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Sony of America responds to PS3 shortage

Dave Karraker, a big name at Sony Computer Entertainment America, sat down with IGN to respond to the influx of terrible Sony news plaguing the multiverse. We'll summarize the key Q&A below.

  • The 500,000 unit statement is completely true. The North American numbers (400,000) is just below what the PS2 launch had available and is higher than the initial Xbox360 numbers. There will be 1-1.2 million PS3's by the end of December in the US.
  • Sony is still confident in the 6 million fiscal year end mark. Why? They believe the production of the blue laser diodes will grow more efficient over the next couple of months and drastically increase supply.
  • Sony does accept the fact this error has damaged their image, but remain steadfast the PS3 will sell through its entire inventory.
  • As Karraker said, "Any time you push the envelope as far as we are pushing it, there are risks. However, at the end of the day, when people see how advanced this system is, the snags we may have encountered along the way, will quickly fade into the past." Hope so!

You can check out the other pieces of the interview if you would like, but most else is just filler or not quite as pertinent to the shortage itself. We've got to stay strong! Sony isn't giving up, so we shouldn't give up on them either. Let's try to give 'em a little love, whaddya say?

"This is Living" commercial induces yawns, nods

All right, so the big bad Blu-ray ad has gone live in the UK, toting the "This is Living" slogan. What's it like? Watch for yourself, or read on. Essentially, we get to hear a woman talking about Blu-ray to an implied group of people who (like the man wandering around his home) are stuck in the "past", technology-wise (even though a quick glance around this apartment reveals a bookshelf worth of VHS anime). It's a fairly clever commercial, but the fact remains -- it's kind of boring. It's sort of like the first five minutes of a drama, except nothing dramatic ever happens. They get the point across, but is this living? There are probably a few people left in the world who live like the poor old chum in the commercial, sporting bookcases of VHS tapes and sugar cubes. The commercial definitely appeals more towards everyman and not the techno-junkie. What do you think? Good move? Our money is on yeah, but future commercials should try something a bit more exciting.

[Thanks to Andrew Yoon for this tip as well!]

Goodness! A Blu-ray disc with 200GB!

TDK promised a while back they were going to create a 200GB Blu-ray disc. So did they? Why, yes. Yes, they did. A single disc that's about 6.5 times the space on this particular laptop is in existence. It's amazing, it's wonderful, it's a large step forward, it's... completely worthless. Why? There's no drive or player that can read a 200GB disc. Oops. The disc itself is single-sided, but has six layers with 33.33 repeating GB's/layer.

Is this too much, too fast? A few years ago we were pretty amazed with 8GB discs, let alone terabyte PC's. While having a disc with so much memory can have its advantages, you can't ignore the fact there's no way for it to be used until the hardware side of the deal takes form. Is hardware moving too slow, then? Either way, a few years from now, get ready to back up your entire life on a single disc. With holograms and stuff, too.

PS3 meets PS2: Blu-ray playback interface revealed

Sony finally went and demoed the playback capabilities of the PS3, showing what our likely first experience with Blu-ray movies will be (or did anyone drop $1k on a player? Just curious). The interface looks like a slightly more colorful PS2 DVD interface and that's fine. Does this mean we'll see a remote control released upon launch as well? Or will the PS2 remote somehow become backwards compatible?

With this demo, Blu-ray movies have to come into consideration. If we buy ourselves a shiny new PS3 and Blu-ray movies are the same price (or comparatively the same -- one or two bucks apart will work for this example), will we begin to stack up a new movie library in the Blu-ray format? Not that you'd replace all your DVD movies, just purchase future releases. If you'd still buy a "plain old DVD" instead, why? There's really no reason except to resist change, which humans generally do as an instinct. So there you have it: assuming you have a PS3, would you buy into Blu-ray or continue with DVD? For the sake of argument, let's leave HD-DVD's out of this example.

Shipment numbers for PS3 may be cut in half

This relates to an article over at Joystiq about blue laser diodes. While they say Sony was trying to scrape up all the blue laser doodads to hit their 4 million PS3 mark by year end, it's looking very, very grim. In fact, the Taiwanese and Chinese branches of building the PS3 are trying to tell Sony "hey man, we can only get 2 million units by year end... we're running out of these blue laser diodes and cell processors!" Yet Sony, well, Kaz Hirai, still insist they'll hit the 4 million mark. It's a rough world when the volume production is still in the air so close to launch.

Will there be shortages? It is looking more likely but it's not such a big deal -- shortages are practically part of the buying experience for a new console. Maybe it shouldn't be, but it is. So then, for those of us who preordered a PS3, did you preorder the 20 or 60 gig model? And if there are dangerous shortages, would you consider eBaying your shiny new device to make a small profit and wait a month or two for the second round of consoles? Those first off the line generally have an error or two anyway...

