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The Making of the PlayStation

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the who's-your-daddy dept.

PlayStation (Games) 125

Edge Online has an in-depth look at the beginnings of the first PlayStation console. It starts at Sony's partnership with Nintendo, the purpose of which was to integrate a CD-ROM drive into the SNES. A falling out between the companies led Sony to stubbornly pursue a market dominated by Nintendo and Sega. The console's technology and Sony's unusual position in the industry quickly attracted the interest of many developers and publishers, eventually leading to sales that emphatically won that round of the console wars. "'There was a huge resistance inside the company to actually being in the videogames business at all,' explains Harrison. 'The main reason why the Sony brand wasn't really used in the early marketing of PlayStation was not necessarily out of choice, but it was because Sony's old guard was scared that it was going to destroy this wonderful, venerable, 50-year old brand. They saw Nintendo and Sega as toys, so why on Earth would they join the toy business? That changed a bit after we delivered 90 per cent of the company's profit for a few years.'"

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Sony has lost its way (5, Insightful)

Anenome (1250374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719395)

"That changed a bit after we delivered 90 per cent of the company's profit for a few years."

- Yep, PS2 was the only thing keeping Sony afloat as a company for awhile there. Then they spent some $2 billion making the over-hyped Cell chip for the PS3 and actually thought they didn't need a graphics card, instead one was put in last minute -- what a fiasco. Kutaragi the hyperbolist was later fired for that mistake.

Meanwhile, Sony is losing its rep as a hardware manufacturer and facing stiff competition in sectors it once dominated such as TV's and now LCDs. Of the three console makers, Sony relied on its console receipts the most in order to keep their company afloat. Even Nintendo survived on owning the portable gaming market through Gameboy and now the DS when its console offering was weak. Microsoft of course had Windows, Office and its other software sales.

Sony was willing to spent billions to make sure the PS3 was number one like its predecessors. It virtually bet the company on it. The market's rejection of that bid has been one of the great business-move blunders in recent memory. Remember, Sony built its own Cell chip-fab (then couldn't produce enough while it cut its teeth on managing the facility). Sony believed the Cell was so awesome that manufacturers would buy it for all sorts of products, such as TVs, DVD players, and... COMPUTERS. That's right, Kutaragi actually thought computer makers would install a Cell chip. I already mentioned that Kutaragi thought the Cell as CPU and GPU alone was better than an added graphics processor.

We all know the story about the Wii taking over the market with a new input scheme, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention this: Johnny Lee's use of a Wiimote to create positional head-tracking creating the illusion of true 3D, you've got to see this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw [youtube.com]

Re:Sony has lost its way (5, Funny)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719465)

Kutaragi the hyperbolist was later fired for that mistake.

I prefer the experession "first against the wall when the Revolution came".

Re:Sony has lost its way (5, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719469)

You forgot to add that Sony has now lost more on the PS3 than it made on the PS2 and PS1 combined, and still loses money on each console sold. All for third place.

Re:Sony has lost its way (4, Interesting)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719997)

It wasn't just for 3rd place. It was to get Blu-Ray into as many homes as possible and win the format war which they did and, as far as 3rd place positions go, they're not doing that bad compared to MS who even had a year lead.

Had they launched at the same time I would put money on Sony beating the 360 even if each system had the same games libraries.

A lot of this is due to the fact no one outside of the US really likes the 360. Sony is beating them in Japan and MS has only about a million units lead over Sony. So it wouldn't take much to make MS lose their position.

It will be interesting if they'll rush out and try to be on first on the market knowing they don't have what it takes to beat Nintendo, they can't really afford another red-ring scenario and Sony knows they have to play smarter the next time around.

Know your enemy. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27720141)

"Sony is beating them in Japan and MS has only about a million units lead over Sony. So it wouldn't take much to make MS lose their position."

Microsoft isn't Sony's problem. Nintendo is.

Re:Know your enemy. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27720585)

The problem with the Wii is it's a gimmick. There aren't many new games for it compared to the other two consoles and every single person I know who bought one played it for a few months and then put it away, never to be used again.

Nintendo might be selling consoles, but they aren't selling games.

Re:Know your enemy. (3, Informative)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27723635)

They're selling both. The problem is 3rd parties putting out any old rubbish and then being surprised when their games don't sell.

Nintendo makes money on the hardware so they probably don't care as such. I think it should be that way though and the companies that pump out crap need to die off.

Re:Know your enemy. (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27723795)

Gimmick? Yea, you compare the PS2 version of Budokai Tenkaichi 3 against the Wii version and come back and say that again with a straight face.

Re:Know your enemy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27724935)

Let's see, one irrelevant, last generation game based on some generic kid's cartoon that got mediocre ratings from everyone.

Remind me why I should give a shit about that.

Re:Know your enemy. (3, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27725689)

Apparently it was good enough to have a full re-release of the original series created (Dragonball Kai) plus it still outgrosses most animes and mangas in sales.

Since you're so poorly educated on the game, let me break the good stuff down for you. On the PS2, most everything is a massive wear and tear on your thumbs and the analog joysticks. Using and boosting blast attacks on the PS2 is much harder compared to the Wii - the Wii has a more intuitive control system. You want to throw a Kamehameha? On the Wii, you actually throw a Kamehameha. Should two power beams collide, on the PS2 you're bound to either break the analog sticks or give yourself thumb cramps battling to overpower, on the Wii you simply alternate the back and forth movement of the nunchuk and wiimote, same for the physical power struggles.

Maybe you shouldn't give a shit - but what you said is completely untrue and I dare you to find a better game that makes the Wiimote not a gimmick. I've got most Wii games out there (even Cooking Mama, which IS a gimmick) and DBZ BT3 is THE BEST in Wiimote usage. If they could port it over to other systems and you had a network battle between a Wii and PS3 or XBox, I'd stomp everyone not using a Wii.

In fact I'm so good the matchup system can't even find players online for me to battle any longer. In two weeks I eliminated all competition in the USA.

Gimmick, my ass.

Re:Know your enemy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27726125)

That's all fine and dandy but it still doesn't change the fact that this game doesn't represent anything to anyone. It doesn't use new technology, it isn't critically acclaimed and it isn't well known. Perhaps if you were talking about Street Fighter IV you might have a point. Too bad the Wii cannot handle running a game like that.

So, good for you if you've wasted your time becoming good at a game nobody wants to play. Your posts have only served to reinforce the point that the Wii is gimmicky.

Re:Know your enemy. (2, Interesting)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27723613)

According to MS (and Sony to be fair), Nintendo is a completely different market. :P

I don't buy it either and that wouldn't explain MS ripping off Miis.

