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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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  • by dma_packet (2804603) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @08:14AM (#42418851)

    You were joking...right?

    The Xbox 360 is in last place in worldwide sales this gen.

    An absolutely mind boggling failure for Microsoft. The Xbox 360 was suppose to be the console where Microsoft recovered from the first Xbox multi-billion dollar fiasco and finally got it right.

    Instead Microsoft:

    * Killed off the first Xbox leaving pissing off developers who wasted resources developing engines for the console

    * Rushed the worst console hardware ever created out the door that lead to the RRoD fiasco and many other hardware failures on a scale never seen before in the console market.

    * The Xbox 360 launched a year early and a year and a half early in Europe

    * The Xbox 360 launch price was 200 dollars cheaper than the PS3 yet the PS3 easily outsold the Xbox 360's first year and has gone on to outsell the Xbox 360 worldwide each year it has been on the market.

    * Tens of millions Xbox 360 have been sold due to Xbox owners desperately hoping each new model that is released finally fixes the RRoD, the disc scratching drives, the absurdly loud noisy operation, etc.

    All of that and Microsoft still has ended up in last place this gen. In a sick bit of irony, the only bright spot this gen for Microsoft has been the RRoD in that it helped keep them out last place for a little bit longer than they should have.

    What is mind boggling about Microsoft's failure in the console market is instead of rectifying the reasons they are the last place console this gen, they have been making things worse:

    * They have shut down almost all of their first party developers or let them go join multiplatform publishers. The one first party studio that mattered, Bungie, they pissed off so much that they forced Microsoft to let them leave. Boggle.

    * The first Xbox was big expensive PC crammed into a big ugly black box. The Xbox 360 was junk hardware with wimpy graphics that got destroyed by PS3 exclusives this gen. Yet Microsoft has done nothing to develop the internal hardware design and manufacturing capabilities that would allow them to compete with Sony.

    Instead Microsoft has bizarrely tried, and failed, to turn the Xbox 360 into a Wii like device by buying a company that created an Sony EyeToy clone.

    Even more mind boggling is that even after six years on the market the Xbox's division is still either bleeding cash or just barely breaking even. And that is including all the other profitable products and services in the same division. The 50 or whatever the price Microsoft forces Xbox owners to pay them to be allowed to play online games should be generating many hundreds of millions of dollars a year in pure profits. The losses on the Xbox 360 have to be so large that even those extra hundreds of millions in profit each year can barely cover the losses on the Xbox 360 hardware.

    Dumping the ten year long Xbox fiasco is going to be day one for whatever CEO finally comes in to clean up the mess Ballmer has created with garbage products like Bing, Xbox, Windows Phone, etc.

  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Saturday December 29, 2012 @08:19AM (#42418867) Journal

    There's more to dominating the market than installed base - as I said in my original post, the Wii managed PS2-style sales in its early years, but never really dominated the scene.

    I think the thing with the 360 and PS3 has been that, from the user's point of view, they're probably more interchangable than any other two consoles in history. Their internal architectures might be completely different, but in terms of overall performance, they come out in about the same place. In a technical sense, if a game can run on the 360, it can be made to run on the PS3 and vice-versa. Just as importantly, they've got controllers which, while different in appearance, basically have the same number and configuration of buttons. So the same game can be released for both platforms in a near-identical state.

    There aren't as many exclusives as in previous generations and nor are those exclusives as likely to be "best in genre" as they have been in the past. Even developers who started out this generation tied to one manufacturer's hardware have branched out since into cross-platform (eg. Insomniac).

    So whether you buy a 360 or a PS3 (or if you own both, which one you spend most time with) is likely to be influenced by some distinctly secondary factors. Do you believe in "patriotic" buying? I suspect a lot of people do, as evidenced by the PS3's advantage in Japan and the 360's in the US (while Europe remains a dead heat). Which controller do you prefer the ergonomic fit of? Which console do most of your friends own? These are much narrower factors than the essentials that set apart the Xbox and the Gamecube, the SNES and the Genesis/Megadrive and the Playstation and the N64.

    I don't think this console generation has had a winner. The Wii took an early lead but squandered it (check Nintendo's financials for the last couple of years, as opposed to the specifically gaming divisions of Sony and MS). The 360 and PS3 have remained neck and neck. And the Wii-U (which feels as much a current-gen console as a next-gen one based on the time I've had with mine)... who knows?

  • by LordLucless (582312) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @08:30AM (#42418907)

    I do wonder what would have happened if Sony had held back the PS3 for 6-9 months, to work out some of the oddities in the hardware, let the launch price fall, get a stronger launch-lineup and maybe get proper back-compatibility into the hardware as a standard across the world.

    Possibly, something entirely unrelated to the console market - HD-DVD may have become the de facto standard for high-def media. Upgrading their console platform was only one reason Sony launched the PS3 - the other was to get a player for their proprietary high-def format in the lounge room of as many consumers as possible. Remember, at launch, the PS3 was the most cost-effective BluRay player on the market, due to console subsidies.

  • by Argerich (2804589) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @12:13PM (#42419831)

    "They originally planned not to need a GPU because Cell was supposed to have enough FP power to do the 3D graphics all by itself but that turned out not to be the case."

    Please stop parroting crap from the Beyond3D forums.

    Our company is large enough to have had access to the PS3 hardware designs at a very early stage and were in a dialog with Sony engineers about the design. At no time did the PS3 have any other design than what is in the shipping hardware today. The only things that were to be determined were clockspeeds, number of SPUs, etc.

    Not only is that stupid lie started on the Beyond3D forums false, it doesn't even make sense. The PS2 and PS3 have almost identical hardware designs. That is the feedback we console developers gave to Sony - we want a PS2 taken to the next level. Which is exactly what the PS3 was and is.

  • Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 29, 2012 @06:54PM (#42422545)

    I have no idea what company you worked for, but the PS3 hardware design went through a radical change between its early stage incarnation and what shipped. You must have worked for a late-access company.

    Originally, the PS3 was going to do most of it's graphics in a souped-up 12-bit fixed point PS2-like graphics pipeline (called the RS) and do all the geometry on the Cell processors. After they found out their fixed point design was untenable for modern fragment shading, they had a crash program to retro-fit floating point into the RS-core, but that program failed. Then they called Nvidia in a panic to cram in a souped up NV47 GPU core into the chip (called the RSX).***

    The PS2 and PS3 have in no way an "almost identical" HW design. In fact the preview-dev-kits that Sony shipped prior to the HW being available were basically Power-PCs with NV47's in them. The NV47 GPU architecture is not at all like the PS2 GPU. The Power-PC was not like the Mips-R5900 core used in the PS2 either (not to mention the cell processor alti-vec on steriods hanging off the power-pc cores in the PS3.

    Early PS3's had PS2 chips in them because it was too hard to emulate the PS2 on the Power-PC+RSX combo. As a cost-reduction move, later PS3's had huge patch libraries for popular games on the hard-drive to live-patch games to make this emulation work. Finally, Sony gave up and the latest PS3's don't run old PS2 games at all.

    It's true at the end they sacrificed two SPUs (one for a security monitor and another to increase yield) and there were some clock tweaks, but that was waaaay late in the PS3 development program.

    ***Actually Sony wanted a custom version of the new Nvidia G80-core (w/ unfied shaders), but Nvidia wouldn't agree to modify that chip into a core in the short amount of time they had to execute the program, so Sony only got the previous generation graphics core (at least it was floating point pixel shaders).

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