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Sony, Analysts React To PS3 Launch

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the settling-down dept.

Sony 247

cdneng2 writes "Sony may be aware that something is just not right. There's a reshuffling of management occurring within Sony. Kazuo Hirai is set to head their videogame unit, as Ken Kutaragi has been bumped to the Sony board. Jack Tretton, former COO for SCEA, is now the president and CEO of that arm of the company. There's no word on the reasoning behind these position shifts. On the same day, Namco announced that they must sell 500,000 games to begin making profit on PS3 games. A Financial Times article confirms speculation on how hard it will be for Sony to make money, as analysts with UBS predict that 30 games must be sold per PS3 for them to break even." To add insult to injury, EA CEO Larry Probst has said PS3 numbers were lower than expected. Current thinking is that Sony managed to ship roughly half of the 400,000 units they were promising.

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247 comments

Let's Googlewhack! (-1)

Nomihn0 (739701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055266)

Dare I suggest that the PS3 is more deserving of the "miserable failure" moniker than George W. Bush?

Re:Let's Googlewhack! (3, Funny)

abaddononion (1004472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055376)

Hey, now, to be fair, all they would have to do is drop the price tag down to 200 dollars and the system would be a rousing success.

I mean, they'd lose more money than M$ lost on the first XBox, and would almost certainly never turn a profit, and it might even be serious enough to damage Sony the company as a whole... but 10 years down the road, people wouldnt be looking back saying "PS3? Man. that was a mistake."

Of course... that wont happen, so you're probably right. But in my dreams, I own a 200 dollar PS3.

Re:Let's Googlewhack! (2, Insightful)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055698)

No, lowering the price would cost them money, given that at $600 they sold all that they could get onto store shelves.

What is particularly mind-boggling about Sony is that they continue to spend money advertising on Television to sell a console you cannot buy and a console that will require no advertising-induced desires to be able to sell any that Sony can manage to get on the shelves.

Plus, a 30 game attach rate to break even? That is mind-boggling and cannot be possible. Sony could not be that stupid.

Re:Let's Googlewhack! (2, Insightful)

Nukenbar2 (591848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056248)

exactly. They are already having massive shortages. They probably should have RAISED the price. If they truly only shipped 200,000 units then they easily could have sold them for over $1,000 a piece. That is still less than the average price on e-bay for the premium units. I know there is more to pricing a console than straight supply and demand, but if you are going to have such a big shortage, at least give yourself a chance to avoid riots in the street. You know the "must have a new system" folks buying on e-bay would have paid it.

Re:Let's Googlewhack! (1)

Hennell (1005107) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057146)

In fact Sony could probably have charged more then $600 for the PS3, still sold out and made more/lost less money. As shown by e-bay people are willing to pay large amounts of money because of the limited supply, so it could have made sense for Sony to make as much as possible on each system.

Of course such an action would have damaged their reputation badly, Sony are not exactly the first people you think of when it comes to 'value', and look how people reacted to the $600 price tag. Sony seem to be playing a 'long game' trying not to alienate people and make them think that they'll never afford a PS3 so might get another console.

This long game plan is proabally why they're still advertising, they want people to know its there, you might not be able to get one now, but with the price they'd probably need to save up anyway.

I suppose the advertising could be just because marketing believeing the numbers of PS3's Sony originally said, which would mean they're would have been more available (assuming they'd have released more before Christmas too).

As for the '30 game rate to break even' 30 games isn't that many (Should imagine they're are quite a number of people with 30+ ps2 games), and don't forget Sony get money on Blu-ray discs too.

Re:Let's Googlewhack! (2, Funny)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057164)

That is mind-boggling and cannot be possible. Sony could not be that stupid.

What? After all the good decisions they made over the past year? I think they could be that stupid, or to say it 'politically correctly' They are "over-confident".

Re:Let's Googlewhack! (-1, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055442)

Shrub has been an unmitigated success in all that he has set out to do except for keep control of the government. He's set up his cronies to make billions of dollars. He's helped drive the price of crude oil through the roof, which benefits both himself and cheney as well (as the price of mideast crude rises, everyone else raises their prices per barrel as well.) He's shat on the constitution over and over again and thus far gotten away with it. Provided he escapes impeachment, they'll be singing songs about him in republican beer halls until hell freezes over.

Mod Parent Down, -1 troll, -1 offtopic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17057426)

As the subject says...

Re:Let's Googlewhack! (0, Troll)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056072)

Dare I suggest that the PS3 is more deserving of the "miserable failure" moniker than George W. Bush?

I'd hardly call a product that can't remain on the shelves a failure! Actually, I think Sony should have raised the price! Anytime that a product can not be produced fast enough to meet demand, the price should be raised. The goal is to have the last person willing to pay the price buy the very last unit from the shelves. When more units are produced, they should lower the price to whatever point it needs to be to achieve the same goal.

Don't flame me, it's economics!

Speaking of a booming economy... don't bring GWB into this. This is not meant to be a political discussion. Go to Daily KOS or DU or whatever.

Re:Let's Googlewhack! (2, Funny)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056220)

I'd hardly call a product that can't remain on the shelves a failure!
You're right. Companies strive to produce a product that loses money hand over fist.

I'm also tempted to link the relevant VG Cats strip, but it's just too obvious.

Re:Let's Googlewhack! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17056342)

Profit is not everything with the initial console. The majority of console launches the console losses money. Why? because if they sell consoles for 600 dollars and it costs 1000 to make but they make blue ray discs for 40 dollars and sell for 70 eventually their will be a profit. Also when manufactoring costs go down and the system price goes down, more people will buy the system and more people will want to buy games for that system.

Re:Let's Googlewhack! (2, Funny)

flooey (695860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056408)

Companies strive to produce a product that loses money hand over fist.

Yeah, but they'll make it up on volume!

Oh, wait...

Alas... (3, Funny)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055314)

...and here I am, still unable to buy a nunchuk (not from an ebay scalper) Yes, I am nintendo's b****/fanboy

Re:Alas... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17056414)

I don't know how everyone is talking about a mass shortage of nintendo controllers for the Wii. Every walmart in my area has full racks of Wii nunchucks and Wiimotes as well as the skins and lanyards.

Re:Alas... (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056792)

And what area is that, pray tell?

Boston area is super dry. Then again, it's a youthful town.

Re:Alas... (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056970)

Every walmart in my area has full racks of Wii nunchucks and Wiimotes as well as the skins and lanyards.

Need that address. NOW!

Ouch (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055398)

Not that I was going to get one anyways, I was still impressed with how far they were trying to push the envelope. Guess they pushed a bit too hard, and didn't get as far as they had hoped.

30 games to break even? It's completely doomed.

Re:Ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17056584)

30 games to break even? It's completely doomed.

I guess we have a topic for the next poll then. For any single console (we could probably throw PC in their too), how many games have you purchased or received as a gift?

