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PlayStation (Games) Sony Games Hardware

The Tech Fixes the PS3 Still Needs, Eight Years On 99

Posted by timothy
from the needs-a-cupholder-for-metamucil dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The PlayStation 4 has well and truly arrived, but Sony's still selling its last-gen console by the pallet-load, eight years after first going on sale. Of course, as a new article points out, that's nothing compared to the PS2's astonishing 13 year manufacturing run. To help achieve that, the author outlines some tech fixes the PS3 could still do with, even after all this time, from tighter PS Vita integration, to yes, cross game chat. Can it make it past a decade, too?"
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The Tech Fixes the PS3 Still Needs, Eight Years On

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  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Saturday August 23, 2014 @03:20PM (#47737735) Homepage Journal

    Maybe they could keep selling them 20 years from now.

    • HTPC (Score:3, Informative)

      by tepples (727027)
      You can buy Other OS in a box. They call it a home theater PC. Alienware [slashdot.org] is only one of several companies making them. Slashdot's own Hairyfeet build them for a living.
      • by loufoque (1400831)

        It doesn't have a CBE.

      • by Khyber (864651)

        You can't get a PC that can dedicate ~2TFLOPS of processing power to a task, and the state of home PC GPU accelerated stuff is rather poor right now in comparison.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          You can't get a PC that can dedicate ~2TFLOPS of processing power to a task

          The Cell CPU in the PS3 came in at a whopping 230GFLOPS, so I'm not sure why you're using 2TFLOPS as a point of comparison. The GPU was not accessible except as a frame buffer in OtherOS mode, and even if it was fully accessible it would not contribute 1.8TFLOPS on its own.

          the state of home PC GPU accelerated stuff is rather poor right now in comparison.

          In comparison to what? The wide world of homebrew Cell-accelerated software? Hint: Software that actually took advantage of the Cell is virtually non-existent outside of PS3 games and HPC.

          You seem to have a remarkably optimistic view of w

          • by Khyber (864651)

            "The Cell CPU in the PS3 came in at a whopping 230GFLOPS, so I'm not sure why you're using 2TFLOPS as a point of comparison."

            The overall performance of the PS3 architecture. Are you that brain-dead?

      • Re:HTPC (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Saturday August 23, 2014 @10:15PM (#47739957) Journal

        Yes I do and they have never been more powerful or cheaper thanks to the AMD Socket AM1 chips, which just FYI is the same Jaguar platform used by the XB-One and PS4. If you use a Linux HTPC build like OpenELEC you can easily get one built for less than $250 although i have to say that HTPCs are frankly the only place Windows 8 makes sense, its large startscreen is a perfect 10 foot UI for HTPCs.

        But unless you were doing VERY specialized code the OtherOS running on the cell just wasn't a good idea, the cell was just too specialized to use as a general purpose CPU. You'd be better off with a Jaguar quad where the entire system uses less than 65w under max load and if you use an SSD idles in the teens. And of course thanks to it being X86-64 you can run any flavor of Windows/Linux/BSD you want without needing a corp to approve.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How about making better Blu Ray drives to combat YLODs?

    I have had 4 since launch.

    • Re:Real tech fixes (Score:4, Informative)

      by SScorpio (595836) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @08:17PM (#47739419)

      The Blu Ray drive has nothing to do with the YLOD. Yes the laser can burn out, and I've had to do a single replacement.

      YLOD is caused by micro fractures in solder eventually leading to connections failing. This is because the PS3 came out in 2006, which is the same time PC video cards were also combating the move away from lead based solder (thanks California, do you have that sign up that the state of California contains things known to cause cancer so anyone visiting or living there is aware?).

      The YLOD and RROD caused both Sony and Microsoft to be very conservative with power and heat in the new console.

      • Re: Real tech fixes (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Ylod on ps3 is for more than one error. It can be for a bad CPU, or GPU connection, it can also be a drive read error.

  • 3D Blu-Ray Player (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Vandil X (636030) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @03:56PM (#47737853)
    I lost interest in mainstream console gaming after the SNES/Genesis and the Saturn/PS1 eras. The way gaming was going on consoles (Xbox, PS2, GCN) just turned me off and I spent more time playing MMOs on PCs. So when the 360 and PS3 came out, I bought a PS3 only to serve as an easy-to-firmware-update Blu-Ray player that can play my PS1 games and, perhaps, any PS3 game that catches my eye (SF4 for example) and retro collection discs.

