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Sony Keynote Offers Hope For PlayStation 3 Fans 361

Posted by Zonk
from the hallelujah dept.
Once again, the stage was set for Sony to try to get some good will directed towards its next-gen console. Recent weeks especially have seen PR frustrations and setbacks for the company. Today was Sony's day to deliver: and in my opinion they did with flying colours. By the end of the keynote attendees were laughing and clapping with glee at the goodies that the company is going to be bringing to the PlayStation 3. Finally, finally, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the console. Read on for my notes on the keynote, as well as links to other coverage of the event. Note the first: There may finally be a great reason to buy a PlayStation.
Taking a page from the PAX playbook, the first notable event of the Sony Keynote was the introduction of the huge soccer balls into the audience by gleeful PR wags. Front row attendees seemed to delight in targeting photographers, beaning several unobservant cameramen with the huge inflatable spheres.

Jamil Moledina introduced Sony's Harrison, saying that this was a 'great year' for the conference. With all three console out and the tools in place, GDC is focused on 'taking control' and charting the future of gaming. With words about SCEA's future being linked to the developers here, Jamil hands the keynote off to Phil.

Opening with talk of 'audience participation' (ala the big soccer balls), Phil launches into a discussion of Games 3.0. The Time magazine 'person of the year' last year was referenced, as was the Web 2.0 philosophy. The reality is that the concepts are worthless without actual products. So, Sony is now moving in the direction of a new '3.0 philosophy'.

Games 1.0 = disconnected consoles. 2.0 games are connected, but with static content on the disc. 3.0 games are all about social interactions, community, customization, emergent entertainment, with the audience members at the center of the entertainment experience. Open standards are mentioned as a definite possibility.

PlayStation Home will be launching from Sony later this year. (video clip) There's just a new icon on the media bar, allowing access to the new content. Phil introduces Scott Walgerman, producer of the service to do a demo. The service begins with the words 'entering the online world'. When you enter the service, you are in the central lounge. Your avatar is customizable, and extremely detailed. These is *not* Miis, these are better than Second Life quality digital characters. A virtual PSP allows you to teleport around and customize your character. Clothes are added to your wardrobe by buying games. Heavenly Sword being played on the console means you have a Sword t-shirt in your bag.

Dynamic advertising is pushed into the space via banners around the world, and in billboards. HD-quality video is running on the billboards. Users are communicating around the demonstrator, with chat, voice, and emotes.

Other public spaces exist to allow opportunities for social interaction. There's a games lounge with easy games like pool, bowling, and arcade titles. The pool and bowling titles are physics based in the world. The arcade games are customizable, and ... perhaps this is the venue for indie games?

Every avatar has a private apartment, an opportunity to make a statement in the world and a place to hang out with friends. Everything is customizable, and more furniture/wallpaper is downloadable. Unsurprisingly, some will be for-purchase. More interestingly, everything is physics based. Picture frames can be pinned to the wall, and any content on the PS3 is postable up there. Phil demonstrates the ability to do 'user created content' by taking a photo of the crowd, slotting the memory stick into the PS3, and then loading the picture into the picture frame.

Moving to another apartment, which can be purchased and is quite a bit larger. Premium items like the pool tables, arcades, can be put into place. Video can be put into place as well via televisions. Scott demonstrates by putting the Casino Royale trailer onto the display.

We teleport again, to the Home Movie Theater. There's a trailer running in the foyer, and dynamic posters on the walls. The avatar moves up to 'user customized spaces', where they introduce grouper content. By walking into theaters, you can watch the content and chat with friends. Not only Sony brands and big named movies, then, but YouTube like user-created content in this world.

Porting again, we head out to locations based around game publishers. We zoom to a 'sports lounge' with information and views of minigames. Harrison says it's very simple to make these spaces, and thinks that many developers will be happy to make such areas.

The final area they go to, the hall of fame, shows off Trophies that you'll earn through play. You can place them in cases, completely 3d and physics based. It's also possible to show off defining moments from your gaming experience on video screens. The avatar then walks out onto a balcony, revealing a Star Wars senate hall style area with hundreds of other user spaces and displaying hundreds of other trophies.

The whole thing is free. There's a large-scale Beta trial beginning in April of this year, with the service launching in Fall of this year.

Phil then moves on to Singstar. Sold 7 million units on PS2, and they're now looking forward to taking it to the PlayStation Network. He demonstrates the online capabilities of the game, showing recent song additions and what your friends have been singing lately. The store is also very easy, adding songs to a cart with the push of a button. Songs download in the background, which Phil notes is a 'good feature'. If you want to, you can videotape your performance and share it with your friends. They can then be rated. That sounds ominous. May/June release in Europe for the game, with a release 'later' for the states.

The next announcement: PlayStation Edge. A set of core tools and technologies that they've used on first party titles, and will now be shared with PS3 devs. Later today they'll be talking about it in a session. One is a graphics tool, allowing best use of the chipset. The other is an optimization set, allowing 'best of breed' technology use. To be shared via the support network after GDC.