(Now I'm not asking how many games you own for all your consoles, just a single console)
  • 0-5
  • 5-10
  • 10-15
  • 15-20
  • 20-29
  • 30-39
  • I have so many games I don't know where to store them

Personally, the most I've ever purchased/received for a console is somewhere around 20 games. Now if I go off my C64, I think I had about 300 floppies with games/applications but I only recall buying/receiving maybe 5 of those legitimately.

Jim

Re:Ouch (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056864)

Now if I go off my C64, I think I had about 300 floppies with games/applications but I only recall buying/receiving maybe 5 of those legitimately.

That's because C64 games are free these days. Just grab a floppy drive, a few dozen double-density floppies [floppydisk.com] , and have at it [c64hq.com] .

Now if you want to talk about Atari 2600, Intellivision, and Coleco cartridges, I probably have over 300. They're a pain in the butt to store, but they're so cheap to get ahold of these days. ;)

Re:Ouch (2, Informative)

frederec (911880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056882)

Over the life of a system, thirty really isn't that bad. I mean, I recently counted that I have just a tad under one hundred ps2 games (not a single one of them a sports game). That's more than any other console I've owned, though I easily have more than half that number in PS1 games as well as Game Boy Advance games. My DS library is moving up too.

My point is, thirty games does seem like a hell of a lot when a console first launches, but over the life of a system it's a lot easier to do that than you may think. If the PS3 lasts about as long as the PS2, then this might be fine. Of course, I'm also one of the people that won't even think about buying one at $600, so who knows.

Re:Ouch (1)

LineNoiz (616971) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057092)

No, thirty is a lot.

You just have a shitload of games.

Re:Ouch (1)

tilandal (1004811) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057738)

The average consumer will only buy 7-9 new games per consol.

Wait a second... (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057028)

Let's take a look at where the article is getting this 30 games number:

By one analyst's calculation, which assumes that Sony makes about $10 in revenues on each game whether produced by itself or a third party, 30 games must be sold per PS3 console - compared with eight for the PlayStation2 - to make up for the losses which Sony will incur over the next few years before the hardware itself achieves break-even.

That's 30 games not to turn a profit, but to make up for the losses before they turn a profit on the console. The summary is definitely a bit misleading IMO. One more thing -

They assume that you're going to make $10 per game. Here's the problem, as this article points out - the console is selling for different prices in different regions.

Recent reports by independent engineers who have stripped the PS3 to its component parts suggest that each unit is currently costing Sony a little over Y90,000 ($763). This in turn causes the company a loss of about Y30,000 every time a PS3 is sold in the US or Japan.

But based on analysts' assumptions that the high-end PS3 will be sold at retail for about 590euro ($757) in Europe and Britain, Sony will be losing less than Y3,000 per unit when the revenues from those markets are translated back into yen.


This part is a bit messy. It costs them supposedly $763 per console in the US and Japan, and they're selling for $600. So they lose $163 per console in the US and Japan. In GBP, they're selling for $757, so they're only losing about $6 per console.

So by UBS's calculations, they need to sell one game for every PS3 sold in Britain and 17 games for every PS3 sold in the US and Japan. The only cost left is R&D, which is hard to quantify and might justify the extra 15 games sold in the US and Japan, but that definitely requires a lot of speculation.

Re:Wait a second... (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057096)

Sorry I wrote GBP because I'm working too hard here. I meant Britain/Europe.

Re:Ouch (1)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057330)

Who says it is going to stay at that price? See the section on history here [wikipedia.org] . And the main point of the PS3, I believe, is to create a market for Blue-Ray discs, and have more studios sign on with Sony.

What is going on here? (5, Insightful)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055448)

What are all these posts about how well/bad the PS3 is doing on here? First, we have discussed and read about it twice a day for a week now and second, it is all total BS. We can not and should not be saying anything yet because we dont know anything. It will take months, at the earlier to be able to gage what all three systems are doing in comparison to each other. The 360 is the only system that should have stories like this. This time next year I am all about reading how the PS3 really did bomb and how the Wii sold 60 million units. Right now though, it is retarded.. why? Everything is sold out everywhere the second it gets there. Let the market saturate, supply and demand to even out, give a year of manufacturering costs and shipments numbers to adjust, then we can talk okay?

Re:What is going on here? (0, Flamebait)

Twiceblessedman (590621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055638)

yup, really we should be seeing a ton of articles about the 360 being a failure since it actually is. But ah well, this is slashdot and a story posted by Zonk of course.

Re:What is going on here? (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056624)

exactly how do you figure the 360 is a failure?

Re:What is going on here? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17057064)

It's sold fewer units in the first year of its life than the Xbox 1 did, which had to compete with the PS2 and Cube. The 360 hasn't even sold that uncontested. That said, I just bought one.

Re:What is going on here? (1)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057450)

Actually, what I've heard suggests that the 360 will actually be profitable for Microsoft, and earn them money for a change. Furthermore, the Xbox 360 (so far) has sold the most units of any next-gen system. You can claim that PS3's will eventually win out over the 360, but if the PS3 continues to have supply issues, that can't happen. Even if the supply issues are fixed, it looks like Microsoft will be turning a profit long before the PS3 ever will.

Of course, Microsoft could turn more profit than Sony and have less marketshare- just like the Xbox had more marketshare than the gamecube but fewer profits. Sony could pull ahead from 3rd place where it currently is, but that won't happen until at least march of next year, and won't realistically happen until a year from now (if it happens at all). There's just not enough PS3s manufactured.

To sum up:
1. Nintendo's making the most money.
2. Microsoft has the most next-gen marketshare
And Sony isn't making enough systems to ever hit #1 or #2.

This isn't a rip on Sony's console, it just doesn't matter how good their system is if they can't sell it.

People are too eager to decide. (4, Insightful)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055728)

It's simple logic: the console that 'wins' will have the most games made to work on it (and I don't mean just backwards-compatible). People don't want a loser, since it'll mean they have decidedly fewer games for later on.

Because this generation requires such a huge investment, people want a decision to be made in the console war quickly enough that they can avoid buying a 'losing' console and wasting their money.

If you can find a way to solve this, let us know.

Re:People are too eager to decide. (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057572)

Uh, it's simple. Do what the guy said. Wait a year after the console is out and then make a decision. I really think consumers all must be raving morons running out and buying these consoles when they have the most bugs and are at their most expensive.

Re:What is going on here? (4, Insightful)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055956)

200,000 units worldwide is not a "launch". Almost nobody is talking about the PS3 online because almost nobody has one. 3DO sold 6 million units and is considered a miserable failure. It's taken how many months of manufacturing for Sony to produce 200,000 units... How long do we have to wait for Sony to manufacture 6 million units? 2.5 years?