    The killer app for me was when 3D Blu-Ray capability was added. For me, the PS3 will continue to have it's honorary position in my entertainment scenario, so long as it can play Blu-Ray movies and allow me to play Symphony of the Night on the big screen.

    If my PS3 breaks while they're still making them? I'm not sure I'd buy another. I'd just get a cheap 3D-capable Blu-Ray player and play SotN by other means.
    • I play most games on my PC as well, but sometimes it is just nice to boot up a quick game on the console and have at it with some friends. My main niggles about the PS3, compared to the older consoles:
      1) The old games were very much about head-to-head action, but many PS3 games have poor support for multiple players on one console, and instead focus on networked play
      2) The updates. The god-damned updates. The PS3 is switched on only every now and then for a few quick games, only to find that both conso
      • I play most games on my PC as well, but sometimes it is just nice to boot up a quick game on the console and have at it with some friends.

        You're in luck. PC supports couch multiplayer now, and not just with emulators. Install a game on one of these lists [google.com], grab a few Xbox 360 controllers and a wireless transceiver, and have at it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by CronoCloud (590650)

          You ever watch Mean Girls, where Regina George tells Gretchen Weiner to stop trying to make "fetch" happen?

          Stop trying to make couch multiplayer on the PC happen, it's not going to happen.

          • by tepples (727027)
            I know I can't make it happen. Only established companies can make it happen, like Valve and Alienware and publishers of games in Steam's controller friendly section. I'm just trying to let others know what has already happened.
            • Gamers aren't stupid, Tepples. People know about Big Picture mode.....it's just that most don't really care. Your average PC gamer doesn't care because he's a PC gamer and believes that a desk is better for his keyboard and mouse.

              Console gamers aren't going to switch to Steam, because they have had "Big Picture mode" for decades and already can play the games they want to play that way.

              • by tepples (727027)

                Console gamers aren't going to switch to Steam, because they have had "Big Picture mode" for decades and already can play the games they want to play that way.

                Until they learn they can actually get 1080p on the Steam version of a game when they can't on the version of the same game for a major console. Didn't someone sue Sony about a game not actually being in 1080p? And not everybody has the same set of "games they want to play".

                • Until they learn they can actually get 1080p on the Steam version of a game when they can't on the version of the same game for a major console.

                  yeah right? has that actually happened? Do you really think that's going to happen? I don't think so.

                  Didn't someone sue Sony about a game not actually being in 1080p?

                  And the consensus was that guy was a frivolous overly entitled jerk.

                  • by tepples (727027)

                    has [players choosing one platform over another on the basis of graphical detail] actually happened?

                    I imagine that a lot of hardcore gamers chose PS3 over Wii and PS4 over Wii U for just this reason: graphical detail.

                    Do you really think it's going to happen [with Steam Machine]? I don't think so.

                    I must respectfully disagree on this point. A Steam Machine would have the extra detail plus Steam sales, which I'll grant decrease revenue per copy but often dramatically increase the publisher's continuing revenue from a title long after launch [gamasutra.com]. And though the reviewed machine [wccftech.com] is set to cost $100 more than the PS4, I imagine Steam games are less likely to need the recurring fee of a subscri

                    • I imagine that a lot of hardcore gamers chose PS3 over Wii and PS4 over Wii U for just this reason: graphical detail.

                      More likely it was because there were good games other than Dance game-foo, or party-game foo, or cute mii-sports pack-in-foo. Sure there's Zelda and Mario....but that's not enough.

                      And until the supposed steam machines reach the shelves, their vaporware. And besides, PS+ has benefits besides online play.

                    • by tepples (727027)

                      And until the supposed steam machines reach the shelves, their vaporware.

                      So is every PS4 or Vita game that hasn't reached shelves.

                      Besides, now that I think about it, you might have missed my "Alienware" allusion. Alienware is among PC makers that have begun selling set-top gaming PCs with Windows [slashdot.org] ahead of Steam Machine's release date. Fetch is happening.

                      So again, you have to choose your platform around the games you desire to play. If they're PC-only or PC-first, you might choose PC. This goes double if you like to play mods, as PC versions of games tend to have more thorou

                    • you might have missed my "Alienware" allusion. Alienware is among PC makers that have begun selling set-top gaming PCs with Windows ahead of Steam Machine's release date. Fetch is happening.

