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PS3 Launch Details Announced 796

Sony's conference offered up reassurance that a number of their titles will be playable at this year's E3. The controller will sense movement, allowing the player to move an onscreen avatar 'naturally'. They also released the system's launch details. The North American PS3 launch will occur on Nov. 17th, 2006. The 20GB HDD version will retail for $499, and the 60GB HDD version will go for $599. They promise 4 million launch units by December 31st. Update: 05/09 03:57 GMT by Z : Apparently, not only does the $499 system have a smaller harddrive, but it has fewer features as well.
My two cents:

1.) I'm honestly surprised they're this far along with these titles. They may actually make the November launch.
2.) Even through an internet feed, it was obvious the only truly next-gen title there was Heavenly Sword (from the great folks at Ninja Theory). The EyeToy stuff looked cool, but isn't something I'm likely to try out any time soon. Most of the games could have been 360 or even late-lifetime Xbox titles.
3.) I won't be able to review games for this system at the launch price. There's no way I'm dropping $599 for a game console.
4.) The controller orientation thing is ... I don't have the words. Awkward? Cash-in? Cynical? Whatever their intent, it just seems like a bad idea.

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PS3 Launch Details Announced

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  • My favorite part (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:51PM (#15289769)
    My favorite part was when the Sony rep got up on stage and said that Sony isn't interested in Gimmicks.

    And then he demoed a card game that you play with a camera.

    And then he demoed a karaoke game.

    And then they came out and showed that their fancy new controller is going to be based around the same Goddamn "gimmick" Nintendo came up with last fall.

    Just... hilarious. Do these people even think about the things they're saying? There was some absolutely fricking awesome stuff in that press conference, Sony Computer Entertainment would be such a great company if they could just somehow get their executives to stop talking in public.
  • I'll Wait (Score:1, Insightful)

    by tealover ( 187148 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:52PM (#15289777)
    for it to drop to 299. No way I pay 500 or 600 for this type of device. Especially when games are 60 each.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:55PM (#15289790)
    Sony (Score: -1, Redundant)
  • What's the point? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MaverickUW ( 177871 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:57PM (#15289807)
    Um, what's the point with the 20GB hard drive model. Aren't blue-ray disks supposed to start at 25GB, and feasably scale all the way up to 100GB each? I mean, it'd be like putting a 500MB hard drive in a computer with a CD burner.
  • Re:Controller... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by buffer-overflowed ( 588867 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:57PM (#15289809) Journal
    Ripping off live was bad enough, but ripping off the tilt and motion sensing capabilities? AFTER calling it a gimmick. Comeon. I hope Nintendo and Microsoft have enough patents to bury Sony, because they really, freakin' deserve it. Failing that I hope people are smart enough to go with the leaders and not the followers, but I have little to no faith in that.

    At the $500 launch price I thought it was going to be at, it was dead to me anyway, but now I wouldn't take it was half that. I prefer to vote with my dollars in a way that encourages innovation, not me-too copycatting.
  • Pathetic. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cornface ( 900179 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:58PM (#15289810)
    That was the most pathetic E3 conference I have seen. I felt embarrassed for them when they announced the controller and they kept smiling and saying it was their "innovation." Then the nerdy guy got up and demoed it and it looked like it didn't work very well. He could barely land the stupid plane.

    The games they showed real footage of didn't look any better than the 360 titles that are already out.

    Really sad. This press conference removed most of my desire for a PS3. If you didn't watch it, go grab a copy from somewhere.
  • My Thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:59PM (#15289821) Homepage
    Wow. There is so much to say. I watched the whole thing unfold on Engadget/Joystiq.

    My first comment is the price. What else can I comment on? $500 FOR THE BASE SYSTEM? You've got to be kidding me! The next step up is $600. And considering you'll probably need a HDTV to get the most out of the system... that is a TON of money.

    They got the hard drive right though. MS got that right last time with it built in on the XBox but for some stupid reason they screwed that up with the 360. Now Sony has it right and MS has it backwards.

    The games look nice, but nothing revolutionary. The list of titles is all Something 3 and Whatever 4. There wasn't too much new there. Even the new titles were the same old genres.

    They "stole" the Wii-mote's features, or at least some of them. It doesn't have the light-gun like positioning. I wonder if they've had this all along or if they did it because of Nintendo. I suspect it was because of Nintendo because I think otherwise we would have heard something about it before, or at least hints. Almost all the demos they showed were the same old control style. I think they just aren't committed to this. And they said they were going to "redesign" the controller from the ugly boomerang thing. They didn't redesign it, they used the PS2 controller with some extra stuff packed in. It looks EXACTLY THE SAME. Don't get me wrong, the PS2 controller was good, but come on. I'm also skeptical about the "it weighs less" part.