Re:Know your enemy. (2, Funny)

Anenome (1250374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27724953)

Yeah, Nintendo's in a completely different market than Sony/MS. /sarcasm
Just like the PSP is in a completely different market than the DS, a failing market.

Sony looooves to make this claim. Next thing Sony will be claiming the PS3 is the 'best selling black console on the market' :rolleyes:

Kutaragi is famous for his 'spin'. He once said that PS3 would allow users to actually jack into the Matrix :|

Here's another one: Kutaragi on the PS3's initial price of $599:
"It's probably too cheap... We want consumers to think to themselves, 'I will work more hours to buy one.'"

Kutaragi at his finest :P

Re:Know your enemy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27725555)

Wasn't it actually Nintendo who originally claimed to not be competing with the other consoles? Oh, that's right, IT WAS.

Re:Know your enemy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27725803)

[Citation needed]

Re:Sony has lost its way (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27720347)

About the 360, why would anyone buy a piece of shit that RRODs or E74s after a few weeks? Microsoft has very bad reputation in Europe as well, which doesn't help things.

OP is clueless about Sony's products. Their 2009 LCDs are great value for money. The PS3 is not sold at a loss, hasn't been the case for a while.

The Wii has attracted a lot of people. The problem is, once the novelty wears off no one ever plays again. Hardcore games usually ignore it because the graphics in most games look like shit.

Re:Sony has lost its way (2, Insightful)

Anenome (1250374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27722831)

If their 2009 LCDs are a great 'value for the money' then Sony has failed and been forced to abandon its previous complete domination of a sector. Remember, Sony was used to charging 10-20% more for the exact same feature set -- because it had the name 'Sony' on the side. The fact that Sony can't do that anymore is a testament to how far their brand has fallen, and how much their competition has increased in stature. If you really want value for the money, I suggest buying Vizio. They are the cheapest on the market, were designed that way using a unique marketing plan, and are a great product. Old-hat producers like Sony won't be able to match because they simple don't have a targeted, focused, one-minded business-plan like Vizio (and perhaps other makers, Samsung, etc).

Sony has been letting profits in one division support the failings in others. That's a dangerous thing to do. As was noted, the PSX and PS2 game sales largely kept the company afloat. Gaming became so important that Kutaragi was in line to become CEO, before the PS3 debacle got him fired. Honestly I would've laughed my head off if Kutaragi had become CEO of Sony, because the way that guy talks can you imagine if he was head of the company and had virtually no accountability? It would've been Kutaragi on steroids, that could've let to some truly funny quotes for a few years before he tanked the company XD

Re:Sony has lost its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27725947)

If the 'hardcore' gamer only cared about graphics, then why have games like Mega Man 9 been so successful? It is by no means a 'casual' game at all.

Re:Sony has lost its way (2, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#27721683)

I think Sony's consoles are even less reliable than the 360. Don't forget that Microsoft had to increase the warranty period for the red ring problems. A lot of Playstations and Playstation 2s stopped reading discs out of warranty and Sony did nothing about it. Both the original consoles (not so much the slim second generation ones) were terrible for that, and a friend of mine working at game retailer says it really killed the second hand console market for them.

The 360 has it's problems, maybe even the 20%+ failure rates rumoured, but at last they make some effort to fix them.

Re:Sony has lost its way (1, Redundant)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27723557)

That is a load of rubbish. If that were any where near remotely true then there would be more stories about it as 360 fanboys would have a total wet dream if they could find something to justify the shoddy hardware Microsoft still produces.

The 360 launched nearly 4 years ago and they still have problems including the E74 error and the problems are so common that they had to extend the warranty to keep people happy and put off the risk of a class action suit.

Continuing to have problems 4 years later is not putting any effort into fixing the fundamental problems with the system. The fact is they wanted to be first to market and to do so they had to let the quality drop. The 360 probably won't ever be problem free.

Re:Sony has lost its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27720079)

[citation needed]

The real problem was Blu-Ray (5, Interesting)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719489)

If you look at the manufacturing costs, the real problem was the Blu-Ray drives. They were so desperate to win that format war (and that was truly a phyrric victory), that they upped the PS3's manufacturing costs through the stratosphere. DVD would have been more than enough, and the Cell's price has gone down, as all architectures eventually do. The reason the price is still this high is that the combination of the Cell *and* BR drives is simply too much.

Imagine having access to PSN with a sub-$200 console. They would dominate by this point, if they just had their priorities straight.

Re:The real problem was Blu-Ray (0)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719585)

At the time, I bought a PS3 *only* for Blu-Ray. Having the ability to play all my old games too was a plus. That, and the fact software updates are consistent which make this BR player future/feature proof.

They made the right choice with this format. Too bad for X-Box.

Re:The real problem was Blu-Ray (3, Informative)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719637)

Most PS3s cannot play PS2 games, and of the ones that can there are inconsistancies that depend on exactly which model you got (software vs hardware emulation).

Also, most of the end-of-cycle (read "great") ps2 games won't play.

Re:The real problem was Blu-Ray (2, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27720495)

Most PS3s cannot play PS2 games, and of the ones that can there are inconsistancies that depend on exactly which model you got (software vs hardware emulation).

Also, most of the end-of-cycle (read "great") ps2 games won't play.

It's Vista all over again.

Re:The real problem was Blu-Ray (3, Informative)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27725055)

Also, most of the end-of-cycle (read "great") ps2 games won't play.

They won't? News to me, because my PS3 has played every PS2 game I've thrown at it, and only two have had issues bad enough that I wouldn't want to play them on a PS3: Tekken Tag Tournament (runs at half speed) and Fallout Brotherhood of Steel (really bad texture glitching). I have one PSone game with bad enough graphical glitching that it can't effectively be played, The X Files graphic adventure game, but the same glitching happens on a PS2 too, some too smart for their own good developer didn't follow Sony's technical docs properly.

Re:The real problem was Blu-Ray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27725915)

Actually, if you have throw a mainstream popular game at any of the backwards compatible models, it will still most likely play fine. I've tried it with God Hand, Killer7, God of War 1 and 2, and Final Fantasy X and XII without issues. A lot of other games I'd like to get for the PS2 seem like they'll run fine too.

What are your counterexamples to good games that won't run one of the older models?

Re:The real problem was Blu-Ray (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719643)

Except that now newer versions of the PS3 aren't compatible with PS2 games. You can't really use that as a selling point anymore.

Re:The real problem was Blu-Ray (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719661)

Yes, the PS3 probably *is* the best BR player, even up to this point. But even if tying up the BR format with the PS3 *did* win the format war for them, what have they really gained?

Look at the sales figures on blu-ray discs. Then compare those, either by revenue, or by amount of content consumed, to DVD or digital distribution. It's fractional. Don't get me wrong, I love HD, and blu-ray, in my opinion, is a pretty good format (if only they could reduce the price of the players), but look at it from the perspective of the company.