Re:What is going on here? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17056850)

They only made 200,000 because that's all, realistically, they could sell.

Look, I know people made a big deal of this made it looked for a while like eBay prices "proved" that the PS3 was a hot commodity, but actually, it isn't. If you go into Wal*Mart outside of the major cities, you'll find most have a whole stack of PS3s, waiting to be sold. On eBay, the "silly prices" aren't working any more, a few people are willing to bid on non-BIN items up to around $750, but it's essentially all over. (Even those units usually are bundled with extra controllers and games.)

My Wal*Mart, depressingly, has had the same five boxes, sitting (predictably with one having scotch tape over the cardboard "latch"), sitting in its gaming area for the last week.

Of course the Sony fans went for it right away. They always do. They're the same as Apple users, they'll buy anything as long as it has the name on it. But this just isn't the console anyone wants. It's generated pretty much no excitement whatsoever. It is, for all intents and purposes, a dead platform.

The coming war isn't between Sony and the rest, it's between Microsoft and Nintendo. So it should be no surprise that my sources are telling me Sony will be making a surprising announcement in January. They'll be pulling out, throwing their wieght behind the Wii, ironic given the PlayStation's origins.

They'll be announcing a partnership with the first product being Blu-ray drive with a built-in Wii console. The system is already prototyped, it needs Nintendo's approval, but Nintendo are, apparently, eager to give that. The "Wii-ray" will be up against a revised X-Box 360 next year, the X-Box 360HD, which will, as the name implies, include built-in HD-DVD support, and cost around $400, which will probably be around $100 more than the Wii-ray.

Either way, 2007 will be an amazing year for games console development. We haven't seen the final forms of the real next-generation consoles this year, we've just seen the opening shots.

Re:What is going on here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17057234)

You made all of that up.

Re: Wii-ray? (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057250)

So it should be no surprise that my sources are telling me Sony will be making a surprising announcement in January. They'll be pulling out, throwing their wieght behind the Wii,

Sorry, I stopped right there. My tinfoil hat wouldn't let anything else in.

Re: Wii-ray? (1)

Hennell (1005107) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057486)

You shouldn't have stopped. He goes on to suggest sony might make a Wii-ray. And that it'll only be about $50 more then a normal wii.

You know I think this might be the real deal. Who else but someone with connections would make such a stupid comment.

Re:What is going on here? (1)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057354)

my sources are telling me Sony will be making a surprising announcement in January. They'll be pulling out, throwing their wieght behind the Wii
Can I PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have some of whatever you just smoked?

Not that I don't think it would be worth considering for Sony, but they have too much invested and too many egos would be bruised if they conceded. Now, if you were talking January 2010, you might have something, but not 2007.

Re:What is going on here? (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057534)

If sony goes out it won't be a war anymore. Unless you consider 2 people sitting at a table having a staring contest trying not to laugh hysterically over the huge stacks of money sitting in front of them.

Re:What is going on here? (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057600)

Can you people read? That is what he is saying. We have no idea how much they can produce. We will have a better idea after a few months and a really solid one after a year.

Re:What is going on here? (4, Informative)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056366)

Why? The PS3's performance effect's Sony's bottom line NOW. We know plenty, like the significant loss Sony is taking on each console sold, the exceptionally low number of units available, and the increasing number of former exclusives dumping Sony and going multi-platform. The linked stories include facts such as Sony having to sell 30 titles per console to make a profit, versus 8 for the PS2, Namco has to sell 500,000 units to break even, etc. There are also educated guesses (not just fanboy guesses but educated guesses by top people at EA, who would know this sort of thing) that Sony has shipped about half of the units they claimed they were going to ship (which was already cut drastically prior to launch). We also have other launches to look at, like the 360 (not so great), Wii (pretty good), and the PS2 (pretty good). Microsoft sold 900,000 units in North America by the end of 2005, another 500,000 in Europe (Can't find much for 2005 in Japan - 62,000 units in the first 3 days, and 103,000 units by April of '06). Sony probably won't even sell as many Worldwide (well, Japan and North America, since they cut out Europe) by the end of '06 as MS did in North America alone in '05.

Nintendo sold 600,000 Wii's in North America in the first eight days of it's launch, and they're aiming for 4 million worldwide by the end of '06. Obviously, it's been a success for Nintendo. Since they've been on the market for the same amount of time, can we not claim the PS3 launch hasn't been that great, and that Sony is hurting?

Re:What is going on here? (1)

NaveNosnave (670012) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056690)

You seem to be reading /.'s slogan as "History For Nerds. Stuff That Mattered."

Posting to cancel moderation (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056810)

Apparently the "experimental threading" stuff includes javascript moderation too, but it bugged out and put in a mod that I didn't want. So here's my unmoderate ;)

30 Games (3, Interesting)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055504)

30 games per PS3 is really a lot. Not being much of a console gamer myself, I don't know what the average games-per-console is, but that seems pretty high. Of course this figure depends on how much Sony can bring the cost of manufacturing down. Did the analysts assume that they would and factor it in, or did they assume a constant cost/console?

Re:30 Games (1)

_Hiro_ (151911) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055662)

Yes, 30 games per console is a lot. I consider myself to be a moderate gamer, as I currently own a NES, SNES, Sega Genesis/CD, Dreamcast, ColecoVision, Atari 2600, and PS2.

Out of all of those, the only one that I have 30 or more games for is the Atari 2600. And that was because the local Big Lots had a bin full of 'em for $1-$2 each about 10 years ago.

Re:30 Games (1)

safiel (1016237) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055826)

30 does seem like one hell of a lot. I also own quite a few consoles (nes, snes, n64, ps1, ps2, gamecube, gameboy.. and some others). But the only one I have over 30 games for is my gameboy which I have about 60(if you lump together gameboy + color + advance + ds games together), but a gameboy game costs about 1/2 the price of a ps3 game. I love my gameboy (its been my favorite forever and I've had one since I was probably 8) but a big part of the reason I have so many games for it is because of the large number of short fun titles that only cost about $20 (like brain age or cooking mama). I just wouldn't consider buying those kind of games at a higher price.

Re:30 Games (3, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055816)

30 games per PS3 is really a lot. Not being much of a console gamer myself, I don't know what the average games-per-console is, but that seems pretty high. Of course this figure depends on how much Sony can bring the cost of manufacturing down. Did the analysts assume that they would and factor it in, or did they assume a constant cost/console?

Here is a link to a cost analysis of the PS3 ( http://www.isuppli.com/news/default.asp?id=6919 [isuppli.com] )

The question I would have is whether Sony can bring the cost of manufacturing down at a rate greater than the rate they're going to be forced to reduce the price of the system?

