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"The PS3 - My Thoughts"

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Wed 07/02/07 at 09:41
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
This is probably the hardest fought console battle we've seen since Sega and Nintendo went head-to-head in the 16 bit days.

Sony launch their PS3 in Europe in March and it will sit on the shelves next to the already successful 360 and Wii consoles.

Now we know the price, I can make a much better comparison of the 3 choices.

For the PS3, £425 is much better, and inline with previous Sony console releases. Only £25 more in fact. I still think more people would buy it at a sub £400 price point, but I think the pricing is much fairer than it could have been here, for what you get.

The main point when thinking about buying a PS3 should really be how much you want the PS3 exclusive games. If you only want the ones that are also available on the 360, then the only other reason to get one is to be an early adopter for Blu-ray. I don't even think the blu-ray player is fully featured, but perhaps someone could confirm or deny this.

So, it's a case of buying a £279 console or a £425. The former has the option for HD DVD if you want to upgrade at £130, making it almost the same price for both machines if new DVD formats bother you. Graphics-wise, it's hard to tell the difference at the moment until Sony's console has some second generation games, which we can assume would be better looking, but by how much is hard to say.

Or you could always get a sub £200 Wii and have fun... :D

Anyway, there ARE reasons to get a PS3, especially for fans of Sony software and the greater number of Japanese titles out there. There are quite a few hardcore Sony fans in Europe that haven't been put off by the launch delay or tempted in the meantime by one of the other options. Which means Sony will still have a guaranteed user base at launch, even if (going by the US launch) it's possibly not as much as they hoped.

In fact, I see the biggest obstacle for Sony in Europe as the length of time the other 2 have had to take hold of the market, not the price point or the delay. The 360 has a wealth of titles already and the Wii is just that much different, as well as having enough media space devoted to it to put it in the forefront of anyone’s mind when buying a new console. Though personally I think the Wii and PS3 audience will only cross over a small amount and their user bases will be different enough that they shouldn’t have too much effect on each other’s market.

Taking away all the arguments of price and delays, the machine itself seems to be well thought out and ready for anything the future has to offer (at least as far as the next 3-5 years go). Sony say that it’s fully upgradable, but I’m sceptical about how ‘fully’ that is. Obviously, a lot depends on whether the Blu-ray format takes off and whether there are any teething problems with disc errors etc (as the pits on the Blu-ray discs are smaller they may also be more susceptible to damage if scratched or dirty). But Sony are looking at upgrades as and when needed which, in 3 years time, may make all the difference against the 360 which competes with it on a graphical level.

Since graphics seem to be a strong focus for Sony and Microsoft this time around, updating the graphics on the PS3 would surely be the most important ability any console allegedly capable of being upgraded should have. Sony haven’t said anything, but I can’t see an easy way of updating graphics hardware, only the software. PCs have graphics cards, that’s how they stay ahead, but consoles have chips built specifically for them and often come attached to the mainboard. We’ll find out in time, but I remain sceptical about how long Sony can keep off the launch of another new console in 5-7 years, even with their ‘upgrade-ability’ on the PS3.

But we’re here now, so lets focus on this year. Sony need to make inroads with the PS3 and the only way they can do it is by showcasing their exclusive titles. It’s the only way that any console can compete. Historically, titles on multiple formats have often been written with the weaker format in mind, being ported across with few changes. This means that unless exclusive titles are present, people may go for the cheapest platform to play their games on. But Sony have some strong titles waiting for release. Gran Turismo has been the major talking point so far, especially graphically, and Sony’s deals with 3rd parties should bring some strong titles to the system.

So, is Sony doomed? No. Will they have a tougher time than with the PS2? Most definitely. It’s impossible to say that one console is better this time around, the 360 and PS3 are so similar, despite their different specs, and the Wii appeals to the rest of the market. We can only wait to see how it all pans out in a few years time, but it’s a hot battle this time around and an interesting one. Just don’t write Sony out of the game at this point…
Mon 16/04/07 at 16:34
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
Agreed that the HD route is the way to go, though not at the risk of alienating those who haven't got it yet.

The main problem, as has been mentioned many times, is the software. Sony need more Killer Aps.

It's not about how powerful the machine is (look at PS2 vs Xbox) or what bells and whistles it has, but what games are available. For all the things the PS3 can do, it needs more exclusive games of the caliber of Motorstorm. If it has these before next Christmas then it will still do well, but not at the expense of the 360, which I believe will have kept its even footing.

The only thing that will really damage the 360 is if more of them go wrong and Microsoft continues to ignore customer problems.
Mon 16/04/07 at 16:17
Regular
"Fishing For Reddies"
Posts: 4,986
I think a few software updates and an easier to use web-browser would be nicer, but with a USB Keyboard and Mouse, the PS3 is fairly usable.

Granted, most people are used to PCs, and the resolution on the internet and the PS Store is dire in 480p, but I think they're on the right track.

People won't buy into an HD format until they've come down in price, anyway... so as long as the PS3 drops with them, I think the userbase will do well over the next 2 years.

