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PlayStation 2 Celebrates One Year Online

simoniker posted more than 11 years ago | from the happy-birthday-to-ping dept.

PlayStation (Games) 37

Thanks to Yahoo! for hosting the Sony press release celebrating the first anniversary of the PlayStation 2 online adaptor, as well as new figures showing "more than 780,000 gamers with online connectivity." By comparison, a recent Taipei Times article says that Microsoft has 500,000 Xbox Live subscribers worldwide. The release stresses the differences between the PS2's 'open' philosophy and Xbox Live's more managed attitude, pointing out: "...the results of the open model approach include more than 20 publishers developing more than 50 titles for the PlayStation 2 platform by the year-end." Sony also trails the PS2 hard drive with regard to Final Fantasy XI, but hint at other uses, saying it "...further demonstrates the company's focus on extending the functionalities and capabilities of the PlayStation 2 for a total living room experience including games, movies and music."

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Statistics can prove anything (4, Interesting)

Locky (608008) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802175)

The installed userbase for the PS2 is several times that of the Xbox. Pronouncing victory is quite foolish as per customer, Microsoft is having much more success with Xbox Live than Sony is with their online facility.

Re:Statistics can prove anything (4, Insightful)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802243)

Indeed. The PS2 has sold something like 30 billion systems (correct me if I'm wrong) while the XBox hasn't even sold half of that. If the PS2 only has 780,000 gamers online at this point, they are doing horribly in terms of online capabilities.

Everquest has something like 500,000 registered users, and thats for a 4+ year old MMORPG game on the PC. Its not a fair statement to compare consoles to PCs, but it sounds to me like Sony's flagship machine is being trounced by their own decommissioned flagship game.

Re:Statistics can prove anything (4, Interesting)

unclethursday (664807) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802742)

Xbox Live has a better market penetration, percentage wise.....

But the fact also remains that the 500k mark for XBL has been touted for months, without changing. It looks like most of the people who wanted XBL have it; and with the dealy of Halo 2 until next year, the prospect of new people signing up for it before Halo 2's release is slim.

And when you also consider over half of the total subscriptions were from the North American launch (almost 300k from November 15 - December 31), and most of the rest are from the Japanese and European launches, it shows most XBL users are early adoptors, and the majority of the Xbox owning population either doesn't have the broadband capabilites, doesn't care about online games, or both.

XBL got a good start, but its ability to draw in new subscribers just doesn't seem to be there; at least until Halo 2 comes out.

Thursdae

Re:Statistics can prove anything (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6803448)

XBL got a good start, but its ability to draw in new subscribers just doesn't seem to be there; at least until Halo 2 comes out.

Live is dependant on games being released that really drive people to subscribe. On the other hand, the PS2 adapter, while relying on the games to some extent, doesn't need as much justification because there's no subscription involved in the adapter itself. Individual games might have subscriptions, but the adapter itself has no penalty for buying early (unlike Live, which you might pay $50 for the first year and then not use it, and have to decide whether or not to renew at the end of the year).

I don't own a single game for any console that has online capability, as far as I know, so I haven't bought into any of the online setups. That being said, I plan on buying the online adapters for my PS2 and GC, because there's always a possibility that Ill pick up a game with online functionality and decide to use it. Live, on the other hand, I won't buy until I have a number of games I want to play online to justify the subscription costs. Recurring fees just don't sit well with me.

xbox live (-1, Troll)

alatesystems (51331) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802223)

I own an Xbox and I used to own a ps2. I broke it and took it back to best buy under my service plan and got an xbox. It is sooooo much better as a gaming platform and the online gaming is superb. On the ps2 you get to pay a monthly fee for each game you play unless the publisher is nice enough to give you a flat rate for all the games from that publisher/cartel(sony). Xbox live is a VERY low YEARLY fee of 45 bucks. That's $3.75 a month!!! For EVERY Live GAME!!!!

