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More PS3 Words From the Horse's Mouth 78

Game|Life had the chance to sit down with Ken Kutaragi, Phil Harrison, and Kaz Hirai; Chris Kohler has some details on things left unsaid at the PS3 conference. From the article: "Q: You're the head of Sony's worldwide development studios. What the hell is up with that Africa game? A: Video games have a function in life, and that is: wish fulfillment. You can become a mercenary, a fighter pilot. On PS3, we can expand the realm of that experience. Africa allows you to experience a very interesting part of the world, a safari in the plains of Africa. The gameplay is entirely non-violent. You don't kill the animals. It emphasizes the positives rather than the negatives. It's about collecting experiences and keeping them for posterity."
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More PS3 Words From the Horse's Mouth

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  • More PS3 Words From the Horse's Mouth

    Mr. Ed is Sony's new spokesperson?!?

    Figures.

    BTW, does this article remind anyone else of the Chief of Police scene in TMNT 2?

    "Is there anything else you'd like to not tell me, Mr Kutaragi?"
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 22, 2006 @11:46AM (#16161107)
      They keep putting the wrong end up to the podium...
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      What the hell is up with that Africa game?
      Oh no - now I got that damn Toto song stuck in my head.


      It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
      There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
      I bless the rains down in Africa
      Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

  • by steveo777 ( 183629 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @11:31AM (#16160975) Homepage Journal
    Anyone remember Pokemon: Snap [pokemonsnap.com]?

    Seriously, this doesn't really seem like a Sony game here. But I don't really know who's developing it either. So what if they want to make a game that's pure exploration. It'll probably look great, have descent controls, and very little need for AI in anything. I'm sure some one will enjoy it. But I don't see a lot of parents buying it for the kids (60-80 bucks).

    • by Tokyo_Otaku ( 1004495 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @11:57AM (#16161213)
      I was at TGS today and saw a whack of HD demos at the Sony booth. You're right in terms of looking good. Afrika looked great. In fact it was one of the best games there. Another really impressive one was Shirokishi and Motorstorm looks to be a contender for nicest overall presentation. Devil May Cry 4 didn't look too hot and there were a lot of forgettable demos, although Mina no Golf looked like a lot of fun with solid production values.

      What was *not* cool was MGS4. It was a major letdown. Yes, it was nicely presented in the same way one might put tripe into a fancy gift box. The in-game graphic quality has dropped down a sizable notch from previous demos. And the animation... Everything was very robotic and very unnatural; totally unlike the two previous movies.

      For example, firing a gun has literally two key frames. Normal position and recoiled position. There weren't even any in-between frames. He just fired his gun, snapping forward and back jerkily between the two positions. Not smooth or natural at all. It was a big, big, letdown.

      A lot of games were available to play, but MGS4 (unsurprisingly given the movie) did not appear to be among them. Speaking of missing games, there was not even so much as a whiff of Assassin's Creed, which was really too bad as I was looking forward to seeing it. Maybe tomorrow...

      But the ***HUGE*** loser of the day was the PS3's new Coded Arms game. They have really, really screwed it up. I was watching it for some time in quite some disbelief as I literally saw framerates drop below 5 per second. Like maybe 1 per second. Really. And that kind of stuttering was pretty regular. An unmitigated disaster by all appearances. I'm really hoping I'm mistaken and this is some low budget PS2 version.

      Overall, the PS3 beats out the XBox 360 on all accounts. What the XBox struggles to do, the PS3 does easily. Not only was that my impression, but also the opinion of all of the industry folk I spoke to.

      Enough to save them? Only time will tell...
      • As a big Metal Gear fan I am (hopefully) confident that they will polish that bad boy up. There is still quite a bit of time (sometime 07?) before the release and as of yet they have not failed to produce a wonderful game. Now plopping down $600 to be able to play the game... thats a different story.
        • It may just be a development snapshot and very much unfinished. I hope so too. Apparently it's the same story with Coded Arms (i.e. a dev version). None of that was clear at the show. I have to wonder why they chose to display their wares in this way... Not a good impression.
      • Overall, the PS3 beats out the XBox 360 on all accounts. What the XBox struggles to do, the PS3 does easily. Could you give some examples? I'd like to know what the 360 is struggling with right now, unless you mean like pervasiveness in Japan, which I guess you could argue the PS3 has yet to do too. But I'm assuming you mean power-wise, so I'd like to hear some examples.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Sure. Basically it comes down to frame rate and detail. A number of the heavier 360 games can't always maintain their frame rates and also don't look as good as the PS3 games. MotorStorm is a great example of this. It has incredible detail and great backgrounds as well as solid effects all around. And not a single frame lost that I could see. Not even when things got hairy. Everything pretty much looks like a cutscene...

