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An Evening With Sony Computer Entertainment

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the some-balls-were-thrown dept.

PlayStation (Games) 253

Thursday evening, senior Sony representatives such as Phil Harrison (President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios) and David Karraker (Head of SCEA's PR division) sat down with the posters from a bunch of websites, looking to ease relations between the company and their customers. Along with folks from The San Jose Mercury News, Joystiq, Kotaku, and MTV, we discussed a number of the issues raised in the comments here on Slashdot the day before yesterday. My goal in going to the event was to make sure that your concerns were heard. Over the last several months, I've heard many complaints leveled against Sony and their products, and I was hoping to bring back some answers. To be honest, I walked away not fully satisfied. Read on for answers to some of the criticisms you, the readers, have leveled against Sony in the last several months.I took notes, but a lot of ground was covered, and not all of it was probably of interest. To give you a sense of context, we were all gathered around a large table in a hotel just off of Union Square. The event was held in the early evening, and lasted for approximately two hours. While everyone was certainly civil, there were a number of tough questions passed around. Here is what I felt was most important to you folks:

  • A goodly amount of the discussion centered around Sony's newly announced Home project. The dangers of allowing uploadable content were raised, and we were assured that PSN parental controls will be fully in place within the game world. There will be a few quick button options to black out the screen (in case of offensive images) and to kill the audio (in case of offensive language). Public spaces will be moderated (and instanced, if you're curious), though they were a bit vague on just how those individuals would work economically. They're still working out the details.
  • I was intrigued on Wednesday (as were a number of readers) by the possibility of indie games in the Arcade rooms they showed off. Phil Harrison responded by saying that it is something they're very interested in. Originally, all of the games were going to be done in Java but technical problems arose. The games are now done in C. If they can wrap up the tools in an easy package, they'd be very happy to release them and allow community-created games onto the service.
  • Revenue for the service will be handled via object sales, advertising, and b2b elements in vendor areas. Those concerned about the 'amount of free' that you'll get as an intro Home user should know that they're hoping to offer a fair amount off the bat. 'Free' includes a basic apartment, access to the public spaces, a 'reasonable' number of avatar customization options, and a 'starter' set of furniture. Better views out your window will be purchasable, along with new apartments.
  • Everyone from Sony in the room heavily resisted comparisons to Second Life, and other services. In Mr. Harrison's words "That would be heavily oversimplifying both Home and Second Life." Along the lines of hacking the service to allow Second Life-style sexual animations, the reps were fairly confident that they'd dodge that bullet. The service itself doesn't allow avatar touching, and doesn't currently have emotes that approximate those actions. They eventually hope to have 100% of online-connected users on the service. Currently, the number of online connected PS3's is somewhere around 500,000 in NA; roughly 50% of the North American consoles.
  • Right now the download is around 450 megs, but that's going to probably shrink and grow over the course of development.
  • The subject of Sony's arrogant public demeanor was broached, as well as the poor public relations message we've been getting in the last several months. The ThreeSpeech blog was broached, and the folks in the room actually clarified the purpose and reality behind the 'semi-official' blog. ThreeSpeech is actually a European entity, intended to be a public forum in which Sony-related matters can be discussed and information can be brought to the public's attention. The people behind ThreeSpeech are some of the most respected games journalists in the UK; it would be like if a US version of the site were staffed by the likes of CNN's Chris Morris, and man-of-many-talents Geoff Keighley. Because UK gamers know and trust the ThreeSpeech staff, there's an implicit understanding (in that country) that the message coming from the site is not 'tainted.' It was pointed out the lack of attribution to posts across the site is a barrier to acceptance, and they took that under advisement. For the most part, it seems, the bad reputation that ThreeSpeech here in the states seems to be a case of cultural misunderstanding. While I still don't like the term 'semi-official', I did feel as though the concept behind the site made a great deal more sense to me after this chat. Some of the other attendees were not as reassured.
  • The element that I want to convey, which I took away from the discussion of Sony's arrogance, was that arrogance is not the feeling I get from them in person. These people are, instead, supremely confident in their products and services. Thanks to the impersonal nature of quotes and the numerous (rightly decried) public relations gaffes they've suffered, their confidence can easily be seen as arrogance by third party information consumers. This is not to say the company on the whole is not arrogant; I just want to make it clear the people I was in the same room with Thursday night did not have the attitude of inherently arrogant individuals.
  • This discussion went on to include the question of the PS3's pricetag, which was a subject never fully addressed to my satisfaction. There was some talk of the PS3 as a lifestyle, and the still-important question of why Blu-ray technology is necessary. Peripherals such as the EyeToy were mentioned as 'making the PS3 disappear from the equation', which given the cost of the system seemed to be a poor choice of words. Not much of substance resulted from the Sony 'side of the table' on this subject, and that attitude left me feeling a bit frustrated. The system's cost won't be changing for some time now, and there's apparently not much to talk about on that subject. This was the one element that I went into the session hoping to deal with directly, and unfortunately came away feeling let down.
  • As a final note, it was stated directly that "There is no direct evidence that Blu-Ray has been hacked." Their attitude is that the encryption is strong, and that it will be a long time before it's cracked.
I came away from the meeting with a sense of cautious optimism. To be sure, any time you put a personality to a face and media quotations you'll be more inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt. I think it's human nature to empathize with people that we've met with in person; I hope that you'll view the above with that in mind. Just the same, the folks that spoke for Sony yesterday honestly seemed like passionate businessmen with an interest in making a good product. I certainly don't think that one good press conference and a well-attended meeting can undo the public relations nightmare of the last six months, but (as I said on Wednesday) it does give me cause for hope. Assuming that the company keeps its nose clean through the European launch, it's possible the games arm of this particular megacorporation may have put its launch troubles in the rear-view mirror.

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Asked why did they fuck up Star Wars Galaxies ? (3, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294142)

critisizms in the past months ? They are fucking up customers for over 3 years in star wars galaxies. Not only that, but they are fucking up entire star wars fan community as well. Ask them why.

Re:Asked why did they fuck up Star Wars Galaxies ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18294226)

Common corporation mentality; "Don't ask. We know what we're doing, and WE KNOW WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOU," despite frequent public outcry to the contrary.

Re:Asked why did they fuck up Star Wars Galaxies ? (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295150)

Sony has an unblemished record for customer-fucking in areas ranging from consumer products to computer games.

Re:Asked why did they fuck up Star Wars Galaxies ? (4, Informative)

Joe U (443617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294238)

Unfortunately, this is not SOE, this is SCE. Sony Online Entertainment is the company currently fucking up the following games:

Everquest
Everquest 2
Everquest in space (SWG)
Everquest in computer (Matrix)
Everquest in space with less content (Planetside)
Everquest alpha .5 (Vanguard)
Non EQ related filler (Stationpass)

Planetside is everquest in space? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18294658)

Ummm no. Its a mmofps with experience points and unlockables.
It is lacking but its nothing like EQ.

Re:Planetside is everquest in space? (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294740)

Sarcasm is lost on some.

Re:Planetside is everquest in space? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18294866)

So is the ability to provide humor.

Re:Planetside is everquest in space? (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294886)

Good point, but if you work at it, one day you might be funny.

And I don't just mean funny looking, there is hope for you.

Re:Asked why did they fuck up Star Wars Galaxies ? (1)

Lightwarrior (73124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294708)

> Everquest in space with less content (Planetside)

FYI: that's humorous, but inaccurate. Planetside neither takes place in space, nor does it really follow the EQ formula at all. It's a FPS, for one.

-lw

Re:Asked why did they fuck up Star Wars Galaxies ? (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294834)

I was going for humor. I actually play PS now and then. It's a fun game, but like all SOE games, it suffers from SOEitis.

Sony, would it kill you to design a new base layout once a year? Or balance the game (yea good luck).

