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Nvidia CEO Talks Next-Gen Consoles

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the probably-knows-what-he's-talking-about dept.

173

kukyfrope writes "Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of Nvidia recently shared his thoughts with the San Jose Mercury News about next-gen consoles, claiming that developing a chip for the 360 was too expensive and that the inclusion of a Blu-ray player will help the console last for 10 years. Huang also predicts that the 360 cannot afford to be a DVD-only system by Christmas 2007, likening the 360-DVD vs PS3-Blu-ray battle to the Dreamcast-CD vs PS2-DVD battle. 'The first PlayStation had a CD-ROM drive. The PlayStation 2 had DVD. It makes no sense for the PlayStation 3 to use DVDs. To postpone it by a few months so they could include Blu-ray was a master stroke. When that comes out, it's going to look so much more advanced than last-generation game consoles,' Huang said."

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Of course Nvidia says it's a great move (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776845)

Doesn't Nvidia make the graphics chip for the PS3, but not the 360? Isn't that a bit like Firestone saying that Chevies are better than Fords because Fords use Goodyear tires, but the Chevies come with Firestone?

Re:Of course Nvidia says it's a great move (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776868)

Only in this case, Microsoft have driven the chevie to the levy but the levy was dry, making tire choice a moot point.

Re:Of course Nvidia says it's a great move (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776911)

But were the good ol' boys drinking whiskey & rye?

Re:Of course Nvidia says it's a great move (1)

timster (32400) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777069)

Look, we all know the song. If you're going to carry the joke forward, extend on the metaphor.

Re:Of course Nvidia says it's a great move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777344)

No, they were in a rice field in Vietnam with their intestines in a pile beside them.

Re:Of course Nvidia says it's a great move (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778165)

But were the good ol' boys drinking whiskey & rye?

Yes, and that's how they came up with the name for the Wii.

Advanced Is Great (1)

Real World Stuff (561780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776862)

But, will I, as the consiumer buy it at that price? For me, the answer is no. Not enough incentive for me.

Blue-ray (4, Insightful)

another_fanboy (987962) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776876)

the inclusion of a Blu-ray player will help the console last for 10 years

How many consoles have games available ten years after launch?

Re:Blue-ray (3, Informative)

Spluge (888605) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776942)

Other than the PS1?
You can still buy the console let alone games for it.

Re:Blue-ray (3, Informative)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776953)

There are still games released for Neo Geo :D

Re:Blue-ray (2, Insightful)

MaestroSartori (146297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776972)

That would be the PS1, and soon enough the PS2 I suspect. Unless developers suddenly ignore the huge number of people who own them, of course, which one would hope won't happen overnight!

Re:Blue-ray (1)

moonsammy (65351) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777032)

The atari 2600. [boingboing.net]

I personally don't understand the logic behind viewing the blu-ray part of the PS3 as a selling point. Who really cares? Is the subtle (in most cases) graphical advantage really going to make my gaming experience sufficiently more fun to justify the extra cost? I really doubt it.

Re:Blue-ray (1)

ooPo (29908) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777045)

Ironically, Dreamcast games still come out once in a while. So much for the Dreamcast/CD vs Playstation2/DVD.

Re:Blue-ray (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777390)

Ironically, Dreamcast games still come out once in a while. So much for the Dreamcast/CD vs Playstation2/DVD.

PS2 games come out by the dozen each week, DC games are one or two a month. I don't think MS would want that.

Re:Blue-ray (4, Interesting)

ObligatoryUserName (126027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777046)

EA and others have said that they feel they made a huge mistake by abandoning new game development for the PS1 as early as they did. Their current plans seem to indicate that they will keep putting out new games for the PS2 for at least 10 years after the system's launch date.

However, new games don't imply new IP! The floundering of Prince of Persia in the marketplace, in spite of what many industry insiders considered a very well executed game, convinced many in the industry that there's only a small window at the beginning of a system's life to launch new IP in. After a certain point it's just not worth it because people don't buy AAA games that aren't sequels in sufficent quantities to recoup development costs. Sad, but apparently true.

Strangly enough, a theory has also developed that says that while you need to rush out new IP at the beginning of the life of a new system, if you're doing a sequel to existing IP on a new system it's not worth it to push it out in that early window. It's better to take your time and "get things right"/wait for the install base to develop before you push out things like GTA 4 or Halo 3.

Re:Blu-ray (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777100)

I don't quite follow your post. Are you trying to say the 3D Prince of Persia isn't a sequel?

Re:Blu-ray (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777416)

I think it's a case of "It sucks, to me it doesn't exist" that fans of a series often employ on the part that jumped the shark. Can't blame them, Prince of Persia 3D really wasn't that hot.

Re:Blue-ray (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777114)

And yet, God of War, being new IP released during PS2's midlife, was a grand success.

Re:Blue-ray (1)

another_fanboy (987962) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777196)

The floundering of Prince of Persia in the marketplace

Which Prince of Persia are you referring to?

Re:Blue-ray (2, Insightful)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777397)

Your post demands some clarification. I'm pretty sure you're talking about "Prince of Perisa: The Sands of Time" when you talk about an IP. Well, it's not the first. The first was on a Mac. It also made an appearnce on the SNES.

OTOH, it is sad that some incredible games (Psychonauts, Beyond Good and Evil, Metal Arms: Glitch in the System) don't get the install base they deserve. Or perhaps the sequels they deserve. But I'm sure it has a lot to do with the fact that games aren't anywhere near as maketed as they have been in years gone by. Anybody remember how hyped FFVII was? It was on pop cans and all over the TV. VIII? IX? Nothing but a few magazine pages.

