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  1. #1
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    PlayStation 3: Are we there yet?

    I saw this on Eurogamer and thought you

    "The next generation doesn't start until we say it does," says Kaz Hirai. Then again, Sony's E3 conference didn't start when it said it did, so who's counting?

    A year ago, Sony stood up in front of the world and outlined a console more powerful than any other, with more forward-thinking technology than any other, and with more big-name games than any other. This year, it did practically the opposite. Gone was the extended technology sermon; instead Hirai name-checked Cell, Blu-ray and RSX to a crowd quite convinced the PS3 was much the same as Xbox 360. Gone was a lot of the forward-thinking technology; ports were shorn from the back of the console, while the new PS3 pad felt like another back-of-the-beermat special from Ken Kutaragi angling after a market Nintendo's had in mind for several years. And while the big-name games were still there, few if any felt close enough to matter.

    AdvertisementStill, at least it's more expensive than the others, right?

    The addition of motion-sensing to the new controller was one of the big stories. Using the traditional twin-stick Dual Shock design, with slight changes to the analogue sticks and a pair of analogue triggers, it's wireless, like Xbox 360's, and developers told us it lasts about ten hours between charges. A lot of people reacted to the addition of motion sensing by complaining it was very "me too" - Ubisoft Montreal's boss used those exact words - while virtually every developer we spoke to during E3 claimed to have no prior knowledge of it. But while motion sensing has the potential to pay dividends as a differentiator, a more likely result is that third-party publishers will use it as an excuse to co-develop boutique titles for PS3 and Wii, playing to the lowest denominator, the gyroscopic PS3, rather than the more impressive range offered by Wii. Cheers, Sony.

    But while the motion-sensor was a jarring addition for some at the time, the loss of rumble functionality is likely to be more keenly felt - or rather not. And that could help drive gamers already enticed by Xbox 360's Achievement system towards multi-platform titles on 360. Precisely what Sony was hoping to avoid this time. Can you imagine SEGA Rally without rumble? Gran Turismo HD felt quite flat without it.

    Confusion over technical specifications wasn't merely limited to the loss of rumble, either. The fact that you can use a regular hard disk in the PS3, and therefore save yourself the additional cost Sony's levying on the larger capacity, is better than having to make do without, ala the Xbox 360 Core System. It's not the same kind of dual price strategy. And the loss of Memory Stick ports might not grate too much either. But the loss of HDMI is a PR blunder of considerable proportions, and Kaz Hirai's defence of the cut-down 20GB PS3 model on CNN/Money was slightly comical. "The only difference is HDMI - and at this point, I don't think many people's TVs have that," he said. Not many have 1080p either, Kaz - at least try to sound consistent.

    In the last 12 months, a lot of what was said at E3 2005 has been exposed as hot air - not least the unconvincing claims that PS3 game footage was running in real time. But the full extent of what's changed only became clear last week. Where are all the ports on the back of the PS3? Last year's prototype had about a dozen of the blighters. This one had three - with no mention of the dual 1080p output resolution everyone thought was preposterous anyway. Allowing players to look at their F1 car wing-mirror on PSP is hardly the same thing. Meanwhile, digital video content came up in just one passing comment, there was little sign of the impressive multi-panel stuff we saw last year (supposedly one of Cell's key strengths), and on the software front there was no sign of Devil May Cry, MotorStorm, Killzone and others.

    The software showcase that-was lacked real gravity - at the conference and at the show. When you compare Sony's E3 2006 line-up, six months out from launch, to Microsoft's E3 2005 line-up six months out from its own, the comparison's a bit more flattering - but who's going to do that? As it stands, Heavenly Sword certainly impressed and WarHawk was promising - albeit largely in concept form - while a host of others provoked more raised eyebrows than pulse-rates. MotorStorm belatedly made it onto the Sony show stand in tech demo format, and Resistance: Fall of Man received some positive write-ups, but demos of games like Eye of Judgement fell a bit flat. Gran Turismo HD certainly ran in 1080p at 60 frames per second, but then it used GT4 assets. Bundle it with the system and people will fawn for a bit, then complain about the lack of rumble, the lack of new content, and the lack of assets to rival those in PGR3, which will have been out for a full year by that point. As it is, we've no idea of GT HD's fate. We may never see it again.