    I was going to buy a 360 but then they cost too much ($400 for the non-crippled version). Now I'll wait until the redesign. I was going to buy a PS3 but now I'll wait ($500 for the base?). Nintendo has guaranteed that they will launch under $300, with speculation in the $200-$250 range. Nintendo will be able to clean MS and Sony's clocks based on price alone. Not even taking into account all the other great stuff (downloadable library, Wii-mote, great games, etc).

    I can't wait for Nintendo's press conference tomorrow.

    For the first time since the SNES generation, I won't be buying most of the consoles at launch. I waited a few months on the XBox was I was thrilled to get my PS2. The 360 doesn't excite me that much (mostly a games problem, I'm waiting to see what they show tomorrow). The PS3 doesn't excite me that much (mostly a games problem, we'll see). The Wii has me dreaming. I'll buy 'em all, I'm sure. But you won't see me spend over $300 on the console unless it includes games bundled in.

    PS: The Wii is supposed to have a little speaker and some memory in the controller. So when you shoot it like a gun, it makes a gun sound (instead of it coming out of the TV). What a great idea! Your tennis racket makes the sound where your racket is (instead of speakers), your gun too, and anything else. Pure genius.

  • Control Bottleneck (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 10Neon ( 932006 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:03PM (#15289840)
    Sony actually did Nintendo a big favor by introducing a (somewhat) similar control style: the extreme difficulty in porting games to the Wii will now be somewhat alleviated. Just one less excuse for the 3rd parties.
  • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:04PM (#15289845) Homepage
    No, it's like putting a 200MB hard drive in a computer with a CD-ROM drive.

    We did that back when CDs were new on computers (1994 or so?).

    It is still a ton of space. It will work great for save games, cache, downloadable cars/charactes/levels/etc. And if it is expandable (with all the USB ports it ought to be, Nintendo is doing this) then it really isn't a problem.

    You may complain about the size. But at least it's there. *cough* *XBox 360* *cough*

  • by despisethesun ( 880261 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:06PM (#15289858)
    You won't be putting games on the hard drive, it will be for downloadable content and saved games.
  • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:10PM (#15289881)
    "Step 1: Copy Wii's motion tracking and put it in a clunky two-handed dual shock interface"

    They didn't even copy it very well. There's a reason Nintendo has a sensor that goes under the TV. These dimwits probably just hooked up a couple of accellerometers to the controller.

    What annoys me about this isn't that they're copying Nintendo (we ALL knew it would happen), but rather that their inferior knock-off of it will probably make people think the Nintendo's version will be worse!

    Enos Lives .. SonEs Evil
  • Re:Insane price (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:12PM (#15289892) Homepage
    I forgot to mention. If the rumored $200 Wii price turns out true (along with the $50 games they are talking about), then for that same $640 you could buy a system and NINE games. Nine. Or six games and a bunch of controllers.

    Or one Wii for your son, one for your daughter (so they don't fight), and FIVE games to share between them.

    Or a Wii ($200), a 360 ($300), and 2-3 games between those two systems. More if the 360 has a price drop (possible to combat the PS3, but not really neccessary with such a high launch point).

    Heck, a full 360 (not core) and 3 or 4 games will cost less than the PS3 with one game.

    And all this is with the cheaper PS3 price point, no scalping

  • by Suddenly_Dead ( 656421 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:13PM (#15289895)
    It's probably exclusively to offset the Wii's hype. It won't affect non-fans very much (especially at $499 USD), but it insures that their existing fanbase stays loyal to them.
  • by muel ( 132794 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:14PM (#15289903)
    Oh, come on, guys. You're all missing the amazing way that the PS3 will interact with the game community--BY SQUEEZING OUT THEIR EVERY PENNY. Notice how long the karaoke-game presentation went on about things you can pay to download? "Now, for a fee, you can download levels, weapons and songs!" Kill me. The last thing the gaming world needs is a company encouraging developers to ship incomplete products so that people will rush onto the Sony service and buy useless, overpriced add-on content. That shop idea might've been interesting if Sony had promoted buying, oh, I dunno, GAMES on it.....but as it stands, it's just a money-grubbing version of XBox Live without any of the interesting Arcade games that make the M$ service relatively worthwhile.

    Otherwise, ditto on what most everyone else is saying. The games that were presented looked utterly boring. A couple of hack-n-slashers, a camera-dependent card game... are you kidding? Cute as a tech demo, I suppose, but I think we're way past the tech demo stage in May 2006. Watch the Sony vs. M$ debate take its sharpest, quickest turn ever in the next few hours.
  • Re:My Thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:19PM (#15289926) Journal
    I suspect it was because of Nintendo because I think otherwise we would have heard something about it before, or at least hints.

    My first thought.

    This is a big risk for them. Regardless of how it turns out, they've legitimized Nintendo in the eyes of the Sony-Can-Do-No-Wrong hardcore crowd, which is the crowd Sony really had locked up.

