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Sony and Kutaragi - What Went Wrong?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the difference-of-vision dept.

Sony 57

Last week's news that Ken Kutaragi was stepping down from his post at Sony wasn't exactly a surprise, but it does raise a number of questions. Given reports that Kutaragi has visions for PlayStations 4, 5, and 6 and analyst speculation that he'll be involved with those products as well, why is he on the way out the door? 1up's Editor Sam Kennedy spends some time ruminating on the situation on his site blog, and comes to the conclusion that this may be what Kutaragi wanted all along. "No one doubted Kutaragi's vision or ability to create fantastic hardware, but his failure as an executive was holding the division back. This is why Kaz Hirai took his place. With the PS3 off and running at the start of a 10-year life cycle, Sony won't need a visionary for quite some time -- now, it needs someone to run the business. And Kaz is right for that. He's a team player and has great relationships with the publishers. He can take things from here. But in all of this hubbub surrounding his departure, what's perhaps been overlooked is that this may have been what Kutaragi had also wanted. It's unfortunate, as the expectation was always for Kutaragi to climb the corporate ladder, yet this wasn't necessarily his goal. As he once told Newsweek about his executive role, 'We have so many things to create, but unfortunately for me I have a lot of responsibility right now...This was not in my dream.'"

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off-topic: blogger != press! (-1, Flamebait)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959631)

First line: "To those of us in the games press, Thursday's announcement of Ken Kutaragi's retirement from Sony Computer Entertainment came as no surprise.". This guy is not "press". He's a damn blogger. All he did was pull together other people's actual journalism and comment on it.

You are wrong: time to do some fact checking (2, Informative)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959711)

Sam Kennedy is editor in chief of 1UP.com, which is one of the larger game sites (and part of the overall Ziff Davis network). He is most certainly press. The fact that he also blogs on 1UP.com, along with many of the other editors and writer, is just gravy.

Re:off-topic: blogger != press! (1, Redundant)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959727)

Just because you're reading his blog doesn't mean that he's not the Editor-in-Chief [1up.com] of 1-Up. Which, methinks, makes him "press". Now be a good boy and go apologize. :P

Re:off-topic: blogger != press! (1)

RiskyChris (999242) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959775)

Bloggers get a bad rap. Do you know what the definition of press [answers.com] is?

      1. The collecting and publishing or broadcasting of news; journalism in general.
      2. The entirety of media and agencies that collect, publish, transmit, or broadcast the news.
      3. The people involved in the media, as news reporters, photographers, publishers, and broadcasters.

a journalist is just a blogger with pretence (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959815)

The difference between a journalist and a blogger these days is primarily that journalists are more pretentious.

Re:a journalist is just a blogger with pretence (1)

Doctor Crumb (737936) | more than 7 years ago | (#18961141)

Journalists tend to understand the need for fact checking.

Re:a journalist is just a blogger with pretence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18966579)

I beg to differ. These days it seems like "fact checking" consists of copying an AP article without doing their own research.

I mean when the story of Keith Richards snorting his father's ashes was put on AP, all the so far journalists ran with it. If they had just asked him for verification, they'd know that his quote was taken literally instead of as a joke.

That's not the first time the news has repeated another new agency's "facts" without doing their own research.

Re:a journalist is just a blogger with pretence (1)

donut1005 (982510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18961477)

You might have that backwards...

Re:a journalist is just a blogger with pretence (1)

Merusdraconis (730732) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966015)

You can fire bloggers now?

Visionary indeed (0, Flamebait)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959667)

The problem Sony put themselves into is that "better" could mean less power [on paper] which would be hard to sell given their current attitude that FLOPS == fun.

If the PS4 was more economical, and also less powerful chances are it would be a very hard sell without really distancing themselves from the PS3.

Look at Wii, sure they made it faster, probably added some ram to it, etc. But they're not a stats junkie. They're not dependent on raw numbers to sell consoles. Instead they rely on it actually being a fun toy.

