Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

A History of the Shrinking Game Console

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the wonder-when-the-wee-wii-is-coming-out dept.

PlayStation (Games) 107

After Sony's announcement of the PS3 Slim earlier this week, CNet took a look back at size-reducing hardware revisions over the past couple decades in console design, noting that they're gradually arriving sooner and sooner after the initial release. "Does that mean it'll creep even lower, into two-year or even yearly cycles between major revisions? Quite possibly, yes. It's worked very well with handheld gaming devices, and even some consumer electronics devices like iPods. Apple has turned out slimmer, more powerful versions of the iPod every year since 2001, and yearly events like E3 put continued pressure on console makers to show off something big. In the case of the PS3 Slim though, it could just be that the PS3 had to be pushed out to meet its launch window, and that the Slim is what Sony was going for in the first place. Advances in the PlayStation 3's core technology, like the cell processor, also underwent changes since the console launched, including changes to fabrication that have taken the chip down from 90 nanometers to 65, then 45 — the size that can be found inside the Slim. These changes meant less power consumption, smaller components, and easier cooling."

cancel ×

107 comments

Bad comparison (0)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 4 years ago | (#29164399)

On one side they are talking about ever smaller appliances with more power. I don't see how the Slim PS3 qualifies. After all, it's the same stuff, just more efficient. That is a good thing, don't get me wrong, but it's way easier to accomplish than more advanced hardware in less space.

By the way, does anyone here know whether the Slim will have a dual voltage PSU?

Re:Bad comparison (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165405)

Actually there are unconfirmed rumors that the hardware runs at a higher clock rate.

Re:Bad comparison (1, Informative)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165887)

After all, it's the same stuff, just more efficient.

It's not the same stuff. In keeping with Sony's customary behaviour of cutting more corners with every hardware revision, this time around they've gone and removed the dual-boot ability.

Re:Bad comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29167479)

It's a video game console. How many PS3 owners do you think actually set up a dual-boot?

I swear, some people will find anything to whine about it.

Re:Bad comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29169165)

Re:Bad comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29171191)

Only 63,900 results, most of which are duplicate stories or simply articles saying that it can be done. That equates to a a tiny handful of people who are actually doing it.

Yeah, not a big loss.

Re:Bad comparison (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169177)

Considering how tightly they use a hypervisor to lock down the Cell, I'm not surprised.

Re:Bad comparison (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 4 years ago | (#29175355)

They do not lock down the Cell, they lock down the graphics card. This is to discourage people from using PS3 Linux as a cheap development environment. And now you can understand why they did that, as Linux is no longer an option (at least not without hacking-which I'm sure we'll see in a few months).

If current trends continue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29164423)

Soon, you'll be able to buy your consoles "pre-shrunk," and possibly "acid-washed."

Re:If current trends continue... (1)

davidphogan74 (623610) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165797)

You can already get a case cover in pink [uxcell.com] .

Imagine a handheld XBox (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#29164425)

It'd go something like this ... (and this would be the logo [today.com] )

Microsoft has announced its long-rumoured handheld XBox gaming console, to compete with the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS.

"The GameBoy will be wiped out by this!" said marketing marketer Shane Kim. The console, to be named the ZuneX ("we wanted a really evocative brand that would set the tone straight away") will integrate with XBox Live Arcade and the Zune music store and have phone capabilities.

"Weâ(TM)re also looking at instant-on, 1080p high-definition, Facebook, Twitter and Netflix deals, Project Natal, Windows 7, Internet Explorer 6, downloadable rings of death in every possible color ... nothing will hold a candle to the ZuneX. Google and Apple will be quaking in fear." The E74 error will also be updated to E75.

The device will be two feet by three feet and weigh twenty-four pounds. "That's an important feature. Wii Fit just canâ(TM)t compete with the rippling abs the ZuneX will give you." The device is fully portable within the length of the twenty-foot three-phase 415 volt power cable.

Re:Imagine a handheld XBox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29165003)

Power cables are for wusses. Use a car battery as a power source. And, like all things fun make sure its: Batteries Not Included.

Re:Imagine a handheld XBox (1)

craagz (965952) | more than 4 years ago | (#29171061)

Comes bundled with "Duke Nukem Forever"

What about NES Redesign (3, Informative)

simm_s (11519) | more than 4 years ago | (#29164467)

The NES went on a diet in the early 90's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NES_2 [wikipedia.org] as well. I am surprised that CNET missed that!

Re:What about NES Redesign (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29164499)

You are surprised that CNET's level of "research" didn't even pass the wikipedia test?

C'mon, this is CNET.

Re:What about NES Redesign (2, Interesting)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165995)

You are surprised that CNET's level of "research" didn't even pass the wikipedia test?

C'mon, this is CNET.

Lowensohn even got the Wikipedia citations that he did use wrong. He's labeled the Super Famicom Jr. as the Super Nintendo Jr., something that doesn't exist. No way in hell does the Jr. follow from the western SNES design, but there's still an arrow there for some reason...