    However, getting something like this right takes time and a lot of play-testing. If this was a last-minute addition and it's basically a check-box feature, it is extremely like it will not work as well and may even be pratically useless.

    Obviously, I can't know; this is just my engineering gut feature. I think if the currently-playable titles pretty much don't use this feature, we can assume it was a last-minute addition.

    I await reviews from people who have used both capabilities. But in light of the legimization effect, it had better be a quality, useful implementation, or they're going to be throwing away one of their most useful arguments against Nintendo ("it's a gimmick", certainly a popular opinion) for little gain. Half-assed is worse than no-assed.
  • by LoveMe2Times ( 416048 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:19PM (#15289930) Homepage Journal
    Coming out with another year's worth of development time, and the cheap version is still $100 more than MicroSoft's expensive model. That should tell you that it probably will pack the most graphical punch. I'm sorry, though, $499 is just too much. If MicroSoft announces a price cut for the holidays, say $350 or $329 or some such, or a bundle with HD-DVD playback still at $399, a lot of people will probably find the 360 "good enough." Hell, it's quite possible you will be able to get a 360 and a Wii-volution for the price of the PS3. I thought the 360 was going to be dead as soon as the PS3's launch info was announced. Now, I'm not so sure. Just flat out, $499 is out of the question for "working class" people, especially with rising gas prices etc. It's also out of the question for most kids and college students. It's going to be the new Neo-Geo: sure, everybody would *like* to have one, but they buy something they can afford instead. Hell, I make professional wages and have plenty of spending money, but the 360 was already more than I'm willing to spend for a console.

    I predict:

    1) The PS2 continues to outsell both the 360 and the PS3 through 2007.
    2) The 360 outsells PS3 in the US during holiday 2006 season.
    3) The PS3 outsells the 360 in Japan during holiday 2006 season. Duh.
    4) The DS Lite continues to be the top seller overall.
    5) The tilt-sensing abilities of the PS3 controller will be seriously under-utilized, especially in first-gen software as developers scramble to handle HD and online capabilities.

    I won't make any Wii-volution predictions until the details come out tomorrow. However, while the PS3's controller might make things interesting for hard-core gamers, it will utterly fail to attract non-gamers, which is really the point of the Wii-mote. One final prediction, though:

    6) Nintendo continues to make gobs and gobs of profits, while MS and Sony continue to lose money hand-over-fist.

  • Re:My Thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ironsides ( 739422 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:20PM (#15289933) Homepage Journal
    intendo has guaranteed that they will launch under $300, with speculation in the $200-$250 range. Nintendo will be able to clean MS and Sony's clocks based on price alone. Not even taking into account all the other great stuff (downloadable library,

    We seem to be of one mind on this one. The lower garunteed price tag and the library of old Nintendo (and some SEGA) games is going to be interesting. The main reason I want a revolution ... excuse me WII is because of that old library. I never owned a system until the pocket gameboy came out in '98 (had a computer instead). I want access to that library of games. First up, FF1.

    That sub $300 price point is going to be a key seller to, especially to people without a lot of disposable income. I'm betting on $250 myself. Any word on the starting price of the new games? $50? $60? $70? $80?
  • Re:$499? $599? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:22PM (#15289945)
    I'm not sure why parent is modded down. It seems to me that if these developments are TRUE, Sony just lost the next gen console war before it even started.
    I keep hoping that they'll come with a last minute announcement that the price was just a marketing gimmick, and launch at $299 for the only version of PS3 that they ever intended to sell. *sigh*
  • by Babbster ( 107076 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (bbabnoraa)> on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:22PM (#15289950) Homepage
    You may complain about the size. But at least it's there. *cough* *XBox 360* *cough*

    Excellent! Really, well done! Taking a shot at the X360 core system when a) Sony is also releasing two PS3 models at launch and b) the X360 core with a memory card can play every Xbox 360 game released so far for $160 less than the base PS3 system.

    One would hope that, considering Sony's price point, the complaints about the Xbox 360 (apart from the number of available games - which will probably be at worst equal to PS3 at launch if developers of available X360 games have their ports ready) would die out. $500-600?? Considering how much Sony is charging for that 40GB difference I've got to believe that they're going to at least be selling the 20GB version as a big loss leader. Otherwise, they're just gouge-happy...
  • Re:Controller... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NitsujTPU ( 19263 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:27PM (#15289980)
    Sony needs to be plowed under anyway, since they felt it appropriate to stick a root-kit on people's machines.

    If people voted with their pocketbooks and didn't say, "please Sony, beat me a little more," then we wouldn't have these sorts of problems.
  • by GreenPlastikMan ( 881184 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:37PM (#15290045)
    Because they didn't focus on propper data compression and procedural rendering. It's funny but if you do some research, the average data footprint of games begins by skyrocketing to blast through any current data storage medium (CD to DVD) and then actually starts to taper off. Given that much space, most companies will waste a large chunk of that space by using it as a reservoire for non-streamlined materials and large chunky textures.