Sometime in 2007 Microsoft will reduce the price of the XBox 360 so that the XBox 360 Bundle is $299 (as a guess), at this point in time Sony will be left with the decision to reduce the price of the PS3 or to reduce their loss on the PS3. If Sony allows Microsoft to Bully them into reducing the price of the PS3 it is likely that Sony will not start turning a profit on hardware throughout the entire generation (similar to what happened with the XBox), on the other hand if Sony doesn't reduce the price of the system they will likely bleed marketshare to Microsoft.

Honestly I hate Microsoft but the more I think about it the more I believe that Sony has lobbed the ball right into Microsofts court and ran off to get a drink while the ball is still in play; if Microsoft converts on this it will be really ugly for Sony.

Re:30 Games (2, Interesting)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056406)

Sony dumped a LOT of money into the PS3, and isn't going to make it back anytime soon. This much is obvious. If MS decides to push the release cycle again on the next generation, (and gets away with it) they could put a lot of pressure on Sony.

It wouldn't be the first time MS used this tactic to knock a competitor out...

Re:30 Games (1)

choppermcphee (891989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057516)

It's interesting that no-one ever quotes the glowing praise for the PS3 in this isuppli article. So many folk are in a rush to condemn anything to do with Sony and blather on about how novel and supergreat the Wii is, that they wilfully ignore anything that doesn't fit the thesis. To paraphrase Paul Simon slightly, a man reads what he wants to read and disregards the rest. Here are a few quotes from the article : " Now for the good news: iSuppli Corp.'s dissection reveals the PlayStation 3 is an engineering masterpiece that sets a new high mark for computing price/performance--even when considering it is more expensive than its nearest rival, the Xbox 360 from Microsoft Corp." " While many fret over the high cost and price of the PlayStation 3 compared to the competition, iSuppli believes the console provides more processing power and capability than any consumer electronics device in history. Because of this, the PlayStation 3 is a great bargain, well worth its $599 price and $840.35 cost, iSuppli believes. " Meanwhile, back at the Wii, if people are so convinced that it's all about gameplay and fun and physical activity, then the logical conclusion would be to save a fortune and invest in a bat and ball or a Spacehopper or something.

Re:30 Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17055950)

I don't know the exact statistics, but I think the average attach rate for a console by the end of it's life cycle is somewhere around 15 games per system give or take about 5 games. So yeah, 30 games per unit is a lot of games to sell. Of course, over the life of the console that number will come down as Sony streamlines their manufacturing process.

Re:30 Games (2, Interesting)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056066)

I call FUD. 30 is a random number an analyst pulled out of his ass, and should be treated as such, especially as we don't know who paid the analyst to say that.

Nobody knows how many units Sony will make before they kill off the PS3, nobody knows the component price cuts that will happen before then, nobody knows the unit price drops they will make, and only Sony know the margins, the R&D cost and the deals they have with all games manufacturers. Factor in cross-subsidising of the profit or loss on sales and develpment of Cell and Blu-Ray plus blue-ray movie sales, random numbers for advertising budgets, devkit profits or losses, online service profits or losses and currency fluctuation profits or losses, and you end up with a pretty indefinable number to divide by the analyst's guess at an average profit per game.

Re:30 Games (4, Funny)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056314)

Nobody knows how many units Sony will make before they kill off the PS3, nobody knows the component price cuts that will happen before then, nobody knows the unit price drops they will make, and only Sony know the margins, the R&D cost and the deals they have with all games manufacturers. Factor in cross-subsidising of the profit or loss on sales and develpment of Cell and Blu-Ray plus blue-ray movie sales, random numbers for advertising budgets, devkit profits or losses, online service profits or losses and currency fluctuation profits or losses, and you end up with a pretty indefinable number to divide by the analyst's guess at an average profit per game.

Master,

Your Flying Wheel Of Reasonable Discourse Technique... is Astonishing.

Hai!

Re:30 Games (1)

tilandal (1004811) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057100)

$8-$12 in licencing fees per game. $200-300 loss per PS3 sold. +cost of network, SHipping, Service, Support, Advertising. 30 is a very reasonable number. It is unlikey that Sony will be able to lower component costs significantly before they are forced to do a price cut due to current manufacturing difficulties with Blue Lasers and the complexity of the Cell chip. The loss per consol will gradually shrink but it will be years before the PS3 breaks even on manufacturing.

Re:30 Games (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057514)

30 games per PS3 is really a lot.

Whether this figure is right or not doesn't really matter, when you consider that Sony still needs to sell a lot more games than Nintendo to make profit. For those not in the know, Nintendo makes money on every console sold, and they have also stated before that there are a good number of people who will buy a console for just one game.

Thank you, Zonk! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17055512)

I was sitting at work, refreshing the Slashdot games page, and I started feeling sad. You see, I'm an XBox Fanboy, and have looked with anticipation towards the next article presenting Sony in a negative light. I thought you wouldn't provide one today, but lo-and-behold, you've come through!

And how! Not one, but four separate articles in one story about the bad times at Sony. Things are grim for them, but thanks to you, Zonk, I can sleep well tonight knowing that I'm rooting for a different team.

Sony Can Sell Blu-Ray Movies Not Just Games (4, Insightful)

Johnny_Law (701208) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055514)

A Financial Times article confirms speculation on how hard it will be for Sony to make money, as analysts with UBS predict that 30 games must be sold per PS3 for them to break even."

As much as I would like to poke fun at Sony for this seemingly high mark, they can also make a profit by selling a combination of PS3 games and Blu-Ray movies. It is much more reasonable for someone to have lots of movies than lots of games. Assuming of course the purchase is made at a retail store so Sony gets the profit, rather than a used dealer.

Re:Sony Can Sell Blu-Ray Movies Not Just Games (1)

GreyyGuy (91753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055836)

True- except that blu-ray movies cost far more then the same DVDs and most objective sources seem to be saying there is no reason to move to either blu-ray or HD-DVD since most people can't see any difference. I don't know anyone who has a blu-ray player or has plans to get one, so I can't imagine that blu-ray is going to make Sony lots of money in the near future.

Re:Sony Can Sell Blu-Ray Movies Not Just Games (3, Insightful)

ObligatoryUserName (126027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056482)

they can also make a profit by selling a combination of PS3 games and Blu-Ray movies.

They said the same thing about the PSP and UMD. Lets hope for Sony's sake it works out better this time!

Crunch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17055676)

How can Sony effectivly sit on its own balls in such a laughable manner?

Go Nintendo. 3 Zonk

PROMOTED??? (5, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055726)

Ken "nutjob" Kutaragi gets promoted? WTF is wrong with them? This guy is a walking PR desaster spewing comments like "we have created the most beautiful thing in the world" in response to the misaligned PSP button sensor issue or "people will want to get a second job to afford a PS3". Their situation is bad enough without rubbing it into people's faces with arrogant comments that show he doesn't even feel bad for screwing up like that.