Tom

Re:Visionary indeed (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960267)

True, Nintendo has been very successful focusing on gameplay instead of raw power. But I still think Sony's approach (FLOPS=fun) may have been successful, if only they had delivered! Instead, they put a revolutionary CPU and storage medium stuck behind a weak video card. On a games machine, that is a colossal mistake. PS3 games don't look any better than XBox 360 games. If you want to charge more, you have to deliver the goods.

Re:Visionary indeed (3, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960339)

I'd rather go for more interactivity than pixels. I mean what's the point of having 1600x1200 resolutions when you're no more capable to perform non-linear operations [e.g. mess with the env] than you could 10 years ago?

In FPSes for instance it would be nice to be able to destroy walls, pick up things, etc. Half-Life 2 kinda goes in that direction but many games are just really shiny with little going on behind the scenes.

Sure it's nice to play games with graphics, but usually their appeal lasts a lot shorter than games with actual engagement to them. The better studios know how to balance this.

Tom

Re:Visionary indeed (2)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960741)

PS3 games don't look any better than XBox 360 games. If you want to charge more, you have to deliver the goods.

Ironically, they don't even look as good as 360 games. They may look as good as 'First gen' 360 games, but that isn't what they are competing with. Does any PS3 game look as good as Gears of War yet? Not by a long shot.

Re:Visionary indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18961157)

Hard to say. I've got both. There are a lot of kind of personal taste kinds of things that are the differences.

To be completely honest, I think the PS3 3D generally looks more correct but the 360's 3D stuff tends to be more playable. I'm not trying to start some kind of gamer boy pissing contest, just my opinion. There are a couple easy examples, Tiger Woods on both platforms for example. On the 360, trees that are shaded are lit up by ambient light on the wrong side. It's little stuff and a lot of it seems like "taste" kinds of differences. I could see how you people might think it looks "better" but it clearly isn't "correct." There are lot's of focus kinds of defects as well.

Motorstorm looks as good as any 360 game I've seen, if not better. There is something to be said for these differences. I don't think a grand theft auto type game would be very good with realistic lighting, it'd be nearly impossible to play.

Re:Visionary indeed (1)

DarkJC (810888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18961321)

I think the primary factor behind this isn't the PS3, it's more the fact that it has yet to get a game released on it using Unreal Engine 3. I believe Unreal Tournament 3 will be the first one, and since it'll be multiplatform, we'll be able to truly compare the capabilities of each console.

For example, the age old Resistance vs. Gears of War argument from back in the day. Gears of War obviously comes out far far ahead in terms of looks, but this is mainly because UE3 included texture streaming support right away. Insomniac didn't build it in to their first engine on the PS3, and thus it didn't look as good. If you look at Ratchet and Clank PS3 however, it looks gorgeous. Surprise, it has texture streaming support.

If anything, the console wars between the 360 and PS3 have proven that no matter what the hardware, the game engine makes all the difference. I look forward to the release of UT3 to see if there are any notable differences between the two platforms, as I think it'll be the closest comparison we can get.

Re:Visionary indeed (2, Interesting)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#18961947)

For example, the age old Resistance vs. Gears of War argument from back in the day. Gears of War obviously comes out far far ahead in terms of looks, but this is mainly because UE3 included texture streaming support right away. Insomniac didn't build it in to their first engine on the PS3, and thus it didn't look as good. If you look at Ratchet and Clank PS3 however, it looks gorgeous. Surprise, it has texture streaming support.

It's also the type of game that allows some games to be higher res than others. Even with texture streaming support, I don't feel Resistance could look as good as Gears. In all fairness neither will GTA IV or Halo 3. These games typically require much larger draw distances, and more on screen characters than the 'Stop and pop' of Gears. It forced you into smaller mapps and with fewer enemies so it could load up the eye candy at each turn.

One of my favorite 360 games is Dead Rising, and for the most part it looks like an (original) X-Box game. The characters and models aren't particularly high res (actually the Zombies look lower res than those in RE4 on Gamecube), the difference being there are hundreds of them within your draw distance and (despite some annoying loading between areas) it all runs smoothly. They could have made everything higher res, but not without sacrificing the sheer quantity of them available at one time.