If they launched the PS3 with a normal DVD drive they could be selling it for less than the price of the XBox360 Pro right now (this is speculative, of course, but that's a common estimate).

And as a bonus, the PS3 won't RROD on you.

Re:The real problem was Blu-Ray (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27720401)

I have a Wii, a ps2, a ds, the original xbox and a 360, i don't have a PS3 because you can't copy the games, and homebrew is crippled on it (no access to video hardware)...
Like it or not, piracy is a great way to increase product exposure at low cost (i wouldnt buy games if i couldnt pirate them, and i dont have a ps3 because it cant run copied games).

Re:The real problem was Blu-Ray (3, Informative)

DirtyCanuck (1529753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27721477)

As much as I expect your comment to get modded into the sweet abyss of slashdot, still you make a valid point.
My original xbox dominates my living room because it is still better then anything from the current generation. I have it fully modded with linux, which affords me the ability to access my computer on the other side of the house via network and watch every bit of media on it without the waste of burning discs or the hassle of using a thumb drive. I can play all the old roms using the controllers effortlessly, including even N64. My library of games is epic and some of the games never were even released (RED STAR suuuch a good game). I own a wii, 360, ps2 (bought day 1 900$) and a slew of retro consoles I have dragged out of peoples trash. The only thing that gets more attention then my original xbox (Girfriends, children, friends) is my core i7 I am talking on now. To bad I had to eat rice for a month straight to afford it.

Re:The real problem was Blu-Ray (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27723855)

"I have it fully modded with linux, which affords me the ability to access my computer on the other side of the house via network and watch every bit of media on it without the waste of burning discs or the hassle of using a thumb drive"

To be fair, I have THREE Linux installs on my PS3, and emulate everything just fine from the Gameboy up to the PSX (software wrappers are more than fast enough for hardware that old) The PS2 I have still works so it gets turned on to play those games, and I've got a 10TB NAS cabinet with every known working ROM that I can collect from sites like Zophar's. I have the original SNES prototype of Sonic before Sega went ahead and made the Genesis.

Re:The real problem was Blu-Ray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27725657)

There is no such thing as a Sonic prototype for the SNES. Sonic is a Sega creation and as such was only ever intended for Sega consoles, not to mention the fact that the Mega Drive/Genesis predates the Super Famicom/SNES by 2 years in their respective markets and Sonic the Hedgehog was released before the SNES. The Sonic ROM you are talking about was fan made with ripped sprites, it is not official.

Re:The real problem was Blu-Ray (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27725073)

DVD would have been more than enough,

No, it isn't. Some devs were beginning to feel the pinch of capacity on the PS2, even with dual-layer. IIRC the PS2 Star Ocean game is a two disk game. I, for one, don't want to go back to the days of disk swapping and the linearity that induced. You'd never be able to fit some of the released PS3 games on a single DVD.

Taking over the market? (1, Troll)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719577)

http://blog.wired.com/games/2009/04/march-2009s-top.html

Paints an intresting picture. Not one that should upset Nintendo, they are doing fine, but the 3rd part game publishers, well that is a different story.

Combined with a recent slashdot article that showed the Wii got the least playing hours, it seems the Wii has opened a new segment, the very casual, occasional game buying public. They got the money to spend and aren't afraid to buy new hardware/controllers but they just won't be buying a new title every month.

Nintendo loves this, they make money on their hardware sales so if somebody buys a Wii Fit set and NOTHING else EVER again, they are happy, they got their profit.

But for 3rd party "regular" game makers, that is not good. It means the install base is NOT the same as target audience size for your games.

That is the reason 3rd parties are not to committed for the Wii and continue to aim for the small install bases of the 360 and the Wii, few machines but more people who are into "real" games and will buy them on a regular basis.

It is in a way unfair to really put the three consoles in the same group. Really, you got multiple gaming markets.

1: Cheapo's. Free online games on the PC. Largest market by far with an install base in the hundreds of millions.

2: Hard core gamers. PC, willing to spend money, the land of the MMO's. Install base hard to estimate but tricky because of piracy, although games that don't have to worry about Piracy can make it big (just how much does WoW take in each month)

3: Gamers. PC, 360, PS3, somewhat willing to spend cash but not to much. The traditional gamer who is reluctant to pay a monthly fee and wants their games to last but also be traditional.

4: Mobile gamers. DS, PSP, mobile phones. Got money, but just want a nice game they can play on the go and that is fun and quick. Puzzle games do well, anything you can pick up and go and pause.

5: The non-gamers who just happen to use a gaming console. Wii. WiiFit and such are not really games, they are activities you just happen to use a game console to do. Potentially a huge market but there is a problem, they are by definition, unending games. You don't finish them. So you don't need to buy the sequel, or a clone, or even a different take of it. If you bought the Wii to keep fit, then that is the only purchase you will make for a LONG time. That is NOT the way the other markets work.

Sony made a mistake, not so much with the Cell as with the blueray drive they insisted upon. While DVD would NOT have been enough, Blueray was to much to soon. Either they should have waited or thought of a different solution.

However, I wouldn't count them out yet. The PS2 was called a failure to at the start, people always like to see the big guys fall, and many complained that it was to hard to code for. But look at the charts, PS2 games STILL sell and even make the charts. Where is the X-box or the gamecube or the gameboy advance? I have no idea if the PS3 has hidden depths but we know the limits of the 360 and the Wii. The race is not over until the next round has started. Will developers be able to keep the PS3 alive for as long as the PS2?

Will Microsoft, now even windows is not making them as much as it used to, be able to fund the next sequel in time? The X-box aged fast, how fast is the 360 going to age? Is the market going to want its sequel when the PS3 and the Wii will be cheaper and perhaps even just as good?

I wouldn't make to many conculusions yet about who won this round of the console wars. If there even can be a winner when 1 party has effectively said it is going to run a in a different race and another party is spending a fortune on repairing its consoles.

Re:Taking over the market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27719627)

Combined with a recent slashdot article that showed the Wii got the least playing hours, it seems the Wii has opened a new segment, the very casual, occasional game buying public. They got the money to spend and aren't afraid to buy new hardware/controllers but they just won't be buying a new title every month.

I'm assuming you're talking about the Nielsen usage statistics. As it happens, they botched those and had to issue a correction later:

http://news.vgchartz.com/news.php?id=3371 [vgchartz.com]

Re:Taking over the market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27719913)

At least post the updated stats:

The corrected, updated chart instead shows the most-used consoles for the month were PlayStation 2 (23.7%), Wii (20.7%), Xbox 360 (18.2%), PlayStation 3 (9.0%), Xbox (7.9%), and GameCube (3.3%) bringing up the rear. Portable consoles and PC usage was not listed for the study.

