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Posts with tag Xbox

The first six months show PS3 lagging behind everything

PlayStation 2 is one of the most successful consoles of all time. Last generation, it devastated its competition, with Xbox claiming a very distant second, and Nintendo's Gamecube trailing behind at third. Interestingly, the first six months of sales for these consoles show a similar pattern: PS2, followed by Xbox, followed by Gamecube. While correlation does not imply causality, these figures certainly show that the interest a product garners within its first six months can be quite important.

Fast-forward to today. PS3 has suffered a crucial blow last month, and with fewer than a dozen games coming out in the next month, the immediate future does not look much brighter. Infendo (a Nintendo fan site) has constructed a graph, pointing out PS3's lackluster momentum in its first six months. Comparatively, it has been outpaced by last generation's "failures."

What can we garner from this data? Firstly, Sony is going to have to try much harder. Secondly, the PS3 isn't that much farther behind the Xbox 360. Finally, the most startling revelation: people aren't as interested in this new generation of console technology as they were previous year's. A look at Wii's phenomenal success is indicative of the industry moving in a direction that many could not have predicted. As distressing as this information may be to Sony fanboys, we have to remember that the battle is far from over.

[Via Joystiq]

What's one Red Ring of Death between friends?

We like pictures. You guys must know this, because one of you (allmodcons) has sent us one. A photograph snapped at the Union Square Gamestop in New York City. You can see a cropped version to the right, if you're feeling too lazy to click through. It's an Xbox 360 display case with an unfortunate case of Red-Ring-of-Death-itis. That's the proper medical name, I've heard.

I'll admit that when I saw the image schadenfreude got the better of me. I took some pleasure in Gamestop's misfortune and smiled to myself. Doing so without any malice toward the Xbox 360 console itself or its owners, however. We at PS3 Fanboy love our 360 owning brothers (and sisters). Don't spread this too far, but some of us even own one ourselves. Crazy, eh? We may tease them about their embarrassing hiccups from time to time, but like the well-intentioned siblings that they are they give as good as they get. We'll be the first to mention the number of times the PS3 has overheated at a retail booth (or even at the TGS), or its low sales figures. Remember the Xbox 360 dressed up as a PS3? That was pretty embarrassing, too.

A bit of good natured ribbing on each side makes things a bit more fun and interesting, I think. That's why it's OK to have a chuckle at pictures like this from time to time.

Console war? More like a console pillow-fight.

[Thanks Nick]

A study into the mind of gamers

Sony fanboys, ever wonder why XBox fanboys are so eager and ready to flame the competition? Why they have the alpha male complex, but are distrustful to information that rebukes their arguments? XBox fanboys, ever wonder why Sony fanboys trust the potential of the PS3 and in some cases, Sony in general? Now we "know". A study about brand names and the psychological responses from them has concluded that those who see ads for XBox are "more self-confident and "power motivated" than those who viewed Sony's ads. But it also "increased levels of distrust," something Sony's branding did not do."

Now, this isn't anything official, but if looked at through a humorous lens, it makes sense. At least, from the "argument" point of view. It does appear that the PS3 fanboys have to defend against the random bashings of a Microsoft supporter on a site that is, for lack of a better term, pro-Sony. Seeking power and being self-confident are at the least, convenient explanations. In the end, marketers just have to be careful. If they make too many bad moves (Sony's ad agencies have misstepped a few times) then there may be a falling out of brand support. It's just a silly study that really proves very little, but we all need a good chuckle now and again. Hopefully the results won't be used in any sort of "anti-violence in gaming" scheme.

Entitle this! Sony names their own achievements

A wise man once said, "The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity." Having said that, a recent EGM Live podcast revealed what Sony could be calling their own version of game Achievements. Enter... the Entitlements!

At a point during the first third of the podcast, Dan Hsu spoke about how these Entitlements could be a key player in the next-gen cross-platform scene. Due to the infamously rising development costs, bringing the same game from one console to another is shaping up to be a very cost-effective alternative to exclusive titles (sad as it may be). So if you earn some Achievements on a certain ported game, chances are you will be able nab the same Entitlements on Sony's service just as easily.

The editors also made a very sharp point: wouldn't it be great to see something tangible awarded to those gamers with high Entitlements? Perhaps a free retro game to download, or an honorary icon/avatar for your profile?