    As game engines and other technologies improve, this may change. However, before that time, most games will come out on DVD. Blu-Ray wont be the standard until later.

    In Sony's on conference, their rep said for the first year only 20% of the games that came out for the PS2 were on DVD. Then 5 years later that number was up in the mid 90%. Granted that's impressive, however, it appears that the next-gen cycle is now shorter than 5 years. The xbox was not out for 5 years, and I anticipate that the companies will be launching into their next-next-gen console pre-production around 4 years from now, with a release one more year after that.

    That being said, if Blu-Ray is not the de facto standard for next-gen data storage by this point, Sony will lose a large chunk of change, even at $499 and $599.
  • by moultano ( 714440 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:41PM (#15290071)
    If this comes out at $599, I'm going to upgrade my graphics card and buy a Wii before I even think about a playstation 3. This is ridiculously expensive compared to anything I can readily think of, except maybe an iPod, and that's not exactly a favorable comparison.
  • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:41PM (#15290076)
    "I know it might be expensive for some of you, and you'll have to wait to be able to afford it, but in the long run it'll be nice to have all those features in the baseline system so game authors can design around them. This definitely looks like the best-of-breed for this generation to me."

    Yeah? And what games are you most excited about? Extra credit if you'll talk about why those games will be worth the extra $200 or so you'll spend getting them up and running?
  • by trawg ( 308495 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:55PM (#15290133) Homepage
    People really have to remember, and encourage other people to remember, the modding scene on the PC. Sony and Microsoft are both blowing over this 'pay for content' thing, and now its seeping into the PC scene courtesy of EA with their BF2 booster packs (remember Desert Combat?) and Morrowind with their ridiculous horse skins.
  • by blincoln ( 592401 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:06PM (#15290210) Homepage Journal
    I know it might be expensive for some of you, and you'll have to wait to be able to afford it, but in the long run it'll be nice to have all those features in the baseline system so game authors can design around them.

    I think the system looks nice, but the ludicrous price is going to kill it in the real world, meaning there won't be many games produced for it.

    Of the current-gen systems (I have all three), I like my PS2 the best. But I think Sony really screwed up here and forgot that the hardcore gamer market is a minuscule fraction of the people out there buying console titles.

    I haven't even bought a 360 yet because its price was stupid. The PS3 costs almost as much as my PC - an Athlon 3800+ with 2GB of DDR400 RAM, a 250GB SATA 3.0gb drive, an NForce4 Ultra motherboard, and a Geforce7600GT - which was $650 not including the case. I can do a LOT more with my PC, like development, graphics, and audio. There is not a chance in hell I'm paying over $300 for a game console.
  • Re:Holy crap... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by badasscat ( 563442 ) <> on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:08PM (#15290223)
    Judging by the xbox360, the only real thing we can expect is more detailed graphics,

    And Final Fantasy XIII, and Gran Turismo HD, and probably the next Grand Theft Auto, etc...

    The PS2 didn't sell 103 million units based on the power of its graphics. It sold all those systems based on the games available for the system, and specifically the games that were available on no other system.

    MS is still the odd man out here because they're going to get crushed by both Sony and Nintendo on exclusive titles. Sony's still got Japan behind them and they've got the power of numbers everywhere else (103 million PS2's vs. 25 million Xboxes). Nintendo's got their own first-party games plus with the Wii, almost every third-party game on the system will by definition be a unique experience.

    The PS2 had both massive exclusives like the FF and Dragon Quest series, as well as the sheer power of quantity that saw literally thousands of niche titles released for the system. No matter what kind of gamer you are, you could find something to like on the PS2. The PS3 will probably be no different - it's certainly going to have the lion's share of Japanese development devoted to it at the very least. That gives Sony a huge built-in advantage worldwide.

    Just remember, man - it's all about the games. People focus way too much on the power of these systems - historically speaking, it's actually been the *least* powerful system that has won out more often than not. (This gen is probably going to be an exception to that, but the point is you should look at the games, not the specs.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:13PM (#15290261)
    I'd like to give an alternative view from many posts here.

    First, I think Sony is very smart charging for this price. If they don't do this, people would shell out as much on ebay anyway. So, why not make money instead of some ebayers.

    Second, this would reduce the number of order from ebay sellers, and give more availability to owners. This gives early adopters chance to buy them. This will reduce the shortage Sony may face giving worldwide release in a same time.

    Third, if they sell it cheap, say $400, they cannot fullfill the demand, people would buy from M$ anyway, therefore, they don't loose market share either way.

