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PS4: What Sony Should and Shouldn't Do

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the don't-sell-them-at-a-massive-loss dept.

PlayStation (Games) 406

donniebaseball23 writes "As a follow-up to his piece on Xbox 720, veteran games journalist Chris Morris has put together some thoughtful advice on what Sony needs to do (and needs to avoid) to ensure that the next generation PlayStation is a success. In particular, Morris notes that Sony must 'look beyond games' to create a fully fledged entertainment hub: 'Nintendo has been pretty adamant that it has little interest in content beyond games. Microsoft seems to be rushing to embrace the set top box world. Sony, though, seems a bit confused about what it wants.'"

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406 comments

Future of Nintendo (4, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732740)

Does anyone else have a nagging feeling that Nintendo is doomed in the next console cycle? The Wii U didn't grab the same attention that the original Wii did, and Nintendo is being attacked on two fronts--the hardcore market with the PS3 and Xbox 360, and casual gaming with the iPhone. Nintendo always had handheld sales to fall back on, but sales of the 3DS have been underwhelming, forcing an early price drop. It seems like Nintendo backed itself into a corner with the Wii, tying the company too intimately with the casual gaming market, whose gamers are fickle and prone to jump onto the next big thing, which turned out to be the iPhone.

Yes, yes, I realize people have been declaring Nintendo to be doomed since the Nintendo 64, but just because they survived previous eras doesn't mean they will survive the next one. Nintendo's stock price jumped [bloomberg.com] after a rumor that Pokemon was coming to the iPhone, which turned out to be untrue. It just seems more than ever that it makes little sense for Nintendo not to become a software developer, since that is what they are most famous for in spite of their trend-setting controllers. Yet despite the novelty of the Wii remote, I still prefer the Dual Shock.

I love Nintendo's classics, but their refusal to embrace online play on the same level of their competitors as well as their reliance on nostalgia titles is frustrating. Sadly, I haven't turned on my Wii in so long that I can't even remember the last time. I think the last game I played on it was was Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, an old PC-Engine game, and only because it's Wii-exclusive.

Re:Future of Nintendo (2)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732920)

Yet despite the novelty of the Wii remote, I still prefer the Dual Shock.

Which quite ironically, is pretty much just a snes pad with one extra l/r button with a knee jerk reaction to the n64's analog stick.

Personally I find the gamecube controller to be the most ergonomic of all controllers presently released that are typical gaming controllers. I admit it takes a bit of getting used to but as adament of a snes fan as I am it does just feel more comfortable once you are used to the layout.

Re:Future of Nintendo (5, Informative)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733602)

Which quite ironically, is pretty much just a snes pad with one extra l/r button with a knee jerk reaction to the n64's analog stick.

Interestingly enough, the PS controllers look like that because before Sony released the PSX, they were working with Nintendo to create a CD-ROM addon for the SNES (much like the Sega CD for the Genesis) [wikipedia.org] . Near the end of the project's completion, Nintendo decided to abandon the idea, when infuriated the president of Sony. Not too long afterwards, Sony came out with the PlayStation to rival Nintendo.

Re:Future of Nintendo (5, Interesting)

Liam Pomfret (1737150) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732974)

Sales of the 3DS underwhelming? At the initial price point, before its flagship titles had been launched, sure. At the current price point, with those flagship Mario titles now released, the 3DS is absolutely *flogging* the opposition. By the beginning of December, the 3DS had already passed the 1st year sales of the original DS. What's more, the 3DS has sold more in its first 9 months than the *Wii* did in its first 9 months. The idea that the 3DS is doomed is preposterous. The way you're painting things with the "war on two fronts", and Nintendo being able to "fall back on" handheld sales, you make it seem as if Nintendo lost the home console war to the PS3 and XBox360. Just in case you missed it with the howling of "hardcore gamers" and fanboys, the Wii thoroughly flogged them. Seriously, Nintendo is in no danger at this point. I'm not saying Nintendo's done everything perfect, there's plenty of things they could have done a lot better. But their financials aren't really an issue. Nintendo made a loss, and people are making a big issue out of it, but it's really a red herring. Hell, a huge reason (if not the main reason) for that loss was the strong yen, not the sales performance of the 3DS.

Re:Future of Nintendo (2, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733108)

Just in case you missed it with the howling of "hardcore gamers" and fanboys, the Wii thoroughly flogged them.

The Wii's sales began to significantly drop several years ago. Last May, sales were down 38% year-over-year and fell to record lows in Japan. Before you claim that its due to lifespan, the PS2 is still selling like hotcakes. 3DS sales rose 260% after the price drop but were still less than the DS's sales in the comparable time period a year prior (which shows you just how much of a flop the 3DS was at release). And the 3DS's battery life is still absurdly short.

I just have to disagree that Nintendo is "in no danger," especially after the lackluster reception the Wii U received, but if there's any company whose failure I'm willing to be wrong about, it's Nintendo.

Re:Future of Nintendo (5, Insightful)

Azuaron (1480137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733288)

You apparently haven't looked at hotcake sales for the past decade. You can't move hotcakes. You say you've got some hotcakes for sale, and people are like, "I want ice cream cake!" And then you have to explain that you mean pancakes. But now they just want ice cream cake, or frosted cake, and all you have is syrup-drenched flapjacks.

It's a sad life being a hotcake salesman, let me tell you.

All joking aside, citing current PS2 sales is hardly relevant, since the PS3 doesn't have the same kind of record: Nintendo's current generation has beaten the pants of the current generations of Microsoft and Sony, and the Wii U's reception has been similar to that of the Wii months before its release.