Re:Taking over the market? (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719647)

There's very few good 3rd party games on the Wii as is. There's a considerably higher ratio of shovel ware to good games than the other consoles.

Re:Taking over the market? (5, Insightful)

Anenome (1250374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719775)

"There's very few good 3rd party games on the Wii as is. There's a considerably higher ratio of shovel ware to good games than the other consoles."

- I actually don't blame Ninty for this problem, it's largely called by the controller. Call it the learning-curve on a new controller paradigm. The Wii revolutionized the market by introducing a control scheme that the public has embraced. There's no going back on that front, and I fully expect to see a Sony and MS version of the Wiimote next gen. This generation has seen the limits of N's original Wii technology which, in retrospect, isn't great. N recently released a gyroscope based add-on which makes the controller a true 1:1 input device (as far as tilt goes, someone will add positional tracking eventually) and will likely be standard in the next console.

I also wouldn't be surprised if a very large number of people whom grew up with the NES and SNES love the Virtual Console and are today buying games on it both for nostalgic value and to share with their own children, which by now are in the newborn to 10 y.o. range.

Re:Taking over the market? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27720345)

> There's a considerably higher ratio of shovel ware to good games than the other consoles.

This is hardly something new to the Wii. It's simply a function of popularity.

The point of shovelware is basically to quickly cash in on something popular. The games need to be produced quicky, at very low cost, and ideally using some kind of existing character or franchise to try to move copies of the game. Failing that, rip off something else that's currently popular.

Since this is basically a hit-and-run tactic, there's really no spare time or budget left for porting to multiple platforms. For it to work, you have to pick the single largest market, and go after that.

At the moment, that's the Wii. The Wii took over this title for the PS2. For a brief period during the transition, many of these shovelware games were produced for both platforms, but they tend to be Wii-exclusive now. The PS2 took over this title from the PS1, which took over from the SNES, which took over from the Genesis, which took over from the NES...

Seriously - go and look at the NES library. It's terrible.

Re:Taking over the market? (2, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27720425)

Also the shovelware problem, when you are trying to quickly throw out a mediocre game, it's easier to make something based on an existing game and just tack on half assed support for the control system, rather than designing a game for the control system.

New Play Control! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27720937)

it's easier to make something based on an existing game and just tack on half assed support for the control system, rather than designing a game for the control system.

You mean like the New Play Control! series [wikipedia.org] , such as New Play Control! Pikmin, New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis, and even the launch title New Play Control! The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess? But then I guess those games are better than mediocre.

Re:Taking over the market? (5, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27720747)

A general problem with pointing at third party software not selling on the Wii is that not all software is equal. When a third party loses against Nintendo it's often not a battle of Nintendo's brightest vs that third party's brightest, it tends to be a battle between Nintendo's brightest vs the third party's outsourced port team that can barely spell OpenGL. While I won't dispute that Nintendo's brightest are extremely bright and it can get very hard to beat them they're definitely not going to be outdone by some third rate effort that got funded by the leftovers in the annual budget. That's in part because publishers don't understand the Wii market, many go in with the wrong assumptions about the userbase and obviously fall flat as it turns out the customer their game was intended for does not exist.

What should also be pointed at is the tie-in ratio (software sold per console on average) which was 6 for both the Wii and PS3 the last time I've seen a story about it (beginning of 2009 IIRC), either the PS3's audience has the same buy-one-game mentality or the Wii's does not and instead simply doesn't buy games it doesn't like.

Potentially a huge market but there is a problem, they are by definition, unending games. You don't finish them. So you don't need to buy the sequel, or a clone, or even a different take of it. If you bought the Wii to keep fit, then that is the only purchase you will make for a LONG time. That is NOT the way the other markets work.

Works fine for board games. Hell, even videogames didn't always end, in the early arcade age it was normal for a game to go on indefinitely until you either ran out of lives or the game glitched out and yet games kept being developed after that. There's always new ways to give the player new experiences. I don't think this whole "play through once, then trade in and buy the sequel" approach was really in place before the invention of FMVs, games had a length of ~30 minutes in one run but you'd play them over and over to get better at them until you could beat Contra on one life or something.

Will developers be able to keep the PS3 alive for as long as the PS2?

That is not a matter of ability but willingness. The PS2 receives games because it was by far the biggest selling console of its generation and there are still many people with PS2s hooked up who will buy PS2 games so devs release PS2 games to sell to those masses. I don't think the PS3 will end up in the same position, no matter how much Sony promises a 10 year lifespan (which I also think was only caused by the #1 position on the PS1 and PS2) they won't be able to convince developers to care about the PS3 over the next gen systems unless it finishes as a clear first and that is extremely unlikely from what we've seen so far.

The X-box aged fast, how fast is the 360 going to age?

The XBox didn't really age faster than the other systems but it got abandoned quickly because it was pretty far back in sales and they hoped to get an advantage by moving first this time (and I think it did work out for them to some degree).

Is the market going to want its sequel when the PS3 and the Wii will be cheaper and perhaps even just as good?

Yeah, that's the real question but it can only be answered if we know what the next XBox will do different from this one. If it's going to be another graphics update they won't stand a chance as graphics are pushed as far as the customer cares (and further). I'm not saying technology won't improve but I'm saying people don't care. Sony could easily run into the same problem though, if they make the PS4 another attempt at pushing graphics further they'll suffer just as much. If either console offers a significant improvement (in the eyes of the customer) then it could very well succeed more. For the record I don't expect the 360 to get a sequel long before the PS3 does though the Wii might end up lasting longer since its primary values can be improved without replacing the console itself.

Re:Taking over the market? (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27720933)

The article is out of date. The sales for MadWorld have gotten closer to 100,000 by now. But still, it is not getting sales nearly as close at it should have been. It did pretty damn well for being released in the same week as Resident Evil 5. We all no how fickle hardcore gamers are over hi-def graphics.

Re:Sony has lost its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27720055)

Saying that somebody thought Cell could replace a video card is same as referring to your computer as a "hard drive" i.e. displaying your own incompetency. Cell was designed to work with a rasterizer, the same way EE worked with GS. You are probably re-translating fanboy speculation about replacing PS3 graphics chip with an off-the-shelf NVidia. This does not mean PS3 was meant to be without a dedicated graphics chip, this just means Toshiba or whoever was in charge could not deliver the custom chip.

Re:Sony has lost its way (2, Informative)

antime (739998) | more than 5 years ago | (#27720769)

According to David Shippy's "The Race for a New Game Machine", Sony planned on making a very simple graphics processor themselves and relying on the Cell to do the heavy work, but around mid-2005 they realized they weren't going to be able to make it for the planned Christmas 2005 release.