          This is not to say that there is anything wrong with the 360. Realistically, if the game
          • by Khuffie ( 818093 )
            I could say the exact same thing you said about MotorStorm to describe PGR3 on the Xbox 360. Framerate issues are not always due to hardware, but unoptimized software.
          • Great thanks for the reply. Hadn't heard about any 360 framerate issues, but I'm also not reading a lot of 360 reviews etc... Good to know though.
            • Great thanks for the reply. Hadn't heard about any 360 framerate issues, but I'm also not reading a lot of 360 reviews etc... Good to know though.

              Ehh, I'd be wary of getting any type of advice from Sony fanbois. :P

              Really, framerate issues should be tied to the game, not the console. It's not the console's fault if developers write bad/unoptimized code, or are just stressing the console past its limits (whatever that may be). Comparing two different games on two platforms is certainly not "apples to apples".

      • by Rayonic ( 462789 )

        Overall, the PS3 beats out the XBox 360 on all accounts. What the XBox struggles to do, the PS3 does easily

        Odd, since based on everything we know so far the PS3 has a weaker GPU than the Xbox 360.

        Not to mention that the PS3's Cell might be on par with the 360 CPU when it comes to game applications (as opposed to gene folding.)

        As far as I can tell, everything about the PS3 is the same or worse. The only notable advantage it has anymore is the size of Blu-Ray discs.

        • I was at TGS yesterday, the overal look and feel of the good PS3 titles surpassed the good XBOX360 titles. (there are obviously crap titles on both platforms and they aren't worth comparison)
          Someone compared Project Gotham 3 with Motor Storm, but Motor Storm's graphics yesterday were far superior and really had a CG movie feel to them.

          In theory the XBOX GPU can beat the PS3 GPU for certain things, but people forget that those figures are based on the XBOX360's cpu bandwidth not being used for anything else.
  • I haen't followed the PS3 story much, and am mostly familiar with it from that YouTube video ridiculing it. ("So here's this giant enemy crab....Riiidge Raaacer!") From that point of view, the game with the chewing rhino (I assume that's the one mentioned here) is the title I'm most looking forward to!
  • Will the PS3 include component video cables in the box?

    I'm not sure, but I think the answer might be "no."


    Yeouch, that surprised me a bit. No HDMI thats fine, makes sense actually. But where the consoles are now I don't think its too much to expect a cable capable of HD. At least in the 360s release you got an HD cable on the more expensive version.

    But who knows, he did say he wasn't sure.
  • In these territories, the prices we announced were very well accepted.

    I find it very hard to accept the 'GDP of a small country' for a PS3, a white british IT Professional.

    Ken Kutaragi: (Was accompanied at all times by PR handlers who wouldn't let him answer certain questions)

    shouldn;t that read "...ANY questions..."

    What the hell is up with that Africa game?

    Is that the BEST question you can come up with when faced with the three sony head honchos?

    • Is that the BEST question you can come up with when faced with the three sony head honchos?

      If you read the article, it's far from the "best" question. However, it is one of the few questions that Sony actually answers.
  • by Psykechan ( 255694 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @11:40AM (#16161064)
    Straight from the horse's mouth as long as you can bypass the "PR handlers"; Ken Kutaragi only answered one of the four questions presented to him and that was with a distinct "maybe".

    My favorite comment was from Phil Harrison:

    "We started by calculating the price for the US and European territories by looking at what consumers considered the 'magic price points'. In these territories, the prices we announced were very well accepted."

    I would really like to see these consumers who accepted the $500-$600 price points well. People that I've talked to, including staunch PlayStation supporters, have said that they don't plan on buying a PS3 because of the high price point.
    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
      OMG that's me. -cries- I buy them all. I really can't help myself. I fought buying an X360 until only a month ago, but buy it I did. And I'll buy the Wii at launch and the PS3 sometime in the next year, most likely. If I get bored with my x360 and Wii, it'll be sooner rather than later. Of course, if it never comes out with a game I want, I won't buy it no matter the price.
    • by LKM ( 227954 )

      People that I've talked to, including staunch PlayStation supporters, have said that they don't plan on buying a PS3 because of the high price point

      I have to agree. I wonder who the hell he asked about these "magic price points." I have no doubt that the PS3 will sell out during its first few months, but the console race isn't a first-few-months affair. Most of my friends could afford a PS3, but guess what? Nobody I know has even bought an Xbox 360 - even those who own and love the old Xbox.

      Both the 36

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @11:50AM (#16161144)
    You're there with the key top brass of the PS3 crew, the guru, the really big cheese, and the best question is "what's up with that Africa game"?

    Who the heck cares about a game nobody has even heard of. Or wants to hear of. Or could even remotely consider buying.

