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Sony Japan PlayStation (Games)

In Japan, PlayStation 2 Ends a 12-Year Run 146

Posted by timothy
from the old-enough-for-comics dept.
The PlayStation 3 may have overshadowed it technically, but the PlayStation 2 has seniority. Now, the PS2 is being retired in Japan after nearly 13 years. That doesn't mean the games have stopped: "To this day, developers have continued to release games on the platform due to its enduring popularity, with the last title in Japan, Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin, due out in March this year."
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In Japan, PlayStation 2 Ends a 12-Year Run

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  • not game (Score:4, Informative)

    by musikit (716987) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @07:05AM (#42418649)

    to be fair FFXI: seekers of adoulin is an expansion to the FFXI game released close to 7 years ago now. it is not a full game and can not be played seperately without buying the original title from 7 years ago.

  • by Argerich (2804589) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @07:43AM (#42418757)

    I remember the excitement in the company when the first PS2 devkit arrived and were placed in a locked room. Only a few top engineers in the company had access to the room. People would come and stare through the glass at the devkit demos running on the screens and standing around chatting with the guys working on the PS2 hardware. And I remember the engineers holding mini seminars in one of the conference rooms diagramming out the amazing PS2 hardware architecture and how engines will be written for the hardware.

    Sony did an absolutely amazing job with the PS2 hardware design. It was a system that much resembles some finely tuned race car that has had every single bit of wasted weight trimmed from it and setup so the driver can do one single thing, drive fast. Looking back at the PS2 code for our games it is wonderful to look at just how small and straightforward the PS2 engine code is. Pack as much data into DMA packets down to the point where not a single bit is wasted. None of the wasteful lines and lines of setup code one has to go through when writing engines for a desktop PC(or a desktop PC in console case like the Xbox).

    It is no surprise Sony was able to keep the PS2 hardware viable for almost 13 years. Unmatched console hardware design and manufacturing prowess mixed with the best developer support and tools.

    And Sony treats developers better than anyone else. They've always had the mindset of tell us what you need and well make it happen. Nintendo has always been too focused on their own first party titles and have always had an underlying attitude of 'we don't really need anyone but ourselves'. And Microsoft...I don't know where to being with how bad they are with supporting developers. The fact that they managed to piss off their sole important first party developer Bungie so much that they forced Microsoft to let them leave the company is a good an indication as any of just how bad Microsoft is with supporting developers.

  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Saturday December 29, 2012 @08:08AM (#42418835) Journal

    And nor has much since...

    WoW increasingly looks like an anomaly. Very few MMOs have managed to go over 1 million subscribers and stay there. Old Republic almost hit 2 million at launch, but fell off very, very rapidly.

    Having done a bit of reading since my original post, it seems FFXI managed to stay in the 500k-750k range for years and years. It's below that point now, but then, it's extremely old now. While it may only have managed not much more than 1/20th of WoW's peak subscriber base, it seems to have done better than almost all of the other competition.

    Also massively better than its own successor, FF14, which remains one of the greatest MMO cock-ups of all time.

  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Saturday December 29, 2012 @09:31AM (#42419081) Journal
    Eurogamer do some excellent "Digital Foundry" articles comparing PS3 and 360 versions of games (and where appropriate, PC and Wii-U versions as well). Let me find some links for you.

    Far Cry 3 [eurogamer.net]
    Need for Speed: Most Wanted [eurogamer.net]
    Mass Effect 3 [eurogamer.net]
    Darksiders 2 [eurogamer.net]

    There are lots more if you want to look.

    tl;dr version - in most cases, the graphical and performance differences between PS3 and 360 "top end" games are so miniscule that you need detailed frame-by-frame comparisons to spot them. Broadly speaking, what differences do exist show the 360 having an advantage on Unreal-tech games (which is a lot of the big shooters). There are a few games which do swing heavily in favour of one platform or another (eg. Skyrim towards the 360, Final Fantasy XIII towards the PS3), but these are the exception rather than the norm and tend to reflect a developer which is much more comfortable with one set of hardware than the other.

    Neither console crushes the other in performance terms in the real world. End of.
  • by dma_packet (2804603) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @10:12AM (#42419275)

    We're not having a debate. There is six years of real world graphics engines running on fixed hardware. The fact that whatever brain damage you have that makes you so vehemently deny what is something that isn't just easily seem with people's own eyes but with the actual resolution, poly counts, lighting models, etc on the PS3 and the significantly weaker Xbox 360.

    There are usually two groups of people who still cling to the delusion that the Xbox 360 graphics hardware is in the same league as the PS3:

    1. Outright hardcore Xbox fanboys. The guys who post that 'teh Xbox version looks better' without even wasting time to look at comparison screen shots or video. Take PS3 and 360 footage/screenshots and reverse the labels and these sad fucks will proclaim the 360(actually PS3) version looks best!