Pretty much, it's impossible to say how well the Wii U is going to sell, and I definitely wouldn't short Nintendo's stock quite yet. They're scrappy, scrappy fighters with a rabid fanbase that has absorbed what was left of Sega's rabid fanbase. That's a lot of rabid.

Re:Future of Nintendo (2)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733360)

What do you have against the Genesis or the Saturn
or do you have a problem with Sonic.... wannna fight .....
Mouth rabidly foaming

Nintendo profits have been down for years (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733230)

The Wii stopped being the top-selling console many years ago. Nintendo most definitely lost the console war to the PS3 and 360, with the Wii becoming a repository for shovelware. The problem with the Wii's casual focus is that it attracted one-time buyers who rarely purchased any other games, so the only people who made any money on Wii sales were Nintendo.

Nintendo has been reporting lackluster profits the last couple of years, 66% loss [thesixthaxis.com] this year. alone Nintendo has publicly stated that Apple is their biggest competitor [3dsbuzz.com] , and the Wii U controller being shaped like an iPad should be enough of a confirmation.

They're in BIG trouble. A new Mario and Zelda game can mask that in the short term, but unfortunately success hides problems.

Re:Nintendo profits have been down for years (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733466)

Are there any good games for the Wii? I own one but have probably spent less than 4 hours playing on it. TBH from what i saw of the Wii U was not much more than a Wii with an hdmi port and a controller I wouldn't want to let my kids play with due to fear of having to replace it.

As for the portable, why bother, I have an android tablet and phone, what would I need/want a 3DS for?

Disagree. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38732992)

Hardcore gamer here saying that I love the Wii. It is the only great way to play an FPS in this generation. Also, Wii offers great online play EVEN WHEN HACKED TO RUN BACKUPS. Ergo: Wii FTW.

Re:Future of Nintendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733086)

Nintendo will be fine. Third party developers need to get their games on as many platforms as possible. With the Wii that was a problem because it differed so greatly in power compared to the PS3 and 360, but Nintendo is giving signs now that they want to change that with the Wii U. If they succeed in getting the Wii U close in capabilities to the next generation consoles of Sony and MS, it will then be left to first party content to give each system an advantage, and Nintendo is completely unmatched in that - to the point of absurdity.

Note that the 3DS sales have picked up considerably as well.

Re:Future of Nintendo (3, Interesting)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733162)

"Does anyone else have a nagging feeling that Nintendo is doomed in the next console cycle?"

Problem with nintendo is game quality. They used to be 'must have' but beginning with the cube they put out real stinkers like Starfox adventures and assault. Totally ruined one of their KEY franchises by listening to stupid miyamoto over the starfox developer (you can google it). Metroid prime 3 was nothing to write home about and Twilight princess and Skyward sword can't keep up with other action games like God of war, devil may cry.

Nintendo's game development culture is stagnating under the reigns of developers who don't really get gaming and are doing 'the same old thing'. I knew nintendo lost it once I saw what they did to starfox and definitely when twilight princess was released with huge quality problems all over the map.

Nintendo isn't learning from other games that have 'done it better' and they desperately need to do it. They used to be a 'gamers' game company now they are just stuck in doing the same things they've always done.

Nintendo sadly is not intelligent enough as a company, they keep making dumb ass mistakes. The 64 with the cartridges, the lack of games and stupid 1.5GB mini-discs instead of DVD's (making porting more costly/hard for 3rd party game companies), then the lack of hardware power with the Wii which ensured no easy way to run multi-platform games. (pure idiocy).

As far as I'm concerned Nintendo is run by idiots at this point, and the Wii was a one hit home-run which will not be repeated again if they don't fucking hardware power + software support up. The Wii suffered again from lack of software that core gamers want, that's not a good thing to have as a game company.

At this point Nintendo should seriously think about multi-platforming it's games instead of trying to lock them down and make money on hardware. Gaming audiences now game on multi-platforms and the end is nigh for locked in hardware if you want to squeeze as much money as possible out of your software. Just look at all the big software companies - always releasing games on as many platforms as possible. Nintendo can't just keep it's software on it's own machines and hope to compete it needs software developer on the inside that makes games for other platforms because it's leaving money on the table for competitors.

Re:Future of Nintendo (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733190)

Sadly, I haven't turned on my Wii in so long that I can't even remember the last time.

Ditto. I bought my Wii a week or so after launch and had a blast playing with it for about 6 months or so, then it just got boring. Looking back on it, I think it was just the novelty of the controls that kept me interested in it even for that short amount of time. Outside of a handful of Wii exclusives (Zelda, Mario Galaxy) there was really nothing to pique my interest and keep it piqued...

Such a shame...I grew up on the NES, SNES, and original Gameboy, but they've really slipped a lot since the N64 days. Maybe I just crave more mature content than Nintendo is willing to provide? How many M rated games did they even have in the Gamecube and Wii generations? A handful?

Re:Future of Nintendo (3, Insightful)

Azuaron (1480137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733202)

Does anyone else have a nagging feeling that Nintendo is doomed in the next console cycle? The Wii U didn't grab the same attention that the original Wii did...

Haha. I remember just before the original Wii came out. The "attention" it garnered was "what's wrong with its name?" and everyone predicted it would bomb. I expect to be saying that same sentence a couple years after the Wii U comes out with very little modification.

Re:Future of Nintendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733528)

I have been a Nintendo fan all of life, and only jumping ship for a PS2. Nintendo has always great at co-ops/family games. However they have tried to much to protect 'users' when trying to do online co-ops. They don't have the specs as the other systems because they 'family' type games don't need the high graphics. However if they want to compete with sony and microsoft they have to step up there game. They have to learn that they can put in high quality parts, and still have the family style graphics...