If pulishers aren't willing to tell everyone about their games, they shouldn't be suprised when nobody buys them. It seems like the few magazine ads and game interviews and previews is all any game really gets (unless it's from EA, then it might get a TV commercial or two).

Re:Blue-ray (1)

alienw (585907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777669)

The first Prince of Persia game was released for DOS somewhere in the 80s. Awesome game too; probably, one of the best platformers I've played. I'm pretty sure this was about 3-4 years before the SNES came out.

Re:Blue-ray (2, Informative)

ObligatoryUserName (126027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778246)

I'll just reply to myself since a number of people seem confused by my calling Prince of Persia new IP. I was indeed talking about Sands of Time.

Yes, there were quite a number of Prince of Persia games that came before, and Jordan Mechner was involved with Sands of Time. However, from the point of view of the publisher it was treated as new IP for a few reasons, the main one being the spotty release history of the series and the low brand awareness in the target market. The previous version, Prince of Persia 3D, came out for Windows and Dreamcast in 1999 and didn't get a very wide release for a number of reasons not directly related to the game itself. Before that the last game was in 1994.

Even though Sands of Time didn't do the business it deserved, Ubi tried to treat it like a franchise after that title and you can see the difference in the release schedule. Previously to Sands of Time a game came out every 5 years, 1989, 1994, 1999. Then here's the release schedule including and following Sands of Time: 2003, 2004, 2005 x 3.

I'm sorry I didn't use a better example of good "new" IP that failed to become a franchise late in a console lifecycle, but Prince of Persia is what everyone was talking about when I heard that theory.

A counter example to the trend is is Katamari Damacy, but you'll note that it wasn't launched as a AAA title - it was an experiment that did better than anyone expected.

I should note that the theory of a new IP launch window has been playing out on the handhelds. Look at the numbers, the launch dates for new vs old IP and draw your own conclusions if you're really interested. Some games were definitly scheduled with these thoughts in mind, but in my opinion the awareness didn't have a real impact on the success of the games - being a fun game is still the most important consideration.

Re:Blue-ray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777055)

You could get intellivision games after 10 years it was introduced. And i think you can still get 'new' games for the Atari 2600.

Re:Blue-ray (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777076)

How many consoles have games available ten years after launch?

The Atari 2600 was available until around 1990. It launched in 1977.

The Intellivision was available until the early 90's. It launched in 1980.

The NES was available until 1995, being launched in America around 1985/86. ('85 was the test market.)

The Famicom was released in 1983, and ran until 2003, for a complete run of 20 years. (!)

Re:Blue-ray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777881)

You know, I've heard more and more about how long some of these systems were around but it generally just doesn't jive with personal experience. Lived through most of that era and never saw a 2600 or Intellivision in a store. The NES just up and disappeared sometime in late 1994, around a year before Nintendo Power ran its official retirement/tribute article. Come to think of it, the Dreamcast was the only system I can remember being able to purchase after Sega had thrown in the towel...not by much though.

And it's still happening! Have you tried buying Nintendo GameCube accessories in the last year? This isn't me trying to track down the OOP modem, the Wavebird and memory cards are what's in short supply. Feels like a 3rd world country here sometimes, what with all the delays and short windows...

Re:Blue-ray (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777957)

You know, I've heard more and more about how long some of these systems were around but it generally just doesn't jive with personal experience. Lived through most of that era and never saw a 2600 or Intellivision in a store.


A certain fellow by the name of Jack Trameil decided that consoles weren't important. As a result, Atari's units were hard to find after the crash of '83/'84. INTV Corp was mostly mail-order, although they did sell many units and games through Toys'R'Us until the NES displaced the console.

Re:Blue-ray (1)

keyne9 (567528) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777115)

The original Playstation, for one. It launched in 1994 and still has sales pushing past 2005. However, I suspect you meant to ask how many consoles have games being very actively developed for them on a commercial basis.

Re:Blue-ray (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777139)

How many consoles have games available ten years after launch?

The Wikipedia entry for "Video game consoles" has some charts showing the lifespans of selected consoles in North America, Japan, and Europe.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_console [wikipedia.org]

The only consoles to approach a ten-year lifespan in the United States were the Atari VCS/2600 and the original Nintendo Entertainment System. It must be noted, too, that after each's 6-year mark or so, the manufacturers were looking to move on to the next generation, and continued support for the original system was much reduced. Sony has been doing the same thing, looking at the PSX/PSone and PS2/PStwo lifespans.

Indeed, looking at the graphs, it would appear that the lifespans of consoles are historically getting shorter, not longer. You may still be able to BUY a new PSthree in 2016, but all the games being released them will be PS4 exclusives. Doesn't really count.

Re:Blue-ray (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777299)

The only consoles to approach a ten-year lifespan in the United States were the Atari VCS/2600 and the original Nintendo Entertainment System.

The Intellivision should also be showing a 10+ year lifespan, but someone screwed up by the numbers. The charts list the Intellivision as ending in 1984. This was the date that Mattel Electronics closed down, however, not the date that the Intellivision stopped being supported. A former VP of Mattel purchased the Intellivision properties and formed INTV Corp. Not only did they release new games, but the old system was re-released as the "Super Pro System" and later the "Intellivision System III".

Re:Blue-ray (1)

kryogen1x (838672) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777182)

How many consoles have games available ten years after launch?
A few of them still see releases. Heck, even the Sega Genesis, which launched in 1988, got a new game [beggarprince.com] recently.

