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Why Sony Won't Lose The Next-Gen War

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the sheer-grit dept.

228

GamesDaily has up an opinion piece, talking about why author James Brightman sees Sony walking away with the next-gen crown, again. From the article: "Sony is well aware of the power of its brand and it will do everything it can to leverage the PlayStation name. Providing backwards compatibility with both the PS1 and PS2, as well as offering full PS1 titles for download through the PS3, can only help to reinforce that brand and remind gamers of the PlayStation games they hold so dear. Selling over 100 million units, twice, has its advantages. In fact, there are a number of people who have probably owned nothing but PlayStation consoles, and those consumers are likely to stick with a brand they know and trust. Before they've even learned anything about Sony's new console, many consumers have already made up their minds that they want the next PlayStation no matter what. A strong brand should not be underestimated." Relatedly, the company released a few more details on its online plan via its Japanese office. That article touches on AV chat, a puzzle games service, and downloadable games.

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228 comments

Leaning on the name? (4, Insightful)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615270)

Leaning on the Playstation name? That'll be fine... at first. Even the almost unplayayble Atari 5200 did well off its name for a while. After that, it had to survive on its own merits and did poorly. I don't think the name alone will make the PS3 a success.

Re:Leaning on the name? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16615624)

lo slashdot lusers get used to it nobody wants your shitty nintendo wee your all faggots lol

p.s. jappers have small penises

Re:Leaning on the name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16615678)

I guess a life is out of your budget?

Re:Leaning on the name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16615932)

In the land of small penises, the one-nut man is king!

Re:Leaning on the name? (2, Interesting)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615646)

My impression is that the PS3's actual capabilities are not what people are claiming will kill the PS3. It's the price. I haven't heard much beyond the price as a reason to not get a PS3.

Anyone care to say otherwise?

Re:Leaning on the name? (4, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615818)

I have had conversations from people who were more casual gamers who complained that Sony is producing a controller that has non-chargeable/non-replaceable batteries, that the controller has lost rumble, and that to take advantage of the features in the PS3 they'd need to spend thousands of dollars on a TV. Mind you, these people were aware of the price and (as I've said before) people usually decide what they want and then justify the purchase; they may have decided they couldn't afford a PS3 and then looked into why they didn't like it.

Re:Leaning on the name? (2, Insightful)

tbannist (230135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615836)

The two most commonly cited reasons are:

1) It's too expensive
and
2) Sony suxxorz!

It remains to be seen how much the price will drag down mainstream sales. I think Sony will come out with a smaller marketshare this time around, but I'm not Microsoft and Nintendo have what it takes to win out. In theory, the graphics will be noticeably worse on the Wii and 360 won't have the children's games. Each of the consoles in this generation has it's down sides, all that's left is to see which one wins in the marketplace.

Re:Leaning on the name? (1)

necrozen (960784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616496)

You make a great point - but here's the thing:

I can buy a Wii (for the Kids games) and a 360 (for the graphics and cool points) and spend about the same ammount of money. Also I will have a MUCH MUCH larger game library to choose from (don't forget Wii's virtual console and Xbox live) and a wider gaming excperience (the Wii's awsome controller and the 360's standard gaming experience) and spend about the same ammount of money as I would on one PS3.

So why would I narrow my options?

Well, in my case, I have an awsome computer which I spent alot of money on, so I don't even need the 360. I'm just getting the Wii - but for those who don't have a high-end gaming rig, you can just buy the 360 to get your graphics and cool points.

Re:Leaning on the name? (1)

LuciferosX (987569) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617818)

You are not narrowing your options. There are over 10000 PS2 games and more PS1 games. Narrowing your options is a definite no.

Re:Leaning on the name? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16615882)

Like the PSP which sold units through brand and hype but is falling into disarray of late

Re:Leaning on the name? (4, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615972)

Nintendo had plenty of brand recognition back in the day, and that didn't stop them from getting their asses handed to them by the playstation.

A brand can help, but in the end, it all comes down to the games. It's really that simple. The PS3 is going to need some really high-end exclusive games to match its high-end price tag, but if they can build up a solid library, they'll do fine. I don't think they'll dominate as forcefully as they did with the PS2, but they'll end up making some money, and life will go on.

Re:Leaning on the name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16616080)

Nintindo also had the image the video games for preteens (Mario) and zitfaced teenagers (Streetfighter).

Re:Leaning on the name? (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618128)

"Nintendo had plenty of brand recognition back in the day, and that didn't stop them from getting their asses handed to them by the playstation."

Nintendo made the fatal mistake of the N64 and mistreating developers earlier when it had a natural monopoly on games during the NES era, not to mention with the N64 they were "pulling a sega", and many hardcore and early console gamers remember the sting of the Sega CD, 32X, Saturn, etc. Sega created ill will against itself by lack of software support for released hardware if it did not sell as well as they would have liked, the fact is the tried to flood the market with hard to develop for hardware and games simply not understanding the dynamics of why people buy consoles to begin with.

Nintendo slowly killed itself by doing the a similar thing killing interest of developers by shackling the N64 with Cartridge. Notice many of the most popular (still) playstation games today had their start and first success on the NES and SNES to begin with. Playstation would never have taken off all peoples favorite games from the SNES era didn't move over to PS1. Go look at major franchises and look at what systems they were on historically, its not hard to see the pattern - Gamers followed the games.

Re:Leaning on the name? (4, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616060)

Atari 5200 did well off its name for a while. After that, it had to survive on its own merits and did poorly.

The 5200 never really did all that well. Mostly because Atari wouldn't support it.

My thoughts?

1995
Sega: "The Sega Saturn is going to be the most advanced gaming machine of our time! At only $399, it will be a value. On top of that, we're releasing it six months early!"
Sony: "$299"

(The Sega empire fell.)

2006
Sony: "The PS3 is going to be the most advanced gaming machine of our time! At only $599, it will be a value. On top of that, we're releasing it ahead of Nintendo's offerings!"
Nintendo: "$249"

(Will Sony's empire fall? Tune in to the next exciting episode of Slashdot for the thrilling conclusion!)

Re:Leaning on the name? (-1, Flamebait)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616460)

> 2006
> Sony: "The PS3 is going to be the most advanced gaming machine of our time! At only $599,
> it will be a value. On top of that, we're releasing it ahead of Nintendo's offerings!"
> Nintendo: "$249"

2008
Nintendo: "I just don't understand it! Why on earth don't people want to wave around a piece of expensive plastic and pretend they're catching fish?"

If I was capable of pretending I was catching fish, wouldn't I also be up for just pretending I'd bought a game console as well?

Re:Leaning on the name? (1)

oGMo (379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616616)

And "No one needs more than 480p!"

I am without question getting a Wii (eventually anyway... I'm not planning on getting any console at launch) just for Zelda, but it's a big disappointment that it won't at least be Zelda at 720p. The screenshots look at best marginally better than the Cube version, and worse even than some PS2 games (compare to Shadow of the Colossus and other recent games). I don't think the Wii will age very well. (And low-resolution 3D is far worse than low-resolution 2D.)

Re:Leaning on the name? (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617488)

> And "No one needs more than 480p!"

No-one "needs" it, no. No matter how far into the future you project, you'll never get to the point where people point at pacman, defender, duke nukem, Battlefield 2, street fighter 2 etc and say `those games sucked - just imagine how good they'd have been if they'd been in 5000*5000 pixels`. Same with films - current DVD quality is fine with me. No new films ever made will require a higher quality than is capable of being stored on a regular DVD.

