS3 price tag and decide to go do themselves a favor and just buy a new computer. The only people I can think who are really going to get much functionality out of a PS3 that they won't get out of a Wii or a computer will be sports games fans. Even then, the X-box 360 will put up a good fight for even those folks. What the x-box lacks in slightly worse graphics it will make up for by selling at less then half the price of a PS3 (by the time the PS3 hits).

      The PS3 wants to be the centerpiece of a home entertainment system. I don't think that this is a bad idea in theory, I just think that it is premature. In another consol generation or two I think that consoles might be accepted enough to start blazing trails into other areas of entertainment, but I don't think that the time is right yet.

      Of course, I suppose we will see. It seems like common sense that the PS3 is a mistake, but I figure Sony is paying someone 6 figures to do a proper market analysis. You would HOPE that that person has a better understanding of the market then we do. Only time will tell at this point. Personally though, my money is going to stay in my wallet until Wii comes out. If I decide to drop 600 dollars, it will probably be on a new computer, not the PS3 entertainment center of d00m.
      • by bob65 (590395)
        [My wii] is the thing I bring out when I have a few friends over and we want to screw around Sorry I couldn't resist. Ok mod me flamebait.
    • Because the PS3 comes with the rootkit preinstalled. Of course you'll have to pay for the monthly DRM rootkit upgrades.
  • by r_glen (679664) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:08PM (#15498164)
    A computer, huh? Sold! And here I was afriad my $600 machine was only gonna be able to play games.

    Seriously, is there any distinction anymore? Does being easily upgradeable magically make it a "computer"? I still consider my original NES - having a processor, input interface, and the ability to read instructions on ROMs and provide output - "basically a computer".
    This sounds more like a change in marketing strategy than anything else (compare "hey, the PS3 is twice the cost of these other consoles" to "hey, this PS3-computer-thingy is only half the cost of my desktop computer!") Either way, I wouldn't be pleased knowing that after shelling out $600 I will have the option to pay more next year to keep the thing updated.

    Disclaimer: I'm a Nintendo fanboy and have never had any interest in PlayStation consoles.
    • The original post seems to based the claim of PS3 being a computer on the rumor that it is upgrdable and configurable. Well...my car is upgradable also, and so is my bicyle, I also vaguely remember having to choose between a V-4 and a V-6 model when I first purchased my car...
      • Mod parent up.

        Standardized parts and upgrades were a result of the Gun manufacturing industry weren't they?

        So, in effect, Computers aren't Computers at all, they're guns!

        Now that the PS3 is a gun it should have NRA support n'est pas?
        • by AlexanderDitto (972695) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @06:17PM (#15498668)
          Aaah, so since guns are weapons, it means the computer (and thus the PS3) is a weapon! And because knives are weapons, it means the computer is a knife! And since knives can slice and dice and chop onions and leeks and carrots, and food processors can chop onions and leeks and carrots, it means my computer is a food processor! And since food processors can make smoothies, and blenders can make smoothies, it means my computer is a blender! And since blenders are powered by electricity, and so are toasters, and so are irons and washer-dryer combos and airconditions and cell phones and refrigerators, it means that I now no longer need anything in my home, just a PS3, and a cardboard box!

          Thank you, Sony, for simplifying my life!

          If you excuse me, I must be off to make a phone call and chop some celery at the same time with my PS3. We'll see how that goes.
  • Worst. Idea. Ever. (Score:5, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gma i l . c om> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:09PM (#15498168) Homepage Journal
    Atari VCS: Atari, Spectravideo [atarimuseum.com], and Perphial Visions Inc. [atarimuseum.com] all tried to create a keyboard for it. Only the Spectravideo keyboard made it to market. Only the Spectravision keyboard made it to market. It flopped.

    Intellivision: Mattel promised from day 1 that the Intellivision would be able to be turned into a full computer by adding a special keyboard component. Unfortunately, the component [webcom.com] proved too expensive to manufacture. When Mattel was finally forced to release the product due to an FTC fine, nearly every unit was returned as broken or defective. Mattel then shifted gears in a hurry and released the Entertainment Computer System [webcom.com], a quick hack produced by a secret project that was intended to get Mattel out of hot water. Predictably, it flopped in the market.