Re:Visionary indeed (0, Flamebait)

SpeedyRich (754676) | more than 7 years ago | (#18963515)

Wrongggggggggggggg.

Motorstorm looks, feels and plays absolutely superbly, easily besting the 'best' of 360 skid-em-ups.

Gran Turismo HD - if nothing else - looks glorious.

The real-time imagery from Lair and Heavenly Sword are stupendous.

I'm bloody happy with my PS3, the games I've got for it and the games I'm going to get for it. I don't need extra wifi cards; dodgy add-on hard drives or aftermarket wireless controllers. It's all in there.

And when I'm not playing? Then my PS3 folds@home.

Re:Visionary indeed (0)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18961809)

Keep in mind your comparing first gen PS3 games to 3rd abd 4th gen Xbox games. There is more potential in the PS3 despite the parity of the RSX to the Xenos. The Xenos has some nifty features over the RSX too but generally they aren't that far apart.

Re:Visionary indeed (1)

Castar (67188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18963799)

I think that has more to do with a failure to utilize the processor well than a "weak" graphics card. It's easy (well, relatively speaking) to use the Cell to supplement the RSX (it's really, really good at doing pre-rendering tasks), and that way you have more flexibility when algorithms change or when you want to shift power over to AI or physics instead of graphics (like Katamari or Loco Roco or something for PS3).

Re:Visionary indeed (1)

ilyaaohell (866922) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960879)

I don't see why people keep comparing the PS3 and the Wii. The fact is, each one is targeting a different audience. You can not only see it in the final product, but the advertising and marketing they're employing to sell it.

There are benefits to targeting the people Sony is. These people would be a lot more likely to spend money on other high-tech Sony gadgets. Nintendo makes nothing but games, so their sole purpose in life is to sell as many "toys" (as you put it) as possible. Sony has bigger things to pay attention to besides their games business.

The real reason Sony is coming under fire isn't entirely that they didn't make an affordable toy, the way Nintendo has. It's not as simple as you think it is.

Re:Visionary indeed (1)

spirit of reason (989882) | more than 7 years ago | (#18968823)

I think price was probably the largest setback for the PS3 on the consumer end. It just doesn't make sense to plan for a 10 year cycle on a console. What Sony did was make price sacrifices to appear to have a small advantage in power. This is a bad idea for two reasons.

First, computer components become more powerful and cheaper to build way too fast. You know what happened in 10 years on the CPU side? In 1997, Intel released the Pentium II; you wouldn't still use that to play modern games, would you?

Secondly, while some of the population has the privilege of choosing the most powerful console and will do so without regard to price, most are price conscious. The leap in Sony's pricing narrowed the scope of their market. Not as many people can afford it.

In short, Sony made a foolish move and forgot the basics of console market strategy. They're paying for it now.

The Wii, on the other hand, appears revolutionary and is priced affordably. It's unfortunate that its new control scheme is a little half-baked, but I guess you can't expect the first attempt to be perfect. Hopefully the Wii+1 will properly use trilateration (needs three noncollinear infrared sources, not two) to find the position of the Wiimote and not have this indirect pointing nonsense.

Re:Visionary indeed (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18969855)

No reason the Wii can't come out with wireless controllers [conventional style] if Wiimoting proves to get old for gamers. So they still have an out.

Tom

The point being 'a fun toy.' (1)

Doc Lazarus (1081525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18972967)

Sony's real problem for the PS3 is that they keep up this idea of having a video game console be more than that. Yeah, having a gaming machine play movies is a big plus...back in 2002 when the PS2 was coming out and could do that because Sony was moving over to DVD media. But for some reason, they thought they needed that for the PS3 and that's where they failed. If they had just competed with Microsoft on their own terms--a real monster of a machine that didn't need a next-gen media drive--then they would be better off. For some reason Sony thinks their fun toy can be more out of some perceived failing and have now taken all the fun out of their toy. $600 is not the definition of a good time...well, not a legal good time.

