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Square Enix CEO calls PS3 and Xbox 360 "over-engineered"

The CEO of Square Enix had some strong words about the state of console development recently. Speaking with the Financial Times about the company's recent decision to develop Dragon Quest IX only for Nintendo's DS system, Yoichi Wada believed certain consoles were "over-engineered for today's gaming environment," saying "there are too many specs." The CEO provided elaboration, stating "you also need a high definition TV, a broadband connection and a deep knowledge of gaming," and clarified that in "a year or two" the consoles would fare better when they are not as "mismatched."

We'd have to disagree, only because we're a part of the hardcore category of gamers that are always thirsting for faster and better hardware. Broadband has been a staple of our diet for the last ten years and most of us already have an HDTV in our living rooms, if not a second one for the bedroom. But Mr. Wada's statements were made about today's global gaming consumer, and we'd have to agree that in a year or two, the PS3 will likely come down in price and become more accessible to those that (still) haven't yet adopted to HDTV or broadband technologies. Again, Mr. Wada was elaborating on recent decisions for the company to focus on handheld development due to their widespread appeal and market share (units sold).

As always, we'd like to invite your thoughts and comments on Mr. Wada's recent statements as they pertain to our console of preference. Should the PS3 have been watered down, so as to cater more to a global audience immediately (aka, those without broadband or HDTV's right now)? One could assume that in doing so, the price point would be lower, making the entry a lot easier to swallow for non-hardcore types. Along that line of thought, a second and third assumption can be made in that PS3 sales might have been higher and third-party support might be increased due to the system's affordability and widespread appeal. What do you think?

[Via DS Fanboy]

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(Page 1)

1. I bought a PS3 and I don't have an HDTV so what does that makes me? PS3's aren't selling because there's no frickin games for em! I've beat all my games so far and now i've got nothing to do but play F1 online.

Posted at 12:38PM on Jun 12th 2007 by dalejrfanfreak

2. in ten years its still going to sell just like the ps2. the Wii on the other hand will loose its "fun" factor because it will be out dated in two years.

Posted at 12:40PM on Jun 12th 2007 by jastyle521

3. Can you say, "Cop-out?"

Posted at 12:41PM on Jun 12th 2007 by sonicyouth

4. No, the PS3 is perfect as is. If anyone doesn't want to develop for a next-gen system, then they can make a game for the PS2, where the installed base is the largest out there. No one is forcing anyone to stop developing for the almighty PS2 in order to make something for the ahead of its time PS3.

Posted at 12:41PM on Jun 12th 2007 by fwacce

5. PS3 and 360 over-engineered? Is that a joke?

More like the Wii resembles Soviet-era military hardware. A CRT TV looks hi-tech next to that white box, let alone a REAL next-gen console.

Posted at 12:49PM on Jun 12th 2007 by Jay

6. I think it boils down to this. The DS is and Wii could essentially be a portable sytem. The technology in the device could be adapted in the Wii to make it portable if you replaced the DVD drive. There really is nothing inside the box that couldn't be removed in favor of portability.

Saying that, you could see a separation of gamer types. Those that prefer the pickup and go type games on small screen and maybe not so high-def, and those that prefer to sit in front of the big screen and enjoy visually enhanced games available on the PS3/360. You can't say one or the other is wrong. They both have different motives for playing a game. The PS3/360 are designed to fill the space of a component on a shelf in your living room. The Wii is designed to sit next to the TV and fit in a backpack (just like the Game Cube). There's nothing wrong with both kinds of players.

Posted at 12:51PM on Jun 12th 2007 by Andir3.0

7. This is exactly why we gamers can say "nay" to developers, even without "being in the business". We don't have to be making games to know that HDTV AND BROADBAND INTERNET ARE NOT REQUIRED TO ENJOY PS3 OR 360.

When will they learn? As dalejrfanfreak said, he owns a PS3 but not an HDTV, so what does that make him? A non-consumer? A non-gamer? Just a guy that bought some stuff? The main people I see talking about how HDTV isn't necessary yet are not the Wii crowd, but the 360 crowd, which a lot of them that I know don't own HDTV's yet.