    Odyssey 2: Magnavox actually integrated a keyboard into this console, but gave no thought to an OS, tape drive, or printer. There was a BASIC kit released for the European version, but otherwise this console's potential as a computer was sadly underutilized.

    Coleco Adam: Coleco had the bright idea of creating a computer that could play Colecovision games. Consumers couldn't decide whether or not it was a game machine or a serious "home computer" system. Combined with its odd design (the power was routed through the printer) it flopped in the market.

    Atari 5200: This actually WAS a computer packed into a game system case. Unsurprisingly, no peripheral components were produced to prevent competition with the Atari 400/800 systems.

    Atari 7800: Again, a keyboard component [atarimuseum.com] was created, but never marketed. With Nintendo deciding NOT to ship the Famicom Floppy Disk Drive in America, Atari may have finally realized that trying to make a game console into a computer wasn't such a good idea.

    PlayStation 2: Sony tries to make the PlayStation into a generic computer with a keyboard/mouse attachment [linuxdevcenter.com], a harddrive, and a copy of Linux. Sony kills the product citing poor sales.

    PlayStation 3: Sony tries to differentiate their console by claiming that "it's a computer". Welcome to the 1980s.
    • It's funny that you mention all of Atari's attempts to turn their consoles into computers since they were actually fairly successful as a computer company at the time. You'd think they'd have done a better job of it with their consoles.
      • Atari was always a completely screwed up company, so it's no suprise they never figured out how to co-market their consoles and their computers.

        Probably the smartest product Atari made was the XEGS [stateoftheark.co.nz] -- a game console based on the 8-bit computer. Unfortuately it came out about 4 years too late, and at the same time that Atari was trying to sell the 7800 console.
    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:25PM (#15498300) Homepage Journal
      PlayStation 2: Sony tries to make the PlayStation into a generic computer with a keyboard/mouse attachment, a harddrive, and a copy of Linux. Sony kills the product citing poor sales.

      Actually, they were trying to make it into a generic game development workstation. It was basically a poor man's TOOL, or a second generation Net Yaroze. Very poor, but anyway... They weren't REALLY trying to make it a general purpose computer, or they would have added more memory.

      The Dreamcast is actually the first console really usable as a computer; it has the low memory problem too, but it's considerably better documented than the PS2, whose internals are still mostly a mystery to anyone not gifted with a real dev kit. AND, they shipped a keyboard, mouse, ethernet adapter, and VGA adapter, and you could buy them one at a time. Of course, Dreamcast was murdered by a tag-team of Sony's Marketing Department, and ARRRR PIRATES. I mean, it was just so damned easy to copy the games, at a time when broadband was becoming prevalent and CD burners where everywhere. Anyone who says it wasn't a factor in the DC's demise is living in a fantasy world.

      The PS3 is the first console really useful as a computer. It has plenty of ram, plenty of I/O, and plenty of horsepower. The Xbox is almost there, but has too little memory. (FWIW, I do run linux on my Xbox occasionally.)

      If they can avoid fucking it up to the point where games don't work right on the various revisions of the console, and they give us a genuinely useful linux environment that can support all the latest eye candy, I think they could actually get some mileage out of a strategy like this. Certainly, a $600 Computer/Video Game System makes more sense than a $600 console.

    • Commdore 64 --- that is my rebuttal. Explanation. The commdore 64 was originally designed as a video game
      machine, even the production model came with a cartridge slot. It was so successful that it killed the video
      game market for the next two years. It sold 17 million units. People had no problem finding great games for it.

      1) Its the hardware stupid.
      2) Its also the software stupid

      The Atari 7800 keyboard could have worked, it was a good product, it was just two years too late...
      Atari had lousy management.
      • The commdore 64 was originally designed as a video game
        machine, even the production model came with a cartridge slot


        Practically every 8-bit home computer of the era came with a cartridge slot. It was really nothing more than an easy and modular way to add storage (or memory-mapped I/O) to the system. Not a determining factor of console-iness.