    With second and third wave 360 titles to face this Christmas, Sony can't afford to be complacent. A surprise Final Fantasy XIII, Metal Gear Solid or Gran Turismo launch announcement would settle nerves a bit, but otherwise an as-yet unconfirmed line-up known only to include SingStar and Fatal Inertia may have to face the likes of Forza Motorsport 2 and Gears of War on a mature 360 system - likely to have seen software revisions to cope with a heaving Live Marketplace, boasting downloadable Live Arcade games from Japan as well as Western independent developers, and a 12-month catalogue of software that already includes the likes of PGR3 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Most Sony developers we spoke to refused to commit to launch, or even near it, while WarHawk developer Incognito wouldn't either - suggesting that Sony may have a motion-sensing PS3 pad in every PS3 box, but that there won't actually be any games to use it. It's like a third analogue stick in some ways. Right now it's a bit like a third wheel.

    With Wii likely to launch at a fraction of the PS3 price, with Metroid and Zelda proposed for launch and Mario a potential latecomer, punters considering their next-gen options may reconsider their PS3 fund's purpose - particularly given that 360 will now host both Halo 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV as soon as they come out. Given the gap between launches, that's likely to have a bearing on how the mass market, at least, greets the next generation. Another round of "target footage", from the likes of Getaway, Eight Days and Naughty Dog's unnamed platform shooter, is not.

    Finally, the price - greeted by polite applause. From an industry perspective, the price is fine. Sony will sell out the launch allocation at a high price. It worked for PS2 and PSP. But just as GTAIV appearing on PS3 and 360 simultaneously will weigh on the minds of casual gamers - most of whom probably fancy a go on Halo 3 as well - Sony's latest shameless tax on enthusiasm is likely to weigh on the minds of us. We buy every single console when it comes out. You're probably the same. But EUR 600 - even EUR 500 - is more than we're used to paying. The arguments need to be made in games, not with Blu-ray, Cell and RSX. Surely you can only cry "Emotion Engine" once?

    As for Blu-ray - we're still wondering whether anybody actually wants it. As one colleague put it, when DVD showed up we were sick of VHS. We're not sick of DVD, whatever the benefits of Blu-ray. Nor, in an era where Sony itself is angling toward digital distribution, does anybody particularly care about improved storage capacity on first-gen titles. When games are big enough to fill Blu-ray discs, surely broadband pipes will be big enough to fit them too?

    A lot of people in the days following Sony's conference remarked that it had positioned itself as the 90s Microsoft of the games industry. Where Microsoft is slowly starting to convince people that it wants them to have fun just as much as it wants to make money from games, Sony has gone from peering out over everyone at once with a puffed out chest to standing alone in front of a crowd of angry faces on a giant podium marked "diktat". And some of us are getting revolutionary feelings.

    Granted, it's much too early to start talking about what will happen at Christmas - with crucial details like PS3 launch line-up, digital download pricing, game pricing and Nintendo's plans to come. But where Microsoft reacted to the criticism of its actions last year, Sony hasn't. Unless you reckon they borrowed the pad idea from Nintendo's TGS and the pricing from Microsoft, of course. There were certainly good things to come out of Sony's conference - a firm launch date, a promise to deliver six million units by next April, some sensible revisions to the pad, that reassertion of full backwards-compatibility and a free online service, Singstar the way we all wanted it in the first place, from day one, and games that look healthier six months out than Microsoft's did at the comparable point. But the tenor of Sony's conference was still quite bleak - and the sense was that it did more harm than good. Kaz Hirai can bluster all he wants, but you can't move the goalposts if you're not on the field.
    (Article)by Tom Bramwell
    17/05/2006 13:24
    Link: http://eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=64797

    "Xbox is about to become the next water cooler”

  2. #2
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    Nice read, Sony has indeed a lot of work to do, but the good thing is, they have still 6 months to do it .