The reason for not having the NES is apparently because it's too old. No "Four generations ago".
He should have called it "a compact history." Bloody commercial bloggers.

Re:What about NES Redesign (1)

PyroMosh (287149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29167337)

Although the SNES2 (or Junior, or whatever) very clearly is aesthetically inspired by the Super Famicom, and not by the North American "Betty Crocker" design of the SNES - It was the SNES2, and it was indeed released in North America.

Nintendo probably didn't see a need to re-redesign the Japanese re-design of the Super Famicom at the very end of the SNES' lifespan.

Though looking closer at the image they used, yeah, that clearly is the Japanese Super Famicom version of the re-design.

But as you can see, other than a slight shade difference on the buttons, and the logo text on the console itself, there's no difference aesthetically. Here's the North American SNES2 [kombo.com] for comparison.

Re:What about NES Redesign (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29167361)

>>>the Super Famicom Jr. as the Super Nintendo Jr.

That's trivial. There's no real difference between a S-Famicom and an SNES other than a name. HE LEFT OUT PREVIOUS GENERATIONS:

- NES released as more-compact NES 2

- Sega Master System released as SMS 2

- Atari VCS/2600 released as Atari 2600 jr.

- Intellivision released as Intellivision 2, and then the INTV

- Commodore 64 was released as compact, lighter-colored C64C. Yeah I know it's not a game console, but nearly everyone who owned this computer used it exclusively for gaming. It helped us survive the 1983-85 videogame crash, so it's worth mentioning.

Re:What about NES Redesign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29171309)

> The reason for not having the NES is apparently because it's too old. No "Four generations ago".
> He should have called it "a compact history."

I know. Sloppy journalism for real! Should have been titled "A History" rather than "The History."

Oh, wait.

Re:What about NES Redesign (0, Offtopic)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#29172093)

C'mon, this is CNET.

Yup, second only to Wired in terms of "articles anyone with passing knowledge of the topic beforehand will realize are complete Bullshit". It wouldn't be so bad if they weren't somewhat aimed at the technical crowd.

Re:What about NES Redesign (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29164607)

Not to mention the Nintendo Gameboy pocket or even the Intellivision 2, to only name these two.

Re:What about NES Redesign (4, Informative)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165525)

Actually, MOST consoles. (This'll be US-centric, here.)

Fairchild VES -> Fairchild Channel F System II
Atari VCS -> Atari 2600 Jr.
Mattel Intellivision -> Mattel Intellivision II
Nintendo Entertainment System -> Nintendo NES-101
Sega Master System -> Sega Master System II
Nintendo Game Boy -> Nintendo Game Boy Pocket
Sega Genesis -> Sega Genesis 2 -> Majesco/Sega Genesis 3 (and that's not even counting the Sega Nomad)
Nintendo Super NES -> Nintendo SNS-101
Sony PlayStation -> Sony PSone
Nintendo Game Boy Advance -> Nintendo GBA SP -> Nintendo GB Micro
Sony PlayStation 2 -> Sony Slimline PS2
Nintendo DS -> Nintendo DS Lite
Sony PlayStation 3 -> Sony PS3 Slim

And that list is far from exhaustive. :)

Re:What about NES Redesign (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#29164695)

Heretic, everyone knows there is only the one TRUE NES with the Zero Insertion Force cartridge system.

Re:What about NES Redesign (1)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | more than 4 years ago | (#29166007)

Heretic, everyone knows there is only the one TRUE NES with the Zero Insertion Force cartridge system.

Hey, CNET is bad enough, leave ZIF out of it! ;)

Re:What about NES Redesign (2, Funny)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#29167285)

I'm just bitter about switching to CD's is all. Blowing on the disk just isn't the same as blowing in the cartridges. It'd be great if the big three would come out with addons that didnt boot your game up until you blew in the "cartridge" and reinsterted it randomly.

Re:What about NES Redesign (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 4 years ago | (#29167517)

Blowing on the disk just isn't the same as blowing in the cartridges.

Japanese pr0n never was quite on the same sheet as Western pr0n. Thank goodness !

Re:What about NES Redesign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29165633)

Didn't something like this already happen with the C64 in the late 80's?

Re:What about NES Redesign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29165881)

C64 -- > C64gs

Coco -- > Coco2

Macbook -- > Etch a Sketch deluxe

Re:What about NES Redesign (2, Informative)

fyrie (604735) | more than 4 years ago | (#29173903)

C64 -- > C64gs

C64GS was a totally different type of market (just a console). The poster may be thinking of that, or the C64C, which was the regular C64 in a redesigned casing that looked closer to the C128.

Re:What about NES Redesign (1)

Cl1mh4224rd (265427) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165775)

I am surprised that CNET missed that!

From TFA: "Let's take a look at some notable shrinkage from the last three generations of consoles." (emphasis mine)

Re:What about NES Redesign (2, Informative)

JoshLowensohn (1623443) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165821)

As the article's author I'll chime in to mention that there's a big note at the very beginning of the article (before we go into the individual systems) that says we're only going back three generations. If we had continued to go back, the original NES along with the various Atari iterations would have been included. Cheers.