And another announcement. LittleBigPlanet. (video clip) It's the guys who did RagDoll KungFu.. Mark Healy and Alex Evans are brought out, and show off the title, which is all about 'creativity.' Alex beings by saying they'll show how easy it is to make stuff in the game world. With just a few controller elements, they make a block, add a gear, and then set it moving with physics. It looks exactly like the toolset from Second Life, only useable. Everything is very intuitive, and the avatars are adorable. Little brown felt creatures. They then begin adding images to the walls with 'stickers'. There's all sorts of weird little things, and everything is completely customizable. Content on the HDD is addable to your space as well. The two demonstrators collaborate by adding elements to each other's creations. They're even able to add elements to each other's avatars.

They then drop down to show a much more customized area, where Phil and another demonstrator join them. The new demonstrator has a really excellent dragon scarf that flows realistically in the wind behind the character as he leaps through the air. This space is a game. It's a platformer, entirely within the gameworld. They all collect little oranges, knock over blocks, and generally chaos their way from left to right. They can also collaborate to help each other across puzzles by manipulating physical objects. It's amazing. The audience is laughing, clapping, and talking amongst themselves, and the entire thing looks fantastic. There's dynamic lighting, intuitive gameplay ... as interesting as the Home stuff is, if these elements are for real, this is the reason to buy PlayStation 3. The demo gets a huge ovation, and there's a decent amount of cheering. It's just crazy. They then show a quick video showing the way your creations can be shared. It's debuting sometime this year via PSN, on Blu-Ray next year.

"The industry is on the threshold of a new era of communication and innovation." An opportunity for the industry to expand the horizons of gaming. He wraps it up with a wish for good GDC, and the audience response is very positive.

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Sony Keynote Offers Hope For PlayStation 3 Fans

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  • Light... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Joe Random (777564) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @05:16PM (#18267286)

    ...there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the console.
    That's just the PS3's heatsink going incandescent.
  • by hal2814 (725639) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @05:18PM (#18267306)
    "Taking a page from the PAX playbook..."

    Cool, they're going to offer "Diagnosis Murder" and "Touched by an Angel" for the PS3! I can't wait.
  • Good news indeed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The-Bus (138060) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @05:18PM (#18267310)
    I have to give it up for Sony. Playstation Home seems like something useful and it might even transcend its inherent gimmickry. It's not reason enough to buy a PS3, but it gives me hope that someone inside of SCEA knows what they're doing.
    • I would have more faith if they actually mentioned games for this system more than just in passing.
    • by timeOday (582209)
      Could somebody summarize why the story is good news for Sony? It reads like a blog entry. I caught something about dynamically updating ads within games, which sounds awful, and gave up.
  • Some Questions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo (153816)

    I have a few questions about this article.

    First question: Why couldn't you mention that this was a keynote at GDC? It doesn't have to be in the title, but it would have been nice for it to be in the first paragraph so it would show up before clicking in.

    Second question: did they reveal what kind of bandwidth you're going to need to walk around a virtual world with HD video streaming on billboards? I don't want to have to run a DS3 into my house to see the latest Sony advert. Not that I'm even buying a PS3

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Who the hell cares that this virtual world is "Physics Based"? I mean, seriously, that's the biggest pile of astroturfing I've heard in a while. "Physics Based" to do what? Walk around and realistically nail a picture on the wall? Fall down a flight of stairs? Holy shit, sign me up now. I just hope they have the fluid calculations right for the paint-your apartment area. It would be disappointing if the paint didn't drip correctly. (sarcasm)

      What a pile of nothing.
      • Fall down a flight of stairs?


        I seem to remember a game like this on the PC. Really fun.

        The question here is, can you push other people down the stairs? THAT would be entertaining.
    • Re:Some Questions (Score:5, Insightful)

      by acidrain (35064) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @05:58PM (#18267832)

      Meaning that there's STILL no way for a hobbyist developer to make anything like full use of the hardware?

      Look. They *make their money* selling the right to run games on their hardware. You know that half a billion dollars they sunk into developing the thing? They plan to get it back with a fee of about $10 per-title.

      They are not being jerks, it's just the reality of the business model. You know making up your loss on selling the razor back on selling the razor blades. If you want an open development environment -- buy a PC. You'll be able to get the same graphics and processing horsepower, just not subsidized by Sony.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo (153816)
        I fully realize this, but at the same time Sony lists it as a selling point for their console, while the reality is that if you really want to even USE the console's full capabilities, you have to buy a dev kit. I don't blame them for not giving us the full access, but if they want us to take them seriously when they say that you won't even need another computer, besides putting 512MB of all-purpose RAM in the system, they're going to have to give us all of that access. My complaint makes much more sense if
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by iamacat (583406)
        It's also accurate to say that they make money by charging developers for access to mindshare of their console. Hobbyist games are:

        a. Likely to attract more users to the console, especially older, more wealthy users feeling nostaligic about Digger.
        b. Are not likely to be sellable for $10+ profit
        c. Are not likely to keep people from buying a professionally developed game.

        In the other words, let people develop for PS3, but require them to release their work, including game date, under BSD-style license. This
    • Some Answers (Score:3, Informative)

      I can't tell if you're trolling, but I'll bite...

