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Microsoft Comments on DS vs. PSP Battle

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the sticking-their-noses dept.

Portables (Games) 53

geekboy_x writes "At the Halo launch event a senior Microsoft VP took time out to comment on the coming battle between the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP. In a nutshell, he thinks that Nintendo's domination of the handheld market will make this a rough go for Sony. He also, as is apparently required by Microsoft law, makes a candid yet derogatory comment about Linux." A more personal version of commentary made two days ago, as reported by GamesIndustry.biz.

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Please release something (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#10778228)

While I am not an xbox fan, even I have to admit more competition was good for sony and nintendo. I can only hope M$ release some handhelds in the future to push prices around some more.

Re:Please release something (2, Informative)

fireduck (197000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10778703)

push prices? The GBA SP is now down to $79.99. The gamecube holiday pack, which includes a game (mario kart, IIRC) is going for $99.99. Prices are outstanding at the moment.

if you like nintendo, that is...

Re:Please release something (1)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781070)

The GBA SP is only $79.99 because the DS is coming out for $149.99.

I remember paying $100 for my original Gameboy (or did it debut at $120? I can't remember.)

Re:Please release something (1)

wheany (460585) | more than 9 years ago | (#10788999)

Funny. Those prices are clearly set so that GBA costs "half" of DS. You know "$70" vs. "$140", when they actually cost $80 and $150.

Re:Please release something (1)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781116)

Hmm, the X-Box handheld would probably weight around 10 lbs and be twice the size of an Atari Lynx.

But it would have Halo!

Based on Bach's comment... (4, Insightful)

Donoho (788900) | more than 9 years ago | (#10778260)

Moore pointed out the dominant position achieved by Nintendo in handheld gaming devices and said Sony's decision to enter the space would be "like developing your own little operating system and saying, 'Well, I'm going to challenge Windows.' "

Nintendo better work to maintain what they've built instead of resting on their laurels, lest they give away the top spot, all while arrogantly berating the competition...

Re:Based on Bach's comment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10779117)

You're a little confused. This comment wasn't an example of Nintendo berating its competition. It was an example of MICROSOFT berating Nintendo's competition.

And Nintendo ISN'T resting on its laurels. Instead, they're coming out with a brand new handheld console called the Nintendo DS.

Re:Based on Bach's comment... (1)

cabjf (710106) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779864)

Um, to help understand the grandparent's comment, I've created this key: Nintendo = Microsoft Simply use this key to decode the metaphor, and then it might make more sense.

Re:Based on Bach's comment... (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 9 years ago | (#10783254)

Moore pointed out the dominant position achieved by Nintendo in handheld gaming devices and said Sony's decision to enter the space would be "like developing your own little operating system and saying, 'Well, I'm going to challenge Windows.'
You know, a few years back we would have said the same thing about Nintendo in the console market.

Re:I used to LOVE to play (1)

rabbot (740825) | more than 9 years ago | (#10786433)

What planet are you from? Do your homework before posting next time. Nintendo is in no way "resting on their laurels". Which is proved by the fact that they made the DS better than the PSP in many ways. Go read up on this subject and come back later. You're just trolling and I guess I bit but oh well. I'll make the fanboys happy.

Re:Based on Bach's comment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10788609)

Nintendo better work to maintain what they've built instead of resting on their laurels, lest they give away the top spot, all while arrogantly berating the competition...

Nintendo maintain their top spot in portables based solely on prior monopoly. They acquired the monopoly on portables by leveraging their earlier-held console monopoly to mass produce and market a dirt-cheap portable game system.

Nintendo have succeeded quite well simply by leveraging their incumbency - resting on their laurels, so to speak. His comment, and indeed his analogy to Microsoft is quite valid. Companies with time-relative resources comparable to Sony's (versus Nintendo's) have attempted to unseat the Gameboys in the past using the same false philosophy - that aggressive marketing combined with better features, better design and better-looking games would compensate for a more fragile, expensive unit which recharges more often. If it works with the PSP it will be the first success in a long line of failures.

Nintendo can go ahead and keep resting on those laurels IMO. At least that technique has been proven to work!

Is it anything like gi.biz's last PSP/DS article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10778292)

Then it's full of shit, don't beleive it.

