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Ballmer Blows Hot Air (Again) |

When I see article titles like “Sony has no strategy for an online service – Ballmer” I just have to respond. Everyone is always on Sony’s back for making claims that end up being no more than vapour. (Personally, I think that Sony has been rather restrained this time around compared to the PS2 launch.) But what about Microsoft’s posturings?

In this article, Ballmer says “Sony has no strategy for an online service.” That statement is so ludicrous, I can hardly keep a straight face typing this. Maybe Sony doesn’t have plans for a centralized online service, but they certainly do have online service plans, and Ballmer knows it.

But that’s not all!

Then Ballmer claims that the Xbox 360 launch was “phenomenal”. This is the launch where people couldn’t sell their souls to get an Xbox 360. It is perpetual short supply. It actually sold less in the opening week in Japan than the original Xbox did! And didn’t Microsoft recently have to downgrade expectations for sales in the first three months?

Okay, okay. I guess all this can be considered part of the gamesmanship that happens when two large companies battle it out. But why does everyone give Sony flak for this when Microsoft does the same?

Eurogamer – Sony has no strategy for an online service

PS Before you say it, I’ll do it for you. At least one person will reply to this post saying “I totally dug your site up until this post, which was stupid”. I always get comments like that when I post anti-Microsoft stuff. Guess what? I don’t care!

  • Tomas

    You are so right 🙂

  • Black Guy

    Is that statement really so ludicrous? iMight be cuz Ballmer more than likely doesn’t know 4 sure. But do u know for a FACT that Sony does have online plans? I’m not talking about the PS2-esque setup which required the developer to host their own services, but something “more substantial.” Of course u don’t.

    And before u say it, I’ll do it for you. At least one person will reply to this post saying “They know of or heard from some industry insider or have a link to a article about Sony’s online plans (or any other plans for that matter)”. I always get comments like that when I post anti-Sony stuff. Guess what? Until u know & have credible evidence, maybe u should care!

    Maybe u shouldn’t bash Ballmer’s comments so hard. Have u forgotten about Ken’s equally ludicrous & even more ridiculously incongruous claims regarding the PS3’s supposed performace capabilities. Let me remind u of one: PS3 will be able to do 120fps in 1080p… Come on man, really. My boy got a $5,000 PC rig w/ features & customization for days & it cannot consistantly attain 120fps in high res w/ all the graphical features enabled in all current games. PS3 will be powerful, but it ain’t $5,000 powerful.

    So a 120fps on a PS3? Running what? Quake 1? Lets be totally gullible and believe the PS hype machine for just a moment. Can a human even process video images at 120fps? Better yet, do they even have or can afford a TV that run in 1080p? Assuming a human does have a 1080p TV and could process 120fps, can they react fast enough to properly play a game running that fast? If they can, they must be decendants of a mutants and just like in the comics, the population is very low relative to ppl w/ normal eyes and reaction times.

    1080p are beyond the average person price range, 720p or 1080i looks just fine to most if not just as good as 1080p, so chances are they probably don’t have a 1080p capable tv nor will take out a mortgage to pay for 2 so they can use the PS3 multiple outputs… heck, even 1

    How can u Talk head about MS while u’r camp saying the stupidest things in the history of mankind? Double standards iGuess.

  • observer

    Clearly, Ballmer is hyping up his company’s products and insulting the competition. His remarks are heavily biased, highly exagerated, and are intended to sway opinion. Given his position, that’s really not surprising. Companies do that kind of stuff all the time. You really didn’t expect him to make a totally fair and balanced comment, did you?

    What I find somewhat surprising and annoying is that the large majority of tech news and commentary sites, seem to take a biased Microsoft comment like that at face value and cheer them on, and when Sony makes a similarly biased comment, they viciously attack and criticize it.

    BTW, PS2 had an online strategy, PSP has much more online capabilities than the PS2, and it’s pretty safe to assume that PS3 will have even more. It’s pretty safe to dismiss remarks of Sony having absolutely “no online strategy” as nonsense.

  • observer: You could have written this post for me!

  • Black Guy

    Paragraph 1: Agreed and I’ve made that point many times about Sony.

    Paragraph 2: Same can be said about the other side. But iThink Sony may get more flack because they’r known for not delivering on their claims and now they’re laying it on thick w/ the PS3 but haven’t presented anything to back it up. MS talks trash too, but Live is here as described (for the most part ), its heavily in demand regardless of the situation in Japan, and the graphic potential of the system has been demonstrated w/ games like Gears of War which is classified as a first gen game.

    Paragraph 3: PS2 online strategy is like iDescribed: it is at the discretion of the developer who must host their own services. PSP’s online strategy? Where? Ad hoc does not count. iHave a PSP & use it often. PSP does not have a good online strategy or any at all. If it does, Sony is doing a good job of not marketing it well. PSP’s competitor, DS, has a online strategy. What Nintendo is doing w/ DS is similar to what Sony promised. Many months ago, iRead a report from a conference that Sony held in which they announced that they had no plans for an online service. Maybe that may have changed or its somekind of marketing stunt but that is what came out of the horses mouth and its probably what Ballmer is basing his claims on. Who knows, right?