                      But how many are they actually selling?

                      So again, you have to choose your platform around the games you desire to play. If they're PC-only or PC-first, you might choose PC. This goes double if you like to play mods, as PC versions of games tend to have more thorough community modding tools than console versions of the same game. Or if you can cover more of the multi-platform games with a PC than with a PS4 alone or an Xbox One alone, you might choose PC.

                      The only reason you're so gung ho on the PC now is because you can't get a console dev kit, and the bar for entry is lower on the PC. But that doesn't mean that people are going to buy the same-screen after-school multiplayer games you want them to buy...for the PC. Pc gamers don't want them and console gamers are happy with what they have.

                    • But how many are they actually selling?

                      Ahead of the big marketing push? Not many, I'll admit.

                      The only reason you're so gung ho on the PC now is because you can't get a console dev kit

                      In part. But I can see which way things are going. People currently buy consoles because they're easy despite the lack of flexibility, and I understand this [pineight.com]. People used to want America Online service for the same reason. But eventually, commodity Internet service won out. And with current-generation "hardcore" consoles switching to what's essentially laptop PC hardware and operating systems derived from PC operating systems (*BSD and Windows), it'll bec

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Now? I've been playing local multiplayer PC games for decades. The reason you don't see many of them any more is because gamers have moved away from small groups sharing one screen to massive global groups each with their own screen. PC gaming was and is the pioneer in this area, as it was for most game innovations.
        • Thank you for the link. I was not familiar with the term "couch" multiplayer and your link greatly improved my search for the next game. For other players looking for a "couch" game I'd recommend Ibb&Obb, nice ambient, smooth platforming gameplay, and quite the linguistic challenge to talk through a puzzle since the words up and down have lost all meaning.
      • 2) The updates. The god-damned updates. The PS3 is switched on only every now

        THAT is your problem, switch it on more often. PS+ helps because then you can have it automatically download updates at say 5 in the morning.

        which sometimes takes over an hour to download and install.

        slow internet and an older hard drive in that PS3?

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      If my PS3 breaks while they're still making them? I'm not sure I'd buy another. I'd just get a cheap 3D-capable Blu-Ray player and play SotN by other means.

      You'd get better quality using a cheap 3D blu-ray these days - the PS3's HDMI output means it only supports half-resolution 3D, and in doing so, lossy audio, making it one of the most undesirable 3D players out there.

      3D over HDMI comes in 4 formats - side-by-side (SBS), Top-and-bottom, line-interleaved, and frame-packed. The latter format involves fittin

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It can be done but throws all your game saves into disarray.

  • by ameoba (173803) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @04:16PM (#47737991)

    That's a fanboy wishlist, not a well thought out, profit-oriented list of reasonable items that have any hope of getting added to a down-market, end of life console that's in cost-cutting, discount sales mode.

    The only one of those that seems halfway reasonable would be upgrading the WiFi & that's only because it might be easier/cheaper to source modern WiFi chips during the extended production run.

    • Re:Wet Dream (Score:4, Interesting)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @04:28PM (#47738065) Homepage Journal

      That's a fanboy wishlist, not a well thought out, profit-oriented list of reasonable items that have any hope of getting added to a down-market, end of life console that's in cost-cutting, discount sales mode.

      When you say "fanboy", I think you meant, "customer".

      I know consumers are only supposed to accept what the corporation deigns to give them nowadays, but there was a time when companies used to say, "the customer is always right" and actually try to give them products that they wanted.

      Today, it's "The customer needs to just STFU, accept the EULA and use our product the way we want them to use our product, until we decide to take that away too and force them to buy our next product, because corporations are people, my friend. People who happen to be your goddamn overlords. Now bow before, me, worm".

      • by Anonymous Coward

        A customer would be someone who buys a PS4. A former customer would be someone who bought a PS3, back in the day.

        • ...or a customer who, say, buys a brand new PS3 from Sony's online store. [sony.com].

          No, they're not suggesting that Sony upgrade everyone's WiFi for free. They are saying that if you buy a new PS3, it would be great if it came with support for more modern WiFi implementations.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          A customer would also be someone who buys PS3 games, Pays for PS3 DLC, and has a PlayStation account.

      • by ameoba (173803)

        This is in like somebody demanding a $12k Kia have premium sound system, leather seats & a V-8 under the hood.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947)

          So, you think wanting a feature that was in the product when you bought it and then taken away is the same as demanding a premium stereo, leather seats and a V8?