Re:Blue-ray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777487)

Game Boy, for one...NES, too. (1983-1994)

PS4 Release Date (4, Funny)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776886)

Just as Sony has talked about the PS2 having a ten-year lifespan, Huang believes that the PS3 will also last ten years

So, we're talking about perhaps a 2016 Release Date for PS4? Just making sure, so I can start saving up my $$ now ... cause I'm sure it'll be pricey!

sigh (2, Interesting)

Nazmun (590998) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776933)

Yeah because the ps3 was released ten years after the ps2.... What they mean is that the console will be in production for that long. For example, the psone was just bought out of production last year. That's pretty close to ten years if it hasn't passed it.

The ps2 will be a ten year system if they can still sell it for the next 5ish years. Which they probably can due to strong brand name appeal and the expense of the new system. (ps2's still outsell xbox360's week by week now).

Re:sigh (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777097)

The ps2 will be a ten year system if they can still sell it for the next 5ish years. Which they probably can due to strong brand name appeal and the expense of the new system. (ps2's still outsell xbox360's week by week now).


Also add in the available library (wether you factor in backward compatibility or not).

I hadn't thought of it, but the PS3 coming out now makes more sense.

I don't think Sony expects to initially sell to anyone other than hard core gamers/fans. Once those units are sold, hopefully they will be able to drop the cost in 6-8 months for enthusiastic, but more cautious fans to start buying them. Lather-rinse-repeat and within a year or two the system is selling close to 300$. In 5 years the system is down to 200$ as a Pthree, as the PS4 comes out for launch. At that point (assuming it has managed to last), the Ptwo is retired, the library of games has been improved, and those who "must be on the bleeding edge" help pay for the next R&D cycle.

Seems somewhat similar to hard-core gamers on the PC buying video cards/CPUs/etc, compared to your average gamer (i.e. upgrading much more often, although upgrading in terms of console lifespan is still much longer than upgrading to stay on the edge in the PC world).

Re:sigh (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777108)

(ps2's still outsell xbox360's week by week now).
That barely means anything : the PS1 sold more than the PS2 months after the PS2 launch.

Re:sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777232)

Could you provide a source for this information? In the months leading up to the PS2 release, you were unable to find PSXs in stores. It was also difficult to locate a PS2 up to about 6 months after release. The 360 on the other hand is in wide supply and has been selling worse than the original Xbox in the same release time frame.

Re:sigh (1)

Psychotext (262644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777361)

The 360 wasn't in wide supply until about March this year (hence the April sales numbers). I've also read that the PS1 outsold the PS2 when it was released, you can find numbers here: http://forum.pcvsconsole.com/viewthread.php?tid=84 98 [pcvsconsole.com] and I have seen some greater detail but can't find the link again. Oh, and ignoring that... you're comparing a $150 console with thousands of games to a $350 console with hardly any.

* Disclaimer, I own a PS2, XBOX and a Gamecube. Will buy into next generation when price drop and games arrive.

Re:sigh (1)

Psychotext (262644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777441)

Yeah, wrong link. I really should check that my bookmarks have the right titles. : /

Re:PS4 Release Date (2, Interesting)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777088)

Actually, it's more ironic than that, because Sony (well, Ken Kutaragi, head of the division that makes the PS3) has in the past said they're planning on upgrading the PS3 throughout its lifecycle. See, since it's really a computer, apparently he thinks they can get away with announcing "upgraded" versions. So by 2016, the PS4 might finally replace the PS3-OSR2-SP5 or something.

The actual quote is:

In the PC world, specifications rarely last more than two years. You need to update them. I believe the PC is always evolving. I think that the time may come that the 60GB HDD would become too small or the RAM to low. Such issues are numerous.

From this article [palgn.com.au] .

So, yeah, maybe a "10-year lifecycle" isn't out of the question, if they keep on churning out new consoles and call 'em PS3s anyway.

Plus, by continuously upgrading specs, they can ensure that the PS3 will continue to cost $600 for years! ($500 for the previous iteration.)

Re:PS4 Release Date (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777663)

If they try this it will be the final nail in the coffin of this system. People buy console games because they just work. No wondering about "does in work on my version of the console or anything", just work.

There is a reason why only hardcore gamers play PC games more complicated than Solitaire or Tetris. They're the only ones with the time and energy to keep the system working with the latest games.

The consoles serve the rest of the market, and Sony is about to shoot themselves in the foot by messing this up.

Re:PS4 Release Date (1)

cttforsale (803028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777110)

Oh please. By then, organic, non-volatile memory will be within the average consumers reach. Mind you they'll only be able to fit a few TB on the head of a pin....

Re:PS4 Release Date (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777687)

If it wasn't for the fact that I'd forget about it, I'd LOVE to make bet with you that commercially available RAM won't have achieved even 1TB per mm^3 in 10 years.

Re:PS4 Release Date (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778105)

Unlike Microsoft, Sony continues to support their console after a new one comes out.

Xbox lasted what, 4 years before they stopped production? The PS1 just recently stopped production and the PS2 will easily last 10 years.

Better intro (1)

nickheart (557603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776905)

For those of you that were confused by the intro, here's a rundown that makes more sense
The point about Blu-Ray and DVD is that the playstation is following an evolution pattern, waiting for the correct time to updrage. PS1 had CD, PS2 had DVD, PS3 has to evolve.
as for my opinion, i still use my PS2, and have no intention to buy an XBOX of anykind, (IE i don't have a XBOX 1) the PS2 can do everything i want, soon i will want to upgrade to newer technology, and i'll be looking at what's going to last me longer, and for now at least, that's not the XBOX.
thanks for listening

Re:Better intro (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777369)

its too bad that not all PS2's actually play DVDs as well as the Xbox (360) or some standard DVD players can. I even have one of those slimline PS2's and I can't watch more than half of any movie before it stutters and soon after just plain freezes. I have heard others who have similar problems, though its not necessarily a problem with ALL PS2's.