        The console market of the early 1980's basically killed itself, and the C64 was simply well positioned to attract the attention from consumers who had been stranded b
        • The commodore 64 was a brilliant machine, with a cost of manufacture so far below its competition
          for 3 years it killed everything else on the market.

          It was simply unrepeatable...the C128 had no real gaming edge over the c64
            and Amiga while it had the best version of the original simcity ever made
          cost too much to make by comparison.
        • The great thing about the C64 is that it benefitted tremendously from coming out as the video game console market was collapsing. Parents that didn't want to spend money on a video game would shell out cash for a computer that could be used for school work. The C64 my family owned was used for word processing and programming BASIC but was primarily used for gaming.
    • The difference though is there is justification for using a keyboard on a XBox360 and PS3 - email, online chat etc. And since they have standard USB ports, it seems a bit churlish to suggest people shouldn't use the functionality if it improves their gameplay.

      As for Linux on the PS3 or PSP - I think are far more viable than the PS2. As you said, you had to buy a pack for the PS2 but neither is necessary for a PS3 or PSP. The PS3 has a harddrive and networking already so just plugin in any store bought key

    • It is important to note that while Sony may have really wanted the PS2 to be used as a general purpose PC, the real intent with that effort and probably this one as well is to get around several European import taxes that apply to video game consoles.
    • You forgot:

      Dreamcast: Keyboard and Mouse peripherals available at release, along with a rudimentary browser. Later taken advantage of by the wicked cool typing game "The Typing Of The Dead." Dreamcast will boot Linux, NetBSD, and Kallisti!OS as well as the official operating systems used, NAOMI and Windows CE. All v.1 units can boot burned CDs, v.2 units cannot...the capability was taken out of the BIOS to prevent "piracy."
  • by the_humeister (922869) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:10PM (#15498179)
    Of course they're computers. Whether or not you can use them easily in a general purpose manner is another issue entirely. EG, my Linksys WRT54GL is a computer and can easily be used as a general purpose device by uploading 3rd party firmware such as OpenWRT. So can my Dreamcast. On the other hand, I can't do the same with my XBox 360 (at least until someone figures out how to run unsigned code). But they're all computers nonetheless.
    • Theres a difference. A computer is quite general. A console is very specialized.

      Take a console. Or router. Or PDA. And run an OS that is quite manageable by the user.
      Add modular programs that you can add and run from the device, all kinds of programs. And you have what is commonly known as a 'computer'.

      Now take a PC. Either run a special compilation of QNX or strip down Windows or Linux so only one app is run, or one group of preset apps. Take away the keyboard/mouse if theyre not used. Youve got a terminal
  • by PSXer (854386) * <psxer@msfirefox.com> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:10PM (#15498180) Homepage
    Forgetting for the moment that all videogame consoles are computers...

    What else could be upgraded besides the hard drive? I really doubt you'll be able to swap in a new CPU or GPU. Maybe RAM like you could upgrade on the N64. (though I have my doubts) Or, does he mean that new PS3s will be more powerful than the old ones and that the old ones won't be upgradable?

    What would be the point of continuing to call it a PS3 then? People who bought a PS3 for $600 in 2006 would be homicidal if a "PS3" game was released a couple years down the line that couldn't be played (or maybe it could only be played at a low resolution/framerate) on their old PS3. People expect a game for a console to just work in that console.

    Also, wasn't the PS2's official title "computer entertainment system"? Look how that worked out.
  • Whoa there (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sehryan (412731) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:12PM (#15498195)
    "'I think it's okay to release a [extended PS3] configuration every year'. It's clear from the comments that Sony is indicating that it will be possible to upgrade hard drives and perhaps even other components easily."

    Please note that nowhere does it state that the CONSUMER will be able to upgrade hard drives or other components easily. In fact, what they are implying is that they will release a different "upgraded-from-core" model every year. I would assume that one would have to buy the entire thing to get any upgraded components. After all, I don't think Joe Sixpack is going to be comfortable swapping out a hard drive on a PS3 any more than on a "real" computer.
  • by egomaniac (105476) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:13PM (#15498208) Homepage
    There is no way that plan will pan out. There's a reason that people choose consoles over computers: they are a known, stable hardware platform which is easy for developers to target, and thus every game works reliably. The second you start allowing significantly different versions of the consoles to exist, you run into compatibility issues, users being unclear which version of the console a given game will work on, developers being unwilling to take advantage of the hardware in order to avoid alienating users, and a host of other issues.