Re:Asked why did they fuck up Star Wars Galaxies ? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295286)

Because SWG was a failure? SWG was a huge flop from day one.

It was a long time ago. Consider getting over it eventually.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18294204)

"Right now the download is around 450 megs, but that's going to probably shrink and grow over the course of development. "

That clears it up.

Supremely Confident? (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294206)

This is not to say the company on the whole is not arrogant; I just want to make it clear the people I was in the same room with Thursday night did not have the attitude of inherently arrogant individuals.

Is there actually a difference between arrogance, and being supremely confident when you have no reason to be?

Arrogant: "making claims or pretensions to superior importance or rights; overbearingly assuming; insolently proud"

Why yes, yes that does sound like practically everything we've heard from anyone influential at sony regarding, well, anything that's come out since the Playstation. Playstation 2 was supposed to be the god box, the supercomputer. It fell DRAMATICALLY short of the announced specifications. Playstation 3 is too cheap. PSP is a fantastic value and UMDs are highly desirable. Blah blah blah.

Re:Supremely Confident? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18294398)

Well both the PSX and PS2 did sell way way more units than any other console that went up against it. And unlike Microsoft Windows, Sony had real tough competition.

Re:Supremely Confident? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18294426)

Sickening. No other word to describe fanboys like you.

"Playstation 2 was supposed to be the god box"

Got a link to anyone from Sony ever making such an inane claim? Oh that's right it's just another tiresome fanboy strawman.

"the supercomputer"

The PS2 floating point performance WAS in the supercomputer range at the time the product shipped. Sorry if that makes you angry. In fact you can't build a comparable price/performance/heat/space computing system either alone or networked than the PS2 back in circa 1999. Again, sorry if that makes you angry.

"It fell DRAMATICALLY short of the announced specifications."

Wait, let me guess...you were about to make the claim about how Sony said 'teh PS2 has teh Toy Story Graphics" AND THEY LIED!

http://news.com.com/2100-1040-250632.html [com.com]

"One of the basic premises of the Xbox is to put the power in the hands of the artist," Blackley said, which is why Xbox developers "are achieving a level of visual detail you really get in 'Toy Story.'"

"Playstation 3 is too cheap. PSP is a fantastic value and UMDs are highly desirable. Blah blah blah."

Yes, you could have save everyone the time and just gave us the short version of your input: Blah blah blah.

Re:Supremely Confident? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294452)

"It fell DRAMATICALLY short of the announced specifications."
Wait, let me guess...you were about to make the claim about how Sony said 'teh PS2 has teh Toy Story Graphics" AND THEY LIED!

No, I'm talking about the bogus specifications that they released about a year prior to the sale of the PS2 that claimed that it would be able to push about ten times the number of polys that it could actually handle when it was released. But I guess you're too young to remember that.

Re:Supremely Confident? (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294552)

It really could push that many polys.... if the polys were untransformed, untextured polys, and you devoted 100% of the system to just pushing polys. I remember having Gamestop employees quoting figures of something like 50 million polys for me, and marvelling that people were falling for such obvious marketing crap. Same with the "more bits is better!!!" rage in the SNES days.

Re:Supremely Confident? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18294578)

Feel free to quote what number and a link to the claim directly made from someone from Sony.

And keep in mind that:

1. I have multiple PS2 titles sitting right now on the shelves that I have worked on

2. I am sitting right next to a PS2 Tool and the complete set of Sony developer docs

3. I have personally run my own rendering code on this very Tool that pumps out ~55 million flat shaded tris a second

4. Any reasonably competent PS2 developer has or can do the very same as 3.

There was only one company that lied about poly performance last gen. It wasn't Sony. And it wasn't Nintendo.

Re:Supremely Confident? (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294522)

You're taking hyperbole too literally.

As far as overpromising, its not that they did that so much as massage the numbers. What they said was technically accurate. Like the 50 million poly figure. Sure it was accurate.... if you had polys with basically no processing, no sound running, no game logic running, etc.

A single PS2 didn't have supercomputer level of floating point performance. After all, a supercomputer built the same time as the PS2 could outperform my PC built 2 years ago, which definately outperforms the PS2. But there was at least one cluster project that used the Linux kit. I'm not sure what the exact performance of that was.

The claim of PS2 being a "supercomputer" was more about architecture, if I understand it correctly. In that it had some features of supercomputers, although not scaled to the same power. I believe the actual supercomputer claim, however, came from some wierd rumor that the US government was going to ban export of the system because they could be used as a supercomputer by terrorist nations. I don't think it came from Sony.

So basically, what I'm getting at is that Sony didn't really lie, iirc. They were simply creative with their figures. Which, in all honesty, isn't that rare of a thing in this industry.

Re:Supremely Confident? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294582)

So basically, what I'm getting at is that Sony didn't really lie, iirc. They were simply creative with their figures. Which, in all honesty, isn't that rare of a thing in this industry.

What? IIRC means "If I Recall Correctly" and what you mean to say is IMO or "In My Opinion" because while you do remember correctly, in my book, those are lies.

It's lying to say that your system will be able to support games with that number of polygons. Because it can't. You can make a demo with almost that number of plain triangles. You can't even do shaded polys at the numbers they were talking about.

It's lying to say that the system is a supercomputer when it isn't. And especially when it was even less so when released.

But finally, lying is okay because it's SOP? I don't agree with that in the least. Especially when the lies were told to their [potential] customers, and used to crush the competition. Fraudulently.

Of course, I forgave them, and bought a PS2 anyway. But I'm not buying a PS3. In fact, I'm no longer buying a Sony anything. They have a better mp3-playing phone than the Motorola I bought, but FUCK SONY. Their DVD and CD media goes on sale very frequently at my local retail outlets, but FUCK SONY. The PS3 looks to be about the most badass console of this generation however you measure it, but FUCK SONY. I could go on, but FUCK SONY.

Re:Supremely Confident? (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294682)

My point is that I don't remember Sony ever saying that the PS2 was a supercomputer. I remember a lot of other people saying that, and a lot of it was ridiculous. They did quote the 55 million polys, but I don't recall them ever saying you can make a game with it. Yes, it was slimy in my opinion. And I was pretty sore about it because I was a big Dreamcast fan. It wasn't technically lying because I don't think they ever claimed you could make a full game with 55 million polys, just push that number out, but it was lying in my book, because Sony knew exactly what people would believe when they said that. I blame the consumers for being so gullible to believe it, and not being able to critically asses exactly what they were claiming.

No questions about the fake PSP fan site? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18294216)

It is a great example of the bullshit that Sony subjects us to. Why was it not mentioned?

Re:No questions about the fake PSP fan site? (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294348)

What do you mean subjects us to? I've heard of this site, but was never any way forced to see it.

So they tried a really lame advertising campaign, and it backfired. I don't get all the indignation and nerd-rage over it, like they violated your rights or something.

I don't get the anger or hostility in general. I think the PS3 is overpriced and kind of dumb, so I just dont buy one. Maybe one day I will, but I have no strong personal feelings towards it one way or another. It's just a consumer product, and not something I in any way need.

Re:No questions about the fake PSP fan site? (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294424)

I don't get the anger or hostility in general. I think the PS3 is overpriced and kind of dumb, so I just dont buy one. Maybe one day I will, but I have no strong personal feelings towards it one way or another. It's just a consumer product, and not something I in any way need.

So you are not a hardcore gamer. That's okay. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact it is probably the more healthy way to be (and I say this, of course, as a gamer myself.)

But if you are among the 'core, then you have to understand that Sony is pure fucking evil. In fact, in the gaming market, they're significantly more evil than Nintendo. Whether you believe they're the primarily responsible party, they definitely committed grievous harm to sales of the Dreamcast by making an early announcement of bogus PS2 specs which they had to know were fraudulent, and their utter and complete arrogance around the PS3 and PSP frankly angers many of us.