Detractors of the PS3 reach out, grab nothing

It shouldn't come as a surprise to know that with the lull in the biz during this time of the year (the hot, greasy summer), many people are floundering for something tangible to talk about. And nothing says "Urgent!" like an apocalyptic headline about Sony biting the big one.

Whether it's opinionated articles stabbing at the high cost or mole hill-stories becoming mountains over nothing, detractors of the PlayStation 3 would like nothing more than to stir up the pot and chip away at the foundation of Sony. For instance, on the heels of the SmackDown "cancellation" news, certain outlets would love to make people believe that all of the developers are just throwing in the towel and pulling support. In reality though, nothing was cancelled at all!

Like this write-up suggests, the summer is slow and Sony's next-gen console is an easy target for quick publicity (or just malicious take-downs). We're not advocating that anything critical which is said about the PS3 is unfounded, but use your head next time you read something about the console and if you feel like it's blown out of proportion, dismiss it as such.

The Intelligence Factor: analysts speak out... again

We know, we know. You've been seeing this regurgitated analyst stuff for months now, and you'd be hard pressed to find something that cites Sony in a good position at this point. Well, unfortunately, DFC Intelligence isn't ready to change that trend.

"Why should anyone even bother reading something from a bunch of researchers outside of the industry anyway," you ask? Actually, DFC has been covering the games biz ever since 1993. They've been around the block a few times, so even if you don't like what you're reading here (and if you're a Sony fan, you won't) it's still just food for thought.

Lots of research and 600 pages later, they've come out with a comprehensive forecast of the industry. What they say is that "two things are clear: 1) the high price of the PlayStation 3 is going to slow overall industry growth, especially for software and 2) if Sony does not change its current strategy for the PS3 the system will probably end up in third place in installed base. Microsoft and Nintendo have been handed that golden opportunity and both companies have a chance to make their systems the market leader."

What's this about software growth and Sony inhibiting it? On the contrary, with their free online platform, Sony could be poised to offer all kinds of commercial and independent (heck, even homebrew) games to a wider audience right out of the box. This could be just as much of a golden opportunity if they play their cards right. As for Blu-ray and the other software medium, we've already heard from one developer that he believes it could make all the difference. So take this analyst report as you will, the rest of us are waiting for November.

[Via Joystiq]

Half-Life 2 gets a few episode boosts on PS3

Near the end of 2006 we can expect a lovely port of the more than lovely Half-Life 2 to the XBox 360 and the Playstation 3. But, we don't just get the great game, we also get the great two "episodes" also being released separately for the PC. The episodes are basically extensions to the story, sometimes explaining unclear parts of the main story. Oh, and they're insanely fun.

PC players won't feel too bad about the consoles getting the two episodes included with their copy of the game. At the same time it's released on consoles, PC gamers will have two other games to choose from: Team Fortress 2 and Portal. Still, would a console gamer be able to handle all that awesome in one package? Spacing it out on the PC may have been necessary to save our lives.

Need for Speed drops the Carbon bomb

The monopoly company Electonic Arts has recently announced its newest street racing title, Need for Speed: Carbon and will monopolize release it on multiple systems this November. When I say multiple systems, I mean all current gen consoles, next gen consoles and the handhelds. So, what's different in this mod n' drive n' shift n' turn racer than previous installments?

The gents at IGN had the street cred to get some information from executive producer Larry LaPierre. His response was: canyon racing. Yep, now we take our races from the city streets into the nearby canyon roads and wind around mountains to victory. Sounds tough, since actually driving around a canyon in real life can be fairly unnerving. According to LaPierre, "Canyon Racing is a real test of a driver's skill and we think it provides a fantastic game play opportunity to lean into." Yeah, probably. Is that all?

Continue reading Need for Speed drops the Carbon bomb

Multi-platform title Theseis is "dropped" for PS3

It's unfortunate that this bit of news is circulating with so little information included, but word has it that Track7 has "cancelled" their multi-platform game Theseis. The culprit? High development costs: "If Sony were to offer us assistance in producing a PS3 version we would be more than happy to oblige!" This coming from inside the company.