That said, I do remember reading an interview with Kutaragi where he said they did plan on using a second Cell for graphics at some point but realized it wouldn't work; I assume this was at a very early stage in the project.

Re:Sony has lost its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27722875)

Well, Cell is a general purpose processor. It can display pixels on a screen just as well as a blu ray drive or a wi-fi AP can. My point was that Kutaragi, having a degree in Electronics, surely knows this. Having a second Cell that could be dedicated to graphics task would not be bad, of course, but it would not replace video framebuffer/rasterizer/output.

Re:Sony has lost its way (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27720063)

At least one laptop manufacturer is including a chip with 4 Cell SPUs and IBM is selling Cell blades, so some people are using them. Unfortunately, because they aimed for the graphics market they only included single-precision floating point which meant that a lot of their potential market in high-performance computing ignored the chip (they all believe they need double-precision floating point, even the ones that are mainly running integer-only FORTRAN code).

There is still a lot of potential for the Cell. Toshiba, for example, are considering using it in HDTVs to decode all of the available MPEG-2 digital TV channels in parallel so there is no delay switching channels on digital DV and you can see channel previews easily. A lot of the early failures of the Cell were due to poor compiler support, but now LLVM has a Cell SPU back end this may change - it matches up very closely, for example, with OpenCL. Now that modern GPUs are adopting very similar designs to the Cell (i.e no fixed-function pipeline, just lots of SIMD units), it may start to be competitive in other areas.

The Cell hasn't exactly taken the world by storm, but it's probably premature to claim it's dead.

Re:Sony has lost its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27720333)

A Cell/x86 combo would make an EPIC Mac Pro.

Re:Sony has lost its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27720351)

What's the point?
Larrabee makes more sense, and I think Apple would go with that for the next Mac Pro.

Re:Sony has lost its way (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27720693)

I agree, I think Cell still has potential, however I think to use it in a console was rather idiotic. If perhaps you gave developers the same kind of support that Microsoft does then you could possibly pull it off, but you'd still need a decent graphics card of course which the PS3 sadly lacks.

I think the GP's point would've been better stated that Cell is dead for many of the purposes it was originally claimed to be amazing for. That doesn't of course mean it's dead in plenty of other areas as you rightly point out.

It has it's place for sure, I'm just not sure that generic processing for desktop or even many generic server systems or possibly even gaming is it.

Re:Sony has lost its way (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27721117)

I believe Cell is in the PS/3 for the same reason that BluRay is in the PS/3: So that Sony can get volumes up to a high level before they start selling to third parties and to build the installed base. I wouldn't count Cell out for graphics either. Tungsten Graphics have a working OpenGL pipeline that runs on the SPUs, although they haven't done much optimisation yet. For things like ray tracing or volumetric rendering, the Cell would also do quite well. I wouldn't be surprised if games that use the Cell for video start coming out in a little while.

Re:Sony has lost its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27723457)

Some [fidgit.com] ps3 [beyond3d.com] game [videogamer.com] already uses the Cell for video stuff

Re:Sony has lost its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27720331)

Nintendo's consoles may have been weak but they still made a profit so they were not entiraly kept up by their portable consoles.

Re:Sony has lost its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27720841)

Screw TFA. That Wiimote head-tracking video is way cool.

Re:Sony has lost its way (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 5 years ago | (#27722339)

Great video. One thing though. The gamers I know find very few compelling reasons for moving. Unless there's some saucy nudity or a clue hidden in the corner of the 3D room, they'll not move. And so the 3D illusion slowly degrades to good ole 3d. Much like going to the gym. You almost always have time but mostly you can't be bothered.

And as with all their products... (5, Interesting)

Mnemennth (607438) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719415)

... Sony had taken a brilliant innovation and nearly destroyed it by insisting on some form of proprietary hardware or another. Be it battery packs on their cameras or proprietary memory cards on almost everything they've ever made, they STILL don't understand how trying to OWN the standard almost guarantees you will NOT be compliant with whatever standard eventually develops, and therefore drives many potential customers to look elsewhere for products they would love to buy from Sony...

mnem

Where's the BetaMax?

Re:And as with all their products... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27719907)

What about bluray? They seem to have won this round. They've gone into a partnership to support it, I suppose, but that suggests that they learnt something from past experience...

~jabithew (AC because I moderated this thread).

Re:And as with all their products... (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27720415)

Is Bluray really doing well in the market? It did better than HD-DVD, but that seems to be like comparing SACD with DVD-A, and ignoring CDs and MP3/AAC downloads. A lot of people think DVD is 'good enough' and will likely only buy BD if it is cheaper than DVD, which won't be for a few years. BD video is only 30Mb/s, and home Internet connections are likely to be faster than that by the time BD becomes cheaper DVD - they already are in some parts of the world. With 10-15Mb/s and some buffering, you can stream a BD-quality movie if you remember to start the download three quarters of an hour or so before you want to watch it.

The installed base of BD is about 6 million in the USA (figures from end of 2008, so maybe 8 million now if we're optimistic, but that's including all PS/3 units, even the ones that are plugged into non-HD TVs and so don't benefit from BD at all). DVDs have an order of magnitude more installed and I wouldn't be surprised if the number of people in the USA with 10Mb/s or higher Internet connections is greater than the number with BD players.

In the country (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27720999)

BD video is only 30Mb/s, and home Internet connections are likely to be faster than that by the time BD becomes cheaper DVD

Even in the country, where 0.05 Mbps dial-up is considered "a good connection"?

Re:In the country (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27721123)

What proportion of the population lives in these areas? 5%? They're not really statistically significant when it comes to a mass-market product.

Re:And as with all their products... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27721119)

Ok, ok we know that Sony isn't liked around here because of the rootkit but lets not be naive here with the market and history of the DVD player pricing.

REPEAT AFTER ME
"HARDWARE GETS CHEAPER OVER TIME LIKE ANY TECHNOLOGY"
Simple economics, although applied to todays situation it will be a slower adoption. I see combo units coming out and DVD's being slowly phased out like VHS but even longer.

This is silly this argument that people are going to watch movies over the internet; what exacty would a person want to watch the show on a tiny 17" screen.
I think Satellite users are screwed the most in the long run by the alloted bandwidth of a satellite, you can't beat FIOS/TWC/Charter/etc's fiber lines and superior streaming capabilities.

You know, the average person knows how to connect their computer to their TV's or wants to drag it over there. Maybe in lala land with captain Hook, but that is not the reality of the market you keep referring to..

I saw so much hoopla around here during the HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray war, that when it became overwhelming evident that BR was gonna be the winner. All of a sudden you got all these posts claiming streaming over broadband was gonna actually be the next winner and BR was already dead.

