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Mysteries of the Next-Gen Consoles Solved 99

Posted by Zonk
from the you-asked-he-answered dept.
Chris Morris, of CNN Money's Game Over column, has several final details on the next-gen consoles. He delves into availability, games, the new ads for both the Wii and the PS3 and (of course) "Who's going to win?" From the article: "For the past two generations, Sony has sold far more PlayStation units than its competitors have sold of their systems. Publishers, for their part, expect the field to be a lot more even over the next five years or so (which should be about the time you're asked to start focusing on the PS4, Xbox 720 and whatever funky name Nintendo comes up with next)."
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Mysteries of the Next-Gen Consoles Solved

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  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by Safiiru (24501) on Friday November 10, 2006 @02:43PM (#16796596) Homepage
    The Xbox 640 ought to be enough for anybody.
  • Harkening back to the days of the Virtual Boy [wikipedia.org], Nintendo will release a truly immersive gaming experience. Having learned from past failure, there will be no more crazy red characters and major headaches, instead there will be full body-suits, making us all look like we are in Tron [wikipedia.org].

    It might not be as crazy as it sounds [wikipedia.org]. Especially in five years. Our next console, Virtual Wii. (Which almost sounds worse then Wii.)
  • Is there any definitive answer to how many games will launch with the PS3?
    • Rim shot (Score:3, Funny)

      by Headcase88 (828620)
      The good news is that about 100 games will be out at launch.

      The bad news is that they're all Genji.
      • by Lectrik (180902)
        The good news is that about 100 games will be out at launch.

        The bad news is that they're all Genji.


        Good News: 100 games
        Bad News: It's just one title.
        Good News about the Bad News: We get to see the 1000 people who actually bought a PS3 fight over those 100 discs
  • My guess (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Headcase88 (828620) on Friday November 10, 2006 @03:08PM (#16796950) Journal
    Allow me to post my 4-month old predictions so I can try to find and reference this post if I'm right and sweep it under the carpet if I'm wrong. End of 2009, in terms of number of consoles sold: 360 = 40% (has already built up momentum on both customer and developer sides) Wii = 35% (I think it will explode out of the gate) PS3 = 25% (Will have momentum issues (shortages guarantee this), but IMO will not age as quickly as the other consoles later on) Like the article, no definite winner. But there is significantly more $ spent on 360s than the other two.
    • Mulligan (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Headcase88 (828620) on Friday November 10, 2006 @03:11PM (#16796982) Journal
      Whoops. I hate walls of text so let me do this again.

      End of 2009, in terms of number of consoles sold:
      360 = 40% (has already built up momentum on both customer and developer sides)
      Wii = 35% (I think it will explode out of the gate)
      PS3 = 25% (Will have momentum issues (shortages guarantee this), but IMO will not age as quickly as the other consoles later on)

      Like the article, no definite winner. But there is significantly more $ spent on 360s than the other two.

      You're right, /., I should indeed have clicked the preview button :( . . . but I don't see a reason to slow down at this point ;)
    • End of 2009:

      PS3: 50%
      Wii: 30%
      360: 20%

      As you are talking about 2009, all effects of Christmas shortages will be gone - if shortages caused problems that long the 360 would have troubles as well.

      I personally feel like the Wii number is optimistic, but I can't logically see how it would be lower with the much lower cost of entry the Wii offers. However it will be squeezed by the 360 and PS3 really pushing HD gaming, which is why I also can't see it being higher.

      The 360 is good but I don't see them really appeal
      • along with the motion controller advancements the Wii offers

        Wrong.

        Not only does the PS3 controller not have true motion sensing capabilities, it doesn't even have rumble, something that while not important to everyone, does annoy many people. And while I admit that it's not enough alone to really impact the sales of the whole console, it is just another point against it.

        As for it's tilt controls, they will absolutely in NO WAY offer what the Wiimote will.

        Wiimote: Can be used as a pointing device at the scr
        • As for it's tilt controls, they will absolutely in NO WAY offer what the Wiimote will.

          Wiimote: Can be used as a pointing device at the screen. Detects tilt, and 3D orientation relative to screen.


          You must not have used 3D controlling devices very often.

