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What the hell happened to Sony?


Lothar Hex
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theres no doubting the PS3 is future proof for a wee while..

I've got a 180 gig HD in mine

There is if no sod is developing for the bloody thing: linky do

Sony has "pleaded" with developers not to abandon PS3, says Dean Takahashi of The Mercury News

Writing in his games blog, Takahashi states that Sony has abandoned the "arrogance of past years" following weaker than expected sales of its next-gen system. The platform holder has reportedly told developers that the PS3 will be a success, suggesting it's just a slow burner.

"One piece of news that came out this week was that Sony pleaded with third-party developers not to abandon its struggling platform... The argument is that the PS3 will show its strength as developers learn how to make games for it.

"But developers know they can staff four or five Wii teams with the same number of people it takes to make one PS3 game. We may have a glut of Wii games soon, but that's not as bad as not having enough games on the PS3."

Takahashi's comments follow the recent release of NPD sales statistics for September. The numbers showed that Sony sold only 119,400 PS3s during the month, in comparison to the Xbox 360 and Wii which both shifted more than 500k units at retail.

While Sony labeled September "a strong month for the PlayStation brand," Takahashi feels that the system's lack of killer software means more hard times lay ahead for the company's games division.

"Sony managed to crack the top ten finally with a PS3 title, Heavenly Sword. But beyond Ratchet & Clank, it's unclear what is going to be a big seller for the company this season."

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I don't think anyone is denying that it is an amazing piece of kit, but what is it? A Blu Ray player, a console, a media hub? What's it's primary function?

WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY FUNCTION?!

What film is that from?

As for the PS3... It's an ENTERTAINMENT MACHINE, not a games console. YEAH!

Stuff that branches away from games, like that news that Top Gear episodes will be on Gran Turismo TV. Does that take anything away from the game?

It plays BD movies, it surfs the internet, it's a DVD player, music player, photo viewer... it does a lot of stuff. But it also does games. And hey, RATCHET, it does them pretty well already.

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Surely complacency would be releasing a PS3 without Blu-Ray, without an HDD, without Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in, etc, etc.

They could have played it safe but instead they released a risky high-priced BLEEDIN' EDGE piece of kit.

The hardware was risky, but the complacency came in their strategy, which was basically, "Who gives a shit what we price it at and what games are ready? It's Playstation... the last one flew off the shelves, so will this one."

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A mix of things, most have already been said here.

Arrogance and the firm knowledge that they are market leaders (when the PS3 was being formed) and, apparently, unbeatable.

And stupid bloody-mindedness of sticking a blu-ray player inside driving the price up. Oh, and including blu-ray has had another effect- people didn't (and mostly still don't) want to commit to either format until there is a clear "winner".. no one wants to be Beta Max burned.

Now they are fucking up things even more, muddying the waters with different packages available depending on where you live, if you want BC or not, if you want a rumble feature you have to wait till they have dumped all the current stock on the consumers again..

Stupid stupid stupid.

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Arrogance/complacency call it what you will, all the market leaders have had it

Nintendo: NES,SNES then the delay of the N64.....

Sega Master System, Megadrive/Genesis their downfall started with the MegaCD, then the Saturn... They launched the Dreamcast, but ran out of cash to market it properly...

Sony PS1, PS2 then PS3 late, overpriced and not enough/any killer launch titles to justify it's RRP/delay. At least the delay in the N64 had SM64 and the Saturn had VF as wow look at me launch titles.

The only thing in their favour is brand awareness, as people still want it, now with the price cut and some decent marketing, it may get near the xbox360, but I think that it would be seen as a failure if they do not overtake it (the 360) within the next year or so.

They need to get some decent middleware programs out to 3rd party as why are Midway struggling with getting the likes of Stranglehold and UT3 out. EA cannot seem to get the same performance they can on a 360, I am sure that Sony would have given them dev kits very early, so why are they having trouble getting stable framerates.

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Not including Blu-Ray and you'd have a point... It can't be avoided but Blu-Ray was never put in for the purpose of gaming no matter what they say, it was a Trojan horse to try and kill off HD-DVD.

As true as it is that the Blu-Ray thing is definitely a strategy to own the HD disc format, I think time will prove Sony right about needing a bigger capacity disc in an HD console (whether that be Blu-Ray specifically, HD-DVD or another hypothetical format.)