Just wait for the sub $200 player before jumping the gun.

http://www.cepro.com/article/blu_ray_adoption_wont_happen_until_2009_research_finds/ [cepro.com]

Thankfully HD-DVD and all its fanboys have died off, unfortunately the bitterness still hangs in the air from them getting paddled by their silly arguments.
I still laugh when I go to FRY's and see the full stocked shelf of HD-DVD players for sale. Add to it all the people who bought the disc must feel like suckers for buying one of the shortest mass produced technology in awhile.

Re:And as with all their products... (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27721281)

This is silly this argument that people are going to watch movies over the internet; what exacty would a person want to watch the show on a tiny 17" screen.

Nice straw man you've got there. I take it you've never seen anything like the AppleTV? You know, a little, cheap set-top box that plugs into a TV and delivers, uh, movies over the Internet? You've not looked at the latest HD-TV designs from the likes of Samsung which has an ARM CPU inside and can connect to an ethernet connection to, uh, watch TV from over the network?

I already watch TV over the Internet. It was trivial to set up - plug in an old laptop to a projector (if you can plug in a SCART lead, you can do that), it was recognised automatically, and I just click on the full-screen button in iPlayer to make it work. The laptop is a bit too old to handle the HD content that the BBC is streaming now, but a machine with hardware H.264 (i.e. anything with a recent ARM chip) could do it easily and now that the content is there expect to see companies start offering this kind of machine. Most HD TVs use HDMI, and if you can plug in a BluRay player with an HDMI output you can plug in a computer or Internet-enabled set-top box with HDMI.

Re:And as with all their products... (1)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 5 years ago | (#27722595)

Was D-VHS ever actually sold in any markets? If so for how long?

Re:And as with all their products... (1)

Ifandbut (1328775) | more than 5 years ago | (#27722705)

A lot of people think DVD is 'good enough' and will likely only buy BD if it is cheaper than DVD, which won't be for a few years.

That's what alot of 'older' (40+) people were saying at my work up till 4 months ago. One guy who does not even have cable got a HD-TV + Blu-ray player because of the digital switchover and was ecstatic about the increase in picture quality. Now 5 other engineers I work with all have HD-TV + Blu-ray and dont know how they watched TV without it.

For HD, seeing really is believing.

Re:And as with all their products... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27723417)

Or are they just rationalizing the fact that they're willing to buy movies at $30+ per disc now?

DVD is the happy medium between piracy and quality.

Re:And as with all their products... (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27725117)

I'd pay twice as much just for the better menu system and subtitles on BR -- it makes DVDs look like some 80s computer video hack.

Re:And as with all their products... (4, Interesting)

feepness (543479) | more than 5 years ago | (#27720373)

The PS3 runs Linux. Granted you cannot access 3D graphics but still it is the only major console to do so natively. Ever.

The PS3 can use any bluetooth/usb keyboard/mouse.

The PS3 can use any bluetooth headset.

The PS3 can be upgraded with any laptop hardrive.

This whole Sony forces you to use their technology meme has to die. They do so no more and often less than other manufacturers of their size.

Hell, HD-DVD was an entire attempt by MSFT to force a doomed from the start tech down the market's throat. Most egregious I've seen in ages.

Re:And as with all their products... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27721631)

But do they let you use bog-standard SD and SDHC cards?

Re:And as with all their products... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27722425)

The older models (60/80GB) have SD/SDHC drives in them, so yes but not in the newer models.

You'd be better off getting one of the older models anyways since they have the PS2 backwards compatibility.

Re:And as with all their products... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27723519)

Yes, actually. Memory Stick, SD/MMC, and CompactFlash/Microdrive are all on the PS3.

Re:And as with all their products... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27722375)

The PS3 runs Linux. Granted you cannot access 3D graphics but still it is the only major console to do so natively. Ever.

Pfft ... is the PS2 no longer a major console?

Re:And as with all their products... (1)

zyrorl (1069964) | more than 5 years ago | (#27724311)

And you needed an expensive developer kit to use ps2 linux... ps3 linux youc an install anytime without paying extra.

Re:And as with all their products... (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27725099)

$200 wasn't that expensive, and yes, I have one.

Re:And as with all their products... (1)

Mnemennth (607438) | more than 5 years ago | (#27722703)

And I suppose Sony wasn't trying to own the next video standard when they included Blu-Ray in the PS3, driving production costs higher than sale price? The only reason Sony has won the format war (so far) is they bought off whomever they had to. Only 2 months before Sony struck a deal with the other MPAA members, Blu-Ray had been declared DOA by a dozen prominent tech wonks, and HD-DVD the "new standard".

They gambled the entire company on PS3 and Blu-Ray, but people weren't buying. Both formats were too busy fighting it out to realize that the tiny window they had where there were HDTVs everywhere but nothing to show on them had passed.

For a while, existing DVD players looked HORRIBLE on the new crop of HDTVs, and there was great momentum to upgrade to SOME FORM of HD Video Disc. Absurdly high pricing of both HD Disc hardware and content combined with the advent of new, upconverting DVD players which looked very good (Not as good as native HD, but good enough) took away that momentum. Now people didn't HAVE to spend a fortune upgrading to HD hardware or replacing their entire library of existing movies, so for most people, the format war turned into a great big DILLIGAF.

The thing that worries me is this: Sony sold its corporate soul (As black and grimy as it may be) to make Blu-Ray happen; you can be assured that one way or another, that debt WILL come due, and WE, the consumers, will ultimately pay the price.

mnem

As for PS3 "being compatible with all kinds of generic hardware"... PUH-LEASE. Anyone who's ever actually owned a PS3 knows that's a crock of crap. So they opened up the Bluetooth 1.1 API. Big fat hairy deal - it cost them NOTHING to do so, and saved them a fortune in development costs. And upgrading a storage drive is easy when the OS is in NVRAM - DUH!

Re:And as with all their products... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 5 years ago | (#27724611)

I play Street Fighter 4 with a generic USB headset, and a PS2->USB adapter using my Hori Real Arcade Pro 2.

I use the web browser with my generic usb keyboard and mouse.

I can hook up generic flash drives to back up save data and install movies.

I can upgrade my ps3 with a standard 2.5" SATA drive.

Yes, this crap needs to die.

Particularly when you consider MS wants 99 bucks for a 60gb drive.

Re:And as with all their products... (1)

Mnemennth (607438) | more than 5 years ago | (#27726155)

First off, you forget ALL THE STUFF that went before the PS3... I'm not forgetting the PSP and MagicGate and every d@mn camera they ever made and are still making, and you shouldn't either. Secondly - try plugging your USB hard drive from your PC in with your collection of music or videos on it - the PS3 will ask "Do you want to format this drive?"