    Limited, carefully-controlled upgrades can succeed (e.g. memory expansion for N64), but so far has only worked when distributed as a pack-in in a popular game. Significant console upgrades (e.g. every upgrade ever released for the Genesis) have all failed in the marketplace, for the reasons described above.

    Sony owned the market. The PS3 was a guaranteed success. A license to print money. And now they seem fixated on painting a target on their feet, merrily humming away, completely ignoring what their potential customers actually want. Nintendo could easily leverage this into a return to first place in the market, if they play their cards right.
  • (Obligatory mention of "Toy Story-quality renders in realtime" claim for the PS2 here)
  • Missing the point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Futaba-chan (541818) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:16PM (#15498222)
    Since PS3 is a computer, there are no models but configurations

    Um, I thought the whole point of a console was to give everyone the same configuration so that developers can target a single stable platform without having to worry about configuration issues....

    So, if it's a "computer", does that mean that they'll let me in to hack to my hearts content without any sort of encryption key BS? Or are they still going to try to lock me out of my own "computer"?

    • The PS3 is a "meta format," Kutaragi has stated in previous interviews. This means that the PlayStation 3 platform can exist in various hardware configurations, as long as its meets certain base specifications and can run the same basic games. The two configurations that will be available at launch provide a perfect example.

      Source: http://ps3.ign.com/articles/711/711688p1.html [ign.com]
      So it seems as though all consoles will have the same base stats for all games. I'll be the only upgradeable stuff will be su
  • Tax: Nothing Else (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Talez (468021) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:17PM (#15498237)
    The only reason he's claiming its a computer is so it can skip some import duty in the UK and EC.

    They tried the same stunt with the Playstation 2 [theregister.co.uk].
  • Okay...So what? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Traiklin (901982) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:17PM (#15498239) Homepage
    So now they are saying it's a Computer to explain the price. Ok I can understand that.

    What I still can't understand is why they refuse to talk about the OS in it. if they plan for it to be a "Computer" then how are they going to pull it off with a closed OS?

    I've only heard them say "It will come preinstalled with Linux!" well big woop there, I could sell PC's preinstalled with linux, doesn't mean people will want to buy it if they find out that Linux is completly locked down with me owning the master account and not telling them what it is so they can't install, update or view hardly anything. Oh and I could access their computer at any point in time I would like when they are connected to the internet.
    ,br> so far the only thing's I know about the OS are, It's Linux.
    Not exactly something that makes me want to rush out and buy this "Computer", especially when doing a search for "Linux OS" returns about 4,560,000 results, and having tried to use linux on 5 seperate occasians I know there are atleast 10 different versions of a "Linux OS" with god knows how many more.

    So far they have said it will be Linux and then showed off THEIR web browser (which makes me wonder if it will be possible to even install an alternate browser on this Linux) yet that is all.

    So we are basically paying $600 (cause the $500 model is pointless) for a locked down, nonuseable "computer" with a Blu-Ray drive. wow, just makes me all giddy to get one (and I used to be someone who would be waiting in line (and i HATE waiting in lines) to get this thing, till they announced $600 as the price and hardly anything else about it after that).
    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:46PM (#15498457)
      As has been noted countless times, you can do 1080p over component cables. There are TV's out today (for as low as $1700!) that do so. You'll be able to buy Blu-Ray movies and play them at 1080i at least until 2012.

      Given all that, why must you spend $100 more when the only thing you gain is an unwelcome does of DRM with HDMI?
      • You'll be able to buy Blu-Ray movies and play them at 1080i at least until 2012.