    Forth, after they sense the early adopters have mostly bought the product, they can decrease the price, reduce the lost per unit (as time goes, the unit cost goes down), produce more units and sell more to the average folks.

    Fifth, with blue-ray, this thing is dirt cheap for early adopters. Just subtract the price from the average HD-DVD or blue-ray players out there, and see what you get for these 9 cores.

    Sixth, complaint about Sony releasing something more (about the remote) makes no sense. It's more that they offer. It's a bonus. If they don't offer that motion sensor, would you complaint less? For those who came and watch the show, they feel bad because of the presentation, like Bill Gates crashes his computer when he demos, but people still shell out billions for XP, and not even know the story. Give more realistic complaint, like less innovative new titles, usability of the controller, etc.

    I think Sony would give M$ a huge kick the butt if they release a well function linux (like Suse 10) with all usual apps with it pre-install. Many people would not buy PC because of this and this would hurt M$ revenue. Sony then need to make money on this by putting default pages on the browsers, offers online stores (just own customers like this is big money, seeing how M$ makes money from XP, and dominate the browsers using IE). If they can offense well, they'll have a good defense (this is an old say, I don't remember exact words - best defends is an effective offense?).

    M$ will have harder time pouring billions into XBox 360, less discount money, less developers money, etc, and Sony have easier time to survive. I would also recommend Sony to release Linux for these 100 millions PS2. I means official release with a good infra structure for support, sell and marketing. These are big huge opportunities. If they don't take advantage of it, they could disappear.

  • by badasscat ( 563442 ) <> on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:17PM (#15290291)
    But I think Sony really screwed up here and forgot that the hardcore gamer market is a minuscule fraction of the people out there buying console titles.

    And I think you and others like you forgot that there are almost always huge shortages at console launches, and that prices are not set in stone for the life of a console.

    I was one of the guys that waited in line for a PS2 on launch day. I didn't get one. You just saw recently what happened with the Xbox 360 launch and that was at $399. You don't think the PS3 will have at least that much demand attached to it? Of course it will - the PS2 sold four times more systems than the original Xbox, and the PS3 already has more exclusives attached to it than the Xbox 360.

    Sony's saying they will have 4 million systems ready in the "launch window", and that's worldwide. So that's less than 2 million per territory in November and December. You will not be able to get one of these at any price.

    Once demand slackens, the price will drop. As always happens.

    I can do a LOT more with my PC, like development, graphics, and audio.

    You cannot play Final Fantasy XIII, Gran Turismo HD or Metal Gear Solid 4.

    This is why people buy game consoles - to play the games that they can play nowhere else. All you're saying is that you're not interested in video games. Nobody buys game consoles to do development, graphics and audio.
  • by justchris ( 802302 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:20PM (#15290303) Homepage
    Good job Sony. I did not expect them to copy the motion sensing idea until next generation. I thought it would take stellar Wii sales to sell them on the idea, but obviously Sony is a lot savvier than I expected.

    I know a lot of Nintendo fanboys are outraged that Sony would steal Nintendo's ideas. But this just validates what Nintendo has been saying all along. It's the way it's always been, other companies in this industry innovate, Sony steals, but they steal well. It works in all other art forms, so it works in videogames as well. And the real winners are the consumers in the end.

    On the other hand, what the hell is Sony thinking? No, seriously, are they completely stupid? Why did they go to all the trouble of holding their press conference before Nintendo?

    They revealed too much. The new controller. Motion sensing technology. A firm pricetag. Specific release dates. This is now Nintendo's E3 to "win". They don't have to hold anything back. Anything they know, but haven't told us, they can go ahead and tell now. Sony's already blown their load.

    If I were Sony, I would have taken great pains to arrange my conference after Nintendo's, even if it had to be early morning on Wednesday, right before the expo opened. Nintendo would have played things close to their chest (as they always do). Microsoft's conference would have absorbed some (probably not a lot, but some) of the hype Nintendo generated. Then Sony could have come back with a solid blow in the motion sensing controller.

    Or, even better, they could have kept it silent, and not announced it until a few months before the Wii launched. This would have given them more time to perfect the technology, as well as giving them the chance to demo it with, I don't know, actual games? You know, like what Nintendo is going to do tomorrow.

    So, in conclusion, a big Bravo to Sony Technical Operations. Those guys are on the ball. But a big WTF to Sony Marketing. For the first time in a long while you guys have totally failed. No cookie for you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:22PM (#15290327)
    ...of course you left out how MS is being more innovative than Sony.

    As far as I can tell, the X360 is just a Xbox on Steroids. The one exception might well be the added features of Live!

    Downloadable games? Emulated content? Backwards compatibility? All been there before.
  • by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:25PM (#15290338) Journal
    but in the long run it'll be nice to have all those features in the baseline system so game authors can design around them.

    In the long run... that's what the PS4 is for.