You want to pick a few generic peripherals, none of which have enough profit margin to be worth Sony's trouble, out of the thousands of possibilities to claim "compatibility", and that for ONE piece of equipment Sony made; get a grip. Like I said, big fat hairy deal - all they did was save themselves money on development.

mnem

You think the attitude that made the Sony RootKit possible has magically vanished at Sony? Grow up...

Re:And as with all their products... (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27726427)

Secondly - try plugging your USB hard drive from your PC in with your collection of music or videos on it - the PS3 will ask "Do you want to format this drive?"

No, it won't, as long as the drive is FAT32. Your drive is probably NTFS.

Re:And as with all their products... (1)

rtechie (244489) | more than 5 years ago | (#27724003)

Hell, HD-DVD was an entire attempt by MSFT to force a doomed from the start tech down the market's throat. Most egregious I've seen in ages.

Um, no. It was really Toshiba and other hardware manufacturers that pushed the format because, basically, they thought Blu-ray was too expensive. Since Sony was a Microsoft rival it was natural for them to sign on the HD-DVD, but they showed not real commitment to the format. Bill Gates was quoted as saying "This is the last format war." and believed downloaded and streaming video (and audio) to be the future. Microsoft has shown MUCH more commitment to that approach. However, MSFT did provide the language used by HD-DVD, HDi.

Re:And as with all their products... (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27725183)

The PS3 runs Linux. Granted you cannot access 3D graphics but still it is the only major console to do so natively. Ever.

No, you're forgetting the PS2:

[code]
[CronoCloud@midgar CronoCloud]$ cat /etc/redhat-release
PS2 Linux release 1.0

[CronoCloud@midgar CronoCloud]$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
cpu : MIPS
cpu model : R5900 V3.1
system type : EE PS2
BogoMIPS : 392.39
byteorder : little endian
[/code]

Actually I don't have Linux running on a PS2 anymore, the hard drive failed (after 6 years of heavy use) with boot sector errors. Sure, I could probably do a reinstall and let the installer try wipe and fix the errors, or pull the unused hard drive out of "junon", but I have only one PS2 that can actually read that blasted slightly non-standard RTE boot disc and it has my regular HDD for PS2 gaming in it with a FFXI install (and SOCOM 2 and 3 data and the RPG Maker 3 install) The PS2 Linux RTE disc is the only NTSC PS2 disc I have that was manufactured in Japan and for some reason as PS2's age they have trouble reading it. Using the RTE is an easy way to diagnose future DRE errors, they'll show up with the RTE disc before they will with regular games.

It is nice that the PS3 doesn't need a blasted boot disc or additional hardware (other than a keyboard/mouse) to run Linux. I have YDL 6.1 on mine.

The "Mass" Effect (no pun intended...) (5, Interesting)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719421)

"One of the crucial points in the campaign to win hearts and minds came when Sony offered a solution to the problem that Japanese game publishers had no production capacity or supply infrastructure themselves. After all, under the Nintendo model, Nintendo would make and distribute their software for them ... One of the crucial points in the campaign to win hearts and minds came when Sony offered a solution to the problem that Japanese game publishers had no production capacity or supply infrastructure themselves. After all, under the Nintendo model, Nintendo would make and distribute their software for them"

This was the real force behind the success. It brought a massive amount of Japanese-culture into game design. Game developers didn't have to make everything "culture agnostic" if they didn't want to, and this was a big turning point.

Re:The "Mass" Effect (no pun intended...) (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719733)

"One of the crucial points in the campaign to win hearts and minds came when Sony offered a solution to the problem that Japanese game publishers had no production capacity or supply infrastructure themselves. After all, under the Nintendo model, Nintendo would make and distribute their software for them ... One of the crucial points in the campaign to win hearts and minds came when Sony offered a solution to the problem that Japanese game publishers had no production capacity or supply infrastructure themselves. After all, under the Nintendo model, Nintendo would make and distribute their software for them"

This was the real force behind the success. It brought a massive amount of Japanese-culture into game design. Game developers didn't have to make everything "culture agnostic" if they didn't want to, and this was a big turning point.

Uh, that has nothing to do with the excerpt you quoted. The quote talks about game developers needing a way to get their software to leave their computer and go into a consumer's living room. It has nothing to do with making anything "culturally agnostic" or not.

Also, you made me read that quote twice. :(

Re:The "Mass" Effect (no pun intended...) (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719805)

I need to work on my Ctrl+C Ctrl+V skillz...

I was referring to the "the problem that Japanese game publishers had no production capacity or supply infrastructure themselves" part. The PS made this possible, and I quote: "The net effect was that there were hundreds and hundreds of thirdparty publishers in Japan. Tonnes and tonnes of product being developed for PlayStation".

The import market really picked up when western players noticed that there was some really awesome stuff being developed for the Japanese market, and in many cases you only needed a couple of reference pages in order to play (action games and the like). This motivated direct-translation titles, when prior to that the marketing people in western countries thought that for a game to succeed it needed to remove all of the cultural references that would be oh-so-confusing for the slow, dumb people that play these games.

Re:The "Mass" Effect (no pun intended...) (4, Interesting)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27720315)

You're kind of correct,but have the wrong conclusions.

Nintendo had draconian policies about publishing. They arbitrarily limited the amount of games a company could publish per year. They required the publisher to order all cartridges through Nintendo, with a substatntial lead time. Per-cart prices were high. If you ordered too few, and the game did very well, it could be months before you had more stock on the shelves. If you ordered too many, and the game didn't do so well, you had a stack of expensive carts lying around.

Sony threw the doors open to developers; buy a dev kit and go to town. Publish a game a week if you want. Also, they didn't require CD manufacturing to go through them; any old CD pressing plant could do it. If you had a hit on your hands, you could, in theory, have another several hundred thousand copies pressed over a weekend for pennies per.

Let alone the fact that carts were so space limited compared to CDs.

If you can find Game Over: Press Start To Continue (the story of Nintendo from Hanafuda card manufacturer to the N64, basically) and Revolutionaries at Sony (the story of the Playstation) it's interesting to read the two sides.

Anything That Creates an Addiction is Profitable (2, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719435)

Anything that creates an addiction is bound to be profitable.

Consider drugs, pornography, video games, etc.

Most of us have known people who play video games for hours. Their obsession drives them to buy new graphics cards, new games, etc. They simply cannot stop themselves. Their whole lives revolve around creating the best video-gaming experience in the world.

Re:Anything That Creates an Addiction is Profitabl (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719473)

Tell that to the farmers who need subsidies shoved up their arse till the cows come home. After all I haven't seen a human survive without food (breatharian nonsense does not count).

Are you insinuating . . . . (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719603)

Anything that creates an addiction is bound to be profitable.

. . . that Slashdot is profitable?!?!?!?!?