      Second question: did they reveal what kind of bandwidth you're going to need to walk around a virtual world with HD video streaming on billboards?

      I didn't hear any comment, but I doubt they're going to have 20 videos blasting in your face. Most of the video content I've downloaded from PSN has been 20 MB at most, so it can't take that long.

      Third Question: Playstation Edge. I assume this is only for licensed developers, yes? Meaning that there's STILL no way
    • Third Question: Playstation Edge. I assume this is only for licensed developers, yes? Meaning that there's STILL no way for a hobbyist developer to make anything like full use of the hardware?
      They don't make a dime selling consoles. They make profit through developer licensing. It's not remotely to their financial advantage to provide you with any real dev tools for their environment. You wanna play, you gotta pay.
  • by garcia (6573) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @05:22PM (#18267366) Homepage
    The whole thing is free. There's a large-scale Beta trial beginning in April of this year, with the service launching in Fall of this year.

    So is Second Life until you buy shit.

    Every avatar has a private apartment, an opportunity to make a statement in the world and a place to hang out with friends. Everything is customizable, and more furniture/wallpaper is downloadable. Unsurprisingly, some will be for-purchase. More interestingly, everything is physics based.

    So you will be purchasing stuff in this.

    Why do we need a $600 device to play what's already available to anyone that has a computer? It's not like the target audience of the PS3 are computerless individuals. I don't see the point.
    • $600 is the current and near future price. This "feature" will be on after the price drops. It gives those who bought a ps3 a post hoc justification for their purchase. It adds value to their brand.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        This "feature" will be on after the price drops.

        But for how long? Eventually Sony will stop maintaining it and this feature will go inert.

        SCEA has made a lot of noise about how the PS3 is supposed to last you forever (or at least longer than a typical generation in gaming) but I guarantee that they will either bring out a new console around the time Microsoft brings out the next one, or be destroyed. So how long after that will the service still be around? They'll probably create a whole new service like

        • You have no garentees with corporations. No more garentee that MS will not drop Live if it becomes economically unfeasible. No more garentee that Nintnedo will drop the Wii channels if they become troublesome (porn on Wii).
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rainman_bc (735332)
        $600 is the current and near future price. This "feature" will be on after the price drops.

        Just to point out that Sony's been saying there won't be any PS3 price drops for a year.

        Not that I believe anything that comes out of Sony...
    • by haleyeah (691260) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @05:36PM (#18267566)
      Exactly. I didn't buy the 360 for Live. I bought it to play GOW with 13 yr olds who constantly assert their views on my sexual orientation.
  • Wholy crap.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cybrthng (22291) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @05:24PM (#18267388) Journal
    I'm a gamer and all of that meant nothing to me.
    • by flynt (248848)
      Wholy crap..

      Bad speller and a pun, or just bad speller?
    • Yeah, kinda sad that people will spend all this time establishing their "virtual me". You want some to decorate? Move out of your parents house, get an apartment, then go straight to the mall and get fabrics/furniture/etc. Congrats.

      I like the Wii approach. Takes all of 2 mins to make a Mii then you're done off playing games.

      Tom
    • by Rycross (836649)
      You're not the target audience. This was presented at the Game Developers' Conference, meaning the audience are primarily people related to game development (developers, designers, publishers).
    • by antic (29198)
      "Note the first: There may finally be a great reason to buy a PlayStation."

      You'd hope so. In Australia, the PS3 is pitched at a cost that I paid for my first car!
    • by King_TJ (85913) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @06:02PM (#18267860) Journal
      As a PS3 owner myself, none of this excites me in the least. I'm not denying there is a market out there for it. But honestly, I only bought a console to get some good single-player games up on a big TV screen in the family room. It's nice to have the ability to play "head to head" against a friend who comes over, once in a while too ... and if the game is designed well enough for it, even Internet play. But wandering around in a 3D virtual world just so I can chat with people and set up multi-player games with them? No thanks. It's a big load of unnecessary extra GUI junk....

      I really *wanted* to find something amazing/interesting about "Second Life", for that matter, and it failed to draw me in. If I feel like having conversations with random strangers, good old IRC seems like one of the most straightforward ways to accomplish it online. If I only want to chat with specific people I know, then you can't beat a video conference with a web cam, or alternately, instant messenger. I don't feel any need to express myself through some made-up "avatar", or spend my *real* money to have virtual 3D items to show off to other players. It's a horrible value for my dollar.

      Honestly, the most exciting part of the PS3 to me lies in the ability for software publishers to send out patches and add-ons to their game titles, and to even purchase titles and download them online. In the past, that was a BIG negative for me with console systems. You buy a game on CD or DVD or whatever, and it is what it is. Find bugs in it? Tough... you're stuck with them. I was really happy with my $19.99 download of Tekken 5, and with the updates they're doing for Resistance. THAT is where a PS3 can add real value for customers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by WombatDeath (681651)
      Perhaps they're aiming it at the same group who somehow find value in myspace. It smacks of the skin-deep, frothy 'self-expression' that's supposedly facilitated by designer mobile phone covers.