We're already seeing multi-DVD games on 360, and reports from 2 games I can think of off the top of my head (PGR4, Assassin's Creed) that the 'limited' space on a DVD is a constricting factor. So I don't mind them including it. It annoys me that they felt they had to try another format rather than just go with HD-DVD (creating a stupid format war and all the rest of that gubbins) but the decision to put a big disc in, I can't criticise.

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What happened Sony? You used to be cool.

I was thinking the exact same thing the other day. And not when I was looking at the gamessection in my local electronics boutique, but when I was looking at MP3 players. Remember the 80's? When a "Walkman" was the device to own? A real Walkman by Sony ofcourse, but also the cheaper clones from other brands were called Walkman.

Look at what Sony calls the Walkman these days and see the uninspired, bland also-ran MP3 players that failed due to high price, limited features and obscure formats nobody wants to use. These days people don't have a Walkman anymore, they have an "iPod", even if it's not made by Apple. Playstation is going the same way, or so it seems.

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I think Nintendo did for Sony by releasing the hugely more popular Wii console with it's revolutionary motion sensitive controller at around the same time. It totally stole its thunder. If there was no Wii the PS3 would probably be doing better as it would be the console to have. The fact that the console to have is cheaper and contains over 100% more joy just makes the PS3 look like an even less enticing proposition.

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The xbox was a great media and emulator device and online gaming console, And nintendo had mario, zelda and the usuals.

A standard Xbox was just an online-enabled (which cost money) games console with a predilection for PC ports, you had to molest it to enable any other functionality or pay for basic DVD playback.

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A standard Xbox was just an online-enabled (which cost money) games console with a predilection for PC ports, you had to molest it to enable any other functionality or pay for basic DVD playback.

Its like not taking psp naughtyness into consideration. It was a huge reason to own the console and what it could do.

Calling it "just" an online enabled console is wrong. It made online console gaming what it is today, the PS2 was struggling to get any sort of online together outside of the socom crowd and everyone else was playing stuff like pgr2, rainbow six and halo 2 on live. It made a huge impact for lots of people.

Ask most on the forum, no one probably played online in front of their tv and on their sofa before.

Unless you had a pstwo, the PS2 needed a broadband adaptor for 20-30 quid so the cost of live in comparison to the other shit online services became a moot point. With psn today its far harder to justify gold live cash wise, but I go where the players and games are and am happy to pay for it.

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Sony's mistake was believing there was no need to rush to the next gen market with PS3, under the assumption that nobody would buy a console from Microsoft which kept breaking down, and which was the successor to a console that they thrashed with a technically inferior product. Likewise, the unparalleled success of the DS took them by surprise (they weren't alone on that one). Still, both PS3 and PSP are alive and well, PS2 hasn't exactly had a bad 2007, and Blu-ray is starting to bury HD DVD, so I expect things to be back to normal this time next year.

If PS3, Wii and the 360 had launched simultaneously, I can't imagine many wanting to bother with those nerdishly-monikered 'red rings of death' for the past two years. Incredibly, I don't work for Sony.

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Sony's mistake was believing there was no need to rush to the next gen market with PS3, under the assumption that nobody would buy a console from Microsoft which kept breaking down, and which was the successor to a console that they thrashed with a technically inferior product. Likewise, the unparalleled success of the DS took them by surprise (they weren't alone on that one). Still, both PS3 and PSP are alive and well, PS2 hasn't exactly had a bad 2007, and Blu-ray is starting to bury HD DVD, so I expect things to be back to normal this time next year.

Christ, it really isn't. At the moment, they're both being buried.

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What happened is that Sony forgot that consoles are primarily a software business. They haven't made the platform an attractive target for developers and they don't have enough first-party titles.

The 360 is a better platform for the hardcore lineup, and the Wii is better for families/casual/experimental titles. Moreover, there are clear indications that a lot of cross-platform titles are going to be late or inferior on the PS3 (Orange Box, Blacksite, UT3) - not because the hardware is inherently worse, but just because of the lack of middleware and the complexity of developing for PS3 and publishers pushing to meet deadlines.

They've also fragmented their PS3 hardware range even more ridiculously than Microsoft.