Heading to Xbox 360 and PC, this title was also popularized as a PlayStation 3 game. However, they were quick to nip this in the bud with an announcement on their website: "Track7Games would like to clarify that we never cancelled something that did not exist in the first place. We plan to develop "Theseis" for PC and Xbox360 in the near future. As for the PS3, we simply made a strategic decision to not move ahead because we deemed it not probable at this time."

So there you have it: Theseis was not "cancelled" so much as it was just dropped in the interests of business. Either way, Sony fans are still holding out for some dedicated third-party support.

Soul Calibur IV coming to PS3?

Limber up those weapon combos because Soul Calibur IV has been confirmed for a next installment. One of the producers from Namco Bandai spoke to GameDaily about it being in production, but other than that we're not sure if it will be coming to next-gen consoles or not.

However, with Tekken 6 skipping the arcade phase and going straight to PS3, what are the chances of seeing Soul Calibur IV do the same thing? Having a next-gen version of the weapons-based fighter would be a big score for Sony. And just think about what they would try to do with the motion-sensing controller. So we know it's on the way, and there's a good chance it will go straight to consoles, but which system (or systems)?

Radical Movement: is motion-sensing just a fad?

IGN has a big four-page article tackling the notion about whether these newfangled motion-sensing controllers are just a gimmick or not. Are both Nintendo and Sony venturing down the road of the Power Glove, only to be a forgotten memory in years to come?

The chance of that happening have yet to be seen, but to frame this correctly, you have to consider that it's not a new technology. Sure, everyone's talking about someone copying somebody else. But the reality of it is that this has been around for quite some time now. In this business you have to learn from mistakes in the past, which is what Sony and the Nintendo camp are doing.

But what if we're just going through the motions and falling for another gimmick (no pun intended). There's a whole lot of potential behind this technology if we get the right creative minds behind it. Innovation has many faces, but will we see it used correctly? Read the rest of the article and think about it.

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.

"This is not a done deal" says O'Hanrahan

You've no doubt heard about the reality-check coined by Niall O'Hanrahan of Sony Ireland. If you haven't, let's recap.

Sony execs have been tripping over themselves since E3 trying to cover ground. They've gone so far as to call the PC out and, to a lesser extent, lead the press on an anti-Sony campaign thanks to many a fallible quote. In the face of a jeering crowd, they have had a large amount of blind confidence that everyone wants to get a piece of.

Now, arguably for the first time, a Sony executive is owning up and saying what needed to be said: "We have a marketing challenge from now until launch. This is not a done deal. It will require a lot of effort from us. ... We would never say we cannot fail." This is definitely a big contradiction to what we've been hearing from other Sony cheerleaders. If they had just leveled with everyone like this in the first place, it would have saved them truckloads of grief. Now it's time for Sony to take a different angle on the PR since they have our attention.

Kaz Hirai says "Thanks" to Microsoft

It's been no surprise that whenever Sony is faced with the accusation of copying Microsoft's online strategy, they talk about progressing the industry as a whole and broadening the scope of the business. Kaz Hirai has furthered that mentality by going on the record saying "thanks" to the software giant.

"Thank you, Microsoft, for helping us in taking consumers online," he said to Mercury news. "The most important thing for us is to make sure online is an integral part of the experience. It's not a 'nice to have' feature. It enables new businesses."

Even though the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 will soon be going head-to-head, it's obvious that Sony and Mr. Hirai believe that this is a collective endeavor all the same. Think of it as competitive synergy. Of course if that's not the case then at least he's putting on a good poker face.

Microsoft calls PS3 online strat "plagiarism"

The turf war continues with Chris Lewis of Microsoft kicking up some dirt about Sony's online strategy for the PlayStation 3. In an interview with Eurogamer, Mr. Lewis accused Sony of stealing their idea and implementing it as their own.

"Plagiarism is a good thing - that in itself isn't such a problem, it's what the market wants. But we've known that's what the market wanted all along," he said. Adding that he thinks it's flattering, Chris stated that he's glad to see Sony bridging the gap and covering ground to catch up, but that he's a little hazy on the whole thing.

"How the pricing is going to work still to me seems very unclear." Well, if Sony sticks to their guns, then the answer is simple: it'll be free!

[Via Xbox 360 Fanboy]

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