Notebook (1)

Nemesis099 (60955) | more than 9 years ago | (#10778318)

Well we all know microsoft is just going to release a notebook computer and say that it is a gaming system. I mean the Xbox was pretty much just a computer that had a controller interface right.

Althought I am for more competition to bring down prices. The customer will be the winner if that happens.

Re:Notebook (1)

wed128 (722152) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779164)

More likely a winCE palm style device, but yea.

Re:Notebook (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779320)

well, gizmondo is windows CE based.

there's several pocketpc's with enough beef to be gaming systems too, all they need is design a case with a gamecontroller..

So according to Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10778362)

The PSP is Linux.

Then why are there anti PSP articles getting psoted on /., and when I post a link to the DS crashing 3 times out of 6 in an hour it gets rejected?

Re:So according to Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10778614)

What's the url to the DS crashing 3 times out of 6 in an hour?

Re:So according to Microsoft... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10778760)

Here [geartest.com]

They say it was a pre-release version, but concidering IGN got theirs two weeks after, and the release is two weeks after that, that means Nintendo was manufacturing release versions at that time. If they fixed the bugs then that means they gave what they knew to be buggy units to geartest even though fixed ones exist. Not likely.

Re:So according to Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10779215)

"In the span of an hour, three of the six Nintendo DS units froze in a similar manner while running three different applications, which suggests a firmware or hardware problem. Keep in mind that these were late pre-production models. If it is a firmware issue a software update should be able to fix the problem. If there is something wrong with the hardware, that is much more serious."

Re:So according to Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10782249)

Read this again moron They say it was a pre-release version, but concidering IGN got theirs two weeks after, and the release is two weeks after that, that means Nintendo was manufacturing release versions at that time. If they fixed the bugs then that means they gave what they knew to be buggy units to geartest even though fixed ones exist. Not likely.

We all know the DS and PSP are different (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10778407)

Their prices are $100 apart and their capabilities are a generation apart, it's like comparing a N64 to a PS2. There is certainly overlap between their feature sets and markets but they're not really being sold into precisely the same area. I think there's room for both of them to do fine. Certainly I'm more excited about the DS right now, because I can almost afford one (I'll probably buy a PS2 first, though) and because more of them will be sold sooner, meaning the little chat program may actually be useful.

Chat program (1)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 9 years ago | (#10778604)

We have some DS's here at the office. We still just talk to each other.

Re:Chat program (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10778653)

I see it as a way to meet people, although it's going to be hard to meet anyone who isn't a child. Actually, that's a pretty scary potential problem with the chat system. Regardless I think it can be fun, and since it plays GBA games that's enough argument for me to own one. I'm still more interested in the PSP, but with my current financial status I'm more likely to buy a DS.

And what does my favorite (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779053)

biased against Nintendo, XBox fan QA guy think of the thing?

If we get flashable or writeable media that can access all of the hardware, I'm buying one. It has enough neat stuff in it it'd be damned fun to play with from a programming standpoint, and useful to boot.

Lips are sealed (1)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779370)

Don't want to say too much yet. I promise to write something once it fully launched. And based on what I have seen so far, I'm going to wait until more than just the launch titles are out there to be as fair as Mike Hawk can be.

Re:Lips are sealed (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 9 years ago | (#10783010)

Yea not much coming out at launch, is there? On this, btw, I trust you to be mostly unbiased(since it's not Gamecube vs. XBox).

Only things I'm really looking forward to are FF:CC and maybe Metroid Prime: Hunters(and those are still wait and see). Truth be told, I think it's a touchscreen testbed/feeler for their next console which also happens to double as a standalone unit.

Thing has potential in a lot of ways, hopefully they utilize it for once. As I said before, if I can write software for it w/o all the BS, I'll buy one if for no other reason than browsing the web easily on the crapper w/o having to lug a laptop in.

Re:Chat program (1)

MaverickUW (177871) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779603)

We have some DS's here at the office. We still just talk to each other.

I'm sure Nintendo would love to learn where you got those DS's so they can fine the store, since they're not even out for another 11 days.

Um, ahem (1)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781031)

Well, they sent them to us so we can test games for the system on them.

Re:Um, ahem (1)

acxr is wasted (653126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10783947)

Have experienced any of the crashing described towards the end of this [geartest.com] article? I seriously doubt Nintendo would ship a system that crashed. Must be awesome getting to be one of the first to work on a new piece of hardware. Can you talk about what you're doing with it or what it's like to work with, or do you have to be hush hush?