Re:What about NES Redesign (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 4 years ago | (#29167531)

As the article's author

+5 informative.

Re:What about NES Redesign (1)

djMouton (267156) | more than 4 years ago | (#29171283)

From TFA: "Let's take a look at some notable shrinkage from the last three generations of consoles....We're not including handheld consoles in this story, but parallels can be made between revisions to Nintendo's Game Boy and DS products, as well as Sony's PSP."

Re:What about NES Redesign (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | more than 4 years ago | (#29171285)

It didn't go on a diet, the original Famicom was already that small. They made the whole thing bulkier for US consumers.

Re:What about NES Redesign (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#29172595)

They're wrong about the Genesis too.

As for Sega's own hardware, the first and only major change for the 16-bit Genesis was to shrink in size.

Even before the Model 2 Genesis, Sega was screwing around with the insides [sega-16.com] of the console. Most of these revisions were unimportant, but in later Model 1 Genesis's they changed the audio hardware. What was once clear and full sound from the headphone jack became thin and staticy. If you like the Genesis, you owe it to yourself to seek out a Model 1 with the "High Definition Graphics" label on the top. Plug the headphone output into a good stereo. It will blow you away compared to any other Genesis.

Duh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29164477)

This might be the most stupid thing i've seen in recent memory on slashdot...

Wow... newsflash.. electronics get smaller over time!

Re:Duh? (4, Interesting)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#29164913)

What surprises me is that anyone particularly cares about the physical size of consoles.

So long as it's small enough to carry home from the store it doesn't need to be portable. It doesn't need to run off batteries, either, so as long as it doesn't cause your lights to dim or make the lounge room into a sauna, who cares how much power it draws?

Now don't get me wrong - technological improvements are desirable and all, but as a consumer I'd much rather go Nintendo's route and buy the same console cheaper, rather than a smaller console at the same price.

Alternatively, perhaps they could use to resources to invest in getting the next generation console out sooner?

Re:Duh? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165045)

It doesn't need to run off batteries, either, so as long as it doesn't cause your lights to dim or make the lounge room into a sauna, who cares how much power it draws?

  • I care, because I pay the electricity bill.
  • Mother Earth cares, because of the millions and millions gamers out there.

Re:Duh? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165459)

I care, because I pay the electricity bill.
Mother Earth cares, because of the millions and millions gamers out there.

Well yes, but to be honest... I'm fairly sure the 42" TV I'm pulling the Wii up on consumes lots more power than the Wii itself, probably in the 100-150W range. In any case, for $/hour of entertainment isn't exactly breaking the bank anyway.

Re:Duh? (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29167303)

Well yes, but to be honest... I'm fairly sure the 42" TV I'm pulling the Wii up on consumes lots more power than the Wii itself, probably in the 100-150W range. In any case, for $/hour of entertainment isn't exactly breaking the bank anyway.

A Wii, no. A Wii won't break the bank. But a PS3 is an energy hog.

http://www.hardcoreware.net/reviews/review-356-2.htm [hardcoreware.net]

About the same as my 46" TV, which draws 185W when on.

Re:Duh? (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29171889)

It doesn't need to run off batteries, either, so as long as it doesn't cause your lights to dim or make the lounge room into a sauna, who cares how much power it draws?

  • I care, because I pay the electricity bill.
  • I haven't had one of those in years. I heard that electricity is rapidly going up in cost. is that true?

  • Mother Earth cares, because of the millions and millions gamers out there.

I think gamers are responsible for global warming

Re:Duh? (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168281)

It doesn't need to run off batteries, either, so as long as it doesn't cause your lights to dim or make the lounge room into a sauna, who cares how much power it draws?

I care about heat, because the console is sharing a cabinet with a PVR, stereo receiver, etc.

Re:Duh? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29172961)

I have to agree with you. But Nintendo has the distinct advantage that their consoles are small to begin with. Compare the size of the GameCube to the PS2 or XBox. It's not only a lot smaller, it's also a lot lighter. Same goes for the Wii compared it's current generation counterparts. It's scarcely bigger than a DVD driver for a computer. It would make absolutely no sense for Nintendo to put out a smaller version.

Re:Duh? (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#29173115)

I agree entirely - there is a point where a device can become 'too small', eg. mobile phones that are too small to dial on, or peripherals that get dragged around by the cables plugged into them. The Wii is about where I expect a console should be - light enough to carry easily but hefty enough to sit stably on your AV cabinet shelf. Anything smaller would likely be disadvantageous.

Re:Duh? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#29175407)

What surprises me is that anyone particularly cares about the physical size of consoles.

Slim consoles increase the WAF [wikipedia.org] significantly.

2600 Jr? (1, Redundant)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29164491)

Or the Genesis 3? Or later Intellivisions fer cris'sake? I've noticed these 'History of' articles and retrogames sites kinda suck now. I was listening to a retrogames pod cast about peripherals and they spent the bulk of the cast talking about the Wii & Rock Band. Is it just me, or does game journalism kinda suck now?