Let's talk a bit about Blu-ray again... it's been a while

More specifically, let's see how the production of these tricky little discs is going. Right now, Sony has three lines functioning with the capacity of 25,000 of the single-layer 25GB discs per day (750,000 per month). By October, Sony wants to push around 5 million discs per month by increasing the number of lines of production. Also, six of these lines are intended to manufacture the 50GB dual-layered Blu-ray discs.

That's... a lot of disc-making. Maybe that's a common number among new, still fairly unproven media formats, but tossing out 5 million by October? Sony seems fairly confident about this item. But would we rather them not be confident and produce very few? That would be worse, wouldn't it? Just think -- maybe one of those dual-layer discs created this October will be used to house your very first PS3 game! That's... marginally exciting.

Blu-ray disc drive won't play Blu-ray movies

If it's true the first Blu-ray drives won't play Blu-ray movies, then what's the point, you ask? Since it's practically impossible to put a positive spin on this, just roll your eyes as you're spared some of the more technical mumbo-jumbo. If you want to see the explanation by cnet, it's a bit more detailed. Basically, the Sony BWU-100A, the first Blu-ray drive to reach Australian shores, won't play back commercially released BD movies. The drive "will only play user-recorded high-definition content from a digital camcorder." Honestly, a camcorder? Is anyone that into making home videos?

Regardless, the reasoning behind this decision is HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) -- rather, a lack of PC's containing graphic chips supporting HDCP. There are a few Sony computers that have all the necessary components, but no one is going to buy a new computer just for that, really. It's still a good storage drive, especially if you like to make... home videos. Otherwise, Sony, what're you doing? No one in Australia is going to pay $1400(AU) for a drive that doesn't even play movies.

Want to play HD movies for just $500 more? PS3 seems cheap

An article at PS3news.ca has a very interesting bit, thanks to a Microsoft representative who slipped a bit of info to the poster. The Microsoft rep said "the HD drive is expected to sell at 500 dollars." Are... you kidding? That's hilariously steep, but the rep decided to qualify the price point with: "Well, the Blu-ray players are going for a thousand, and other HD-DVD players are going for half that, so that's going to be the price point." So, who here wants to spend up to $1000 on an XBox360 (higher SKU, wireless adaptor and supposed HD drive price)? No one? Great. PS3 is now $400 cheaper if this is the truth. Now, sure, the HD drive isn't mandatory but the Blu-ray is standard on the PS3, but it's the principle of the matter.

Did anybody really plan to get the HD add-on for their 360's anyway? This really does beg the questions of add-ons. Should gaming companies keep a lower-priced core system and have a ton of accessories that can make your box into a multimedia deity, or should they try to package it all in at once and have a "lower" price, assuming you wanted every little thing from the start? If the price point turns out to be truth, XBox fanboys shouldn't be allowed to mock the PS3's price, especially if they planned to watch HD movies.

Sony's Phil Harrison's foot seeks his mouth again, misses

So, all this talk about format wars and console wars has everyone riled up, but what about the next-next-gen wars? We're talking PS4, XBox720, Wiiiii(?)! Maybe we aren't thinking about that yet, but Phil Harrison, the man behind Sony's worldwide studios, definately is. He said that "I'd be amazed if the PlayStation 4 has a physical disc drive," which really makes this console war useless. Who cares about HD-DVD or Blu-ray if in 5 or 10 years (depending on how long the PS3 actually lasts as an upgradeable system), we drop media storage discs entirely?

Even if that were true and we got everything we needed over some kind of broadband (movies, games, etc)... that would kind of stink. Download times may be excessive and even the hardest core of gamers and movie watchers will end up needing more hard drive space. Not that buying an external hard drive would be a pain. All of that is fairly moot, though, as one thing will lead this movement: price. Would it be cheaper to download games and movies from a Sony-based PS4 website? By all means, it should. That doesn't mean it will. What does everyone think about the possible move away from discs? Would it bode well, fare poorly, crash the internet as we know it?

Blu-ray = Success! says Jez San of Heavenly Sword

Jez San was recently interviewed on his take about the PS3 and he said it would succeed, if only because of Blu-ray. He also said: "I think the combination of a next-generation games machine and a next-generation DVD player that plays full high-definition movies is very compelling, despite the huge price. Remember price is just a function of time and volume. It doesn't matter what the PS3 comes out at, it's what it gets down to, over time, that's important." Yeah, but Sony has said they don't intend to drop the price for a while. Even so, he does have a point.

Some analyst agreed with Jez San, but really, there are so many market analysts it isn't surprising that one of them agreed. Although the analyst agreed, he did admit that Sony has a rough ride coming up, what with all the negative press going around. San finishes up the piece by saying that each console has a unique market appeal and the war may end up in a 3-way tie. Armistice, anyone?

Phil Harrison boasts PS3's progress

Phil Harrison has reassured us lately that more than 100 games are in development for the PS3. Not all are launch titles, of course. He reiterated the fact 10,000+ dev kits have been shipped and the company is in full swing for the November launch. This isn't exactly breaking news, but to hear him say as fact the rumors and speculations going around is sort of nice. Especially about the negative press on Blu-ray, he countered: "Right now there are more than 100 Blu-ray movies available today, in the US. More than 100 games are in development, and all the major third-party publishers have pledged their strategic support for the platform."