      It sounds entirely meaningless to me, but presumably a fat, curmudgeonly old fucker isn't part of Sony's target demographic. Anecdotal evidence suggests that every generation finds its successors superficial, easily distracted by shiny claptrap and utterly lacking in discernment. As I get older I not only turn into m
  • by iamacat (583406) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @05:25PM (#18267400)
    There are obviously more games and online services for a PC than a Playstation, and these days a PC is cheaper. You can quickly hook up a notebook to an HD TV and a joystick of your choice and have a similar experience to PS3. You can disable net access, uninstall most of built in programs and enable autoplay to run games when a disk is inserted if you are concerned about ease of use.

    Game consoles really made sense when they were at least 3 times cheaper than a PC, for people who couldn't afford a regular computer, or a second computer for kids. Perhaps Nintendo Wii is still in that league.
    • There are obviously more games and online services for a PC than a Playstation, and these days a PC is cheaper. You can quickly hook up a notebook to an HD TV and a joystick of your choice and have a similar experience to PS3. You can disable net access, uninstall most of built in programs and enable autoplay to run games when a disk is inserted if you are concerned about ease of use.

      Game consoles really made sense when they were at least 3 times cheaper than a PC, for people who couldn't afford a regular c
  • ...the Playstation 3 has fans? Really? Could have fooled me. Everyone I know is raging on the Atari Jaguar 64-bit system and the Atari Lynx as the end all and be all. But I'm nearly 40, what do I know?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @05:28PM (#18267454)
    Home trailer:
    http://download.gametrailers.com/gt_vault/t_home_g dc07_h264.wmv [gametrailers.com]

    Little Big Planet trailer:

    http://download.gametrailers.com/gt_vault/t_little bigplanet_gdc07_h264.wmv [gametrailers.com]

    Heavenly Sword:
    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14502 0&page=8 [neogaf.com]
    http://www.playsyde.com/news_4067_en.html [playsyde.com]

    Tekken 5DR:
    19.99 1080p Arcade perfect port available to download from the PSN store
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmB2cV-Lz-w [youtube.com]

    Motorstorm:
    12 player dedicated server no lag offroad racing with insane physics and crashes
    http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1103341 [hardforum.com]

    Warhawk:
    32 player dedicated server air and ground combat game that will be available for download from PSN store
    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14457 6 [neogaf.com]
    http://retromovies.ign.com/games/video/article/693 /693580/ignweekly_episode38_flvlowwide.flv [ign.com]

    God of War 2:
    Nothing needs to be said about this sequel...
    http://media.ps2.ign.com/media/811/811719/imgs_1.h tml [ign.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwaUIShOM54 [youtube.com]

    Lair:
    1080p dragon game with insanely large levels and armies
    http://www.gfdata.de/archiv01-2007-gamefront/2689. html [gfdata.de]
  • HAHAHAH (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zebra_X (13249) * on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @05:29PM (#18267458)
    Seriously, nothing but hype for the PS3, and it totally under delivers. Now, the promise of this awesome online service. The thing is, it takes years to get the usability feed back from users to really make a UI powerful and intuitive. That's years of experience that Sony just doesn't have.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      That's years of experience that Sony just doesn't have.

      Sony was making user interfaces when, say, Apple wasn't even a twinkle in anyone's eye. True, they were on purpose-built electronic devices, but still, they know a little something about UI. Or at least they have. It often seems like they've forgotten it all. Even their "new" interface is just the one from Colin McRae Rally 3 with icons instead of text labels and a black color scheme instead of a white one :P

  • by amliebsch (724858) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @05:30PM (#18267484) Journal
    Also mentioned was the working title, Sony Original Next-generation Occupations, Friends, and Bartering Online Bazaar.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @05:31PM (#18267490)
    Okay, first of all they rip off Second Life and The Sims--only with annoying ads flashing everywhere and the "opportunity" to give them money to buy virtual crap for your generic apartment, with no REAL customization (i.e. letting you build your OWN stuff, like in Second Life). Then they tout it like THEY discovered this whole idea (as if about 100 other online worlds hadn't been doing it for YEARS). Then, for a topper, they throw in their obvious knockoffs of the "Mii" and the 360's achievements.

    I tell you, Sony's arrogance is truly something to behold. The irony is that they're competing against MS, which had traditionally been known for stealing ideas. This time, it's Sony who appears to be stealing everything. And they don't even appear to be implementing anything particularly well.

    Like MS with the Zune, they know that something is cool. They know how to do a superficial knockoff. But they just DON'T GET IT.

    -Eric

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Trogre (513942)
      So... they're seeing what their potential customers want and giving it to them, right?

      And you call that arrogance?

      Interesting.

      • by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @05:50PM (#18267744) Homepage
        No, what he/she is calling arrogance is Sony releasing features that both MS and Nintendo already have (and have had since launch) and also releasing features that seem to be like a mini-Second Life and then saying it like they were the first ones ever to think of doing it.