Re:2600 Jr? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29164617)

Nobody really cares about video games except for literal and intellectual children, so mentioning the SNES is considered enough old-school cred.

Re:2600 Jr? (2, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165021)

Actually there's some sense there. Really, who aside from the nerdy geeky types really cares about the history of any technology? I expect most people these days are happy enough to use an object without really thinking too hard about where it came from or how it works. Certainly, to most kids these days, anything that predates Power Rangers is unbelievably ancient.

Hell, when I was a kid, the NES appeared to me to be the ONLY console game, ever. Even though I had some hind-brain understanding that there was atari and C64, the mere fact that they weren't part of my mid-to-late 80s Now made them entirely irrelevant. Who could possibly care or even want to know about anything else?

Just so. To the kids who have grown up with colour handhelds and never played a sprite-based game in their life, the old systems that we cherished and can ruminate over for hours seem so passe as to be unmentionable. When was the last time you actually impressed someone when you said "Hey man, I used to play games in, like, THREE colours, man"?

Re:2600 Jr? (1)

Keen Anthony (762006) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165947)

There is some sense there, yes. Game journalism does seem mostly focused the Ziff Davis soft reporting approach to technology. You don't find many articles that seriously discuss games in terms of game theory and with real social context. It all comes down to features reviews. My gaming history began with arcades, Atari VCS, and Vectrex, not to mention a slew of battery powered handhelds. I would love to see real discussion of these things, but how many game journalists are old enough to even have an appreciation for Atari VCS/2600? Most game journalists I've seen are in their 20s, so they necessarily see the NES as old school, and not say Zork.

Re:2600 Jr? (2, Insightful)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165721)

this is how shit gets lost in history and events are distorted!

Re:2600 Jr? (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 4 years ago | (#29166635)

Now? Game journalism has always sucked.

They might pre-shink by losing the optical drive (3, Interesting)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 4 years ago | (#29164625)

Games could be downloaded, or flash memory could become cheap that games are distributed on memory cards (again). Only this time in a smaller format. That alone would make the consoles of the future smaller.

Otherwise, it depends on with how much heat to get rid of they start out. If the example of the Wii (to try something new rather than maximize graphics performance) catches on, even the first generation of a new console might be smaller than we are used to.

Re:They might pre-shink by losing the optical driv (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 4 years ago | (#29164803)

The problem with losing the optical drive is that you then lose backwards compatibility. Sony tries to forget this, but they made a big deal out of the backwards compatibility when the PS3 first came out (as did Microsoft and Nintendo).

I know that the lack thereof is what's keeping me from buying a PS3 now that they're affordable—they dropped a fairly important feature.

Re:They might pre-shink by losing the optical driv (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168223)

I know that the lack thereof is what's keeping me from buying a PS3 now that they're affordableâ"they dropped a fairly important feature.

After being a faithful gamer for the 3rd (Sega Master System), 4th (Megadrive) and 5th (Playstation) generation consoles, I skipped the 6th generation. This reason for this is a combination of growing up (and thus spending less time on consoles) and the PSX simply having such a great library of games that I didn't finish them all within the 5 years of its lifepsan. Even today, I've still got a fairly large library of games I've yet to complete. Although that library is shrinking with time.

So when I do get a 7th generation console (I'm confident I'll slog my way through my PSX games before the 8th generation comes), it COULD have been PS2 library+PS3 library versus Xbox360 library (because the xbox was simply an abysmal failure in catering to me).

Instead due to the lack of backwards compatiblity, its the PS3 versus Xbox360, and while Microsoft failed to cater to me in regards to the Xbox, its doing much better with the Xbox360.

So Sony COULD have had a massive advantage over the Xbox360, if only they had continued to keep backwards compatibility.

Re:They might pre-shink by losing the optical driv (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 4 years ago | (#29175659)

So...you're happier not playing all those games that "failed to cater to you" on the Xbox on an Xbox 360, rather than not playing the games might've "catered to you" on PS3?

Brilliant logic! Of course, you could just get a PS2 and spend a lot less money overall on games that you might enjoy, but that would require that you have a functioning brain stem. After reading your post I'm not so sure you do.

Re:They might pre-shink by losing the optical driv (0, Troll)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 4 years ago | (#29164821)

This could happen in the future, but not this console generation. And, despite what seems to be going around at some forums, most definitely not for the PS3!

I can see how the PSPgo's dispensation with the PSP's optical drive could give one the impression that such a move might be possible for Sony's home console, but the difference is much greater than what meets the eye.

The PSPgo is not a revision of the PSP platform. Sony was made fun of for insisting that the Go will exist parallel to the PSP in the market, but the fact is, Sony is trying for a completely different kind of console experience with the PSPgo than they did with the PSP.

The PSP was conceived as a little, handheld Playstation. Same kind of games, same kind of gameplay, just smaller. The PSPgo, on the other hand, is Sony's (too late?) attempt to compete with both the DS and the iPod Touch. It's geared toward a completely different kind of game, not scaled-down versions of home console games, but games conceived from the ground up to be portable, things you pick up and play for a few minutes and then put away when your number is called at the DMV. Despite the shared software architecture, the PSPgo is not at all like the PSP.