Bottom line, ps2 online gaming pricing/value/experience sucks compared to that of xbox. I hate a lot of things MS does, but the xbox isn't one of them. I love the games they make too. If you haven't played Midtown Madness 3 for the xbox, you haven't lived. The Live! gameplay really brings the game to life. RENT it at least and then you will buy it.

Oh and just to add...the ps2 only supports 5.1 in cutscenes whereas the xbox supports it ingame and all games I have actually use it. Xbox supports HDTV resolutions and all games support at least 480 so it actually RENDERS a wider picture on my 55" 16:9 samsung.

Chris

Re:xbox live (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6802410)

dipshit, its free to play on ps2, but i guess you dont give a shit, since your mom pays all your bills. i bet you have her wipe your ass too, cuz youd probably ending up breaking your asshole too.

Re:xbox live (3, Informative)

akudoi (568104) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802414)

You're only half right. Sony doesn't charge you for every game individually. Many PS2 games dont require any monthly fee. Socom, Midnight Club 2, ATV Offroad Furry 2. The only games I know of that charge you for online play are the MMORPG's, which makes sence. Its exactly like the PC model for online play. You dont pay a monthly fee to play Half-Life online, do you? But you do for say, Everquest.

Unlike the Xbox where you have to pay a monthly fee to play ANY game online. Wether or not it is only 1 flat rate. You have to have live to play online.

Yea, but.. (1)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802730)

Just like a PC MMORPG, you get a lot more than just being able to stomp newbs in Mech Assault.

You get voice chat. You get friends lists. You get mute lists and other stuff that's persistant across all your games. It's a whole lot easier to get into online games, since you can rent the ones you want to try, and then buy the ones you liked (Everquest Online Adventures did have the 1-week game time test CDs, but they weren't really popular).

By making the fees easy, centralized, and predictable, Microsoft has taken a lot of the uncertainty about online play away from the end user. It's also setup a service that will ban the griefers, because they have to pay to get online in any game.

You can look at paying to play games as bad, but it's so inexpensive that one game is enough to break even considering all the cool extra features the service adds over the Sony online experience. The moment you start playing multiple games, your benefits are that much more. I like to play Mech Assault, Capcom vs. SNK 2, and Tetris online.. all have voice chat, the same friends list, and the same everything support under the hood :)

They haven't charged at all..? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6802832)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't it been less than a year since Xbox live launched? All Xbox live headsets come with at least a year's free access. They were undecided about what they were actually going to bill when the year ran out - it could be $0, it could be $5 a month.

Either way, it's a nice service. I have Xbox live (my brother bought it for me on my birthday), but besides from a couple of games I haven't really used it much. I figure Halo 2 will be the real killer app for it though.

Re:They haven't charged at all..? (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6803925)

Subscription rates are detailed at
http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/accounts/YourAc coun t_Subscription.htm

They were announced about a month or so ago (maybe longer).

They're also increasing the cost of the starter kit and bundling MechAssault (or reducing the price of MechAssault to $20 and bundling it with Live, depending on how you look at it) in mid-October.

Re:xbox live (5, Informative)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802456)

I own an Xbox and I used to own a ps2. I broke it and took it back to best buy under my service plan and got an xbox. It is sooooo much better as a gaming platform and the online gaming is superb. On the ps2 you get to pay a monthly fee for each game you play unless the publisher is nice enough to give you a flat rate for all the games from that publisher/cartel(sony).

Feel glad I just used up the rest of my modpoints. Otherwise, I would have rated this -1: Troll.

It's blatently false. Out of the (quoted) 50 PS2 titles that will support online gaming by the end of the year, only TWO will charge any sort of fee: FFXI, and Everquest Online Adventures. This is as opposed to the Xbox, where you can't play _any_ games without paying a monthly fee to Microsoft.

Oh and just to add...the ps2 only supports 5.1 in cutscenes whereas the xbox supports it ingame

This is also false. A number of PS2 titles support 5.1 surround via DTS encoding, wheras the Xbox only supports Dolby Digital encoding. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, SSX: Tricky, and NHL 2003 are three titles that support in-game DTS surround.