Re:Leaning on the name? (3, Interesting)

oGMo (379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616470)

More like:

2000
Sega: "The Dreamcast is going to be the most advanced gaming machine of our time! At only $149, it will be a value! On top of that, we're releasing it a year ahead of Sony's offerings!"
Sony: "$299"

2006
Microsoft: "The XBOX360 is going to be the most advanced gaming machine of our time (it's just as fast as the PS3)! At only $399 (+$50/year for live, +$199 if you want HD-DVD) it will be a value! On top of that, we're releasing it a year ahead of Sony's offerings!"
Sony: "$499 (+$100 if you want more HDD and wifi)"

Could you be a bigger fanboy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16616618)

Every single comment I see you post in the games section, you consistently bash Sony. EVERY SINGLE TIME. Nintendo/Microsoft is not going to love and cherish you with their console (neither is Sony but let me get to my point), none of these companies care about you: all they want is your money. Why do you feel it necessary to advertise for them? Don't be an idiot; equal console love is the way to go, and you're only going to get held back in the gaming world by your narrow world view.

Re:Leaning on the name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16618028)

fyi the saturn is a weaker machine than the psx

A strong brand. (4, Insightful)

Lemental (719730) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615288)

Like Ford? Or an IBM Branded PC?

Re:A strong brand. (4, Funny)

bherman (531936) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615348)

No, no, no. Those companies you point out are not a fair comparisons for Sony's business practices.

Lets go with Enron and MCI

Re:A strong brand. (2, Insightful)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615686)

How about using companies that hasn't had executives sent to prison lately.

Ford could be an example, but you can't look at Ford today. You have to look at Ford in the 70s, when the price of gas went through the roof and pollution regulations were introduced. Their response was to stick with old technology and muddle around with smaller, less powerful engines. GM's response was to introduce a new Cadillac that got 8 mpg on the freeway. They ignored the wants and needs of their customers completely.

The question is, is Sony ignoring the wants of their customers with the PS3. We can't say yet.

Re:A strong brand. (1)

bherman (531936) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615988)

I guess you missed my point. Ask the average /. reader what their view of Sony as a company is. I'm sure some of the jist of what people say will be similar to what you would hear if you asked them about Enron or MCI.

In particular I'm talking about the delay in the battery recal, the root-kit and the grey market crackdown this week.

Re:A strong brand. (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616288)

True. But I was looking at the Playstation brand, not the Sony brand (which, yes, still includes the grey market crackdown).

Re:A strong brand. (2, Interesting)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615368)

Anyone who thinks that a gaming company can't lose is a fanboy. The real question is whether Sony has already lost with the PS3; I would say no, but I'm not writing an article for a website.

What I think is interesting is the Playstation brand has been searched less than the Nintendo brand over the past 6 months:

http://www.google.com/trends?q=Playstation%2C+Nint endo [google.com]
http://www.google.com/trends?q=Playstation%2C+Nint endo&ctab=0&geo=US&date=all [google.com]

Not really representative of anything except that the Wii and Nintnedo DS has attracted more attention to Nintendo than the PS3 and PSP have for the Playstation name.

Note: Please don't do any searches with PS2 in them to demonstrate dominance of Sony, PS2 is used in a lot of searches (like PS2 Keyboard, PS2 Mouse) and google trends can not split them. If you compare PS3, Wii, PSP, and DS you get the following

http://www.google.com/trends?q=PS3%2C+Wii%2C+PSP%2 C+DS&ctab=0&geo=US&date=all [google.com]

Although PSP probably gains from "Product Service Plan" and other acronyms.

Re:A strong brand. (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615658)

I actually fully expect Sony to pull a Nintendo in the 90s. Nintendo had no competition other then Sega, and they probably got a bit of the same thing Sony has, ego, and thought we can do no wrong. THey made a few mistakes and they went from first in the 90s to second/third in the 2000s.

Will Sony still dominate after this round? Maybe, but definitly not as much as they once did. 2nd place overall would'nt suprsise me at all. Will they go out of business over this? Not by a long shot.

Re:A strong brand. (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616358)

In Europe at least, Nintendo/Sega had competition from Commodore (Amiga, CD32) and Atari (Jaguar)...
The CD32 especially (first 32bit cd based conole, vastly superior to sega's megacd and cheaper), was going very well for Commodore UK until it's US parent company went belly up and took them down with it.

Re:A strong brand. (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615758)

Or Coca-Cola?

Re:A strong brand. (1)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616206)

Probably a bad choice. Coke Classic is still the top-selling non-alcoholic beverage in the country, and the Coca-Cola Company is still the market leader in the carbonated beverage market (43.1% v 31.7% for PepsiCo and 14.5% for Cadbury Schweppes).

(In one sense, PepsiCo is "winning" though, insofar as they have a higher market capitalization than Coca-Cola. That's more a product of their diversification than success in the "cola wars" though. Less than a quarter of their revenue comes from their carbonated beverage division; the rest comes from other brands (Frito-Lay, Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade).

Boycott (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16615340)

Sony: "Well, what've you got?"

Customers: "Well, there's egg and boycott; egg bacon and boycott; egg bacon sausage and boycott; boycott bacon sausage and boycott; boycott egg boycott boycott bacon and boycott; boycott sausage boycott boycott bacon boycott tomato and boycott;"

Vikings:

Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott
Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott
Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott
Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott

Lovely boycott! Lovely boycott!

Sony: "Have you got anything without a boycott?"

Customers: "Well, there's boycott egg sausage and boycott, that's not got much boycotting in it."

Sony: "I don't want ANY boycotts!"

Customers: "Why can't you have egg bacon boycott and sausage?"

Sony: "THAT'S got boycotting in it!"

Customers: Hasn't got as much boycotting in it as boycott egg sausage and boycott, has it?

Vikings:

Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott
Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott
Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott
Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott

Lovely boycott! Lovely boycott!

Sony: "I DON'T LIKE BOYCOTTS!"

(With apologies to Monty Python.)

Re:Boycott (2, Insightful)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615524)

How about apologizing to all of us for subjecting us to such a lame, sophomoric post?

Re:Boycott (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16615622)

Vikings:

Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott
Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott
Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott
Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott

Lovely boycott! Lovely boycott!

Sony: "I DON'T LIKE BOYCOTTS!"

(With apologies to Deadguy2322.)
(Good thing he's dead.)
(Otherwise he might care!)

Re:Boycott (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16616158)

Redundant? Parent isn't redundant. THIS is redundant!

Sony: "Well, what've you got?"

Customers: "Well, there's egg and boycott; egg bacon and boycott; egg bacon sausage and boycott; boycott bacon sausage and boycott; boycott egg boycott boycott bacon and boycott; boycott sausage boycott boycott bacon boycott tomato and boycott;"

Vikings:

Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott
Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott
Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott
Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott

Lovely boycott! Lovely boycott!

Sony: "Have you got anything without a boycott?"

Customers: "Well, there's boycott egg sausage and boycott, that's not got much boycotting in it."

Sony: "I don't want ANY boycotts!"

Customers: "Why can't you have egg bacon boycott and sausage?"

Sony: "THAT'S got boycotting in it!"

Customers: Hasn't got as much boycotting in it as boycott egg sausage and boycott, has it?

Vikings:

Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott
Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott
Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott
Boycott, boycott, boycott, boycott

Lovely boycott! Lovely boycott!

Sony: "I DON'T LIKE BOYCOTTS!"

(With apologies to Monty Python.)

Time (3, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615346)

The window for Sony to win, however, is extremely small. the 360 and Wii are both well positioned tot ake advantage of that short window. If the PS3 doesn't get sold in large enough numbers to justify the large development costs for it, it could very well end up on the outside looking in. Hardware is only the first part of the equation. Games are the second, and more important part of the equation. No games, no system.

Re:Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16615714)

Well, except the XBox 1 proved that theory wrong... Microsoft came outa nowhere to having a console that in North America did quite well. XBox had Halo, DOA that some liked, Sony has FF, etc. Short of the console bursting into fire after purchase I think Sony will come out with a profit outa this.

Also believe it or not, some people WILL look at it and go "wow, I get all that and a blue ray player? beats buying a stand alone!"

Yes, some people do, in fact, want Blu Ray. Or however it's technically spelled.