So to launch a PS3 with no optical drive would be to target a different kind of game. While there are some disc-based PS3 titles that have been re-released as downloadable, they are a tiny minority, and given the way that platform exclusives tend to be very free with asset file size due to Blu-Ray's disc capacity, there's a pretty hard technical reason for that as well.

Re:They might pre-shink by losing the optical driv (2, Informative)

bmatt17 (1494941) | more than 4 years ago | (#29170089)

you have no clue what you're talking about. The PSPGo is nothing more than a optical driveless PSP. All games for the PSP are now being released in downloadable form via the PSN. They aren't releasing PSPGo exclusives it's the same thing, except you download all your games. The PSP go is exactly like the PSP as far as what games you can play.

Re:They might pre-shink by losing the optical driv (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29166481)

50G is an awful lot to download or put on flash. I think it will be a couple of years before either of these options would be competitive to blu-ray.

Re:They might pre-shink by losing the optical driv (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#29166643)

50G is an awful lot to download or put on flash.
True OTOH as the xbox 360 and certain downloadable games for the PS3 (e.g. ratchet and clank future quest for booty) prove it isn't really needed for good HD games. It just means you have to economise a little (e.g. animating cutscenes using the game engine rather than using full motion video)

And afaict flash is continuing to fall in price, there may be a time when it's capacity and cost per gigabyte are low enough that it becomes a good format for game consoles.

Re:They might pre-shink by losing the optical driv (1)

bmatt17 (1494941) | more than 4 years ago | (#29170113)

it proves no such thing. While quest for booty graphics wise looked just as good as Ratchet Future it was a much smaller game and was rather large to download. Just because they can put 1/6th of a game in download format doesn't mean the whole game is fitting to be released that way. Now things like Burnout Paradise which is a full game offered for download show it can be done.

Re:They might pre-shink by losing the optical driv (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29166761)

Is it? My current (cheap) home Internet connection is 10Mb/s, and I can sustain around 1.1MB/s for downloads. At that speed it would take 13 hours to download the game. How many 50GB games can you finish in under 13 hours? You just need to download enough to play the first level and then have it download the rest while you're playing. Actually, how many games even take a single-layer, 25GB, Blu Ray disk?

Re:They might pre-shink by losing the optical driv (1)

Banzai042 (948220) | more than 4 years ago | (#29170217)

Yes, however not everybody has internet connections like yours, my cable connection is 7Mb/s when I'm not sharing the pipe with others in my building, and the best DSL I can get is 1.5Mb/s. On top of that you've also got the transfer caps, Comcast has the most liberal cap that I know of at 250GB. At the moment i'm running around 100-125GB/month of transfer just with browsing, podcasts, and streaming media. If I had a download only system I'd need to carefully plan out when I wanted to play what game, as I'd need advance warning and enough drive space to store it, and I could only download 2-3 games per month with a 50GB game file (4-6 if you're calling it a 25GB download) while staying under the transfer cap, and it's even lower if you're on an ISP with more restrictive caps. And even the largest PS3 capacity believed to exist (250GB) could only store 10 games with no other media stored on the console, not a large library without the ability to back up games. I believe that we'll need to see larger storage capacity in consoles, faster 'net connections, and a removal of transfer caps before we see any sort of growth in download only consoles.

This is your PS3 Analysis on drugs (2, Insightful)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 4 years ago | (#29164667)

In the case of the PS3 Slim though, it could just be that the PS3 had to be pushed out to meet its launch window, and that the Slim is what Sony was going for in the first place

One doesn't even have to have a PS3 to remember how long Sony delayed the PS3 at launch because it was waiting for enough supply of the BluRay drives. Also, lets not forget that the PS3 Slim is being released over two and a half years after the original PS3.

The portable gaming genius (1)

dicobalt (1536225) | more than 4 years ago | (#29164733)

This guy will tell you all you need to know about the Gameboy. Demonstrating an addon and mod you probably didn't know about, as well as showing a portable game system for drug dealers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgN2Rtgt9Vg&feature=channel_page [youtube.com]

Be careful (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 4 years ago | (#29164781)

when we get a Slim version of the PS2 it tends to overheat. When they make a smaller version, they tend to leave out a fan to cool it down. Which is why add on fans to the case are designed by third parties or people put small external fans near the open areas of the case.

Now if it was something as simple as a Commodore 64 on a joystick it wouldn't need a fan as the Commodore 64 technology reduced to a chip does not draw that much heat as an XBox 360, PS3, Wii, or modern game console.

Hardware AND software revisions (5, Informative)

faragon (789704) | more than 4 years ago | (#29164963)

It is not just a hardware revision, but implies also cuts in software: Remember that Sony has cut the possibility of running Linux in the new PS3 "Slim" model, disabling the "Other OS" boot option, because of the costs of programming new drivers for virtualizing the new I/O devices through the hipervisor.