Re:PROMOTED??? (1)

calbanese (169547) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055986)

He was kicked upstairs, offered a window seat - whatever euphamism you like. Its a promotion in name only. He no longer controls the day-to-day operations of Sony's games unit. Its a loss of prestige and power.

Japanese executives are rarely fired for their mistakes as (I am told) the shame of it has led to hari-kari. (I am sure someone with more knowledge of Japanese corporate culture than I could affirm or deny that). So the result is a promotion to a position where you can't do any more damage.

Re:PROMOTED??? (2, Interesting)

Maul (83993) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056114)

This is true from what I've come to understand.

Japanese executives with high visibility are generally not fired, but rather are basically forced into a psuedo-retirement where they sit on an ineffectual board or something similar. From the outside it may look like a promotion, but (as you said) in reality he's been moved to a spot where he won't be doing very much as far as actual job duties.

Re:PROMOTED??? (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056478)

Lucky bastard.

"Here's your corner office, secretary, and 6 figure salary. Just try not to break anything."

Re:PROMOTED??? (2, Informative)

the Brightside (945745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056630)

Hara kiri, actually, is the transliteration, though in Japan you'd say seppuku.

Re:PROMOTED??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17057704)

Depends. You'd say harakiri if you want to malign the act or imply that it was done for inappropriate reasons (harakiri carries a negative connotation that seppuku does not).

Ask Colonel O'Neill would say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17056520)

"Failing upwards, I see."

Re:PROMOTED??? (2, Interesting)

CheechWizz (886957) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056568)

I've heard about a Japanese businesses promoting failing managers, the theory is that more responsibility will lead to better performance by said manager.

But I don't think that's the case here, not that I'm a big Sony fan but the guy did start the whole playstation project which undeniably took the video game industry to a new level (which has it's good and bad sides offcourse), so he's not a complete idiot. In the end he did make Sony ALOT of money and at the beginning of Sony's gaming division there were few people at Sony who thought gaming was more than a fad.

I think Sony promoted him to keep him away from the press, because like you said, the guy is a PR nightmare.
Alot of people in the industry told me something like this would happen as soon as the launch was over with because the guy simply couldn't keep his mouth shut.

Meanwhile In Reality (-1, Offtopic)

RichardMarks (1011125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055782)

PS3s are snapped up the second they hit stores shelves, eBay prices continue to very high for the system, gamers are raving about these epic 40 player lagfree free online Resistance matches, going nuts over the Motorstorm demo, the reviews of the PS3's BluRay features and playback are absolutely gushing and calling it the best player on the market, none of the massive hardware failures people were claiming would plague the system like the 360 have come to pass.

And Zonk continues his one man crusade against the PS3. What exactly is the point? Because whatever it is it clearly isn't working.

Check that reality maybe.... (2, Interesting)

HycoWhit (833923) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055996)

Most folks that bought PS/3's bought them to sell on eBay. 100% of the poeple I know bought the PS/3 with the intention of eBaying the console. They did not buy any launch titles--just the PS/3. Another newsflash--the auctions are closing on the PS/3's in the thousands of dollars--but no one is paying for the auctions. One of the folks I know ebaying a PS/3 was estatic when his auction closed for $5,000. ($5K!! Damn--you could have bought a PC in 1981 for that kind of cash!) The win bidder though seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. All the hardcore gamers I know have picked up a Wii and rave about how much fun they have with console. Time will tell the true victor in the console wars. Personally I have 360 now, plan to get a Wii before Christmas, and will wait until until there is amply supply of PS/3's and several top rated titles before spending my cash.

Re:Check that reality maybe.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17056372)

So they sold them on ebay. Good for them. But guess what? Someone still bought them! I can afford $200 over the top to have something now, so can many others. What matters is whether the console sells in the summer when supplies are up. And let's be realistic, there's bound to be price drops next year.

Re:Check that reality maybe.... (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056934)

yeah I had a friend who managed to get his hands on 3 PS3s (2 pre-orders and 1 line wait) and he's on his 3RD round of auctions for all 3 due to dead beat bidders. No intention of keeping the consoles for himself, just re-selling them.

I'm in the same boat as you, I own a 360 right now, I throughly enjoy it and I recently managed to find myself a reasonable Wii auction... just waiting for delivery.

For me it's about the games, I don't buy any console until it has at least 3 titles available that I want to play, the Xbox 360 had that in the launch window (PGR3, Condemned, COD2, DOA4) and the Wii has that now (Zelda, Wii Sports, Red Steel, Excite Truck). The price has to be reasonable for the gaming experience too, so while Red Steel and Excite truck aren't as exciting to me as Condemned and PGR3 were on the 360 the price is low enough that it's still worth getting. The PS3 doesn't have any games that interest me yet, and for the price of admission it's definitely not worth it right now. But if they can offer me at least 3 "need to have" games that I can't get elsewhere and the price becomes reasonable for what I expect from those games then I'll get one.

Re:Check that reality maybe.... (1)

GrayCalx (597428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057482)

Thats great news about your friend. I hope all those ps3 buyers who took them with the uncreative intention of making some bucks from desperate ebay bidders and taking them out of the hands of people who actually wanted them go through a lot of hassle selling theirs.

I saw an ebay auction the other day that ended at $750 for the 60gig model. Hehe, awesome. That was one disappointed loser I bet.

Re:Meanwhile In Reality (0)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056034)

Here is where you can submit a story for the Slashdot Editors to peer at it, poke it with a stick, and perhaps post it for all to share and enjoy. It is very important that you write a clear simple subject, and include relevant links in your story. If you wish to be anonymous, feel free to leave the identifying fields blank. Anonymity has no effect on whether we will accept or reject the story.

Alternatively, you can use Slashdot's bookmark functionality to submit stories. This allows you to use a browser button or bookmark to maintain a list of bookmarked URLs that can be journaled on, or submitted to editors.


http://slashdot.org/submit.pl [slashdot.org]

Please find good news about Sony and submit it ... or not ... but Please (for the love of god) stop bitching

Re:Meanwhile In Reality (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17056116)

PS3s are snapped up the second they hit stores shelves, eBay prices continue to very high for the system

The same can be said for Xbox 360's and Wii's, except they shipped 2 and 3 times as many consoles respectively. The fact that you can't find a PS3 anywhere isn't necessarily indicative of the console's success in this case, it's indicative of the fact that Sony is having too many production problems. Meanwhile all that money that would have gone to Sony if they had managed to produce the numbers they promised is instead going elsewhere (likely Nintendo and Microsoft) during the biggest shopping season of the year. The PS3 may well turn out to be a fantastic system, but they failed their launch miserably.