I think most people are offended by people who are too big for their britches. No one is impressed by the big turd, no matter how big the bowl is.

There are of course numerous reasons to despise sony. The rootkit fiasco is near the top of the list. And Sony's inability to build a reliable optical drive, coupled with their minuscule warranties. And of course, my personal #1, their summoning satan all over Lik-Sang, which was bar none my favorite videogame addon crap store, and just about everyone else's too.

In general, Anger and hostility are counterproductive anyway, so it's good that you don't feel them. But not being able to understand them is a bit inexplicable to me.

Re:No questions about the fake PSP fan site? (0)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294650)

I am a hardcore gamer though.

I own 8 full sized arcade machines, and two cocktail table based machines.

Short of the PS3, I own every console that's come out.

I have no desire to spend 60 bucks for a title because it's only a day old, and am much more likely to spend it on a stack of HuCards or maybe some Jaguar carts.

I own gaming systems I'm sure most self-styled "hardcore gamers" have never heard of. Do you know Apple made one? It was called the Pippin, and it was one of the most spectacular failures they've had. I own one.

I'm a hardcore gamer, or rather "videogame enthusiast" from way back, a true OG.

What I am not, is a hardcore consumer. I will avoid bad products, and really don't tie my personal feelings to them.

BTW Sega was in the dumpster already while they designed Dreamcast, you can't blame Sony for their failure. After Sega CD, 32X, and then Saturn, the hardcore gamers (me) realized Sega for what they were: a third rate company with third rate products. I bought a Dreamcast, on release day no less, but I knew it wouldn't succeed. The games weren't there, and it was obvious from Day 1 that they weren't coming. They repeated every mistake they made with Saturn. The megadrive/Genesis was their only success, and was a stroke of luck they got their foot in the door before the SNES was released.

Re:No questions about the fake PSP fan site? (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294970)

BTW Sega was in the dumpster already while they designed Dreamcast, you can't blame Sony for their failure.

No?

After Sega CD, 32X, and then Saturn, the hardcore gamers (me) realized Sega for what they were: a third rate company with third rate products. I bought a Dreamcast

So then why did you buy a Dreamcast?

on release day no less, but I knew it wouldn't succeed. The games weren't there, and it was obvious from Day 1 that they weren't coming.

That's funny. I have over 100 Dreamcast games. Given the console's short lifetime and the pallor of doom cast by SCE, that's not bad at all. And in fact I'd say a much higher percentage of them are worth playing as compared to, say, the first hundred playstation games.

They repeated every mistake they made with Saturn.

Jesus, what is this, a troll? The mistakes they made with Saturn were thus: It was $100 too expensive, and it pissed off developers because it was hard to use, leading to comments like describing the Saturn as a "pile of chips on a board". In fact Sony is the company that made the latter mistake in the following generation, not Sega; the DC has one nice speedy PowerVR and a very approachable graphics system, and the PS2 has a very complex CPU and a very complex graphics system - they have slightly more power, if any at all, and they are FAR harder to use. Meanwhile, the Dreamcast was not unreasonably priced, not that the PS2 was.

The megadrive/Genesis was their only success, and was a stroke of luck they got their foot in the door before the SNES was released.

Well, I'll agree with that part. But many of the best games ended up on the Genesis, that's something of a fact. And if you played sports games (not that I did) you needed a Genesis. That really helped them go. Not to mention that Sonic was truly impressive.

Sega made more than their share of mistakes. I don't want to argue that point; it's not defensible to say that they didn't either. But the Dreamcast was a brilliantly executed piece of hardware, and it didn't just die on its own.

Re:No questions about the fake PSP fan site? (3, Insightful)

oGMo (379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294944)

But if you are among the 'core, then you have to understand that Sony is pure fucking evil.

Preface: I have 2x NES, SNES, N64, Cube; GBA, SP x2, DS Lite; Dreamcast; 2x PS2, 1 PS2/Slim (gave my PS1 away); 2x PSP; and a PS3. I will be getting a Wii as soon as Paper Mario hits, maybe sooner. I have a solid selection of the best games for all of the above platforms, and I've played (if not finished) just about every SNES and NES game worth playing. I grew up when Atari and Nintendo were big, and am as happy to play an 8-bit game as an HD next-gen game. If that's not "'core", or whatever you kids are calling it, then you're the one with the weaker definition.

That said, you have no clue if you think Sony is "evil". Nor is Nintendo "evil" anymore; whether this is by necessity or choice is irrelevant. The only thing that killed the Dreamcast was Sega's business prowess. Substandard manufacturing, terrible marketing, and making lots of bad choices along the way. I would much rather see them as the third competitor in the console race than Microsoft (because Microsoft is ongoingly evil), but that's not going to happen soon.

they definitely committed grievous harm to sales of the Dreamcast by making an early announcement of bogus PS2 specs which they had to know were fraudulent

Care to share a link to a credible reference?

I think most people are offended by people who are too big for their britches. No one is impressed by the big turd, no matter how big the bowl is.

Care to explain how a company that delivered two massively successful consoles each with a huge library of excellent games is a "big turd"?

There are of course numerous reasons to despise sony. The rootkit fiasco is near the top of the list.

And how does Sony/BMG's contractor have anything to do with Sony Computer Entertainment, which is an entirely different---physical and businessological--- subsidiary?

And of course, my personal #1, their summoning satan all over Lik-Sang, which was bar none my favorite videogame addon crap store, and just about everyone else's too.

If Lik-Sang failed because they couldn't sell modchips in the UK, then they had more issues than Sony.

In general, Anger and hostility are counterproductive anyway, so it's good that you don't feel them. But not being able to understand them is a bit inexplicable to me.

Your anger and hatred is misplaced, and more related to a $499-599 pricetag than any real, tangible, logical reason.

Re:No questions about the fake PSP fan site? (4, Informative)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295020)

Lik-Sang was sued because they sold PSPs in Europe, not mod-chips. The lawsuits (plural) absolutely were bullshit.

Re:No questions about the fake PSP fan site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18295042)

"they definitely committed grievous harm to sales of the Dreamcast by making an early announcement of bogus PS2 specs which they had to know were fraudulent

Care to share a link to a credible reference?"

He doesn't. It's a variation of the old Dreamcast "Sony killed my console with teh Hype" bullshit.

The Dreamcast was dead before it hit the shelves. I was working for one of the middle top ten console game publishers at the time the Dreamcast was announced and the president of the company made it clear that Sega and the Dreamcast were not going anywhere and weren't worth wasting development resources on. Any money spent on Dreamcast development was that much less spent on PS2 development. And Sony had just demonstrated to the console development world with the first Playstation that they were the company you wanted to be with and the platform for your games to be on. When millions of dollars are on the line you don't have the luxury of being a fanboy when it comes to platform choice.

In the end, no surprise, the console development community was right.

And the Dreamcast fanboys were wrong.

Re:No questions about the fake PSP fan site? (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295070)

Care to explain how a company that delivered two massively successful consoles each with a huge library of excellent games is a "big turd"?

I was referring to the saying "big turd in a little bowl", which refers to someone who thinks they are better than they are. Which describes them nicely. However, the bowl is anything but little.

Also, they are definitely a bunch of shits. Just the way they treat their customers is wrong.

And how does Sony/BMG's contractor have anything to do with Sony Computer Entertainment, which is an entirely different---physical and businessological--- subsidiary?

Entirely different? You actually believe that? These corporations are created so that the parent corporation can shield itself from harm. That is the beginning and the end of the story. A beneficial (to them) side effect is that very foolish people think they are actually different corporations. But they are not! It's all under the same umbrella, and your failure to hold Sony Corporate accountable for the actions of its subsidiaries underscores the foolishness of the consumer mindset. CONSUME, EARTHLING! CONSUME!