Wow, sometime's 1UP has their heads up their ass. (5, Insightful)

BKX (5066) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959749)

"there's a good possibility that the industry will come together on a platform standard"

My ass. There's no way in hell. We already have a standard gaming platform. It's called the PC. The industry won't make another one. Well, Microsoft might claim to, but it won't really be a standard.

Re:Wow, sometime's 1UP has their heads up their as (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18959829)

They mean games other than WoW and CS and Popcap stuff.

Re:Wow, sometime's 1UP has their heads up their as (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959875)

My ass. There's no way in hell. We already have a standard gaming platform. It's called the PC. The industry won't make another one. Well, Microsoft might claim to, but it won't really be a standard.
Mac fans may cry foul here. Also, what do you mean by "platform"? There are so many variants to the PC platform. Games run different, depending on your processor speed, type, amount of RAM, video card, etc. If anything, I'd say the PC platform is far from being the "standard gaming platform". That's why there are so many gamers that are sick of the "upgrade wars" and have run to console gaming, where there's much more stability in hardware.

Re:Wow, sometime's 1UP has their heads up their as (1)

BKX (5066) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960287)

This is exactly what I'm talking about. None of the companies that make consoles will adhere strictly to the standard and we'll have wars over what's good and what's not. The standard console will be as standard as a PC.

Re:Wow, sometime's 1UP has their heads up their as (1)

badasscat (563442) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960475)

Mac fans may cry foul here.

There's nothing that differentiates a Mac from a PC hardware-wise. Well, nothing important anyway. The Mac OS runs on the same "platform" as Windows. So does Linux and basically every other OS out there. What you're talking about is the software OS, which is ultimately pretty meaningless in game consoles - I mean I know not all Mac-heads agree, but an OS only exists to run programs and to act as a conduit between your hardware and other software. Consoles didn't even have standalone OS's until a generation ago (they just had firmware), and I would argue that they're the worse for it. Previous to that, games for all intents and purposes contained their own OS as part of the game code.

So really, when people say "platform" in this context, they're talking hardware, because that's all that really matters for gaming. PC architecture is a standard architecture (and that includes the Mac), if anybody wanted to give up marketing standalone game consoles and focus on one standard. But it's never going to happen.

Re:Wow, sometime's 1UP has their heads up their as (1)

garyok (218493) | more than 7 years ago | (#18961077)

Mac fans may cry foul here. Also, what do you mean by "platform"? There are so many variants to the PC platform.

How do you make sure you sell stuff? By having something that your competitor doesn't have and the punter wants and doesn't mind paying for. (What the punters really want is more, better stuff for free, but hey...) That's why there's different types of personal computers and that's why there'll always be different console architectures.

There's 2 more reasons: trust and commodification. For trust, think about a predictable division of labour in a reference console platform: Sony do the hardware and MS do the OS/APIs, etc. Do MS want Sony's consumer-hating sneaky shenanigans going on in hardware, undermining their rep (some more)? Would Sony seriously believe that MS is giving them a complete copy of the APIs? They'd both be inventing new books of dirty tricks to screw the other one over to show they have the best stable of first-party titles and services. The console buyer is going to get caught in the crossfire and, knowing this, trusts none of the companies to behave.

And when other manufacturers get in on the act and build their own commodity consoles, cannibalising both Sony and MS's sales, neither of them are ever going to be able to achieve the market supremacy they need to maximise profitability. They could even be forced out of their own market in the long term, like IBM with PCs.

I don't think a common console platform is a viable business model for any of the current players.

Re:Wow, sometime's 1UP has their heads up their as (1)

Gingernads (831161) | more than 7 years ago | (#18969651)

But it works with VHS, DVD, CD etc... These are just commodity electronic goods working to common(ish) standards. The differentiation comes in quality of components, styling, brand and so-on. Saying this, I still agree with the general feeling that this will never happen with games consoles.

