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Should Game Consoles Make Breakfast, Too?

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the ham-and-eggs dept.

Games 292

Ryan writes "Is the idea of 'convergence' (the notion that a single digital appliance will handle multiple tasks) in gaming consoles even worth it? CNET News has an article discussing the issues of convergence related to gaming - it seems like a lot of consumers aren't worried about the bells and whistles, yet they keep throwing them at us." The article mentions the "underwhelming" response to Sony's PSX console/DVR combo, whose "arrival in North America--originally slated to happen in time for the 2004 holiday shopping season--is now set for an unspecified date in 2005."

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Awesome idea... (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#9983961)


"Should Game Consoles Make Breakfast, Too?"

Not a bad idea:

If you play console while it's making breakfast it won't scream "What are you doing?! Don't touch me!"

You can eat your breakfast without the console whining to you.

If breakfast is cold you can beat the console without feeling guilty.

You can demand beer for breakfast and the console won't complain.

If you throw out the console it won't hire a lawyer to take half your stuff.

Man, if RealDoll.com could "converge" this new console concept with their products they'd be trillionaires.

GRUB SI TEH FAGORT!!!~!1` (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9983986)

Re:GRUB SI TEH FAGORT!!!~!1` (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984012)


Sorry, my divorce was finalized two years ago yesterday and I'm still celebrating. :)

Re:Awesome idea... (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984007)

Wow, your standards are waaay higher than mine. If they sold the console with earphones to which I can only hear the game for an hour without hearing any nagging or temper tantrums, I'd shell out $500.

Re:Awesome idea... (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984058)

Heck if they sell their current dolls to a mere 166,694,449 happy individuals they would have a trillion dollars (not counting the cost to make/ship etc). Heck one doll per household would just about do it here in the U.S. So which candidate is gonna make that promise in the next election?

Re:Awesome idea... (5, Funny)

Dorsai65 (804760) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984070)

How the hell did you get my ex? Poor bastard...

Re:Awesome idea... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984095)

Yes but despite all this, you can't have a meaningful sexual relationship with your console.

Re:Awesome idea... (0, Troll)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984202)

www.throwthejewdownthewell.com

SORRY YI ODNT NO HTLM,.

Re:Awesome idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984240)

I was thinking that the story was in response to malnutrition of gamers that don't eat breakfast, but instead play video games in the morning, before school and what not... But of course, if you were crazy enough like me, you'd get up a few hours early to eat breakfast AND play video games. If they can do a combo task system, it sure would save time!

I'm going to say no (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9983963)

I suspect that much like females in video games the breakfast would look great, but be pretty empty and unrealistic.

Re:I'm going to say no (2, Funny)

Sophrosyne (630428) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984122)

...Those are some over-sized eggs you're having for breakfast!

Re:I'm going to say no (2, Interesting)

stripe (680068) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984174)

I would agree. With the game console, DVD player and PVR as separate units you can replace/retire one when it breaks or you get tired of it. With the combo units if one part breaks you need to replace the whole unit. So they have to offer lifetime warranties that are good for 5 years or more. Still I would not want to wait the 2-3 weeks it will take to ship the unit and get it fixed, since in doing so I lose PVR, DVD and Game functionality all at once.
Also they have to price the entire package at or close to the price of the most expensive component. You can get a $90 DVD player, Tivo's are at $100-$200, that leaves the game console portion. However you can build/buy a PC for $300-$500 that will do the same thing this will.

PS3 the Cell phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9983980)

No wait, the cellphone's trying to be the console, and doing a crappy job at it... so far

Only Nintendo really "gets it". (5, Interesting)

Samir Gupta (623651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9983982)

Nintendo have always been sceptical of the "Everything and the kitchen sink" approach that Microsoft and Sony have taken with their consoles. They do but one thing -- gaming -- but do it well, unlike their other competitors who want to be a DVD player/CD player/PC/Internet terminal/TiVo. Their philosophy is to focus on one thing -- gaming, and make it our core competency, continuing to come out with seminal hits that people synonimize with the video game industry, Mario, Zelda, and so on.

They are continuing this trend with our future game consoles, and I do believe that because of Nintendo's laser-sharp and well-defined focus, that Sony and Microsoft's leads will be short lived in the next generation.

Kinda obvious (4, Insightful)

CarrionBird (589738) | more than 10 years ago | (#9983984)

The only people craving convergence seem to be the gadget companies looking for another gimmick.

Re:Kinda obvious (3, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984004)

I personally liked the convergence of the PS2 and a DVD player. For $15 extra I had a fully functioning DVD player with remote *and* a gaming console.

This was at a time when DVD players were well over $150/ea. Seemed like a great bargain to me.