Re:Better intro (0, Offtopic)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778113)

I've got an early PS2 and it has trouble with DVDs from Disney.
I've never had a problem with a non-Disney DVD.

Of course, now we have a real DVD player so the issue is moot.

article? (0, Offtopic)

solomonrex (848655) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776906)

Why isn't this linked to San Jose Mercury news? Not in the club with Slashdot and gamebizdaily?

Blu-ray is a poor idea (1)

Linkiroth (952123) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776941)

I do not own a 360. I do not own an X-Box. I do own a PS2. Me, personally, I won't be purchasing the PS3 because it's too damned expensive! Wii all the way. Also, how much do you think Sony paid Nvidia to have him say that? I'm taking bets.

How Much? (1)

nickheart (557603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777065)

Nothing. NVIDIA is just happy to have a partner now that Ati is in bed with microsoft... but that's my oppinion

Re:How Much? (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777119)

I thought ATI was in bed with AMD. . . or rather, swimming in all the money AMD fired at them.

Re:Blu-ray is a poor idea (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777112)

Also, how much do you think Sony paid Nvidia to have him say that? I'm taking bets.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say Sony paid him a contract for the GPU in the PS3. In addition to that, that's the only next-gen console GPU nVidia made so they have a reason to hype the PS3 over the other consoles.

I'll wager an insightful mod point.

Just one question, do you own a gamecube? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777505)

The gamecube was the cheapest of the last generations as well, and at least as far as I can see the PS2 was the most expensive of the last generation too. Yet of the last genetation you own the most expensive console, not the cheapest. mmm, so why is this generation different?

Please remember your history, if price has never mattered before why should it now? I am not saying that the PS3 will be a success. I just don't think price will be the deciding factor. Or maybe my PC gaming has just made me think that 600 euro's for a system is not that expensive.

"Advanced" for the sake of it... (4, Insightful)

chudgoo (812186) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776951)

The actual uses of Blu-Ray versus the initial outpouring of cash are the real concerns.
Dreamcast's failure had little to do with the storage medium as many games released for PS2
were also released for dreamcast. (Not every game USES the full capacity of the medium)

Another thing to think about is that the world hadn't had a *significant* change in home video formats
for more than a decade when DVD first surfaced. The public was ready and willing to buy into DVD.
This time around the *demand* simply doesn't exist. Sony will of course try to *generate* demand
via bruteforce marketing, but ultimately this may prove to be a mistake.

BTW. There does seem to be a slight hint of bitterness in his comments, which is understandable given
that EVERY one of the next-gen consoles are powered by their rival's GPUs. (ATI)

It seems odd for Nvidia to claim that developing a GPU for the 360 was too expensive when ATI managed to
do not only that, but the PS3 and Wii GPUs as well.

Nvidia dropped the ball big time by not developing a new GPU for at least one of the nextgen consoles...

Re:"Advanced" for the sake of it... (1)

ChronoReverse (858838) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776997)

Um, Nvidia developed the RSX GPU for the PS3. The comments made here have a bit of the conflict-of-interest aspect to them.

Re:"Advanced" for the sake of it... (2, Informative)

chudgoo (812186) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777001)

Wow... just waking up to the fact that *I* completely dropped the ball big!
Just to set things right cosmically...

Nvidia developed the "RSX" GPU for the PS3.

Nvidia RSX @550MHz

        * 1.8 TFLOPS floating point performance
        * Full HD (up to 1080p) x 2 channels
        * Multi-way programmable parallel floating point shader pipelines ...Sorry!

Re:"Advanced" for the sake of it... (0, Redundant)

Ewan (5533) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777024)

Umm, Nvidia did the graphics chip for the Playstation 3, not ATI, I'm not sure what you're on about?

If you'd read the full article, or even the linked to snippet, you'd know this.

Re:"Advanced" for the sake of it... (1)

chudgoo (812186) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777027)

Just disregard everything after the bit about Blu-Ray!
Soooorrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyy!

NVIDIA DEVELOPED THE GPU FOR THE PS3!
NVIDIA DEVELOPED THE GPU FOR THE PS3!
NVIDIA DEVELOPED THE GPU FOR THE PS3!

(how many "Hail Nvidia"'s do I have to do to make penance!?!)

Re:"Advanced" for the sake of it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777042)

Umm.. They did develop the GPU For the PS3... Thats one of the main points of the article.

Re:"Advanced" for the sake of it... (0, Redundant)

illumina+us (615188) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777051)

The PS3 GPU is made by NVidia [teamxbox.com]

strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777052)

I thought nvidia was doing the PS3

Re:"Advanced" for the sake of it... (0, Redundant)

Khakionion (544166) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777071)

Actually, the PS3's RSX GPU is an NVidia production. Hence his tendency to think the PS3 is better.

Re:"Advanced" for the sake of it... (1)

PoderOmega (677170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777078)

I totally agree, this guy is just crying that MS dumped NVIDIA for ATI on the 360

Re:"Advanced" for the sake of it... (1)

mizel (888623) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777136)

Dreamcast's failure had little to do with the storage medium as many games released for PS2
were also released for dreamcast


I seem to remember something about dreamcast games being easily ripped on CD (without any modifications). Easily pirated games leads to less game manufacturers, leads to less interest, leads to...well, you know.

Maybe the media didn't cause the 100% of the failure, but I think it contributed significantly.

