Archive for January, 2008

Henning’s PS3 Soapbox: Sony Needs Two PS3 Models

Someone e-mailed me earlier this month asking if the 80GB PS3 was being discontinued. He mentioned that his Best Buy didn’t have it on order anymore. Now it seems that no BestBuy will be selling the 80GB PS3 anymore.

When I first heard that Sony would be selling two models – the 20GB and 60GB PLAYSTATION 3’s, I was disappointed. Why confuse people? Why not just have one console and be done with it? But now I’m starting to see the light, and just when I start to see why a dual-SKU might be necessary, it looks like Sony might be moving to a single PS3 model in North America. (After all, they’ve already done so in other regions.)

So why do I think Sony should stick with a two-model approach? Here’s why:

  • Lose Less Money
    The current 40GB model is the cheapest PS3 Sony has produced so far. If the rumours are true, Sony is basically selling this unit at cost, instead of at a loss. Sony needs to be able to start making some money or at least not losing money on these consoles. So Sony needs a popular offering that does not break the bank for them.
  • Sony Needs a Highend Offering
    Microsoft is selling a high-end Elite solution, and Sony needs to counter that with an offering of their own. Not only that, but 40GB of space is lots for some people, but for others (especially those in other territories who will have a PVR built into the PS3 soon), it’s not enough. So we need an option with more disc space. I suggest that Sony upgrade the 80GB PS3 to 120GB.
  • Sony Needs BC
    Sony needs a model with PS2 backwards compatibility. I use the BC in my PS3 quite often, and I think it’s great. I wish it was even better! (Some of my games don’t work.) Sony had previously made a commitment to BC, and I think that they should honour that commitment by keeping the higher priced SKU with BC.
  • Stay Price Competitive
    The competition is priced much better than the PS3 right now, and the PS3 needs to stay competitive. Say what you will about value in the box, the fact is that the 40GB PS3 is $399, which is still a lot of money, though doable.
  • You Decide!
    Are there any other reasons?

What do you think?

Other Soapbox Rants

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Devil May Cry 4 Demo Impressions

Being a hardened Devil May Cry fan, I downloaded the demo from the Japanese Store as soon as I got home from work yesterday afternoon and I wasn’t disappointed!! :D

You have the choice of two missions: Exterminator which is a level set in Fortuna, where you face the usual type of DMC demon scum within a 10 minute time limit, and Executioner, where you battle the Frosts and face off against the awesome looking Berial!

It’s not really two missions though. If you’re fast enough/good enough to beat the Exterminator mission before the time runs out, you will go straight on to the Executioner mission.

You play as Nero, who looks like a very youthful Dante. Nero obviously doesn’t have the same move set as Dante but he kicks arse in a similar spectacular fashion. The main difference is his Devil Bringer techniques which are pretty awesome.

You can grab enemies by pressing circle and slamming them into the ground, which is a very powerful move known as the Buster. You can also grab enemies that are outside the range of your sword and bring them to you using the Devil Bringer technique Snatch. Just lock on to them and press Circle.

The cool thing about that is you can do some great looking combos by switching to your swords or guns, to kick the crap out of them. You can even pull enemies up to you while you’re in mid air to deal out some mile high arse kicking! :twisted:

You can also use Nero’s Devil Bringer technique, Hell Bound, to make big leaps across gaps you would not be able to get across. It looks cool and is a nice addition to the gameplay.

Nero’s sword techniques are similar to Dante’s. Holding R1 to lock on to an enemy and pressing Triangle will launch Nero into a Streak attack, which will flatten any enemies caught by it. Hold R1 and pressing triangle, while pushing the left stick away from an enemy will launch them into the air (High Roller), where you can continue your combo.

You can avoid attacks by holding L1 and pressing X. You will roll in whatever direction you press the left stick. Handy for when you face the Frosts.

DMC4 plays like a DMC game should. If you’re a fan of either DMC or DMC3/SE then you will feel right at home with DMC4. The combat is awesome fun, everything looks great, the visuals are excellent with a lovely smooth framerate. Some people had problems with Berial’s entrance but it was fine for me.

