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And Sony's two biggest mistakes are...

It's not hard to discredit a large company that is having such a hard time in bridging the gap for something like the next-gen console race. Think of it like kicking a dog when it's down. Many people have stepped up to proclaim what they believe Sony's biggest mistakes are.

This particular instance comes from Guardian Unlimited and the writer catches two potentially crippling moves that will make or break the console. For starters, it's the design. Sony is wanting to move a console that dwarfs anything we've seen up to this point (and that includes the original Xbox). Size aside, the author says that by marketing a console that includes technology which is expensive to reproduce and ahead of cost-effective PC technology, they are driving away their customers.

Of course that's the idea here isn't it? Sony is trying to out-pace the technology to get it into people's homes at an early rate. This will work for some people, mind you, and that's what they're hoping for. However, the article continues with the claim that by smuggling Blu-ray in with the console, they could be acting too soon. It's not an established format, after all, so why try to force it on people? When it all comes down to it, the PS3 will sink or swim based on what the people want. It won't be long until we find out which one the people choose.

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1. That's a good compilation of the problems in Sony's venture this time around. I agree with the whole thing.

Why is it when a company hits the top with a gaming console, it's immediately the beginning of their decline?

I choose games. Not a multimedia-console hybrid that is likely to underperform in it's "fluff" features: Bluray, Linux, Media Hub. It just feels like another PSP: over-priced proprietary format, underperforming media playback, oversized console. I wonder if PS3 sales will mimic PSP sales in the "good but not great" numbers?

When I finally get the PS3, I've decided just to get the $499 model. I just want the games afterall; they can shove 1080p, flash memory reader, 802.11g wireless, and chrome trim up their behinds.

Posted at 11:50AM on Jun 15th 2006 by SuicideNinja

2. I never accepted the "proprietary format" arguement. This back to the NES days. No one complained about proprietary format then. NES cartridges played on the NES unit, and that was it. No one expected the carts to play on anything else.

I don't mind that my UMD games don't work anywhere else but in my PSP. I bought them for that purpose. I won't mind that my Blu-ray disks might not work anywhere but on my PS3. I will be purchasing them to work solely on that platform.

Posted at 12:56PM on Jun 15th 2006 by Ken

3. Hmmmm, sounds like these guys basically read a bunch of blog comments and threw together a report.

As for the size issue I thought that was one of the reasons the original Xbox failed in Japan was because of the large size and appearance of the box. From what I understand space is at a premium over there and living rooms are not exactly huge. So I do believe this may be a factor that discourages PS3 sales. To date I am still amazed by Sony’s PS2 slim, it is so small and compact, it is hard to believe that the same technology is in the two versions. I can also see why this made the Original Xbox look like a gigantic space hogging system. So I am curious why they have went away from a concept that smaller is better to creating some thing that looks like it should be out on the patio frying hamburgers. Well I am sure we all know why it is that big look at all the other Blu-Ray players that are coming out, the are huge boxes that contain small computers in them.

I do believe that Sony is basically setting up a market base for Blu-Ray. They are going to force everyone who wants a new PS3 to have a Blu-Ray drive, and then they can go to the movie studios and say “Hey we already have a customer base of over 10 million Blu-Ray players out on the market. You should release your movies on Blu-Ray and pay us huge royalties!” From comments I have heard about the Blu-Ray players that are being tested (I.E. Patrick Norton on Twit.Tv podcast and another guy who was on the same pod cast who had some early models) is quality is no better unless you have true 1080p, and you have to have a television that is at least 42 inches or more. They both said that the picture is better, but not that much better. I believe his exact words were something to the effect if DVD is 100 times better then VHS, Blu-Ray is maybe only two to three times better then regular DVD. So I am hesitant to think that people are going to pony up $40 a Blu-Ray disc instead of the $17.99 for a DVD disc. Maybe some true Audio & Video snobs who already have big money invested into there theater system will jump but I do not believe the masses are going to. I myself am really waiting for digital downloading of HD content.

As for the PS3 I think one mistake that Sony made in its two pricing SKUs is that if you buy the cheaper SKU there is no way to get to the quality of the premium SKU by upgrades. With the 360 if you just could not afford the extra money you could still buy the Core System and then slowly buy the components to get you to that Premium Package. With the PS3 if you buy the lower version you will be putting it on EBay, when you are ready to pay for the Premium PS3. And honestly as HDTVs become more and more common I believe that the price and desire for the lower PS3 will become far less as time goes on and technology steams forward. The other area that is up in the air is how many publishers are going to produce games that will come out on Blu-Ray disks. The extra licensing fees and time and development costs to create the content could very well price themselves right out of consumer’s sight.

Well that is my thoughts at least.

Posted at 1:04PM on Jun 15th 2006 by Jim N

4. Ken, I really liked your comments about proprietary formats. If the games only play on the PS3 that is no big deal that has been the history of gaming. If someone ever creates a console that reads PS, Xbox, Nintendo, and PC games they will make so much money they will not know what to do with it all.

One thing I have to say about the PSP is I wish I could somehow burn the disk to a memory stick and then maybe just verify that I still have the disk but not run off the disk. That way I think the load times would be significantly faster and the battery would last allot longer!


Posted at 1:12PM on Jun 15th 2006 by Jim N

5. Why does this stuff show up on PS3fanboy? Isn't this supposed to be a pro-Sony/Pro-PS3 site?

Posted at 3:01PM on Jun 15th 2006 by funkbass23

6. @Jim and Ken:

There are two proprietary format problems with the PSP. UMD movies and the MS Duo memory. Movies are something that shoudn't only work on a single piece of hardware. That's probably why UMD movies are failing. The MS Duos are overpriced and unnecessary with SD and miniSD around (which are essentially standard).