Re:"Advanced" for the sake of it... (1)

chudgoo (812186) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777643)

That's a *very* valid point. The DC made piracy a breeze, and I sort of thought this might be intended given the "It Runs WinCE!" promotional blitz. I thought the intent was to attract homebrew/small time developers to the system. It may have been, but ultimately stealing someone else's content is easier than producing your own....

Anyway, let's pretend that the DC games shipped on CD with crypto that violated the laws of physics and were, for all intents and purposes, *uncrackable*. Should the bigger disc win? The article seems to say that consoles have an "expected upgrade factor"... That the natural console evolution dictates Blu-Ray's necessity. Do games NEED to have 50GB capacity and an expensive/complicated (and somewhat proprietary) optics system to do well? How long until we see 2 or 3-Disc games on PS3? It's really only a matter of time.
(Hideo Kojima is rumored to have reached the upper limits of Blu-Ray capacity while making MGS4. A LAUNCH title. How? No idea, but you get the idea)

The intent seems to be to future proof the PS3 for 10 (OMFG) years. The problem with this is that for *now*, it's too expensive...and for *later*, it will STILL be considered low end. Future proofing requires a foreknowledge of the industry that Sony simply doesn't have. (EVERYONE saw UMD Movies as a mistake, except Sony...go figure)

How long does it take the average gamer to play through a full DVD-9 worth of content?
Is it unreasonable to ask the consumer to change a disc every so often to lower the cost of the system/games?

Re:"Advanced" for the sake of it... (0, Redundant)

Quarters (18322) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777558)

BTW. There does seem to be a slight hint of bitterness in his comments, which is understandable given that EVERY one of the next-gen consoles are powered by their rival's GPUs. (ATI)

Wrong.

It seems odd for Nvidia to claim that developing a GPU for the 360 was too expensive when ATI managed to do not only that, but the PS3 and Wii GPUs as well.

Still wrong.

Nvidia dropped the ball big time by not developing a new GPU for at least one of the nextgen consoles...

The PS3 GPU is an nVidia part. It's essentially a 7900 with a different memory interconnect.

Re:"Advanced" for the sake of it... (1)

chudgoo (812186) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777695)

You realize that I corrected the mistake about an hour ago, right? Did you read any of the other 10 comments pointing it out? We all understand correctly now.

"The PS3 GPU is an nVidia part. It's essentially a 7900 with a different memory interconnect."

Incredible insights...I mean being a lead designer of the RSX must be exhausting... ;)

Does anyone else find it odd that the development of a GPU for the XB360 (based on the tried and true PowerPC) was deemed 'too expensive' whereas developing a GPU that has to play well with the Cell (a completely new architecture)was not? Either his comments are just wrong or there is a LOT more to that story...

Graphics aren't everthing... (5, Insightful)

Albert.Three (990176) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777007)

My issue with this article is that it assumes that the winner of the next-gen console war will be largely based on which console comes out on top as the graphics powerhouse between the PS3 and the 360. The fact that the PS3 has Blu-Ray and the 360 has the pedestrian DVD format is not going to swing buyers to Sony's side in and of itself. What will contribute to the success of the respective consoles will be the same thing (and arguably only thing) that has ever mattered when it comes to video games: the games themselves. Graphics will only take a console as far as they are able to make games that people want to play. The only thing that movitates anyone to go out and drop $XXX on a console is the fact that there is at least one game on it that they HAVE to play. I think that dispite all of the clamouring over prices and graphics power, in the buyers mind it will eventually come down to "do I want to play Halo 3 or Metal Gear Solid 4?" (or whatever the must have exclusive games end up being)

Re:Graphics aren't everthing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777410)

While I agree that graphics aren't everything you have to remember that the interview is with a CEO of a graphics company. And I'm sure that they could shoot the shit and speculate on other things but if I'm talking to the head of a graphics company, I'm going to want his insight on graphics. Likewise, if I was talking to the head of AMD we'd probably talk about processors. Microsoft, we'd be talking about security holes, Ice cream maker, we'd talk about icecream, etc. etc.

You get my point

Re:Graphics aren't everthing... (1)

ChildeRoland (949144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777514)

Actually, the fact that the PS2 had a DVD player was one of the main reasons I bought it. It didn't have any games that I HAD to have at release, in fact I got a really crappy game after waiting in line all night to get it (actually next day cause WallyWorld wouldn't sell me the game). If I had an HD TV I would seriously think about getting a PS3, even if there weren't many (good) games at release.

Re:Graphics aren't everthing... (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778209)

Indeed. There are certain franchises that make consoles succeeed, especially in certain markets. For instance, no console which has the main Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series will ever fail in Japan (and, at this point, likely never in the US, either).

Re:Graphics aren't everthing... (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778449)

Mod parent up!

Agreed. Whoever has the favor of Square-Enix has a great chance of "winning" next-gen.

However, what's interesting this time around, is that Square-Enix may be moving more cross platform than ever before. It all started with FF:Crystal Chronicles on the GC, and now we're getting news of their games on all the platforms. Sony still seems to have the most favor, with the main Final Fantasy franchise still exclusive to the PS3 (at least for now), but I imagine that could easily change. It'll still be a few years before we see FFXIII released. (Heck, we're still a few months out before FFXII comes out to the US)

Next-gen? (0, Offtopic)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777029)

The XB360 has been out for almost a year soon, and the PS3 and Wii will be released in the near future. Isn't it about time to start calling them current-gen? Or will we wait until the XB^3/PS4/WWii is out until we start calling the previous incarnations current-gen?