Re:Time (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615958)

True, but what would have happened if the Halo weren't an Xbox exclusive? My guess is it would have failed miserably. If the PS3 doesn't ahve that, then it could very well have a long, long battle on its hands. I'm not going to say that the PS# will die, or that Sony's going away, but I doubt very much whether it will be as dominating this time around as it was last time.

Re:Time (2, Interesting)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617106)

Sony does have two big ones:
  1. Final Fantasy XIII (and Versus XIII)
  2. Metal Gear Solid 4

Both of these are comparable in scope to Halo... FF13 probably even a bit larger. Interesting thing is that Microsoft was probably better off having Halo and little else, because it got so attention because it was the ONLY THING that anyone was noticing. After all, a mountain is going to stand out more in the midwest than it will the Alps.

Re:Time (1)

Twiceblessedman (590621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615938)

You mean the wii pretty much. The 360 is doing worse than the original xbox in the same time frame. So it's either going to be the wii or nothing.

Re:Time (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616062)

The only way to come to the conclusion the 360 is doing worse than the Xbox is to artifically limit your time span to the time when the 360 was still having production issues. Ever since they took care of that, the 360 has been significantly outselling the Xbox for t6he same period of time. I'm pretty certain that the 360 has sold more than the original Xbox had at this amount of time after launch - and if not, it's extremely close.

price (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615360)

Before they've even learned anything about Sony's new console, many consumers have already made up their minds that they want the next PlayStation no matter what

That's not a very compelling reason why they won't lose the war. For every 1 person who has to have it, there will be 100 who won't pay $500 for a console.

Re:price (1)

Suzumushi (907838) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615488)

Yeah, that's an awfully vague statement...ala, Sony is chosen 1/3 of the time, all the time...it just doesn't make sense.

I would counter with, "Before they've even learned anything about Sony's new console, many consumers have already made up their minds that they won't pay $500+ for a gaming console."

Re:price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16616234)

But how many of them will pay $500 for a Blue Ray player?

Well.. everybody has an opinion... (2, Interesting)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615424)

...And he's entitled to his opinion. And so am I entitled to mine. Whether either opinion is valuable is totally and completely up to the individual (you).

That said, I think there's more than enough room in the console market that nobody truly loses this round.

But I also think that no matter how you slice it, Microsoft has cut, and cut deep, in the what would have been much greater profits for Sony from the PS3. Everybody who thought their opinion mattered said when the xBox first came out that Microsoft could never compete with Sony and the Playstation line. But, as Microsoft has shown time and time again, Microsoft is capable of assimilating a successful business strategy and making their own version viable and profitable. Sure, Microsoft has failed, don't get me wrong. Just not most of the times, or even really a substantial percentage of the times, that they've done so. Witness the Zune. I am prepared to predict that the Zune doesn't really steal the market from the iPod, much in the same way the xBox didn't from the Playstation. But the Zune will be profitable. That is my prediction.

Oh and one other thing. I am not an owner of a single game console, from any year. So I don't think I am biased towards any particular one. I prefer the PC.

TLF

Re:Well.. everybody has an opinion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16615594)

"But I also think that no matter how you slice it, Microsoft has cut, and cut deep, in the what would have been much greater profits for Sony from the PS3. Everybody who thought their opinion mattered said when the xBox first came out that Microsoft could never compete with Sony and the Playstation line. But, as Microsoft has shown time and time again, Microsoft is capable of assimilating a successful business strategy and making their own version viable and profitable."

What a stupid, stupid person.

If there is one thing Microsoft is famous for it their inability to 'assimilating a successful business strategy and making their own version viable and profitable' outside of their core OS and office suite software.

Sony has made billions off of their two consoles over the past decade while Microsoft has lost 4-5 billion of known losses and no one knows how much more due to hiding recent Xbox losses with other profitable parts of the company.

With the 360 selling worse than the first Xbox, Microsoft is nothing but a retarded sideshow to Sony's main battle with Nintendo in Japan this upcoming console cycle.

Re:Well.. everybody has an opinion... (2, Insightful)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615880)

What a stupid, stupid person.

If there is one thing Microsoft is famous for it their inability to 'assimilating a successful business strategy and making their own version viable and profitable' outside of their core OS and office suite software.

Sony has made billions off of their two consoles over the past decade while Microsoft has lost 4-5 billion of known losses and no one knows how much more due to hiding recent Xbox losses with other profitable parts of the company.

With the 360 selling worse than the first Xbox, Microsoft is nothing but a retarded sideshow to Sony's main battle with Nintendo in Japan this upcoming console cycle.


Let's dispense with the ad homs, AC. They're not necessary. In case you don't know what I mean, please do a google search of 'ad hom'.

You want to talk numbers? Let's talk.

Did Microsoft lose money on the XBox? Hell yes. Did they fully well know that they would? YES. In fact, they were certain they would lose money on them. But that didn't matter because it bought Microsoft valuable entrance into the console market. Which they have now used to position themselves against Sony in a way nobody thought they would be able to. They have sold over 10 million 360s as of today. How many PS3s has Sony sold? Zero. In the next-gen war, Microsoft is clearly way ahead right now.

But what happens when the PS3 is released? Does Sony suddenly sell 100 million PS3s? Not in the USA. Not a single person I know is excited enough to go out and immediately fork over $600 USD for a PS3. They are wary of Sony's first run systems. They often ship with problems and need to be returned. Add to this that PS3 graphical performance hasn't been shown to exceed the 360 by any real noticable amount and you have what could be a very slow launch for the PS3.

People simply aren't very excited for the PS3 where I live. And I happen to think that it's indicative of a greater trend.

But it's pointless to argue really, until the PS3 is released.

TLF

Re:Well.. everybody has an opinion... (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616790)

They have sold over 10 million 360s as of today. Time to break out the anti-stupidity stick. They've sold around 6 million. They hope to sell 4 million is the next 2 months, which is highly unlikely since the Wii will have enough units to make most people happy and the PS3 will have enough to scoop up the money to burn category.

Re:Well.. everybody has an opinion... (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617908)

You want to talk numbers? Let's talk.

Yeah, let's.

...Which they have now used to position themselves against Sony in a way nobody thought they would be able to. They have sold over 10 million 360s as of today. How many PS3s has Sony sold? Zero.

Where the fuck do you get 10 million X360s sold as of today? That is untrue. They've just announced 6, and are aiming for 10 by xmas (which will take a miracle). Check yer own figures before you cast stones.

People simply aren't very excited for the PS3 where I live. And I happen to think that it's indicative of a greater trend.

Indeed. Practically everyone I know really likes Macs, so I fully expect them to take over the computer market globally. Maybe tomorrow.

Re:Well.. everybody has an opinion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16618122)

Ad hominem attacks are justified if the person you're talking to is actually stupid.

Check your numbers first.

Re:Well.. everybody has an opinion... (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615934)

But, as Microsoft has shown time and time again, Microsoft is capable of assimilating a successful business strategy and making their own version viable and profitable.

You lost all credibility with this one line. The Xbox line has never turned a profit, and the 360 is highly unlikely to make a profit this time around either. No other company could afford to lose the billions of dollars that Microsoft is losing on the Xbox.

Re:Well.. everybody has an opinion... (2, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616026)

Witness the Zune. I am prepared to predict that the Zune doesn't really steal the market from the iPod, much in the same way the xBox didn't from the Playstation. But the Zune will be profitable. That is my prediction.

Do you expect that argument to have any credibility in the context you put it in? DO you realize how vastly unprofitable the Xbox was? And that's what you're holding up to say that the Zune has a chance in hell?

Have a look at this graph [photobucket.com]. It shows console sales over time where t0 is the release date for each console. Now go rethink your argument.

Re:Well.. everybody has an opinion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16617144)

You could not be more wrong the xbox division from a buisness standpoint is a complete failure, the xbox division has not made a single penny of profit infact they have lost BILLIONS of dollars ove rthe life of the original Xbox and now the xbox 360. If you rate succes on profit Nintendo would be the winner, the nintendo game division has been in the black every year for years.