        Please post the link that has the Blu-Ray group's written binding agreement that they will not use the Image Constraint Token.
  • What!? (Score:2, Funny)

    by OK PC (857190)
    They downgraded it! I thought it was meant to be a supercomputer...
  • ...since just about anything the more expensive model offers could just be added later (like media readers).

    However the balance that is missing is to note that Sony has also been smart enough to ship all models of a console with everything it needs to be a good gaming rig. If you took thier comments at face value you'd expect them to ship each PS3 with no HD and no Blu-Ray drive (or any other kind of drive) at all, and just let you buy what they liked.

    They are just saying that if you want to take that furt
    • They may have a point, if you can browse the web and see emails and print things, might that not be enough of a computer for many people?

      Especially with the emergence of online versions of many traditional desktop apps, if its got a good browser, that could well be enough of a computer (particularly, enough of a second or third computer in the house) for many people.

      WebTV and the like never caught on but with the higher resolution and generally larger screens HDTV's offer perhaps it has more of a chanc

    • However the balance that is missing is to note that Sony has also been smart enough to ship all models of a console with everything it needs to be a good gaming rig.

      Seriously, do you forget what happens when Sony makes a promise? Sony wanted to make the HDD a required upgrade to the PS2. How did that turn out? Console history is littered with failed required peripherals.
      • Seriously, do you forget what happens when Sony makes a promise? Sony wanted to make the HDD a required upgrade to the PS2. How did that turn out? Console history is littered with failed required peripherals.

        You missed my whole point, which was that both models of the PS3 come with everything you need to actually PLAY GAMES. Hence an HD in both the base and the premium (unlike the 360 which went the other way for some reason). Hence 1080p support via component in the base model.

        The other stuff you can add
  • by WankersRevenge (452399) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:21PM (#15498273)
    From Sony's past behavior with the PS2, it seems to me that the computer classification is not targeted at the end user, but rather, the bill collectors.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1003076.stm [bbc.co.uk]
  • So, in other words... you can look at porn on it?
  • This is what illegal drugs will do to you. Just say no!
  • Hey Kid! (Score:5, Funny)

    by OzPhIsH (560038) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:33PM (#15498360) Journal
    I'm a Computer!!
  • by SetupWeasel (54062) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @05:47PM (#15498468) Homepage
    It didn't work with the 32X or the Sega CD. It didn't work with the N64 RAM upgrade or the 64DD. It sure as hell didn't work with the PS2 HDD. I have no idea why Sony thinks it can pull this upgrade crap off.

    It's getting so bad that the more times Kutaragi shoots off his mouth, the more I think that he is purposely sabotaging the PS3 out of anger that he was not named CEO. I thought Nintendo requiring a $50 (?) upgrade to their $200 N64 was crazy. This is just ridiculous.

    Come on, Ken. You are selling this idea to people who pay some goon at Best Buy to install their new sound card.

    Watch, in two years $600 will get you a PS3 with BD-ROM with a decent speed, a HD big enough to actually give you some advantage loading your games, and enough RAM to actually play the new games.

    There is absolutely no reason to buy a PS3 before Sony makes their plans perfectly clear in this regard. Fuzzy quotes about what you might need in the future to make your $600 paperweight playable again is an insult to any potential customers.
    • by edwdig (47888) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:22PM (#15499577)
      It's getting so bad that the more times Kutaragi shoots off his mouth, the more I think that he is purposely sabotaging the PS3 out of anger that he was not named CEO. I thought Nintendo requiring a $50 (?) upgrade to their $200 N64 was crazy. This is just ridiculous.

      The N64 RAM upgrade was $30, and the N64 was around $120-$150 when it came out. The upgrade came bundled for free with Donkey Kong 64. It was required to play the 2nd N64 Zelda game, and Perfect Dark required it to play single player or to get more than 2 players in multiplayer. Those games all sold 4-5 million copies each, so the RAM upgrade was rather successful.
  • Not to leapfrog over it. If you take a serious look at the Xbox 360 you will see some of the same upgradability built in. Plus since most of it's software is really an internet service, the interface can be upgraded seamlessly on the fly. Sony has to create something similar or face being marginalized.