Re:Wow, sometime's 1UP has their heads up their as (1)

garyok (218493) | more than 7 years ago | (#18980429)

It's been tried before with MSX (to a certain extent) and 3DO. Both of these attempts to standardise a platform for playing games to be manufactured by multiple parties - and they were thrashed in the marketplace. The customers went a different way and platform manufacturers were stuck trying to sell last year's stuff. Any architecture changes to stay competitive are going to have to go through a shed-load of corporate nonsense. Sony can't even get its own divisions to play nicely together.

Re:Wow, sometime's 1UP has their heads up their as (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960093)

Microsoft might claim to, but it won't really be a standard.

Dare you speak ill of the Zune, sir?!?!

Re:Wow, sometime's 1UP has their heads up their as (2, Informative)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960311)

Yeah, because the idea of a standardized console platform was so successful [wikipedia.org] before.

Re:Wow, sometime's 1UP has their heads up their as (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18960591)

That's more of a reference to that fact that the 360 and PS3 are a) pretty much the same machine as far as the user is concerned and b) costing their parent companies large amounts of money despite being really expensive at retail. If they unified they'd have better economies of scale so shouldn't cause so many losses, and they'd also hopefully convince people to jump in earlier instead of waiting for a winner (in the same way that most people are staying clear of HDDVD/Bluray till one is certified dead).

Standard platform is pretty poor way of putting it, agreed. Java on mobile phones is a standard platform. This would just be a normal home console with an unusually huge amount of financial/development backing and (presumably*) fewer competitors.

And the financial/sales problems Sony/MS are having wouldn't have occurred if they had avoided moving up a generation so quickly and even then stuck with making more powerful but still standard-def oriented machines, so it's not really the unnecessary platform segmentation that's causing the issues but being ahead of their time.

*Come back SEGA!

PC, a standard? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960957)

Not likely. At the very least with consoles you end up with - in a given period of time - 2 or 3 unique combinations of hardware/software to base games on.

With a PC, you have:

Variable hardware: Everything from CPU to RAM to graphics card... and trust me there's a lot of difference between an Intel i810 onboard and a newer Nvidia/ATI card
Variable operating system: Windows tends to be predominant, but at the moment even that is fractured (XP or Vista), with other possibilities including MacOS or Linux
Variable interface: DirectX or OpenGL? This can tie into what hardware you use as well

A PC is built to be multi-functional. While it may follow "standards" it's about as far from a standard - particularly for gaming - as anything can be.

PC is a standard (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18961773)

The PC isn't the standard, openGL, DirectX(3D), etc are the standard and they do pretty well at it (DirectX10 MS stuff aside).

If they standardize the interface it would be fine, as far as hardware goes yes each 2 years of computer hardware improvements means that your software won't be playable on the older stuff (Build for 3 year old hardware and you get a 5-6 year window). Which is mostly a problem because of software designers trying to push the envelope (the 360 is old, no one seems to complain about designing for it), software with MS not opening their specs and game designers not moving to more open APIs, and hardware manufacturers releasing on bizzare schedules.

The first and last can be solved, MS keeping the specs and game designers using non-opened specs will probably be the last to change. If AMD puts mid level GPUs in their new cpus and intel follows suit we'll probably see an improvement in both hardware conformity and games trying to push beyond those specs.

The PC offers the best range of peripherals, most games (Emulators FTW), and best backwards compatibility (last generations games play better!) etc.

The situation is good and getting better, people want to put less money into gaming and the industry will have to reflect that ($60 For the Lose) but it still has space for a massive range of types of games. Clearly the PC has better depth in every area (except possibly driving and surely sports) than consoles.

Re:Wow, sometime's 1UP has their heads up their as (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#18961173)

Oh, please. There's hardly anything that's "standard" when it comes to a PC.

Anyways, the standard game console thing is already begining to happen.