Re:Well.. everybody has an opinion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16618142)

If you gave infinite capital and infinite time to a monkey to compete in the console business, even it can beat any competition. Would I call it success? No.

And once the fans realize..... (3, Informative)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615446)

You can play PS2 and PS1 games on your PS2 still, why go out and buy a 600 dollar system that does the same thing.

Sony isn't going to win this round on name recognition, they COULD have, if it was a 400 dollar console, and would have at 300, but going to 600 dollars makes it less likely.

Sony needs to win this round, and they might pull it off if Microsoft still can't break Japanese markets after Christmas next year (give them time). If Blue Dragon doesn't make a huge in-road for the 360, Sony will not have to worry.

However sony is already running scared, dropping the price of the 20 gig model in Japan, low numbers (now saying they might not make 2 million consoles by the end of the year), a almost constant hype session, at least one a day. And all for one reason. The 360 is already here, and already getting better and better.

Will the 360 be perfect? no. But the PS3 is looking worse as the launch window comes up, they'll sell out, but the 360 has 6 MILLION consoles out there. The PS3 has 2 million at the end of the year if they are lucky. Developers know this, and know the score.

Which will win though? Who knows, it all rests on Japan right now, and even there people arn't thrilled with Sony.

Re:And once the fans realize..... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16615754)

I strongly expect the PS3 to actually have, get ths... PS3 games. Saying I wont buy xyz because it's backwards compatable is quite possibly the stupidest argument on earth.

Re:And once the fans realize..... (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615864)

Perhaps RTFA would help you. Their arguement is people will buy the PS3 because it's backwards compatible. That is only useful if someone wants a system they haven't owned before, or wants to get rid of an old system for the newer mode. However it doesn't work here, because you have to want the newer system first.

What about $500 then? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616076)

Sony isn't going to win this round on name recognition, they COULD have, if it was a 400 dollar console, and would have at 300, but going to 600 dollars makes it less likely.

The cheapest PS3 is $500, not $600. And people seem quite happy paying $400 for a premium 360 with a fee for Live so a slightly more expensive PS3 with free online service should sell equally well - at least for the first six million units or so. And then they have sold enough to build momentum.

Re:What about $500 then? (2, Insightful)

zeroduck (691015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617164)

But taking the console up to the checkout and paying $600 vs $400 vs $300 are completely different things. I paid $400 for my 360, and have definitely put about $200 into it (games, live, accessories) . . . but having that $500 or $600 upfront is a completely different animal.

There's also been a few articles saying that the majority of PS3s being produced are the $600 model. There might be no choice between the $500 model and the $600 model. Something tells me that unlike the 360, the less expensive model will be the more popular. If, after launch, the $600 model is being snatched up at a higher rate than the $500 model, there's going to be a lot of people (me included) that are going to be eating their own words.

We know the fanboys, early adapters, and people with simply too much money will buy it. We'll see about everyone else when it's released.

Re:What about $500 then? (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617232)

Either 500 or 600 compared to the comparable 360, you're still paying 200 dollars more.

The 500 dollar ps3 has said they will be missing a couple of the features that the 600 dollar will, and will NOT be upgradable. There was reports that these missing features are stuff like memory card slots and high def output. If you're buying the system according to what the article is talking about (backwards compatibility) that memory card slot abscene means you will no longer be able to import old save games, so that's another 40 hours into every RPG just to get back to the same boss battle if you want to replay them.

If you want to go save 100 bucks by buying a nerfed console, go ahead, but most people wouldn't. However the numbers still don't change. You're talking about the core system that's 300 vs. 500. A big difference.

Re:What about $500 then? (2, Insightful)

dank zappingly (975064) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617614)

Both PS3's have full hdmi 1.3 output. Neither 360 does. The budget Ps3 has the same size hard drive as the premium xbox. As far as the lack of memory card slots go, I don't think anyone knows whether or not an external reader will be released, but if there is demand, i'm sure it's something that they could hook up through one of those USB ports. The premium system has 60 gb more hd, wifi, and the reader. The "nerfed" system is for people who don't want those features. Calling the 360 comparable to either system is a joke. The crummy ps3 is "comparable" to the premium 360 with HD-DVD drive. The comparison you should be making is that the "nerfed" PS3 has the same features as the "premium" 360, and also comes with wifi, a wireless controller, a high def media drive, a card reader, and free network gaming. Whether that is worth 200 dollars to you or not probably depends on whether or not you have an HDTV and wireless internet in your house, but if the cheaper PS3 is nerfed, then both xbox 360's are super duper nerfed.

Re:What about $500 then? (1)

lowe0 (136140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617868)

Nah. I'd say a fairer comparison is between the $400 360 and the $500 PS3. Both of them are roughly equivalent at playing games, which is the point of buying a game console in the first place.

Basically, if you want a Blu-ray player, the PS3 is a good deal. If you want a HD-DVD player, the 360 and a HD-DVD drive is a good deal. If you don't want either, a 360 is a great deal. I'd rather have the choice of whether to buy a HD movie player, and I'd definitely rather have Halo than Killzone (especially since you can play Halo in realtime, instead of having to wait for Killzone to render). ;)

To quote Penny Arcade: (3, Funny)

JoeLinux (20366) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615464)

"And why won't you be buying a PS3?"

"Because it's 600 f*cking dollars..."

It's amazing how far we've gone (2, Interesting)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615480)

A year ago, if you would have asked any analyst or gamer if Sony was going to lose the next-gen console war, you would have been laughed at. It was preposterous to think that the house that Sony built was going to crumble any time soon.

It's been almost a complete 180. Now you have analysts trying to prove why Sony won't lose the next-gen war, and a lot of people doubting them.

I'm no Sony fanboi (or anyone's fanboi for that matter, I'm console agnostic), but I don't think Sony is going to lose the next-gen war either, despite all of the company's goof-ups and mistakes. However, it's still amazing to note how far Sony has fallen, and much Nintendo's and MS's stock has risen over the course of only a year.

Re:It's amazing how far we've gone (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616504)

However, it's still amazing to note how far Sony has fallen, and much Nintendo's and MS's stock has risen over the course of only a year.

Its really Nintendo that has been the largest dynamic in this go-round of console launches. (Don't mind me, I'm just going to type aloud (?) here for a bit.)

We've been speculating for years and now we can see the shape of games to come. I find it quite fascinating to see how strategies have coalesced amongst the big 3 respectively. Previous trend was to go bigger, more complex, more density etc. Continue along the same arc if you will.

Sony took that seriously and set out to do something that seemed roughly 40X the last generation, spooky weirdo japanese CELL powered hardware running on zen koans and demon spirits, must be programmed in runes, does all kinds of other tricks like molesting your photo collection and music and whatnot. A scifi media computer in other words. Way ambitious, probably too ambitious. They are not kidding when they say a 10-year window for this thing. PS2 is coming up on that. Kutaragi announces that it will cost 10 orphan tears and a shard of narwhale horn. And then their manufacturing problems manifested and you all know the rest. So - high high end, with all the accompanying risks. Announces online strategy very late and not as solid as Live but I'm pleasantly surprised by what is out there now, it actually looks pretty good and we know it will be free. Browser looks alright. (And I must say, as an interface designer, the PS3 menu system is hot. Really, really stunningly beautiful.)

MS launches first by a long shot and does the very safest thing, not 40X but more like 10-12X (being extremely vague here, don't crucify me) and the famously solid online component. Less cost than PS3, less powerful, more understandable, more predictable. No HD optical. But then no harddrive. Jesus I really think they went too far with that, not making it standard. Will haunt them. Totally, solidly in the middle. Online is the gold standard amongst many and if you love that style of play this is the place to be. (Does it have a browser though? I actually don't know.)

Nintendo does this daring swoop downstream if you will, basically (very basically, again don't hurt me, *makes sign of cross*) minituarizing and upclocking a GameCube and focusing strongly on a completely new input mechanism. Way cheap, no HD anything, looks nifty though and does have slotloading drive. Controller is extremely intriguing, pretty much the whole strategy is on leveraging this and cost. Online presence consists of web browser, download service for old games, etc.