Re:Kinda obvious (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984208)

same here, until my TV's speakers died.

since then I upgraded my computer to something decent, and I can use it as a DVD player and as a PVR...

my only minor annoyance is when I watch TV, I have to reposition my computer's speakers and subwoofer (from gaming setup to TV set-top)

now if only I could play console games on my PC...

Re:Kinda obvious (4, Insightful)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984139)

Why i hate convergence in my electronics:
1. All-in-one = single point of failure when something breaks, and needs to be replaced.
2. Generally speaking, all-in-one devices incorporate propietary technologies to promote lock-in and/or reduce 3rd party tech licensing costs for the company (SONY!!!!).
3. Quality of stand alone components is usually much higher. Think stereo equipment.
4. Modularity = more cost effective upgrade path.
5. All-in-one = usually more complex than individual devices. Stand alone means you can learn and understand the functions fully before moving onto the next component. Sometimes the 'role' of a device is confused when it is consolidated. e.g. Does 'play' mean play the .mp3, the CD, the DVD, or the video game???
6. All-in-one convergence not always a logical combination. Digital camera cell phones? mp3 player cell phones? Cell phones tend to be the worst examples of this phenomenon.

Convergence usually is successful if its the result of a natural evolution of a product. I don't think that marketers can force convergence on its audience...especially when its marked up substantially.

Re:Kinda obvious (3, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984228)

"Convergence usually is successful if its the result of a natural evolution of a product. I don't think that marketers can force convergence on its audience...especially when its marked up substantially."

Said the guy using a $3,000+ computer that does email, porn, games, video, Slashdot, and music.

Re:Kinda obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984250)

Judging from my spam, email==porn==videos as far as my computer is concerned.

Re:Kinda obvious (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984253)

oh?

personally, especially with programmable electronics, I'm rather pissed if it could do something but they just decided it shouldn't because "it didn't fit the image"(like play video and music files or just choose to support the companys own properiaty formats)... .

like having the ability to play mp3 in a dvd player. a feature that is in practice something that doesn't add to the cost of the machine if it were there or not(or streaming ability in a tivo like already network connected machine, or the ability to use that machine to play some pacman clone).

Divergent functions! (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 10 years ago | (#9983991)

I don't know how they do things in Asia, but around here, Playing games and watching TV are very divergent functions.

On the other hand, can those things play games and record TV at the same time?

Re:Divergent functions! (1)

marc_moore (799688) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984285)

You're right, they are divergent functions, but that's no reason not to have a device that actually does more than one thing. There's no reason for Joe Sixpack to need a "remote boat" to organize his 8 clickers - that's just silly.

All I have to say is (2, Funny)

jdew (644405) | more than 10 years ago | (#9983995)

Nintendo cereal system!

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984061)

LOfuckingL...

Re:All I have to say is (1)

justkarl (775856) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984118)

Does anybody remember the Nintendo brand cereal? There was Zelda, I think, with marshmallow swords and triforces...I think there was a Mario cereal, too...

Re:All I have to say is (2, Informative)

User 956 (568564) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984123)

Nintendo. It's for breakfast now! [smbhq.com]
Nintendo. It's a cereal, wow!

Re:All I have to say is (3, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984278)

Well your gonna need a plummer after all those overweight kids start eating high fiber cereals.

WARNING! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9983997)

| This is not a place of honor.
| No highly esteemed deed is commemorated here.
| Nothing valued is here.
| This place is a message and part of a system of messages.
| Pay attention to it!
| Sending this message was important to us.
| We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.
| What is here is dangerous and repulsive to us.
| This message is a warning about danger.
| The danger is in a particular location. It increases towards a center.
| The danger is still present, in your time, as it was in ours.
| The danger is to the body, and it can kill.
| The form of danger is an emanation of energy.
| The danger is unleashed only if you substantially disturb this place
| physically. This place is best shunned and left uninhabited.

The cell phone guys should take note of this. (4, Insightful)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984005)

Please just give me a phone that lets me do stuff phone related. I want a phone that will:
  • Make calls
  • maintain a phone book
  • let me upload my voicemails to my computer for archiving Even my oldest answering machine in the 80s let me change tapes to save messages.
Why do they keep adding crap like virus-ridden operating systems and video games, when they don't even have the basic voice features working yet.

Re:The cell phone guys should take note of this. (4, Insightful)

angst7 (62954) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984065)

Agreed. I've never even used my Xbox to watch a DVD. I bought it to play games not track my stocks or turn on the lights when I come home from work.

I've got the same problem with my new wizbang Nextel/Motorola cell phone. It's smaller does a zillion neato things, but it gets consistantly worse reception than the one I had for the last three years that simply called people.

Re:The cell phone guys should take note of this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984141)

For the fancy programmable web-phone-mp3-thingies is there a way to do this? Somehow the software would have to get access to the voicemail stored up on the cell company's corporate server; but it seems it should be possible - after all, they can transfer pictures that way.

I'd buy a cell phone that let me archive my voicemails.