  • Gary

    Black Guy nobody knows what Sony’s online strategy is so until they announce it people like Ballmer need to keep their mouths shut. To state that Sony has NO online strategy is just plain stupid.

    A fair comment would’ve been ‘Sony need to improve their online service’ not claiming they have no strategy.

    Are you a fan of Apple or something?

  • Black Guy

    “But that’s not all!

    Then Ballmer claims that the Xbox 360 launch was “phenomenal”. This is the launch where people couldn’t sell their souls to get an Xbox 360.”

    Downplay it as u will but the fact remains that demand is still outpacing supply. The prices on Ebay that these things are going for even months after the launch are still outrageous. Admittedly, the only place supply may not be an issue is Japan but that beast is a different game. Japan is market that MS attempting to break into; a market that has a totally different taste than what the Xbox brand offers. Thats a challenge that MS will have to overcome so low sales r no surprise there. Disappointed I am? Yes, but expected. Everywhere else, X360 is ghost. Shipments arrive and its gone within hours. Almost 2 million units have been sold since launch to present, and that isn’t a phenominal success by any standards because… why?

    MS didn’t revise their expectations downward because the system where not selling but because of manufactuing capacities; they simply couldn’t make them fast enough. By MS own admission, they underestimated the demand for the product which resulted in some/many slip-ups.

  • Microsoft Ditches 90-day Target with Xbox 360

    I’m not denying that demand is outpacing supply. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

  • It’s so pitiful when game companies try and put down other game companies or try to overhype their own console. All it does is piss people off. Sony does deserve to have everyone on there back about making false claims (and the fact that they’ve been better about it this time round isn’t saying much) but when Microsoft execs goes off and say things like this, they deserve the same treatment.

  • My article, you can post it if you wanna

    Expect Playable PS3 at February Playstation Conference?
    Posted By: Breakpoint,

    With the coming of CES in January, many people were hoping for a show by Sony that would display new information about the Playstation 3 that had never been seen before. Yet to the disappointment of many diehard fans, no new videos or console information was released besides a sneak peak at Playstation 3’s Blu-Ray Disc player.

    With no word of a future date for the first unveiling of a playable Playstation 3 console, PS3Gaming looks into Sony’s past to try and figure out what may be occurring. We go back to 1999 when the new millennium consoles for Sega Dreamcast and Sony Playstation 2 were making big news comparable to today’s Next Generation consoles of the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony Playstation 3.

    The Sega Dreamcast was out in the full world markets in 1999 with a huge leap over competition like the Microsoft Xbox 360, but both of these consoles fail to appeal to Japanese crowds. The Sony Playstation 2 at this stage was still in development and the only known details given to the world were its technical specifications. When comparing the Playstation 2 to the Playstation 3 at this stage in development, more is known about the Playstation 3 where real time game footage has been shown. However, both consoles have lacked a playable version being shown.

    Nearly a year passes from the announcement of the Playstation 2 console when its first showing of a playable game appears to the public at the Playstation Conference on February 18th, 2000.

    Only 2 weeks later the Playstation 2 is released in Japan with no first party titles on March 4th, 2000. Nearly one million consoles are sold at launch. Sony would later in May announce a plan to release the Playstation 2 in October for the United States.

    Could Sony be following the same plan for the Playstation 3? They could very well be. It seems like Sony could be a very tight mouth company and be ready to surprise the whole world next month and possibly ship Playstation 3 to Japan in Spring 2006.

    Link to PS3Gaming Forum

  • That forum link has a good timeline for the PS2 that seems a lot like what’s currently happening with the PS3.

  • iSee the point of Breakpoint’s article but it fails to accurately reflect market conditions today; iCommented about something similar in the past. Dreamcast was finished from the start. Sega had had a string of hardware failures and disappointments up until that point. Even though the DC had some great games by the time PS2 launched w/ its sorry lineup, it didn’t matter. Sega had lost consumer trust; anybody could have seen that coming. AND there was no Nintendo Gamecube or MS Xbox 1. The market was free for the taking. The day PS2 came out, DC evaporately rather quickly.

    This time we have MS in a position in which some similarities can be drawn with Sega at that time. BUT, MS – one of the most powerful & wealthiest company in the world – is not Sega and the Xbox 360 is riding on the success of the Xbox 1 (not a Sega Saturn) AND Nintendo is suppose launch on time this year too. Competition is here now and they brought the entire brigade.. U can’t deny that MS has made a great product and Nintendo’s Revo is being hyped as the next eveolution in gaming (iDon’t know about all that, but we’ll c.)

    Its stupid to even think for a moment that Sony is just going to waltz in and swoop the market it up like it did with Sega. Sony knows that and iDoubt they will try to pull that off the same strategy again. If they actually think that, then they can kiss that market leadership goodbye. If Sony PS3 comes “too” late, they will give the competition too much of a lead that WILL be difficult to recover from.

