Archive for January, 2006

Shooting down some lofty PS3 claims

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Biff hates manure, too Manure! We hate manure! Good thing GameDaily and Joystiq have helped us dig through some of the BS surrounding the PS3 and Nintendo Revolution.

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We’ve been trying to ignore most of the random guesses that video-game analysts are throwing out there lately, and fortunately GameDaily has a nice feature cutting through the propaganda coming from the tech companies themselves.

They attack four statements — two about PS3, two about Revolution. Here’s a brief look.

1. Sony will sell 4-7 million PS3s in 2006 = Major BS.

The Cell chip manufacturing ramp up has not yet begun, and the chip yield will almost certainly impact how many units can be manufactured this year. The senior vice president of Pioneer Electronics should probably do some research before throwing out comments that force us to dig through a pile of BS before getting to the truth.

2. Sony is setting up a competitor to Xbox Live = Medium BS.

What we see happening is a partial Xbox Live service for the PlayStation 3. … However, we do not see the service being anywhere near the level of Xbox Live. It may take Sony the entire life cycle of the PS3 and beyond to get to the point where Xbox Live is at now with the 360.

In Joystiq’s response to the feature, they note that Sony recently bought Zipper Interactive, which pioneered PS2 online play with the SOCOM series. That “probably happened for a reason” — maybe some big plans for online action?

The article also slices up a claim or two about the Revolution, but they agree with the big points: it’ll be sub-$300 and on the market before Thanksgiving, or Nintendo is in trouble.

Digging Through the BS [GameDaily]
PS3 and Revolution bull considered cut (well, maybe) [Joystiq]

It’s all about the Blu-ray

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

In a week full of analysts’ speculation, BusinessWeek’s Next Generation column offers up some truly interesting thoughts on the impending release of the PlayStation 3.

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Their theory: It’s not about the games, it’s all about the DVDs. Because the gaming market is tiny in comparison to the high-def DVD market, it’s possible that Sony is really using the PS3 to take on Toshiba, which created the competing HD-DVD format, rather than Microsoft and Xbox 360. If Sony wins in gaming, that’ll just be an added bonus. If they win with Blu-ray, that’ll mean billions a year in royalties.

So, if it’s true — the columnist takes great care to remind you it’s not — what does that mean? Maybe Sony will launch the PS3 in the US first, because the DVD market is here, not in Japan. And maybe they’ll launch early, with little software support, because their primary goal is to get as many Blu-ray players on the market as they possibly can.

Then again, they remind us — “if it ain’t ready, it ain’t ready.” Quite a good point. Check out the full story, and decide for yourself which speculation you prefer.

Sony’s War Goes Beyond Games [BusinessWeek]

EARLIER: Why we think Sony’s vertical integration will help them control the next-gen DVD market.

Sony acquires developer Zipper Interactive

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

SOCOM The developer of the SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals series will become part of Sony’s new SCE Worldwide Studios.

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Zipper, which has been working closely with Sony since 1999, is said to have at least one PlayStation 3 title in the works. Their current management team will stay on, and they expect to make some new hires for next-gen development.

Sony snaps up video-game maker Zipper; hiring expected [Seattle Times]

E3 models get a little less naked

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

E3 Babes Word on the street is that the people behind E3, the year’s biggest gaming expo, are cracking down on scantily clad models.

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Which is too bad, because that’s the main reason we were gonna go.

But seriously, Gamespot has sliced and diced the rumor and concluded that, though models in general won’t be banned from the E3 floor, their attire will be subject to some tighter regulations. Though the expo has apparently had these rules in effect for a long time, they’ve gone unenforced — until this year’s new addition: a $5,000 fine.

So, if you like cute girls holding video games, this is a sad, sad day. Here’s more from Gamespot’s rumor mill:

Like at virtually every other trade expo, E3 exhibitors will use attractive women to help make inroads with mostly male E3 attendees. But are they on notice not to be as risqué as in past years? Given the still-simmering fallout from last year’s “Hot Coffee” Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas sex-mini-game scandal, the answer appears to be “yes.”

Booth babes banned at E3 2006? [Gamespot]

Some good news on PS3 development?

