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IGN Roundtable on Sony |

IGN just posted a roundtable on Sony, “Is Sony in Trouble?”

They hash up all the usual complaints about the PS3 such as the price, the launch titles, and most of all, the price.

will you feel compelled to spend $600 for the PS3’s exclusive titles or about half that for the Wii’s entirely unique experience? I’ll of course buy all three, but it’s unlikely that “Middle America” will do the same.

They seem to have forgotten what may be the biggest contender for that market this holiday: the PS2. At $129 in the U.S., it is far cheaper than all the new consoles, even the Wii, it has a great library of cheap, recent, high quality, exclusive titles, and has a surprisingly strong list of upcoming titles. This holiday season, PS2 has four 100% exclusive titles that look absolutely amazing: Okami, Yakuza, Bully (the Xbox version was recently cancelled according to spong), and Guitar Hero 2. God of War 2 is also coming shortly afterwards in early 2007. None of the other consoles have that strong of an upcoming lineup of exclusives.

IGN also apparently misses that the announced prices are just launch prices aimed at the high end consumers when there is a huge initial pent up demand. Only afterwards, will they focus on the more casual “Middle America” (or Europe or Asia) market with lower pricing. They also omit that there is a fully capable $500 PS3 model which is the most closely spec’d to the $400 360 and that the 360 requires you to spend extra for a lot of functionality that people want which is already included in the base PS3 price such as online play and HD movie functionality.

If Sony can deliver on what they’ve announced, I think Sony will take the cake this holiday season and this console cycle.

Now what we really be interesting is if some guys from this site, ps3blog, got in on such a roundtable. Rather than listening to the IGN choir regurgitate the same tired doom and gloom over and over amongst themselves and then reading our standard rebuttals separately over here at ps3blog, why not mix the two camps together? Now THAT would be entertainment.

What do you guys think?

Is Sony in Trouble?

  • Matt

    Great article.

    The PS2 arguement doesn’t make sense to me. 99.9% of gamers already own a PS2. If people are buying them it is to replace a broken system or for a family that really can’t afford much (and won’t buy a lot of games).

    360 will have plenty of games out that are exclusive. Gears of War is the most anticipated game of the year and if it scores a 9.5+ It will sell out the 360 at X-mas. Dead Rising, Saints Row, Enchanted Arms, Blue Dragon, Time Shift, Splinter Cell : DA, F.E.A.R., Forza Motorsport 2, etc. All of these will be on the market (without a delay) before the PS3. No way the 360 doesn’t sell the most systems this year by default. They will have the most systems available. I also expect Microsoft to Advertise like nothing you have ever seen. They can outspend Sony and Sony won’t really need to advertise because they won’t have the systems to sell (whatever they produce this year is already sold)

    Sony is in trouble. The gaming public is watching them closer than a fat kid in a candy store. If they stumble they could cost themselves a few million hardcore gamers. I personally believe that the arguements about what value is in a PS3 are valid and make a lot of sense but $600 is a lot of money to the majority of America and I am sure it is even worse in Europe. They will sell systems down the road after a price drop or two and when some of their AAA games start to hit.

    Things I look forward to this cycle:

    *Developer support if 360 is in the lead and Cell is that hard to develop for. (also who remains loyal to Sony/Microsoft with developer costs sky-rocketing
    *HDTV penetration
    *Blu-Ray/HD-DVD winner
    *Wii experience
    *3-4 gen games when Devs really know what they are doing
    *New franchises

    My prediction is 360 first and PS3 right behind them (within a few million). Wii I don’t know about because their are a lot of excited people but, who will really buy the system? In the end I will own all three (unless Sony loses the few exclusives I play that they have left). This will be a golden age in gaming as 3 systems will have great experiences with great support. If Sony does take the overall lead it will be very late in the cycle or even after Xbox 3 has been announced. It won’t matter though. The closer Sony and Microsoft are at the end of the cycle will ramp up how awesome the next systems will be.

    Sorry this was so long!

  • Darth Pixel

    PS3 is not more difficult to develop for than Xbox 360.
    It doesn’t cost more to develop for either.
    Most of the cost is people and you need as much time and as many people to develop a Xbox 360 game.