(I gotta wonder about 3rd party wiimote knockoffs appearing, that could hurt them in a big way - I don't have the link out there but someone announced a very similar controller for plain old USB - PS3, PC, X360).

Price will only play a partial role in people's decisions to go one way or the other (or multiple), platform loyalty being a big one for the regular gamers.

Anyways, I can't wait to see how it plays out. Not really looking for a winner, they're all gonna make gobs of cash (profit is a different thing) but I see a lot in the guy's article to agree with.

Re:It's amazing how far we've gone (1)

zeroduck (691015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617044)

MS launches first by a long shot and does the very safest thing, not 40X but more like 10-12X (being extremely vague here, don't crucify me) and the famously solid online component. Less cost than PS3, less powerful, more understandable, more predictable. No HD optical. But then no harddrive. Jesus I really think they went too far with that, not making it standard. Will haunt them. Totally, solidly in the middle. Online is the gold standard amongst many and if you love that style of play this is the place to be. (Does it have a browser though? I actually don't know.)

The only problem with your 10-12X figure is that most people are saying that the PS3 hardware is not much more powerful, if at all, than the 360 hardware (besides market speak [Sony and other console manufacturers never exaggerate their specs!] and fanboys). To convince anyone that the PS3 is 3X more powerful than the 360 is really pushing it.

I will agree however that not including a hard drive (even if a 5-10gb one) in the base model was a huge mistake on Microsoft's part. As for not going for a higher capacity storage device, time will tell if thats going to hurt them.

I might pick up a PS3 if the linux project on there yields some interesting results, provided that the price drops into the sub-$400 range. Right now there aren't any games that really make it worth (for me, your mileage may vary) dropping almost $600 ($499 + $60 game + possible accessories + taxes) on it.

3rd Party Wii-mote Devices (3, Insightful)

WiseWeasel (92224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617060)

It doesn't matter if a 3rd party releases a Wii-mote type device for PS3 or 360. Developers won't use it unless it ships with either the system, or bundled with their game. I doubt they could be made cheaply enough to be bundled with games.

The problem is that the PS3 is NOT 3x a 360 (2, Interesting)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617666)

First of all, I agree with your assessment. It's quite spot on. I do have a comment though ...

MS launches first by a long shot and does the very safest thing, not 40X but more like 10-12X (being extremely vague here, don't crucify me) and the famously solid online component. Less cost than PS3, less powerful, more understandable, more predictable.

I think your comment, regarding performance, is exactly what Sony wants you to think. It's the same game they played with the PS2, in order to sink the Dreamcast. In reality, though, the PS3 is NOT 3-4x a 360. It's not even twice as powerful. It's marginally more powerful, probably on the scale the Xbox was over the PS2.

The PS3 launch titles are no longer secret. If you take a look at the videos, and compare them to similar 360 titles (although many of them are 2nd generation games now), you'll see that they're pretty similar. That's with both multiplatform games and the exclusive launch titles. Now, as developers get better with the PS3 hardware, I'm sure the games will look better. But that's the same with 360 games as well. As a lot of folks suspected, the hardware is on a fairly even level.

Granted, some PS3 games may look better than 360 titles, but that's honestly to be expected. After all, the console did come out a year later, and costs a lot more. But 3X as powerful? Not even twice, not even close. (And of course, graphics do not make a good game ... there's the usual caveat about innovation, creativity, gameplay, etc. that don't require a powerful console ... just ask Nintendo!)

In the end, it's just going to come down to the games ... just like it always has. Sony benefits from having very close relationships with the big Japanese developers: Square, Konami, Capcom, etc. MS is certainly improving, but until they secure more big-name exclusives, or force popular franchises to go multi-platform, it's still going to be difficult to upset Sony over the long run. (Now, over the short term, MS is certainly going to do well, as Sony battles with supply problems. How many users they can acquire, and developers they win over, will become a big deal over the next few months)

It ain't about the hardware anymore, folks.

radioactive ps3s from NK. (1, Insightful)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618104)

Only kidding, they are making them in NK for $3 a pop.

One major point here.

The economy is due for a massive slow down, that will last along time during 07-09 due to rising inflation and oil prices and possible
full scale wars and massive climate change reducing food supplies causing more price rises in staples. Add to that rising interest costs
and dropping house prices killing peoples equity. www.financialsense.com - all the info you need.

So... peoples debts go up, prices rise, they have less to spend on stuff. Sure there will be lots of rich people still able
to afford ps3s, like IT profs, and people with little debt, or people with rich ass parents that are 250k manager, or people
in lazy govt jobs that pay well for 34hrs a week.

But out of millions and millions, many man many more will only barely be able to scrape through to buy a Wii, its small
, not power hungry, kids will love it too, and hardcore gamers should be happy with it too (unless they have a 42" lcd hdtv)

Being smaller, nintendo can ship more units per shipping container and truck or train or back of a bicycle in china, oh and
more chineese can afford it too.

Sure, maybe in 2 years sony can make 1million a month, but not today, and if nintendo can push out 20m in 12months, then they
have a leg up.

If you can only put five ps3s in a shop per week, thats not a success, even if you have a queue of 200 people wanting to buy, if half
of them get bored and watch a Wii in the shop, and go.... hmm it looks ok, ahh its only 250, ill get it and decide on the ps3 in 2-3 months time
if I get bored, then its a snow ball effect of lost sales, or a fire ball of batteries effect? :)

doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16615520)

That's like saying, just because someone bought a NES and a SNES that they would buy N64 or I bought a Genesis and loved it, so I'll buy a Saturn.

Empires do fall, and when you get a new console coming in at over $700 (you want a game with that PS3 right? so add $60 + tax), people will start to think, do I really need to spend that much or am I better spending that money on something a little better...

My guess is this generation might do as well as a whole, with games coming in at $60 each and hardware $400-$600, the same amount of money one spent last gen will only get you 1/2 of what you get this gen, I think a lot more people may wait. A lot of people that picked up a 360 by now as well may get a PS3 at some point (if it really took off) but that would still hold off sales for a year or two.

The technology right now is just too much $ for what it is, industry needs some time for costs to come down and catch up :)

Base PS3 is $500 (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616128)

Even with $60 for a game, you are looking at $570 for a PS3 - not $700. And online match play is free.

If your theory were correct Microsoft would not have sold six million 360's, many of them premium bundles almost as expensive (after costs for Live) as a base PS3.

The door swings both ways (1)

chowdy (992689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615560)

I have a feeling that "Playstation" will mean something else after this generation.

Success? (1)

wframe9109 (899486) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615604)

How do you define success? Don't they lose money on each system sold? Does anyone know how much they lose vs. MS vs. Nintendo's profit? My guess is the Nintendo will reach the most homes, although I'm guessing it will be close to the 360, perhaps slightly behind. I think Sony will reach the least: It looks nice, I'm sure it will perform very well and last a long time, but at that price, or even a little cheaper when it comes down, I can't see it selling nearly as well as the two competitors, which will also be coming down from their already (relative) cheap prices. In terms of money... I'm thinking Nintendo will come out way ahead of the pack, followed by MS and Sony being pretty far behind. All of the above are based on the opinion of someone with relatively little knowledge... and a little common sense. In the scheme of things, I think all three will get systems into homes and do well. They each have their place. As for the article... I'm guessing /.ers purposely pick terrible articles on Sony's side... A name being the reason it will succeed? Lame.

Lose, win... what does that mean? (2, Insightful)

Izhido (702328) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615648)

How does one know who wins a console war? Everybody I know, and his grandmother, assures me Sony won the last one... but neither Sony or MS did a cent with their consoles! What's the criteria? What numbers should we compare to define who wins this round???

Re:Lose, win... what does that mean? (1)

Astarica (986098) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615782)

To me as a gamer that one that matters the most is the market share because developers tend to congregate around the system that sold the most. Unless you're into some kind of games that only show up on a certain system (Nintendo comes to mind), the console with the bigger marketshare is almost always the better choice for games simply because every developer wants to be on the winning side.