    Nice argument at first blush, but crumbles if you look at it, especially since the price-performance curve isn't linear at all; the last few % are also the most expensive. It's possible Nintendo went too far down the curve, but it seems certain to me Sony went too far up. By the time the PS3 comes down to a sane price, it may already be a Microsoft/Nintendo market.

    Planning for the long term now is a losing proposition when you can plan for "the long term", which will then be the "short term", later, with all the Moore's law benefits you get just by sitting on your ass and twiddling your thumbs.
  • Re:My Thoughts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Saeger ( 456549 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (jllerraf)> on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:26PM (#15290342) Homepage
    it's mind-blowing to see how much people are willing to pay for hardware, and then they'll freak out about paying for software.

    No, it's really not so mind-blowing; you can't reproduce hardware at near-zero cost like you can with software - yet. When you buy physical products today there's no nagging thought in the back of your head that you're getting ripped off, unlike with most software (regardless of initial production costs).

    In the not-too-distant future molecular manufacturing will make it possible for anyone to duplicate almost anything given the blueprints (open or "3D scanned warez"), free stored solar energy, and freely recycled component molecules (mostly carbon).

    In such a world of abundant material wealth, conventional trade is dead, and the incentive to create both intangible and tangible products then shifts from the old need to put food on the table to reputation building.

    So, companies wanting to charge for hardware will also seem insane soon enough. The difference is that nobody starves. (Sortof an offtopic response, but it's on my brain.)

  • by blincoln ( 592401 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:26PM (#15290347) Homepage Journal
    Once demand slackens, the price will drop.

    Not below retail. Again, there is a hardcore gamer market that will pay $500 for a console, but it's not enough to base a price that will last at least a year on.

    This is why people buy game consoles - to play the games that they can play nowhere else.

    You don't say. If you read my original post, you may notice the part where I mention that I own all three current-gen systems. I also have a Dreamcast, a Saturn, a Nuon, and an SNES at the moment.

    All you're saying is that you're not interested in video games.

    No, what I'm saying is that video games alone aren't worth spending $500-$600 on. Not just for me, but for the vast majority of people. That is a considerable chunk of change for nearly everyone in the industrialized world. The only reason I spent that much on my PC is that it actually lets me be productive in addition to playing things like Oblivion and the new Tomb Raider.
  • So to summarize (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lahiru ( 839803 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:27PM (#15290355)

    So let me get this straight:

    • Best graphics of the lot - probably, but this is still up in the air given the volume of pre-rendered material they've shown.
    • Hi-def - this is something the 360 has as well. The benefit of this for the masses is questionable, given the expensive televisions necessary to take full advantage. Still, it's 'future proofed' - HD should be somewhat established when the PS3 reaches its dying days, which will allow it to age gracefully in the eyes of most users.
    • Blu-Ray support - How much of a benefit this ends up being depends on how the format wars turn out. Even if Blu-Ray wins, the benefits of the drive are still questionable - see my point about HD support above, the same logic applies.
    • Massive back catalog of PS1 and PS2 games - this will be a major hook for existing PS owners. Still, it's a safe bet that the PS2 itself will be around for at least a couple more years to play the old games on while people wait for that price to fall.

    • Expensive - By far the biggest drawback. The cheaper version costs more than the higher-priced 360 package! It's safe to assume Microsoft will slash prices come Christmas, making that gap even more pronounced. Wii will be below $300 as well. Add in the cost of peripherals and the PS3 looks like a jihad against your bank account.
    • Lack of games - The selection looks quite sparse so far, and the games themselves haven't really been blowing people away. At least, that's the impression I'm getting from everyone, particularly the Slashdot crowd. Also, there are all the rumours about the Cell processor being hard to program.
    • Lack of innovation - Is there anything particularly new here? An online strategy that's lagging behind Microsoft's successful one, and a controller that's cribbing ideas from the Wii (motion detection) and implementing them in a seemingly half-assed manner. Don't be surprised to find the controller idea to end up being a curious gimmick. Although, I suppose it could allow for porting Wii games to PS3?

    Anything I've missed? The pros are not all that impressive or unique (and are dependant on other factors). The cons on the other hand are like a punch to the solar plexus.
  • by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:42PM (#15290433) Homepage
    I've been gaming for a long, long, LONG time.

    I watched the entire presentation. I was underwhelmed. The graphics looked very close to Xbox 360 graphics (which falls in line with what developers were saying). The GT demo in particular had popup. The media store isn't going to be able to compete with iTunes. The controller, while it does have tilt features, doesn't work in a 3d space like Revolution (sorry: Wii -- absolutely hate that fucking name). No one is going to stick a PSP to the side of their TV as a rearview mirror in a racing game. You only get true HD resolution if you pony up $600.