    PS3 is just $200 more than Xbox 360. If you buy the wireless adapter and the HD-DVD add-on, Xbox 360 will cost you more than PS3…
    PS3 games will outshine Xbox 360 games within 18 months. PS3 games will match Xbox 360 games at launch.

  • JustMe

    “PS3 games will match Xbox 360 games at launch.”

    I believe you are some what correct there. I think the first set of PS3 games will look as good as 2nd generation 360 games. That is saying alot.

  • darrin

    Matt, nice post. You raised some good points. The 360 does have it’s share of quality exclusives as well. However, if PS3 sells out and has a supply shortage as you say, then by definition, the price is too low, not too high. They can’t both sell out and have the price set too high.

    Also, while all serious gamers who wanted a PS2 have already bought one, there are always new people in the market for a console. Just like furniture; you’d think everyone who wanted a sofa already got one, but people are constantly buying more.

  • darrin

    Pixel, I agree; I think the whole “PS3 is hard to develop for” is complete B.S.

    And JustMe, next post is on that topic.

  • Matt

    I know from a developer that the PS3 is harder to develop for. He works on the Wii, PS3 and 360. He has said that the PS3 is harder to develop for and complains about it a lot. The 360, Wii, PC are all very similar and a lot of the develop can go cross platform. Right now the PS3 can use very little of the programming for the 360/PC. My friend has told me that 60% of a game has to be re-written just for the PS3. This cost money.

    I am tired of hearing about the HD-DVD add-on. Do you own a HDTV? For the vast majority the answer is no. You do not need BD or HD-DVD. The other problem with either of these units is they are software based players. They do not have the hardware in them that a stand-alone player does. I don’t care what arguement you have but software based players are the worst type of players. This is why the PS2 sucked as a DVD player and why the Add-on and PS3 will suck as next gen players.

    Someone please explain to me how the PS3 is going to have games that are signifigantly better looking than the PS3. I am looking at the hardware and a 10% difference in GPU power. I have heard numerous times that the 360 GPU is probally better because of the pixel piping.

  • Darth Pixel

    Different doesn’t mean more difficult.

    Developers are starting to behave like museum curators. If they can’t compile their code with Visual Studio using the same compiler they have been using for the last 10 years, they claim it’s more difficult and not worth it.

    Try to fit a square peg in a round hole. God, it’s more difficult than to fit a round peg in a round hole.

    PS3 is a pain for people who are interested in producing cross-platform games that look average everywhere and good nowhere.

    This is a very dynamic industry where everything changes very fast. As a developer, if you are not open to new things, you are doomed to suffer.

    Studios that specifically target PS3 will be able to produce games that will outshine any other platform.
    It will require different skills, different compilers, different ways of architecting code, etc. but that’s the price of excellence.

    And again, different doesn’t mean more difficult. It just means different.

    So, yeah, if all you know is Visual Studio and single-threaded code that runs on a PC-like architecture, you will have to learn something new, which could be a problem since developers don’t want to learn new things these days.

  • darrin

    Developers are a very idiosyncratic bunch. They form intense and somewhat illogical love/hate relationships with development platforms and tools. Sure, there are those that love Microsoft and all of their products and hate competitors such as PS3 and Linux and Java and there are lots who feel the exact opposite. I know loads of Java or Linux or PHP fanatics who hate Microsoft and their dev tools passionately. A lot of this is clearly personal developer preference.

  • Matt

    Darth. How will the PS3 games outshine the 360? I asked in this post above and numerous times before and not one person has been able to tell me a good answer.

  • Darth Pixel

    PS3 is entirely designed for mulitmedia applications.

    The architecture of CELL is taylored to multimedia applications and game development in particular. (whereas Xbox 360 uses a more general purpose processor architecture)

    RSX is obviously designed to render games, just as Xenos is, but RSX has a slightly higher clock frequency.

    PS3 also has a little more CPU-RAM bandwidth.

    HDMI and Blu-ray also adds to the HD capabilities of PS3, both for games and movies.

    In total, PS3 is a more capable platform, which is to be expected since it comes out 1 year after Xbox 360.