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PlayStation 3: Everything We Know


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I have two really nice articles here just for you guys. Because I love you all... Yes, in that way. :wub:

First up:

PlayStation 3: Everything We Know

by Jake McNeill and Sam Kennedy 3.1.2006

It's easy to understand why many gamers still don't know what to make of the PlayStation 3. To this day, Sony still swears up and down that the PS3 will be released this spring, and yet here we are in March, and much about Sony's next-generation console remains a mystery. What will the system cost? How powerful will it be? What kind of online structure will it have? Some of the answers are still elusive, but little by little the picture is becoming clearer, and as the console's release approaches, it seems like a good time to regroup and look over what we know, what we can speculate, and what we can only guess about the PlayStation 3.

What follows is a summary of everything we know about Sony's machine, and our best guess at what we can expect to hear more about later this year.


Just posted the first part, in all it's like 8 pages long. It has a nice three or four page list of games at the end too. (Some wows/lols in there as well.)

See next post for second article; The Most Dangerous Game

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The Most Dangerous Game

Does Sony's PS3 strategy reek of confidence... or madness?

by Jeremy Parish 3.11.2006

The PlayStation 3 is shaping up to be one of the greatest mysteries of our times. Forget the Colonel's secret blend of eleven herbs and spices, how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, or who put the bop in the bop-shoo-wop-shoo-wop. The question keeping the world awake at night is, "What the hell is Sony playing at?"

The veil of mystery surrounding the PS3 is downright maddening, and a little worrying. Consider that by March 2000, the company had already set the PlayStation 2's October 26th release date in stone. Yet here in March 2006, Sony has only been willing to commit to a "spring 2006" launch for its latest console. Less than ten days from winter's end and gamers are left scraping together scraps of conflicting information trickling from the company's various divisions to try and get a sense of the bigger picture. Sure, it's worth the proverbial 1000 words, but they tend to be ones like "unclear," "uncertain," "vague," "contradictory," and "unlikely."

That's hardly the sort of thing to instill consumer confidence in a system that could retail for as much as $500 (or more?). Sony's computer entertainment division has been its strongest asset for years, and it would be no overstatement to say the company's future rests on the success of the PS3. So why the secrecy?

Skeptics are quick to suggest that it's borne of desperation. The PS3, they suggest, is hardly any more powerful than the Xbox 360, Kojima Productions' geriatric mullet-head notwithstanding. Maybe, they insinuate, Sony is having trouble finalizing the hardware, streamlining the manufacturing process, ensuring acceptable quality assurance results. Maybe the PS3 is doomed, they cackle.

Maybe. But far more likely is the possibility that Sony is simply incredibly confident in the PS3's infallibility. The PlayStation was a surprise success, and the PlayStation 2 steamrolled three impressive competitors. The home console industry practically belongs to Sony, and the company seems happy to let the power of the PlayStation brand name do its own marketing work. Why drop cash on a high-dollar ad blitz when eager fans are willing to build hype for PS3 with word of mouth, anticipation and rumors? Talk is cheap, but fanaticism is free.

On the surface, it would seem to be a sound strategy. After all, that's largely how PS2 trounced Dreamcast: gamers were so convinced that the PS2 would be a generational leap over Sega's early offering that they were willing to wait a year for the more expensive console. But if Sony's really hoping to make Dreamcast 2.0 a reality, now would be a very good time to change tactics. Relying on obfuscation and hype is only likely to work once, especially for gamers who believed tall promises about the PS2 Emotion Engine's ability to present the most impressive game worlds imaginable but actually received a system only moderately more powerful than the Dreamcast.

Not to mention the fact that for all of the 360's sometimes eerie similarities to Dreamcast, Microsoft today is in a vastly stronger position than Sega was six years ago. Where Dreamcast was the last gasp of a foundering hardware maker, 360 is the second generation of a carefully-planned effort by one of the world's most successful technology corporations. The original Xbox established itself as a strong brand, giving its successor an eager fanbase to build on -- a far cry from Sega's desperate drive to win back gamers alienated by the horribly mishandled 32X and Saturn.

Some gamers are holding out hope that Sony has the PS3 prepped and ready for an immediate launch as an E3 surprise. Which is a terrible idea. The Saturn's stealth release in 1995 played a major role in Sega's crushing defeat in the 32-bit race, and Sony surely has enough sense to realize that dropping such an expensive and complicated machine into the marketplace with no day-one third-party support would be disastrous. And at this point, key publishers appear to be just as in the dark as gamers, which is hardly a good sign.

[deleted image of the PS3]

The Internet has a term for Sony's Spring 2006 vow: "LOL."

So, is it desperation or arrogance that's keeping Sony quiet and gamers in the dark? Either way, it's hard to disregard a nagging sensation that Sony is putting itself in a situation awfully similar to where Nintendo was ten years ago. Once upon a time it was Nintendo who was reviled by publishers for its draconian third-party policies, who was criticized by its customers for over-promising and under-delivering on its hardware, who cockily stood atop the industry and expected its brand name to do its hard work for it. And ten years ago, Sony knocked Nintendo's standing in the console race from a strong first to a distant third.