Re:Next-gen? (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777087)

Lets wait until all the major players are out.
PS2 was probably "nextgen" til Xbox and GC rounded it out and made it a generation.
Right now, 360 stands alone.

Thank you for your comments! (3, Interesting)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777040)

Just in case no one noticed, Nvidia is the graphic processor provider for the PS3. See this quote from the article:

"No one has enough extraneous resources around to build chips for all the game consoles. You have to build one or so at a time. In a lot of ways, they also pick you. Sony picked us and Microsoft didn't."

He sounds remorseful enough that it indicates he wished Microsoft had picked Nvidia. But then again, he's also a bit glad:

"I know I couldn't afford it. I would love to build it. I just can't afford it."

So, here's the president of one of the main suppliers for the PS3 talking about how Microsoft didn't choose him, but even if they did, his company couldn't afford to actually build the GPU for the 360? Excuse me if I don't take his comments with a bucket full of salt.

To top it off, as in any article discussing graphics, we're about ten years away from photorealism, just as we were in 2001 and 1996.

To his credit though, I really liked this exchange which is in the full interview [mercurynews.com] :

Q. Where do you want to see graphics go?
"I would like to see it go in a couple of directions. I would like [games] to be easier to access."

His response is, "Screw graphics, let's work on gameplay." I can't knock him for that.

Re:Thank you for your comments! (1)

mizel (888623) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777215)

We ARE 10 years away from photorealism! Just like we ARE 10 years away from AI! Face the facts...
2016 will be a whole new world. Reminds me of the Conan sketch:
"In the year 2000..."

Re:Thank you for your comments! (1)

dmatos (232892) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777458)

So, here's the president of one of the main suppliers for the PS3 talking about how Microsoft didn't choose him, but even if they did, his company couldn't afford to actually build the GPU for the 360? Excuse me if I don't take his comments with a bucket full of salt.

Remember, it was nVidia that made the graphics chips for the original XBox. It is possible that this guy knows what he's talking about in terms of the cost to develop a brand-spanking-new GPU and the price that Microsoft was willing to pay for it.

Re:Thank you for your comments! (1)

Takari (856622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777471)

I'm pretty sure the reason it was "too expensive" to create a GPU for Microsoft is because Nvidia did not want to invest in R&D for unified shader model graphics (it's sort of implied somewhere in the interview...)

Re:Thank you for your comments! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777950)

I think it's pretty obvious Nintendo had the win back two years ago when they unveiled the then Revolution controller with no games or 3rd party support. Games reflect the interface they are given. In an era when sequels are rolling into the double digits and "innovation" is new graphics on someone else's game, the timing couldn't be more perfect.

But I think it's highly myopic to ignore the potential strengths of the PS3 as if it had none.
  • Sony is famously hands off when it comes to censorship. Nintendo is notoriously horrible for it. While that may not matter to someone who would just as soon play games with abstract geometic shapes, there is a sizable market that has developed for, at the risk of loading the argument, "richer" content.
  • The PS3 is much better positioned for a wide variety of non-game software and services. While it may seem like this isn't desirable because of the PSP's luke warm reception, more of that is attributed to limited portability than anything else. It's fragile, big, has limited (expensive) capacity, and has poor battery life. The PS3 is fixed to the entertainment center, has enormous capacity, and is plugged into the wall.
  • Sony is more willing to embrace user created content. Look at NetYarouze and PS2 Linux Kit. These are pre-broadband era technologies. This functionality and openness can easily be bundled with every PS3 at any time. And content can be available to any user at any time through online distribution channels. Sony is already basing the PS3 on several open standards such as OpenGL and Linux. In the "Web 2.0" era, the infrastructure for community can be the killer app alone.
  • Despite all of the criticism for DualShake, it is a wonderful decision in my opinion. The limited functionality of the DualShake is probably sufficient to do what many developers will end up doing on the Wii. Not everyone is going to make a sword swinging / gun game, right? And there are still whole classes of games that do not translate well to the WiiMote, Nintendo has admitted as much.
  • Xbox may have old Atari games and Nintendo may have the golden years of cartidge games. But Sony has a back catalog that defined gaming's coming of age. Who can argue with a downloadable catalog of every Playstation and Playstation 2 game? What publisher would not use Sony's distribution service to get essentially free money for old properties? What true blue gamer doesn't have 10 favorite games from the Playstation era that only exist on Playstation? You can find Playstation games on Ebay that sell for over $100 each. If you could get a handful for even $20 each over download it would make the price of the PS3 worth it to you.


Personally, I think the Wii is fantastic. Very Nintendo. Very Purist. Remember, the game reflects the interface. But people are far too quick to ignore the PS3's strengths despite a few minor weaknesses. In fact the most often cited weakness, its price, hardly adds anything to the total cost of ownership when compared to the Xbox 360.

Sure, $200 can buy you a few games. But lets look back at the PSP. The PSP cost $250. The games were and still are $40 or $50. That's about twice the cost of a Nintendo DS and about 50% more per game. Yet nobody cried about price when the PSP came out. That wasn't even on the radar for complaints. It was strangely compared to the iPod, which costs $300 to $500 and that's without songs! Even though the PSP isn't outselling the DS by any stretch, it is still doing rather well against the entrenched portable champion in revenue sales. Until the DS hit its stride just recently the PSP was even competing for units sold in some weeks. And the PSP is still a favorite for eclectic games and homebrew despite its damnable deficiencies in studiness, battery life, size and capacity (Memory Stick).

So, taking these points into consideration, I think the PS3 is being discounted too heavily. The potential is there. Much like it was there in the Revolution long before E3 when they actually showed some games. And I definitely think there are people that will want a PS3 for at least the homebrew and the downloadable back catalog. Throw in a few quirky, "think different" games and it really is uniquely appealing.