        Pretending to be the pioneer of something that your competitors have already done, ESPECIALLY when you have already copied one of your competitors once...that's arrogance.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jonabbey (2498) *

      Have you ever played Second Life? There are ads all over the place!

      The difference, I suppose, is that in Second Life, the real estate to place the ads on is acquired through in-game trading and negotiation, but Second Life is the furthest thing from a non-commercial wonderland.

      Second Life: The World's Greatest Real Estate And Advertising Market Simulator (tm)

    • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @06:36PM (#18268368)
      Okay, first of all they rip off Second Life and The Sims--only with annoying ads flashing everywhere and the "opportunity" to give them money to buy virtual crap for your generic apartment, with no REAL customization (i.e. letting you build your OWN stuff, like in Second Life). Then they tout it like THEY discovered this whole idea (as if about 100 other online worlds hadn't been doing it for YEARS). Then, for a topper, they throw in their obvious knockoffs of the "Mii" and the 360's achievements.

      What the hell are you smoking? Most products whether you care to admit it or not are ripped off or heavily influenced by products that preceded them. You claim Sony "stole" Second Life, but the fact is that Second Life ripped off from The Sims Online, VRML (and wannabes), IRC, various 3D IRCs and MUDs. And by your reasoning The Sims "stole" from Little Computer Person which "stole" it's ideas from pet ownership. You claim Sony "stole" from the Mii, yet it's funny you don't mention countless MMPORGS that offered customisable characters way before the Mii turned up. Or Mr Potato Head if you care to go that far back. You claim they're knocking off achievements, yet achievements are just an extension of the sort of stats that you could see in GTA III, way before XBox Live popularised them. Or medals / awards in every day life if you care to think that way.

      And if you're complaining about Sony "stealing", why not complain about Microsoft or Nintendo stealing. After all Microsoft is producing knockoffs of Gran Turismo with Forza, or GTA with Crackdown, or Pokemon / Dragonball Z with Blue Dragon? And couldn't you claim Nintendo is "stealing" by adding networking to their console after it proved successful in the XBox? Or Nintendo "stealing" a motion controller even though Sony has the patent on it? Or Apple "stealing" ideas from MP3 players which appeared way before the iPod ever did. etc.

      The fact is that Sony's think melds and borrows from lots of sources but in that regard it is no worse than any other producer. So why single them out for the bitching? Why claim they're "stealing everything" when it is not obvious at all that they are or have. I wouldn't look at Sony Home and think "they're stealing", it's simply a progression from many things from before. It sure as hell isn't like the Mii or XBox Live Achievements. It's way beyond either and distinct by a long shot.

  • by WndrBr3d (219963) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @05:34PM (#18267546) Homepage Journal
    I think this is an attempt to combine the Nintendo Mii aspect of personalizing an online gaming persona with the gaming prestige aspect of the Microsoft Gamer Score.

    My biggest problem with Sony's implementation of these new enhancements and roll out of new features is that it's a little late in the game to be doing so. The console has been on the market now for roughly four months, things such as online markets and features like the Sony Playstation Home should have been completed at launch much like the Nintendo Mii and Microsoft XBox Gamer Tags.

    Rolling out major features like this after launch makes it seem like Sony just rushed to release the PS3 with a, "we'll add things as they're finished" mentality. Call them 'catch-up features'.

    Although Nintendo has had several 'catch up features' added, such as the Wii channels finally being completed months after launch, I have to give it to Microsoft in that the changes to XBox Live and the dashboard have more or less just been an evolution over the last year and a half since the 360 was introduced. Sure, much more content has been added since it's inception, but nothing radically new has been added.

    So my hat goes off to Sony for being able to spin these new 'features' in a positive light, but I guess the question should be asked, Why weren't these features released with the console when the competitors already had them in place?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MooseMuffin (799896)
      You're right, these absolutely are "catch up" features, and they did have a "we'll add things as they're finished" mentality. But the biggest thing I take from this is that in the age of online consoles, that doesn't matter. All 3 consoles have the ability to add big features post launch via software updates, and if one of them should decided to be noble and stick with what they launched with, they'll be buried. A year from now, nobody will care when each feature was released, only that they can have the
  • Next! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Buddy_DoQ (922706)

    Dynamic advertising is pushed into the space via banners around the world, and in billboards. HD-quality video is running on the billboards.

    Well, done and scared me off. Next! Video games are quickly becoming as insulting as television and the local AMC; one day not to far from now I'll only have my old books as a proper escape from the capitalist bombardment.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Seriously.

      I recently got so fed up with being just a "cog in the wheel" that I dropped my WoW account, cancelled Steam, and went to a library. It's gotten so that the only place I can escape ads is in my own head.
  • The whole thing is free.

    With purchase of $700 playstation 3.

    I guess this is a good thing but its certainly not enough to get me to buy a playstation at that price
  • by realmolo (574068) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @05:35PM (#18267562)
    So, Sony's big announcement is that they are doing cheesy "Second Life"-type stuff on the PS3?

    Jesus. What planet do they live on? NOBODY CARES! We want good games, and good multiplayer. That's it. But no, instead we get some worthless service that is designed to appeal to the "I spend $50 per month on ringtones" market. Fucking ridiculous.