As for the PS3, the proprietary format problem is REQUIRING that games be on Bluray, even though a bunch of games will likely still be under the 8.5GB limit of DVD9. Much money could be saved there, but Sony refuses. And if Bluray fails to catch on...it will be even worse.

I'm not trying to knock you, I just wanted to redirect your focus on the format problems. I don't think anyone expects to actually play one console's game in another device. We saw what happened to BLEEM!.

Posted at 3:29PM on Jun 15th 2006 by SuicideNinja

7. SuicideNinja, I completely agree that with you on the UMD thing. Here is another format that really is just Sony trying to make some extra bucks off of a format royalties. The movies are an absolute joke, although I should probably not say that since I have never bought one, but honestly if Sony thinks I am going to pony up another $18 or more to buy a copy of the movie that will only work on a PSP they need to get a completely new Research, Marketing departments. The UMD as a game format is not all bad because it allows for so much more content then say Nintendo cartridges. But powering a mechanical drive causes slow loading times, and sucks battery life super fast. I do not see any problems with MS DUO memory sticks but that may be because my digital cameras all use them, and my depth finder / GPS unit for my fishing boat use them too.

As for Blu-Ray as a format, I am really not sure that as a movie format it is ever going to go anywhere. I do believe that on the personal computer this is going to be a huge and I mean a super HUGE seller once the price comes down a bit. The idea of being able to store 50 gig or more is going to be great, for backups. I guess also as a gaming format I think most publishers are probably going to continue to kick out games on a regular DVD format disk. While a few of the games that Sony Entertainment creates will try to show off the need for Blu-Ray and get some huge content games, possibly a few of the die hard Sony publishers like Square Enix will use some Blu-Ray disks but as a whole the game publishers are not going to want to stick even more money into Sony’s pocket then they have too. What will really make me laugh is if Sony configures the hardware to require all PS3 games to be on Blu-Ray.

Posted at 8:58PM on Jun 15th 2006 by Jim N

8. Jim,

Sony has publicly stated that all PS3 games must be encoded on Blu-Ray discs. That is already a given.

As far as the argument towards proprietary formats, I believe that UMD movies and Blu-Ray are two completely different things. When UMD movies first were coming out my initial response was "Will be a hit if they're around 10 - 15 dollars a piece". I wouldn't mind paying a small premium for having a perfectly encoded movie on my PSP without having to encode it myself or having to buy a pricy memory stick. But since they were $20 and up, they failed. Clearly, because of the reason that was stated before. You could get a regular DVD for that price.

Blu-Ray however is different because even though it's proprietary for PS3 discs, it's also a HD movie format that will be able to play on multiple standalone players and therefore virtually any TV (although you'd be a fool to buy a player without having a HD set). Therein lies the big difference though, Blu-Ray will be able to play virtually anywhere in any hardware that supports it. It makes Blu-Ray no more proprietary than DVD or HD-DVD.

I personally like the idea of having bundled features in the player. It was also a selling point for the PSP for me. I also like the fact that they will both be able to work together in different areas. I see the higher value for my dollar there.

Then again, I'm a mild gamer but even still the Blu-Ray player does provide developers the ability to not compress games as much and to put more content without restrictions in the future.

Am I the only one who sees Sony's vision as being pretty dead on with this console?

Posted at 9:55PM on Jun 15th 2006 by funkbass23

9. funkbass23, I honestly had no idea that Sony had already mandated that all PS3 games come on Blu-Ray. You said you have already read this can you tell me where you read this?

I was not trying to compare Blu-Ray to UMD as a failed movie format. But I do not think that Sony is right on with forcing a Blu-Ray player on the public. While I do not promote the HD-DVD, I do like the way Microsoft has added it on as an add on if you so choose to purchase it. Frankly as I stated in my post above I think both formats are not worth the money and I am waiting for digital downloads of HD content. But that is just my two cents.

Posted at 12:39AM on Jun 16th 2006 by Jim N

10. @Jim N

Here's Kutaragi:

"Ken says that "all PlayStation 3 games will ship on Blu-ray [only!] to help prevent piracy,"

http://www.joystiq.com/2006/03/15/ps3-press-conference-it-begins/

That's my point. If a game can fit on a DVD9, why tack on the expense of a 25GB SL-Bluray disc. BD won't drop in price for a while, so it just seems to be a way to raise the price. They were probably afraid that if they allowed games to run on DVD, publishers would avoid Bluray discs as long as possible to save money. It's just another excuse to force the format on you.

Another point to bring up is that Bluray read speed (2x) will be slow. Not to mention more data requires more seek time. They are going to end up off-loading to the hard drive anyway.

*sigh* Let's get back to the games, the only thing that is saving this hardware. Just pretend the fallacies and pigeonholing isn't happening.

Posted at 12:35PM on Jun 16th 2006 by SuicideNinja

11. I agree with Ken's comments can you name a game system that doesn't have thier own format, its true that Xbox, 360, and PS2 have all have DVD format but you cant play any of them on another system. So whats the problem here? Sony continuing the tradition and giving the next generation of format. People are scared of new technology.

Posted at 6:23PM on Jun 16th 2006 by Pkilla

12. Truthfully, I would have prefered that the PS3 come in a standard square box that would fit nicely under my DVD player. I mean, wireless controllers, the ability to stack/rack it with the rest of my gear and a nice black matte finish on the front with a fancy blue PS3 logo on the front and some nice stable lifting legs like the rest of my equipment would have been perfect. Maybe if the dev kits weren't so big...

Posted at 7:42PM on Jun 16th 2006 by Andir

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