For someone who "used to own a PS2", you certainly don't know much about it, do you?

Yaz.

No true 5.1 DTS? (2, Informative)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802785)

The Xbox will let you use DTS DVDs and DTS cut scenes just like the PS2 will.

The PS2 DTS encoded games are only 4-point surround. Any 5.1 surround on the PS2 is done via Prologic 2 encoding, since those are the only 2 real-time surround formats available on the PS2 (barring some new algorithm for encoding audio).

Socom does PL2, as do most Sony 1st party releases from the past 8 months.

As for the online experience, well... you're getting more than just access to online servers with Live!. You're getting basic service guarantees and all that implies. Until Sony makes a real online service for their consoles, you can't really compare it to Live! since there is nothing else like Live! in the world. No one has complete, end-to-end control of hardware and software like this particular Microsoft service has.

It's like comparing the surround sound on the PS2 to the Xbox. There are 350 some Xbox titles, all of which support Dobly Digital. There are 500 or 600 PS2 titles, of which maybe 50 do surround sound at all (let alone real-time). You can't really compare that, since every single Xbox game guarantees surround sound support.

But all this talk of features ignores a major thing that people who don't own all the consoles (not just PS2/Xbox/GCN -- I mean all of them) ignore: you can't play features!

The PS2 is a great console because of its various exclusives, but the Xbox is also a great console because of its various exclusives. That the GameCube is a great console because of its exclusives goes without saying.

Games are what sell systems, not paper specs, not features. And comparing features that aren't comparable is the same as buying a PS3 because it pushes a bunch of polygons, even though there are no fucking games for it.

Re:No true 5.1 DTS? (1)

EllF (205050) | more than 11 years ago | (#6806814)

Games are what sell systems, not paper specs, not features.

Inoshiro: sanity on /..

Re:No true 5.1 DTS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6809211)

Tell me, is your tongue as brown as your nose?

Inoshiro is a blowhard, an apologist, and a braggart. EllF, I sincerely hope that I have not made you cry.

Re:xbox live (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6802476)

what a dumbass. next time when you go trolling, try not to leave the url to your website, which includes your fucking resume! dipshit.

"Online Connectivity" (5, Interesting)

dafoomie (521507) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802260)

"more than 780,000 gamers with online connectivity."

What does this mean? Is it that 780,000 people have signed up, or that 780,000 people own PS2 online adaptors? I could say that 100% of Xbox's have "online connectivity" because every Xbox has an ethernet port built in. I think these numbers are very deceptive.

Take this with a gigantic grain of salt. This is a press release written by Sony. Of course the numbers are skewed in Sony's favor. Just like how Microsoft press releases say that Windows is a stable and secure operating system.

Re:"Online Connectivity" (3, Insightful)

bedurndurn (255521) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802349)

What does this mean? Is it that 780,000 people have signed up, or that 780,000 people own PS2 online adaptors? I could say that 100% of Xbox's have "online connectivity" because every Xbox has an ethernet port built in. I think these numbers are very deceptive.

Well it could very well be 780,000 broadband adapters sold. Unlike the X-Box though, I'd imagine if you bought a broadband adapter (as opposed to having it come with the system), you probably intend to actually use it.

Re:"Online Connectivity" (1)

dafoomie (521507) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802406)

Online adaptors ship with all new PS2's now. They still offer it without one for slightly cheaper but thats only until they run out. And I do like Xbox's online system better, where you pay $50 yearly for all games (except one - PSO). With PS2 you pay per game, though some games are free, some are not. Though I can't see a game charge much less than Xbox Live does (4.17/month).

Re:"Online Connectivity" (3, Informative)

unclethursday (664807) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802851)

And I do like Xbox's online system better, where you pay $50 yearly for all games (except one - PSO). With PS2 you pay per game, though some games are free, some are not.

There are only 3 games on the PS2, total worldwide, that charge per month, and only one of those is in North America right now. ALL the rest are free to play online.

Only EverQuest Online Adventures, Final Fantasy XI, and a golf game (I think it may be the Japanese version of Hot Shots Golf 4) charge to play online.