    The only thing I found remotely cool about the presentation was the idea of playing emulated PS1 games on my PSP. Then I realized that most PS1 games filled up entire CDs (or more than 1) -- how many are you going to be able to fit on the largest of memory sticks?

    I picked up an Xbox 360 when it first came out and aside from a few titles (and the arcade, which is cool) it's been underwhelming. Nintendo is the last one to try to make this year of gaming interesting. Only other thing that can do it is Spore.
  • by wvitXpert ( 769356 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:52PM (#15290496)
    For me personally...

    HD - Couldn't care less.
    Blu-Ray - ditto.
    Harddrive standard - Good.
    Online - About time, everyone else has it.
    Wireless - Same as above, and only in the more expensive model.
    Compatibility - Everyone else has this too.

    All in all this seems like a system that you would only think is a good deal if you already have an HDTV, or plan to get one soon. And plan to get a Blu-Ray player. Even then it might be a bit of a stretch.
  • by xero314 ( 722674 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:03AM (#15290563)
    The thing here is the same reason the PS1 and PS2 were so successful. Sony does not have to inovate, they let others take those risks. Then sony comes in and does it better than any of their competitors (go ahead argue all you want). The PS3 controller is a fine example. They took the single best selling controller design in history (I mean there was a significant after market industry around allowing them to be hooked up to other machines) and added the functionallity that console fans have been saying they are interested in. Sony did the same thing with the CD rom when the ps1 came out.

    You don't have to do it first, if you can do it better.
  • by SetupWeasel ( 54062 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:16AM (#15290635) Homepage
    Pointing won't work. Any sort of absolute position detection won't work. Add to that the fact that you will have to move two arms to gain any benefit and you have a pretty useless knock off. Nevermind the rumor that Wii has a second accelerometer in the nunchuck.

    If Sony is lucky, it will work as well as the Eye Toy to control games.

    The only thing Sony got with this move is the bitter aftertaste of a plaguristic freshman poet.
  • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:37AM (#15290730)
    Rumble is moderately interesting. But it's not worth paying those fucks at Immersion for it. It never added much to a game anyway.

    So I say if it would have added to the cost of the unit, I for one won't miss it.
  • by Maserati ( 8679 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:38AM (#15290735) Homepage Journal
    Well, pricing. Hmmm. The PS3 is going to be expensive, but only the rich fanboys will be buying it with just the launch titles available.... and they can afford these prices. They'll sell all the PS3s they ship. Demand won't be frantic like for the 360s, but they'll moves boxes. They'll also sell a lot of PS2s to people who want a new console to tide them over until the next-gen scene matures. There's a lot of PS2 content coming this year, twice as much as for Xbox (according to Gamefly's listings). And a lot of the PS2 titles coming are from developers who have done more than one title for PS2 already so the games are markedly better then the first couple of years of games. Sony Playstation as a corporate entity doesn't need the PS3 to get big fast, the PS2 sales will pad things out nicely.

    Don't forget the fact that Sony is herein also announcing plans to ship a million Blue Ray players a month. They'll be 'buying' the drives from another Sony division which will then see excellent sales. Producing drives at these volumes will lead to economy of scale factors in Blue Ray devices very early in the lifecycle. Blue Ray will probably win the HD format wars as a result.
  • by zCyl ( 14362 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:38AM (#15290740)
    What's original about the PlayStation 3? Controller?

    Better yet, what SHOULD be original about it? Would a Christmas-tree shaped controller be preferable? Or how about a one-button controller for simpler learning curves? If something works well, you don't have to muck with it just to be "original". Sometimes originality can get in the way of making a good product.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:59AM (#15290835)
    Sorry, but it comes to branding and games. Sony may close the gap in the US, but I don't see any system outselling the ps3 worldwide, it will hardly be a flop. The ps3 games will still appeal to a more diverse international audience, and hopefully there will be more really good ones compared to the 360. But still, the name brand alone will be hard to overcome.
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @03:43AM (#15291335)
    Doesn't matter, all the console differences aside, you are still dealing with the same class of hardware as the PC chips because it comes from teh same fundimental source. Like with the Xbox (orignal) the chip wasn't a direct copy of any nVidia chip. It was faster than any GeForce 3, and shared memory with the CPU. However, it's performance was in the same general class as a GeForce 3 or 4 and, more importantly, it's features were the same.

    Same general thing here. Yes, in the end the console chips work different. If nothing else they don't have a PCI/AGP bus to contend with to talk to the processor, and as noted in the case of the 360 in particular, and even teh orignal Xbox, there are more differences. Heck the RSX may be more different than is currently known as Sony still hasn't given a final spec for it.

    However what it boils down to is that you can look at the kind of graphics you can get from a modern, high end PC card and see what you can expect out of the consoles. If you run soimething like 3DMark2006 on a 7900 or X1900, you get the kind of lighting and shading and complexities you can expect to see.

