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PS3 Performance Downgraded Again 217

Posted by Zonk
from the can-we-go-back-to-sony-saying-crazy-things-that-was-fun dept.
Heartless Gamer writes "The PS3's performance has been downgraded again, according to the Inquirer." From the article: "We can't tell you why the GPU lost nearly 10% of it's clock, it could be an NVidia screwup, or it could be Sony/Cell. Either way, it just became much less of an overwhelming value, but you get a DRM infected drive for 'free' either way." Interesting, but keep in mind this is The Inquirer. 9 out of 10 doctors recommend salt with their articles. Relatedly, the choice comments from Penny Arcade this past weekend about Sony's console are wandering around the internets today. From that article: "We've already talked about it, there's no chance we're buying a PS3 at launch."
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PS3 Performance Downgraded Again

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  • again? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dlc3007 (570880) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:29AM (#16000073)
    Is it possible that a single day pass without more bad news for Sony? Looks like it is about time to short-sell their stock.
    • by springbox (853816)
      Is it possible that a single day pass without more bad news for Sony?

      You should complain to Sony. They seem to be leaking bad news at an alarming rate.

    • Is it possible that a single day pass without more bad news for Sony?

      No, it's not possible. Because even if a day passed when nothing bad occured to Sony, The Inquirer and/or Zonk would just make some bad news up and publish that.

      Sony dropping clockrates on their product at the last minute would hardly be surprising or out of character-- witness the PSP, whose 333 MHz CPU was quietly underclocked to max out at 222 MHz before release (apparently they just couldn't keep that battery life up?). But do yo
  • Hmm... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MaestroSartori (146297) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:31AM (#16000085) Homepage
    Disclaimer: I work for Sony...

    Given the crap the Inquirer has already talked about PS3, I'd take their article here with a pinch of salt roughly the size of Jupiter.
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:49AM (#16000236)
      Given the crap that Sony Officials have already talked about PS3, I'd take your comment here with a pinch of salt roughly the size of Uranus.
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jimmoores (87214) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:51AM (#16000250)
      I have to say their article about the speed of the read from GPU memory by each processing element was pretty misleading. I did a bit of research and that indicated that real software will virtually never read from the GPU and even if it does, there is a workaround of going through main memory. While it is obvious that there have been big problems getting the PS3 up and running, I think we should wait for the hardware. These things have a habit of all coming together. We've already heard that the supposedly awful yeilds on the Cell are not as bad as thought. It's the cost issue that'll screw Sony if they don't budge. People are used to $20 DVD players and aren't going to place the extra value on a Blu-ray player that Sony seem to think. There's no way I'm paying 400UKP for a console, especially now they've lost exclusivity on GTA. It just isn't going to happen.

      Jim
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rob T Firefly (844560)
      Much as I like taking cheap shots at Sony/PS3, this is a valid point. As news sources go, The Inquirer [wikipedia.org] isn't exactly a pillar of journalistic excellence.
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jtshaw (398319) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @11:32AM (#16000548) Homepage
      I once sent an e-mail to one of there "journalists" pointing out an error. I got perhaps the most childish response imaginable back. They have zero integrity and don't even appear to give two shits about the validity of the information they put out.

      Regardless of what I might think about Sony and the PS3, I certainly am not going to believe something just because it comes from those jokers.
      • by Sparr0 (451780)
        I once sent an e-mail to one of there "journalists" pointing out an error. I got perhaps the most childish response imaginable back. They have zero integrity and don't even appear to give two shits about the validity of the information they put out.

        Yes, we all know the /. editors have problems, but that isn't relevant here.
      • by MMaestro (585010)
        I once sent an e-mail to one of there "journalists" pointing out an error. I got perhaps the most childish response imaginable back.

        Wah wah wah, I'm so much smarter than these "journalists" but I use 'there' instead of 'their'.

        Unless its something major like a headline mistake or a complete flub by their reporter, most media companies don't give a flying fuck about minor mistakes. They deal with enough deadlines, quotas and last minute reports to be written and sent the press.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) *

      Disclaimer: I work for Sony...

      Dude! Look out for that Giant Crab! Quick, flip it over on its back and hits its weak point for MASSIVE DAMAGE! Auugggh! You need to use Real Time Weapon Change to switch to the sword! Quick!