The gameboy has always bet out any other hand held. However 'back in the day' no one carried around cell phones that could play games. I got an iPhone because I didn't want to carry around a cell phone and an mp3 player.. Why should I carry around a gameboy when I can put an emulator onto the phone? As much as they want to compete in consoles, they would be better off focusing on game design and creating kick ass games, and having them on iOS/Android and not having to worry about the consoles.

Heck think of how they would do if they would put Mario/Zelda on iOS/Android, and on the PS3/xbox stores.. They would make so much more compared to having to worry about creating the hardware..

Organized trolling campaign on Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38732746)

GreatBunzinni [slashdot.org] has been posting anonymous accusations [slashdot.org] listing a whole bunch of Slashdot accounts as being part of a marketing campaign for Microsoft, without any evidence. GreatBunzinni has accidentally outed himself [slashdot.org] as this anonymous poster. Half the accounts he attacks don't even post pro-Microsoft rhetoric. The one thing they appear to have in common is that they have been critical of Google in the past. GreatBunzinni has been using multiple accounts to post these "shill" accusations, such as Galestar [slashdot.org] , NicknameOne [slashdot.org] , and flurp [slashdot.org] .

That's not the problem. The problem is that moderators gave him +5 Informative and are now modding down the accused, even for legitimate posts. Metamoderation is supposed to address this by filtering out the bad moderators, but clearly it's not working.

This "shill" crap that has been flying around lately has to stop. It's restricting a variety of viewpoints from participating on the site and creating an echo chamber.

It should be modular. (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732780)

It should be modular and have upgrade slots following ISO standard interfaces. Perhaps give the option of one or many Intel or AMD cpus and have different graphic options from both NVidia and ATI. Oh, and upgradeable storage & memory.

Or... (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732802)

Knowing Sony, it will come with a module that lets them remotely disable pieces of hardware.

Re:It should be modular. (1)

p0p0 (1841106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732864)

Maybe a choice of motherboard and case as well?
What you did there, I do see it.

Re:It should be modular. (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732932)

Yes but that defeats the logic of what makes a console good for both the consumer and the games developers. With a fixed hardware platform there are less un-knowns thus the time to market is faster as the debug cycle is shorter.

Re:It should be modular. (0)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732966)

It's called a PC.

Re:It should be modular. (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733002)

Upgrade slots would greatly complicate development, removing one of the major advantages of consoles for game companies compared to PC development. Even established veterans like id Software are incapable of releasing a stable PC game anymore. Rage on the PC was a mess.

Re:It should be modular. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733298)

Mostly yes, they used to do that sort of thing back when consoles were actual consoles, these days not so much. Sega was probably the worst offender with both the SegaCD and the 32x, but Nintendo would sometimes add extra chips to cartridges to allow games to surpass what the console could otherwise do.

As an unhappy PS3 owner, my suggestion for Sony would be more or less spend the time figuring out how to get that game controller lodged good in their asses for releasing multiple PS3s that weren't complete and removing features after they had been sold.

Re:It should be modular. (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733074)

This will NEVER happen. You may be able to add storage and peripherals, but that will all on ANY console. Console manufacturers like to give the game publishers a set standard of hardware to develop for. This is supposed to increase the quality of the games, ans once a publisher/developer learns the hardware and its limitations there is no constant learning curve. The fact that this model is flawed does not enter into the equation, because as an added benefit, they get to sell you a brand new console every 3-5 years instead of you hacking together your own out of 3rd party parts.

Re:It should be modular. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733198)

WHOOSH!

Re:It should be modular. (1)

pgward (2086802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733132)

Who exactly is going to design games for a modular console which allows a multitude of CPUs, GPUs, storage and ram? What sort of performance standard are you going to achieve? Imagine the backlash from the developers who have spent the better half of a decade learning to program the cell and achieve the high performance it offers only to find out Sony have dropped it for something that closely resembles a PC? Also, no one will buy it if they cant choose their own OS since something so modular would have applications in many domains. But if you could choose your own OS, and choose your own hardware, then why not just buy a PC? The only advantage consoles have is that they have limited variability in their hardware. They define a standard which developers build specifically for.

Re:It should be modular. (2)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733272)

Whoosh.

Re:It should be modular. (2)

Xeranar (2029624) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733172)

Simple reasons for why PCs can't compete with consoles (and I am a firm PC gamer):

Price - The cost of manufacturing the mainboards of all three of the consoles is somewhere around 150-250 USD, thus they only need a power supply and a DVD drive to function beyond that. A PC requires a motherboard, CPU, video card, and independent memory not to mention a hard drive. All of that even at the cheapest level is around 200 USD and still lacks an OS.

OS - Consoles run a scaled down consistent OS that usually shuts down when the game runs or minimalizes to a point that only a shell is on. The PC will keep multiple programs open and running in the background eating into performance. This is where the console looks great compared to PCs because they can't truly get bogged down at the OS level.

Development costs: AAA titles are about the same but less than top-tier titles cost less on the console and can sell far more by just being available. The PC goes from AAA to AAA in the market, with little room for lesser than's. So development has shifted towards consoles where the money is and the profit flows in.

All and all both articles show that the console market is maturing and until smartphones become so powerful that a baseline is set for them to compete it looks like consoles will be with us for at least another 1-3 generations.

Re:It should be modular. (3, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733236)

Price is true, and the scaled down OS is true for the first couple years after the consoles release (after which the increasing power of modern PCs overwhelms the benefits of a leaner OS).

But development costs? The advantage is clearly with the PC. Sure, it might be cheaper to target one platform, but you have to pay Microsoft or Sony for the privilege of being on their console. There's a reason why many AAA PC games are still $50, while AAA console games are uniformly $60. And for indie games. the market on Steam is absolutely booming, so I don't know where you got this notion that AAA titles are the only ones that can make it on PC.