Re:We all know the DS and PSP are different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10778645)

The prices are $35 Apart, not $100. $150 compared to $185.

Re:We all know the DS and PSP are different (1)

TechniMyoko (670009) | more than 9 years ago | (#10782270)

Its worse than that, with current data. The prices are equal. PSP costs 19,800 yen, PS2 costs 19,800 yen, PS2 costs $150, PSP costs $___

Re:We all know the DS and PSP are different (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10782338)

My understanding was that the US launch price for the PSP would be higher. Not sure where I got that idea though. Maybe someone could post a recent link that features someone announcing a price :P

Re:We all know the DS and PSP are different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10791553)

American Playstation prices are always lower. PS2 cost like $100 less in America than it did for the Japanese launch

Re:We all know the DS and PSP are different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10790609)

actually the psp is more like the ps1 than the ps2, have you actually looked at any non cell shaded screen shots of the psp that aren't racing games?

The relevant quote (1)

Westacular (118145) | more than 9 years ago | (#10778583)

Moore pointed out the dominant position achieved by Nintendo in handheld gaming devices and said Sony's decision to enter the space would be "like developing your own little operating system and saying, 'Well, I'm going to challenge Windows.' "
That's funny on so many levels...

Re:The relevant quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10778676)

Indeed, especially as MS went in to a cramped Console market and succeeded. And also because they've invested money and games in a THIRD handheld gaming console (the gizmondo).

Re:The relevant quote (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 9 years ago | (#10782359)

""like developing your own little operating system and saying, 'Well, I'm going to challenge Windows.' "

Except that the Game Boy doesn't... you know... suck.

Personally, if I worked at Nintendo I'd be insulted by the comparison. :)

so.... (1)

SkankinMonkey (528381) | more than 9 years ago | (#10778712)

Is he recognizing the legitimacy of the PSP in the market in relation to Linux's legitimacy compared to Window's? Or is he just being an ass? (I believe this to be more likely ;) )

"Candid" (1)

smartalecvt (748879) | more than 9 years ago | (#10778790)

Re:"Candid" (1)

acxr is wasted (653126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10785450)

If I hadn't already posted in this thread, I would mod you up.

candid yet derogatory

-----

candid
adj.

1. Free from prejudice; impartial.
2. Characterized by openness and sincerity of expression; unreservedly straightforward: In private, I gave them my candid opinion. See Synonyms at frank1.
3. Not posed or rehearsed: a candid snapshot.


awesome

How does Microsoft's comments matter? (5, Interesting)

vhold (175219) | more than 9 years ago | (#10778835)

Are they just trying to cover up for the fact that it's a market they are too afraid to enter? They insinuate that this could weaken Sony's console dominance, but that just fundamentally doesn't make any sense. Sony can put something like PSP on indefinite life support, like they did with minidisc, if they need to.

I think most telling is the statement that nobody has or will make a meaningful connection between console and handheld devices. I know it's a gamble to say it, but I think that's going to go down like one of those "640k is enough for everybody" type of statements that are seriously shortsighted. The integration angle is still relatively experimental.

Right now, you've got the most marginalized console trying to perform handheld integration. The content, not technically, but philosophically, for this sort of thing flows more from the console market into the handheld then the other way around. Pokemon is a big exception to that, but it being only a single property with fairly uncompelling console counterparts to it's handheld juggernaut is a good example of why console->handheld integration is likely to be more popular.

When the biggest console, Sony, starts integrating content to a handheld, it's going to be a different story on how profound the effect of console/handheld integration is. The first must have game with meaningful handheld integration could do incredible things for the PSP sales.

640k is enough for everybody... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10778982)

but I think that's going to go down like one of those "640k is enough for everybody" type of statements that are seriously shortsighted.

Honestly, even if Bill Gates did say this, it was true for the time. It's not like the statement was "640k is enough for everybody for the rest of time." Right now if I said 1 terabyte of memory is enough for everybody would I be completely off base? Sure there are some exceptions with supercomputers and what not, but eventually my statement would not hold true. 640k was enough for everybody, it IS a shortsighted statement but it is implied in the statement intself. It references one point in time not a timespan.

Re:640k is enough for everybody... (2, Insightful)

vhold (175219) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779511)

I agree it was correct for the time, but it was still short sighted. As a result of accepting that limitation early we ended up dealing with it in some seriously sloppy ways for years.