Just because something supports certain tech doesn't mean it's REQUIRED to get enjoyment out of it. Sony stated again and again that they want to build the PS3 to last as long as possible, which is why it support standard definition and high definition. It supports everything from RGB cables to HDMI and optical. And with those things coupled with a free online service they are trying to reach out to as many people as they can within the $600 price tag(which totally sucks in light of the points I just made).

My girlfriend doesn't have a deep knowledge of gaming at all. She had to get me to SHOW her how to dig up a fossil on her DS animal crossing. Yet she wants me to buy her Virtua Tennis for PS3 as soon as I can, just from the HD DEMO I DOWNLOADED OVER MY BROADBAND CONNECTION.

Suck it SE. Go make DS games and tell us you're doing it for the market share even though we know you're doing it for the money. Keep acting like you and other eastern developers aren't becoming more westernized. We know what you're up to, and you know that we KNOW that, but you just don't want to publicly let it be known.

It's like the guys on cops that have their left hand up, and keep reaching for the glove box with their right hand, even though the cop has his gun aimed telling him to stop reaching. Do they really think they're fooling us?

Posted at 12:54PM on Jun 12th 2007 by OrganicShadow

8. I would want the best technology system you can get right now. I dont want to buy a system each 2 years. The PS3 will be supperior to the 360 in a year. Starting this year the PS3 will get more sales because of the awesome game lineup.

Posted at 1:17PM on Jun 12th 2007 by Lp47

9. I guess Squeenix is having some trouble getting their heads around real hardware. In the past, they've always worked on toys. They have never even made a PC game, instead turning it over to third party companies. Now they're faced with the most PC-like hardware, and they say "oh noes! hard to code for!".

Give them some time. They'll learn eventually. I'm sure that FFXIII is killing them just like Kojima is struggling with MGS4. The PS3 is like a dark cavern filled with treasure but instead of a torch you get a matchbook.

Posted at 1:19PM on Jun 12th 2007 by Popfrogs

10. ps3= future proof tech. seriously you buy this machine your set for a decade you just need to add a hdtv, which imo doesnt hamper games at all, sure they look a hell of a lot prettier but that doesnt mean you cant play the game on a sdtv. and last a good receiver, although most people i know use their tvs speakers, *shudders*

Posted at 1:35PM on Jun 12th 2007 by pete

11. I like the PS3 the way it is.

It took me 2 years to get a PS3. THe first thing I knew I needed was an HDTV. my 2005 tax return more than covered one. Now, all I had to do was wait til the PS3 dropped. I couldn't afford one at launch. So I waited for my 2006 tax return in March of this year and bought my gorgeous PS3. Money well spent IMO.

Posted at 1:37PM on Jun 12th 2007 by Matt B

12. HDTV support? That was necessary. HDTV's time has come, and if this generation of consoles didn't support it they'd have been outdated from the day they launched.

Now, stuff like BluRay and media center capabilities are a different matter. If they could have dropped that stuff and knocked $2-300 off the price tag, everyone would be a lot further ahead.

For those knocking the Wii, that's fine. Just remember that success is measured in sales, not fanboy opinion.

Posted at 1:42PM on Jun 12th 2007 by Chris Putnam

13. if handheld is future of gaming then i will pass. I see handhelds as a quick time killer while on the plane, on the bus, on the go - but imo it should NEVER replace home consoles.... unless parents want to see childrens with eye problems much more early. Staring at the small screen is tiring, especially if playing a time consuming game (which SE makes). I guess japanese people are "on the go" more than elsewhere or dont care about their eyes... If we have handheld future then i will pass... because i know i will never be able to play great games like the ones coming out for PS3/360 but instead have to settle for the stuff on ds/psp.