I know some people use profitabilty as a criteria. It seems to me that would be a good one if you owned stock in Nintendo/Microsoft/Sony, but otherwise I don't seem to have any benefit from Nintendo making a ton of money and I am not harmed by Sony losing a ton of money. Now clearly profitabilty could cause your system of choice to stop altogether, as in the case of Dreamcast, but I don't think that will happen to the 3 major players anytime soon.

Nintento will win the war (3, Funny)

cliveholloway (132299) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615670)

Any product whose logo is a subliminal picture of two men staring at a pair of breasts is bound to win overall.

The entrenched system has a huge advantage (1)

Astarica (986098) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615684)

Historically, it took some major screw up on Nintendo's part (N64) and a briliant system (PSX) for market leader to exchange, so yes it is pretty safe to bet the guy who conclusively won the last round will probably win again. One might say Sony is in a worse position this round than the last, but they got quite a bit of room to work with coming off as the undisputed winner of last two rounds. They can give up quite a bit of market share before even losing the majority (50%+) status. Now if PS3 end up with 50% while Wii and XBox360 end up with 25% each, I'd think Nintendo and Microsoft will be very pleased while Sony will not be, but Sony would have still *won* the next generation if winning is determined by market share. If Sony's goal is to achieve the same dominance as PSX or PS2, then it seems almost certain the battle has already been lost. But achieve a better marketshare or even a majority of the market? That's certainly possible.

Re:You proved your point wrong. (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616230)

Historically, it took some major screw up on Nintendo's part (N64) and a briliant system (PSX) for market leader to exchange,

Pretty much. I agree. Now, let's update that with current information.

Historically, it took some major screw up on Sony's part (PS3)and a briliant system (Wii) for market leader to exchange.

Given the numbers Sony has an uphill battle. Day 1, the Wii will be the next gen market leader in Japan*, where much of the game development is.

*To Date Microsoft hasn't sold 100,000 X-box 360's in Japan. Sony will only Launch with 100,000 units in Japan. Considering the DS Lite sells 125,000-150,000 units a week in Japan I see no shortage of Demand for the Wii, and Nintendo hasn't had the manufacturing issues that Sony is having.

Re:You proved your point wrong. (1)

Astarica (986098) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616608)

The next generation battle hasn't even started yet. At the start people thought N64 sounded like a good idea and it turned out it was a very bad idea. Certainly no one thought Nintendo could screw up with the N64, but they did. So why would you expect anyone to be able to predict the future with any accuracy? No one will say that PS3 is off to a great start, but one as bad as N64? Historically a screw up of that magnitude has happened only once. It could happen again, but that's not where I'd start betting on.

DS and Wii are two completely different markets. Nintendo has always dominated the handheld system and this hasn't change in 10 years. It is also clear that succees in one doesn't translate in the other. N64/Gamecube is a minority in console but GBA/DS has been the market leader. Likewise Sony's success in PS/PS2 did not translate to PSP. Using handheld numbers is simply meaningless because they're inherently different markets.

Re:The entrenched system has a huge advantage (2, Insightful)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616386)

They've got a number of screw-ups this round - they cost significantly more than the competition, production problems are going to hurt the footing they could have gained during the holiday season, they're going to miss the 2006 season entirely in Europe, and so forth.

It's really too early to know how the market will take it. Gaming news sites really don't have their finger on the pulse of the market, in my opinion.

Re:The entrenched system has a huge advantage (1)

DeadChobi (740395) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616676)

The real problem that I see with the PS3 is that, in order for them to have majority marketshare they have to have more systems available than Microsoft. As of now, Microsoft has majority marketshare for getting to market sooner. Nintendo is changing markets to the casual gamer, and Sony is trying to get people with a lot of money to throw around. I think that a lot of people are missing what Sony is saying about the PS3. Think about the amount of space a DVD player, a Blue-Ray player, a DVR, and whatever else the PS3 does would take up. Now, think about the cost. Then go back and look at the size of the PS3 and the cost. That's where the real advantage is.

Am I going to buy a PS3? No. I do think they have some good ideas in moving toward multimedia, but it's just not something I'm interested in as I have a PC for all the things their PS3 can do. As it stands now, I, like a lot of other people, are waiting for all three systems to come out and develop their libraries to make a decision. I don't want to buy a Wii if all that's going to be available on it is Zelda XLI and Super Ultra Mega Smash Brothers Melee Tournament Battle 2. I don't like those franchises, and I don't like playing FPSes on a console. If the Wii has some good jRPGs that are out of the mainstream, and has some multiplayer games that are also fun in single-player mode, then they've got me. Otherwise I'm looking at the 360 or the PS3.

As an aside, is there a way to filter out stories from gaming blogs on Slashdot? Most of them aren't worth the 3 seconds it takes to download them.

It's still about the games. (1)

Jartan (219704) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615980)

The brand name doesn't mean much. Probably the only people who buy a console on brand are the early adopters. People who get a console at release with no real way of knowing whether or not it's going to flop.

Unlike other industries though these people don't give any kind of indication of whether or not things will go well. Most of the great games that will really sell consoles are halfway into development by the time release comes out and they'll be released even if the initial sales are bad. If those games are good enough the second wave will show up and make or break the console. It's always been this way and it always will be. The only thing questionable this time is whether or not good games can overcome the huge price barrier of the PS3.

Re:It's still about the games. (1)

dank zappingly (975064) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617748)

I don't know if I agree with the idea that brand name doesn't mean much. Nintendo, for example, has a super loyal brand following do to its other brands like Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, etc. You know that when you buy a Nintendo system even if it completely sucks(Gamecube, N64) that it will have great first party software. I have two xboxes. I refuse to buy the 360. Why? Because my friends who have PS2, which came out way before Xbox, still have new, original games to play. Microsoft will probably have the Xbox 720 coming out in 3 years or whatever. I don't care what anyone says, I still think that Sony makes nice, although pricey stuff. For someone who is interested in HD Video though, the PS3 isn't the most expensive game console, but the cheapest HD Movie player. I think that the PS3 features look great, and they're making them so slowly that they should be sold out for a really long time. Sure there could be another catastrophe, but right now if you want one by Christmas, you're going to have to pay upwards of $1000 bucks. If this thing does half of the stuff its supposed to, I'm going to buy one as soon as possible.

Brand only takes you so far... (3, Interesting)

LukeCage (1007133) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616040)

Honestly, the "Playstation Brand" has been the only real justification for predicting any kind of Playstation3 success ever since Sony had their lackluster E3 2006 press briefing.

Now, this is just personal experience speaking, but myself and three other close friends have all purchased Xbox360s over the last five months, ever since Sony's premium price was announced. These were all people (including myself) who had a strong interest in the Playstation brand but were immediately turned off by the pricing vs. features, lack of an online plan, and general corporate behavior. And while my personal experience by no means constitutes a trend, I have no doubt that others feel the same way. I think that Sony's in bad shape.

There's no doubt that Blu-Ray may appeal to a subset of consumers. I wonder if those same consumers will enjoy paying 30 dollars or more for the Blu-Ray titles - a 50 percent premium over DVDs. This is something that no one talks about and I don't see why not. Until the price of the disks come down you, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD will be a no-go no matter how you slice it. You could put a Blu-Ray player in every home and it still wouldn't sell because the media is simply too expensive for cost vs. performance. So, at this point Sony is essentially selling a media playing format at a loss - and no one will want to pay the premium to get that media, because they either a) don't want to spend the money, or b) literally don't have the equipment to properly display high-def signal (look at the fury over Dead Rising). That's a losing proposition to me.