Re:The cell phone guys should take note of this. (2, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984168)

"Why do they keep adding crap like virus-ridden operating systems and video games..."

Ok: Everybody that's gotten a virus through their phone, raise their hand. Nobody? Ok. Anybody that's played games on their phone, raise their hands. Hmm quite a few.

"when they don't even have the basic voice features working yet."

Uh, yeah they do. Been working great since 97.

Make a call: Check.
Recieve a call: Check.
Save phone numbers into a phone book: Check.
Recieve voice mail: Check.
Voice Mail indicator: Check.
Caller ID: Check.
Decent rate plans: Check.
No roaming or long distance charges: Check.
Pretty darned good coverage across the country: Check.

I have no clue when it became so fucking fashionable to complain about cell phones here. There are a lot of people these days that don't even have a landline because their cell phone handles the job just fine. So spare us al the "basic voice features" karma-whoring line. Every single story that mentions cell phones has one of these comments modded up, even though it's so obviously wrong.

Re:The cell phone guys should take note of this. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984224)

Uh, yeah they do. Been working great since 97.

How about the "save my voicemails for archival purposes" that the grandparent post mentioned. Old tape-based answering machines did this. Seems a new one could easily upload a .mp3 to a computer in the same way they do it with videos.

I'd much rather a phone upload a voice mail than upload a digital picture - yet the phone vendors added the latter feature but not the former. This is so much more silly because I already have a digital camera that takes better pictures than the phone.

Re:The cell phone guys should take note of this. (1)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984256)

What is especially galling to electronics manufacturers is that the combination of cellphone convergence and cell providers demanding cheap handsets as loss leaders for subscription lock-in is that profit margins are going to be driven to hell if you phone is a camera, audio player, GPS device, PDA, game system, yadda yadda, because "free" handsets will undermine the market for standalone versions of those devices.

Feature Creep (2, Interesting)

deacent (32502) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984015)

The optimist sees "convergence" while the pessimist sees "feature creep". Guess that makes me a pessimist.

How about backwards compatability for old games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984018)

Seems simple, be happy if my new console could play my old games(more than 1 generation old). All in wonders seem mediocre all around, how bout focusing on expanding their main use, not mediocre overlap of features other devices do better.

Separate But Equal (5, Insightful)

grunt107 (739510) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984020)

Although these 'combos' are good for people that have none of the offered tech but want them all, I believe separates are the way to go. Then I do not end up with 3 DVD players (1 standalone, 1 w/PS2, 1 w/XBox).
A better idea is to have all these 'parts' interconnect in a more seamless way - have additional devices plug in to a master controller, which would allow infinite connections (instead of the current setups where the 3rd game system is connected on the 'tape' monitor.

Dammit. (1)

Yo Grark (465041) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984026)

Underwhelming response? Dammit, I was looking forward to Playing my cake and eating it to. /me ducks

Yo Grark

convergence? blech! (2, Insightful)

Dorsai65 (804760) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984030)

C'mon. Do ONE thing, do it well, and do it inexpensively. This stuff is starting to look more and more like those 8-track/cassette/turntable/tuner lashups from the 70's. Sheesh.

Re:convergence? blech! (1)

unfortunateson (527551) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984239)

> and do it inexpensively
You hit the nail on the head: The manufacturers (Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Nokia, Tapwave) aren't interested in selling you something cheap -- the box itself is a big cost, so adding more features amount to higher profit.

Another factor is the japanese real estate market: there isn't any real estate. Houses and apartments are tiny, so one device that does six things is a big help.

However, they make more money off the software licenses, so you'd think that a small price would help attract folks to their market.

Now in our house, the xbox is our 'junior' media center: The kids have music loaded into it, and watch DVD's on it, they're just begging for a bigger screen to do it all on (only 19" -- I'm a bad dad, but then again, my TV's only 27").

Well, ask yourself this.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984034)

Why don't all TV sets come with built-in radios, DVD players, game console, calculator, web browser, home power regulators (you know, to turn your lights, heating and other things on and off), CD player, etc, etc???

Re:Well, ask yourself this.... (1)

mailtomomo (776971) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984132)

it all does : we call it "house".

Re:Well, ask yourself this.... (1)

Master Rux (458819) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984197)

That's about what my laptop does. minus the home regulatos, but I just haven't gotten around to it.

Well after a bad xbox mod or two... (2, Funny)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984040)

I can say they they will make toast.

there might not be anything wrong with the PSX (1)

Frac (27516) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984042)

Let's face it, the PS2 has been out for how many years now? and Japan, of all markets, is definitely saturated with PS2s.

If you already have a PS2, and you're in the market for a PVR, would you:

* buy a PVR that has another PS2 in it, therefore paying an unnecessary premium,

or

* buy just a PVR at a lower cost?