The sound and music is classic DMC fare, so if you didn’t like it in the previous games you won’t like it now.

My biggest gripe is that it was too easy. I didn’t get hit until I faced the Frosts and that was only because I used the sword rather than grabbing them, which is the better technique to dispose of the Frosts.

The reviews all seem to point to DMC4 being easier than DMC3 which is strange because DMC3 wasn’t hard. It looks as though they are catering for a new audience so have lowered the difficulty by a couple of notches. I hope Must Die Mode is more challenging though.

It looks as though DMC4 will live up to my expectations (lowered difficulty aside) and it’s got the makings of being just as fantastic as Devil May Cry and I can’t wait to get my hands on the full game on Feb 8th (hopefully the 7th 8) )!

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PlayStation Store Update 1.24.08

North America

Demos

* Devil May Cry 4 (free)
* The Club demo (free)

PSN Games

* PixelJunk Monsters PSN game ($7.99)
– You can grab the demo for the Japanese Store, it’s in english too.
* Jet Moto 2 PS1 game ($5.99)

Game Add-on

* Folklore “Create A Creature winner” add-on (free)
* Stranglehold map-pack add-on ($14.99)
* Stranglehold: Collector’s Edition map-pack add-on ($14.99)
* Rock Band “Oasis” song pack ($5.49)
o Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back In Anger” ($1.99)
o Oasis’ “Live Forever” ($1.99)
o Oasis’ “Wonderwall” ($1.99)
* Need For Speed ProStreet “Premium Car Bundle 1″ add-on pack ($5.99)
* Need For Speed ProStreet “Premium Car Bundle 2″ add-on pack ($5.99)

Video/Trailers

* Tony Hawk’s Proving Grounds “Stevie Williams Skater Profile” video
* Soul Calibur IV Trailer
* Lost Planet Promotional Movie
* Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway Trailer
* Dynasty Warriors 6 Trailer
* Borderlands Trailer
* Step Up 2: The Streets Trailer
* Dragon Wars Trailer

Themes

* PixelJunk Monsters Theme
* Lemmings Theme

Europe

PSN Games

* PixelJunk Monsters PSN game (4,99)
* Judge Dredd (PS1 game, 3.49)
* Syphon Filter: Combat Ops (PSP game, 6.99)

Video/Trailers

* Civilization Revolution

Theme

* CoD4 Theme

PSN Content 01/24/08

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Awesome PS3 Sales In Europe

MCVUK interviews Sony’s David Reeves and has some excellent sales news.

“In December we sold just over a million PlayStation 3s during the month,” he told MCV. “That’s across all PAL territories and that’s a sell-through figure.

Over a million from Europe alone? That’s equal to or above Japan and USA combined! NPD sales for USA were 797.6K and MediaCreate sales for Japan total approximately 212.7K for a USA/Japan total of 1.01 million.

Remember this chart? PS3 would look much better if I could get good Europe numbers to include.

“We don’t often mention the competition, but I will give you some interesting data: In terms of installed base in some of our major markets, such as France, Spain, Germany and Italy – plus some distributor territories in smaller markets like Switzerland – our current cumulative installed base is now higher than Xbox 360.

“It has not yet reached that in the UK. But the team here expect to overtake the installed base of Xbox 360 across all PAL territories in late summer. It’s also worth mentioning that last week we outsold Xbox 360 in PAL territories by a ratio of three to one.”

Great news all around!

UPDATE: In negative news, analysts predict that Sony will fall short of their PS3 sales target for fiscal year 2007. Sony previously claimed that they would be able to sell 11 million PS3 units to retailers/dealers during FY’07 (4/1/2007-3/31/2008), however analysts are predicting that they will only reach 8 million.

UPDATE 2: To clarify the 11 million Sony target and 8 million analyst estimate (according to bloomberg): these numbers only include FY’07 sales. They do NOT include PS3 sales before April 1, 2007. These particular numbers are also referring to sales to retailers and dealers, NOT complete sell through to customers.

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