Re:It should be modular. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733326)

Price yes, but OS is hardly insurmountable, there are several utilities that will do that for you. Plus, consoles today are essentially just stripped down and optimized computers, it's been quite a while since a console really differed by that much from a computer. I mean hell you could even load Linux on a PS3 early on.

As for development costs, the PC market is huge compared with the console market. There's plenty of money in PC gaming if they wouldn't go to such lengths to piss off PC gamers.

Re:It should be modular. (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733684)

This comes back to the age old argument - one generalised device (a PC for example) which is capable of many things vs several smaller/cheaper appliances.

When I was growing up, we preferred the generalised device. It was a one off hit to the wallet, but the games cost the same as the consoles - and it could be used as a word processor/spreadsheet. Overall that worked out as being cheaper.

Now PCs are getting so cheap - a crappy Acer laptop good enough to do word processor/spreadsheets is almost as cheap as a good console. Also the nature of consoles has changed somewhat. Before they used to be a one - maybe two player gaming experience. Now you can play against others over the 'net with hundreds participating at once. It's got to the point where we have cheap PCs and a console.

The only thing I find that console can't do is FPS games. Using a mouse vs a controller - the mouse wins hands down every time.

Re:It should be modular. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733174)

It almost sounds like your suggesting it should be a PC... Oh! I get it~!

Rule #1: (5, Insightful)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732812)

Don't advertise features that you may later remove completely

While I was not one of the ones who missed the OtherOS feature, for some it was a huge deal. I would hope the uproar over losing this option will teach Sony not to include and make light of large feature sets that they wind up removing later, after the fact. Regardless of what that feature may or may not be, I don't think it is cool to remove stuff that originally came with the system. I don't think anyone wants to see features disappear from a piece of hardware they own just because they want to stay up to date with the latest firmware/updates, and that doesn't just go for PS4 either.

Re:Rule #1: (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732938)

Don't advertise features that you may later remove completely

That's a crucial point! It'd be like telling a girl "I was considering buying you a 5 kt diamond but I decided to buy you a 3 kt diamond instead and buy myself a computer w/the leftovers." Sometimes the backstory can ruin the deal.

Re:Rule #1: (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733334)

No, it's more like buying a girl a 4 kt diamond ring then later replacing it with a 3kt diamond if she wants you to clean the dishes and explaining it to her that this is because some other woman down the street only has a 3 kt diamond ring.

Rule #2 (1)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732976)

Care a lot more about your own network infrastructure and security, and a bit less about the console control and security.

PS3 is open cracked despite all your efforts, and the stolen information (credit cards, for God's sake!) and downtime from the PSN will be a stain (not to mention all the money this costed!) on your image for a long time.

Re:Rule #1: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733072)

No, rule #1 is, never take advice from fans.

That's how a lot of projects go to an early grave. Loud does not mean right.
They don't give a damn about Other OS, because other than Slashdot, nobody else noticed or cared about it's absence.

If they want success, then the first games must be extraordinary. Price, quality, these things are overlooked if you have some incredible titles PS only. Just look at XBox, red ringed crap hardware, but still alive and kicking because they used games to draw users.

Re:Rule #1: (1)

owenferguson (521762) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733156)

What they should do is announce that they will re-enable the OOS feature in the next PS3 firmware update after the PS4 launch, and promote the idea that they will likewise "open up" the PS4 when the PS5 comes out. Like with Coke Classic "We're not that smart, and we're not that stupid." Look at what opening up did for the popularity of the Dreamcast!

Re:Rule #1: (2)

freman (843586) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733170)

Too late, it doesn't matter if the PS4 literally was required to live* I wouldn't buy it because I was one that does miss the OtherOS feature and did pay a premium ($750ish) to get a console (my first since the sega megadrive (genesis for some) with the feature.

Sony have burned some customers forever - I'll never be back and even try avoid them in other enterprises (seen many sony pictures lately?)

* feature pending removal.

Re:Rule #1: (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733352)

There's that, but there's also the poor packaging in terms of informing buyers that this unit isn't a full PS3, it's missing otheros or the ability to play PS2 games or whatever. I genuinely feel for people who bought a unit with the otheros feature only to have that taken. But, the removal of features without any markings on the box to indicate the lack of functionality is pretty disgusting IMHO.

Re:Rule #1: (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733726)

Not being backwards compatible with PS2 games is why I didn't upgrade. Glad I didn't in the end considering the PSN mess.

I don't know the first thing about the underlying OS (nor do I care, it's a console - that's the point of them!). But the key for them keeping their PS2 customers and turning them into PS3 customers should really have been having a PS2 emulator (or even native PS2) on the PS3.

Re:Rule #1: (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733700)

I'll say you paid a premium to get it: about 25% over the MSRP. of the most expensive model.

Re:Rule #1: (1)

freman (843586) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733756)

That 25% is the Australia tax (No, not Australian tax, or gst, that's only 10% the 25% is an example of what gets added to everything sold here, we can import things from the USA and China, pay shipping, and even tax if need be and still say 25-80% compared to local market).

Re:Rule #1: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733440)

Sorry, but this is NOT rule #1. Probably 0.01% of PS3 owners ever even considered this as an important selling point, and even fewer actually used the feature. If you want a general purpose machine where you can install your own OS, go get one. The PS3 isn't it. Get over it.

Don't bother with Sony (4, Informative)

Brain-Fu (1274756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733606)

Sony released audio CDs that put rootkits on consumer's PCs, without informing them. After being sued for this, they did it again. They also failed their due diligence on security, causing their entire client base to have private data stolen. Combine this with their habit of selling features and then subsequently removing those very features, and I don't understand why *anybody* buys products form Sony.

I will never trust Sony again.

