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The entire PlayStation 2 Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesizer as found on the current North American PS3 motherboard
European PS3 to have inferior backwards compatibility compared to North American and Japanese models

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) announced that the PlayStation 3 to be launched in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Australasia on March 23, 2007 will utilize a “new hardware specification.” Presumably, the new specification will differ from all the currently released PlayStation 3 consoles launched in Japan and North America.

In a press release issued by SCEE, the company describes the main features of the system that are common knowledge, and adds that the Euro-spec machine “also embodies a new combination of hardware and software emulation which will enable PS3 to be compatible with a broad range of original PlayStation titles and a limited range of PlayStation 2 titles.”

The European PS3 will lack the Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesizer (EE+GS) chip necessary to provide hardware-based backwards compatibility for previous-generation titles. Instead, Sony plans to accomplish compatibility with older games through software emulation—a trickier and more fickle feat than simply including and utilizing PS2 processors.

“The Emotion Engine has been removed and that function has been replaced with software,” said Nick Sharples, a spokesman for Sony in London. That has a “slightly detrimental effect” on compatibility, he said to the IDG News Service.

“The backwards compatibility is not going to be as good as the U.S. and Japan models,” another Sony spokesman said to Reuters.

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has been using a software emulation scheme since inception to make its system backwards compatible with original Xbox games. While Microsoft has promised that it will continue working on improving backwards compatibility through system updates, the Xbox 360 is only able to play from a limited list of older games.

Gamers keen on exploring PlayStation’s extensive back catalog will be disappointed to find that their upcoming European PS3s will only be able to play a limited selection of previous generation games. Sony isn’t viewing backwards compatibility on the PS3 as a priority, and says that new generation games should be the system’s main focus.

“PS3 is first and foremost a system that excels in playing games specifically designed to exploit the power and potential of the PS3 system,” said David Reeves, President of SCEE. “Games designed for PS3 offer incredible graphics quality, stunning gameplay and massively improved audio and video fidelity that is simply not achievable with PS and PS2 games.”

Sony Europe defends its decision by saying that the costs savings of backwards compatibility will be put back into other company investments.

“Rather than concentrate on PS2 backwards compatibility, in the future, company resources will be increasingly focused on developing new games and entertainment features exclusively for PS3, truly taking advantage of this exciting technology,” stated Reeves.

Analysts have estimated that Sony loses $241 on every 60GB PS3—the only version available for the March 23 launch. Word of a cost-cutting strategy came from Japan earlier this month, which points to Sony’s strong desire to improve its bottom line.

The hardware changes to the European PS3 represent the first step taken to reduce costs. “If we are able to reduce the production cost, it has a follow-on effect” on the selling price, Sharples said. But the new, less costly PS3 aimed at Europe carries one of the priciest stickers for the system, revealing a contradiction in the Sony representative’s statement. In Europe, the lone 60GB PS3 is priced €599 (US$786) or £425 (US$830), and for Australia $999 (US$791)—more expensive than the North American and Japanese PS3 consoles equipped with the EE+GS chip.

Sony Computer Entertainment America executives have gone on record to say the PS3 will be “difficult to cost reduce,” and that any reductions that do occur will not immediately translate to lower prices. Furthermore, iSuppli estimates that the EE+GS chip carries a material cost of $27, leaving some to question the cost/benefit of the chip’s removal.

While SCEE preaches the cost-savings advantage of the new hardware specification, it now must divert resources to individually tweak and perform QA for each PlayStation 2 game to be emulated by the PS3 hardware. Sony would not comment on which games will be compatible with PS3’s new software emulation, but did say that gamers will be able to check whether their titles are compatible with PS3 at a special European backwards compatibility site starting March 23.

Sony Europe also said that previous-generation games not initially playable on the European PS3 might eventually be emulated as the company releases firmware updates. "It would be reasonable to assume that the better-selling games are the ones we will be putting effort into," Sharples said.