The next time someone posts one of those "1), 2), 3) Profit!" comments, maybe I should pay attention.

Books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27720353)

[blockquote]Most of us have known people who read books for hours. Their obsession drives them to buy new reading lights, new books, etc. They simply cannot stop themselves. Their whole lives revolve around reading the best book experience in the world.[/blockquote]

You can say the same for sex, eating, sleep, working, dance, painting, golf etc.

Anything that induces a pleasurable feeling can become an "addiction" for some people. As a psychology student I have looked at the studies and most of them show that video game "addicts" are actually doing what they do to escape an unpleasant reality, not because they got "addicted".

Fancy that, people who have an unpleasant reality escape into fantasy. Obviously so much different to the nerd kids who hid in the library and became "addicted" to Tolkein or Physics or Maths back in the 50's.

AMIRITE GUYS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27719451)

I know it's fun to bash Sony.. but really.. Come on! Get over it.

sony's playstation success (1)

zorkdork (216545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719509)

has to thank, in a large part, the pirated CDROM and modchips that made their consoles sell so much in asia.

the other brands that had too good copy protection or games too bad to bother copying did not fare as well in asia as the PS and PS2.

i wouldn't be surprised if sony actually had a hand in helping pirated CDs of PS/PS2 games proliferate, pirated or genuine games the console had to be genuine.

Ruining Sony's good name (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27719713)

Sony's old guard was scared that it was going to destroy this wonderful, venerable, 50-year old brand.

RootKit [wikipedia.org]
RootKit [sony.com]

Exploding Batteries [wikipedia.org]
Exploding Batteries [sony.com]

There ya go.

Happy 200th, Edge (4, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27720083)

This is a reprint of an article from the magazine's 200th issue. (It's now on 201.) Seeing as the "super-consoles" were the biggest thing to happen after the magazine's inception, it's kind of appropriate that they chose to do an article on the most successful of them.

Rise and Fall Indeed (3, Insightful)

iregisteredjustforth (1155123) | more than 5 years ago | (#27720409)

"Perhaps St Augustine was right and there is only one story: of creation, fall and redemption. In PlayStationâ(TM)s case, weâ(TM)re now waiting on the latter."

The Sony tale is one of how to take huge market share and massive goodwill from your business partners and throw it all away by convincing yourself you are different from all the others and that the rules don't apply to you. (George Bush post-9/11 parallels anyone?)

Sony is an electronics company that makes it products out of pcbs and transistors like any other, but they forgot that and seemed instead to be arrogantly convinced they had some divine right to dominate the console market and could do whatever thet want.

Nintendo has done with the Wii what Sony did with the PS1 - create a system the market wants. Instead sony built the machine it wanted to make (replete with technologies like cell and blu-ray)and tried to use its strength and dominance of the previous generation to force the market to like what it had built. We all know the result.

Nostalgia time! (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 5 years ago | (#27720541)

Anyone remeber those old PSX games. What was it now...

Ridge Racer: Racing game with had Space Invader as the loading screen. Back in 95 the game looked amazing and drew crowds.
Wipeout: Never liked this one, way to hardcore for me but it looked different enough that it made you want to try it out. Another crowd pleaser for sure.
Jumping Jack Flash: I still remember the name! Of all the early PSX games this was the one I wanted to play most, but it seemingly vanished of the marked before I got the chance :-( Probably shitty, but it was the first 3D platformer - more so than that dull "Bug" game Sega touted.
Loaded: Some sort of top down shooter. Didn't impress me by its looks so I only played it for a few minutes. Still remember it though. How I wanted I playstation :-)
Torshinden: This was a game that sold itself on graphics, but what graphics! The show off title of its time.

At the same time there was the Amiga CD32, CD-I, Jaguar and 3DO warring for my attention but they looked dull in comparison. When I saw the PSX it was immediately "the console to get", naturally I waited for the blurred up Nintendo 64 - no Ultra 64 - since Nintendo promised to blow the doors of the PSX. Ahh well.

Sega Saturn looked promising too, but it was big, ugly and expensive. That the early games were glitch fests didn't help either. In contrast the PSX was impressive from all angles: size, looks, controllers, and most of all... games! Sony's finest hour.

Re:Nostalgia time! (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27725245)

Jumping Jack Flash: I still remember the name! Of all the early PSX games this was the one I wanted to play most, but it seemingly vanished of the marked before I got the chance :-( Probably shitty, but it was the first 3D platformer - more so than that dull "Bug" game Sega touted.

The name is just "Jumping Flash" and it's available on the Playstation Network for download for the PS3 and PSP.

Sega's role? (1)

antime (739998) | more than 5 years ago | (#27720847)

One thing that's completely omitted from the Edge piece is mentioned in IGN's history of Sega [ign.com] :

"We got together with [Sony] and defined what we'd like to see in our next hardware. We had this great idea that it should be a joint SEGA-Sony hardware system. If we had to take a loss on the hardware (which was the norm then), we'd split the loss on the hardware, but we wouldn't split software, so any software they did, they'd get 100% of the profits, and any software we did, we'd get 100% of the profits. It seemed like a fair deal since we were eons ahead of them in terms of software development.

"So we go to Japan, and Sony management liked the idea. Then we went to SEGA, and Nakayama hated the idea. [laughs] So that was the end of that, and the rest is history once again. Those were the specs that became the PlayStation." -- Tom Kalinske

Earlier, Sega of Japan had also shot down Sega of America's proposal to use the SGI chipset that later became the N64.

Here's (0)

Haoie (1277294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27723697)

In a few months, it'll be 14 years since the release of the first console.

Quite a milestone I say. And that's why it's remained my preferred console for collecting.

Re:Here's (1, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27723913)

Umm, 14 years? The Fairchild VES in 1976, buddy. You're too young to even speak on this subject.

Re:Here's (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27725725)

How the hell is this a troll? The first usage of "CONSOLE" as applied to a videogame system was the Fairchild VES - quoting wikipedia:

"The first company to use the term "console" to officially refer to its video game system was Fairchild with the Video Entertainment System (VES) in 1976.[4] Since then, definition has widened to include entire systems, as well as to describe alternate platforms such as handheld game consoles, TV games, and multimedia devices"

This person definitely shows they're not quite old enough to know about other systems. Hell, I bet most of you never heard of the ActionMAXX, which used a VCR and lightgun. Sonic Fury, BABY!

This poster, with the 7-digit UID and the assumption that 14 years ago was the release of the first console shows that this person is far younger than most of us on this board.

This isn't a troll - this is common fucking sense. Mods need to go back to school and relearn critical thinking.

Re:Here's (1)

Fritz the CopyCat (1234288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27726157)

Haoie is obviously referring to the first PlayStation console, released in North America in 1995 (that's 14 years ago).
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