Re:Rule #1: (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733758)

I think PS4 will need to be a total "reinvention" of the device - first thing they need to do is look at all the people who didn't buy PS3s and figure out how to appeal to them. Anybody who did buy a PS3 (myself included) is likely pissed off enough with them to avoid the PS4 at any price. I don't care to think about the hours I sunk into "OtherOS" getting it setup and working, or the hours I have spent waiting 10+ minutes for an "update" that's blocking me from accessing the features I've already bought, paid for, and was happily using the day before.

I bought the PS3 for the "cheap" BluRay drive, I thought I wanted the media center features, but a WDTV does that better for less money, I thought I wanted the games, and I do have 2 or 3 that at least somebody in the family likes once in awhile, but nothing new for a long time. The first generation was power hungry and mine had horribly LOUD fans, it died with the YLOD, after awhile we bought a slim to get access to the games and BluRay drive again, the slim's drive broke after a very short time, so we're just using the games on the hard drive and Netflix watch it now.

For me, console game machines are dead. Maybe I wasn't the target market, I had never owned a console gaming machine before, I always opted for the general purpose computer instead, starting with the Atari 800.

Two words: backward compatibility (2)

SuhlScroll (925963) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732816)

I don't care what kind of hardware or architecture they adopt, but the damn thing better well play all my PS3 games which I have spent A LOT of money on. It was bad enough going to the XBOX 360 and finding out not all my titles were compatible ... there's enough horsepower in the hardware today to at least guarantee that older titles can run in some emulation mode, even in a different hardware family.

Re:Two words: backward compatibility (1)

HellrazerX (2545864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733152)

Either that or they need to have a community end for emulation of their legacy games. I have seen some amazing emulation and ports done over the past 10 years. I know Sony is afraid of community in general because they do not want people to be able to pirate their games. However if the community has the tools to make plugins that Sony can review that can be used to play older games they can take measures to prevent the backwards compatibility data from affection future games or the system in general.

Re:Two words: backward compatibility (1)

cmburns69 (169686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733186)

I want backwards compatiblity as much as you, but the unfortunate reality of computing is that you can't quickly translate code that was custom-written for 1 architecture into another architecture. Console game developers do an awful lot of fine-tuning to achieve the performance you see, and much of it relies on the specific design of the chip being used in the previous system.

To whit, even emulating the N64 (16 years old) takes a reasonably beefy modern machine!

Simply put, the easiest way to emulate the previous generation is to include its hardware in the new generation.

Re:Two words: backward compatibility (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733502)

I really don't understand how it was accomplished, but UltraHLE [wikipedia.org] was capable of running N64 even on my old PII 266 MhZ. The games even looked better in emulation because they ran in higher resolution. There's still emulators out there that can't compete with what was accomplished in UltraHLE.

Re:Two words: backward compatibility (2)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733212)

I would add to that restore PS2 compatibility.

If they stick to a Cell design, they could almost certainly do it. If they deviate (seems likely, IBM and Toshiba are pretty well out of the game, though a process shrunk Cell 2 may still provide some boost, but even that design is already years old) that's going to be nearly impossible. Cross-arch emulation around the same generation is nearly impossible to do right.

Re:Two words: backward compatibility (1)

cwrinn (1282510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733214)

Like Sony cared much on how much money we spent on PS2 games when they took out the Backwards Compat on the PS3. :\

Shouldn't Do Obviously (4, Insightful)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732818)

Never release another console for $599. How can posters here forget the real problem the PS3 had, especially at launch?

Re:Shouldn't Do Obviously (1, Insightful)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732892)

Agreed. This was the biggest reason I didn't get a PS3 until almost 4 years into it's launch. I simply couldn't justify paying that much. Especially after they dropped the backward compatible model and removed the other OS feature. Waited til I saw the slim version for close to $200 before taking the plunge.

Also, with the exception of Final Fantasy, every game I wanted to play was on the PC in higher resolution and the ability to mod. To be honest, even Final Fantasy might not be enough to get me to purchase a PS4 (sadly FF13 was the reason I got a PS3, and it sucked...).

Re:Shouldn't Do Obviously (1, Insightful)

multiben (1916126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733330)

So you bought a device which was 4 years old and you found that PCs had surpassed it in terms of graphics? Hold the press! Seriously, what did you expect coming to the party that late? Also, how much did you pay for the added games capability on your desktop computer? I would bet that your graphics card alone would have been close to the cost of the console.

Re:Shouldn't Do Obviously (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733176)

Given the current global economy I think $250-$350 at launch is realistic.
 
People could get away with $600 sale prices because:
 
a) really low yields on bleeding edge tech made widespread distribution nearly impossible
b) lax regulations on credit laws pumped a bunch of cash in to western markets (and households)
 
Now we're paying the price for those boom years, die fab tech has come a long ways in the last 6 years (the last 6 years represent nearly 20% of the entire lifespan of the modern semiconductor industry); there's no need for exorbitant production costs anymore, and the world economy can't afford it.

Re:Shouldn't Do Obviously (0)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733370)

the $600 dollar price was because of the blue ray drive. now it isn't important but being playable only on 3D tv will be.

and yes you will have to have your sony PS4 3D glasses, to play said games.

Re:Shouldn't Do Obviously (0)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733766)

That would just be the dumbest thing ever. The global recession is still biting people where it counts and luxuries like a new console AND a new TV will sink it without trace. Wait a generation - PS5 or PS6 before making the switch to 3D.