I think this is probably the most interesting generation of console releases ever, and I've seen them all. What is interesting to me is that Nintendo is poised to walk away in second place (worst case scenario) or even get to first place if they manage to cross that mystical boundry that seperates "gamers" from the game-playing public. A few games have managed to do this; The Sims and Myst being the two most notable examples. If you can make a fun, easy-to-use system with a TRUE wide variety of appeal then you will become the king of the living room. But even if you can't get the casuals, Nintendo's low price and unique controller basically guarantees that it will become the second console of choice to the hardcore gamer crowd who wants either a different kind of game or something more tactile and accessible to rope in their casual friends. I also think that pro-Wii Nintendo fans, who will buy the console for Nintendo's franchises, have not yet realized the impact of buying a slightly-upgraded Gamecube down the line. In two or three years, when a game is released for Xbox360 or PS3 that really blows away the public (and it will happen, as it has happened in every generation) Wii owners are going to want to get in on that. At that point, their console's anemic power might be a liability. A port might not be technically feasible, in which case, they will then have to make a choice: Xbox360 or PS3? Which leaves us with the distinct possibility that Nintendo might get a Wii into the majority of gamer's homes (and at a profit, too!) and also appeal to the casual audience.

Microsoft and Sony are not so lucky. By pricing their consoles expensively and having similiar technical specs, Microsoft and Sony have turned their segment into an "all or nothing" proposition. They will either take first place or die.

There are, of course, other factors, but they rely on games, mindshare, game franchises, and online play...not console branding. Final Fantasy and Metal Gear may move units, but niether game will appeal to anyone beyond it's already hardcore fan groups. What's hilarious is that a simple look back through the history of consoles shows that console-branding means jack squat. Atari was king, but bad games let the crown slip to Nintendo. Nintendo built an almost insurmountable lead with the NES, was chipped away at by the Genesis (and how was that accomplished? GAMES! The product was inferior technically), crushed by the Playstation (also an inferior system to the Nintendo64, but sadly Nintendo pushed a proprietary hardware format nobody liked and did not have many good games outside of their franchise titles...hmmm who does that sound like this generation?), and is currently third in home console sales. However they dominate the handheld scene, whereas Sony's heavily Playstation-branded PSP has been torpedoed.

It's premature to declare Sony dead. It's premature to declare Sony succesful. I think it is pretty safe, though, to declare Nintendo, at least, a partial winner. By avoiding the urge to try to dominate your living room in the first place, they have set themselves up for n excellent "win-win" business situation. And I'm not even a Nintendo fan!

Advantages (0)

Man of E (531031) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616058)

Selling over 100 million units, twice, has its advantages

Having an advantage is no guarantee of victory, no matter what the author of this article may think. If you shoot yourself in the foot often enough, you won't be able to walk, even if you started out with really big feet.

Contestable (2, Insightful)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616190)

I'm not saying he's wrong, it's opinion. Opinions can be wildly inaccurate, stupid, and silly but they aren't wrong unless they're attempted to dispute know facts. I.E It's my opinion Abraham Lincoln was the First President.

That said, his opinion is highly contestable.

The Brand

I would have thought that his comparing the ubiquitous association of Sony's brand now to Nintendo's ubiquitous association then would have given him reason to say why Sony won't repeat Nintendo's failure. He failed to account for it at all.

Nintendo had a greater than 60% market share with the SNES, with the rest divided between the Turbo Grafix 16 and the Sega Genesis. The next generation they barely managed 20%. They had as much if not more brand at the time than Sony, a console that was cheaper than the others, and innovations to boot. They were destroyed rather thoroughly.

Microsoft (somewhat) Squandered its Lead

Microsoft did squander their lead a bit. With more volume at launch they'd probably be further ahead. The point he makes is that Microsoft's Xbox 360 has had a somewhat "Meh" reception. However, that reception is as likely caused by a general "Meh" at HD stuff in general that will burn Sony as much as Microsoft as it is a pure Microsoft bias. Only time will tell.

Japan is Ripe for the Taking

That it is. He makes a good argument for why Japan is anyone's game. Unfortunately I can't really find much worth in his arguments as to how the PS3 is going to take Japan. While there will surely be more than the 100k initial launch shipments as time passes, that's hardly enough to secure a lead in Japan. This is downplayed by the author, nothing some very desireable games that the Japanese will want. The possibility that Japanese and other gamers may be at all discouraged by the difficulty in getting PS3s isn't even addressed.

There's a token paragraph for the Wii, and I call it token rightly. To assume this a largely Xbox vs PS3 a article does not seem far off, or perhaps Xbox vs anyone else. It may be that the Wii just isn't worth commenting on because no one has any doubts as to how well it will do, while Sony breeds skepticism with each new press release. It's hard to tell.

Regardless, there is no mention of the vastly greater Wii supplies, the far cheaper price, or the general thrashing the PSP got at the DS's twin screens. This leads into a statement that skirts the possible competition between the two Japanese companies. If you're going to write an article about why Sony isn't going to lose to Microsoft, specify that in your title. Otherwise, glossing over Nintendo seems fishy.

Blue-ray Will Matter

A good point to be made here is that if Blue-ray takes off, it's likely to make the manufacturing of PS3s cheaper. With more people working to make Blue Lasers, they'll be understandably cheaper. The opposite being true if the format fails as a movie format.

Bringing up the current and forecasted adoption rates for HDTV probably wouldn't have aided the article any, but again Nintendo seems glossed over in favor of Microsoft vs Sony. I realize Nintendo has intentionally put themselves out of direct competition for HD gamers, but that doesn't mean they aren't competing this generation.

Free Online

Good, minus no mention (good or bad) of Nintendo's online services. Again, if this is about Microsoft vs Sony specifically, the title should have reflected that.

Final Thoughts

Firstly no one said winning three in a row was "impossible". The issue is historically, no one's lasted more than two generations without other A) completely destroying the industry or B) Dropping from near Monopoly to near Obscurity and Ridicule. There appears to be a red button labeled "Retarded" which gets pressed sometime before Launch #3.

If Sony manages to dominate again, good for them. They'll have earned it through games and services that make us happy, possibly reearning the trust they've burned these past months. However, I am very much ashamed if no one can make an argument for Sony that needs to waffle around the issue of Nintendo. While a 100k launch in Japan seems to indicate Sony is not worried in the least about losing the homeland, and would even make sense given Microsoft's number there if another competitor wasn't present, they and a lot of people seem to think that this is the year Nintendo simply vanishes.

All things considered, how many prognostications since E3 06 have featured Nintendo dying? We've seen them in third, in second, in first, eating Sony alive, buying out Microsoft, merging with Apple etc. Post E3, we haven't heard much doom and gloom for them. If Nintendo is at the least going to maintain a similar number this coming generation, can Sony afford to leave themselves so wide open in Japan? There's even the possibility, slim given their history, that Microsoft's greater focus on Japanese developed games might have our Asian brethren reconsider attempting to nab one of those hard to get 100k PS3s.

The first 6 to 12 months are cited as going to be rough for the PS3. I'm not sure they are aware of the significance of that. The Xbox 360 did as well despite supply issues because for a Next Gen system it had no competition. If you wanted a Next Gen system, there was the Xbox 360. If it was too expensive or out of stock, you couldn't just turn around and buy a PS3 or a Wii, they weren't around. While the PS3 is sitting on rocky shoals waiting to ramp up production the competition may clean up. Momentum is a big thing in this industry. The N64 came in late, at a lower price, and crashed. It never ramped up again successfully, despite coming out with some of the most well remembered and loved games of that generation (Ocarina of Time, Mario 64, Super Smash Bros, GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, Mario Kart, Star Fox...). It's easy enough to regain your balance starting off a race with a mistep, but when you have two competitors bumping you and making bloody hell out of your concentration it isn't easy at all.

Sony may well come out on top, but it's a may. It's not a certainty anymore than Nintendo's certain victory was with the N64. Claiming they will is as silly as Microsoft's claiming they will hit 10m. They may, but they may not. This generation is up for grabs. Claiming a victory before the real competition begins only shows who you're rooting for.