Re:Meanwhile In Reality (1, Interesting)

jizziknight (976750) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056136)

PS3s are snapped up the second they hit stores shelves, eBay prices continue to very high for the system
Because there are very few of them.
 
gamers are raving about these epic 40 player lagfree free online Resistance matches
Because there are very few people hitting the servers. Wait until there are a whole lot more people. I'd be willing to bet there'd be some lag on 40 player games.
 
the reviews of the PS3's BluRay features and playback are absolutely gushing and calling it the best player on the market
Got a link or something to back that one up? I've heard nothing either way.
 
none of the massive hardware failures people were claiming would plague the system like the 360 have come to pass.
It's only been a couple weeks. Give it a few more months and then we'll talk.
 
And Zonk continues his one man crusade against the PS3. What exactly is the point? Because whatever it is it clearly isn't working.
And you and all the other Sony fanboys continue your crusade for the PS3. What exactly is the point? Because whatever it is it clearly isn't working.

Re:Meanwhile In Reality (1, Troll)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056516)

PS3s are snapped up the second they hit stores shelves

Release low enough numbers of something, and it's bound to sell out

eBay prices continue to very high for the system

Directly related to your first point - when you're 10,000 miles away from meeting demand, there's going to be a premium

gamers are raving about these epic 40 player lagfree free online Resistance matches

I'm surprised they can even find 40 plays to play with. But, let's see if there's any lag after Sony ships 10 million consoles.

going nuts over the Motorstorm demo

So, for a gamer, the compelling reasons for a gamer to buy a PS3 right now are one game, and a demo?

the reviews of the PS3's BluRay features and playback are absolutely gushing and calling it the best player on the market

Great, so at least I can buy some Blu-Ray movies at twice the cost of an HD-DVD movie and watch it on my PS3 when I've finished playing the one game worth playing, and the demo for an unreleased game.

none of the massive hardware failures people were claiming would plague the system like the 360 have come to pass.

Well, that's good news, though I think it's too early to be claiming there are no massive hardware failures. How long before the optical drives start to fail, in typical Sony fashion?

best Blu-Ray player in the market? What Market? (2, Interesting)

norminator (784674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056662)

the reviews of the PS3's BluRay features and playback are absolutely gushing and calling it the best player on the market

If I'm not mistaken, the PS3 is only the 2nd Blu-Ray player on the market... There's the Samsung player, which has been out for a little while now, the PS3, and the Sony one won't be released until just before Christmas, I believe. Pioneer and Philips should have players... eventually... but for now they're getting screwed over by the already short supply of blue lasers going to the PS3. I'm sure the main reason the Sony BD player has been delayed so much is also because of the blue laser shortage.

Given the fact that the Samsung player is already running into Blu-Ray discs it can't play [highdefdigest.com] , and the Sony Blu-Ray player is going to need at least 2 firmware updates to play certain discs and to use the Java interactive features [highdefdigest.com] when it does finally launch, I'd say there's not much competition for the PS3 in the current market.

But then I'd be surprised if a $500/$600 dollar game machine can be a better BD player than a dedicated $1000 machine, too... I'm sure the PS3 will have its share of BD problems.

30 games per console? (3, Interesting)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17055842)

Good lord, just how many new games do they think the average gamer buys? At $50 a pop that's $1500. I have that much disposable income, but I'd certainly not blow it on paying top dollar for games. I'm sure I don't have more than 20 games total for my PS2, and all but 2 of those I fished out of the bargain bin.

I am so happy I own no Sony stock, and even more optimistic about having bought Nintendo stock.

Re:30 games per console? (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057016)

Good lord, just how many new games do they think the average gamer buys? At $50 a pop that's $1500.

Yup. Also the PS3 games are $60 each so that would be $1800.

I hope they crash and burn (4, Insightful)

turnipsatemybaby (648996) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056016)

Given the amount of truely idiotic and genuinely hostile things Sony has done to consumers, they deserve nothing more than utter failure.

Sadly, way too many people have short memories and don't care that computers were scrambled by willfully malicious sony music CDs.

Or the fact that they love to sue music cust^H^H^H^Hpirates into submission. "Don't even have a computer? Give us money anyway cause we KNOW you've been pirating!"

Hell, the last sony laptop I got my hands on, had so much advertising crap on it that it actually *slowed down* the machine significantly, until I uninstalled all of it.

I'm sure I'm forgetting plenty of examples of Sony's heinous, arrogant behaviour.

Ok, now is a good time to use the 'zonked' tag (-1, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056022)

The most negative possible spin on a series of PS3 articles?

Sounds like a good time to use the 'zonked' tag!

These estimates of console losses Sony is supposed to be experiencing are really just guesswork.

Re:Ok, now is a good time to use the 'zonked' tag (-1, Redundant)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056102)

Here is where you can submit a story for the Slashdot Editors to peer at it, poke it with a stick, and perhaps post it for all to share and enjoy. It is very important that you write a clear simple subject, and include relevant links in your story. If you wish to be anonymous, feel free to leave the identifying fields blank. Anonymity has no effect on whether we will accept or reject the story.

Alternatively, you can use Slashdot's bookmark functionality to submit stories. This allows you to use a browser button or bookmark to maintain a list of bookmarked URLs that can be journaled on, or submitted to editors.


http://slashdot.org/submit.pl [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org]

Please find good news about Sony and submit it ... or not ... but Please (for the love of god) stop bitching

Tried that (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057184)

Sorry, stories about people liking the SixAxis and also positive comments about future games and the system often get passed over. Yes there are negative stories around as well and they are equally good to report - so why don't we see any about the 360? Or about Wii controllers being thrown at screens (more funny than negative anyway).

It's not like people are not submitting these things.

Re:Tried that (1)

AArmadillo (660847) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057710)

If you go back about nine months to a year ago, you'd see plenty of negative stories about the Xbox 360. Consoles being bricked due to overheating, short supply, and abysmal sales in Japan would be the major topics. Except for the abysmal sales in Japan, these problems have been fixed. There is no longer much in the way of negative press about the 360. Similarly, the Wii has had few problems. There was a recent article on Slashdot about how the Wiimote was inaccurate, but the consensus seemed to be that the guy did not calibrate it, or whatever you have to do. There was also a recent article on the Wii update bricking some consoles, which seems to be the worst problem for the Wii since launch. Neither the Wii or the 360 have the number of problems that the PS3 has. It is unreasonable to expect there to be as many negative articles about the Wii and 360 as for the PS3

if this is true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17056126)

sony could very well go belly up. 30 games per system!?!?!?? thats insane. i am a hardcore gamer with no brand loyalty(although, i have to admit sony has been pissing me off since socom3) and have owned every system starting with the NES with the exception of a few(neogeo, jaguar, cd-i). i have never owned any where near 30 games for any one system. and i think i can safely say that this flat-out will not happen....it won't even come close to happening. over the life of the system, i would expect the average attach rate to be about half that and that is a generous estimate. however, i hope that this math is wrong and is not factoring in hardware revisions. after all, as most on this site would agree, nothing good comes from a market monopolized by microsoft. granted, the 360 is the most well thought-out, polished and put together console to date. however i feel that if left the lone HD console on the market, the innovation MS has shown up to this point through system/live updates will come to an end. the more i think about it, the last 2 developments in the industry i would want to see are as follows:

99. Sony's PS3 "winning" this generation.
100. Sony failing miserably, leaving microsoft alone at the top.

as much as i love the thing, the wii does not, can not, and will not compete with the HD systems.