Sex + Gaming (2, Funny)

teiresias (101481) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984044)

as soon as you can converge (real life) sex and gaming than you have a convergence I'll buy.

Re:Sex + Gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984184)

Interesting market there.... seems Nevada (with both a big gaming industry and a legal sex industry) should take note of this.

All you unemployed guys looking for a startup opportunity.... here's an idea for you.

Re:Sex + Gaming (2, Funny)

sp00 (639381) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984227)

would they call that the "sex-top-box"?

Re:Sex + Gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984331)

Posted anon because I like to keep my sexlife somewhat private.

Pick up the game "Rez" and a "trance vibrator" (ps2)

Its lots of fun to play a game thats visually and aurally exciting, and at the same time use it to help get your s/o off.

Unfortunatly, the vibrator is pretty weak, even by sextoy standards. But its still a lot of fun, and it fulfills your criteria.

google for examples, of course.

Yes, convergence is good (5, Insightful)

Nos. (179609) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984049)

But don't try to do it all with hardware.

Imagine a device that I can plug into my TV. It will play DVDs, it will take my CD's, convert them to MP3s (autmatcially putting in track names and authors), it will allow internet surfing (yes, a TV isn't as good as a monitor), PVR, game playing, paying bills online, etc. it will handle VOIP (with built in message manage), IM, home automation, home security, water the lawn when it needs it, etc.

Sounds nice, I'd buy one. Oh wait I have one, its called a computer. None of the things I mentioned above are new. Rolling all of these features into one device is going to take forever. However, build a nice fanless computer. Make it a DVD player and have some basic MP3 functionality. Release. Do a software update to allow web surfing. Do a software update to do home automation (thermostat, time lights, etc). Do a software update to ... you get the picture. The thing is, this can all be done today, nothing is new. But trying to build it all at once is the wrong way to go at it. Start slow, release often. Sure most of us on slashdot aren't going to be the target market, but our families, friends, and other non-techno people are.

Re:Yes, convergence is good (1)

Brie and gherkins (778845) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984143)

I have a computer which does all that, I didn't study computer science, and I have spent a small enough amount of time on it to still have a girlfriend. It runs the pretty version of *nix

Re:Yes, convergence is good (3, Informative)

User 956 (568564) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984192)

But don't try to do it all with hardware. Imagine a device that I can plug into my TV. It will play DVDs, it will take my CD's, convert them to MP3s (autmatcially putting in track names and authors), it will allow internet surfing (yes, a TV isn't as good as a monitor), PVR, game playing, paying bills online, etc. it will handle VOIP (with built in message manage), IM...

The sad thing is, you can already do all of those things with a modded xbox. [xbox-scene.com] And what's even sadder is, it'll cost you under 200 bucks.

Nothing New (3, Insightful)

Nexzus (673421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984050)

I remember the 3D0 and the CD-i being touted as all in one devices, and they failed miserably. Panasonic and Phillips seem to forgot that it is - and I hate to point out the obvious - all about the games. Being able to play movies, or record TV shows should just be a bonus, not the focus of a console.

Plus, I would rather have devices that performed one function, and did them well, than one device that could do several things rather poorly. The PS2 is a great game playing machine, but makes a lousy DVD player.

Re:Nothing New (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984322)

how is this insightful.

why cant a company come up with an all in one where each feature works well.

its not that unrealistic.

if they can make one device do it well, they can build that into something else.

I don't care. (0, Offtopic)

Bryan_W (649785) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984055)

As long as it can make toast and run NetBSD I'm happy :)

Next Week: New Game Consoles Only Play Games (2, Funny)

neilb78 (557698) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984059)

Next Week: New Game Consoles Only Play Games

Next they'll release deticated devices for each feature and call it innovation.

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984075)

[I]t seems like a lot of consumers aren't worried about the bells and whistles, yet they keep throwing them at us.

The nice thing about a market economy and competition is that these things sort themselves out. Unless you work for Sony or Nintendo, who cares? Let Microsoft eat their lunch, just like they taught a lesson to everyone else with lousy judgment.

Underwhelming (1)

oasis3582 (698323) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984076)

Underwhelming response not necessarily due lack of interest, but rather lack of people willing to pay the hefty price.

"underwhelming response" (5, Informative)

User 956 (568564) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984080)

maybe there was an "underwhelming response" because they were charging an arm and a leg for the fricking thing.

Tivo = $99.

PS2 = $150.

Tivo + PS2 = $900?

what kind of math is that?

Re:"underwhelming response" (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984133)

It's a niche product, and will never see "overwhelming sales".

The math shouldnt be:

PS2 + TiVo + DVD-R >= PSX

But it should be:

PS2 + TiVo + DVD-R + Fits the elegant design of my half million dollar game room >= PSX

You buy this because you only want one box next to the TV, and money isn't a concern.