Depends if normal people will pay extra for gaming, or if gamers will pay extra for non-gaming things. 6 and half a dozen, perhaps.
Sun 15/04/07 at 16:17
Regular
Posts: 213
I agree with you in principal. It is getting to the stage now where there are som many up and coming technologies that it was only time until a "Lounge Hub" was developed such as the PS3. However I am of the belief that if such a hub is to exist then it needs to be based around a specialised "PC" for want of a better word. PC's have been doing all of these things for years eg playing movies, Music games and much more like 3D imaging and photoshop etc. All we need is for the developement of a pretty looking PC which wouldn't look out of place in your lounge and you would have a facility which could produce better sound, Graphics, internet and even range of functions than a PS3 ever could.

Granted at first it would be expensive but for the "average joe" shelling out £500 is as unthinkable as shelling out £1500. You could argue that the console market has an average age range of 12 ish to 23 ish so how many of these people would have £500 spare. Not many i would wager. Where as the gaming market for online pc games start at 15 and up there is not really a cap. I think £2000 even, is more attainable for an older person with a job than £500 is for a kid on pocket money.

Also value for money wise, I dont think the PS3 does well enough at any of its functions. I would spend three times as much on a machine if it was 4 times as good.

It is a half arsed solution for a problem at full arsed money!!!!
Sun 15/04/07 at 15:44
Regular
"Fishing For Reddies"
Posts: 4,986
Yeah. Not initially, considering the price; but as an Under-The-TV unit, definitely. Not everyone could afford a 5GB iPod when they first came out at £330, but you'd have to say that, even with more advanced features, it's something that everyone can use and has enough features for the 'Average Joe'.
Sun 15/04/07 at 14:30
Regular
Posts: 9,995
You think PS3 is for the average Joe? Anyway....
Sun 15/04/07 at 14:10
Regular
"Fishing For Reddies"
Posts: 4,986
I think the fact that you're a purest - and don't want a PS3 - might mean that, for the Average Joe, the PS3 is ideal. In an age where we have Mobile Phones (N95?) that seem like they can do everything but cook dinner, it's no surprise that companies release an all-in-one system like the PS3, or 360 - or, in fact, that people want and expect them.

I'm like you, in the fact that I have a 5.1 System... Arcam Amp-DVD pairing with some RS8s on the end, PS3, Wii, 360, HD Projector... There's not a huge amount else I'd need, to be classed a total nerd. I guess for people who don't want/aren't allowed all that the PS3 is ideal. Sure, HD Readiness isn't something most people will immediately want, but considering the PS3 has an estimated 10-year life span, it's not surprising that SONY has decided to push it forward.

Also, HD channels should be available through Freeview in the next two years, so this HD-era will encompass more and more people regardless whether they want it or not. I admit the PS3 is a bit of a bundle product, but it's a bit ahead of it's time... You by a printer nowadays and you get flash-memory slots, you buy a laptop and it has a built-in webcam, you buy a kettle - for crying out loud - and it has a feature to keep the water hot after boiling. So much nowadays has overkill add-ons when you buy it. The PS3 at least adds sensible things that a 'Center-of-the-Lounge' box (As SONY have titled the PS3) should have. Wi-Fi is sensible, so are the media card slots, if they double as a memory card with a later firmware.

Early days, obviously... but I think the PS3 is a solid platform. But it's about software now... and what who creates. Some games like Little Big Planet are very promising... but we'll see.
Sun 15/04/07 at 10:44
Regular
Posts: 213
Bottom line is I am a purest. I have a top notch sterio for my music, a amazing 5.1 dvd setup, a Wii and many other consoles for my gaming and a PC for my internet. My view is that if something is designed to do 4 things then it will do each of them a quarter as well. I bought a PS3 and have since sold it on. The graphics were nice and crisp but not hugely better than PS2 on release.The games are rubbish and I have been hard pressed to find people who dont agree. Sound quality and other multimedia capabilities are not as good as any independant hardware and yes there is that huge price tag. Coupled together with the slowness of the internet functions due to the same old same old PS controller and I can see very little way this will be a success esp with the Wii's innovative controllers and fun games at a third of the price ajnd the 360's graphical excellence and renowned xbox live function. I really do believe the PS3 will be at the bottom of the pile when the official sales and consumer satisfaction results come in.
Thu 12/04/07 at 22:27
Regular
"Fishing For Reddies"
Posts: 4,986
Good point. It does...

Okay, aside form that! :)

Built in Wi-fi is nice though, they could do with a version of Windows Media Connect, mind... I love that about the 360.
Thu 12/04/07 at 17:08
Regular
Posts: 9,995
I was under the impression that the PS3 comes without HD cables.
Thu 12/04/07 at 16:52
Regular
"8==="
Posts: 33,481
Game wrote:
> When you buy a PS3, you don't need to add a thing.

Exactly, it's lazy. There's no choice, just an attempt to grab as much money as possible by railroading the consumer into buying the included extras that they don't need.

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