Monday, April 10, 2006

PSM Bites the hand that feeds?

Issue 110, May 2006, pgs. 24-28
My headline is a bit misleading, but they are actually covering "Playstation Blunders". I'll cover what I find important.

I didn't know this, but apparently the first version of the PSX had an overheating problem (if not ventilated properly). Sony re-arranged the internals and claimed it was a "cost saving hardware redesign". Cute.

Massive PS2 shortages? Sounds like the Xbox 360. 1/3 of the promised PS2s were shipped. Good job Sony. Although I think they won't meet the promised shipping numbers with the PS3, I'll give them credit this time and say they can do better then 1/3 this time.

"The PS2 Hard Disk Disaster." I wouldn't call it a disaster, I would just call it a waste of time and money. The PS2 HDD was needed for one game, and was barely supported by a handful of others. HDD capability wasn't even natively provided by the new slimline PS2. Sadly enough, a gamer only gets a good use out of the hard drive if they buy a non-supported program to rip game discs to their hard drive. This reduces loading times. There are uses if your PS2 is modded, but we won't go there. Good job on wasting our time Sony.


Issue 110, May 2006, pgs. 10-11

This article is an interesting, but disturbing read. Interesting because the features sound nice, but disturbing because it further reinforces that the PS3 will be less of a standard gaming device like the PSP. Too many unnecessary features.

Playstation World

"Sony...plans to make the system a hub for your gaming life." What the hell does that mean? "Lifestyle servers?" Come on. They are suggesting that the PS3 will be on all the time so it can provide your buddies with a blog or bulletin board hosted on the console. Then the user can record video journals or game performances and then share them.


Before we go WTF, streaming video, audio, photos, and game saves to the PSP from the PS3 could be useful. Setting up TiVo-like settings remotely with the PSP would be interesting, too. I support that. But they also claim that the PS3 can stream these things to the PSP which is anywhere in the world. That would require more bandwidth and reliability than can be offered via 802.11b on the PSP. Going through the internet could make video either unwatchable or at an extremely low resolution. Audio quality would suck. Photos don't really "stream" so those would be okay.

All of this sounds great albeit overkill. But the only people that will use all of these features will be tech-heads such as myself. The common consumer will find little interest or little confidence in their ability to make use of all these dollar-consuming features (we pay for it in the PS3's price, whether we want the features or not). Some of us will never buy a what good will all those features do us?

So now we'll need a $500 PS3 and a $200 PSP. Sony is making this really expensive. Bluray discs aren't going to help PS3 game prices either. Maybe they think all of us will drown in their supposed technical wonder. But for games, the PS3 isn't sounding like a good value for the money. Too much fluff and not enough stuff.

The Revolution will provide a lot of current and classic gaming for $200-$250. The $300-400 Xbox 360 centers around gaming and an excellent gaming network, not a multitude of hub-bub features.

With all the features the PS3 is supposed to have, it's difficult to believe they could sell it for under $500. People say a higher price would be suicide, but Sony can't afford losses like Microsoft. To those who are paying attention to the whole picture, it seems like Sony may be taking the wrong risks with this console.

What seems to becoming more clear, is that although all the console makers are competing, they are all taking different paths (which is good). Nintendo is trying to focus on revitalizing the industry by providing new ways to game, while still providing a catalog of their gaming history. Microsoft is providing an excellent network for gamers worldwide to play together with games old and new. Sony is pushing their new technologies and combining features, but seem to be leaving gaming as an afterthought.

This is going to be an interesting year.


Post a Comment

<< Home