  3. #3
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    I hope that the Playstation 3 and Sony can live up to the Xbox 360 and Microsoft. It may be tough competition but in time, everything will be alright.
    ...
    *starts listening to the "Don't Worry, Be Happy" song; mimicks the lyrics*

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    Items Final Fantasy VFinal Fantasy IV
    I think what's most telling about this is the unanimous feelings of the posters over on Eurogamer. Offtopic: TGO you'd probably get a lot more people to respond if you change the title to something like 'Eurogamer Responds to Sony's E3 Showing,' so people can know what they're clicking beforehand.


    Currently playing? Skyrim (360). White Knight Chronicles (PS3). Majoras Mask (Wii). Final Fanasy VII (PS2). Just completed? Final Fantasy VI.

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    I'm thinking it will be delayed again.

  6. #6
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    Just wait for TGS and things should be solved by then. Patience young one, Patience.

  7. #7
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    Pretty stern talk. It seems to contradict their opinions of the games during the show itself, but they're certainly not impressed.
    It's quite clear from most people's thinking (here and elsewhere) that Sony have a lot of winning over to do at TGS. As it stands they really are relying on the early adopters to carry them through the first 3-6 months, but they really need to show the public that the PS3 warrants the short term cost.
    I have to admit it amazes me that so little of the actual features of the PS3 were shown to the public; what Sony should have done was let the game developers flaunt their games, and spent their own time really selling the rest of the system to show that even without games the PS3 is a tasty piece of kit.
    As it is I'm not really entirely sure what Sony themselves really did at E3 past the conference. We saw some bits and pieces about the OS and the browser, but we saw very little of the PSP interactivity; they also said that at no cost to us they were offering "an online service beyond just gaming", which I take to mean that gaming itself is also free. However they really need to confirm that in a very precise and succinct manner to flush any negative rumours down the pan.
    The public need proof that Blu-ray is necessary (which I guess will only really come the long way, rather than from a showing at a conference); most of all they just need to know that, for all the features etc, they're going to be getting the best games. Metal Gear Solid 4 and FFXIII looked fantastic, Heavenly Sword was beautiful and in many respects Warhawk and Resistance looked very nice. However, Warhawk and Resistance looked like higher end X360 games due out for November, not like omgwtfbbq E3 2005 trailers, and that's what has come back and bitten Sony on the backside.
    Eurogamer were wrong to think that Warhawk will be the only game using tilt controls at the start, and they're also wrong to think that Wii games will suffer (how on Earth can they believe that?? The controllers aren't really cross compatible so companies will treat Wii singularly, and maybe port some ideas to PS3, rather than the other way round).
    If Sony had shown something to prove that they really had something unique in the making, then all this press negativity and grumbling on the boards would have been subdued to some extent. I'm sure Sony will pick things up again at TGS but in the meantime they really need to clear up a lot of uncertainties, elaborate on what comes with the system, and show the PS3 doing something that no other games console can. Make peoples' jaws drop like they did in 2005 and haven't really done since.

    I'm still by no means convinced that MS had a great E3 from their own performances. If you factor in the slating Sony have received then they've had a very good conference, but it was not really their own doing. Conversely, Ninty had a grand E3, benefitting from Sony's stance while demonstrating that their own console will deliver a unique sense of fun.

    As things currently stand I still definitely intend to buy a PS3, but I'm not going to pre-order. I'll wait till some of the finer details are revealed and more polished versions of the launch games are displayed. Then I'll decide on whether to try and get one at launch or whether to hold off till after Christmas. One of the biggest problems with the price is that buying at launch is a far bigger gamble. Even if the Wii flops at least buying a Wii is no real loss of money - not least because I have already seen at E3 that it will be good fun.