The only way to save the PS3 would have been to subsidise it more and get a 40GB, properly backwards compatible, Blu-Ray machine at a price below the 360 Elite.

They're going to finish third this generation now. There's no way they can pull it back.

You could argue that they were in the same position before with Dreamcast (weak initial software lineup) but now they are losing to TWO platforms at once, each excelling in different sectors.

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I have to say I dunno why the PS3 isn't crushing everyone else. It has to be marketing and lack of AAA games, cos it sure can't be the specs of the console. At the weekend I was using my PSP to surf and play movies from the PS3 while cooking (and while the TV was in use later on). Yesterday I was viewing photos wirelessley from my N95. I can put my memory cards or cameras into the PS3 and play the movies or files from there. And I even have a dilemma: do I get DVDs or Blu-ray films, now that I have a Blu-ray player? I like the fact that the PS3 can do lots of different kinds of things, but then again I'm a gadget freak admittedly.

I kinda agree with Soong's and The Goat Keeper's comments:

Surely complacency would be releasing a PS3 without Blu-Ray, without an HDD, without Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in, etc, etc.

They could have played it safe but instead they released a risky high-priced BLEEDIN' EDGE piece of kit.

theres no doubting the PS3 is future proof for a wee while..

I've got a 180 gig HD in mine.

As for the PS3... It's an ENTERTAINMENT MACHINE, not a games console. YEAH!

Stuff that branches away from games, like that news that Top Gear episodes will be on Gran Turismo TV. Does that take anything away from the game?

It plays BD movies, it surfs the internet, it's a DVD player, music player, photo viewer... it does a lot of stuff. But it also does games. And hey, RATCHET, it does them pretty well already.

But yeah, I agree that Sony's lost its way and if it isn't careful, the PS3 will be third by the time next generation's consoles are out.

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I have about 10 male friends aged 20-30 who are non tecchy and lite gamers. I think their attitude quite fairly represents many mainstream buyers:

All except 1 own a PS2. Most know very little or nothing about HD technology.

None of them has ever thought about getting a Xbox 360 (most still call it a Xbox) until they saw Halo 3 in HD at my place.. I think a couple may now buy one. The ones that are married or have families have bought a wii (3 of them).

The vast majority of them will either buy a PS3 when the price drops to around £250 or lower or PES is released on PS3 but not PS2. They have very little info on what blu-ray is (it will have no bearing on their purchase) and no intention of buying a HDTV until their current TV breaks.

The PS3 maybe all singing and dancing but whilst the PS2 is still supported it isn't enough for the mainstream buyer to go next gen. Especially when there are no AAA PS3 exclusive titles and Blu-ray's remain so expensive in comparison to SD-DVD.

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Surely complacency would be releasing a PS3 without Blu-Ray, without an HDD, without Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in, etc, etc.

They could have played it safe but instead they released a risky high-priced BLEEDIN' EDGE piece of kit.

That's nothing to do with courage though, nor does it show a lack of complacency. It's more to do with corporate wrangling and a trojan horse hope mixed with a let them eat cake overclocked mentality.

I don't think that the forum is wilfully anti Sony. I'm more pro this console than say the PS2 which I never really liked either in comparison to the Cube and the Dreamcast (better controller on that, better looking games on the DC - texture/rendering wise). The PS3 is just overpriced, undergamed and being marketed by complete idiots. I'd say that whoever had the badge on the machine. It's not a schadenfreude type thing, I don't think that we're all wanting to see Sony fail for any real reason nor have we all been bought off by Microinsertdollar sign. The 360 is just *when it works* a good piece of kit, the controller is ace and the games are fantata. In comparison the ps3 is overpriced, overweight with mainstream unwanted tech, slim on decent games and lacking any real focus or given/understood message. That's not a personal attack or revenge filled diatripe. It's just the truth.

That said I am aiming to buy one in the next couple of weeks, purely to make sure I get BC on my birthday present of a month away. But I'm not overjoyed at being forced into it per se, just hoping that LBP is as good as I hope it will be.