      Whew. That was a close one! I thought you were crab-meat for a minute there.

      Given the crap the Inquirer has already talked about PS3, I'd take their article here with a pinch of salt roughly the size of Jupiter.

      I'm sorry, what were you saying? I was distracted by all the laughter^H^H^H^H^H^

      • No, I don't work on that game. Yes, I do find the giant crab funny... :)
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Andrew Kismet (955764)
          I'll refrain from PS3 bashing and jokes related to that conference for a moment...

          As both a Sony employee and an individual, what do you think about all the negative publicity for PS3 so far? It's even reaching back to mainstream, non-gaming press. The PlayStation brand loyalty will only stretch so far. Nintendo learned that between the SNES and the N64.
    • by xtracto (837672)
      Heya la'! u speak scouse?

      Hi-diddly-ho, neighbor-ino, are they still looking for translators/beta testers in Sony?

      I was going to apply for that job (as Spanish is my native tongue), unfortunately I am in the middle of my PhD. I hope there is still job available from sony in one year... of course, because I am not from anywhere insdie the EU mi emplyoer would need to get the work permit (something I doubt they would do). Of course I believe I can work for one year after finishing so I may very well be there.
  • price (Score:4, Funny)

    by mjjw (560868) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:31AM (#16000087)
    maybe this downgrade will affect the PS3 price to make it more competetive compared to Wii and 360?
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by dolson (634094)
      Don't count on it. Sony thinks they could sell a flaming paper bag of feces and have you hand over your wallet for it. And I'm betting that a few people would.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dr. Eggman (932300)
      I doubt it. Hopefully someone can correct me if I'm wrong (I'm no hardware expert) but that change effects only the 'Reality Synthesizer' (RSX) also known as the PS3's GPU. I do recall that the previous specifications were comparable to a G70-based high-end 7800GTX 512 MB Nvidia GPU. The new Clockspeed is in line with a GeForce 6600 GT. However, we have to be careful as clockspeed alone is not what makes a GPU great. (Assuming we can trust the source) previous specifcations were compared to two GeForce 6800
  • by eddy (18759) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:31AM (#16000090) Homepage Journal

    The P3 might become a flop of E.T proportions.

    • by legoburner (702695) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:35AM (#16000112) Homepage Journal
      I doubt it, a few people actually bought E.T.!
      • by British (51765)
        I doubt it, a few people actually bought E.T.!

        IIRC some marketing idiot thought every Atari 2600 user would buy two copies of ET. One for home, and the other for their "ski resort". Thus more copies of ET were made than sold 2600 consoles. I don't think Sony's going to be able to handle making an excess amount of consoles, so many they are dumping them in the desert.

        Besides, if they did that nowadays, they would get hit with a lawsuit for environmental damage.
      • by fbg111 (529550)
        And P3 is Intel's most successful product so far anyway. Bad comparison...
    • The P3 might become a flop of E.T proportions.

      What, "P.S.3. phone home?"

      We all know about the published foibles, but now we have to worry about spyware pre-installed on the damn thing?

      Well, at any rate, I'll be looking forward to the Reese's Pieces shipped with the console.
    • by rAiNsT0rm (877553)
      Except instead of a landfill, they'll only need a slightly large mud puddle to hold all six units they will manufacture and ship by launch.
  • by dolson (634094) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:32AM (#16000097) Homepage Journal
    It's the games that matter. Too bad Sony was banking on being the big performer. Well, the decision is sealed, I think. Wii for me.
  • not good publicity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frag-A-Muffin (5490) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:35AM (#16000122) Homepage

    "We've already talked about it, there's no chance we're buying a PS3 at launch."


    Ouch. That's not good for Sony. You may or may not know who Gabe and Tycho are, but if you do know them, you know they also run PAX. Which is a very large user-centric games show. (Unlike E3).

    These guys are hardcore gamers, that's not the kind of comment you want from guys that have this much clout.

    I repeat. Ouch.

    • by OglinTatas (710589) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:55AM (#16000285)
      Joe Sixpack may not know Penny Arcade, but Sony of America sure as hell does.

      Sony's response to PA's shit in donuts remark [penny-arcade.com] (way at the bottom of the page)
      • by Ender Ryan (79406)
        And the current /. groupthink is that Sony are a bunch tightasses. Judging by past history, Nintendo would have been more likely to send 1,200 lawyers.