Extra-official reply from Sarah Ewen, a Sony employee: [playstation2-linux.com]

BY: sarahe
DATE: 2009-Aug-21 22:23
SUBJECT: RE: Why no Linux in PS3 Slim?

Hi aragon,

I'm sorry that you are frustrated by the lack of comment specifically regarding the withdrawal of support for OtherOS on the new PS3 slim.

The reasons are simple: The PS3 Slim is a major cost reduction involving many changes to hardware components in the PS3 design. In order to offer the OtherOS install, SCE would need to continue to maintain the OtherOS hypervisor drivers for any significant hardware changes - this costs SCE. One of our key objectives with the new model is to pass on cost savings to the consumer with a lower retail price. Unfortunately in this case the cost of OtherOS install did not fit with the wider objective to offer a lower cost PS3.

We'll see if we can get the offical OtherOS page updated with something to this effect so that an official explanation is provided. Thank you for your comments.

Sarah.

Re:Hardware AND software revisions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29166133)

I believe that they probably removed the cryptographic hardware that was used solely for the ability to install Linux.

It no longer runs Linux (4, Interesting)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 4 years ago | (#29164993)

I am not happy this version is no longer capable of running Linux or any other OS besides Sony's own.

OTOH, its RAM would make for a nasty user experience when running just about anything.

I can't believe it's hard to build a Cell-based desktop system the size of the PS3, but with plenty RAM and a nice GPU that would not play PS3 games. Software compatibility should, today, be a non-issue - there are many full-feature desktop OSs (or different versions of a couple) that can run on Cell. And since it's not a console, they could sell it for a profit. I would buy a Linux-running Windows-proof box for the price of a Dell

In the early 90s, IIRC, Sony made a very nice line of MIPS-based Unix workstations. They could do it again.

Re:It no longer runs Linux (2, Interesting)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165269)

Yeah, it's a shame that so much great hardware is going to waste, due to this closed appliance mentality. The PS3 is just the tip of the iceberg, notable because we can see it being closed, from the previous somewhat open state. At least you can still buy a 'fat' version.

I recall that the PS2 used to have a Linux kit so that it could be sold with a lower tax as a computer, rather than a toy. I wonder if this was the case with the PS3 as well, now that the computer functionality is being removed.

Re:It no longer runs Linux (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168885)

I recall that the PS2 used to have a Linux kit so that it could be sold with a lower tax as a computer, rather than a toy. I wonder if this was the case with the PS3 as well, now that the computer functionality is being removed.

At least with the PS3 slim you still get the "computer experience"! You have to agree to the EULA on first system startup, and every system update and to play some games as well. Also games you download from PSN, you have to "install" them (again with an EULA). Ditto with some games as well - they have to be "installed" on the hard disk to play them.

It's the computer experience, on a console!

Re:It no longer runs Linux (2, Interesting)

m50d (797211) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165349)

And since it's not a console, they could sell it for a profit. I would buy a Linux-running Windows-proof box for the price of a Dell

And there's the rub - for Sony to make a profit on it, they'd have to charge much more than the equivalent Dell. (I'm speaking of equivalent in terms of user experience - any non-x86 architecture gets you more theoretical - but less practical - bang for the buck)

Re:It no longer runs Linux (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 4 years ago | (#29181757)

"any non-x86 architecture gets you more theoretical - but less practical - bang for the buck"

not necessarily. You can't run Windows, but a readily available Cell-based desktop workstation in the hands of, say, Gnome developers, would do wonders in making Gnome run better on Cell.

Making it more generic (and applicable to Cell, Niagara and Larrabee), a readily available X-based workstations in the hands of, say, the developers of Y, would do wonders in making Y run better on X.

Re:It no longer runs Linux (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 4 years ago | (#29183179)

not necessarily. You can't run Windows, but a readily available Cell-based desktop workstation in the hands of, say, Gnome developers, would do wonders in making Gnome run better on Cell.

Better, yes, but still nowhere near as well as it runs on x86. It would be like sparc, or itanium, or all these non-x86 machines - you have processor which is in theory faster than the equivalent-price x86, but for running real-world programs it's slower because it hasn't had the huge optimization effort x86 had.

Re:It no longer runs Linux (4, Interesting)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165625)

IBM makes Cell servers, but even those are pretty scarce on memory. You have two problems:

  • XDR memory is ridiculously expensive, and honestly, the Cell should have been built so the XDR was basically a huge L4 cache, using DDR2 for low speed memory. Developers would have had a lot more leeway if they didn't have as much XDR, but instead had access to a bunch of cheap, slow DDR2.
  • Your still stuck with an dual-execute in-order core. Most programs are not going to add support for the SPEs, so you're stuck with an expensive desktop with poor Atom-like performance.

On the other hand you have something like the Spursengine [wikipedia.org] . It's basically half a Cell, running at half the clockrate, attached over PCI-Express. It provides something like 50GFLOPS at ~20W, but the only one I could find costs $500. You can get a dual Cell blade with 2GB of memory for only $3K, neither of which are something a consumer is going to want to buy.