The creation of a differing hardware specification for Europe and other territories splits the PlayStation 3 manufacturing into another separate line. There are currently two variations of the PS3, differing in hard drive size, memory card reader and wireless connectivity. The European spec would add a third, unless Sony has plans to do away with the EE+GS chips in all PS3s worldwide.

SCEA remains mum on whether or not the hardware revision will apply in its own market. When contacted by DailyTech for comment on the future plans for North American PS3s, a representative stated, “We have no announcement regarding any hardware specification changes for PS3 in North America at this time.”

Regardless of what future hardware revisions may come, Sony of America and Japan are expected to continue support for over 1.48 million EE+GS-included PlayStation 3 consoles currently in the hands of North American and Japanese gamers.



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Immoral
By ira176 on 2/25/2007 5:17:25 PM , Rating: 2
What Sony is doing is immoral and unethical. I thought that the PS3 was orginally designed to be backward compatible. Now in order for Sony to save on costs, they're cutting corners, reducing backward compatiblity by leaving out a chip that the U.S. and Japan still gets, and implementing software emmulation. If I was a European, I would be pretty upset with Sony. Sony again fills the shoes of the evil empire in my mind, because they promise one thing and deliver somthing different at a premium price and all because they can.




RE: Immoral
By daftrok on 2/25/2007 7:01:10 PM , Rating: 2
Immoral? Unethical? Exaggeration?


RE: Immoral
By aos007 on 2/26/2007 12:40:49 PM , Rating: 3
It's not an exaggeration. Considering that people have already committed to preorders - and likely even paid some money down - it sure is unethical and immoral to change the feature set in such a meaningful way after the fact. It may even be illegal. Unless people are allowed to cancel their preorder and get FULL refunds of the money they already paid. But it's the merchants that get to say whether you can cancel a preorder, not Sony. So things aren't quite clean cut.


RE: Immoral
By StevoLincolnite on 2/25/2007 8:45:07 PM , Rating: 3
I almost had a hernia! 999 bucks for a gaming console? They have to be kidding! And not to mention its a console that wont play allot of my PS2 and PS1 games collection!? I sold my PS1 and got a PS2 as I could play all my PS1 Games on the machine, And most notable Final Fantasy 8 definitely wanted it to play. And it did, Sorry Sony I think I might Jump on the Wii bandwagon this time, I think this is utter bullshit!
At least the Wii here is only 399 bucks here in Aus. the 360 is currently set at 630 bucks here in South Australia, Not to mention PS3's Game line-up is currently inferior in comparison to the 360 and it hasn't revolutionized games in the way the Wii has.
Sony.... Wii Will Wii Will rock you!
*sigh* Maybe Sega might come back and release something like the dreamcast all over again, that console rocked :) I personally thought the games looked better as well, And with some mods makes a good Media Center Console/PC to play all my DivX videos :)


RE: Immoral
By ADDAvenger on 2/26/2007 12:02:25 AM , Rating: 2
Got a US buddy that'll ship one to you?


RE: Immoral
By BCanR2D2 on 2/26/2007 5:09:59 AM , Rating: 2
Meh - Considering it would be NTSC, I think not, we run PAL over here and don't mind the extra resolution!!!

Most people would still use a standard TV, so this seems to be that any PAL territories will get the software emulation...

Hmmmmm, seems a tad extreme to say that extra chips go into a NTSC machine (standard 640 x 480 res) and the PAL machines (720 x 480) seems to upset the apple cart.

Is it a scaling issue with the Emotion chips??? Are they only NTSC TV output versions????!!!!


RE: Immoral
By Spoelie on 2/26/2007 7:23:20 AM , Rating: 4
Horizontal resolutions aren't that well defined on a TV, the scanlines just adhere to the given aspect ratio ("length"). Remember that we are sending stuff in analog form, not digitally.