About the developers, he said, "Developers now have final hardware in their hands, though there will be some upgrades to the operating system - there's nothing unusual about that. The new controller is now in developers' hands, so all the pieces of the puzzle are there." All the pieces, except the OS upgrades. Whatever. Here's an interesting bit about the developers: they have working PS3 Blu-ray drives, so they can burn their games onto Blu-ray discs and check 'em out that way, as opposed to running the games off the hard drive or some other media format. At the Tokyo Game Show, we'll see how well the Blu-ray versions stack up. Hopefully some developers will have a decently running beta of a game off of the final hardware and such.

PS3 is weighed and judged by Joystiq

While the original article can be found at the Associated Content site, our pals at Joystiq have summed up the pros and cons of the PS3 in such an easy to peruse way. This list will highlight the most important, albeit opinionated, pros and cons. Feel free to check out the original or Joystiq's for this game of internet telephone.

Pros:
  • Backwards compatibility
  • Standard hard-drives
  • Web browsing
  • Cell processor potential

Cons (roll your eyes now):
  • Cost
  • No more rumble feature
  • Game prices may be high

The other cons seem to be there simply to make the list in comparable length to the pros. System size? Ken Kutaragi? Okay, but they seem fairly... lame. Who cares if a system is larger than a lunchbox (GameCube)? Ken Kutaragi isn't going to be popping out of our PS3's anytime soon, so he shouldn't be mentioned. He may be a concern to developers, but not us. He's a source of humor and silliness. What of Blu-ray? Well, the storage size doesn't quite seem necessary and it's expensive, but judging something before we can actually see results is unfair. So it's been left off of this condensed list. Same with the online service. Since none of us have been able to utilize it, we can't rightfully say anything about it. Make of it what you will.

[via Joystiq]

PS3 to make or break Sony forevermore

More recycled analysis brought to you by Bloomberg. A key point to keep in mind: Sony predicts a 5-year recoup for losses due to the PS3's manufacturing costs and price point. That's going to hurt, especially since the average console life is around five years (a few exceptions noted). Masafumi Oshiden, from Merrill-Lynch, said "PlayStation 3 will be a huge money loser in the beginning." Spoken adequately enough. It's true -- we all know it's going to be very hard for Sony. Estimates show that about 200 billion yen was invested into the development of the cell processor alone.

Another point to keep in mind is the notion that "Sony's PlayStation 3 introduction in November may be hampered by fewer and less-powerful games because the company hasn't given final technical details of the new console, according to video-game publishers." So, is delivering 10,000 dev kits not going to cut it? Will IBM be able to pull better yields for the cell processor in time for the PS3 launch? If not, Sony won't even have the chance to recoup in five years -- they may pull the plug sooner than that, unless we give them our support.

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD under investigation by sleuths

The European Commission has recently initiated an investigation into the two new formats of media being released, namely, our lovely Blu-Ray and the less-lovely-but-still-worth-a-look HD-DVD. No, Sherlock Holmes was not called in on this detective's dream, but an unofficial probe was. "Under what charges?!" demands Sony and Toshiba, spear-headers of the two formats. The EUC responds: "The Commission suspects that the licensing terms the companies are applying breach European competition rules." Egads!

An unnamed spokesman for the EUC told reporters that they had sent letters to the "makers" of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD to request licensing info, but refused to name names. Sony did that for them, eagerly telling the world they received one of the letters and have agreed to cooperate openly. Good move, since Toshiba and other HD-DVD makers have refused to comment or go public about the claims. Well, however the initial investigation goes, the EUC will either drop the whole thing or create a large anti-trust probe investigation. Let's hope it's the former so we can get our PS3's in a few months. Please!

Someone does a recap for us -- positively stunning

Sometimes this webpage can look like a hodgepodge of news -- random previews, bad news, slighty unrelated articles, and positive press. Well, Thomas Barton has done the smartest thing possible and took every piece of positive press that had been covered here at PS3fanboy and wrote up a feature. The feature covers everything from new pieces of hardware that have been revealed (the PS3mote new eye-toy peripheral), to quotes from third party developers and other big names in the electronics business.

It's a very nice read to recap everything we have to look forward to, or to understand that we shouldn't be too afraid -- the PS3 is going to be fine, even if it takes a year or two. Even if it's getting pieces modeled after the Wii or XBox Live, that doesn't mean they are bad ideas. Would you rather have a laser cannon (Wii), an army (XBox Live), or a cyborg army equipped with laser cannons (PS3)? Taking the best from all systems is smooth, though admittedly slightly dirty. Check out the article and remember why the PS3 is worth our casual nod of approval.

[Thanks to James for bringing this to our attention!]

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