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    Exactly. Sony, only showed little, announced the price, and expected people to start saving when they hardly know about the thing. There still alot of unanswered questions. I really hope they take the feedback seriously, and come up with a strategy for TGS. At TGS or their own special event, they must show off all the media capabilities for the PS3, why we need Blu-Ray, cool looking fun playable games, and hold a special conference that talks about everything. If sony f+*ks up at TGS and leaves more people disappointed, people will not feel the price is worth it and buy a Wii. However, if the games only use the Wii for just controls and not as a new way to play, it will be seen as a gimmick like the DS. No offence to all DS owners(I owned one myself), but the games use the touch screen in a nonconstuctive way. Some use the arrow keys and not all games really use it. It sometimes leads to unslick gameplay that can get annoying or boring. But, if Sony comes with a strong campaign, really amazing games, and alot of hype, then they might win some people over. I am in a doubtful state right now. I feel as if the Sony has set their standards too high and were getting too $#@!y. They are not going to get away with it like the PS2 where they showed lackluster games compared to the Dreamcast with really boring gameplay. The only thing that kept people with PS2 was the expected games, the brand, it being successor to the PS1(One of the most popular systems in history), it being a cheap DVD player, and the hype and wow effect that people created. Sony better listen, pull their heads out of their dream world, and give what people want to see when they want to and stop doing things that only Sony wants to do it. Sure their fanbase is very loyal(trust me I know many people who hate the 360 because the mention of PS3 coming WTF), but they are not frikkan robots that will adapt to anything that they plan to do. I really hope Sony knows what they are doing and are not pulling a PS2 buy wooing us with claims and prerendered movies or tricks in graphics.
    Resistance 2, KillZone 2, WarDevil, MGS4, God Of War 3, Final Fantasu XIII, White Knight Chronicles, Gran Turismo 5, and a alot more, how can 2008 not be the PS3's year.

  9. #9
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    I was nearly 100% certain that Sony was going to steal E3 this year. Instead they caused chaos with the pricing announcement, showed a graphical mixed bag of games, and the execs caused lots of confusion about the hardware. I agree with a lot of the criticism in this article, and hopefully they're listening to the online community in order to have a better showing at TGS.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hc2
    I'm thinking it will be delayed again.
    I doubt that it will be delayed again becasue if they do you know how bad it will be?
    Sol-lekz ak.a Shotty to ya Body


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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleman
    I was nearly 100% certain that Sony was going to steal E3 this year. Instead they caused chaos with the pricing announcement, showed a graphical mixed bag of games, and the execs caused lots of confusion about the hardware. I agree with a lot of the criticism in this article, and hopefully they're listening to the online community in order to have a better showing at TGS.
    Yeah, but think about it, it was smart to say the price at this E3, because the earlier they say it, the more time they have to get it off their chests. Imagine if they announced it right before the ps3 launched!

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    As I said, I think the PS3 is capable of so much more. Not just down to hype but from what I've actually seen running, from all the stuff they've crammed in, from what the dev's have said. I just think that somewhere along the line, Sony ballsed E3 right up. You could say "well they showed real games, that's what everyone wanted, right?" Well yes, but I for one would really like to see more publicity and real-time demonstration given to the likes of Lair, I'd like to see a firm stance of some sort on Assassin's Creed, and I'd like to see the makers of Motorstorm/Fatal Intertia also show a version of what their game will look like when it's actually finished (a revised trailer, if you will ). We can't really look at nearly every game and have to say "well it's 50% finished, it'll look amazing in the end". Just prove it to us.

    As I already said I'm still on course for buying a PS3 within 6 months of launch simply because I won't get MGS, FFXIII, "Ico 3", God of War, Heavenly Sword etc anywhere else. I don't need encouraging though - it's the masses who have two healthy alternatives who need convincing. I really believe the PS3 could have really sold itself, and will doubtless impress people when they finally get their hands on a retail version. It just didn't seem like Sony spent enough time doing their homework to really show off the machine. Even MS execs seemed to spend a lot of E3 talking about the PS3 (negatively of course), but yet Sony didn't talk about it enough.

    Following the way the PS3 stuck a cucumber down its' pants at E3 05 and made the X360 look inadequate, I can't help but feel that in the inevitable backlash there's been a smear campaign against the PS3, and that it is as much Sony's fault as it is that of MS and their followers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleman
    I was nearly 100% certain that Sony was going to steal E3 this year. Instead they caused chaos with the pricing announcement, showed a graphical mixed bag of games, and the execs caused lots of confusion about the hardware. I agree with a lot of the criticism in this article, and hopefully they're listening to the online community in order to have a better showing at TGS.
    From all teh pre-E3 rumours it was looking like Sony wasn't even going to show playable demos. I was expecting the worse. In the end on balance it wasn't a terrible showing, just now a fantastic one.