If Lik-Sang failed because they couldn't sell modchips in the UK, then they had more issues than Sony.

Lik-Sang failed because they couldn't afford to respond to dozens of lawsuits filed in various countries. But don't let the facts get in your way or anything. Incidentally, one of the major complaints Sony had against them was that they were selling consoles and games out-of-region. So basically, Lik-Sang had to die to protect Sony's right to engage in price fixing.

If you don't think that's bad, then I don't think we can even come to an agreement.

Your anger and hatred is misplaced, and more related to a $499-599 pricetag than any real, tangible, logical reason.

Look dude, I have a job. It's not amazingly high-paying but I could afford a PS3 if I liked. I just blew a couple hundred bucks on a car stereo when a fifty dollar unit would have let me listen to music, because it had a few extra features that I could live without. I'm not buying one even if they halve the price. You get me? You can talk all the ignorant shit you want, but you don't fucking know me, so don't presume to tell me what's on my mind.

What happened to Lik Sang (4, Insightful)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295128)

I don't have time to find references for the other stuff you ask (and if you can't remember the fake polygon claims which both Sony and Microsoft released, you're not much of a gamer), but this is just plain wrong:

If Lik-Sang failed because they couldn't sell modchips in the UK, then they had more issues than Sony.

Not being able to sell modchips in the UK is not what killed Lik Sang. Lik Sang was not able to defend against multiple lawsuits started by Sony all over Europe [kotaku.com] and was thus forced to go out of business.

They never had a chance to defend themselves because Sony started so many lawsuits that they could not afford fighting them, even if they had a chance of winning. I don't care what you think, that's just plain evil.

Confidence, not arrogance? (2, Insightful)

AbsoluteXyro (1048620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294266)

I don't care how confident those people are, PR folks have got to put at least a LITTLE thought into what they are saying and how it will be interpreted. Quotes like "$600 is too cheap!" don't sound remotely like a statement of confidence on paper.

Re:Confidence, not arrogance? (0)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294504)

$600 IS too cheap if demand and supply are balanced. When demand drops, I'm sure the price will go down.

The point of the PS3 is to have a next-gen on the market - it's not to destroy the already existing market for the PS2 and PSP. They get more time to work out the kinks, work out customer demand, change any non-working foibles before they commit huge resources rolling out something millions of people don't buy in the end.

When you're the market leader - the worst thing you can do is throw out an inferior product, sell millions of them, and then loose the market through stupidity.

Re:Confidence, not arrogance? (2, Informative)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294572)

No its not. PS3s are widely available on store shelves, so clearly supply at least meets demand. What this mean is that $600 is probably a good estimate of the value current consumers place on the system. If there were any inaccuracies, it would be that the system is too expensive, since obviously supply >= demand at this point (and lower demand = lower supply).

Re:Confidence, not arrogance? (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295386)

Actually, it's not a matter of whether PS3s are widely available on store shelves. Sony obviously wants there always to be a PS3 on a store shelf whenever a customer attempts to buy one. It is a matter of how long those PS3s are sitting on those shelves. Are they sitting there for months, or are the stores running out the same day the next shipment arrives?

As an example, if you go to a supermarket, you will almost certainly find milk. This does not mean that the supply of milk exceeds the demand. This means that the supermarket knows the demand well enough to keep milk in stock.

So perhaps the PS3 is overpriced, but whether or not you can find one at the local Best Buy has no bearing on the question.

I don't care about supply and demand (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295192)

$600 IS too cheap if demand and supply are balanced.

As a consumer, I don't care about supply and demand. The PS3 isn't food or oil or water. It's a toy. I don't need it. I only care about one thing: Is this toy worth 600 bucks to me?

And it's definitely not. 300 bucks, maybe. More? Forget it.

If Sony really intends to price this based on demand, they'll end up pissing off both early adopters and latecomers. That would be a seriously bad move. And it's probably not what Sony is doing. This thing costs 600 bucks because Sony can't afford to lose even more money on it than they already do, not because of demand.

Re:Confidence, not arrogance? (1)

AbsoluteXyro (1048620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295290)

If supply and demand are balanced, that would mean that everyone who wants a PS3 at $600 gets one, and there aren't any left over. Judging by the number of PS3s gathering dust on store shelves, this is not the case.

Sony is still in trouble if no price reduction (1)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294276)

If Sony does Not reduce their price within the next year they will be i nall sorts of trouble. All it takes is one $360 price drop and there is serious trouble. Most games are for both systems. So if the 350 reduces its price you can buy a 360 and a wii (with wii sports)and possibly a 360 game for the price of just the ps3. They really need to try to reduce the price. otheriwse they can be in a lot of trouble. Especially with the stellar line up of the 360 and the ps3 towards the second half of this year

Re:Sony is still in trouble if no price reduction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18294444)

How creative. You referred to the Xbox 360 with three different names over the course of the post: $360, 350, and then, of course, 360.

Now, the 350 typo is understandable, but it's a fun exercise to try to figure out what course of events turned Xbox 360 into $360. M$360? All it takes is one $100 360 price drop and there is serious trouble?

You, sir, have just made my day.

Re:Sony is still in trouble if no price reduction (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294652)

The OP may be been a bit unclear, but his subject line is right: if Sony doesn't drop the price, the PS3 will die. PlayStation Second Live won't be able to save it. (And sounds like the world's dumbest idea if you ask me: it's like Xbox Live, but harder and slower to use! Yay!)

I currently don't own any next-gen console. My current-gen console is a PS2. I'm probably going to pick up a Wii at some point and borrow some GameCube games. But when it comes to the Xbox 360 and the PS3, it comes down to two things: games, and price.

Currently, the Xbox 360 doesn't have any games that really interest me enough for me to be interested in buying the console. The PS3 is even worse. However, the Xbox 360 does have some interesting games on the horizon, and while the PS3 does too, I'm more willing to spend $400 + games than $600 + games. If the PS3 doesn't drop in price soon (like, this summer), it will die. The people sitting on the fence will find that eventually the Xbox 360 games become worth the price. If the Xbox 360 drops in price to $200/$300 and the PS3 remains $500/$600, then forget it - it becomes a no-brainer, the Xbox 360 wins. And if that happens, then the PS3-exclusive games I'm interested in will almost certainly move to the Xbox 360, because that's where all the gamers are.

Sony has to drop the price, and drop it soon, or their market will just dry up. A crappy Second Life knock-off (even with Fast Weapon Swap and the ability to exploit other avatar's weak points for massive damage) isn't enough to make me spend $600 on a console. It's the games that count, and right now, the PS3 just doesn't have them. There's a kind of game/cost ratio that they have to meet in order to sell, and if the Xbox 360 finds the winning ratio first, the PS3 will lose.

Re:Sony is still in trouble if no price reduction (2, Insightful)

jj00 (599158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294594)

Not much they can do about it now, this was one of the reasons Microsoft wanted to get the 360 out so early. They had some time all alone by themselves, and time to let their lineup mature. There are so many systems out now that a game designer seems to shy away from an exclusive and tries to get on as many systems as possible.

My take is that Sony just has to own-up to what they have. Plug away at their own pace, try to get their games to really take advantage of the hardware and hope for something to stick. If I remember correctly, the N64 was declared an initial loser when compared to the others, but came on strong in the end with some great games that took advantage of their system.

Coming from the "wait and see" crowd, I'd say Sony has at least a year and a half after launch before those people start walking away.

Re:Sony is still in trouble if no price reduction (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294642)

If Sony does Not reduce their price within the next year they will be i nall sorts of trouble. All it takes is one $360 price drop and there is serious trouble. Most games are for both systems.

They also seem to believe we in the US are gullible fools, who can't be bothered to check the actual street prices for the exact same system in Japan.