It was a massive pain for quite a while trying to use above 640k on a PC, juggling various TSRs in and out of various memory managers. The prospect of an enduser trying to get their PC to run the newest game, modifying config.sys and autoexec.bat was totally insane. Eventually memmaker was integrated into MsDos pretty late in the game. It really damaged Microsoft's reputation at the time to deal with all of that crap because of thier shortsightedness. Even on into Windows 95 it was possible (but admitedly rare) to bump into 640k issues.

While I can't prove it of course, I personally feel that it was a real speed bump for PC gaming that sent quite a few people packing in frustration to consoles because they were spending more time rearranging their himem and creating multiple boot profiles for every game then they were actually playing. When I first used linux, the fact that 'free' simply showed all my memory in as one giant usable chunk, all 4 glorious megs of it, was seriously awesome.

Apparently, Bill Gates claims he never said it though..

challenge windows, eh? (1)

lowmagnet (646428) | more than 9 years ago | (#10778882)

Moore pointed out the dominant position achieved by Nintendo in handheld gaming devices and said Sony's decision to enter the space would be "like developing your own little operating system and saying, 'Well, I'm going to challenge Windows.' "

Linux doesn't challenge Windows:

  1. Windows challenges itself thanks to security flaws and viruses
  2. Linux doesn't challenge Windows, but rather replaces it.

I also find it funny that the other 'little os' OS, Mac OS X, is ahead of the Windows curve.

Not that the PSP is better than the gDS or anything.

Good for the industry but my money is on Sony (2, Insightful)

landimal_adurotune (824425) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779292)

I find it fascinating that MS would comment on the battle at all, and after reading the article I wonder if we'll see Halo for Nintendo DS.

Sony has vast amounts of IP to throw at its new handheld, its not just a game system, it can play movies and cartoons. Parents (myself included) love the idea of a 'keep em quiet in the car' device, and I see Sony being able to position themselves in that market strongly.

Re:Good for the industry but my money is on Sony (1)

MaverickUW (177871) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779716)

Parents (myself included) love the idea of a 'keep em quiet in the car' device

Question for you. Since the US release price will prolly be at around $200, compared to finding a used original GBA for $30, a new SP for $80, and the DS for $150, do you really see yourself spending 200 for a system that will admitedly likely last only about 2 hours (maybe up to 6), compared to minimums of 6 for the DS an 10 for the SP?

A few things that people don't realize.

1) Most Gameboy games since 1989 have a unique feature of being games that are easy to stop playing in the middle of, and pick back up later (thus conserving battery life). While the PSP may have those games, they'll likely come from the third parties that have been making the games for Gameboy's for 15 years and know what they are doing.

2) Surprisingly, Sony, unlike Nokia, aren't pretending that the PSP will make them the God's of handheld gaming. Sony has admitted they'll be hard pressed to crack the hand-held market that Nintendo has a vice-grip on. Nintendo never had that with the console market. The original gameboy idea was around for 10 years or so, and faced competition that was lightyears better. Atari Lynx, Turbographix express, Sega Game Gear (not counting battery issue), Sega Nomad (all those Genesis games), Neo Geo Pocket, all the tiger stuff... It's still a surprise to those who follow the game industry that Nintendo actually made the GBA. Better technology didn't mean better for the first ten years, or the last 5. The keys to mobile gaming are not the same as they are to home console gaming... Sony will likely learn that lesson real fast in Japan, and probably come out with a slightly different strategy for the US release.

3) Grand Turismo 4. You going to pay $50 for the console version, then $40-50 for the handheld version that's identical?

Re:Good for the industry but my money is on Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10780006)

Question for you. Since the US release price will prolly be at around $200,

The japanese price of both PS2 AND PSP are currently set at 19,800 yen, while PS2's US price is $150. How does 19,800 convert to $150 and $200? It doesn't. Most likely PSP will be $150 US.

The original gameboy idea was around for 10 years or so, and faced competition that was lightyears better.

In comparison, none were light years ahead, more like 2 or 3 times as powerful. By reading PSPs specs it's aproximately 11 times more power processor wise (66+33 versus 333+333+166+166+166) and has 8 times the system RAM, and 7 times the video RAM. This is much more of a difference then ever before

3) Grand Turismo 4. You going to pay $50 for the console version, then $40-50 for the handheld version that's identical?