    • I think they're hillarious, personally, but I'm not entirely convinced that a blog entry about one of the guys behind Penny Arcade making an off-hand comment about how much something sucks is really worthwhile for anything. If Gabe or Tycho makes your decisions for you, sorry, but you're one of the sheeple.

      There's decent articles on Slashdot, don't get me wrong, but there's also a billion stories along the lines of "friend-of-a-friend-of-a-pundit thinks X," where X is some arbitrary opinion or rumor. These
      • Except it wasn't just a blog entry... Apparently the quote is from when Sony publicly asked them if they were going to buy the console at launch price.

        FTFA:

        When the creators of Penny Arcade were asked at PAX if they planned on buying a PS3 based on the launch price, Sony may have thought they would get a break from two of most influential personalities in gaming. What was their reply?

        We've already talked about it, there's no chance we're buying a PS3 at launch. That's Grade-A bullshit.

        Ouch. According

        • by Babbster (107076)
          I don't get the impression that Sony asked them - it was more likely a fan at the con. I think it was just written like Sony executives might be hearing the question and hoping for the "right" answer."

          That said, I think it's a potential indicator of a bad thing for the PS3. The PA crew are exactly the people a Sony exec should expect to have in the bag for launch: They're "hardcore" gamers, avid PS2 players, have bought multiple consoles at launch, have HDTV and, presumably, have the disposable income
          • I don't get the impression that Sony asked them - it was more likely a fan at the con. I think it was just written like Sony executives might be hearing the question and hoping for the "right" answer."

            Bingo. Reading comprehension FTW.

            If someone meets all the above criteria and still isn't interested in getting a PS3 this year because of the price, then Sony has reason to be worried.

            Not exactly. The Penny Arcade kind of "hardcore" is all about the games and very little about the system. HDTV is pretty
    • by oGMo (379)

      As much as I love the work PA does... they're not always right. In fact, they've been pretty dead wrong many times in the past. They thought the PS2 was a flop [penny-arcade.com], but were hyped about the Dreamcast [penny-arcade.com]. They think "insult to a once-proud franchise" [penny-arcade.com] after playing the demo, yet it's one of only a few games that has gotten a perfect score from Famitsu, and every actual report is highly positive. There are many other instances; just go back and read through the archives. They get it wrong a lot. But what's grea

    • These guys are hardcore gamers, that's not the kind of comment you want from guys that have this much clout.

      Of course, having read PA for some time, I seem to pretty clearly remember them strongly endorsing the Sega Dreamcast over the Sony PS2, and later strongly endorsing the Sony PSP over the Nintendo DS.

      It doesn't seem to have helped in either of those cases.

      Gabe and Tycho are an extremely good barometer of what the "average gamer" thinks-- they speak their mind, they aren't afraid to point out
  • FTFA (Score:5, Funny)

    by neonprimetime (528653) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:36AM (#16000126) Homepage
    directly from the article...
    You teh sux0r 2 sae teh PS3 is not going to teh r0x0r! Yew lie, yew 360 luvr. U teh sux! U maek thing up, go die!!!1111one!1!!!1 heheheheh
  • by normal_guy (676813) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:40AM (#16000160)
    This is part of a larger Sony initiative. Lower expectations across the board, with all demographics. Once expectations have hit rock bottom, it's easy to exceed them! Imagine if Sony were to drop the price by $50 or increase clock speed by 5%.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MindStalker (22827)
      Good point, even a meager $50 drop would make a big difference in their sales. I don't think a 5% increase in performance will mean much, so long as it plays the games intended for it. The performance issue will really hit sony a few years later. PS2 has lasted a LONG time in gaming terms simply because the performace was good enough to last till 2006. Don't expect the PS3 to last nearly as long, especially if they keep downgrading it.
    • by Cheapy (809643)
      Too bad Sony already set expectations too high at E3.
  • by Suzumushi (907838) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:41AM (#16000169)
    We can't tell you why the GPU lost nearly 10% of it's clock, it could be an NVidia screwup, or it could be Sony/Cell. Have they checked for a rootkit?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @10:57AM (#16000298)
    I kept getting this strange error