Games are just getting too expensive to produce, and it's just not economical to simply release your game exclusively for one platform. Even though it's still early for this generation, we're already seeing a large number of multiplatform games, and, unlike previous generations, the differences in the graphics on the different platforms is almost negligble.

At this rate, if two (or more) different platforms have nearly the same library, why not go the last step and just create a unified console? The developers would probably go for it - less work, more profit.

If you think about it, just about every other electronics device we use only has one standard - like DVD. When multiple standards are introduced, it just makes a mess of the market, as illustrated by HD-DVD/Blu-Ray.

Re:Wow, sometime's 1UP has their heads up their as (1)

BKX (5066) | more than 7 years ago | (#18961293)

I'm not saying that it's not possible, just highly unlikely. And I know that the PC platform is highly variable and fractured, but it wasn't always, and that's my point. The PC started out as an IBM machine that others implemented clones of. It was a true standard (hardware) platform. It ran MS-DOS, which also had numerous standards compliant clones (4dos, ndos, now freedos). It, too, was a true standard (software) platform. Together, they formed a true, standard platform. Move forward twenty years, and look what we've got. Twenty semi-compatible "standards" running on numerous incompatible software platforms with an even larger variety of pseudo-standard hardware components.

We can start with a uniform standard console tomorrow, and ten years from now, it will be as splintered as PCs.

Re:Wow, sometime's 1UP has their heads up their as (2, Interesting)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18964297)

Oh, please. There's hardly anything that's "standard" when it comes to a PC.
I'm not sure what you mean by that - the entire PC architecture is predicated on a very large number of well-established standards, past and present: ISA, PCI, IDE, EIDE, SATA, USB, PS2, VGA, various memory chip standards, etc, etc... All of these standards mean that components can, with some rare exceptions, mix and match freely with nearly any PC device. Pluck a hard drive out of an alienware PC, and it's a good bet it will work just fine in a random Dell or HP computer.

And, although many here are probably loathe to admit it, when it comes to games, Windows-based operating systems are also a very important standard for PCs. The Windows OS, including it's DirectX components (or alternatives such as OpenGL / OpenAL) mean it's relatively simple for a developer to target a pretty wide range of machines, and not have to deal with the intricacies of supporting an astronomical number of possible configurations.

So, yes, nearly every PC is customized in some way, but by no means can you say there's nothing standard about PCs.

Games are just getting too expensive to produce, and it's just not economical to simply release your game exclusively for one platform. Even though it's still early for this generation, we're already seeing a large number of multiplatform games, and, unlike previous generations, the differences in the graphics on the different platforms is almost negligble.

At this rate, if two (or more) different platforms have nearly the same library, why not go the last step and just create a unified console? The developers would probably go for it - less work, more profit.
Games are getting more expensive to produce because of the vast amount of high-definition content required to fill them up. Porting a game engine to a specific platform is a large, one-time cost (plus maintenence, of course). Most of the time, content ports pretty well across similarly-specced systems. I don't think developing for a single platform will save you as much as you might imagine.

Anyhow, while I can't speak for other game developers, I certainly am not in favor of a single "standardized" console. I think this would tend to kill innovation and specialization even more than already is happening. I feel that competition in hardware design standards helps to keep the industry fresh and vital, and the current growth and success of the videogame market seems to support that position.

And, to be quite honest, the direct competition among the console makers is the best thing for developers too. Anytime a particular brand becomes too dominant, they invariably become an absolute pain in the arse to work with. I've seen this with Nintendo when they were domimant with the NES and GameBoy, then with Sony with the PSX and PS2. Oddly, it even works within company divisions the same way. Sony's PSP division is much easier to work with than the PS2 was, and it was far easier to work with Nintendo on a GameCube title than it was with a DS (haven't worked on a Wii product, so I can't say there).

If you think about it, just about every other electronics device we use only has one standard - like DVD. When multiple standards are introduced, it just makes a mess of the market, as illustrated by HD-DVD/Blu-Ray.
Current electronics technology is only standardized as far as supporting common media. You're talking about electronic devices that are simple content players. There's a pretty significant difference between standardizing simple media content delivery for audio and video than for something as complex as a modern computer game.