Sony has not only said the PSP version will be $10-20 cheaper, but not be identical. It will have exclusive content such as cars and tracks, and WiFi multiplayer. By your logic, why would anyone buy most GBA games since alot are watered down console ports made into sidescrollers

Re:Good for the industry but my money is on Sony (1)

satoshi1 (794000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780288)

It doesn't matter how powerful the system is. The parents of these kids that need to be kept quiet in the back seat of the car will go for the cheaper and more well known alternative. "Nintendo...? Hm... I've heard that before..." "Mommy! Mommy! They're the same guys who made my Gameboy!" *CHA CHING--money for Nintendo*

Re:Good for the industry but my money is on Sony (1)

MaverickUW (177871) | more than 9 years ago | (#10782795)

The japanese price of both PS2 AND PSP are currently set at 19,800 yen, while PS2's US price is $150. How does 19,800 convert to $150 and $200? It doesn't. Most likely PSP will be $150 US.

One AC, you realize that they're selling it for $185 in Japan, which yes, is more expensive than in the US. Two, They might sell it cheaper, but even at $200 they are likely taking a hit on the system. Nobody expected the PSP to be so cheap in Japan because of how much more powerful it is.

The PSP is as or more powerful than a PS2 at current time based on what impressions Sony has given. That would give the idea the hardware is expensive since 1, you're putting a PS2 inside a handheld (means shrinking down the hardware which generally gets to be expensive), and you have the features like the LCD and built in battery to add.

I'll agree there are some watered down gameboy games. But there's also thousands of gameboy games (several hundred when you count only the GBA games) that will work on the DS, compared to how many games the PSP has available for it now? It's not easy to be a startup in an industry where there's already an 800 pound gorilla.

He's partly right though (2, Insightful)

AvantLegion (595806) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779831)

Even if he's "-1, Troll"-ing, the guy's partly right.

It WILL be a rough go for Sony and the PSP. They have a fantastic piece of hardware, but they are having problems keeping it powered, and they're entering a market used to a specific vendor whose products are strong at what the PSP is currently weak at.

MS knows what entering a gaming market late is like. The Xbox is a superb piece of hardware, easily superior to the competition, but gaining acceptance has been an uphill battle the whole way. Some brilliant moves (like Xbox Live) have helped along the way, but they have had to fight the whole way.

I want a PSP a lot more than a DS because of the game lineup and the beautiful wide screen. But, I'm not a Sony fanboy that thinks it's just going to waltz in and destroy the competition. The days of a single dominant provider in a gaming market are numbered. The next console generation will be a LOT closer, and Nintendo isn't going to have total free reign of handhelds anymore.

Re:He's partly right though (1)

Jane_the_Great (778338) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780810)

"The next console generation will be a LOT closer"
Why? What evidence do you have of this?

I can't believe this got modded up. Not only do you not quantify what you mean by "a lot closer" [what? Nintendo will have 33%, MS 33% and Sony 33% of the market?] but you also offer no reasons behind this impending change.

Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10781335)

He also, as is apparently required by Microsoft law, makes a candid yet derogatory comment about Linux.

No, he doesn't. What he says is, it would be "like developing your own little operating system and saying, 'Well, I'm going to challenge Windows.'" He's refering to Microsoft's dominance in the OS market. He never even mentions Linux. Hell, Linux doesn't even fit the analogy, unless Sony is giving away PSP's (and their specs) for free.

Contrary to what the /. community might believe, there are more than two operating systems out there. Talk about self-absorbed...

The gaming market changes continually (1)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10782878)

This comment doesn't really seem that relevant: "In a nutshell, he thinks that Nintendo's domination of the handheld market will make this a rough go for Sony."

Atari once held the entire market. Then it was Intellivision vs. Atari vs. Colecovision and Intellivision seemed to have it. Remember when Nintendo was the system to have (even when Sega was out...we don't hear that name much anymore). What's this? Sony Playstation is the thing to have now! Of course, we're seeing this split between PS2, GameCube, and XBox now. Just because Nintendo holds the handheld market now doesn't mean PSP won't knock the socks off everyone and people will go nuts buying them up left and right.

Then again, I could be wrong. Let's look at the iPod and all the competing mp3 players.
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