(Notice I did not mention the BluRay player among the strengths. It is more a liability than anything aside from potentially making Sony a lot of money in movie royalties. Had the HD-DVD/Bluray debacle played out better it would have been a sure win, though. I would bet money Microsoft has been actively sabotaging any HD media format standardization not only for this but also for its streaming media servers and media center OS.)

Re:Thank you for your comments! (1)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778580)

I think most of your comment was well-written. This stuck out to me, though:

"Sony is more willing to embrace user created content... And the PSP is still a favorite for eclectic games and homebrew."


Sony doesn't embrace homebrew content, at least if the PSP is any indication. I don't know to what extent the big three embrace small developers.

I was also going to say something about how downloadable PS1 and PS2 games seemed a bit out the question, but a lot of the demos on Xbox Live Marketplace are near 500MB. It clearly is not out of the question. (Now HD content... that's another matter).

Advanced (2, Insightful)

ludomancer (921940) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777054)

...it's going to look so much more advanced than last-generation game consoles


Now there's an ignorant statement if I've ever read one. Since when did storage medium directly affect the talent and output of a development team? That's like saying your daughter will be a better driver if you buy her a Lexus instead of a Honda.

Re:Advanced (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777216)

or its like using a car metaphor instead of a bicycle metaphor!

Re:Advanced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777481)

That's like saying your daughter will be a better driver if you buy her a Lexus instead of a Honda.

Err, no, it's like saying that your daughter will have a better car if you buy her a Lexus instead of a Honda. I'd chastise you for not R'ingTFA, but you managed to not even R the part of the sentence you snipped out!

Re:Advanced (1)

ChildeRoland (949144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777534)

More storage = bigger/better textures and more detailed worlds/characters which lead to better graphics.

Re:Advanced (1)

Hortos (975067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777651)

ABS brakes, Tractions, Better Suspension, Tires, etc. These things will probaly make her less likely to crash into something.

Re:Advanced (0, Offtopic)

Amouth (879122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778028)

ahh but also gives her the ability to hit something more effectivly if she wanted to

Dreamcast discs were not CDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777135)

Dreamcast discs were not actually CDs but a propietary format called GD-Roms [wikipedia.org] . This format held a full GB of data. Dreamcast however did support CD-R's for music and people soon quickly found a way to pirate games onto self-booting CD-R's.

For games that were too big, movies and other content had to be reencoded to a lower bitrate.

Dreamcast VS PS2 - Not the same thing... (4, Insightful)

engagebot (941678) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777177)

"360-DVD vs PS3-Blu-ray battle to the Dreamcast-CD vs PS2-DVD battle"

Eh, I'm not so sure about this. First of all, the Dreamcast didn't use a CD-ROM. It was a proprietary 'GD-ROM' that was actually a higher capacity disk (at least 1GB, i don't remember the details). The point wasn't that the dreamcast's media wasn't big enough to hold the content the developers were looking to put out, it was just that the machine didn't play DVD movies.

The 360 can play DVD movies just like the PS2 and PS3. It just can't play *BluRay* movies. The catch is, we're yet to find out whether people are even going to even care about that or not (format wars, HDTV requirement, DRM, etc).

Back then, one system had functionality that the other lacked, and that added functionality happened to be something that was important to alot of consumers. That being said, it surely wasn't the lack of DVD video functionality that broke SEGA.

We won't be seeing *games* that push the limits of each system's storage capacity for some time. Not to mention, most buyers buy the system that has the games they want to play. The only exception to that is a parent who doesn't care either way, so they'll more than likely opt for the cheaper (360/wii) or more kid-friendly (wii) of the bunch.

Re:Dreamcast VS PS2 - Not the same thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777594)

True. Other differences to consider:

- Sony had a prior console under the brand name (PS1) to help push the PS2, while Sega didn't have a previous Dreamcast. But here, both have previous models.

- DVD already had the time to become an established media format by the time the PS2 was released. HDDVD and Blu-Ray on the other hand are only just emerging.

As for the 10 years...this basically says it all: http://nintendo.about.com/library/bluray/blblurayp en1.htm [about.com]

...and the 360 will have a HD DVD accessory (1)

benwaggoner (513209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778305)

Also, we'll have a HD DVD playback accessory for the Xbox 360 available this year. Given how much more successful HD DVD has been compared to Blu-ray so far (many more titles, with much higher average video quality).

Given the price differential between PS3 and the 360, the consumer will have the choice between paying around the same for game consumer + HD playback, but those who just want to play games can ge the 360 without HD disc playback, with the option to upgrade later.

motion blur, depth of field? (1)

BigBuckHunter (722855) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777363)

From TFA

In the next several years, we will still just be learning to do the basics of film, like motion blur, depth of field -- all of that stuff alone chews up a lot of graphics processing

Didn't 3dfx (now owned by nvidia) already have tech to do just this? I believe it was called T-Buffering. Can anyone in-the-know fill us in?

BBH

3dfx already did it... (1, Interesting)

2008 (900939) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777814)

From the full interview:

"SLI is probably one of the most important innovations that we have brought in the last several years."
3dfx had a very similar, albeit not identical, system ages ago.

"Nvidia 1.0 was building 3-D graphics. Creating the consumer 3-D market."
No, that was 3dfx again.

Of course, Nvidia bought the remains of 3dfx so perhaps they're counting that.