    While I agree with most people here that the PS3 will be overpriced, I want all that functionality to be built in. I want my game console to also play DVD's, MP3 from my computer, record TV, output digital
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If the PS3 is declared a computer then it does not attract this tax in the UK for example. For this very reason Sony shipped the PS2 with a very simple programming language, thereby allowing them to call it a programmable computer (with some educational value) and qualifying for an import taqx break.
    Nick.
  • For a mere 600 euros that ain't much. I wonder what sony's strategy is going to be. Is it going to really push linux? Will it have full access to the hardware and will the hardware specs be fully published? If that is done that fact that the sony's libraries won't be available will be meaningless. The OSS movement is certainly capable enough to write its own libraries considering they do similar stuff with hardware were they are working completly in the dark.

    That for me is the most intresting part of the P

  • Yay (Score:5, Funny)

    by slittle (4150) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @06:26PM (#15498714) Homepage
    the PS3 is a computer, not a console
    So, gaming has come full-circle, yet again. Would that make it a Revolution or a 360?
  • I've had a Sony computer and I have no intention of buying another.
  • $600? Could be done, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Blu-Ray? As a businessperson myself, I can see how the "leverage one market into another" thing could work here. A year late? If they hit the ground running and play the launch smart, they're still kill Microsoft. Even when I started RTFA'ing, I imagined that someone got the translation wrong and someone just took the whole computer/console thing out of context. Then I kept reading.

    Holy crap. Sony has gone insane.

    As other posters ha

  • So.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by smash (1351) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @06:46PM (#15498810) Homepage Journal
    Does this mean I'll be able to class it as a computer for taxation purposes? :D
  • Really bad idea. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ltwally (313043) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @07:32PM (#15499058) Homepage Journal
    If the PS3 is not only upgradable, but is going to be released year-after-year with newer (and more powerful) parts, I see one of two things happening.

    1. In a couple years, game creators will start creating games that rely upon features that weren't available in the first-generation of PS3. The result will be games that either flat-out do not work on older PS3's, or games that work on older PS3's, but in a reduced capacity. And that is not what you expect when you shell out $500+ for a gaming console -- and if Sony doesn't want people to think of it as a console, they really shouldn't have named it the PlayStation 3, because everyone is going to treat it like a console just because of its name.
    2. Or, game designers instead code for the lowest-common-denominator, like what is done with PC's. The current generation of game may not run bleeding fast on the current generation of hardware, but PC game designers are almost never able to throw in all the features they'd like to, because it simply isn't worth their time to create code for two seperate systems (next-generation/bleeding edge, and current/older computers).

    All I can see from this is negative. <shrugs> Maybe the console people won't mind creating two seperate versions of the same game, one for the older PS3, and one for the newer PS3's... but something tells me that they won't spend the kind of time and money that that would require. The result will be that customers are going to get screwed.

  • It might as well be. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RoffleTheWaffle (916980) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:22PM (#15499321) Journal
    For that price, and at that size, I'd certainly hope it's a computer. Hell, if it wasn't loaded with DRM that will probably keep me or anyone else from running unsigned code and all that jazz without simultaneously voiding the warranty and breaking the law, and could run any operating system I'd deem fit for it - which it probably won't - I'd consider it a definite alternative to a new personal computer bought from, let's say, Dell. A $600 personal computer that could act as a powerful server, router, or high-end workstation? Now that's a deal! Let's not fool ourselves, though. This thing isn't a personal computer, it's a glorified game console with a number of features usually associated with a home entertainment center. We're not going to be using this hardware to do our work or for other more casual purposes you'd use a personal computer, workstation, or server for. The point of the Playstation 3 is games, and little much else.

    That said, these market-tards from Sony need to get their act together. If you want to make a cheap, powerful computer, make a cheap powerful computer. (And for fuck's sake, open it up you morons. One Playstation 3, hold the DRM.) If you want to make an overpriced game console, make an overpriced game console. Clearly they're attempting to justify the high price of the machine, and make it look cheap by comparison to a personal computer. Silly question, Mr. Sony CEO, just how dumb do I look to you?

    Oh, is that so? Well, you're a presumptuous asshole. Bite me.

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