So three out of all of the online titles on the PS2 isn't quite the same as saying 'some charge and some don't.' It's more like most don't and a few do.

Besides, until the Live Now part of XBL launches, the 'services' you get with XBL hardly justify the cost. But the free long distance and conference call abilities of Live Now will definitly outweigh the cost of XBL, once it gets released.

Thursdae

Re:"Online Connectivity" (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6803466)

But the free long distance and conference call abilities of Live Now will definitly outweigh the cost of XBL, once it gets released.

I get those features with my cell phone...

$50/year is not much if I find myself with a handful of games I want to play, but I'm not starting a subscription until I have those games in my hand. Adapters, on the other hand, cost nothing to keep around, just the initial cost, and so the numbers may be much higher than the actual use of them. Of course, I'm sure there are people out there that subscribed to Live and haven't used it, but that's probably fewer (as a percentage) than bought an online adapter for another console and haven't used it.

Re:"Online Connectivity" (1)

mapmaker (140036) | more than 11 years ago | (#6804568)

What does this mean? Is it that 780,000 people have signed up, or that 780,000 people own PS2 online adaptors?

It means 780,000 adapters sold. There is no "signing up" with PS2. Once you have the adapter and an online-capable game, you're good to go.

You cannot say that 100% of X-boxes have online connectivity, because X-box owners have to "sign up" and pay MS $50 (per year) before they can use that built-in ethernet port.

Apples and Oranges (2, Interesting)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802291)

Forget the fact that PS2 has sold 5x as many consoles as Xbox.

All Xbox Live Subscribers are broadband users. It is a broadband service.

PS2 are probably mostly dialup. Broadband is the future; if you want good gaming without lag, you need broadband. And if you want a broadband platform where all your opponents have broadband, you must choose Xbox.

Not to be a fan, I'm selling my Xbox on ebay as we speak cause I outgrew it.

Re:Apples and Oranges (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6802403)

shutup, xbox fanfuck. shouldnt you be out with mommy buying games for your stupid piece of gay xshit?

Re:Apples and Oranges (4, Insightful)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802500)

PS2 are probably mostly dialup. Broadband is the future; if you want good gaming without lag, you need broadband. And if you want a broadband platform where all your opponents have broadband, you must choose Xbox.

Ever play Frequency or Amplitude online? Both of these games support a mix of broadband and dialup users, and I have never seen an issue playing with people with different connection types.

Sony was smart. They made it possible for a game to specifically function with only one connection type. Take SOCOM for example: it doesn't support the dialup element of the adapter, because it just won't work.

Sony made it so the game developers can decide wether or not to target just broadband users, or everyone. There are a lot of styles of games that work quite well on a dialup connection.

And in this big old world, there are still lots of places where telephone lines are readily available, but where broadband is not. Personally, I applaud a company that is willing to embrace players in remote (or odd) areas where broadband simply isn't an option.

Yaz.

Re:Apples and Oranges (1)

Komarosu (538875) | more than 11 years ago | (#6803071)

Infact the UK version of the adapter is BB only...

It's a press release from Sony, guys! (1)

KNicolson (147698) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802643)

What's with the headline writer hyping it up even more by extracting "key" passages? Of course it's going to say the PS2 is wonderful!

Not too bad (1)

M3wThr33 (310489) | more than 11 years ago | (#6802910)

And the GameCube has about 400,000 subscribers for PSO I+II.

Online is finally getting off on the right foot, but still needs a lot more work.

Re:Not too bad (1)

AaronBaker2000 (480581) | more than 11 years ago | (#6805990)

I'm a nintendo fanboy, but that doesn't sound right. How could nintendo possibly be competitive in this respect? Please provide a source for this statistic.

Re:Not too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6809306)

I'd also like a source for that number.

But online play is clearly in Nintendo's sights, they are just approaching the issue very slowly and carefully. Witness their lineup of games that will support LAN play.

