Archive for December, 2005
Unfortunately for all of us this site is a one-man show, and when that one man is off on holidays, there won’t be much happening. Sorry about that. This site came into existence this year, and I’ve had a blast doing it. I have a feeling it’ll be even more fun next year, once the PS3 is released especially. Look for some exciting things to come in January both from Sony and from me! Don’t forget about me, I’ll be back!
Battling perceptions that the PS3′s RSX graphics chip is weaker than the 360′s Xenon, and that the Cell processor isn’t suited to games, a poster over at datafuse.net had some great insights to share.
For example, when the Xenon’s unified shader architecture was mentioned as superior to the RSX’s more traditional architecture:
Unified shaders do not necessarily provide any more power. It’s just a new way to arrange power. In terms of raw horsepower, RSX beats Xenos quite handily – floating point power is greater, shader ops are higher, it’s clocked faster, higher fillrate etc. Xenos’s claim to fame is that while it has less of a punch, it should be used more efficiently, but in a closed box such as a console, such concerns are somewhat mitigated since a dev can hunker down and get the best out of ANY chip. Xenos is also the first implementation of a new architecture – not always a good thing, and we’ve seen suggestions of some sacrifices on the part of devs.
And on the Cell processor, when people said it wasn’t suited to games:
Pure nonsense. This guy has obviously not been paying attention to IBM’s work with raytracing and rendering on Cell for example (or The Getaway demo which was apparently rendered only using Cell) and too much time reading Major Nelson-style ramblings. If you simply listen to what developers are saying they are using more CPU power for, Cell starts looking exceptionally suited for games. Most devs seem to be using extra cores for physics, animation, particle systems, graphics, audio, fluid/hair/cloth dynamics – these are the things which are most compute intensive, and these are the things the SPUs in Cell are really good at. As good, if not better than a conventional core, and there are 7 of them there in addition to the PPE. If you don’t believe me, look up Tim Sweeney’s comments about Cell on anandtech.com – basically he says that the things SPUs aren’t suited toward only take a small proportion of execution time anyway, and can be easily accomodated on the PPE. Or Crytek’s comments about potentially achieving a linear speedup across the SPUs. Cell is a clear and large advantage for PS3 when it comes to games, there’s no doubt in my mind.
Now of course you can throw a dart in a room full of gamers and hit 17 opinions, but I still like to see people standing up for the PS3 with all the 360 hype floating over the airwaves these days.
In a conference call with analysts (or whatever), EA revealed a few interesting pieces of information.
Jenson then specifically cited the Xbox 360 launch, although commenting that “it’s gone extremely well: in North America and Europe”, he indicated that he and his colleagues “don’t see [the Xbox 360] getting to the installed base numbers we expected.” So even though it’s going extremely well, at the same time it’s not going as well as expected. Hmmm…..
he mentioned the consumer belief that the PlayStation 3 may be launching in Spring 2006, noting that it’s “causing some people to stay on the sidelines”, even though EA believes that a second-half 2006 launch is much more likely for the console in America. Well, I don’t know what consumers he’s talking to, but I mostly hear that people think it’ll launch in Japan in the spring and fall in North America. And then people hope they’re wrong.
Recently we’ve heard a bit about what Japanese developer AQ Interactive has in mind when it comes to the PlayStation 3.
Details were very sketchy, to say the least:
As for next-gen formats, two cross-platform games for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 were announced: Bullet Witch and Vampire’s Rain.
Finally, AQ hinted at another PlayStation 3 title, but would not give any details
Well, there you have it! Don’t forget to check out PS3Blog.net for all the breaking news! Even if it’s just two sentences.
Here are ten things I hate about the PS3. (Yeah, I know, some of them are a little far fetched. But I wanted to get up to 10 this time, unlike my 8 Things to Know about the PS3.)
- HDD not for savegames. Mr. Kutaragi has said that the add-on HDD for the PS3 would be used for media storage and the like. Not for savegames. That’s retarded.
- No built-in HDD in every PS3. One of the greatest things about the Xbox was that developers could count on the existence of an HDD. This is no longer the case, and the Xbox 360 has lost one of the major advantages that the original had. Sony had a chance to take over that advantage, but it seems they’re not taking it. There’s always a chance Sony will change their mind, but right now it doesn’t look like it.
- No triggers on controller. One of the great things about playing racing games at my friend’s place is that his Xbox controllers have triggers. We don’t have them on the PS3 (AFAIK). I want them!
- No PS2 memory card reader. How do I port my savegames from the PS2 to the PS3? I don’t have a PSP to transfer them (if indeed that turns out to be a valid method to do so). Hopefully I can connect a USB cable between the two and they can do a mind meld.
- No 802.11a. Sure, the PS3 supports 802.11b/g wireless networking out of the box with no additional adapters required (*cough*Xbox 360*cough*). But what about 802.11a support?
- Too many unkowns. We don’t know its launch date or territories yet.
- Cell speed. The Cell processor was originally supposed to come out at 4GHz. They’ve since scaled it back to 3.2GHz. Man, it would be nice to have an extra 25% speed boost.
- No PGR3. I make no bones about it. The PGR series of games are my favourite racing games. And PGR3 is an Xbox 360 exclusive. (Just like the previous two PGR games were Xbox exclusives.) It only makes me feel a little better that PGR3 is only two player and has much fewer locales than PGR2.
- Controller looks kinda dumb. I put this one near the end because it’s not that big a deal. But the controller does look a little weird. But in the end, if it works just as well or better than the previous one, I’ll be happy.
- The PS3 is too good to think of 10 things. I really wanted to make this list reach ten, but I just couldn’t do it.
Since I couldn’t think up #10, maybe someone else could help me out…
So far suggestions for #10 have been:
- No unified online service. Personally I don’t care, but I know a lot of people do, so…
- It looks like a breadbin. I think it looks nice!