Re:"underwhelming response" (2, Interesting)

Ass, Ltd. Ho! (714400) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984242)

PS2 + TiVo + DVD-R + Fits the elegant design of my half million dollar game room >= PSX

Have you ever seen a half million dollar game room? When you spend that kind of money, you have serious system designers, serious installers, and serious hardware. You have a $2500 Arcam FMJ DVD player, or an $8000 Carousel. You don't use your Playstation for a DVD player. Have you ever compared PS2-as-DVD player to even a $200 DVD player? I know the live-in-mom's-basement slashdot crowd thinks their PS2 connected to the RF input of their VCR displayed in fluctuating brightness Macrovision glory on their 27" Apex TV is the be-all-end-all of consumer electronics, but trust me-- it gets better than that. And the guy designing and installing a half-million dollar game room/entertainment space knows this, and will collect for himself the high margins associated with $2500 DVD players and all the necessary extra cabling. With that budget, everything can be hidden away effectively too, if that is what is desired.

I'd say that the PSX will be installed for shits and giggles in half-million-dollar-entertainment-room guy's bedroom, maybe.

what if... (1, Funny)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984081)

What if pacman could eat the commercials on your DVR... ?

e.

Good in some areas (1)

spazoidspam (708589) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984084)

Convergence is great in some areas, but not so great in others. PSX - why? I have a ps2, I have a DVD player. If I wanted to record TV, I would buy a TiVo. It costs much less then buying all the equipment rolled into 1 package, and also it means its harder to upgrade. Mobile Phone - good idea! I like having tons of stuff rolled into my phone, because it goes with me wherever I go. Convergance is a good idea for mobile devices because consumers dont like to take lots of stuff with them. Its a bad idea for home use because consumeres dont mind having 5 different devices at home.

Hell No! (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984086)

> Should Game Consoles Make Breakfast, Too?

Hell, no! That's what cell phones are for!

Sigh.. No, and this isn't news (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984093)

The "set-top box" is a white elephant. Not just because of technical hurdles, but the very fact that people don't want it.

I have a seperate DVD player and XBox. The fact that the XBox can play DVDs didn't stop me from getting the DVD player. Why? Because I want to watch a movie upstairs while my kids play Soul Calibur II. Simple, huh? Why should I buy two $500 devices when a $40 DVD player and $120 Xbox do what I need?

And hey, when my XBox breaks, I can still watch DVDs, play CDs, pay my bills online, keep my milk cold and fresh, and make delicious toaster pastries.

All-in-one devices are single points of failure.

Not to mention the "jack of all trades, master of none" angle. Sure the XBox can play DVDs. But not in 640p (ok after modding and hacking it can). Even a $40 DVD player has progressive scan these days. It's a specific example, but of a general trend.

Just like instead of a reliable phone with good battery life, manufacturers think we "really want" is a shitty phone, grainy camera, buggy PDA, and laughingly unplayable games.

Hell, a clie is small enough that I can duct-tape it to the phone myself, if that's what I need.

I can see niche markets for some of this convergance stuff. The rich guy who did a 100,000 dollar remodel of his living room, and an a/v rack with room for a DVD player, TiVo and PS2 just aren't in the budget. Fine, he can pay the premium.

Question (4, Insightful)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984096)

Must there be an "overwhelming" response to any product in order to consider it a success? Why does every movie have to be Spider-Man? Why does every game console have to be a PlayStation? Why does every book have to be Harry Potter?

Business would be a lot better if management would stop looking for the ultimate money grab and spend more time on the quality of their products and the non-monetary value of their business.

Re:Question (1)

RealErmine (621439) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984246)

Must there be an "overwhelming" response to any product in order to consider it a success? Why does every movie have to be Spider-Man? Why does every game console have to be a PlayStation? Why does every book have to be Harry Potter?

I also subscribe to the "Special Class" system of product marketing. Everybody's a winner! Yay!

Re:Question (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984313)

Must there be an "overwhelming" response to any product in order to consider it a success? Why does every movie have to be Spider-Man? Why does every game console have to be a PlayStation? Why does every book have to be Harry Potter?

Instant gratification for everything except the movies.

Many, many, movies suck fucking ass and the MPAA complains about how piracy is the reason that their money is slipping down the drain. Perhaps if they weren't so cocky about their work and they made better shit instead of complaining about outside forces when their products suck they would also be in the instant gratification category.

Re:Question (3, Insightful)

cmburns69 (169686) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984334)

I suspect that by "underwhelming" they meant they couldn't sell enough to cover their costs.

Products and services can thrive without being the biggest or best. But that will always be the goal, because the returns are almost always greater.

Killing a project that costs more than it's worth is good business. For the most part, Sony devices perform their primary function very well. Their TV's are great for watching TV, their consoles are extremely fun, their cameras take good pictures.

A company as big as Sony doesn't get where it is without having business smarts.