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

One of the major criticisms of the PS3 so far has been that it’s hard to program for — now, at least one developer says otherwise.

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Of course, this is coming from Guerilla Games, a Sony subsidiary, who’s developing Killzone for PS3. So even though we doubt they’d have anything bad to say about their parent company, here’s what we’ve heard:

“And as for the PS2 vs PS3 development question. I was chatting to Michiel and he was telling me how crazy-easy it was compared to the PS2 and how much quicker things have been going for them. I will take his word on that” Seb Downie - Lead Tester - Guerrilla Games

A bit reassuring, at least, right? Maybe these guys finally got their hands on the instruction manual.

Playstation 3 not so hard after all? [Game Faction]

EARLIER: A Sony 3D artist came out to bash the PS3’s development process, but his article was swiftly removed from the site where it was posted.

Xbox’s Peter Moore on Halo vs. PS3

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Halo Another Microsoft bigwig has debunked the theory that Halo 3 will be deliberately timed to compete against the launch of the PS3. Granted, if they coincidentally come out at the same time, there’s nothing we can do about that. Here’s what Xbox VP Peter Moore had to say in an interview with Engadget at CES.

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Well the interesting thing is, when is the launch? How can I time for something when I don’t know when it is? So first of all, the answer is no. To somehow artificially plan something to combat things? They’ll launch, let’s face it. They’ll launch and it’ll be very successful. …

It’s stupid, ridiculous, and almost impossible to say to 80 guys programming, “I want you to make sure they see you can be ready to go two weeks from now.” It just doesn’t work. You know what you end up with? You end up with a sub-par game because you’re actually building a game with an alternative plan in mind other than making a great game. Game development doesn’t work that way, and anything that is of the quality of a Halo franchise, you do not risk screwing it up.

The Engadget Interview: Peter Moore

More price speculation, but this time it’s cheaper

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Kotaku reads some Japanese gaming mags, which predict that the PS3 will retail for $350 (or 40,000 yen) in Japan.

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As far as Japanese product magazines go, Trendy is really one of the best. They’ve been covering domestic consumer goods for approximately two decades and are a good barometer for what’s happening in the marketplace.

That prediction is quite a bit cheaper than what’s been kicking around lately — after all, even CNN predicts it’ll be around $500 in the US. But, as with everything PS3, only time will tell.

Futher PS3 and Revolution Pricing Speculation [Kotaku]

Porn studio signs on for Blu-ray

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

There’s only one thing better than high-def DVDs — and that’s high-def DVDs full of porn. So it’s good news that Digital Playground, one of the nation’s biggest skin-flick studios, has thrown its support behind the Blu-ray format for next-gen DVDs.

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The company, which is said to hold about a 40 percent share in the US adult DVD market and bring home $12 billion a year, is hoping that an early PS3 release will cut down on HD-DVD’s market lead time.

Porn studio sticks up for Blu-ray [Computing.co.uk]

EARLIER: All about the competition between Blu-ray and HD-DVD.

Investors love the Revolution

Friday, January 20th, 2006

Revolution Nintendo’s stock rose more than 6 percent on the Japanese stock exchange today, on news that the Revolution console would retail for less than $300 — a big price cut compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360.

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If only those shrewd investors had read our post from December, when Nintendo’s president said the same exact thing to the Japanese press! Next time we see news like this, we’ll know to buy buy buy!

Nintendo Shares Rise; Revolution May Sell for $300 [Bloomberg]

EARLIER: In yesterday’s Revolution Roundup, Nintendo’s president says the system will be out in the US before Thanksgiving, and the American VP of sales and marketing says they’ll beat the 360’s holiday numbers.

MGS4’s Hideo Kojima does podcasts

Friday, January 20th, 2006

Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima joined the venerable ranks of the blogosphere not long ago, and now he’s podcasting, much like Tom Hanks has threatened.

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His podcast is all in Japanese, but Gamespot listened in and translated some of it.

Kojima let slip that dialogue for MGS4 will be recorded throughout 2006, and the recording process will take as long as it did with previous entries in the series.

For more (in Japanese), check out Kojima’s blog.

Hideo Kojima hosting podcasts [Gamespot]