Posted at 1:45PM on Jun 12th 2007 by shase

14. Perhaps we should just excommunicate the Wii from the PS3/360/etc. crowd altogether? It's clearly in a "market" of it's own, and regardless of how many units sell and how many games come out for it, the hardcore gamers will STILL be wanting better graphics, physics, lighting, sound, voice acting, etc.

Nintendo will make profit from now until the next system they launch, so even if they aren't selling as many units or games as 360 or PS3 doesn't mean they "lost" the console war, or are doing "bad". It's really kind of abstract now, because if the Wii deteriorates the 360 and PS3 market, then the industry itself is being hurt, so I think it's best to just consider the Wii a different beast altogether, and not lump it in with the other guys anymore.

Going back to what I was saying earlier though, I think the DS and Wii will be eastern developers "fail safe" for these very reasons. They KNOW they can make "good" games for VERY little amounts of money, and MUCH quicker than other platforms, and with the install bases they will rake in cash.

With this cash they have raked in, I think they should be taking MOST of it, and putting it towards pushing into the next-gen market and using the rest to reinvest into the Wii market. That way there is balance........maybe.

Posted at 2:01PM on Jun 12th 2007 by OrganicShadow

15. @Square-Enix


Posted at 2:01PM on Jun 12th 2007 by RPG

16. shh.

......get back to making FFXIII.

Posted at 2:05PM on Jun 12th 2007 by Flanando

17. sounds like a cop-out to me...over engineered what a joke, seems that they don't want to invest in ps3 or 360 since the base of installed users is small in japan i wouldn't be suprised if they just went to the wii, no HD no real online, and they could do it in maybe half the time. Square is getting on my nerves and showing their age time for me to move on to a company that can do the whole HD-online thing and not cry about it! they have this stance because they look at the sales figures in japan and well it's not rocket science to see that ds and wii are kicking ass over there and to them that is where the money is.

Posted at 2:06PM on Jun 12th 2007 by Doc

18. Sounds like another lazy developer to me. Gamers crave better graphics, better physics, better AI, etc. and this can't be done on last-gen hardware. PS3 and Xbox 360 are advancing to the future of gaming while others...not mentioning any names...are stuck in the last generation. Square, keep up with technology or be left behind.

Posted at 2:29PM on Jun 12th 2007 by Josh

19. I have a nice example of how fast HDTV is catching on and how technology is moving quick even among casual gamers. I have a friend who swears the PS3/360 are "too powerful" and the graphics aren't necessary. Of course he owned a regular tube based crt television until his step mom got his dad a 50' plasma hdtv for this fathers day. He had stated over and over that no one is going to go out and spend $700+ on a TV and yet his own family just bought a $2500 tv as a present for his father. A nice present at that. The point here is that even if you think that the gamecube/wii/ps2/xbox look great and there is no need to upgrade yet, the technology is moving so fast that it is almost out of your control. He complains that his dvds and tv look grainy now and that his parents are upgrading to HD channels and might be getting a blu ray player. The fact is, technology is always advancing. Its moving even faster today than it was 10 years ago. The PS3 and 360 are equipped for the future and give us a nice taste of whats to come. Square Enix is just trying to defend their position. They want to support their biggest japanese game on the biggest selling japanese system, the DS. That is fine, as long as they give me FF13 on my PS3 and maybe Kingdom Hearts 3 also. In 3-4 years, square will be all over the PS3 and maybe the 360 also. I totally understand why square is releasing DQ9 on DS. Its a game that doesn't require anything more than decent 2d/3d. Its not meant to immerse you in the world and give you a movie like experience.

Posted at 2:45PM on Jun 12th 2007 by Xiru

20. I mostly concur with MR. Wada
Also check this out:

At Namco Bandai, Mr. Unozawa said PlayStation 3 was so complex, with its faster speeds and more advanced graphics, that it might take 100 programmers a year to create a single game, at a cost of about $10 million. Creating a game for Wii costs only a third as much and requires only a third as many writers, he said.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/08/technology/08nintendo.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5090&en=845f7af53aba4959&ex=1338955200&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

Posted at 2:46PM on Jun 12th 2007 by Arawn

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