You know, guys, its not going to be $600 forever (2, Insightful)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616192)

The ps2 was expensive when it came out. They have DVD manufactuing problems, so the first games that came out were on CDROM. They weren't really that great either. It took many years for the gamecube and the dreamcast to just dissappear.

My point is the war isn't won at launch. Its won when the system has lots of GOOD games for it, and they become cheap. When production becomes cheap so the manufacturer makes a profit off it. When the console becomes cheap enough to be able to buy another one, just as a backup. When developers are able to program for the blasted thing, without spending a billion dollars over 3 years.

We've got years of this to come. I don't think I can stand any more of the speculation. I just wanna play some games!

...forgot about Dre...er, Wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16616200)

The article explains how the PS3 might have an opportunity to outsell the 360...but where does it say anything about the Wii? There's a couple mentions but no "this is why PS3 will outsell Wii".

It's like:

I proclaim that Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich is the best food in the world because it's better than the peanut butter and jelly I had for lunch!

History proves wrong. (1)

DeeDob (966086) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616290)

Nintendo:
NES: market leader.
SNES: market leader.
N64: market loser.

Sony:
PS1: market leader.
PS2: market leader.
PS3: ???

Granted the PS2 market share is bigger for it's generation than what the SNES had, but to be so bold as to say it will win on name alone? Nintendo sure would've liked that back in the N64's days.

I also have always doubted the way they calculate the market shares. It is common knowledge that Sony systems have statistically been more prone to hardware failures than Nintendo systems (for exemple). Yet they count the people who bought multiple PS2 (for exemple) as different customers.
Shouldn't they revise the market share percentage by the estimated defective rate?

I'd be really curious to see if the PS2 is really in the lead that much from it's competition if you removed the estimated number of defective PS2 from the total?

Just food for thoughts.

Critics not readin article (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616294)

I have not yet seen responses that were more than your garden variety off the cuff Sony hatred that so permeates Slashdot nowadays. After actually reading through the article I though it made two great points:

"certain PS3 launch games (e.g. Resistance: Fall of Man) already look as good as the best Xbox 360 has to offer. In one to two years, we think the combination of the Blu-ray medium and the Cell processor will lead to a noticeable difference between the visuals of the PS3 and the Xbox 360, as developers begin to really harness the technology in the PS3. And by that time the PS3 won't be retailing for $500 or $600 anymore. Nintendo may not care about hi-def graphics, but in the ultra-tech battle between Microsoft and Sony, it's beginning to look like Sony has the edge."

People have said you can always just use multiple DVD's on the 360, but really that is way more clunky and drastically reduces profits for manufacturers. The extra storage space will be useful to PS3 developers, as it is even at launch. I'm not sure why people discount this as an advantage for Sony, given that the game developers have expressed displeasure with the 360's anemic storage and we can see right before our eyes that it is being used.

Another point was about the online service:

"With the inclusion of free online play, publishers know that anybody in the PS3's install base can go online. Not only does that automatically encourage developers to make use of online functionality, but it also could have important ramifications with regards to in-game ads that are streamed online. All of a sudden the potential audience for these ads is that much bigger, while on the 360 publishers of online titles with streamed in-game ads will still be limited to the number of Xbox Live Gold subscribers. Ultimately, we think that Microsoft will have no choice but to go free as well (perhaps with some ad-supported scheme with the help of MS-owned Massive Inc.), even if it's not for another couple years."

Free online play is a big draw for us computer gamers who were leery of a recurring fee to play online. It makes buying console versions of games more acceptable rather than just waiting for a PC version of some things.

But fundamentally the point here is that making it so that every console owner can easily be online means that game makers may well focus even more on the quality of online play, just as including a hard drive in every console gives freedom to game developers in use of system resources. The PS3 has a more expansive list of things the developer can assume exist for every player:

*) Hard drive
*) Match service/online play
*) Large storage capacity
*) Motion detection

Any one of those items alone does not guarantee a great game. But each one of them opens up new avenues for developers and can enable them to make a great game they might not have been able to make otherwise.

Re:Critics not readin article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16618180)

In one to two years, we think the combination of the Blu-ray medium and the Cell processor will lead to a noticeable difference between the visuals of the PS3 and the Xbox 360, as developers begin to really harness the technology in the PS3.

Is the visual quality of the Xbox 360 going to remain at it's current level while developers "harness" the cell? I don't think so. IANAD, but conventional wisdom holds that the development tools from Microsoft are the class of the industry, while Sony's methodology tends towards the proprietary. That holds true for their respective consumer products (Beta, Minidisc, ATARAC, anyone?) so it makes sense that that extends to their philosophy from the ground up.

The conventional wisdom is: Xbox 360 less powerful, easier to develop for, PS3 more powerful, harder to develop for. It could be totally wrong, however: anyone with any true insight care to illuminate?

100 mil. consoles sold. But how many customers? (1)

Crasty (1019258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616602)

I personally bought 3 psone systems and 3 PStwo systems. I will not buy a PS3 because -=I don't trust them to stay functional!=-. If I do buy one at 4-500 dollars down the road, and it breaks out of warranty, I'm not going to buy another, for half a grand. So yeah, they sold 100 million of each, but I bet they only have 40-50 million customers, many of which got burned, and spending 600 bucks on something that might break is a great deal scarier than dropping 250-300.

This article headline proves the contrary (2, Insightful)

hsoft (742011) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616904)

Not so long ago (I'm not sure, but let's say 1 1/2 year ago), a headline like this would have been laughed at. "PS3? Loose the war? Are you crazy?" Remember, nearly everyone, including fanboys were saying "Nintendo is clearly aiming for a 3rd, but profitable place" (Because of the released specs being so underpowered compared to the other 2.

And now, today, what we have? An article trying to prove why "Sony won't lose the war?". Maybe it won't "lose the war", but it has cleary lost *something*.

At the gym... (3, Interesting)

garyok (218493) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617266)

I was talking to one of the personal trainers and we got talking about consoles and handhelds and he said, unsolicited, that he was now boycotting Sony because of their piss-poor customer service. Apparently he had one of their walkmans and it'd failed after only 4 months so he sent it back for replacement - Sony returned it to him 4 month later claiming the failure was due to "water damage" and said that they wouldn't replace it. He'd heard about the CD rootkit, but he was pretty surprised when I told him of it's implications and some of the other strokes that Sony had pulled recently and he definitely wasn't impressed hearing about Lik-Sang. So he's tried Nintendo's goodies and he's a fan now.

The point is: it's not just pasty-faced geeks on websites bitching about Sony any more - anti-Sony sentiment has gone mainstream. Sony are in meltdown and they're betting the farm on a console that ordinary, non-techie people are displaying a visceral aversion to. The general perception of Sony producing quality products is gone. And the beauty of it is they've given pretty much everyone in every one of their markets reason to suspect and reject their goods.

Sony's unlikely to fail in the long-term due to Japanese business practises - shareholders holding onto stock well past the point westerners would cut their losses and corporations shoring each other up - but in the short- and medium-term they're looking pretty damned screwed.

Japan (anti)Size Queens (1)

heli0 (659560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617326)

How many thousands of times did we hear how the Xbox could not sell in Japan due to its girth?

Now we have the PS3 which is even larger in all three dimensions and all of a sudden this is a moot issue?

Strong brands do help... (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617372)

...but it isn't as much of a deciding factor as some might think.
Past success didn't help Nintendo much with the N64, and I would say that alot more people have fond memories with "Nintendo" than with "Playstation", even today.
The N64 wasn't the huge cartridge-hardware mistake many people believe it to be (most games wouldn't have had a problem with the more limited space). It even looked as if Nintendo was winning in the early days of the system.

TFA is a bit strange though. What is he basing it on? Because he can't imagine Sony losing? Most of his arguements have been discussed to great extent, so he's basically just saying "yeah, but Sony will win anyway".

Thought this was interesting (1)

DocBoss (956304) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618240)

No console maker has ever dominated three consecutive platform generations. Seems they have forgotten Nintendo's winning streak. Gameboy, GBA, Nintendo DS.
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