We know that the PS3 has a much much lower street price in Japan.

We are not fools.

Drop the US list price or give us similar street prices thru retail credits to the stores - but stop assuming we're ignorant.

P.S.: We know Blu-Ray has been hacked, so pretending it hasn't also makes us not believe what they say.

Microsoft isn't going to reduce their price (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294662)

Not before Sony. It's simple business sense - if you're making money and selling well, why do you need to drop your price? Why increase the loss you have on your console? I don't see any need for Microsoft to drop their price any time soon. Sony will move first, and it won't be for a while. I'd stop holding onto the hope that a price drop is coming if I were you.

Sony gave Microsoft an relative price drop (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295220)

I agree. I think somebody at Microsoft even plain said it after Sony announced the PS3's price: "We don't need to cut the price. Sony just gave us a price cut."

Playsation home? (1)

bulio (884542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294296)

It seems like this new "Playstation home" crap that Sony is really pushing is going to be an over-hyped piece of junk. Given Sony's track record for the past few years, it'll just be a rip off from Second Life, Xbox achievements, and Nintendo's Mii's all wrapped up in one big rootkit. I'll stick to buying a Wii then an Xbox360 thank you very much, and hey both of them will total the cost of one PS3.

Re:Playsation home? (0)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294390)

I bought a Wii and 360 premium at christmas, and it came out about 200 cheaper than the PS3. Got a 100 rebate on the 360, so it was 299+250 = 550, vs 700 for a PS3.

Re:Playsation home? (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294550)

Great math. You were off only 100 dollars when referring to Sony.

Good luck with those tax forms.

Re:Playsation home? (2, Insightful)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294654)

He's actually 121 dollars too low, if you take the UK launch price of 425 GBP ($821 at today's exchange rate).

I really think they have given up on Europe, they might as well not launch at all at that price, and the only game I was really looking forward to (Gran Turismo 5) is now a 2008 release BEFORE the huge wait for a PAL version.

Re:Playsation home? (1)

Mursk (928595) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294702)

Not sure how "550, vs 700 for a PS3" is "about 200 cheaper," either. I mean, I wouldn't ask for exact numbers down to the dollar (don't have a problem with "299+250 = 550," for example), but come on! At some point it stops being an estimate and starts becoming exaggeration.

The PS3 is not $700! (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294624)

It's $599, after tax possibly $650. No way has it ever been $700.

Re:The PS3 is not $700! or is it? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294692)

It's $599, after tax possibly $650. No way has it ever been $700.

He means the UK price. The Japanese price (street retail) is about $450.

Basically, the EU, especially the UK, and then the US, are being ripped off.

I still think sales taxes are MORE EVIL THAN MAFIA (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295226)

Governments make money from payroll taxes, land taxes, landlords profits of rents through income taxes, taxes on shops sales profits.

Yet they still are GREEDY to take a cut of the final sale price, often MORE than the manufacturer's profit.

Most taxes are used to pay back govt debt, that NO ONE ASKED for. If they were not so irresponsible, then we wouldnt need
all these taxes. Why cannot governments make laws that require banks to lend to governments at 1% max rates.

Anyway, most smart people know 12-15% of all economic yearly activity is created through credit, if it were not for that we'de see
a massive depression. As long as rates are less than credit pumping, and people can pay rates, the casino sham keeps on rolling.

It only takes one wheel to fall of a high speed train to derail.

Re:I still think sales taxes are MORE EVIL THAN MA (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295276)

You'd hate living in our state then. We have no income tax here, only sales tax.

Which works fine for me, since I'm a compulsive saver.

Re:The PS3 is not $700! (1)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295232)

At most retailers, the 'special', and by 'special' I mean no different from any other, hdmi cables are like $100.
The best buy I was at when I picked up my PS3 had other hdmi cables in their home theater section that were $60 for the same length, and the one I ended up buying on the 'net was $45+s/h.

So if someone did have a HDTV, and wanted to play the PS3 in a HD res, and weren't smart enough to shop around for the periphery, they would pay $699.99 +tax off the shelf. And probably fork over more cash for some stupid warranty from best buy.

And I'd imagine a lot of places try to make crappy pack ins, like PS3 + controller + game combos, where they mark up past the retail value of the individual parts.

But the pricing aside, I realize that even with their $599.99 pricetag on the 60GB model, they are still losing money via the razor & blade model. I can see where people who don't realize this choke on seeing the pricetag, but they can not buy it just as much as I can.

Home Is Amazing (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18294312)

Yes, at it is essentially built upon existing Sony MMORPG technology, but that is really just an implementation detail.

http://www.scedev.net/home/ [scedev.net]

Home is a platform for third party developers to build custom spaces to market and sell their games directly to gamers. Sony is providing all the tools you need to build your company's space out in the theme of whatever game or games you want. Just take existing art and use the Maya tools Sony provides. Existing game artwork should be easily used to deck out a space with streaming videos on the walls showing the game and things like being able to jump right into the demo from the game's space. Get custom stuff for you avatar or personal space. Pretty much anything you can think of you should be able to implement and are willing to use to the tools to generate.

When you compare Home to the online disaster that Nintendo has on their hands with the Wii, it should be clear why Sony has the largest amount of support from third party developers and why game developers view the Wii as a place to dump PS2 ports onto. Wii developers are struggling to get the information they need to put their games online and things like Wii integration in games is mostly a Nintendo title only thing right now.

If you are a third party developers Sony is sending you a message that your game or games are important and will get the full support on the Playstation/Home platform on the same level as first party titles. Whereas Nintendo...why risk a big budget title when the company makes it clear that third parties are second class citizens just like they have been on previous Nintendo consoles.

Re:Home Is Amazing (4, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294546)

It's ok though, Wii is worth it if only for the first party titles.

Just like with N64 and Gamecube, there were plenty more shelves at EB stocking PSX, and then PS2 titles - but most of those are just filler crap. We're talking about dogshit like American Chopper: The Video Game.

I read an interesting article a while back about Nintendo's position and strategy as an innovative force. They continually try to invent new genre's, and capitilize as they grow, then leave them once mature. Sony and MSFT are focused solely on those mature genres. They'll deliver a very highly polished FPS, or racing game, etc, but wont risk something new.

Nintendo has to do this to stay in business, they focus on cheaper to develop games, and building new genres - the games usually have simplistic graphics, cutting down dev time, for example.

Consider the platformer - a genre nintendo largely defined with Super Mario Bros (and arguably invented with Donkey Kong), and redefined for 3D with Super Mario 64 - yet they currently have nothing in this market, it's too mature and full of competition. How many games would you consider a "Mario Kart" clone?

Sort of a tangent, but basically Nintendo doesn't need to be #1, and nintendo can survive some lack of support from third parties as long as they keep coming up with new stuff. Look at how the DS is taking off, against the PSP which I'm willing to admit is technically advanced. The "gimmick" of the touchscreen has opened whole new genre's of gaming - and this is the whole point of the wiimote.

If the wiimote spawns some successful new genres of videogaming, as it likely will, you'll see similar devices and plenty of clones of those games on Xbox and PS3. The genre will mature, get its rigid fanbase unopposed to change (there is no room for innovation in the FPS genre, the fans are too hardcore and will reject anything that isnt by-the-numbers), and Nintendo will move on.

They surely fail sometimes (Virtual Boy), but the fact that they are a company based on invention means they can keep going and succeed, where Sega failed miserably (Sega being merely another manufacturer, like Sony and MSFT).

Basically, they don't really compete with Sony and Microsoft at all. Sony and MSFT manufacture, Nintendo invents.

Re:Home Is Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18294696)

"things like Wii integration in games is mostly a Nintendo title only thing right now."

I assume you meant to write Mii integration.