But anyway: Sony lost focus, came into the fight overconfident and cocky, forgot who it was selling to and took its position for granted. I'm not 100% convinced that it's lost the fight, but tbh it's looking less and less likely that they'll ever take back even second place this gen. The Third place ads are looking like they came a gen too soon. That and the controller manage to upset everyone by and large. It was too old fashioned to seem like a progression and the only thing that was a progression was a complete theft and the bit they took out the said we were all idiots for missing and then when they put it back in they said it was the future!!! Which I think they'll do with BC as well, but can't be sure of, but tbh I think it'll be another damaging about face in two months time.

On a different but related subject whenever I read a Soong post I wonder if his is a bizarre reversal on the comedy account and that the avatar is a human facade for that pro-Sony(lol) green cartoon character from the Crashlander strip in Edge....

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Proprietary media is and always will be Sony’s big problem.

Their business model across the board is all about getting you in on the initial purchase and once you’re in getting you to continually line their pockets by exclusively buying media they have a vested interest in.

Failed with Betamax, minimal sucess with MiniDisc, worked to an extent with phones / cameras (memorystick). With consoles it worked with PS2/DVD (because people wanted it / market was ready), they tried on PSP/UMD (movies flopped) and now they're trying the same trick again with PS3/BluRay.

The only difference this time is that the market isn't ready to take a £100 hit for a feature they don't care or in some cases know about

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I'm always surprised how much flak Sony get, when a lot of their problems are down to MS being willing to fight far more ruthlessly than anyone else in the games business.

MS went all out to get the 360 on to shelves at the time that would pressure Sony the most, they went cheap (and probably sacrificed build quality) to make the PS3 look far more expensive than it really is and they got involved in the HD movie business, possibly only as a spoiling tactic to undermine Blu-ray. Microsoft's deep pockets have managed to bring a lot of games exclusively to the 360 as well.

All of this is fair competition of course, but it's not the sort of stuff that Nintendo or Sega ever seemed to succeed at.

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I'm always surprised how much flak Sony get, when a lot of their problems are down to MS being willing to fight far more ruthlessly than anyone else in the games business.

MS went all out to get the 360 on to shelves at the time that would pressure Sony the most, they went cheap (and probably sacrificed build quality) to make the PS3 look far more expensive than it really is and they got involved in the HD movie business, possibly only as a spoiling tactic to undermine Blu-ray. Microsoft's deep pockets have managed to bring a lot of games exclusively to the 360 as well.

All of this is fair competition of course, but it's not the sort of stuff that Nintendo or Sega ever seemed to succeed at.

Sorry thats rubbish. It reads like "well sony arent doing so good because microsoft are being really mean to them".

I mean, I see your point, but Sony had a good enough brand and previous industry exp and relationships to do better than they have. They did have internal problems too, with Ken Kutaragi running around making is own decision. They've made plenty of fuck ups on their own.

And nintendo don't even seem to be trying against them.

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The long term implications for the console buisness is bleak for tech geeks like me, the success of the Wii, probably means that the successors to the PS3 and 360 will be little more than speed bumped versions of current gen.

Does anyone now believe Microsoft and Sony will spend billions making new, 20x more powerful successors, when Nintendo can make billions selling an overclocked Gamecube in a shiny new shell.

Sonys arrogance with the PS3 has much bigger implications for everyone who loves gaming than just the effect on Sony.

As far as im concerned console evolution will be alot slower over the next 10 years, than the previous 10.

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Proprietary media is and always will be Sony’s big problem.

Their business model across the board is all about getting you in on the initial purchase and once you’re in getting you to continually line their pockets by exclusively buying media they have a vested interest in.

Failed with Betamax, minimal sucess with MiniDisc, worked to an extent with phones / cameras (memorystick). With consoles it worked with PS2/DVD (because people wanted it / market was ready), they tried on PSP/UMD (movies flopped) and now they're trying the same trick again with PS3/BluRay.

The only difference this time is that the market isn't ready to take a £100 hit for a feature they don't care or in some cases know about

I had a minidisc player for about five years before I went MP3. It was a Sony one and absolutely bulletproof.

Anyway, I think if Sony delayed the launch til now and launched with the lineup they did plus Warhawk, Home and Little Big Planet they would be laughing. Even at £425.

And people moan about exclusives but my PS3 collection is:

Folklore

F1 Championship Edition

Motorstorm

Sega Rally

Virtua Fighter 5

The majority are exclusive titles.

I do think Sony will come good in the end though.

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