The real problem is that all this GPGPU stuff started happening around the same time, and consumers have just as much power in a cheap card that they already have in their PC. Even still, there is hardly any market for such a device. Sure, HPC users love it, but in the consumer market, we have one or two video encoders, they're not considerably faster than a decent computer running x264, and produce significantly lesser video quality.

Re:It no longer runs Linux (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 4 years ago | (#29181819)

Yes... There is the XDR problem... And using DDR2/3 memory would require a different version of Cell, nixing the advantage of the PS3 supplies... Unless Sony made a Cell using DDR as a cost-cutting measure.

As for programs adding support for SPEs, one could port OpenCL to the Cell (if that's not already ported) and make more programs OpenCL-friendly.

In the end, everybody would win, as the OpenCL'ed programs could run better on other kinds of machines.

Re:It no longer runs Linux (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165759)

With regard to RAM, the graphics memory can be used as a higher priority swap device so that sort of gives ~512 MB of usable memory but granted it's not going to be quite as fast as 512 MB of unified memory.

As for a cell-based desktop system, it's not hard to make one. But how do you mass produce one that people will buy? Apple was the last major manufacturer to not use x86 processors for home computers, and we can see how that went - straight into Intel's arms. The real question is, how much are people willing to pay for a Cell-based desktop computer? Answer: not enough when a $300 Dell can do everything a normal home user wants to do. Remember Pegasos [wikipedia.org] ? They don't make them anymore. That'd be the same fate for a Cell-based desktop.

Re:It no longer runs Linux (1)

Teriblows (1138203) | more than 4 years ago | (#29166869)

have you seen pc/netbook prices recently? the prices are cutthroat and margins are low as ever. there is no incentive to develop such a desktop. the cells is oversold, if you want such power just get a pc with a modern gpu and use that, and thats what people who do need such power do. anyways why would you want to throw your lot behind sony, even if they did build a desktop you'd have to be ready to be abandoned, look at how they went back on their word on backwards compatibility, and now linux support. there is no incentive to support sony on this. they will @%# you in the end. thats for sure.

Quieter, not smaller please! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29165043)

When I got my Xbox 360, I was shocked that a product in general sale could be this noisy. Reading the specs of the noiselevel on the new PS3 indicates that it too generates a fair amount of noise. I'd be perfectly happy if the box was twice as big if it could be dead-quiet.

Re:Quieter, not smaller please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29167101)

The PS3 is ultra silent compared to the Xbox 360.

Re:Quieter, not smaller please! (1, Informative)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29170821)

Well then you're reading the wrong articles, I've owned a 360 and a PS3 and the noise difference is night and day, so much so I'd suggest you're trolling or ignorant.
The PS3 is VASTLY quieter than a 360, it's effectively silent unless it's a hot day where it's mildly noisy (and still less than a 360)

Re:Quieter, not smaller please! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29172415)

you sony fantards are so quick to go off; he said the specs of the NEW ps3. do you own a new ps3? no? well then shut the fuck up until you know what you're talking about

Re:Quieter, not smaller please! (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29180121)

Ooh interesting moderation on slashdot indeed, we either have an Xbox fanboy here or someone who doesn't like my writing style.
You can mod overrated all you like but you will still be in the wrong, the PS3 is vastly quieter and it's common knowledge.
My condolences for your waste of a mod point, meta moderating should sort you out.

Where's the fan? (2, Interesting)

wdhowellsr (530924) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165273)

I completely agree that smaller is better for portable gaming systems but hate the fact that there is this belief that console based systems have to be so small. What really drives me crazy is when processing speed, storage size and cooling is sacrificed so it can be smaller.

I would much rather have a kick-a$# system that doesn't suffer from overheating problems and comes with a whole lot of storage than some pretty little thing that is dumb as a brick when it gets to hot.

Consider the Japanese market (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165597)

I completely agree that smaller is better for portable gaming systems but hate the fact that there is this belief that console based systems have to be so small.

The price of urban real estate in Japan makes the Wii's footprint look a lot more attractive.

Re:Consider the Japanese market (1)

wdhowellsr (530924) | more than 4 years ago | (#29167167)

Good point. Have you seen some of the Japanese Hotels? It's a bed like the one in Fifth Element and everyone shares a bathroom. Still, it sucks that I had to put a 10X10X5 inch aluminum heat sink on my Dish DVR 622 to keep it from overheating because the processor and harddrive overheat.

PS3 is an oddity here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29165291)

The ps3 slim was bound to come out, yes. And, sure, it was bound to come out soon, but I think the reason the ps3 slim is out now is because the ps3 has been in trouble since day one. I think sony is trying to lower the price as much as they can so that they can get a greater market penetration, and slimming down the console is one way to do that (and it would convince people that were waiting for the ps3 slim anyway).

If the PS3 had been doing better, I don't think we would have seen a slim version until next year.