  • Did he say anything about real, actual games in that keynote, by any chance?
  • So the big thing you've got in this version of the Playstation seems to be advertising, and branded virtual items ala second life. This is suppose to be the difference between the PS3 being good and it being a steaming pile of dung? Give me and my wallet a break. I don't want any damned ads in my games. I don't want games that require that I be online. All of that should be possible but not required to get the most out of what essentially should be an arcade games machine for the home.
  • by ProppaT (557551)
    It sounds like Sony has lost total grasp of the industry they're in, the "videogame" industry. What *I* want to see are the games. I'm stuck in a hard place now. I want to buy an Xbox 360 or a PS3. My knee jerk reaction is to go with Sony because they will probably provide more of the games that I want to play in the long run, but in the short term (next 2 years) it's looking sorta grim. I'm sure this new service by Sony will be great, it sounds like it mixes the social aspects of Wii's with the gamer
    • "but in the short term (next 2 years) it's looking sorta grim"

      Yeah, so don't buy now. I'll eventually buy one when there's a reason to buy one (maybe Ratchet and Clank, unless they screw up that franchise even more), and the bonus is that by the time the games are ready, the prices will fall.

      Win/win.
  • Later this year, you'll be able to pay $600 to play something that's like Second Life with HD advertising, but without the ability to create your own stuff.

    And this is going to sell systems how, exactly?
    • by Rycross (836649)
      Its not going to sell systems, but its an extra feature. Virtual Console, Miis, and Wii Channels didn't sell Wiis, but it didn't hurt either.
  • Wow Slashdot... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @05:47PM (#18267708)
    For ages I've been coming here purely for the discussion. Slashdotters seemed to generally have a more open mind and the average maturity level seemed to be that much higher than the people over within the digg community. So I read the comments of this to find out the Slashdot reaction, and a majority of you are "Wow, way to copy Nintendo, screw off Sony." and "So it's Sims and Second Life? Give me a break", all while being modded up to +5 insightful or +5 interesting. No Slashdot, you give me a break.

    I guess it's obvious that Sony can't win here anymore. They integrate what Nintendo did with the Mii system (which was widely praised) and the community of XBox Live (also widely praised) and put their own personal spin on it and take it that much farther, and all you can say is "Fuck Sony". What if they just made a system that mimics XBox Live? "Looks like all Sony can do is copy Microsoft, fuck Sony." What if they just made a system with Mii's like Nintendo? "Looks like all Sony can do is copy Nintendo, fuck Sony." They put their own spin on what they think next-gen console connectivity should be, but obviously it must still be inferior. Why? They're Sony.

    That's not even all they're offering. Is no one excited by LittleBigPlanet other than me? Is that not one of the coolest game concepts ever? Hell, Zonk knows it, and he's the one that's supposedly biased against Sony. But no, screw LittleBigPlanet, let's just make remarks like "this all sucks, where are the games?". Let alone when games coming out for the PS3 ARE mentioned, XBox supporters come out of the woodwork saying "Yeah well online will suck they don't have XBox Live". I guess games only matter when Sony doesn't present a ton of games? This is GDC. You'll see games at E3. Give them a break.

    Honestly Slashdot, you've let me down. The Digg community has largely kept an open mind about Sony. Finally some good news, and for the most part, there's some good (but skeptical, understandably) reception. I'm not saying Playstation Home is the savior of the PS3, nor am I saying that LittleBigPlanet is the only game that will matter. I'm saying they've demoed some really cool stuff, and yet still they get blasted. Why? Because it's not the same? Because they're not exactly like the 360 or the Wii? I don't get it guys. I really don't.

    /rant, awaiting the "you must be new here" and 360 fanboy flames.
    • Re:Wow Slashdot... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @06:07PM (#18267956)

      For ages I've been coming here purely for the discussion. Slashdotters seemed to generally have a more open mind and the average maturity level seemed to be that much higher than the people over within the digg community. So I read the comments of this to find out the Slashdot reaction, and a majority of you are "Wow, way to copy Nintendo, screw off Sony." and "So it's Sims and Second Life? Give me a break", all while being modded up to +5 insightful or +5 interesting. No Slashdot, you give me a break.

      I guess it's obvious that Sony can't win here anymore. They integrate what Nintendo did with the Mii system (which was widely praised) and the community of XBox Live (also widely praised) and put their own personal spin on it and take it that much farther, and all you can say is "Fuck Sony". What if they just made a system that mimics XBox Live? "Looks like all Sony can do is copy Microsoft, fuck Sony." What if they just made a system with Mii's like Nintendo? "Looks like all Sony can do is copy Nintendo, fuck Sony." They put their own spin on what they think next-gen console connectivity should be, but obviously it must still be inferior. Why? They're Sony.

      That's not even all they're offering. Is no one excited by LittleBigPlanet other than me? Is that not one of the coolest game concepts ever? Hell, Zonk knows it, and he's the one that's supposedly biased against Sony. But no, screw LittleBigPlanet, let's just make remarks like "this all sucks, where are the games?". Let alone when games coming out for the PS3 ARE mentioned, XBox supporters come out of the woodwork saying "Yeah well online will suck they don't have XBox Live". I guess games only matter when Sony doesn't present a ton of games? This is GDC. You'll see games at E3. Give them a break.