Now Sony seems to be setting itself up for a similar fall. PS3's hardware is rumored to be too complicated for many developers to utilize to the fullest. Worse, the console exclusives that set PS1 and PS2 apart are slowly vanishing as publishers hope to maximize their returns on the rising cost of game creation by releasing key titles on multiple platforms. There's a very real danger that the PS3 could become Sony's N64 -- an impressive, but flawed machine plagued by eroding developer confidence and expensive proprietary media (in this case, BluRay). Even the PS3 unveiling campaign from last year's E3, "Welcome Change," smacks of Nintendo's "Change the System" ads from 1996.

Maybe the company's March 15th press event will have some connection to PS3. Failing that, maybe the PS3 master plan will finally be explained the following week at Game Developers Conference. But Sony needs to act soon. Time is slipping away, and with it any hope of fulfilling lofty PS3 launch promises.

Sony would be wise to study history; the console industry experiences a sea of change every decade. Atari more or less created the industry in the mid-70s, only to see its marketshare erode and give way to Nintendo in the mid-80s, who in turn fell behind Sony in the mid-90s. It's been a decade since then, and Microsoft seems a lot hungrier for victory than Sony these days. The 360 is proving to do just about everything right while Sony has offered nothing but cryptic promises.

PS3 may be about welcoming change, but at this rate there's a very real chance that the biggest change of all will involve who comes out ahead when the next-gen dust settles.

Discuss This Article!

*There are links to other news about this issue in the real article.

It's really nice to see somebody standing up and saying something about this mess. I and a lot of others have been feeling the same way for well over a year now. And with it being so close to PS3, Sony has done nor said anything to make us feel any better about how this is going.

Great article.

My favorite quote of the whole thing: The Internet has a term for Sony's Spring 2006 vow: "LOL."

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First of all, BIPEDAL MOVEMENT SIMULATION? Gee, thanks, I think that should be about as popular as "Wiping Your Own Ass Simulation."

Secondly, why didn't I get the memo that every single person interested in video games was supposed to found a company an make an "intriguing new FPS" or a "stellar-looking action game!"?

EDIT: Oh, and we'll call it "Project [insert Game Name Here]", because that's EDGY! Seriously, why hasn't EA started calling their games "Project Madden NFL 2007"?

Or maybe we'll make 50 million puzzle games, because that will appeal to a market of people who don't have time to set up a game of mahjong or buy a go set!

Anyway, on the actual subject, absolutely zero of those games listed made me want to even think about buying the system. So I don't really care if it does well. Sure, PS2 is probably my favorite system ever, but brand loyalty, when Sony is being so dumb, is just a bad idea.

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I have so many problems in mind witht he PS3 that I can't even make jokes.

  • Nevermind Meryl Flynchs questionable cost breakdown, we know it's going to be overpriced.
  • I also do not support the entirely unready and overpriced Bluray format that SCE is pushing on us.
  • I highly doubt SCE is actually committed to their new online system. Why? They ahd already announced that there would be no changes to the online structure and then went: "Oh shit! OURS SUCKS FUCKING DONKEY COCK"
  • Even if it is still a prototype, the design sucks ass and wastes too much space.
  • Shipping in two packs so peopel aren't required to buy the harddrive? Thanks a fucking lot. Now we know few developers will offer up real support for the damn thing.
  • Unnecessary features. Who the hell needs seven bluetooth enabled controlers or four TV's on one system?

Top it off witht he fact that SCE always makes shitty ass products where quality is concerned, and then consider that they're using an entirely new format and I'm willing to be tthe defect rate is up at 65%. Thanks, but I'll grab a 360 once Armored Core 4 is out, then I'll nab a Revolution on launch. All the meanwhile laughing at PS3 fans who can't afford their damn system.

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I'm not big into this PS3 crap either, but I may have to get one if Capcom doesn't decide to release Resident Evil 5 on Revolution. Also, what is up with this crap about Gradius VI being on "indefinate hold?" That could easily be PS3's best game. But oh well, I guess the next-gen hype bullshit doesn't permit for any 2D games.

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I like Sony's idea to not abruptly stop the PS2 and instead slowly phase it out over 2007 and maybe even 2008. Nintendo is doing exactly the same with the Revolution. That way, they don't take the hit it looks like Microsoft is taking with the 360's so far lackluster launch by having things on their old console. Like God of War 2 just got announced for the PS2 and it likely won't be out until after the PS3 is out.

This trend I hope stays.

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I don't like the PC serial code-esque style they may be taking with their games. Supposedly you'll only be able to play a PS3 game on your PS3, making trading in and buying used games impossible.

I think that's both Sony and other game developers together. We've all seen first-hand what happens when a game becomes rare, we go and look for it used and will do anything to find it. The game developers are obviously trying to reap the benefits of this by controlling when people can actually get the game, essentially re-releases will be much more common.

Of course, so will the buying of a game and not playing it in hopes it will become rare.

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I think that's both Sony and other game developers together. We've all seen first-hand what happens when a game becomes rare, we go and look for it used and will do anything to find it. The game developers are obviously trying to reap the benefits of this by controlling when people can actually get the game, essentially re-releases will be much more common.

Of course, so will the buying of a game and not playing it in hopes it will become rare.

I'm pretty sure they just want the money they don't recieve when customers chose to purchase used games. Obviously they're not rich enough.

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Mod chip?

Have you ever installed a mod chip in a PS2 or X-box? It's fracking hard. I expect it to be impossible in this coming generation. And considering no one has one working on the 360, I'm thinking that's the case.

Not to mention there would be no point. It's going to cost a few hundred dollars to get a blu-ray burner for the PS3.

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