    There is a theory that its good of them to get out all the bad news now, early prior to TGS on the brink of the launch. 6 months is a long time in the gaming world. Now I read about rumours of Sony teleconferences with dealers stating 3 million units at launch instead of the 2 million (all rumour of course). I wonder if they are being conservative on the numbers they'll launch with. I also wonder if this pricing strategy was to test the waters, basically how much can they get away with. It will be interesting to see if the pricing of the SKU's remain the same.

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    I think they announced the price now so they can all out at TGS and make everyone's jaw drop with eye-popping graphics and the AAA games without deflating people by announcing the price.
    What happened to while watching the conference was tht i was so amazed by the ff13 trailer, the mgs trailer, lair etc but the price kind of deflated me. at tgs everyone will know the price and, since it is closer to launch, the games shown will be fresh in peoples minds.
    At least thats what i hope... fingers crossed!
    Torn between getting a UK or US PS3 - decisions, decisions....

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    Ugggggghhhh ......
    What do I care, I was impressed so i'll just sit back and enjoy the ride, take a chill pill people........

    PNP Name: canks - Add Me

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    Well the only thing that Sony has to do is showcase amazing playable games, showcase the media capabilities, showcase Blu-Ray, and release as much PS3 info as powerful so people will know why it is $600.
    Resistance 2, KillZone 2, WarDevil, MGS4, God Of War 3, Final Fantasu XIII, White Knight Chronicles, Gran Turismo 5, and a alot more, how can 2008 not be the PS3's year.

  17. #17
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    PS3 definetly has the best value out of the three systems if you ask me. $600 is a lot for just a game machine, but PS3 isn't just a game machine like Sony always says. It has a HD movie player already inside and online gaming is free. Also the hardrive is three times larger than the 360's and it supports higher HD resolutions. Most importantly it's the most powerful system by a good amount. You'll find that out in due time...due time....

  18. #18
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    TGS like I said is their true comming out party, things will be near launch and the Japanese devs will show their hand. Lastly, they need to be more clear, no vaguery BS

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShinMaruku
    TGS like I said is their true comming out party, things will be near launch and the Japanese devs will show their hand. Lastly, they need to be more clear, no vaguery BS
    True, you have to remember, Sony is a Japanese company. They're first market is Japan. So alot of their huge devos (developments) are going to be there. Its no surprise really. We got tastes of things to come...FFXIII, MGS4 and some others, but not seeing DMC4. It will more tha likely make an appearance at TGS in September
    "Edward is very busy. Come back later!"

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    This is all anti sony. He staes many true things but doesn't seem to mention all the problems the 360 and Wii have. I'm sick of all these anti PS3 articles.

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    If you read it, it's a summary of Sony's performance. Eurogamer is a very good site, they aren't biased - they just don't always say what you want to hear.

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    The arguments need to be made in games, not with Blu-ray, Cell and RSX. Surely you can only cry "Emotion Engine" once?
    This line made it for me, not terrible correct but it gets the point across.

    Great article definitely points out most of peoples fears and worries about the system at the moment, I concerned about the points they have listed.

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    [live] ModNation speeds past 1.1M user creations, YouTube ch

    When Sony and United Front Games released ModNation Racers, both companies were hoping it would attract a similar following to Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet. For now, that’s yet to be seen, but the kart racer did cross one milestone recently – since its release, the community has created and published more than 1.1 million unique creations.

    Those creations include tracks, karts, and mods, equal to roughly 633 creations published per hour, or 15,000 a day. ModNation Racers, like LBP, routinely gets new content from the developer in addition to user created content. Plus, with a recent patch dedicated to reducing load times, it’s clear United Front Games wants to keep the community happy and busy playing ModNation.

    Today is also the official launch of the ModNation Racers Channel on YouTube. You can head over to the channel to see the most creative tracks, mods and karts. You’ll have to submit your videos and pictures to ModNation@Playstation.Sony.com for approval. For the launch of the channel, Sony and United Front are hosting a YouTube track contest. Simply submit a video or picture of you best track for a chance to win various prizes. Hit up the ModNation Community site for further details.

    Source

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