      Honestly Slashdot, you've let me down. The Digg community has largely kept an open mind about Sony. Finally some good news, and for the most part, there's some good (but skeptical, understandably) reception. I'm not saying Playstation Home is the savior of the PS3, nor am I saying that LittleBigPlanet is the only game that will matter. I'm saying they've demoed some really cool stuff, and yet still they get blasted. Why? Because it's not the same? Because they're not exactly like the 360 or the Wii? I don't get it guys. I really don't. /rant, awaiting the "you must be new here" and 360 fanboy flames.


      I could be wrong, but half of the reason people get mad at Sony is not what they do but how they do it ...

      "The Revolution sucks! Motion Sensing is a Gimick!" ... "Hey look, our new SIXAXIS controller has motion control in it"
      "Microsoft are Retards for using software emulation for backwards compatibility" ... "Hey look, the PS3 uses software emulation for backwards compatibility"
      "Achievements are pointless" ... "Hey look, or Playstation Home has Achievements"

      It is one thing to take a good idea, it is another to be a complete douche bag while doing it ...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rycross (836649)
        Exactly. Its because Sony will pan an idea as being stupid or gimmicky, then come back and implement it when they find out that their customers like it. Instead of sucking it up and admitting that they were wrong about the idea, they try to play it off as if it was their own idea, and that they were such visionaries for thinking it up.

        I don't think anyone is upset at Sony adding features. They're upset that Sony are being giant hypocrites, and that they're patting their own back when they don't deserve t
    • I'm with you. I posted something with a little bit more raving to the rant, but nevertheless along the same lines.

      This isn't a pure and blameless event, as there are criticisms and skepticism to be had, but it suprises me at the temper tantrum that's being thrown here. There are people posting well on many perspectives, but they're largely lost in a see of short, mindless bashes of Sony.

      If we're really so much better than the arrogant and idiotic PR/execs at Sony, why can't we form the coherent sentences an
    • by _xeno_ (155264)

      Forgive me for pointing out the blindingly obvious, but I'm going to go with the fact that people are calling it a blatant rip-off of Second Life with Live functionality poorly tacked on is because it is, in fact, a blatant rip-off of Second Life with Live functionality poorly tacked on. There's a great bit in the Sony Home PR fluff-video where they explain in great detail how their IRC-with-HD-graphics also allows you to play find people to play with in multiplayer games, which to me, sounds like an absol

      • Re:Wow Slashdot... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by MeanderingMind (884641) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @06:58PM (#18268716) Homepage Journal
        I'm going to point out something here, and that is the key to Blizzard's success.

        We all know Blizzard. They made Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo 2 and some MMO that 8 million people play. They're extremely successful, rake in tons of though, the only games to even compete on top ten selling lists come from Will Wright. Hard to argue that Blizzard isn't successful.

        However, they don't innovate.

        Every game they make has horde of people yelling about it because it isn't original. Warcraft was precured by Dune, Starcraft stole concepts from Warhammer, Diablo 2 wasn't the first dungeon crawl, WoW is EQ for casual etc. What people miss is the endearing nature of fitting things together. Blizzard doesn't do anything wholly original, but they do bring together other people's ideas extremely professionally.

        For both Home and LittleBigPlanet, certainly most of what you see there has been done before. The potential to both of them isn't that they're innovating new features, but that they're bringing them together. Second Life doesn't allow you to find games of CounterStrike, Home does. Mario Bros doesn't involve 4 players working together, LittleBigPlanet does. These are just small portions of the potential at hand.

        Whether or not this is successful is another matter altogether.
  • This is the 7th console generation. What do they think the NES was 0.5 Beta?
  • I misread the headline on the summary. I honestly thought that it first said that the "keynote offers hope for PlayStation's 3 fans." I'm not a gamer, but I figured things must be even worse for Sony than I'd realized. :-)

    David
  • Six Hundred Dollars.

    Is there anything here that you can't get for less than $600 elsewhere?

    Six. Hundred. Dollars.

    Although the lack of games and poor online support and other issues were problems, problem #1 is still there.
    • Six Hundred Dollars.

      Is there anything here that you can't get for less than $600 elsewhere?


      Blu-ray

      PS3 games (Restistance/MGS4/FFXIII)

      Cell processor that can be a 60 gb Linux machine with built in wi-fi

      It's not as bad as people say, it's nto as good as astroturfers scream. It's simply a product. It's some pros, some cons. Time will tell if it works as a product.
  • You mean they dropped the DRM and reduced the price by 75%?

    Cool!
  • by MeanderingMind (884641) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @06:01PM (#18267850) Homepage Journal
    I realise this is slashdot, and I'm really looking in the wrong place for this.

    There seems to be a disproportionate amount of negativity concerning Sony's showing. Sony has said a lot of dumb things, they've done a few dumb things, but this does offer hope for Sony.