A traditionally conservative company such as Nintendo has to take baby steps to combat such huge players as Sony and Microsoft. They, once accompanied by Sega, represent the old guard of gaming. Misstepping against fierce competitors in a market in which they are underrepresented is not good business. Sega set its goals too high with the Dreamcast, and now they are a hazy shadow of their former selves, at the beck and call of the three remaining contenders. The LAST thing that would happen to Nintendo is a burnout due to an all-out frontal attack. They are conservative (read: smart) for that.

Re:Not too bad (1)

M3wThr33 (310489) | more than 11 years ago | (#6810566)

I looked. I'm going to ask my friend about it. I believe it was based on the number of broadband adapters sold.

Completely different strategies... (1)

Woodie (8139) | more than 11 years ago | (#6807140)

OK -

In my household we've got every major console from the Sega Genesis onward (Saturn, N64, PS1, Dreamcast, PS2, X-Box and, Gamecube). We have network adaptors for the PS2 and (obviously) the X-Box. My roommate is participating in the FF Online Beta as well. So, I'd say we're reasonably familiar with the offerings on hand.

In general, for novices, the Live! service is superior. You pay a fixed rate, and any live enabled game just works. There are networkable X-Box games w/o Live (Halo being one of them), but by and large Live! defines the current online experience for X-Box owners. It's essentially a peer-to-peer game matching service, there are currently _no_ MMO games for the X-Box. It also handles game updates and expansions (several new levels for Unreal Championship, and Mech Assault, etc). It also features voice communications with _all_ Live enabled games.

No matter how many Live enabled games you have, you can play all of them for the low yearly subscription rate of $45.

Sony's PS2 has left network implementation up to the individual game vendor. There is no "standard" user experience, and features are only available on a per-game basis. SOCOM has voice communications, but I can't think of any other PS2 game that does. I count this as a "ding" against Sony. Yes, it's conveinient for the developer in that they can pick and choose which features to implement, but each of them is responsible for implementing them; each of them re-invents the wheel.

On the other hand, this has left the door open for implementing MMO games for the PS2 (Everquest - which was horrid, and FF-Online, which is awesome, although it will require you to get a hard-disk expansion). Many games for the PS2 have their own subscription plan, which could be confusing, and can certainly be an accounting nightmare.

Overall, the PS2 online approach is pretty good for the nearterm - but with MS preparing to launch a couple of MMO offerings late this year or early next, along with "channel" based Live! services (Sports network, RPG network, etc), their online play may have more legs into 2005 and 2006 (when both Sony and MS are scheduled to release new consoles). I'm pretty sure most MMOs will have an additional supscription fee over and above the Live! service fee. But this won't really differ from Squares "portal" fee, and "game subscription" fees.

Re:Completely different strategies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6809819)

The Genesis onward? Well, since the Genesis came out before the SNES and you didn't list the SNES, I would say that you have just lied, you fucking liar. Don't run your mouth when your dick is so small, faggot.

Re:Completely different strategies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6811347)

Inoshiro, is that you?

Japan even got their expansion already... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6807172)

Anyone have any idea when final fantasy xi is supposed to be released in america for pc and wether or not it will include the expansion?

EA (1)

luccid (452367) | more than 11 years ago | (#6810726)

The thing that sucks about XBOX is we dont have EA sports ! I cant play Madden 2004 online.

Re:EA (1)

AlexMax2742 (602517) | more than 11 years ago | (#6830063)

...which will 'expire' in a year.

Get NFL Fever or NFL 2K (now ESPN football). Neither has 'shut down' after a year.

hmmm... perhaps nintendo is right... (0)

zonker (1158) | more than 11 years ago | (#6854591)

with only about 1.5-2 million (total) users out there paying for online gaming, why in the hell would any straight thinking company invest a ton of money into developing online games? when you consider that there are probably 120-150 million nextgen consoles (ps2,gcn,xbox) total, that is a VERY small percentage of users actually going online.

makes sense to me that nintendo is holding out until the number make a little more sense. unfortunately, it kinda sucks for us gcn gamers that'd like to give it a try...
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