Anyhow, we can argue about the merits of this all day, but unless market forces push the industry to one platform (don't see it), or unless for some unfathomable reason some the Japansese, US, and EU governments all degree that we must adhere to the "one true game console standard", it's just not going to happen.

Re:Wow, sometime's 1UP has their heads up their as (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#18965223)

Although the content wouldn't have to be recreated, there are still significant differences in the architectures, drivers and APIs that would require some tweaking, no? I'll grant that it's become a lot easier to do a port over the years, but it's still not as simple as just recompiling for the different platform, and sending the result to manufacturing.

One of the complaints from the PS2/Xbox generation was that many of the games ported to the Xbox were done very hurriedly, without any extra optimization or effort to take advantage of the Xbox's hardware.

The PS2 had a few bad ports as well - such as Grandia2. The game looked superb on its native Dreamcast, but the same care wasn't taken when ported to the PS2 resulting in subpar performance and other issues.

Of course, these problems would go away with a unified platform and would also give developers more time - and incentive - to try to push the hardware to its maximum.

Re:Wow, sometime's 1UP has their heads up their as (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 7 years ago | (#18982185)

Market forces could if the cost of a "game box" continues to go up two times the previous price each launch cycle. Thinking long term (15+ years) I would hope we get to a point where there is simply one motherbrain in everyone's home that you access through different terminal points setup however you want (desk with a monitor and input devices (keyboard/mouse), a wall that is your monitor with a tv style remote (bonus if we get wifi from the brain working). all your content and games is on there, no need for seperate consoles. of course the way things are going it will be proprietary as all hell and your system wont work with mine. shit i just shattered my dream by reintroducing vendor lockin.

Plus the fact (2, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#18961383)

that there was a "standard" gaming platform in the past - it was called the 3D0.

It flopped for many reasons, but I think the primary one was that being a standard, no one hardware company was heavily invested into it, thus having it make or break the bank dependent on success. Usually the one who makes the hardware ensure killer games by making them in-house or licensing them.

At least get the name right (1)

LionMage (318500) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001543)

there was a "standard" gaming platform in the past - it was called the 3D0.

Actually, it's "3DO" and not "3D0" (the letter O and not the numeral zero). This is an incredibly common mistake, and no true partisan of the platform would have made such a mistake. :-)

As for the reasons for the 3DO's demise, there were many... The licensing structure was set up eventually to share some of the licensing fees with the hardware manufacturers, since they quickly realized that they weren't making money on the hardware. But that revenue sharing model wasn't in place early enough, which caused several of the initial hardware manufacturers to drop out -- some before their hardware made it to market. (AT&T was one of the companies that dropped out of the market before their hardware was even released.)

Eventually, LG dropped out and Matsushita (Panasonic) became the sole provider of 3DO hardware. They then bought the rights to the next generation 3DO chipset and architecture... and then sat on it instead of producing anything resembling a game system. By that point, the games were already drying up.

Another problem was the general quality of the software. The 3DO model lowered the barrier to entry to console development, but Trip Hawkins wasn't selective enough in giving out development licenses, and as a result, some truly awful games made it to market -- not just ports of old PC games, but some truly weak offerings that relied more on FMV than on gameplay.

Bwahahaha!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18960769)

And people wonder why no one comes to Slashdot to talk about console games anymore...

All part of the plan... (1)

Mursk (928595) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960851)

comes to the conclusion that this may be what Kutaragi wanted all along.