Re:Shouldn't Do Obviously (1)

HellrazerX (2545864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733278)

That is simply stupid, all high end consoles have a high end price tag. If they release a console and it sells for $200 with nothing but the base hardware on a modular design where it can be upgraded that is one thing but if you want all the power, memory, and GPU power that these systems have at launch you have to pay the premium price tag. You also forget that the PS3 was also one of the first Blu-ray players and it was the only one on the market at it's launch that was under the $600 price point. I would rather have a feature filled console than a shell that gets upgrades eventually because some people cannot afford the price tag. If you think it isn't worth the money then wait for the price to drop as they take out features. If the features were not there then it would simply be worthless and people would buy a PC instead.

Security (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732828)

Security should be a key consideration, don't have a crappy back end that gets hacked.

Re:Security (1)

p0p0 (1841106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732898)

Are you serious? I took something like 6 years to see any hacking on the PS3, and even now it is still weak and has only lead to one custom firmware.

Or are you speaking more from an online perspective, which they have already fixed?

Re:Security (1)

jordanjay29 (1298951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733022)

Uhh, I think the parent was talking about PSN.

It's a shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38732832)

.. that he somehow gets called a 'veteran games journalist'

He's no such thing. I'd settle with attention-seeking know-nothing.

keyboard and mouse (2)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732870)

Include a way to hook up a keyboard and mouse, out of the box.

Re:keyboard and mouse (2)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732906)

You mean like two USB ports located conveniently on the front?

Re:keyboard and mouse (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#38732982)

Preferably, a wireless set of USB ports (just some black box with two ports). They could sell a $50 "lapdesk" for the kb/mouse to sit on and feel proud of themselves, too...

Re:keyboard and mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733078)

Obviously those are the wrong kind of USB ports. I think OP wants the kind that actually let you use that keyboard and mouse in something like Call of Duty.

What OP really means is mandatory keyboard and mouse support on any game that would be played that way on the PC. (as in you don't get the fucking ps4 logo or our digital signature if you don't support mouse and keyboard in your game)

Re:keyboard and mouse (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733112)

USB is so 10 years ago, how about the latest bluetooth chipset?

Re:keyboard and mouse (1)

IshmaelDS (981095) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733114)

*I haven't tried to use a keyboard and mouse so this is based on past experience with the PS2 That only helps if they also make it a req of the games to work with a keyboard and mouse, or allow re-mapping of the controls at the system level to make it so you can USE the keyboard and mouse in all the games.

Re:keyboard and mouse (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733542)

If the game was only programmed to take input from a gamepad/joystick, how do you propose that the mouse movements be translated? It's a completely different control model. While it's easy to translate key presses to button presses, it's not so easy to translate mouse movements into joystick positions. You can't even do it. If the game isn't programmed to expect mouse inputs, that is, change in X and Y position, as opposed to x and y offset from center as is the case with analog thumbsticks, then, you aren't going to be able to use a mouse with the game.

Re:keyboard and mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733734)

Fair enough, I would assume though that you could map the x and y axis of the look or move thumbstick to the mouse, as they do on the PC with joysticks instead of mice, and then you could force developers to give the ability to map movement controls to wads.

Re:keyboard and mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733206)

It takes me all of 15 seconds to walk my wireless keyboard with a usb stick and get it to work on my ps3. The rest of the issue would be with the developers making any games for the PS3 compatible with the keyboard like in games like COD and MW etc. But then... why play on the ps3 at that point? Personally I use the keyboard in games where chatting is possible but I don't want it for controlling the game. I have enough options for most of the games by getting pc versions of the same games.

Customer Service (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38732880)

Sony should remember it is there to provide customers with what they want and are willing to pay for, rather than there to wage war on them.

Sony can do whatever they want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38732882)

... I'm still not buying it.

Friends don't let friends buy Sony.

Re:Sony can do whatever they want... (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733492)

... I'm still not buying it.

We bought a PS3 slim in large part because, at the time, it was competitive price wise with stand-alone Blu-Ray players. But in the years since, we've watched relatively few Blu-Ray discs compared to streaming titles; plus it's become obvious Sony intends to continue treating its customers like chattel. I'd hoped, after the PC rootkit debacle, they'd have learned their lesson; but it's obvious the only lessons they took from past episodes were "don't get caught" and "cover our *ss legally".

I'm pretty certain that PS3 is the last piece of Sony hardware that's ever going to be brought in our house... and I say that as someone who usually puts pragmatism ahead of philosophy when it comes to purchasing anything.

Copy some features from 360 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38732916)

Give me parties, cross-game chat (contrary to one of the comments on that article, communication actually kind of matters when you're playing multiplayer games), and copy Microsoft's new Beacons feature. And please limit title update sizes like Microsoft does so I don't need to download 2 GB patch in order to play a new game.

Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38732918)

They already removed Linux and managed to have my account information stolen. Fool me once...

I don't care if its shit turns purple and smells like rainbow sherbet.

It's too late (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38732922)

I've already decided that I will not buy anymore Sony products, given a number of anti-consumer moves that they've made, such as feature revocation, suing individuals, and behaving poorly during security breaches. I believe in voting with my dollar.

And just for the record, there are a number of PS3 games that I would really like to play. So, it really is a loss for them (albeit insignificant, on its own). Of course, It's probably for naught, since orders of magnitudes more people don't give a shit about any of Sony's missteps, but I'll stick to it, anyway.

How about better warranties? Honest warranties. (2)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733046)

Sony Corp. (SNE)â(TM)s Kazuo Hirai said the PlayStation 3 console will have a 10-year lifespan, suggesting the 5-year-old video-game player wonâ(TM)t be replaced soon.

How is it that Kaz Hirai says that Sony will be supporting the PS3 as a ten year device but they only allowed the consumers to purchase one year warranties when the system launched? If they truly believed that people would be playing the PS3 for another ten years they why is there no warranty that covers at least ten years of use? If I purchase a game system that is going to be supported with ten years of software then why is SONY not confident that the hardware will hold up for ten years and they'll only give out a warranty that covers one or two years at most?