You are too focused just on games. Although what you say sounds correct, Home is not limited to just games, but potentially to essentially limitless number of things. Pretty much anything you can build in an art package you can make into a Home space. This thread is fleshing out the amazing possibilities that Home has:

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14572 0 [neogaf.com]

Games
Movies
Music
Real world products
Communities

All of those and more will be able to build their own custom Home spaces. Honestly I don't think anyone is able to grasp just how huge Home is going to become over the next five years.

Re:Home Is Amazing (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294782)

I heard the same things about Second Life. I'll believe that it is going to become "huge" when I see it.

Re:Home Is Amazing (1)

BarneyL (578636) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294922)

It only becomes huge if people buy the hardware. If you told me that there were more people using the Wii Vote channel than Sony have sold PS3s I wouldn't be at all surprised.

Home is a useless 3D chat room (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295252)

Yeah, Nintendo is dragging its feet with the Wii online component. That sucks. But really, you act as if Home was the second coming or something. It's a 3D online chat room. Seriously, who cares about this? Why in the world would I want to go into Home to play an arcade game if I can just click on it on my Wii? Why would I want to sell games in this fake world instead of in the easy-to-use Wii shopping channel? It makes no sense.

Little Big World, however, that is something that excites me about the PS3.

Aw, damn, now I'm starting to think that you're just another paid-by-Sony astroturfer :-/ I'm happy to see that you're finally taking Nintendo seriously, though.

Blu-Ray comments (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18294342)

As a final note, it was stated directly that "There is no direct evidence that Blu-Ray has been hacked.

I wouldn't expect them to say otherwise. If they admitted that Blu-Ray was in any way flawed, the non-Sony content providers would be much slower to adopt the standard (if at all).

Re:Blu-Ray comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18294486)

Feel free to provide evidence that BluRay has been hacked...

Or was your post nothing more than another tedious "they are obviously lying because I personally hate Sony"?

Re:Blu-Ray comments (4, Informative)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294598)

They're probably referring to the keys being discovered. [engadget.com]

Re:Blu-Ray comments (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294496)

Yeah but it certainly doesn't help them to make such an overtly untrue statement during a PR session with people who actually know what they're talking about.

Sony just doesn't seem to "get" it... (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294448)

Peripherals such as the EyeToy were mentioned as 'making the PS3 disappear from the equation'

Ummm... How does an overpriced and underutilized webcam accessory accomplish that? And what does that have to do with the price of the base system?



The system's cost won't be changing for some time now

Then neither will the sales figures.



They eventually hope to have 100% of online-connected users on the service

Sony, Microsoft, and even Nintendo need to understand something...

A lot, probably even the majority, of casual gamers, don't want the whole live/home/online "experience". We want to pop in a game and waste a few hours to unwind between getting home from work/school and having dinner.

I don't care if the world knows how much I rock (or suck) at the newest games. I don't want trinkets and scenery and furniture for a virtual apartment. I don't want to spend time doing anything beyond slaying dragons, drag-racing through densely populated urban areas, slappin' hos, and getting the little colored blocks lines up just right so they go "bleep" and vanish.

My style of gaming doesn't fit Sony's ideal revenue model. Too bad - Give me what I want, or you don't get any revenue from me.



arrogance is not the feeling I get from them in person. These people are, instead, supremely confident in their products and services.

Trying to tell people what they want to buy doesn't count as confident. It counts as arrogance.

People generally have some sense of shame and humility, and in live meeting, few people will come off as truly arrogant. That doesn't make the company itself any less so.

I'll repeat myself - Give me what I want, or you don't get any revenue from me. If Sony responds to that by trying to explain to me why I really want what they have, you have arrogance, not confidence.

Re:Sony just doesn't seem to "get" it... (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294540)

A lot, probably even the majority, of casual gamers, don't want the whole live/home/online "experience". We want to pop in a game and waste a few hours to unwind between getting home from work/school and having dinner.

I have to agree. Look, I used to be a power gamer, and a game designer. Well, my son is the one who does that now. I want fun games that don't penalize me for not wanting to devote 40 hours a week to game play, or my taking a trip to Europe.

And I don't want someone else defining my "lifestyle".

If I wanted to be a serf, I'd live in a country where ... oh, wait ... darn.

Still, they seriously need to rethink both their pricing and their attitudes. Supremely confident comes across as arrogant elitist in the US with casual gamers.

If you dont see the games, you just aren't looking (1)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294558)

Believe it or not, every console out there has games you speak of. Not Sony, Microsoft or Nintendos fault you don't look for them.

Just so happens the major fanbase want innovation - across the board. If you had played Xbox live its transparent whether the game is on or offline for the most part, there isn't much "doo daa"'ing around to get up and working. That is why they're loved & addored.

I tell you what, those games from 15 years ago polished & wrapped up on xbox live are well worth the 5-10 bucks to play again against live people over the internet.

Especially for those of us who work, get an hour to play a game here and there and enjoy playing against people we know who may or may not live in the same house.

Simple games are out there and have been for ages.

Re:Sony just doesn't seem to "get" it... (1)

LostEmail (1053128) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294890)

They eventually hope to have 100% of online-connected users on the service Sony, Microsoft, and even Nintendo need to understand something... A lot, probably even the majority, of casual gamers, don't want the whole live/home/online "experience". We want to pop in a game and waste a few hours to unwind between getting home from work/school and having dinner. I don't care if the world knows how much I rock (or suck) at the newest games. I don't want trinkets and scenery and furniture for a virtual apartment. I don't want to spend time doing anything beyond slaying dragons, drag-racing through densely populated urban areas, slappin' hos, and getting the little colored blocks lines up just right so they go "bleep" and vanish. My style of gaming doesn't fit Sony's ideal revenue model. Too bad - Give me what I want, or you don't get any revenue from me.
The whole online thing is perfect for casual gamers. There is nothing like having 5 minutes and just hoping on XBLA and playing a quick game of geometry wars or getting a quick game of whatever is the latest thing in. You don't have to go to a game store or anything, it's just available. And if you like it you can spend a couple bucks then and there and get the full version.

Re:Sony just doesn't seem to "get" it... (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295100)

I'll repeat myself - Give me what I want, or you don't get any revenue from me.

Someone mark this as informative. I keep buying shit I don't want and it's getting really old.

Re:Sony just doesn't seem to "get" it... (3, Insightful)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295202)

"Then neither will the sales figures."

FYI: The PS3 has sold slightly more units then the XBOX 360 sold in its first three months [vgcharts.org] .

I find the rest of your comment confusing...you are mad because they're giving you a casual gaming environment in addition to the more traditional big blockbuster game model. I didn't see anything about a requirement that you use "PS3 Home" to play all games. Seems to me that you can just not download "PS3 Home" and "pop in a game and waste a few hours to unwind". Seems to me that if all you want to do is "slap hos", you can just buy GTA4 when it comes out and ignore the whole "online experience"

Does it occur to you that perhaps they want to appeal to a variety of different markets? Does it occur to you that perhaps they want to give different consumers different things, and that perhaps they are attempting to use multiple revenue models to support different sorts of costumers?

Seems to me that they showed a shiny new toy you can have for free, but only if you want and you said "OMFG! YOU FUCKING BASTARDS! I DON'T WANT THAT SO YOU SUCK!" It's like screaming that Toyata sucks because they make SUVs and you want a hatchback hybrid.

Just my $0.02 discounted for inflation (1)

Magee_MC (960495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294472)

The fact that Sony is aware of their ongoing and continuing PR problems, and is actively and publically trying to address it is a good thing. The impression that I have had recently is of a bunch of ostriches with their heads buried in the sand, waving pom-poms and leading cheers about how great Sony is. However, having read the summary of the article, I don't see anything that would lend itself to the author's sense of "cautious optimism" in what was said in the meeting itself. There wasn't anything that struck me as new or showing that Sony is trying to move in a different and better direction. At this point, I know for myself, that it will take more than just a well packaged, rehashed version of the same message delivered by articulate and likeable messengers to give me any sense of optimism, cautious or otherwise, about where Sony is, and the direction that they are heading in.