Your Chocolate's In My Peanut Butter! (2, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984101)

The idea of a do it all box is intriguing, but I'm still more inclined to want to keep these things separate. For one thing, if I want to take my gaming console to a friends house, it won't mean ripping out the heart of my home entertainment system. Also, when one thing breaks, it won't mean losing it all. On the other hand, with a good design and price point I might be inclined to buy both a dedicated unit as well as a combined unit. Perhaps the best bet is to take a component system approach which will give the consumer the choice of building the system the way the way he/she wants to.

As for bringing PCs into the picture, I think Apple may be on the right track with their Airport networking which allows streaming of music from your computer to your stereo system. I like that because it keeps the computer in the office where I want it. So I like the idea of various devices being able to work together without having to be in the same box. Unfortunately, I can see entertainment industry's paranoia getting in the way of these efforts since they are so worried about people pirating music and movies.

Pffffft!! (4, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984104)

I'm sick of convergence. Any device that does several functions usually only does them "okay". It does not of them "excellent".

I'm tired of manufacturers shoving convergence down my throat. For example, I want a cellphone that does one thing...gives me excellent performance as a phone. I don't give a damn about it being a camera, I have cameras for that. I don't give a rat's ass if it can function as a PDA, I have a PDA for that. I just want it to be a phone, and be a damned good one. Not a piss-poor phone/PDA/camera/kitchen sink.

Redesign??????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984110)

" give them time to redesign the device to better suit Western consumer tastes."

WTH is that supposed to mean????

Re:Redesign??????? (1)

Sophrosyne (630428) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984203)

If you've ever seen an old Cadillac- or perhaps a Hummer, you will understand.

if convergance is not desired.... why then (1, Interesting)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984111)

if convergance is not desired.... why then do people mod x-boxes and add all sorts of cool functionality (like media centers, file shares, web browsers, etc etc etc)?

*Shrug*

e.

Re:if convergance is not desired.... why then (1)

ribond (149811) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984251)

if convergance is not desired.... why then do people mod x-boxes and add all sorts of cool functionality (like media centers, file shares, web browsers, etc etc etc)?
"people" don't. "Slashdot readers" do. :) Best not to get the demographics confused.

I don't want convergence because I cant' afford it -- the same basic idea decides each of my technology purchases... What's the cheapest handheld game system? Nintendo GBA-- What's the (projected) cheapest next-gen handheld? Nintendo DS...

The PS? is cool, I just can't afford that much functionality. :)

re: convergence (1)

phyruxus (72649) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984116)

Presuming that convergence is market driven and will therefore happen anyway, I could ask "which would you rather have make your breakfast: PC, console, cell-phone, girlfriend?"

I'd rather have my PC make my breakfast, 'cuz I often eat things other people think are wierd so I'd like to be able to alter the spice to taste. I just know my cellphone would get hammered with telemarketers spewing sauteed spam. And I don't want to depend on an s/o to make me breakfast-- I'm hungry everyday, not once every 25 years.

**Warning, failure to preview may unmake existence. Post anyway? [Y/n]**
# _

Convergence bothers me. (2, Interesting)

Agent Green (231202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984119)

And not only that, convergence takes away choices...kinda like those all-in-one stereo pieces of shit.

If the CD player in one of those dies, you may as well throw the whole thing out, since it's made so cheap that the repair cost isn't worth the effort. This goes for almost any multifunction device.

I like my PS2...and I also like my TiVo, but when the time to upgrade to HDTV comes along, I'm really only going to want the new PVR/tuner. Even if I like the Sony PVR, what happens to the X-Box or Nintendo fan? They simply get junk they don't need and had to pay for.

I don't want to replace an entire system when a subset of that system either breaks, or I want to upgrade.

Would like you like some toast? (1, Funny)

pappy97 (784268) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984121)

Some hot buttery toast?

How about a bagel?

Okay, I'll get those Belgian Waffles ready. With Halo 3 on the side.

- Talkie Toaster

Re:Would like you like some toast? (1)

pappy97 (784268) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984343)

Uhhh...what's with the offtopic score? This is a joke based on the topic and a "Red Dwarf" joke...geez, lighten up people...

Never got into the whole console thing (2, Funny)

IronChefMorimoto (691038) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984128)

I never got into the whole console gaming thing. I found using both my hands to move/shoot in a first-person shooter was too much of a shift from having my hands separated by a keyboard and mouse.

Then there's the issue with porn. I can't get it from a console. And even if I could get it from a console system, I'd not want to bring my hands together to manipulate the experience.

With a computer and porn, I have one hand on my cock and one hand on the mouse clicking interactive nipples and dragging those Macromedia Shockwave dildos around.

It would just be too weird to hit UP-UP-A-B-LEFT-RIGHT-TRIANGLE-START while also getting my jerk on. Much too much going on there all near by groin. Not to mention the rumble pack option that causes the ol' premature ejaculation.