Of course the reason why is obvious. Launch models are not built to last. The differences between launch models and slim models are numerous. I purchased five launch PS3s, the hardware backwards compatible models, and they all died within three years. The cost of replacing just one out of warranty PS3? Over $200 per unit through Sony customer support. When Sony is not even confident in the ten year life expectancy of a launch product it was rather aggravating when I read from the president that they saw the consoles as "ten year" products.

And honestly the hardware failures that I had with launch PS3s were basically pleasant experiences compared to the constant nightmares I had with 360 units suffering the RROD. MS sent me two refurbished launch 360s and those both red ringed within a week. It was another few weeks before people started to realize that something was very wrong with 360 hardware.

If MS and SONY are building these devices for 7-10 year cycles then allow us to purchase warranties to cover the devices during those years. Or at least lower the price of a repair. I cannot possibly see how it is respectful to a consumer to demand $200 to fix a defective unit on top of the $500-$600 that it cost at retail to initially purchase the device.

Re:How about better warranties? Honest warranties. (2)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733482)

You're buying a piece of consumer electronics. It's not ruggedized military hardware, despite what the commercials might lead you to believe. It doesn't even have a real metal case, for goodness sake.
 
2 years is generous for bleeding edge technology. You can't even get a 10 year factory warranty from asian car makers. Just buy a 10 year warranty through a third party. The cost of a 10 year warranty for a $600 console would probably cost you $400.
 
If you wanted a launch PS3 with 10-year durable components, you should have expected to pay $1200 or more, to be honest. You get what you pay for.
 
  Cheap. Quality. Durable. Pick any two.

Re:How about better warranties? Honest warranties. (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733546)

Furthermore, I think it's absolutely incredible that people could buy these miniature supercomputers (they're still on par with a 2010 PC computer) and expect them to run flawlessly for a decade. I mean, sure, electronics technology has come a long ways in the last 20 years, but you're talking about a device that is going to pump literally half a million cubic feet of air (10 years * 80cfm) through it, dust and all, and function guaranteed , without service for a decade. That's mind blowing.
 
Sure, some of us went off to college with mom's old toaster, but it only functions for about 3 minutes at a time, 3-4 times a week, and has four moving parts. Most consoles have many, many fans, constant temps of 50C+ and all sorts of moving parts in the optical drive, hard drive and more.
 
There are occasional outliers, like that Gameboy that survived a bomb attack in Iraq in 1991 and still works, but you need to take with a pinch of salt that when they say they are going to support a product line for a decade, you need to put that in to perspective. That means they will continue to sell the PS3 until 2016, not build them to last that long. That's just unrealistic, and your demands are too.

Re:How about better warranties? Honest warranties. (2)

xero314 (722674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733776)

You can buy ten years of warranty on a PS3 (at least in the USA, can't speak for others). The first year comes free with the purchase of the console. The second year has a variable cost depending on when you buy it and you don't need to purchase it until you are concerned about the life of the console or the console actually breaks. If you purchase it before it breaks, the cost is exactly the same as the current console cost minus the current trade in value. This is often about $100. If you wait until it break, then it's the same as the current cost of a new console. Both options extend your warranty for one year, and you can repeat this process as long as you would like. My warranty has so far cost around $150 to keep my console running for 4 years, with no sign on costing more before the PS4 is released. Mind you my PS2 warranty cost me nothing beyond the original cost and that was a launch system that is still running to this day.

Oh, and if you actually buy extended warranties on electronics you are make a poor economic decision. People would not sell extended warranties if it was not profitable for them to do so. No one sells an extended warranty that is in your favor.

PS3 Plays Games! (1)

selex (551564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733060)

What have I been using it for since I bought it 3 years ago...oh wait its a Blu-ray DVD player, Netflix/Hulu hub, and a Media server. But it plays games? Ahh that is what those controllers tethered to my Galaxy Nexus are.

Selex

Controller Charger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733088)

Maybe they should try including controllers that can be charged with normal usb wall chargers. Why the hell do I need to turn my computer or PS3 on to charge a controller?

Be fair to their g-d customers (3)

forgottenusername (1495209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733184)

1) Allow all discs to play on ps4 - at least ps2+ps3. People don't want to spend a ton of money on a new console & invalidate all their past purchases which are still quite playable, or jack around with changing out consoles all the time. It's a hassle to unplug/replug for most people.

2) Quit removing features because of your paranoia - the OtherOS debacle should have gotten some people fired. Either leave it in there or never put it in there.

3) Fix your fuggin security for reals. From what I've heard from my friends who work at Sony, they've just patched up a few weak spots that were vulnerable but their overall model is totally lacking. It's prevented me from re-upping subscription to a few games (like Vanguard) just because I don't want to trust them with their CC info.

More of a general sony point but still.

4) Allow for more mods / customization. I briefly used ps3 as HTPC but it's so limited in the formats it supports, ways of mounting to media etc it's just more of a hassle than its worth. I ended up going with xbmc on a PC.

5) Motion control is the future. Get better at it. The ps3 move is questionable; crappy titles, camera is a hassle in non-optimal light situations etc. For instance, Fight Night: Lights Out is a really good game, but it's totally ruined by subpar headtracking even in optimal light situations.

A few minor points;

- USB controllers should charge from pretty much any USB power source. My ps3 controllers are super picky for some reason.

- Use standardized friggin power button. It's incredibly ridiculous that you have to push the PS button on a controller to power the unit on, or push the button in the front. Used to drive me crazy when I drove it with harmony remote

Sony won't have anything to get me to go PS4 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733196)

The only way sony could get me to go to the PS4 would be if they let me use it to run arbitrary code just like my computer. There is nothing the ps4 could do over what my ps3 already does that would make me want one otherwise. When games come by that won't run on ps3 I'll just put some money into my computer instead.