NTSC is 525 scanlines with ~40 of them controlling vertical positioning, while PAL is 625 lines with a similar amount controlling positioning. This leaves respectively about 480 and 576 lines. So converted to PC-like resolutions it would read something like 640x480 and 720x576 instead.

On a real TV, the amount of information you actually see is even less, due to fitting of the scanlines. You can lose as much as 50% of the information...

The emotion chips are independent of the tv-out chips. It's purely a business decision, not a technical barrier.


RE: Immoral
By BirdDad on 2/26/2007 8:04:23 AM , Rating: 2
PAL is 704 x 576


RE: Immoral
By BirdDad on 2/26/2007 8:06:54 AM , Rating: 2
PAL is also 352 x 576


RE: Immoral
By TheDoc9 on 2/26/2007 10:59:42 AM , Rating: 2
PAL- 720 x 576i
NTSC- 720 x 480i

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PAL


RE: Immoral
By Justin Case on 2/26/2007 11:42:43 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, it's a bit more complicated than that, as the multiple replies suggest. :)

There are no "pixels" as such in analog, so the number of pixels per line is a very vague concept, there (that didn't stop the people who wrote the ITU/CCIR601 spec, though). The number of lines is a more well-defined quantity, and that is 576 (visibile) lines for PAL and 480 (visible) lines for NTSC.

Here "visible" means "that are supposed to contain image information", they're not necessarily visible (see below).

In a few high-end formats (ex., Beta Digital), NTSC uses 486 "visible" lines, instead of 480.

The number of "pixels" per line for digital formats is defined as 720, with 704 (or, in some documents, 702) of those being visible. This (704x576 for PAL and 704x480 for NTSC) is the area officially taken into account when calculating the correct pixel aspect ratio to get a 4:3 (or 16:9) image.

However, a lot of modern video formats assume that the whole 720x576 (or 720x480) is supposed to be counted. This has a minimal impact on the image's aspect ratio, so it's no big deal, just one of those examples of how video "standards" manage to be messier than computer standards, sometimes. Anyway, the lines should always have 720 pixels, the issue here is only if they are all considered "visible", and counted towards establishing the aspect ratio. Formats that store only 704 pixels per line should technically add 8 pixels at the start and end of each line, when sending it to a screen.

In practical terms, the real "visible" area is not 704x576 (or 704x580), though, because all consumer TV sets "eat" a few pixels on each edge (typically around 5%). So anything that's less than 50 pixels from the edge risks being out of the frame on some TV sets.

Note that neither PAL nor NTSC (both 4:3 and 16:9) use perfectly square pixels. For this reason, the resolutions are often approximated (ex., to 768x576 and 640x480), and the image is scaled when it's converted to analog. The vertical resolution is kept because vertical resizing of an interlaced signal is what video engineers refer to as "a bitch".


RE: Immoral
By kilkennycat on 2/27/2007 1:41:31 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
The vertical resolution is kept because vertical resizing of an interlaced signal is what video engineers refer to as "a bitch".


Which is exactly where Sony fell down in the US market with the large number of 1080i TVs already out there. 720p to 1080i upscaling with a software hack just does not fly. The Xbox360 got it right and of course Sony was too arrogant to study all aspects of the Xbox360 design in sufficient detail to latch on to this gross hardware-design oversight of theirs.


RE: Immoral
By Justin Case on 2/26/2007 11:58:38 PM , Rating: 2
Just because you can capture video at "Something x Something" pixels, that doesn't mean that's part of the actual format specifications.

Analog PAL doesn't have "pixels" per line as such, but if you capture it at 352x576 and later try to transfer it over a digital video connection (ex., SDI), the video needs to be scaled back to the "official" size, which is 720x576. Presumably, the 352x576 video threw away the edges, so it actually needs to be resized to 704x576 first, and then have 8 pixels added to the start and end of each line, before it counts as "proper" PAL.