          The Wiimote has an advantage in that the external sensors can more accuratley place the position of the Wiimote in space. However, with good accelerometers you can achieve pretty much the saem effect - you just have to have the user do an initial calibration,
          • Actually, I don't put down Sony at every chance I get. I fully intend on adding a PS3 to my arsenal. I just don't consider it appropriate to say that the PS3 offers the features of the Wiimote.
          • by maglor_83 (856254)
            I think the biggest problem with the PS3 tilt sensing is the form factor. I just can't imagine it being all that natural to use when you have to be holding the controller with both hands.
        • You're incorrect in that the SIXAXIS only detects tilt, it does actually detect linear movement (in-fact the tilt sensing is most likely derived in software based on the linear movements detected by the sensors).

          You are correct that the SIXAXIS wont even come close to offering the motion control features of the Wii [thoughthead.com], for the simple fact that the SIXAXIS requires you to hold it with both hands... I defy you to comfortably hold the SIXAXIS like a fishing rod, or a baseball bat... how about like a tennis rac
          • I stand corrected on the liniar movement, and after having read your opening sentence realized my error.

            I should of course revoice my words from another reply I just posted.

            I am not at all knocking the PS3. There are things about it that do interest me. Those things mostly have to do with the cell.

            But I just cannot believe some people actually can say "Wiimote? The PS3 will do that, too."
      • I'm not going to make a prediction on the numbers or percentages sold (because there is no way to anticipate changes in consumer tastes) but I do not think that your numbers reflect reality.

        End of 2009:

        PS3: 50%
        Wii: 30%
        360: 20%


        Personally I can't see how the PS3 could outsell the XBox 360 and Wii combined when it is likely that until 2009 the PS3 could be nearly as expensive as both of the systems combined; the Wii60 will probably see a $75-$150 price drop in the second half of 2007, followed by a similar pri
        • by Dorceon (928997)
          Plus, just because someone has an HDTV and is buying a console doesn't mean they're buying a console that outputs HD. I have a 52 inch HDTV and I'm getting only a Wii.
          • You are both forgetting that some may well buy consoles without having an HD set - HD is not a REQUIREMENT for buying the PS3 (or 360), it just enhances things (not withstanding small glitches like the Dead Rising text issue).
        • Personally I can't see how the PS3 could outsell the XBox 360 and Wii combined when it is likely that until 2009 the PS3 could be nearly as expensive as both of the systems combined

          If you bought a console today, the PS3 is cheaper than the 360 with a Live subscription. That is how the PS3 can have a higher market share than the 360.

          The lower market share for the Wii is really just a matter of only so many people wanting the kinds of games Nintendo offers, no matter how innovative. I applaud them for tryin
    • by DocBoss (956304)
      But there is significantly more $ spent on 360s than the other two. But significantly more money made with the Wii.
  • by Dr. Eggman (932300) on Friday November 10, 2006 @03:12PM (#16797010)
    The article is not too bad, kind of simple, but not a bad sum of the situation. But check out the ineptitude of reporting in this CNN video report! [cnn.com]

    Terrible! They talks as though there is nothing else coming out, but what's worse is how they butcher Sony's Console details

    They harp on $600 and don't even mention the $500 version
    They state Sony says it's worth it because it plays DVDs and wirelessly connects to the internet (No mention of Blue-Ray, HD, or 1080i)
    Although you can't see it in the video, the anchors on CNN went on about it further, ragging on the $600 price being something "They'd never pay for" even the weatherman joins in.

    In short, CNN botched just about every position Sony has been trying to push about the PS3. CNN should talk with it's game/technology division more often. If this is the kind of knowledge the mainstreme consumer has about the PS3, it doesn't bode well...
    • by Control Group (105494) * on Friday November 10, 2006 @03:37PM (#16797426) Homepage
      If this is the kind of knowledge the mainstreme consumer has about the PS3, it doesn't bode well...

      You're right. And it's Sony's fault. Sony has clearly not done enough to explain to the average consumer what the console can do. I think a story like that says more about how little people, so far, care about HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray, or even HDTV in general - which really calls further into question the wisdom of putting the Blu-Ray drive in the PS3 (given all the problems I/we assume it has caused for pricing and production).