As for yearly revisions: don't hold your breath. I doubt anyone is eager to rebuy their consoles ever year. The redesigns are more for people that haven't purchased one yet, or for those whose consoles broke. Very rarely is it for everyone (like with the DS lite). Home consoles make even less sense here, as there's not a significant benefit to the gamer to rebuy their console.

The 1 exception to this is for hardware revisions wherein a part can be replaced with a more stable/cheap/efficient piece of hardware.

Re:PS3 is an oddity here (1)

Dustie (1253268) | more than 4 years ago | (#29167171)

I don't know where the "here" in "PS3 is an oddity here" is but in Scandinavia where I live the stats says that the PS3 has sold better than the PS2 in the same timespan after release. And that is even with the competition of the Xbox 360 and the Wii. So maybe the PS3 is in trouble worldwide (citation please?) but surely not everywhere.

Re:PS3 is an oddity here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29171453)

You didn't link to your sources so I won't bother with linking mine...

PS3 has seems to have sold considerably less in its first three years than PS2 did. I doubt PS3 will reach the 100 million unit mark faster (Sony would have to sell 75 million units in just three years and so far they've sold 25 million in about the same time).

Sony started bigger (2, Insightful)

m50d (797211) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165365)

It's not just this generation - the original playstation was much bigger than its competitors, and while the xbox was hilariously huge, even the revised PS2 felt bigger than the gamecube (it was slim but long, which took up more space on the shelf). Sony is the one shrinking its consoles for the simple reason that sony's original consoles are frickin' huge.

Re:Sony started bigger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29165611)

If you thought the original playstation was large, you probably never saw the original Sega CD, 3D0 or Saturn consoles.

Re:Sony started bigger (2, Informative)

macshome (818789) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165635)

The PS2 was largish as well, but the PSX was noticeably smaller than the Saturn.

Moore's Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29166433)

In other news Moore's law works backwards too! Since you can pack more onto a chip faster, old standardized game console chips shrink in size faster and the consoles shrink with the chips. Not news, common sense.

USB Chips @ 64GB (70 bucks) (0, Offtopic)

bluetigerbc (911321) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168587)

I recently got a 64GB chip for the pc (father in law to be gift). I'd LOVE to see games launching as USB chips for new systems. 64GB is enough for nearly any game. also 128 WILL be out within a year or so. Mod this up so gaming companies get ON IT! :D

Re:USB Chips @ 64GB (70 bucks) (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169609)

So $70 before even development of the game costs, you know, the important bit are factored in. Just because you like usb chips?

Brilliant, can't fail. You should setup a business doing that.

Re:USB Chips @ 64GB (70 bucks) (1)

bluetigerbc (911321) | more than 4 years ago | (#29170159)

well maybe I will! /w black jack and hookers! (I was thinking companies investing in usb chips for games MIGHT buy them in bulk, but good of you to point out that cost factor to me in /. style ;) wouldn't ask for any other way! (sarcasm, humour, are better then reading some CRAPPY news place who'd premod yer post.....or MINE! :P) they start costing 5 bucks for the developer and gamers like not scratching the chips vs the discs and it COULD be future for games. :)

Is there much call for a next gen? (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29173161)

For the past 30 years, there's been a real technology treadmill. PCs, video games, VCRs->DVDs->BluRay, more recently flat panel TVs and digital cameras. It seems, though, like the treadmills are starting to slow. The move to 64-bit OSes (handled cleanly by Linux and Apple, Microsoft... not so much) seems like the last major transition even to be done, and high-end video cards can handle most games at beyond HD resolution. Movies and TVs could go even higher-def, but human eyesight often isn't good enough to care. Likewise, cameras are all multi-mega-pixel, capable of storing huge numbers of photos and even taking high-quality video. Do you think we're nearing the end of the upgrade treadmill for video games too? The next Wii could be higher def and higher-detail graphics capable, the 360 could have Blu-Ray, the PS3... seems like there's no compelling reason to upgrade. Sure, it could be even faster, and look a little better as a result, but would that be enough to justify the purchase?

If not, shrinking the system (to reduce costs) and selling more throughout the world may be the only direction Sony can profitably go.

Re:Is there much call for a next gen? (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29177301)

I agree with you that things are slowing down. But still think there is a lot of room to grow. While modern consoles can do graphics pretty well, they still really don't have the best graphic cards imaginable. I can see those getting better and more of the graphical capabilities being offloaded to those cards. The more cycles you can keep in the CPU, the more you can put towards AI and the ability to have more wide open areas with more enemies or more stuff going on in general.

I would hope though that new generation consoles have more time before releases. Since things have slowed, it also makes more sense to wait until you can do something that is more innovative and interesting. Besides, the longer the life cycle you have for your console, the more profitable it becomes since it becomes cheaper to produce them.

I would hope everyone would have learned that rushing your next gen console out before the other guy isn't necessarily going to be a winning strategy. So I hope to see a longer period of time for the next gen, something that is an improvement, but doesn't push the cutting edge, and something that isn't quite as expensive as the 360 and PS3 at launch. Also, expect to spend a crap load on stuff that aren't included with the console by default.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...