    That is not to say there aren't criticisms to be brought up, I'm just disappointed at how they have been here. Sony may have obtained the ill-will of gamers, but if we're going to tell them they suck at something we can at least do it intelligently. Calling Zonk a Sony fanboy (oh the irony after all the Nintendo and Xbox related accusations), and dismissing the whole keynote as though it was by default terrible are not effective methods of changing reality. The reality is, Sony and the PS3 have seen the first truly good, even awesome, news for them in a long time. It's not all redeeming, it alone will not outweigh all the crap we've faced. However, if you are truly interested in defending the industry against Sony what I've seen above is not how it is done. This is sticking one's head in the sand.

    Point out that Home is needlessly complicated, that it won't appeal to causual gamers, that it makes you unconfortable because it seems designed to overly consumerize online communities. Back up these points with expanded statements, compare them fairly to the counterparts of Live and the Mii Channel, but of all things don't simply pan this without paying attention. If you're intent on keeping Sony your beating horse, you're going to have to put effort into it.

    Closing your eyes does not rid the world of light.
  • From the description, all I want, and all I'll ever want is Games 1.0. There is no compelling reason for me to upgrade to the latest gen of consoles whatsoever. I want a games appliance, nothing more.

  • Interesting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by crabpeople (720852) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @06:09PM (#18267970) Journal
    This looks interesting. I can only hope someone ports the giant penis attack from second life.

    A public chat room of console users? With interactive objects and importable pictures and video? Man, thats gonna be nothing but porn, goatse and 13 year olds screaming racist obsceneties! Should be hilarious for the first week or so, especially if its unmodderated. Can you even imagine? 10 000 12 year olds all vying for attention.. Man I just gotta see the cess pool of prepubescent circus freaks that it would create. It's the same feeling I would get from watching car accidents I think.

    I predict that this will be a huge hit. People love playing with dolls. Its vanity. I have this friend who plays ps2 basically all day (unemployed). He likes things like dressing up his characters in gta, picking the perfect paint scheme for a car, and he likes showing that shit off. This service is going to be HUGE, and will quite possibly save the console.

  • I'm super excited.
    God I hate the mainstream games industry.
  • Look, I have no intention of buying a PS3. I have my 360, I'm happy with my 360, so I don't care. BUT, good for Sony! I was as surprised as anyone at how much I enjoyed the Achievements MS included. When I first heard of it, I thought it was pointless, and agreed with Sony that it doesn't evenly compare gamers' abilities. But I started playing, I started getting a few gamer points, and wa'la; like Pokemon, I had to catch them all (little did I know I suck at gaming apparently, and have a less than stel
  • by skoda (211470) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @06:23PM (#18268186) Homepage
    The reason to buy a PS3 is to have a virtual apartment? For $599, I can rent a real one!

    I want a games console to, you know, play games. Not sit on a virtual couch, watching video on a virtual video screen in a virtual apartment, on my real TV while I sit on my real couch in my real house.

    And what's all this blather about "everything is physics based"? To quote, "More interestingly, everything is physics based. Picture frames can be pinned to the wall, and any content on the PS3 is postable up there." What's "physics based" about pinning frames to the wall? Do I have to buy 30-lb rated virtual pins or the physics-based virtual frame crashes to the floor? Then I have buy a virtual broom and sweep it up, watching physics-based glass shards tumble on the floor?

    And what's physics-based about having PS3 content in my frame? I can't put PS3 content in my real, physically physics-based picture frame on my real wall in my real house.

    I must just be an old, non-physics based, curmudgeon.
  • For $600, they're only getting hardcore people to buy the machine. And this new concept is hardly a compelling reason for a casual player to suddenly change their mind and buy a PS3.

    This isn't the proper response to Xbox Live. Live enhances the hardcore gaming experience. This doesn't. It's a casual gamer feature, at best.

    So who is Sony hoping to win over with this again? Show me a casual gamer who previously didn't care for the PS3 that is now drooling for a chance to use this new "free" feature.
  • by gamer4Life (803857) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @07:03PM (#18268770)
    Please, nothing by itself isn't worth it for $600, Gears of War isn't even worth the cost of an XBox 360. It's the whole package, and every little thing that adds to the package helps. So no, PS3 Home, isn't worth $600, but perhaps as one poster said, bug fixes and patches, Blu-ray, free online, WiFi included, etc... *is* enough for some people.

    I'm tired of fanboys rehashing the same invalid arguments over and over again.
  • How about scaling? (Score:4, Informative)

    by tgibbs (83782) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @07:14PM (#18268932)
    So was there anything about solving the PS3's scaling problems that prevent games from playing in HD on some HD monitors? So far as I know, the PS3 is the only device that claims HD output, but that does not have the capability to scale all output to either 1080i or 720p to support all HD monitors. Even some fairly cheap scaling DVD players have this ability, so its absence in a $600 device is incomprehensible.

    For me, this is the single issue that has prevented me from ordering a PS3. Most of the new stuff listed announced kind of cool, but probably not the sort of thing I'd use much--certainly not appealing enough to compensate for a fundamental hardware limitation.

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