Let's see (0, Redundant)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056204)

Sony releases new PlayStation model and people stand in lines for a week or so to buy it and it sells out in 10 minutes; the machine plays cutting edge games AND BlueRay movies; sony has lots of game exclusives; and Sony produces lots of movies, so we concluded that it is doomed. Right. Makes sense to me.

I don't even like sony and I think they are going to spank butt. I'm predicting that Sony will take most of the market, that Nintendo will double it's marketshare, and the Xbox will shrink its marketshare drastically. Check me in three years and see if I am right.

the Xbox 360 has been out a year and still no Halo 3. The graphics are great, but there are no compelling games and the backwards compatilibty is a kludge as is the HD-DVD compatibility. Now, right before Christmas, the 360 is selling for $100.00 many places. If it is doing well, the price would stay high until after the first of the year.

Re:Let's see (2, Informative)

calbanese (169547) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056522)

Now, right before Christmas, the 360 is selling for $100.00 many places. If it is doing well, the price would stay high until after the first of the year.

Please tell me where. Microcenter has the "best deal" and that requires $100 rebate, $100 voucher for getting opening a credit card, and a $200 voucher for getting Vonage for 2 years. That's ONE place and its Microcenter, not Microsoft, offering the deal. The best you can do is about $340 from Overstock or Dell, though I think those deals are over now. Amazon had its $100 deal for 1000 Core systems - and Amazon's servers were hosed, along with endless bitching about it being a scam on digg. Amazon's server crashed. That just doesn't happen unless demand is there.

But please tell me where I can get a $100 Xbox 360. I would bet 75% of slashdot readers would get one at that price as well.

Re:Let's see (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056660)

Amazon had a deal thanksgiving day where they sold 1000 Xbox 360
core systems for $100 each. The demand crashed the site for about 20 minutes.

Regarding compelling games, Gears of War is the first 360 game that lived up to my expectations of the next gen. It isn't perfect, but it's pretty damn good and is probably enough to sell some more systems. When Halo 3 is released, you can guarantee a spike in 360 sales will accompany.

Re:Let's see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17056646)

HD-DVD a kludge? You buy the drive, plug it in, it plays HD-DVD movies. What were you hoping for?

$100 in many places? Amazon had a few for $100 on Thanksgiving Day, but that's the only time I've seen them that cheap from a legitimate retailer/etailer. I'd like to know where I can get one for $100 because I wouldn't mind having another 360 for my bedroom.

No Halo 3, ok. There were more people playing Gears of War online on release week then there are PS3s sold two weeks after release.

Re:Let's see (3, Insightful)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057304)

Sony releases a small number of systems. People stand in line, to sell them off at ebay, some crooks start a shooting because of the obvious get rich quick scam going on. The consoles sell out almost no games are bought due to the reselling over bay. No real interest into the consoles, the prices fall very swiftly for the resold consoles and settle down a little bit above the street price. Thats the harsh reality!

Why do these pixels cost more (2, Insightful)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056240)

I don't understand this statement at all:

Graphics for the high-definition games cost about 1 billion yen ($8.6 million) to create, more than double that for Nintendo Co.'s Wii titles, Takasu said in a Tokyo interview Nov. 28.

What does this even mean? We have a blu-ray disc that holds lots of data, sure, and accordingly scaled up textures; but in any sort of process like this you are continually downscaling from practically any 'artistic' original source to begin with. Why does this cost more to downscale less than you were originally? Is it just harddrive space? That seems historically low.

And this doesn't even seem to take into account the idea that some games have different budgets? Why can he not make a game for both the Wii and PS3 that uses basic motion sensing? I think its a good idea if multiplatform games look as uniform as possible, and after all, "its not about the graphics anymore", right? Seriously, I'm asking, if any one can credibly enlighten me as to why Namco would say this? (I am a graphic designer by trade but I do not work in the game sector.)

Re:Why do these pixels cost more (1)

ECMIM (946033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056640)

Let's see: *Character models would be an order of magnitude more complex--you wouldn't generate a 20k poly model for a Wii game and then scale it down. *The more realisitc the model, the more realistic the required animation, i.e. extensive motion capture. *Physics systems (I assume this would fit under graphics) which will and can be far more complex on PS3. *Team size goes up massively for the aforementioned items (e.g. if you have a team of guys working on models that are 10k/ea. and need 100 of those models, you'll twice that number to do 20k/ea.(yes, gross over-simplification, but you get the point.) Amongst other things...

Re:Why do these pixels cost more (3, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056692)

Here's the problem with high-resolution graphics and lots of polygon-pushing: someone has to create the art for it. In Mario's times, you only needed to be able to approximate a plumber using about 200 pixels and 256 colors. Quite frankly, I can do that. In about 1 hour. For $5. Well, okay - I probably would have to get an artistically inclined friend to do it who knows how to handle Paintshop. But the point is that I don't have to worry about shading, proportionality, or anything like that. Compare that with today's creatures: they need to look good while at a resolution of 1920*1080, have proper normal maps, be based on great-looking models made by quality artists (no sucky part-time artist will be able to make stuff that looks good with these requirements). Not only that, but you need lots of art. Far more than for other games that didn't have that space or that processing power. Let's see - 6 million dollars, assuming 50K per artist, that comes to about 50 artists working for 2 years on a game. Sounds about right these days, especially when you're talking big-budget game.

Can you make low-budget games? Sure can. But expect to get ripped on sucky graphics, just like the Wii Sports series did.
 

Re:Why do these pixels cost more (1)

Gravaton (413066) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057466)

It's interesting to see this asked, because I had the same questions and reservations as well. Luckly, while I was waiting on line for my Wii, I ended up standing behind someone who had many years experience doing art for console games at a fairly notable studio (Deliberately vague for privacy's sake). I asked him basically the same question and his answer was pretty much thusly (highly paraphrased):

You'd think that we start out working with huge, realistic textures and downsampling but it really doesn't work that way. While there are certainly preexisting high-res texture libraries out there, most of them suck and are therefore not used. Instead, we do our design based pretty specifically around the destination resolution in order to make sure it looks good in the game. So working on 'next-gen' type textures, we have to deal with much higher-resolution textures and variants to avoid repetition. Then we have to deal with multilayered textures, normal maps, bump maps, whatever other maps are being used. That multiplies the labor/texture ratio a lot more than if the problem were simply 'make it bigger'.