The article I read on this topic yesterday made mention of the fact that Kutaragi had wanted to retire at age 50 (i.e. 6 years ago). Assuming that's true, yeah, this isn't much of a shock...

or, just maybe, the ps3 launch has been horrible. (1)

mckwant (65143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960981)

I mean, really.
  • PS2 still has life in it. You can't look at Okami, GoW2, or RE4, and tell me there isn't plenty of room for gaming in this generation.
  • PS3 was obviously rushed to market. From my understanding, developers had about a week to get used to the SixAxis, and the first slate of games was shallow at best.
  • Nobody's passionate about HD-DVD v. BluRay, and cross-standard DVD players are already in the market.
  • Tacking on the BluRay drive achieves little, at least compared to including the CD player in the PS1 and DVD player in the PS2.
  • My understanding is that you need an HDTV to really get much out of the games, and HDTV penetration has been slow. We're probably past "early adopter," but not by much.
  • PS3 is overpriced, and the firstgen PS3 games aren't that much better looking than their Xbox 360 counterparts.
I'm not even going into the question of whether the games are "better" or "prettier." I mean, SOMEbody's going to take a fall for this.

Re:or, just maybe, the ps3 launch has been horribl (2, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18961833)

Nobody's passionate about HD-DVD v. BluRay,

Oddly, many people are passionate about HD-DVD versus BluRay, but few are passionate about HD-DVD OR BluRay. Subtle distinction?

Re:or, just maybe, the ps3 launch has been horribl (1)

mckwant (65143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18962425)

Point taken, and well put.

Re:or, just maybe, the ps3 launch has been horribl (1)

Doc Lazarus (1081525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18973063)

I'll second this. Plus nobody on either side has done much to make either format attractive to consumers outside of picture quality. If one of them started putting out TV shows by the season/more episodes per disc, then they might have better luck. Plus rumor has it that most of these releases don't even have the extras that the standard DVDs do. Real nice way to attract more people to a format: charge one and a half times more for something that has half the content. Right.

Ken's vision for PS4 (1, Insightful)

Krommenaas (726204) | more than 7 years ago | (#18962185)

Let me guess: even more horsepower and storage so all the exact same games can be remade once again with even better graphics? The Wii has killed off this stale 'vision', thankfully. I hope and fully expect that in the next generation, the console makers will try to outdo each other with innovative controller concepts - think live motion capturing.

Re:Ken's vision for PS4 (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18963399)

think live motion capturing.

Old news. [wikipedia.org]

What went wrong indeed... (1)

Ren.Tamek (898017) | more than 7 years ago | (#18962697)

What went wrong? Ken opened his mouth in public before he had any idea what he was going to say. Repetedly. The man is a walking PR nightmare.

Honestly, I think Eurogamers [eurogamer.net] take on it is far more even handed than 1ups, which is something I'm almost never able to say.

Thanks for the vision. (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#18963369)

Just as an aside, Sony is talking about the PS3 having a lifetime of 10 years, and even if we assume that the PS4 will be out a few years before that; how useful of a "vision" of the PS4 and/or the PS5 could a guy really have? More photorealistic graphics and a greater draw distance? Real destructable terrain? NPC's controlled with AI that doesn't suck? Those a pretty generic things, and are more about the general march of technology than any creative vision.

Beyond that, I fail to see what vision really went into the PS3? Shoving a new disc format into it to try and become the defacto format for movies? I guess you could make an argument that the Cell processor is sort of a shift. But beyond that, I don't see what the driving principles were for the PS3 beyond shove a bunch of expensive stuff into a box, hype it up, and hope that people buy it. You don't need someone special to provide that sort of visionary leadership.

PS9 (3, Funny)

revengebomber (1080189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18964517)

This is all really sad. Now we'll never see his vision of the Playstation 9 [youtube.com] become a reality.

The REAL question is... (1)

Vacardo (1048640) | more than 7 years ago | (#18965251)

When the PlayStation 10 is released, will it be referred to as the PSX and cause a rift in the space-time continuum??

"Team player" means... He has the Job and Ken dont (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18965323)

Ken was a team player right up until the team realized they were firing him cause PS3 wasnt doing well.

I'm sure Ken was a team player too...

Kutaragi has visions for PlayStations 4, 5, and 6 (1)

Nozsd (1080965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18968071)

Does he really? Maybe that's part of the problem. If you focus too hard on the future you lose your grip on what's happening right now.
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