      On the other hand, maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe Sony is only trying to sell to the hardcore gamers, and all of them/us know what's actually going on with the console (whether or not we approve of it is something else entirely).

      I question the wisdom of this, certainly in relation to their obvious hopes for Blu-Ray penetration, but more importantly: are current PS2 owners primarily hardcore gamers? I was under the impression there were a lot of more casual PS2 purchases, but perhaps I'm wrong.
      • I agree, and would go further and say that even if they were only aiming for a hardcore market, they'd be even more foolish. Hardcore gamers are important to any console, but if one ignores the mainstream market it'll fail just as fast. However, I don't think they're aiming at hardcore gamers, hardcore gamers aren't all about graphics and blood level, they're about real gameplay value; that's why I'm getting a Wii. Ultimatly, if the PS3 fails, it'll be because they were just plain greedy. They overextended
    • They harp on $600 and don't even mention the $500 version

      You mean the castrated version that has no wifi so your psp can't talk to it? I mean, I don't have a PSP, because I got over being a sony fanboy, but I'd be pissed. Oh and it has a tiny hard drive. Fuck'em.

      They state Sony says it's worth it because it plays DVDs and wirelessly connects to the internet (No mention of Blue-Ray, HD, or 1080i)

      Most people watching CNN don't know what Blu-Ray or 1080i are and only have a vague idea as to what HD i

      • You mean the castrated version that has no wifi so your psp can't talk to it? I mean, I don't have a PSP, because I got over being a sony fanboy, but I'd be pissed. Oh and it has a tiny hard drive. Fuck'em.

        Er, I doubt THAT many people care about linking a PSP to a PS3, and "tiny hard drive"? It's 20GB, the same size as in the 360, and 20GB more than the Wii has. How can you bash them on that?

        The $500 machine should be enough for 90% of users (especially since it now has HDMI), but the anti-Sony folk don't w
        • The $500 machine should be enough for 90% of users

          Unfortunately, it's only going to be 20% of production, so 63% of the 90% that could get by with the $500 box are going to have to get the $600 box or get nothing.

          I've solved this problem in other posts by referring to the price of the PS3 as $580, the average of the two prices weighted by production volume.

          HTH.
          HAND.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Er, I doubt THAT many people care about linking a PSP to a PS3, and "tiny hard drive"? It's 20GB, the same size as in the 360, and 20GB more than the Wii has. How can you bash them on that?

          The 360's hard drive is also too small. Note that I do not own one, although I can afford one.

          The $500 machine should be enough for 90% of users (especially since it now has HDMI), but the anti-Sony folk don't want to admit it since then they can't throw "OMG SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS" around any longer.

          Yes, all two p

    • "In short, CNN botched just about every position Sony has been trying to push about the PS3. CNN should talk with it's game/technology division more often."
      Okay why and who cares. CNN wasn't running an ad for the PS3.
      It is Sony's job to get the word out.

      However the reporters are 100 percent correct in there reporting.
      $600 IS A LOT OF MONEY FOR A GAME CONSOLE! Right now I don't care about 1080i or blueray. I don't have a TV that supports 1080i and I am not getting one for a game console.
      I don't care about Bl
    • Lets bring it to the point the first million units will sell regardless of price. But after that, if sony cannot bring down the pricepoint significantly they will be in deep trouble. No hardware sales = third party publishers will jump the ship over time. Sony could be in the same situation the cube has been for a while. Which means strong initial sales due to the fans, but the average joe simply does not buy it, therefore not a good third party support. At least the cube still had Nintendos strong lineup b
  • Wii Ads (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lpangelrob (714473) on Friday November 10, 2006 @03:15PM (#16797042)
    "Core gamers know when we're coming out. They're prepared," [Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime] said. "The advertising and marketing is for casual gamers. We want to get them excited when they can actually go out and get something, so we'll start next week."

    So that's why I haven't seen any Wii ads yet; apparently, the casual gamer doesn't start thinking about a console until it's out.

    I have difficulty agreeing with this rationale, but then again, I'm not a casual gamer.