          You think wanting a feature as easy to include as in-game chat is going to double the cost of the PS3 to Sony?

          Wait a minute, we're talking about Sony here. I don't have to argue a case proving that they are hostile to their customers. They're behavior over the past few decades is proof enough that they think you are stupid enough to buy their prod

          • Backwards compatibility was taken away, in conjunction with a price drop because eliminating those chips significantly lowered the cost to build the machine. I'm more than happy to have saved $100 on my PS3 to lose that.

            Cross-game chat (which is what's really being asked for; plenty of games have implemented their own in-game chat), while trivial from a technical perspective, has the issue of Sony not being able to increase the memory or CPU footprint of the OS while a game is running, lest they break one o

          • Re:Wet Dream (Score:5, Informative)

            by CronoCloud (590650) <cronocloudauron@gma i l . c om> on Saturday August 23, 2014 @09:04PM (#47739669)

            So, you think wanting a feature that was in the product when you bought it and then taken away

            I own a CECHE model PS3 that at one time had a YDL install on it. I was even a moderator over at the Yellow Dog Forum. I have said the following many many times.

            The thing is, you have to agree to have the feature taken away, it won't be taken away without you agreeing to do so....twice.

            The choice is yours, keep Linux and lose access to PSN because your PSN isn't "trusted" or keep access to PSN and lose Linux. Your choice.

            Now perhaps Sony shouldn't have required you to make that choice, but they believed that Geohot gave THEM no choice and the final choice is yours.

      • That's a fanboy wishlist, not a well thought out, profit-oriented list of reasonable items that have any hope of getting added to a down-market, end of life console that's in cost-cutting, discount sales mode.

        When you say "fanboy", I think you meant, "customer".

        I know consumers are only supposed to accept what the corporation deigns to give them nowadays, but there was a time when companies used to say, "the customer is always right" and actually try to give them products that they wanted.

        Today, it's "The customer needs to just STFU, accept the EULA and use our product the way we want them to use our product, until we decide to take that away too and force them to buy our next product, because corporations are people, my friend. People who happen to be your goddamn overlords. Now bow before, me, worm".

        No, he means fanboy. Normal console customers will see that all of the new games are being released on the PS4 or Xbox One and move on. Also, it's unrealistic to expect a company that has the next gen product out to make any changes to the old product. The reason why is because they have put any new R&D into the new console and need to recover their investment.

      • by ildon (413912)

        The PS3's customers all bought one already over the past 8 years.

  • bring back backwards compatibility? from what i understand they took it out of the original PS3 because they were essentially putting most of a PS2 in there. if there was a way to do it with software and there was a big enough demand, it would have happened way back when everyone was bitching about them removing it.
    new WiFi? hardware
    update controller? hardware
    bring back slot in drives. Hardware and there is a reason why everyone other then Apple has stopped using them, they break and are unreliable. I p

    • by tepples (727027)
      PS3 emulates PS1 in software if I remember correctly. So why doesn't the PS4 emulate PS2, which is likewise two generations back?
      • by Movi (1005625)

        Because it was a really complex architecture, which even todays PC can’t get right and accurate

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        PS3 emulates PS1 in software if I remember correctly. So why doesn't the PS4 emulate PS2, which is likewise two generations back?

        Installed base, and the desire to sell new games. Anyone who really wants to play PS2 games can have one for next to nothing now to play their PS2 games on. Since it doesn't have HDMI, odds are good you'll have someplace appropriate to connect it. But the idea is to get more of your money.

      • by SScorpio (595836)

        The PS4 doesn't do PS1 at the moment either. But Sony is reportedly working local not PSNow, PS1 and PS2 emulation on the PS4. It's been rumored to all be disk based, but no confirmed information about how the backward compatibility will work has been released.

  • Every once in awhile, the PS3 will get in a state where it can't pair with the bluetooth devices it'd already paired with. No wireless dualshock controller, no blu-ray remote control. It just can't sense devices anymore. The only way around this is to power off the PS3. Not "system off" which puts the system into low-power mode, but to flip the power switch on the back. Turn it back on again, Bluetooth works.

    Poking around online reveals many people with the same problem, and Sony's never put out a firmware

  • It also means that the eject button on your remote control simply won’t work any more

    What on earth does a slot loading drive have to do with an eject button on a remote?

  • All of these are feature requests.

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