PAL normally uses 4:2:2 sampling, so its horizontal chroma resolution is only half the pixel resolution, but if you capture the video to 352x576 and then encode it in a format with 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 sampling (ex., DVD MPEG-2, or MJPEG), you are downsampling the chroma channels again, so you end up losing luma and chroma resolution. Not good.


RE: Immoral
By afkrotch on 2/26/2007 1:29:18 AM , Rating: 2
Did you know the Wii cost $1,110 US dollars in Brazil? $550 in Turkey? $410 in Mexico? $393 in Sweden?

It's the normal price game, yet they make it look like only Sony is doing it. It's no difference from what Microsoft did with the Xbox 360 or what Nintendo did with the Wii.

Also, please tell me what games the Xbox 360 had when it first launched. It's really pretty unfair to compare the game lineup for a console that's been out for over a year and one that's been out for a few months.

Shoot, the Xbox 360 didn't have any new games for over 4 months during it's release. Quite different for the PS3. Course I'm buying Japanese games, which seem to be coming out every month. Also, I only paid $400 US dollars for my 60 gig model.

Cater to your homeland first. That's why the 360 has so many damn FPS games and nothing else that appeals to me. Course I'll still be getting on as it has 3 exclusive titles that I want (DoA, DoA Extreme 2, and Idolm@ster).


RE: Immoral
By patentman on 2/26/2007 8:12:56 AM , Rating: 2
Likely its not all a price game by the manufacturers. I'd be willing to bet that varying import costs and lack of supply is what is driving the cost of consoles in various countries.


RE: Immoral
By Moishe on 2/26/2007 9:00:26 AM , Rating: 2
you're probably right. I'd bet it's mostly import costs (taxes, fees, etc). Blame the government but Sony or Nintendo


RE: Immoral
By sviola on 2/26/2007 9:22:08 AM , Rating: 2
Well, the PS3 costs $2500 US dollars in Brazil and the Xbox 360 costs $1500. That's part taxes (yeah, we have a 80% tax on videogames) and part overpricing by manufacturers and sellers.


RE: Immoral
By phusg on 2/26/2007 3:17:25 AM , Rating: 1
Going the wii way will cost you 10 times (!!!) less electricity than either the XBox or PS3, see http://www.hardcoreware.net/reviews/review-356-2.h...

I'm a PC gamer myself, but if I was a PS2 owner I would be livid with Sony right now.


RE: Immoral
By vze4z7nx on 2/26/2007 6:05:29 PM , Rating: 2
Have you ever seen a 600 watt or 800 watt or even a 1000 watt power supply for a PC? Yeah those things consume way more than 200 watts.

That site must be a joke or something.


RE: Immoral
By regnez on 2/26/2007 6:57:31 PM , Rating: 2
While I don't frequent that site myself, I don't doubt that those numbers are true.

Just because they make 1000 watt PS's does not mean that a pc actually uses that much power.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2873...

In that review they are testing a bunch of different 8800GTXs, and the most that any of the systems draw in the review is just over 300 watts. And that is the entire system, filled with all top end components.


RE: Immoral
By phusg on 2/27/2007 8:47:39 AM , Rating: 2
Your post is the joke. In answer to your question, yes I have seen even a 1000 Watt PC PSU. I've also seen Hummers but I'm not rushing out to buy one to commute to work with everyday. Big is not always best. You people really need to get over that. It's out of control!


RE: Immoral
By Samus on 2/27/2007 12:34:26 AM , Rating: 2
yea, 999 bucks when ours is 599 and BETTER.


RE: Immoral
By JimFear on 2/26/07, Rating: 0
RE: Immoral
By ogreslayer on 2/26/2007 9:52:37 AM , Rating: 3
The thing that will die most often first is going to be the Blu-Ray drive followed in frequency by the RSX then the CELL and probably the case itself before the now tried and true EE+GSrev3. Their reasoning is to save as much money as possible as they are not selling the systems. They already hit the general price ceiling for the units, where by most people who were willing to pay $600 for a unit that is gonna die within the next 3 years have done so. Until they can drop the units to about $450-500 they are not gonna be able to capitalize on the brand name. They cant reasonably do that at a $200 loss per unit but the closer they bring it to $100 then its more likely we will see it. I hope US and Asian gamers don't think that this change won't happen for them, just watch we will get it too as soon as they start running out of EE+GS they will announce a 'new' unit with the CELL and RSX on new processes and a new slimer case and software emulation of PS2 titles.