    • It's annoying seeing an ad for something cool then realizing that it isn't even going to be on sale for weeks. They're trying to get people to think 'Cool!' when they can actually buy the thing rather than have it be old news by the time it comes out.
      • by Crasty (1019258)
        I think it's a good move. Anytime I see something on TV that I want, and I can't get it, it just irritates me. Saves me a lot of money too.
      • It's annoying seeing an ad for something cool then realizing that it isn't even going to be on sale for weeks.

        Commercials for movies are the worst. It can be more than half a year between when the trailer comes out and when the movie becomes available for purchase on DVD, longer than that if you live outside the United States and Canada.

        • Even better...Transformers Movie...I saw the trailer for it on the July 4th. Fsking movie won't be out till July 4th next year. I hate that shit.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 2nd Post! (213333)
      That makes perfect sense to me.

      If you are a casual gamer and an ad actually works to get you to buy a system, there better be a system in a store for you to buy.
      This is not like a movie where you get trailers and build up hype... you actually want to move systems.

      Do you see advertisements for the 2007 Ford Mustang Mach 1?
      Or advertisements for Apple's iPod Video coming in January 2007?
    • by Cheeko (165493)
      Its actually not a terrible idea considering issues with supply for launch consoles historically. All the people who WANT a Wii at launch already have known about it for months, made their pre-orders and are waiting. These people don't need to be advertised to.

      That being said, if you advertise to the "casual" gamer who they want to buy them to sustain the market, it creates more demand on launch, but for systems that will already be in low supply. Why risk alienating those people by preaching to them abo
  • by americangame (1025646) on Friday November 10, 2006 @03:23PM (#16797180)
    IBM
    • Yeah, I've been saying that for at least the last year or so... It been time to buy stock in big blue for a while.
  • ...and whatever funky name Nintendo comes up with next

    Nintendo Yuu
  • by HeavenlyBankAcct (1024233) on Friday November 10, 2006 @03:39PM (#16797444)
    As a former designer at a very large video game company that will remain unnamed so nobody comes after me with baseball bats for vaguely speaking in defiance of an NDA, I saw first-hand the nightmare that was PS3 development. We had a team assigned to 'port' one of our 360 titles to the PS3 for launch, and the porting process took almost as long as building the game did in the first place. As a non-developer, I don't know too many of the nuts-and-bolts of it, but I do know that the PS3's texture memory seems to be substantially more limited and/or volatile than Microsoft's and many of our game assets had to be retooled into lower bit-depths and smaller sizes to keep the system from crashing in areas where the 360 performed like a champ. New SDK's were released almost weekly right up until the bitter end of the PS3 'development period', many of these containing sweeping changes that required massive retooling of key aspects of the title, and nothing to do with the PS3 system, be it the OS, hardware, ever really seemed finalized or stable.

    While I'm positive that these issues have been resolved (or at least, hopeful) -- I'm still going to wait quite a while before I even consider purchasing a new Sony box. With the massive amounts of hurdles developers have been jumping through to appease the flaky nature of this product launch, I don't expect to see very many quality games for this system for quite some time.
    • by Dorceon (928997)
      This is the advantage of the Wii being so similar to the GameCube. Everything that used to be there is still there; there's just new stuff too. Everyone already knows how to write for the old stuff, so they can add the new tricks to their vocabulary gradually, instead of having to learn everything from scratch with a new architecture.
    • by Mongoose (8480)
      Welcome to developing any launch title on a new console. When you're still finalizing the hardware and making games at the same time you tend to have 'issues' like these. You should've talked to some guys that didn't go the the ps3 devcon try to figure anything out. Also if you're really just a PC game house anything not like a PC is going 'to be hard'. =)
  • It's even Wiiner than the last one, and it's got the same great Wiiness you've come to love every night.
  • 5 Years? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MrBandersnatch (544818) on Friday November 10, 2006 @04:37PM (#16798270)
    If I was Microsoft Id be lining up my coup de grace for Sony by planning to release the next next gen machine within 2 years. A substantial trade-in scheme for 360 owners, integrated dual format HD-DVD/Blu-Ray drive, whatever HD/Processor/graphic card that is available and provides backwards compatibility and a price point withing a few $100 of the PS3 when they launch and the deal should be sealed. Sony are literally BANKING on the PS3 being a long term success in order to recoup their development costs. If MS choses to puts the pressure on while Sony is so vulnerable its quite possible Sony will end up as the next Sega.

