Wednesday, August 30, 2006

PlayStation 3 - The Methuselah of Consoles

[News] [Computer Gaming]

Gamespot is reporting an interview with Sony Computer Entertainment of American president Kaz Hirai. During the course of the interview, Mr Hirai says some things that are... a little hard to swallow. In fact, a lesser man might call them outright lies. Please find me a lesser man, so that I can induce him to do that for me.

First, Hirai suggests that the high price point of the PS3 is justified because unlike the 360 and the Wii, it will have a 10-year lifespan. Quote: "We're not going to ask the consumers to suddenly buy another PlayStation console in five years' time and basically have their investment go by the wayside."

So, what, Microsoft and Nintendo are going to release a new console in five years, and Sony are just going to say, "Keep buying the PS3 - it's still good"?

Hirai goes on to warn us not to expect to ever see a PS3 without the hideously expensive Blu-ray player embedded in it. Quote: "Our decision to include the Blu-ray player from day one in all of our PlayStation 3s was the right decision and, quite honestly, the only decision we can make. " I might have thought that there was another decision they could have made - to NOT - but then, who am I to argue to with Kaz Hirai"?

Hirai also comments on the worrying fact that the PS3 is still not actually in production, and says, "We are going to make every effort possible to make sure that we get as many units out into the market in the major territories as well as some of the smaller territories that we're launching in." So although "worldwide launch" may theoretically include Australia, if you're living Down Under don't count on getting your hands on the hardware until 2007 unless you're really, really lucky.

Lastly, when asked about the PS3 launch lineup, Hirai comments that they won't have that locked down and ready to announce until "three to four weeks before launch". If launch day is 17 November, then that means that they should be ready to announce the launch lineup.... right in the middle of Tokyo Game Show! Huzzah!


Josh said...

I think the lifespan thing is a bit cheap. I think Microsoft will flip the Xbox lifespan within five years, but it's a lot harder to tell how long the Wii could be a viable platform.

Plus, six years from now Sony could easily be like ... but we have this new thing coming out.

Blu-Ray - I actually agree with putting Blu-Ray in there. I think Microsoft will regret not having HD-DVD standard two years from now. HD content takes up an enormous amount of disc space and console gamers won't be happy with five disc installs/plays.

If you're going to have a High Definition convergence device, better make sure it has High Definition capacity.

Now, I could say that I wish Sony and Toshiba had learned to play nice. But they didn't ask me.

And I think the console being underproduced and underdelivered in it's first run is a complete and utter iminent event. Were I in the market for one, I wouldn't be trying to get my hands on one until May. It will be the 360 launch, part two, but perhaps without all the burning and overheating.

GregT said...

Fair enough.

I don't think it matters how long the PS3 is potentially - it only matters how long it is before a competitor brings out their new console. Sony will have to match or be perceived as being outdated.

I have no objection to Blu-Ray in principle. But when it adds $200 US to the price of a console, then I complain. Plus, all that content that's going to go on discs this huge takes time and money to make, and I for one am not in favour of paying for that additional development outlay. I want new games, not the same games except bigger.

I wants me a Wii at launch, but the PS3 can wait until next year, if ever, once MGS4 and FFXIII are already out.

Josh said...

Well, the PlayStation 3 holds firmly to the philosophy that last years games with next years graphics will be ultimately compelling to a large group of people. This is even moreso than the 360, which essentially takes last year's games and just puts them into next year's resolution (but almost the same graphics).

I'm with you, I'm on the Wii like white on rice. I know it will work with the TV and is cheap enough to risk the expiremental nature of it. Sony is banking on people that will want next gen movies and next gen games in a relatively inexpensive package (once you put those two together).

Honestly, I think the blogosphere may have a diet of crow about two years from now. If Sony can get games to look significantly better than the 360 and Blu-Ray doesn't completely flop, the PlayStation 3 is going to look very attractive to anyone entering the HDTV generation.