  • I’m not denying that the Xbox 360 is any good. I’m not saying it isn’t doing well. I’m not saying Xbox Live isn’t a great experience for those that want it. I’m not even saying that Sony will beat Microsoft this round. I really have no idea who will “win”.

    I’m just trying to point out that Sony’s not the only one to say things they shouldn’t. I’m getting tired of everyone jumping on Sony’s back for whatever, but lapping up whatever crap Microsoft dishes out.

  • Black Guy

    I’m just getting tired of ppl lapping up whatever crap Sony dishes out and then place it and the PS3 on some kind of godlike pedestal. Making it seem like no matter how good the competition is Sony can do no wrong and will rule the market no matter what. Misleading gamers into believing Killzone and Motorcross video was actual gameplay and whatever else isn’t Sony crap?

    At least MS showed us something real and everything they said about the X360 was believable and most importantly, they have delivered. No Next Gen gameplay or graphics? Xbox 2.5 my ass. Fight Night 3 and Gears of War look like a little bit more than that and its only going to get A LOT better by the time Sony “feels” like the masses are worthy to be privileged by the all mighty PS3.

    For the record, I’m not a Sony hater or Xbox fanboy. I just hate Sony’s BS and I enjoy defending (u can relate) my X360 which does not get hot enough to burn through the floor, scratch discs, murders, and takes first borns. I got a PSP and think its great. And If its priced right, I’ll a get a PS3 too. Anyway, I just enjoy reading these kinds of posts, keep up the good work.

  • It’s a matter of degree. For the record, Guerilla has said that they believe the PS3 is capable of the graphics in that demo. But that’s beside the point.

    Microsoft did the same for the Xbox 360. Remember that shot of Madden football? The real game ended up looking nowhere near as good.

  • Unless you know more than the rest of us, Sony has announced no online plan. Of course that doesn’t mean there isn’t one in the pipe line, but it’s not absurd to say they have no online plan at this point. At least not one that anyone knows about.

    That doesn’t mean Ballmer isn’t hyping up his product… of course he is. It’s still way less biased than calling the PS3 “Playstation 2.5.” Hmm…that reminds me of something Kutaragi said about the Xbox…

    I just think it’s ashame this fanboyism has reached the corporate level.

  • observer

    Henning, wow, thanks!!

    Black Guy, of course Sony hasn’t backed up their PS3 promises yet; they haven’t even reached their planned ship dates. It sounds like you’re just annoyed by all the hype and buzz when there is no shipping product. However you can’t really blame this on Sony; people are very excited, they have to wait a long time until the product comes out, and speculation runs rampant.

    However, there has been plenty of skepticism regarding the Killzone demo movies. And Sony hasn’t been making lots of ridiculous claims. Actually they’ve been extremely quiet and said very little.


    “… Sony has announced no online plan. Of course that doesn’t mean there isn’t one in the pipe line, but it’s not absurd to say they have no online plan at this point.”

    Actually, that really is absurd. There is online functionality on the PS2 and the PSP. This wasn’t an accident; the people who built those products actually planned for that to happen. To assert that the PS3 development team has absolutely no plan regarding what kind of online functionality they will provide is completely absurd.

  • Black Guy

    Henning: That Madden demo wasn’t MS doing. That was EA who was promoting that video as what the next Madden was suppose to look like on all platforms not just the X360. iGuess they got lazy since they is the only dev w/ NFL rights; but thats another issue. As far as the Killzone demo being possible in realtime, iStil don’t think so. Look at the level of detail and amount of activity in that sequence. I’m not a technical expert, but I’m certain it will take a serious amount of RAM to run a game @ that level; more than the total system RAM in PS3. The PS3 GPU has been described as being a derivative of a current Nvidia product; the 7800 iThink. Keeping that in consideration, not even Nvidia’s demos running under ideal circumstances feature anything @ the level of Killzone. We’ll just have to wait & c iGuess.

    Observer: I’m not annoyed by the hype. I’m just reserved until iSee it. I’ve heard Sony’s claims since PS1 and their systems has never delivered what they promised. They were good systems in their respective generations, but all fell grossly short of the hype. True Sony has been quiet in recent months, but prior to the Xmas selling season they were dropping lines every 2 seconds.

  • Karl

    And what do you know about it?
    It’s clear that MS and Xbox got something that Sony dont. Xbox Live is realy big and good. Well well we will see how bad PS3 is when it comes, if ever does…

  • SuicideNinja

    So, do you consider offering for the PS2 a “service”?

    I don’t. It’s more like a “it’s there, maybe it will be useful to you.” It’s nice that it is free, but it doesn’t provide much, and not many games take advantage of it.

    It doesn’t seem that Sony has the time or funds to dump into an effective online service. If they do, they will have to charge. Then again, Nintendo’s WiFi services are actually decent, but could be a lot better.