    404 Proof Not Found

    In other breaking news, lettuce causes brain cancer, and a wolverine's sneeze travels faster than the speed of sound. A leprechaun told me so.
  • by antialias02 (997199) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @11:22AM (#16000476)
    The thing about it is that Sony will downgrade their hardware as often as they want and STILL we will hear trash talk from the Execs and higher-ups about how their hardware is going to outperform and outsell the other consoles. And they'll back up this arrogance by not moving their price point an inch. Sony seems to think that the PS2 success will drive PS3 sales. Most serious video game enthusiasts seem to think otherwise. Sony needs to wake up and start doing some serious damage control after the PAX incident, with Gabe and Tycho endorsing the "Wii60" over the PS3.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tbannist (230135)
      Not much of a surprise, there, remember they haven't put them up for sale yet. They're business executives, they "know more" about "selling" then us "informed fans". So to them, there's nothing for them to learn yet. We haven't started not buying their console yet. You have to give them a chance to be proven wrong before you start lamenting about how they never learn. Besides, if they are right and the silent majority is going to buy the console any way, then it's you who hasn't been proven wrong yet.

      I
  • I know TFA is from the Inquirer, not the most authoritive source of news, but I recall reading something on a game web site back in June from a Sony insider that stated there was more bad news than just a drop in Cell processor speed from 3.5 to 3.2 GHz and hinted that there was a problem with RSX speeds as well. Regardless, a drop of 50 MHz sounds worse than it really is, but Sony can hardly afford any more bad publicity.

    I guess we'll know soon enough if the report is bunk or not...
  • Someone's a little bitter...
  • screw DRM (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The first thing I am going to do is to wipe that harddrive and try to tweak a decent linux distro to run on it. Afterall gcc can already compile code for the Cell processor. At first Sony has announced that the PS3 was running linux and now it looks like it'll ship with some limited and DRM crippled version. Whoever manages to come out with a DRM-free and open PS3 Linux will be the new hero.
  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @01:28PM (#16001300) Homepage

    The problem is that programming games on the Cell is hard. Remember when Sony dropped the Aibo and dropped out of robotics and AI research? That was partially because all the bright people were needed to make the PS3 work. Non-shared memory multiprocessors with modest per-CPU memory are very hard to program. Their history, from the ILLIAC IV to the BBN Butterfly to the Ncube, has not been impressive. Whole new approaches are needed. In time for the game developers to be ready for the Xmas shopping season.

    That's the problem. Sony needs a miracle of programming on a very short timetable.

    Microsoft, however, does not. The XBox 360 is just a 3-CPU shared memory computer. It's quite conventional.

    Progress is being made, but realistically, the games available for the PS3 at launch will probably be doing too much in the main CPU and the Cell processors will be underutilized.

    On the hardware front, if Sony is making changes to the hardware spec this late, there's a good chance they will miss the holiday season. It's September already. As of late August, PS3 manufacturing hadn't even started. For the holiday season, merchandise has to be in the stores by November 1. And that's after shipping and warehousing. Realistically, Sony has about six weeks to freeze the product, get manufacturing running, and get product out in volume.

    It's probably too late for this year. They might manage a small-volume prelaunch, like Microsoft did last year.

    Sony's moneymaker for this holiday season will be the PS2, which, at $129, is going to look very attractive to parents.

    • by ZakuSage (874456)
      At $129, possibly lower if a price drop comes into play, I'm thinking the PS2 could fly ahead to outsell PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii. Maybe not DS, maybe PSP, time will have to see for those.
  • by blueZhift (652272) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @02:03PM (#16001572) Homepage Journal
    The average consumer doesn't care about or understand hardware specs. The things that still matter the most will be the games and the price of the console and games. The PS3, despite its high price will still sell out the initial shipment unless something horribly wrong with the console gets past QC. But I think that the biggest benefactor of that sell out will be the PS2. A lot of average consumers will want a PS3, but not being able to find one, they may just opt for the other, much cheaper, Sony console. So this holiday season may well be a very good one for the PS2 and PS2 games. Again, I'm talking about average consumers, not hardcore gamers. Nintendo has a pretty good shot at these people, I'm not so sure about Microsoft yet. But I think Sony will definitely get some of their money, just not as much as they might like.
  • Did they upgrade the price to compensate?

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