My dirty and completely bullshit 2 cents.

IronChefMorimoto

Good point (1)

Brie and gherkins (778845) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984209)

and well made though.

Re:Never got into the whole console thing (1)

xsupergr0verx (758121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984291)

I am never touching any of your consoles or computer hardware....

Well, the PSX would have a lot more appeal... (2, Interesting)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984140)

if it was priced lower than US$600 (last I heard). I really love the device and would scoop one up in a second if I couldn't go out and buy a computer to do all the same things for less than the cost of the PSX.

I think Microsoft learned this lesson the hard way; offering too many unused features at too high a price. They seem to be steering the Xbox successor to more profitable waters, and maintaining the core focus on performance.

On top of it all, I think is Sony is trying to milk the PS2 market for all it's worth with the price of a PS2 around $149.99, four years later.

Just my 2 cents.

What I'd actually like to see.... (1)

dmayle (200765) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984148)

What I'd like to see, would be devices that knew how to talk to each other, whereby I can get an all in one device, or the seperate systems, and it wouldn't make any difference. I personally imagine all of this on Gigabit, and talking with something similar to Apple's Zeroconf (used to be called rendezvous, but I'm pretty sure it's got a new name now). Imagine a TV that advertised that it could accept audio or video streams, a DVD player that offered out video, a stereo that offered audio streams, speakers that would accept audio input, a wifi remote control that could find all of these devices and now wouldn't need a 8 year old child to program it ;) It's definitely doable, I just don't think it's in the interests of the electronics manufacturers to go there yet...

So quiet you can hear the eggs crackle (1)

tezza (539307) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984160)

Turn it on its side, and crank Doom 3 up to 1600x1200 and you'd definitely have fried eggs on the Hush PC [theregister.co.uk]

Could be hard to get off those fin shaped cooking plates though.

Nintendo has it right. (2, Insightful)

bludstone (103539) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984170)

They have stated, many times, that they build systems to play games, and thats IT.

Good games.

Good, high quality, fun, games with recognizable characters.

People line up for the next "mario" game because the last 20 have been fantastic. It sells systems, and has a great track record.

I mean, have you played windwaker? Its a friggin work of art!

Nintendo GameToaster! (1)

rmccann (792082) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984178)

From the company that gave us connectivity comes the Nintendo GameToaster. Hook this baby up to your Nintendo GameCube and you'll be able to make toast while playing games. It doesn't really much have to do with games, but hey, everybody likes toast, right? So pre-order your GameToaster now, and prepare to get toastin'!*.

* = Sliced bread sold separately. Please use only Nintendo-certified bread with your Nintendo GameToaster product. Using uncertified third-party bread can cause loss of bread (crumbs), incompatibility with butter or in some cases burned toast.

Eat my breakfast. (1)

Aerog (324274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984188)

I'm down with convergence if they could get my game system to make juice [penny-arcade.com] .

Just 3 buttons please! (2, Insightful)

gathas (588371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984213)

One of the big reasons I ended up buying my kids a Gamecube is that these console systems are very easy to use. I toyed with the idea of getting the kids to use a pc for games, but that meant me spending lots of time installing games, teaching them how to start them, changing screen resolutions, etc. Game compatibility was also a big issue. With the Gamecube (other consoles are them same), all they need to know is power, eject and reset (heck they don't even need the last one). All the gamecube games we buy will work immediately, even if Dad is there. If this device was also a web browser, toaster, etc. I would have one more machine to be sys admin for.

Is the idea of 'convergence' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984214)

"Is the idea of 'convergence'"

of course makes sence only for personal devices,
the ones used by one person only, like cell phones or PDA (integration started there already)

With an Athlon XP... (1)

red_dragon (1761) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984233)

A breakfast-making game console would've been a real possibility had Microsoft used an Athlon XP instead of a Pentium III. Why, you can cook eggs on them! [ncku.edu.tw]

I'm gonna go hide now...

"yea for PC" says the microsoft employee (1)

DeusExMalex (776652) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984234)

"The way we look at it, we definitely see the PC as the hub for digital entertainment in the home," he said. "It's got the powerful processor; it's got the big hard drive; it's where the music gets downloaded and the content gets stored...PCs are definitely where innovation happens at the most rapid clip."

says the microsoft guy... i'll give you two guesses why microsoft isn't cramming xbox w/ hordes of extra multimedia stuff. here's a hint - they dominate the PC market! why give people one machine that does everything you want/need when you can give them two or three for 4 - 5 times the cost, with all revenue going to the same company?