He seemed credible, and based on my admittedly limited knowledge of graphics programming and how textures work, these statements seem viable. While I'm definitely someone who is saddened by how gameplay has suffered at the hands of flash and vanity, it's definitely true that graphic artists in the gaming industry are having a lot more work in their department than ever before, and raw labor costs are clearly driving creation price up for most of these new, "HD" games.

Re:Why do these pixels cost more (1)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057536)

Try to take a piece of artwork (a picture of a person) and turn it into a sprite, perhaps 80*80. That took about 10 seconds.

Now try to turn that same picture into a 3D model with a billion (exaggerated, but getting close) polygons. Unfortunately they are actually adding information to a 2D drawing to make it 3D, detailing thickness and reflection and such. Now add in animations. For the 2D sprite you make a second sprite and switch back and forth between two. For the 3D model...

Tell me right now that your original X-Box or PS2 or Gamecube games aren't fun to play. Wait what? They are fun to play? Basically a graphics update is nice, but it doesn't really make the game better. Nintendo is focusing on new and innovative ways to play a game, PS3 and X-Box are just a better graphics card. Nobody is going to go back to sprite graphics, but honestly the main benefit of the graphics for the PS3 and 360 are the HD support. If you don't have an HD-TV, then you pretty much paid however much for nothing. And most people don't have an HD-TV.

Sure, you could make a game for the Wii and the PS3 with motion sensing, but the Wii was built for sensing motion. The PS3 had it thrown on at the last second, but is really still the traditional controller. Also, just the developer kit for the PS3 costs way more then the Wii not to mention the time spent porting the code to a completely different council that most developers claim isn't very easy to write for. With the number of PS3 that may eventually be sold... it just might not be worth writing for the PS3.

I know that at my college there were people who camped out the PS3. 90% or more did it to make money on EBAY. Most of those used the profit to buy a Wii, before it sold out.

30 games to break even on the PS3? (2, Informative)

sycomonkey (666153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056744)

Damn. I would consider myself a rather big fan of the Gamecube, it is the console I own the most games for, and I own far less than 30. It's more like 18 or so. I only have 6 or 8 PS2 games. I don't know how Sony is going to pull themselves out of this mess, but they better think fast...

PS3 sales (-1, Offtopic)

tritium6 (804406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17056906)

I have PS3 for sale. Please contact me at sales@ps3forxmas.com if interested. Bye bye karma...

Just how do you win something like this? (4, Insightful)

ciw42 (820892) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057508)

Think I'm just going to wait until someone can decide what the criteria are for judging who wins a contest like this before I try and make my predictions. Some thoughts...

Microsoft have had a full year selling the Xbox 360, which overall has undeniably been very succesful. It's online service is highly regarded, and we're now starting to get games which are pushing the console. In all those respects, it's a winner. However, they're still losing money on each unit sold, and they're backing one of two Hi-Def standards, and it may be the loser, but at least they've made it optional, so if it fails it's not going to taint the machine as a games console. If I was a serious gamer, I'd already have an Xbox 360. People know exactly what it can do, and whether they want one or not. Very few people will buy an Xbox 360 and be disappointed, it's already relatively mature and lack of novel user interfaces aside, the others are going to be playing catch-up for the next two years.

No matter what anyone says, Sony have made a phenominal number of mistakes with the PS3. However, many simply boil down to marketing goofs, and a "they'll want what we tell them" attitude which has certainly made them no friends. They're using the console to push other technologies of their own, and that is by far their biggest risk, and also the thing that's likely to keep the component price of the console high for longer. All that said, once the less than stellar launch is forgotten (that'll be around January), there's stock on the shelves, and we start seeing well written games which make use of the phenominally powerful hardware (probably in around a years time), and after whichever price drop brings the high-end console down to around half of its launch price, I'll probably get one. However, I suspect there'll be many people who are disappointed with what the machine achieves within its first 12 months of public life. It's the sort of console that if you owned one you'd want to show it off and shout about. It's a nice looking piece of consumer electronics and there are going to be some impressive looking games, but it's very much like the flash cars you see at shows (you know? The ones that cost more than your house) that you want to just stare at. You'd try and encourage a friend to buy one, so you could go for a spin in it every now and again, but you'd never consider buying it yourself, even if you could afford it.

I'll openly admit however, that my personal enthusiasm is for Nintendo's Wii. But then I'm not a hardcore gamer, and what excites me may well not excite the next man in line. I think the technology is easily good enough to give me games which are visually stunning, that sound good, are innovative (which is something I've come to appreciate more as I get older) and are fun to play. When I get around to buying a Wii in the New Year, I think it's also very likely I'll start getting Virtual Console games on a regular basis, as I'm of an age that I remember them the first time around, and there are a good handful of full games which I'll be looking to pick up when they launch. Nintendo have a good business plan, which all but ignores the other two players. It's practical, manageable, and it also means that they make money every step of the way, instead of losing a lot now, and trying to claw it back over time. The Wii does not set itself against the competition, simply alongside. It doesn't promise the earth, and then struggle to deliver, because all along Nintendo have played down what the machine is capable of and re-itterated that it's all about the games. Until the DS showed how effective that strategy can be, I doubt anyone believed them.

What it should really boil down to is which consoles are of interest to us personally, and that will ultimately depend on which game genres and series appeal to us, and how strongly they are represented on each platform. Let's not forget that the PC is now a very strong gaming platform, much more so than when the last generation of consoles launched, and that will divert some of the money away from the higher end of the market.

We're the consumers after all. We buy what we want, and leave what we don't on the shelf. No doubt the person behind us will pick it up.

Unless you've bought shares in one of these three companies (let's hope you weren't foolish enough to have bought them hoping to make money based on this latest console war) and as long as all three consoles are well supported for the next four years (which is extremely likely) then it shouldn't really matter one bit who wins.

Sony should have shipped PS3 w Rootkit (0, Redundant)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057586)

I think the main problem was that Sony failed to ship more than just a DRM-enhanced Sony PS3, they forgot to add that sweetener of the month, the Sony Rootkit, and set it to infect any device it came in contact with.

Without the rootkit, all anyone wanted to buy the PS3 for was to turn it into a Sony-subsidized Linux graphics server.

Article not saying PS3 a popular failure (1)

tachyon13 (963336) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057706)

You don't even have to read the article. Understand that these are economic analyst, well analyzing the financial situation of the gaming arm of the Sony Corp.

Sure they may not be taking into account cuts in production costs. But cuts in production usually happens once you are deep into production, and I think the point they are making is that this part of Sony will not make a profit in the foreseeable future because of the cost of production vs retail cost, and the lack of volume in the market. Sure they are flying off the shelves, but the only way to make a profit is to gain market share, which equals game purchases.

Sony is not doomed, but when will Sony as a company decide that the gaming division is gushing too much money? With the management shuffle, we may soon see.
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