Sony should just die (1, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733244)

Give it up. I don't love you any more. I don't think I ever did. Every time I tried to love you, you shat on me and expected me to love it. Sony, you are not Apple. Only Apple has the ability to do that. I hope there is no PS4. There doesn't need to be one. And I predict if/when there is, people will not be lining up to get them. They will atttempt to create their artificial shortages to pump up the demand, but they'll find people just aren't interested enough.

Re:Sony should just die (1)

multiben (1916126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733354)

That is such a bad prediction. I hope you aren't a stock broker.

Re:Sony should just die (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733460)

Sony, you are not Apple. Only Apple has the ability to do that.

A guy in a bar told me the PS4 controller will be a shiny scroll wheel.

Re:Sony should just die (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733596)

Oh, I'm sure the next generation or so of the AppleTV will eat the lunch of Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft...combined! Apple has a game plan, you can count on that. Soon their all powerful ring (app store) for the iOS platform will rule them all!

You seriously didn't think Apple got over the whole Pippin loss did you?

literally murder the Sony company (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733260)

pretty generic article but who cares - Sony should go and fuck themselves forever instead of releasing the PS4

Not rockett surgery.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733348)

Besides having the oomph to support more photo-realistic graphics at high framerates and 4K resolution support... what else would there be?

Why do they call it the Xbox 720? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733416)

Why do they call it the Xbox 720?

Because when you see one, you'll turn 720 degrees and walk away.

Re:Why do they call it the Xbox 720? (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733750)

Other than being slightly more dizzy, how is that any different than the Xbox 360?

How about the company not being a giant douche. (2)

Dr Max (1696200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733500)

How about not suing the customers, and allowing an other OS to be installed for the life of the product not just the first 6 months.

PS4: What I will and won't do (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733636)

Will: tell Sony to suck my cock
Won't: buy one.

Reasonable Requests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733666)

*warning*: I do not own a XBOX 360 or a PS3.

That being said, over the years after hanging out and playing games with friends on both console sets, and giving a little thought as to what I would like to see on the next gen, here is what I've come up with. (in no particular order)

Must see's ( for me to even consider purchasing )
- Multi-head support. I want the ability to push a single console multi-player mode out to that number of TV/Displays (if I have 4 60" HDTV's, it should be able to push the game to all of them, appropriate split, for 4 player mode)
- No network or remote authentication required for ANY single game. Yes, network play is fine, however it should NEVER be a requirement (knows that's certain entities would like to take it to that as a DRM requirement)
- Off console local network backup for bought/saved games (I purchased them, I should be able to save them. Unless they want to keep it in permanently in the 'Cloud' for free. very doubtful...)
- Previous console game compatibility (really think all those games are going to vanish with the release of the next Gen console? Right ....)

Compatibility
- Media streaming support from local and remote media shares, services (locally, be it my Myth-TV, Media Center, another console; remote being podcasts/audio feeds, Netflix, Hulu, PBS, etc... if other broadcast networks like Disc. Fox, CC want to jump on, go for it. However, I'm not paying for services twice if it's already coming through my cable)

Support
- Actual place I can go online, preferably a live chat channel (IRC.. ???) that I can get basic support if I need it. Forums are OK, but if it doesn't get any type of response from an 'official support' person in less than a day, it's just not worth playing.

My actual guess? We'll see a PS4, however it will be a stop-gap market share hold-over until the PS5, which will be completely redone. Sony has to rethink their entire existence after the hacks and overall ass-whopping they've taken over the past 2 years. To introduce ANYTHING without complete rethought from gamers hands, to network security, account management, etc... would be too much risk and they know that. I hope they get it right, I do, however having had Sony on my blacklist from 2000 (yes, I haven't bought ANYTHING Sony since then), I'm always willing to give Corporations a chance to turn things around. Worst case for them is, they continue to not get my money.

How about a damn IR remote receiver? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733680)

built-in for a nickel instead of a 3rd-party add on for $60 so it works with every freaking remote control on the planet instead of just game controllers? Just sayin'.

SONY HAS NO CLUE WHAT THEY NEED TO DO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38733690)

Everything Sony did so far was stolen [imgur.com] ideas.

As long as Nintendo does nothing else than Games, Sony will have to wait.

Make it easy for devs (2)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38733740)

1. Less cpu numbers but faster - Todays developers can only just get 2 cores working on average for non video/math problems - no need to add lots of unused cores.
2. Better gpu - fast, no hardware bottlenecks to save a few cents. Get as much bright moving images from the math skills of developers up on the display within the 1080p range.
3. Embrace Linux - if some person makes their generations Tetris, Myst/HyperCard, bird game - the PR glow is a net positive - give the game away with every unit shipped/sold game and be nice to the team/person who used your product to show it to the world. Support them.
4. Make it not hard to code with your product after buying into the system - make it easy to make great looking games early on.
5. Don't turn stuff off via the magic of networking.
6. Education - with cheap open hardware products allowing people to build basic kits, projects and learn about hardware, software - why not allow impressionable young minds do the same with add on devices while looking at the word SONY for the length of the lesson a few times every week. Give free software to the teachers and help them with lesson plans after they buy in big.
Let them buy 'homework' hardware and make family, friends and siblings look at the word SONY over weekends and holidays for hours.
7. More education - target universities with open code and deep hardware options. With the extra hardware and software your brand with win over a smart new generation - for free. The extra quality/speed of SONY based gpu/cpu robotics let that .edu WIN big at robot 'games'
Crush the teams that show up with buggy code after reverse engineering children's toys.
8. Secure your networks.
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