    How about new sequels of already very much loved games? How about asking 'bout the damn cables? How about BluRay and what about the rumor that you can't "lend" discs because they're being "tied" with your box somehow as soon as you put them in the first time?

    Or was that the only question that guru was able/allowed/willing to answer?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      That's what you get when you get Chris Farley to ask the questions.

      "Hey, do you remember, er, like that game where, er, er, the Ninja... you're the Ninja, and, er, you have to do that thing with the joystick, and, er, you get the bonus screen?"

      "Erm, yep. Yep Chris, I do"

      "That was awesome!"

    • Who the heck cares about a game nobody has even heard of. Or wants to hear of. Or could even remotely consider buying.

      How about new sequels of already very much loved games?

      This really bothers me. I thought it was unimaginative studios that were pushing all these sequels on us but you're here actually demanding the rehashes over something at least unusual if not totally unique. Because of you (and, presumably millions more like you), I'm going to have to wade through shelfs chock full of things like "Devi

      • If the game is a new idea, great. The same game again just with better graphics is boring, granted. But at the very least I'd expect to get SOME information of the game background. A question out of the blue like "Ah, btw, that awesome new game of yours..." sounds a lot like it's been set up to advertise a game. That's not journalism, that's marketing.
  • I don't see the appeal. If I wanted to look at pictures of animals, I would just watch a national geographic movie, or do a search on YouTube. The appeal of actually seeing animals in real life is a bit different (and I could probably just go to the zoo).
    • by dohzer ( 867770 )
      What the hell IS "that Africa game"? Google didn't help me. :(
    • by grumbel ( 592662 )

      I don't see the appeal. If I wanted to look at pictures of animals, I would just watch a national geographic movie,

      Meanwhile the rest of the world plays Grand Turismo instead of driving on a real racetrack, plays FIFA instead of doing real soccer and playing Counter-Strike instead of... uhm... ok lets stop here. It of course depends on what kind of gameplay they pack into that Africa game and how good the animal AI is, but I can imagine this to be great fun. That Africa game seems to have some quite reali

  • by techstar25 ( 556988 ) <techstar25 AT cfl DOT rr DOT com> on Friday September 22, 2006 @12:10PM (#16161314) Homepage Journal
    From the article:
    "Will the PS3 include component video cables in the box?
    I'm not sure, but I think the answer might be "no."


    We know it doesn't come with HDMI cables. [slashdot.org] So how do you connect it to your TV? Is it really composite [wikipedia.org] only? That's remarkable. So out of the box, it will look like poo no matter what television you have.
    They are adding HDMI to all the PS3s now, but they aren't including a decent cable to connect with. Strange.
    • by hords ( 619030 )
      I'm guessing it will come with component cables like the 360 did. They would be stupid not to (oh wait, this is Sony.)
  • Or... (Score:2, Funny)

    by SoapDish ( 971052 )
    For the same price as a PS3, you could go on a real safari!
  • I wonder if Kutaragi's PR gaurd was there to keep him from accidentally 'adding' any features by answering questions. Which probably is what got Sony into a lot of this mess.

    Your typical PR guys get the question, "Can your product do this?"

    Then the answer, "Yes!" even though they have no clue.

  • ...and that wraps up your weekend forcast. Back to you Tom.

    Thank you Mary Ann. Tonights top story, the Sony Runaway Trial. Shortly after noon in San Diego the lawyers representing Fathers Against Runaway Teens opened the court proceedings with hefty accusations against Sony. They charge that Sony has been negligent in its review of computer games and their affects on teenagers. This case originated when Brandon Hill, a runaway teen sixteen years old, was found in Africa three months later. When questioned,
  • The Horse's Mouth? You sure you don't have that horse backwards on this one?
  • The news to me (that I may have missed earlier) was that the $500 model will also include HDMI.

    As for the Africa game, that actually could be really interesting and educational, if the AI for the animals is any good. I wonder if they will show lions taking down impala or the like...
    • The video at TGS shows a cheetah running down some sort of antelope, (at one point from a first person perspective) which is close enough. It may not be the type of game that gets the fanboys foaming at the mouth i.e. Halo, but it definitely has my interest up.
      • I'll have to hunt down some video from the game. Amusingly I was actually just in Africa on a few game drives so I have a great recent memory to compare it to, I found it funny they had made a game - though I might actually buy it as it was an interesting experience.
  • You don't kill the animals.

    The animals kill you!

  • Africa allows you to experience a very interesting part of the world, a safari in the plains of Africa. The gameplay is entirely non-violent. You don't kill the animals. It emphasizes the positives rather than the negatives.
    Hmm, that sounds familiar [pocketwatchgames.com].
  • Q: You're the head of Sony's worldwide development studios. What the hell is up with that Africa game?

    He attacked his Weak Point for MASSIVE DAMAGE.

    m-

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