    2. People dumb enough to fill their head with the techno babble garbage from sites like beyond3d.com. These people spent the first couple of years before and during the start of the PS3's life listening to the PC fanboys run their mouths off with inane crap and simply refuse to let go are admit that all that garbage they filled their heads with is diametrically opposed to the reality of what their eyes are seeing.

    I remember one of these sad fucks posting two screenshots from PS3 and 360 version of a game. The 360 version was full of jaggies. Yet this dunce had filled his head with so much garbage from the dumb PC 'graphics experts' that he actually was asking why the PS3 version didn't have as good anti-aliasing as the 360.

    Console graphics isn't the special olympics like you apparently want it to be where 'everyone is a winner'. You design your console's graphics system and you ship it. The actual graphics engines speak for themselves.

    Microsoft has had seven years to come up with a single game that can compete with a single PS3 exclusive. They failed. The Xbox 360's single claim to graphical fame were hilariously fake 5000x5000 16xAA Unreal Engine bullshots running with massively detailed models and materials running on a high end Epic developer PC that they tried to pass off as 'in game' or 'in engine':

    http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080404131361/egamia/images/e/e7/Gears_of_war.jpg [nocookie.net]

    When in reality this is what the actual direct feed Xbox 360 graphics look like:

    http://kineticninja.blogspot.com/2009_01_01_archive.html [blogspot.com]

    PS3 exclusives like Uncharted make the Xbox 360's 'graphical showpiece' look like a PS2/Xbox era title.

    Knock yourself out. Keep trying to convince the world the Xbox 360 was in the league as the PS3. Post some comparison shots of My Pretty Pony and how 'close the PS3 and 360' graphics look.

    After all, there are still sad and pathetic Dreamcast fanboys haunting console forums still trying to convince the world the Dreamcast was just as powerful as the PS2.

  • by Argerich (2804589) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @10:47AM (#42419413)

    I don't even know what the hell that rambling wall of text is supposed be.

    Our company being one of the largest developers/publishers working on the original Playstation our engineers worked directly with Sony on the design of the PS2(and the PS3). The PS2 was our dream console.

    It is such an elegant machine. It was able to put out graphics that were just as good for all but a few areas like multipass rendering and AA as the Xbox while easily surpassing it in areas like frame buffer effects(one of the major reasons the Xbox couldn't handle the Metal Gear port from the PS2 without bogging down) and physics calculations for animation thanks to the insane floating point power in the PS2. And all this while the manufacturing cost of the PS2 was roughly half that of the Xbox 360.

    It really is bizarre to read someone who has never worked on a real console game spew a bunch of techno babble.

    The PS2 and PS3 are almost identical hardware designs that are almost perfectly designed to maximize graphical power with the absolute minimum hardware costs. The only exception being the Blu-Ray drive which was very new tech compared to the PS2 more mature and cheaper drive tech.

    It really is strange to hear desktop PC game programmers cry about how the PS2/PS3 isn't exactly like their desktop PC and how they can't just dump their code designed for a completely(and massively inefficient) architecture like the standard x86 desktop PC is.

    The main engine starts off on the EE/PPU. Does basic setup. Loads tasks into the VUs/SPUs. The heavy lifting tasks on the VUs/SPUs start firing away asynchronously while the main engine continues along with the less computationally heavy game code. As data in the VUs/SPUs become ready for rendering, that data is DMAed over to the GS/RSX.

    Over time you continue to maximize the parallelism going on and get to the point where all three parts of the PS2/PS3 are cranking away at their respective tasks. Thanks to the bus architecture of the PS2/PS3 this happens with a minimal amount of bus contention slowing the system down. It is always funny to hear some PC programmer or someone on the Net parroting them crying about the split bus architecture and how they can't just dump everything into one big block of memory.

    That amazing design by Sony is the PS2 was able to put out graphics that were so close to a machine that came out a year later and had components that cost roughly twice as much.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 29, 2012 @02:47PM (#42421047)
    Console developer here. Curiously, what you are saying is mostly false. The reality is: either you are designing the game around PS3 hardware, or PS3 version will be far worse than 360 one.

    PS3 got SPUs, and that's about it. It has less RAM, less performant GPU, and only a single hyper-threaded CPU core. Without taking SPUs into account, PS3 is essentially a castrated Xbox with 2 of its 3 cores removed and RAM halved to 256 MB (you better not touch video RAM with CPU).

    Now, what SPUs give you: 6 fast, but pretty dumb cores that see the world through 256KB window and have to DMA data in and out. Their job is mostly helping weak RSX GPU with graphics tasks (post-processing, sometimes geometry optimizations like early culling, deferred renderer - if used, etc). Using them for generic game logic is possible, but most cross-platform engines were not designed for that and SPU utilization remains a problem even now, 6 years after the launch.

    Compare the framerates of the cross-platform games, BTW.

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