Que? (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294530)

Because UK gamers know and trust the ThreeSpeech staff, there's an implicit understanding (in that country) that the message coming from the site is not 'tainted.'
Being from the UK I must have missed that bit - I'm not entirely sure how "cultural differences" mean that I somehow trust a Sony puppet blog more than someone from the US would.

Price Price Price (1)

Citizen05 (1073880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294556)

Ok, great, everyone say what you could buy for a price of a playstation 3. fallacious argument? Well, I could buy 2 Hondas and 2 Ford cars but that doesn't exactly mean that I got a better deal than buying one Mercedes, Lexus, or BMW. It's great to know that you could buy more with your money, but the quality isn't necessary reflected in your purchase. If you just give the systems an equal chance, you might realize they all are good in their own respect and all have their flaws. Play the games for all the systems and quitting crying, just cause you or your parents can't afford a Playstation 3 doesn't mean you should shun it or it's company.

Re:Price Price Price (1)

hwyengr (839340) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294884)

I spent more on my TiVo than what a PS3 costs, so its not an issue of whether I can afford it. But, it does come down to value. How does the PS3 provide the additional value for what they're charging, since it's so much more than its competition? It flat-out has features that I don't want, so in effect, are worthless to me. So at this price point, I will not buy one. When the price comes down, I'll re-evaluate. I learned this fantastic skill over my lifetime, its called patience. If I wait for certain things, I get them at the exact terms that I want. In the meanwhile, I'll catch up on my reading or whatever HD glory my TiVo recorded for me.

Re:Price Price Price (1)

Citizen05 (1073880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295140)

Yes, it is generally agreed that the PS3 is not yet able to live up to it's potential. And I agree that waiting is the smartest thing to do right now, I just don't like hearing these people completely shutting down Sony because of what they believe is true or not.

Justify a 40% price increase outside japan! (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295120)

1. no 20gig option (idiots)
2. 40% price difference outside japan to EU/AU/UK
3. Now with cost reductions, their profit margins are way higher.
4. I say it again 40%!!!!, shipping costs are TINY, $1200 for large containers. Its the same price to ship 10000 ps3s from X to USA, and X to AU
      local taxes are nearly identical, USA 8-9% sales taxes, close to AU's 10% GST.
5. I had to buy something for $1300 (3 games inc) then i have a LONGER list of goodies to buy first before buying a ps3.
6. if it was $650, or $700 I might be tempted earlier for sure. Sony Australia doesnt need a larger profit margin because it cant sell TVs/AMPS/Phones.

price FUD (2, Insightful)

codyk (857932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294608)

I really don't understand why people go on and on about the PS3's price.

It retails for $499 usd

Not $700, not $800, not whatever other made-up numbers people use (although yes, europe got screwed here as usual).
What do you get for that price?

$800 worth of hardware.

Hardware that no other console has. Hdmi, standard high capacity optical drive, user replaceable hard drive, in a package that has had essentially no manufacturing defects.
Yeah, its expensive, but it's a lot of machine for the money. If you don't want to pay for it, don't buy it, but stop acting like sony owes you a cheaper machine.

Re:price FUD (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294832)

I really don't understand why people go on and on about the PS3's price.

It retails for $499 usd

Not $700, not $800, not whatever other made-up numbers people use (although yes, europe got screwed here as usual).
What do you get for that price?

$800 worth of hardware.

Hardware that no other console has. Hdmi, standard high capacity optical drive, user replaceable hard drive, in a package that has had essentially no manufacturing defects.
Yeah, its expensive, but it's a lot of machine for the money. If you don't want to pay for it, don't buy it, but stop acting like sony owes you a cheaper machine.


Sure it retails for $499 ...

I can find the $599 model at ever retailer and online but I have yet to see the $499 model; bloggers have been contacting Sony because they believe it has been discontinued ...

Now, even at $499 it is still a $499 gaming console with no (particularly) interesting games; it doesn't matter what hardware it has because I'm unlikely to be using it in any way except as a gaming machine. Basically, if Chevy produced a cobalt and put $40,000 worth of electronics in it would you argue that the car was not overpriced at $50,000?

Re:price FUD (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294872)

Hardware that no other console has. Hdmi, standard high capacity optical drive, user replaceable hard drive, in a package that has had essentially no manufacturing defects.

Oh man, where to start, where to start. HDMI? This provides very little advantage over component connections, and as most people on this planet have NO HDTV, let alone one with HDMI, this is pretty irrelevant.

User replacable hard drive, that's a nice touch. But 99% of everyone doesn't give a shit.

No manufacturing defects? tee hee hee. There's been overheating issues and the HDMI timeout issue. That's not strictly sony's fault, but it is their responsibility to test their device with the most common output devices, and this is something they clearly did not do.

Yeah, its expensive, but it's a lot of machine for the money. If you don't want to pay for it, don't buy it, but stop acting like sony owes you a cheaper machine.

Anyway it's not worth anything like $800 to me. For one, I don't want or need blu-ray. Its primary effect is making games more expensive. I don't have an HDTV and probably won't have one any time soon because they are seriously fucking expensive, at least anything worth owning. I'm not going to buy some 720p shit unless it's incredibly cheap. And 1080p definitely isn't cheap.

You can argue that we should all unlimber our wallets if we want what they have. But ultimately, Sony is a corporation, SCE is a company or collection thereof, and if they want people's money, they're going to have to give them what they want. They are not selling what most people want, which is why the Wii is flying off shelves within hours of when it shows up on them, but you can buy a PS3 almost anywhere, in spite of the fact that there's been significantly more Wiis actually produced.

Sony is trying to force us into supporting Blu-Ray, and I'm not interested. Not that I would give those assholes at Sony any money after rootkits and destroying Lik-Sang, among other faux pas.

Re:price FUD (1)

slackmaster2000 (820067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294988)

The 20GB model without cables or controllers is $499. Most of the extremely basic packages you'll find at the big retailers like Walmart and Circuit City will start at $725 or higher (connection cables, one controller, one game). Nobody is making up numbers, they're just saying what they're seeing at the store.

Contrast that with the XBox 360, which starts at $399 for the "premium" package. If you're at Walmart or someplace like that you're going to see premium packages with two controllers and a game at under $500.

Don't expect people to not be surprised by an unprecedentedly high price for a gaming console.

Re:price FUD (1)

Citizen05 (1073880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295044)

How does the XBox 360 package compare to the PS3 60GB package? 1) Smaller Harddrive 2) Not wi-fi capable out of the box 3) Can't play HD-DVD out of the box (compared with the BR capability of the PS3) So even if you keep the smaller HD and you decide you want wi-fi and HD-DVD, you end up paying the same price as the PS3; but not of your components are internal and are just a bulging eye sore. Apples to Apples, doesn't quite fit the comparison of the xbox premium and the 60gb.

Re:price FUD (1)

catprog (849688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295036)

Because it's competitors are 300 and 250. One of which even comes with a game

So who are these "respected uk journalists"..? (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294636)

..as threespeech doesn't seem to have any details?

There aren't exactly a large number of journos that'd be respected, so I guess the lack of identification is because they're all employed on one of Sony's various "Official" magazines?

Zonk, call a spade a spade. (4, Insightful)

Lightwarrior (73124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294670)

This will probably come across as trollish, but this is a serious question - Zonk, what is your love for Sony / the PS3?