The ultimate convergence device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984241)

is the one most of you are typing on right now. A modern PC stores and plays high quality movies, music, games, displays photo's. It can even be used to create music, documents of all kinds, games, edit movies, access the internet, communicate, keep you organized and lots of other stuff I forgot. And it even does most of these things pretty well. Just because some big companies tried and failed to make their "convergence device" work does not mean the whole concept is flawed.

convergance (1)

5m477m4n (787430) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984247)

One problem with convergance, if it breaks, you loose your coffee maker, toaster, game player, dvd player instead of just loosing your atari, ahh the good 'ole days.

Convergence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9984275)

I'd be happy if they would just make a single remote control that would operate my TV and all my stereo components well enough that I wouldn't need the individual remotes. When they can do that, they will be ready to tackle convergence.

I am 100% for total convergence! (1)

lu004202 (784823) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984279)

I want my dick and your ass to totally converge!

PC = multifunction. Most else, single function (2, Insightful)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984299)

Beyond the clock radio, what's ever worked better from putting two different functions together?" (from the article)

I prefer a regular alarm clock and a seperate radio with better sound, so even that one doesn't fly.

Sure I like doing lot's of things on my PC, but when I make a phone call, I like to do it from a telephone. When I fix my car, I like ordinary ratchets with regular sockets (sorry Bob Vila, no pocket socket). When I want a fork or a spoon, I do not want a spork. The Mega-Gadget 2000 may look cool, but using any one feature is far more cumbersome than using the individual tools it replaced, and if it breaks, I no longer have my whatcha-ma-callit, my doo-hickey, or my whirli-bob. Plus, if I buy a PSX, I still can't play Halo.

Why Converge? (0, Redundant)

ronfar (52216) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984304)

The thing about convergance is that it has never been pushed or pursued by the average consumer. Think of the wildly successful (note sarcasm) 3DO or SegaCD, two early experiments in digital convergance.

So why has it been pursued? Simple, because it is believed that the first company to create a "digital hub" that is widely accepted by most consumers will have tremendous leverage. Sony entered the video game industry with the specific dream of creating this "digital hub," a device that would handle all entertainment and information needs.

Microsoft entered the videogame business because they feared Sony might succeed, and might create an information appliance that would replace the personal computer for the average user.

Imagine if 90% of DVD Players, "WebTVs", DVRs, and CD Players and game machines were represented by a single device, call it the Sony Playstation X (you also need to imagine that the most popular way to do common tasks currently done on PC were done on this device). Well, all the manufacturers of DVDs and CDs, and all the producers of content for the Web and TV would be beholden to Sony. We all know the way Microsoft in the past has added things to their OS to wreak havoc with their competition, and because they were a semi-monopoly, all anyone could do was complain and try litigation. It's because Microsoft understands this so well that they decided to pour money into the XBOX, and why there will be an XBOX II even though XBOX hasn't been a big success.

Look at Sony, they are great believers in locking out content if they don't want it on their systems. They've learned quite a bit from dealing with mod chipping and have had great success getting their Digital Millenium Copyright Act enacted into US Federal Law. If they succeed, they will have unprecedented power over information.

Probably the only successful modern all-in-one (2, Interesting)

multiplexo (27356) | more than 10 years ago | (#9984328)

device is a modern stereo or home theatre receiver. Sure, if you're a dedicated gearhead you can buy a separate tuner, pre-amplifier and amplifier (if you're really dedicated you'll have an amplifier for each channel and if you're insanely dedicated you'll have an outboard D/A converter for your CD player and an outboard phono preamp if you have a turntable) but for the most part modern receivers are fairly well designed and do what people want them to do, switch components, process signals, make things louder and let you listen to the radio (which is unfortunately an afterthought as a lot of the tuners in modern home theatre receivers are crap). Part of this synergy is due to the fact that a receiver doesn't have a lot in the way of moving parts (with the obvious exception of switches, knobs and the like) so, with solid state components being as durable as they are there's not a lot to break down, and if something does break you're probably better off just replacing the whole unit. Once you add some moving parts to the mix (such as receivers with built in CD/DVD players) you've changed the dynamic as it's possible to have the really annoying failure mode of having the CD/DVD player go tits up while the rest of the system keeps working.

As a purist I'd rather that my Denon home theatre receiver didn't have an AM/FM tuner in it, because the tuner section is crap and because I don't listen to radio on my home theatre system, but I don't have to use the tuner, I could even put an outboard tuner in if I wanted to, so it does no harm except to my aesthetic sense.

Manufacturers of all-in-one devices would do well to ask themselves if jamming all of these devices into one box achieves any kind of synergy that makes the sum greater than the parts. Even when there are natural synergies that are inherent to the hardware, such as the ability of the X-box and PS/2 to play DVDs, you may still find that users don't find this useful, as evidenced by the number of people I know who own both an X-box and a DVD player or a PS/2 and a DVD player.

Of course it might be nice if software developers would ask the same question. Do users really need an office suite that does all of the useless crap that MS Office or Star Office does? Or would users be better served if developers looked for natural synergies in software products?

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