    While I dont neccesarily consider the aove good for the industry I would consider it good business for the cash rich MS and a suitable reward for Sonys arrogance.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Wescotte (732385)
      If I was Microsoft Id

      buy up all 400k units shipped to the US? Sounds like a good idea
      • by DocBoss (956304)
        That would cost like 220 million dollars...
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by DDLKermit007 (911046)
          Thats a marketing budget. Hell of a way to short-circuit a competitor. Buy up all of their product and proceed to make it impossible for them to get exposure while your product keeps rolling along. All the while you get massive press pissing & moaning about it. Heck, as an added bonus the competition is taking a $200-$300 hit per console.
    • by 4D6963 (933028)

      I think there are still quite a few major problems with shortening the duration of a console generation. Xboxes are sold at loss, Microsoft makes money off the games they sell. Shortening the console generation means less games created and sold for the Xbox 360, that means tremendously less profit for Microsoft.

      Not only that, but you would have much fewer games in the final Xbox 360 collection which would fully use the power of the console, as it's well known that games make the best out of each console onl

    • If I were Microsoft I would use a much more conventional strategy ...

      I would focus on reducing the manufacturing cost of the XBox 360 by moving towards a more advanced manufacturing process (65nm) and integrating as many of the controller chips as possible; the goal of this is to be able to have a drastic price drop on the XBox 360 ($100) in the second half of 2007. Upon finishing the internal redesign the next goal would be to reduce the manufacturing process again (45nm) and to reduce the form factor of t
      • by Durrok (912509)
        Far as I can tell Sony isn't planning on joining in the next console wars anyway. They are saying this console should last 10 years, so while they may release some new "streamlined" or big add-on around the 5 year mark, they are planning for the PS4 to come out around 2017.
        • They said the exact same thing about the PS2. When they said that, they were saying it's developed lifetime would be that. Hell Dreamcast had it's last game come out a year ago and it was dead long before that? Of course the drooling fanboys of the world took it as it'll be 10 years before anyone releases a new console. They craft their words very carefully so when you come back at them in 5 years they just point to their old words and say, "read it again stupid." Guaranteed, MS or Nintendo will put out ano
  • by Stevecrox (962208) on Friday November 10, 2006 @06:13PM (#16799428) Journal
    Comparing Sony's position now with their position six years ago isn't going to give any idicator on how a console will do. The PS1 and PS2 did so well because of the games. The Xbox was aimed at the hard core gamer, most of the games were bloods/guts style.
    Nintendo aimed the Gamecube at the 'new market' and ended up producing a ton of strange and bizare games no one really cared for (excusing Super Smash Brothers) girls wern't engaged with the Gamecube games, hard core gamers saw the thing as stupid only really leaving the fanboys. ,br.The PS2 had it all so to speak with many games appealing to the hard core gamer, but not being afraid of pushing non standard games like the Dance mat ones, the singing one and that buzz off. Also games like GT, Tekken FF and GTA were all pick up and drop games which a beginner could pick up and enjoy. Those games appealed to girls and people who don't normally play games because they were simple and fun.

    What do we see now?

    Well The PS3 will have the same style of games coming up, which should appeal to the PS2 market, the Xbox360 is carying on with its blood and guts titles but is moving into the PS2 game market and well the Wii, well just the name suggests what sort of games we will see.
    When I justify a console in my house a 'media station' will go a long way in supporting my arguement, just as argueing that a console we can both enjoy will. The PS3 price tag isn't the factor people make it out to be, its the Xbox360 games. If I can get a console which will support dance games, singing games and a few other titles (GTA anyone) then you can't justify the extra expense.

    I realise a ton of Wii fanboys will start blasting me for this, but its the truth. Most people I know who aren't tech savey have seen the Xbox360 and been amazed at what it can do, but many of them have said "I'll wait for the PS3 cause that will be better" its a perception based on the PS2. If the Xbox360 can give the right games then it will win, in either case I'm not buying either console until I can get it with a game for £250.
    • ...and well the Wii, well just the name suggests what sort of games we will see. A potty training simulator? I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.
  • What about the _real_ mystery: does the PS3 come with Linux as standard or not !?

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