"Sony Keynote Offers Hope For PlayStation 3 Fans"
"Today was Sony's day to deliver: and in my opinion they did with flying colours."
"Finally, finally, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the console."
"Note the first: There may finally be a great reason to buy a PlayStation."
"Your avatar is customizable, and extremely detailed. These is *not* Miis, these are better than Second Life quality digital characters."
"[Little Big Planet] is the reason to buy PlayStation 3." (bolded)

And from this op-ed:
"The element that I want to convey, which I took away from the discussion of Sony's arrogance, was that arrogance is not the feeling I get from them in person. These people are, instead, supremely confident in their products and services."
"I came away from the meeting with a sense of cautious optimism."
"...it's possible the games arm of this particular megacorporation may have put its launch troubles in the rear-view mirror."

Maybe it's just my view of things, but everything *sounds* sugar-coated. Your (Sony) article(s) read more like hype than unbiased reporting.

It's fine if you're personally excited about what goes on, but I think in the interest of full disclosure, you need to say *why* you're so interested. I don't own a PS3; I have seen nothing in these recent articles to indicate, to me, that Sony has taken any steps to change their ways. And yet, you repeatedly say that this is the case.

Why? Because they're implementing a Sony-branded Second Life rip-off? Because of one good game? Because they put their best personal face forward during one meeting?

We've seen this exact pattern before, from a number of companies: nicely worded "promises". Pretty ideas. Friendly faces. The reality of it from Sony has been, consistently, lies and dashed hope. Does meeting these people face-to-face really make you want to forgive and forget so easily?

-lw

Re:Zonk, call a spade a spade. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294766)

You know, perhaps you should consider the possibility that Zonk is simply a Sony fanboy. I mean, he's an editor, not a journalist. Not that he actually edits, but you get what I mean. Just think of every post from a slashdot insider as one of those opinion-piece "letters from the editor". But I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with that. At least he is predictable. We know he will cuddle up to Sony no matter how abusive they are, and that means that we know how to read his articles.

Re:Zonk, call a spade a spade. (2, Insightful)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294820)

Wasn't he being called a huge XBox fanboy just a little bit back? He was regularly accused of only posting anti-Sony pro-MS/pro-Nintendo stuff. Has he turned sides, or is he just calling them like he sees them?

Re:Zonk, call a spade a spade. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295008)

Zonk has often times posted news about Sony that makes apology for their idiocy, and in any case to avoid being branded at utterly biased he more or less has to post comments talking about the things they do wrong. I don't actually know which he is, because I don't care. :) I like the news no matter what the spin is; I can read between the lines for myself, I don't need someone to do it for me.

Re:Zonk, call a spade a spade. (5, Interesting)

BarneyL (578636) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295072)

One of the greatest achievements an editor can make is to be accused of being biased by all sides of an argument.

From what I read on /. Zonk is an xbox, wii and ps3 fanboy and so must be well placed to provide a balanced view...

(and as a Wii owner who would just love to see the ps3 do so badly all those nice looking exclusives come over to Nintendo, I have to admit this is the first thing I've seen from Sony regarding the PS3 which gives me the impression the it might still be a success)

Re:Zonk, call a spade a spade. (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295318)

Zonk spent a long time bashing Sony -- posting every bit of "news" where Sony looked bad, even when it wasn't news or it was completely made up. This is balance.

Basically, instead of being misled by negative hype about Sony, now you're being misled by positive hype. That's the modern definition of news.

I'm a little surprised (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294734)

It's interesting to see Sony has taken a turn towards positive marketing steps and desirable products- I only hope that the Playstation Home does not overly complicate the networking system for PS3, which lacks a good core network framework.

Trust me, I have a PS3 devkit on my desk. :(

I can tell you that our company had a pretty morose outlook on the product, but we are still spending unbelievable amounts of time supporting the console for our future releases.

Re:I'm a little surprised (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295338)

Just curious, if your company had a morose outlook on the product, then why spend so much time supporting it?

Re:I'm a little surprised (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295378)

It' a AAA title. Porting to PS3 is profitable, at least. The point is it's not our primary console. We view the PS3 versions of these games as ports.

Sounds like Sony won the GDC. (3, Insightful)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18294838)

Coming in to GDC Sony is in a hard last place in a lot of ways, yet apparently at this talk it sounds like a huge amount of the time is spent on Home, that's a huge win. Avoiding talking about the Blu-ray, price and games for the most part and talking up their new Home is good. Let's forget that GDC is about developers rather then the press, and the fact that they have taken the first steps to turning GDC into the next E3.

But from the sound of this they really got away with something at GDC this year, and kudos for them, too bad most of us are already too jaded to turn back and most developers still find the system a hassle even with this new item. Overall though it sounds like a huge win for Sony at least this week.

Frist 5to6p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18294852)

Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18294958)

"The system's cost won't be changing for some time now, and there's apparently not much to talk about on that subject. This was the one element that I went into the session hoping to deal with directly, and unfortunately came away feeling let down."

What did you expect them to say? "Oh ok, we'll cut the price in half, just for you!"

Building a console has fixed costs, and they made choices that cost too much. End of story. Now they are stuck having to sell it at the price they do.

Backwards attitude (1)

eison (56778) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295082)

Did you ask them why they hate their customers? That's what I really want to understand.

Not So Funny (0, Offtopic)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295176)

"An Evening with Kevin Smith" was WAY funnier.

-Peter

Sony's issues (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18295228)

This seems to broach on the subject of the PS3. However I have a HUGE problem with Sony in general, and by that I mean in every arena, such as music, video, gaming, and computing.

When arrogance is mentioned, it should be applied across the spectrum. For instance someone mentioned Sony MMORPG and those issues. That was a nasty shanking. The absolute deplorable arrogance of the rootkit. The stupid licensing, DRM, and issues that plague Blu Ray, MD Disks, and SACD.

SACD and MD have especially peeved me off with their arrogant licensing issues, and paranoid DRM tactics that remove the ability use the media in ways that you would want. Ever seen a SACD player for your car? Too much for licensing. MD? they had MD players since the early 90s. An absolute incredible technology that they completely squandered and screwed up because of their paranoia.

The licensing side needs to come to grips. Sony comes up with phenomenally good technology. Then the licensing side shanks the hell out of it rendering it pretty close to useless, and frustrating for the consumer. Arrogance. Complete and pure.

Blue ray promises to be that exact same shanking. Im not that excited frankly anymore. I have my DVDs which I can pull and use as I see fit. I buy a lot too...I have several hundred DVDs. If I could watch the Blue ray disks as I wanted, I might buy into that as well. DRM is crap. If the security hurts the legitimate users of your product, then it should not be worth implementing.

now all this talk about 3d Worlds and interactions on the "3.0 games". WHY would I want that? Myspace is already on the web. I dont need or want that from my game console. I want one thing, and one thing only. Games. Good games. In fact for $600 plus another $50 per game they better be SPECTACULAR games. Everything else is chromed plated crap. Where are the good games?

Sony IS arrogant, and I quite frankly dont see why anymore. You can take your ball back now, Sony. There are others I would rather play with.

Kotaku's balls (3, Funny)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 7 years ago | (#18295368)

As was reported on slashdot a few days ago, Kotaku was "blackballed" by Sony for reporting on rumors about Sony Home. Even though Sony and Kotaku are back on speaking terms now, the following is quite amusing:

http://kotaku.com/gaming/oddities/gdc07-warhawk-de v-hands-me-my-balls-242974.php [kotaku.com]

GDC07: Warhawk Dev Hands Me My Balls

There was this moment, just seconds after I sat down between Phil Harrison and David Karraker, when the entire table of bloggers, PR people and developers at Sony's Blogger Congress were quiet.

Then Dylan Jobe, Warhawk game director for Incognito, spoke up.

"Before we get started, I have something for Brian."

I noticed Jobe had a small box on the table in front of him. He is a big fan of Kotaku and was impressed with what the site did last week over the whole Sony Home dealio.

So he said he wanted to give me a present to thank me. Opening the box he revealed: A set of brass balls.
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