    So that's what I mean. I don't mean they are literal 1:1 equivalants. When you are working with a company on a fixed design, you can do things you can't on a PC. In ATi's case I don't think a unified shader architecture plays that well with DirectX 9's design, though it should with DX10 (which is probably the point, really Vista and the 360 will allegedly be easy to port between). However it's not like either ATi or nVidia are going to have some magic ace up their sleeve that they'll put on a console, but not on their cards.

    You can rest assured that though you haven't seen an actual RSX, you've seen the generation of nVidia technology on which it's based, so you have a basic idea of what it's capable of. It may end up being faster than a 7900GTX (though probably not), but it's almost certianly not going to have graphics capabilites that the 7900s don't.

    I imagine that games will look pretty similar on both platforms in general. Games released on both will probably be close to dead identicle since the less work you do on a port, the happier you are as a developer. However for platform specific games, I don't see any way that one is going to really be able to pull ahead. I'm sure the fanbois will argue until they are blue in teh face about who's got the prettier picture, but in reality they'll probably both look good and be on the same general plane.
  • by wheany ( 460585 ) <> on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @03:58AM (#15291375) Homepage Journal
    Just say Wii. That's its name.
  • by thatguywhoiam ( 524290 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @10:17AM (#15292862)
    Sony's live ripoff will most probably suck, since Sony are worthless at producing usable user interface. Did you ever use the software for their NetMD's?

    Live is not everything, at least to some of us. But your comment on the Net MD software - are you for real? Am I going to judge Xbox360's dashboard based on the fact that Microsoft released the abomination known as Word, among many others?

  • by epiphani ( 254981 ) <epiphani@ d a l . net> on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @11:15AM (#15293316)
    I spent the night thinking about this, and here's what I've come up with.

    Sony is really thinking here. I'm serious, they knew exactly what they were getting into, and they priced themselves accordingly. At the end of 2006, how many people have the HD capabilities to really take advantage of this? The people who have dropped $2500 on a television. Its being marketed to them. Sony is in this for the long run, and the approach to the PS3 makes sense if you look at it that way.

    The original Playstation was released in 1994. The PS2 was released in 2000. The PS3 is being released in 2006. A six year cycle - while the xbox and xbox 360 was released in 2001 and 2005 respectively - a four year cycle.

    In 2006, not too many people have HD. By 2008, a lot more people will have HD. This is where their market starts making a substantial grasp. The full backwards compatibility of the PS3 makes it possible for developers to continue cranking out games for the PS2, and the PS3 users can still take advantage of those games.

    In a lot of ways, the PS3 was rushed to market. The blue-ray tech is still very young, and hence very expensive (by some estimates 40% of the cost of the platform), and that will drop -really- fast. I suspect we'll see a price cut on the PS3 in the fall of 2007, which at that point the platform will really start taking off. 2008 will be the PS3's true testing year, since HD will be substantially more prevelent, and Blue-ray will have taken off as well.

    The PS3 is probably designed for the same length on the market as the last two - six years. In 2013, most people will have HD, and if Microsoft maintains their cycle, will release another console in 2010. They'll have to, just to keep up.

    Sony isnt shooting for market share, they're shooting for platform longevity. They -have- market share, and the PS2 still competes nicely right now. I'm betting that Sony wouldn't have put out a platform for another year if it hadn't been for Microsoft. All the technology that they're stuffing into the PS3 really makes me believe that. Blue-ray, HD, etc, their big costs for the platform are not market ready in a lot of ways yet.

    Just some thoughts.
  • by FiloEleven ( 602040 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @11:38AM (#15293495)
    Beyond racing games there aren't any situations where this controller is leaping out and attacking me with Perfection, but the truth is that it's a lot more subtle than the Wii, and so probably will result in a more diverse set of games, a few dozen of which will use the tilt to great effect. The tilt is "there if you need it", the Wii-stick is "all you can expect the gamer to have" - barring some sort of original-DualShock controller redesign.

    And by "more subtle" you mean "less useful." Look, if you're going to be waving your controller around for whatever reason, it ought to be comfortable to do so. The Wii is, while a Dual Shock by its two-handed nature is not. You're also discounting two things. First, you're not giving developers enough credit. I contend that diversity is much more likely with the Wii interface than with a rehash of the Dual Shock simply because you can do more with it. Second, you're not taking the controller's expansion capabilities into account. Nintendo has already said that GameCube controllers will work with Wii, and the Wiimote has a slot for expansion built in. A DualShock shell would be quite easy to implement, similar to IGN's gamecube cradle [] mockup, so a redesign isn't necessary.

    In the end, personally, the Wii isn't getting my money no matter how cheap it is. $300 for dogshit is still paying money for dogshit.

    You are of course welcome to your opinion, but I don't understand why you're so quick to write off Nintendo.

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain