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PlayStation (Games)

In Wake of Price Drops, Further PS3 Doubts 424

Posted by Zonk
from the clouding-the-issue dept.
Sony fans undoubtedly cheered the news of a $100 drop in price for the 60GB PS3, but even with the price drop there are several issues surrounding the console. 1up reports that the 80GB PS3 is following the lead of the EU-released PS3s by removing the Emotion engine and relying on software emulation for backwards compatibility. In an effort to decrease costs Sony continues to reduce features and develop their product. Meanwhile, Konami executive Kazumi Kitaue doesn't see much impact from the cut ... and in fact told Reuters that they're seriously considering a multi-platform release for Metal Gear Solid 4. "Kitaue said Konami may need to expand the target hardware for its blockbuster fighting game Metal Gear Solid, which has so far been developed for Sony's PlayStation machines, to other consoles in the future to recoup development costs ... The release of the latest version of Metal Gear Solid series is expected to help lure hard-core gamers to the PS3 and alleviate concerns over scarcity of strong PS3 titles. Underscoring sluggish PS3 sales and robust demand for the Wii, Nintendo shot past Sony in market value last month and bumped the Tokyo-based electronics conglomerate off the list of Japan's 10 most valuable companies."
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In Wake of Price Drops, Further PS3 Doubts

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  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @12:47PM (#19814881) Homepage
    Software emulation on the PS3 works just as well as the hardware emulation!!

    Not according to Sony's own compatability list for the EU PS3 [playstation.com]. While many games work fine, there are also a significant number in the lowest-score "noticeable issues" category. Also note the caveats, like how you should skip optional FMV sequences and how you shouldn't use network modes due to graphical corruption.

    The fact is without even the specifics it should be obvious that software emulation will not work just as well as hardware emulation. Which isn't emulation at all, it's hardware compatability, it's physically utilizing the original PS2 hardware that the game was originally designed to run on. With the hardware "emulation", you basically have an actual PS2 to run your PS2 games on. The Emotion Engine is not simple, and creating a perfectly compatible software version that exactly matches not only every bit of functionality but also the relative timing of operations which many games depend on is very difficult and not something that is going to be made perfect. They will necessarily have to go on a case-by-case basis finding games that depend on a particular quirk of the Emotion Engine and fix them and issue patches.

    I'm not saying the software emulation is crap, and if the games you want to play are well supported according to the compatability list then you should be good to go. I am saying that the switch from hardware compatability to software emulation has hurt backward compatability. That's not FUD, it's a fucking fact. Which should be obvious, because before the EU PS3 release they didn't even have a compatability list because there was no point.
  • by pl1ght (836951) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @12:54PM (#19814971)
    Today the PS3 is the #1 selling system on Amazon. Futureshop.CA reports they are sold out, and Best Buy.ca was also sold out at one point this morning. It may just be a quick jump following the Price cut and we may see Sony slip back down, but the 100$ off is obviously getting people pulling the trigger on it who otherwise wouldnt be.
  • by ivan256 (17499) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @12:57PM (#19815025)
    Since the 1.8 firmware, even the models that have the hardware emulation have been using the software emulator if you enable upscaling. Yet the emulation is still better than acceptable. Certainly, I prefer it to my non-upscaled actual PS2.

    But you should swear about it, and turn it into a huge issue, and pretend that it's worse than the competition, etc... Go right ahead. It's what we expect from the Slashdot 360 Fanboy, er.... Slashdot Games section.
  • Re:Lately? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @12:57PM (#19815027)

    I don't know why everyone is Sony-hating, but they've been doing it for a long time.
    * Lik-Sang
    * Rootkit
    * Poorly built products (Especially compared to the quality of products they were producing in the 80's)
    * Still charging high prices for the poorly built products. If Sony's quality was still top notch, they could charge those prices with no problem. Now they're still charging more for poor quality products, riding on the reputation that they built a few decades ago.
    * Arrogance (People will buy the PS3 even without any games available, People don't know what a rootkit is so it doesn't matter to them, etc...)
  • WTF? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @12:58PM (#19815045)
    What are you talking about?

    The emotion engine is the core of the PS2, it has nothing to do with the speed or quality of PS3 games, and the PS3 CPU is fast enough to easily emulate the PS2 and more. In fact, as the software emulator gets better I fully expect PS2 games will be better on the PS3 than they were on the PS2.
  • Re:Lately? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @01:22PM (#19815393)
    LOL. We have an AC complaining about the Microsoft and Nintendo astroturfing (never mind that there isn't any evidence that either company has an astroturf campaign) who's clearly a Sony astroturfer - and there is evidence that Sony has been astroturfing [google.com]. Remember the "all I want for Christmas is a PSP" blog? And that UK Sony astroturf blog? Then there's this Sony astroturfer on Slashdot [slashdot.org]. (Seriously, go through his comment history, it should remove any doubt.) That Google search I linked lists tons more Sony astroturf attempts.

    What's the saying? You always expect your enemies to do what you'd do or something like that?

    And to response to the Sony astroturfer that started this thread, software emulation will never be as good as running the original hardware. NES emulators have had a good 25 years or more of development, and they still fail to completely emulate the original NES. SNES emulators, even 10 years after the last SNES game was released, still fail to emulate the entire SNES catalog. And that's on relatively simplistic hardware like the SNES!

    Imagine how long it'll be until software emulation manages to properly emulate the PS2. It'll never do as good a job - it simply can't. It's not FUD, it's reality.
  • by ivan256 (17499) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @01:37PM (#19815579)

    not the best. It's got online and it's free, but it's just not as good. Interface has a few nice features like internet browsing, but overall, it's not as tight of an experience as Xbox360 with relation to gaming, and this is a gaming console.


    This sounds like the commentary of somebody who hasn't spent much time with a PS3.

    I used to think exactly what you just said, but my console experience this generation was limited to the 360, and the Wii. I had only played with store demo PS3s. I recently picked up a PS3, though, because I needed a new DVD player, and I wanted the upscaling and the BluRay support, and I must say that i'm generally impressed with the interface; even the online parts. "Tight" is exactly how I would describe it, and everything about the system. It's the first console I've ever owned that doesn't feel like a toy. I was also surprised to find that the downloadable content for the system far surpassed what was available for the Wii, which basically only has "classics" (read: old games; only some are truly classic). I haven't even turned my Wii on since I bought the PS3. I was also surprised by how open the system is. Standard memory card formats, many codecs playable from standard media servers, the ability to upgrade the hard drive, the controller being a HID compliant USB games controller.... Very un-Sony-like, but also very good.

    I do agree that the marketing for the system is terrible though. And the game selection is still mediocre. The price was a little steep for me, which would mean that it was really steep for a college kid, or a parent, but with the price cut it'll hurt a little less.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @02:05PM (#19815997)
    300,000+ a month every month since release. About 8 million consoles sold, and quickly catching up with the xbox 360 in terms of total units moved.
  • by Retric (704075) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @02:56PM (#19816617)
    As someone that bought a PS3 and a 360, I think the PS3 is a much better system.

    1) I have a 1080p screen and at that resolution the PS3's graphics are much better.
    2) If you play online games the PS3 is much cheaper over several years.
    3) Cross platform games are better on the PS3.
    4) PS3 games have much more to work with aka a HDD, more processing power etc.
    5) Blue-Ray
    6) Up scaling DVD's
    7) It plays enough PS2 games that I don't need a PS2 but I still need the Xbox for a lot of old games.
    8) It upgrades the graphics on old PS2 games. (So it's better than just backwards compatible.)
    9) The PS3 has a longer lifespan. (Xbox 1 came out a year after PS2 but the 360 came out a year before the PS3. People are still buying more PS2's than 360's.)

    Granted as working adult I find the difference in price meaningless.
  • Re:Nintendo? (Score:4, Informative)

    by buffer-overflowed (588867) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @03:46PM (#19817161) Journal
    It's all old stuff. You can read most of it in Game Over [wikipedia.org] if you're inclined.

    Basically, Nintendo was extremely strong-armed with third party developers during the NES days. You could only publish so many games a year(hence Contra being released as an ULTRA title), and you couldn't publish for other platforms like the Master system. They tried, unsuccessfully to crack down on unlicensed titles via their lockout chip, which was cloned by tengen(among others) and lost the resulting court case. That's also the source for the Nintendo seal of quality(all it really meant then was that a developer had paid the licensing fees, followed the rules, and the cart had a 10NES lockout chip).

    They kept this up(being controlling in regards to third parties) to a certain extent until Yamauchi handed the reins over to Igawa.

    Additionally, they strong-armed retailers, and to some extent manipulated the software market by having a hard lock on cartridge production.

    Also, their Nintendo Authorized Repair Center thing(the US NES had a tendency to break because of the way it loaded, putting stress on the contacts) was a little bit of a scam.

    Oh, and censored the original Mortal Kombat for the SNES, before the ESRB came into existance. I think that about covers it all.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @03:47PM (#19817177)
    Just adding some counterpoints for interests sake (disclaimer: I have both a 360 and PS3):

    1) This is only true IF you have a large TV or you sit closer than optimal viewing distance. The difference between 720p and 1080p is very hard to spot on anything less than 40" (unless you sit too close - at least 1.5-2x the size of the television is the distance away you ought to be). The difference between quality of different TV brands is much more a concern - a high quality tv at 720p can definately look better than a POS at 1080p (I'm looking at YOU, Hitachi!).

    2) Very true, but as a working adult you must admit that $60 a year is a pittance, and for many people it's worth it for the seamless online service that xbox live provides. I much prefer the 360's online functionality to that of my PS3, free or not.

    3) Actually most comparisons I've seen put them on equal footing graphics wise. Only oblivion comes to mind as having a hands down superior version on the PS3, but it did come out 10 months later or so on the PS3 than on the 360, so I would expect (demand?) as much.

    4) True. Lets just hope developers learn to take advantage. Superior hardware doesnt always mean success.

    5) Very true. The PS3 is a very cheap Blu-Ray player, and bluray movies look awesome. I doubt the HD movie market will be anything other than a niche market for the next few years, but for those of us early adopters the PS3 is a good choice for a bluray player, at least until standalones come down in price. Compared to modern standalone DVD players the PS2 sucks horribly, and I suspect the same will be true of the PS3's bluray capability by the time Bluray catches on. In the mean time however, it works.

    6) Bah. PS3 upscaled dvds look better than non-upscaled dvds, but my $60 panasonic dvd player (also with hdmi output) does a much better job and has many more options. Maybe sony can update the upscaling software some more and it will be on par with standalone players, but I won't hold my breath.

    7) All of my xbox games work on my 360, and all of my PS2 games (except Guitar Hero 1/2, because of the controller) work on my PS3. Guess I'm just lucky. There never was a huge number of must-play xbox exclusives - are there any that the 360 won't handle?

    8) I like this a lot actually. It's like playing Playstation 1 games with epsxe on a computer. Of course the older games I choose to play again I would be playing anyway with or without sharper textures, but it's a nice bonus. Keep in mind the 360 also updates the graphics of emulated xbox games.

    9) This is pure guessing. The PS2 certainly had a long lifespan, but the success of the PS2 (so far) has not translated into similar success for the PS3. One would hope with it's superior hardware that it would last longer, but as you pointed out the xbox (which had better hardware than the ps2) launched a year after the ps2 (as the ps3 lauched a year after the 360) and it didnt have a superior lifespan.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @04:04PM (#19817383)
    >As someone that bought a PS3 and a 360, I think the PS3 is a much better system.
    I call "Shennanigans" Hydra-guy

    >1) I have a 1080p screen and at that resolution the PS3's graphics are much better.
    Funny, the 360 does 1080P too and they even give you an HD cable to do it. Plus every cross platform game with the debatable exception of Oblivion has better graphics on the 360. Plus every non-Sony-owned dev has admitted the GPU (that little thingy that does the graphic in a game console) on the 360 is significantly more powerful than the rush job Nvidia did for Sony. Are you sure you can even see the graphics on the PS3? You realize that the cable that came with your PS3 is a composite cable, right?
    >2) If you play online games the PS3 is much cheaper over several years.
    And you get what you pay for. Sorry, I'll take actually having online support in games like Virtua Fighter 5 and Tony Hawk and things like universal chat support and ingame notification over Sony's "free" offering. Seriously, what does Sony offer in its online service (not the game devs, Sony) that they could charge for? Plus, plan on replacing those now-obsolete rumbleless Sixaxis controllers at $50 a pop? Sony will make sure you do. Sony gotta eat.
    >3) Cross platform games are better on the PS3.
    Completely false. See any game review with the possible exception of Oblivion. Even then the devs (not some raving fanboy) admitted that the small improvements were due to eight extra months of dev time. Even then they had to kill anti-aliasing, HDR lighting, and downloadable content because of the inferior PS3 system.
    >4) PS3 games have much more to work with aka a HDD, more processing power etc.
    Except the devs can't really use it effectively due to a combo of Sony's bad OS design, the fragmentation problem (which devs can't fix- only Sony) and the fact that the HDD performance varies due to user upgrades to the point at which HDD throughput may be lower than the already-too-slow Blu-ray throughput.
    >5) Blue-Ray
    You mean Blew-ray? Their biggest seller AAA title has sold a grand total of ~70,000 copies. There have been a little more than a million total discs sold. Since, if you believe Sony's numbers, about five million PS3s have been sold, then the typical PS3 owner has bought ZERO discs. At best, only one in five (completely ignoring the standalone players sold for a year because consumers obviously did) PS3 owners buys movies. The format is, so far, a non-event. HD-DVD has about one tenth the number of players on the market but has also sold over a million discs. The biggest selling HD disc on either format is "Planet Earth" and the HD-DVD version outsold the Blu-ray version. If HD-DVD is dead, then Blu-ray dying of apathy.
    >6) Up scaling DVD's
    The 360 does this too. It also did it before the PS3 could. So does any $60 DVD player at Walmart and they don't stutter during movie playback if you leave the wifi on like the PS3. Most of them also play DiVX movies, unlike the PS3.
    >7) It plays enough PS2 games that I don't need a PS2 but I still need the Xbox for a lot of old games.
    Better hope you don't have to replace your PS3 with the new "improved" model or else you get stuck with software emulation just like the 360.
    >8) It upgrades the graphics on old PS2 games. (So it's better than just backwards compatible.)
    Complete BS. At least with the 360s BC (about sixty percent of my titles work), the games are natively rendered at HD (Ninja Gaiden Black actually looks sharper and has less aliasing than Sigma in BC mode) unlike the PS3 where they just upscale the whole framebuffer making them blurrier and in many cases unplayable (see Burnout). Pretty lame.
    >9) The PS3 has a longer lifespan. (Xbox 1 came out a year after PS2 but the 360 came out a year before the PS3. People are still buying more PS2's than 360's.)
    And people are buying twice the number of 360s as PS3s worldwide every month and six times the number of Wiis. PS2s got a boost because the BC
  • by SpeedyRich (754676) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @05:47PM (#19818687)
    Yes
  • by prockcore (543967) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @06:19PM (#19819091)

    Unless someone is hoping to play some obscure collection of titles


    You mean like:
    FINAL FANTASY XII
    METAL GEAR SOLID 3: SUBSISTENCE
    GRANDTHEFT AUTO VICE CITY
    GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS
    GRAN TURISMO 4
    GOD OF WAR

    Just to name a few titles that are flagged with "Noticable Issues".

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