Revisionist history aside, the full interview here [mercurynews.com] (not the watered down blog post), is really interesting, and exactly the sort of thing that should be on slashdot.

well, maybe (1)

p!ssa (660270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777371)

He may think the blue-ray drive is the natural evolution but what if it turns out to be the next beta-max. I was at best buy yesterday looking at the demos of HD-DVD and blue ray in between pitches for warrenties and 8 free magazines, and I can tell you I wasnt impressed. Not by the display qualites OR the warrenties, subscriptions or Dirk the sales guy (what a f'in moron he was). I might have purchased a PS3 if it came with DVD but at the price with the BR drive I'll gladly wait it out. If it does become the next betamax Sony will have shot themselves in the foot.

Stopped Reading After 2nd Paragraph (1)

duerra (684053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777482)

I stopped reading after the second paragraph of the article:

You can't build chips for all the game consoles. That's not possible. They would all like a slightly different style from the others. Difference is important. The same chip company would have difficulty designing chips for the different styles. It's also so high stakes that you need to focus. No one has enough extraneous resources around to build chips for all the game consoles.


Tell that to IBM [reed-electronics.com]

DVD had nothing to do with Dreamcast's demise (1)

Quarters (18322) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777599)

The biggest contributor to the downfall of the Dreamcast was Electronic Arts. When they announced that they weren't going to support the console, for whatever reasons, public interest in it faded very quickly. Consoles are like operating systems. People care more about the software library available than the underlying hosting environment for those applications.

No Madden no sale.

Re:DVD had nothing to do with Dreamcast's demise (1)

computertheque (823940) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778272)

EA wasn't quite the powerhouse as they are now back at that time. I'd also argue that Madden was in no way as popular back then as with the PS2/Xbox/Gamecube generation. It hurts any console to have developers and publishers look the other way. I just cannot agree that EA was that important of a factor with the Dreamcast failure. Marketing and hype for the oncoming release of the PS2 far overshadowed the efforts of Sega to promote their console. The Dreamcast had no shortage of quality games either. The consumer base did was consumer bases do, they listened to marketing messages and waiting for the PS2 which was capable of "near photo realistic graphics." We all know how hard it is in this industry for a company to rebound from a flop (the Saturn).

DVD vs Blu-Ray (2, Insightful)

BigNumber (457893) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777710)

IMHO, the more advanced the console is, the less capacity it needs on the media. Back in the PS1 days, a large portion of the disk was dedicated to pre-rendered video and audio. The graphics on the new systems are advanced enough to produce the same quality video on-the-fly using an instruction set that is much smaller than the amount of space needed for the pre-rendered stuff.

So if the games don't need the extra space, the compatibility with movies is the only real reason to choose one media type over the other. Since I believe both new DVD formats (HD-DVD and Blu-Ray) will fail, the added cost to the PS3 isn't worth it.

I'm curious (1)

Hortos (975067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777717)

Why is the PS3 so expensive when it includes a non-custom Cell Processor with only 1 General Purpose CPU and a non-custom Geforce 7900 512 with 256 megs of ram chopped off? Versus a Xbox 360 with 3 Cores each equal to the General Purpose CPU of the PS3 and a custom designed unified shader graphics solution with embedded ram with console gaming in mind? I just can't understand all the people wandering around claiming the PS3 is twice as powerful as a Xbox360. Just because they're waiting longer to release their console and adding Blu-Ray Sony is just pulling arbitrary stats out and tossing them around since nobody has the actual hardware to look at. Or they might try the "Hey look its more expensive therefore it must be better!" angle which works well in America.

Re:I'm curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778424)

Maybe because the Cell Processor [wikipedia.org] and the RSX [wikipedia.org] are custom chips?

Arguably as customized or more than the Xbox 360's chips anyway. Give me a break though, Cell is about the most ambitious custom chip in years. Its single precision floating point performance is over 5 times that of a dual core desktop CPU that costs as much as the PS3 itself.

But I'm sure you already knew that, didn't you, Microsoft shill?

Future proofing...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778254)

For as much as we tech guys bash Sony and the PS3 this may turn out to be a stroke of genius. Think about it, right now, the general public doesn't know or much really care what HD-DVD or Blu-Ray is. Let's say it takes 2 or 3 years for folks to finally catch on. If the PS3 can just keep its head above water until then they could blow everybody out of the water.

Jump to 2008-2009: Let's assume DVD will be dead and/or dying. The price of the PS3 would probably be cheaper than a stand alone Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player. Satisfied PS2 gamers gradually begin to upgrade to PS3's. Then the casual consumer who's slightly interested in gaming picks up a PS3 because it's has more "bang for the buck". You couple that with the early PS3 adopters and you have a large installed base of Blu-Ray players which could tip the scales in Sony's favor. Sony goes after the porn industry to adopt Blu-Ray to put the icing on the cake (For those who don't know Porn's adoption of VHS over Betamax was a big factor in that format war).

From a gaming perspective the natural advancement of technology and innovative developers will require more and more from a console. As development costs drop, eventually, the built in hard-drive and high capacity blu-ray drive in every PS3 will be very attractive to those developers trying to push the limits of gaming in graphics and gameplay. The 360 will be constrained by DVD and the lack of a hard drive in every unit, and the Wii (while innovative) will be constrained by relatively under powered console by 2008-2009 standards, and a decidedly younger user base.

If the PS3 can make it through the bad press and the high price and "stick around" so to speak, they may win this thing yet again. Sony's made some missteps but if you look at the PS3 in this context there is good chance Sony could be really successful. Because unlike MS and Nintendo they have attempted to "future proof" their console. If the things above fall in place the hated Sony could wind up on top of the heap again. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, they didn't get to be Sony by lacking business sense.
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