RE: Immoral
By Moishe on 2/26/2007 8:56:44 AM , Rating: 3
Unethical, maybe, but immoral?
While I agree that this is a step backwards (Sony agrees too), they are trying to cut very high costs while still providing similar functionality. I'm not a fan of Sony at all, but this seems like a smart business move. They need to do everything possible to win at the future of gaming, and backward compatibility is not the primary focus for the future.

If I were to buy a PS<anything> it would be for new games. Those who have the older games will likely still play them on their PS2, so there is no loss, unless they were dumb enough to sell the PS2 when they bought the PS3.

IMO backward compatibility on something like a game console is a waste of resources. It's spending extra money so that you can have a checkbox on a feature list. B.C. doesn't provide better looking games, it doesn't provide access to games that you'd normally not have access to (since you can still play them on the PS2), it doesn't improve the console's power. It's a feature designed to sway the people who are on the fence about whether or not to buy it.

I think Nintendo's strategy is best. Sony should port and recompile older, popular games (from anywhere) and sell them online. They would get the same benefit without the hardware cost.


RE: Immoral
By MonkeyPaw on 2/26/2007 10:39:32 AM , Rating: 2
Well, the problem I see is that Sony is the one who chose to make the PS3 what it is, and at what price to sell it. It's only a few months since PS3 launched, and now they are taking stuff out? Any company that starts "defeaturing" a product while not changing the pricepoint should be seriously questioned. This "business decision" was made in spite of the customer and only stands to benefit Sony. Oh, and I highly doubt these savings will go towards future products/enhancements--how can it when it's only reducing the bleeding of a console that is being sold at a considerable loss?

Personally, I don't see backwards compatibility as a big deal, since PS2 game owners are also PS2 console owners. Sure, having 2 consoles to play all your games is not as elegant, but it works far better, and you can extend the life of that fancy BluRay drive. My problem is that Sony is pulling parts out after the fact. If emulation hardware was too expensive to make the PS3 profitable in the first place(or less of a loss, in this case), then don't have it at all. Think of all the time and effort they spent on this hardware, and now they aren't even going to use it in several markets. Just how long did Sony think they could sell such an expensive product for a loss? This decision should have been made long before release, IMO.


RE: Immoral
By Moishe on 2/26/2007 10:55:27 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the removal off EE-GS is definitely not a good business move, but I don't think it's immoral.

The PS3 from start to finish has been a joke and i'm sure Sony will pay the price. If I were european and a console gamer, I would not buy it. I am neither though.


RE: Immoral
By treesloth on 2/27/2007 3:44:43 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know much about how consoles are sold. I don't own one and don't like playing on them, so please pardon my ignorance. Did Sony promise a certain level of backwards compatibility or did people assume it? As much as I truly despise Sony (for non-console game reasons...) they can only be held responsible for their own words.


Interesting
By Mithan on 2/25/2007 5:55:42 PM , Rating: 5
This has nothing to do with the article, but can anybody remember when the last time was that we actually read something good about Sony?

Talk about mis-firing for the last two years.

Root Kits, arrogance, crappy launch games, over priced systems, delays, more arrogance, retarded controllers, no rumbel packs, over priced cables, stupid comments from executives, Blu-Ray, low launch supplies, ebay whoring... etc, etc, etc

It's just keeps coming.

I suppose next week we will be reading how they are phasing the EE out for the North American versions as well, so as to refine their production lines more and cut costs.

*Grabs more popcorn*




RE: Interesting
By glenn8 on 2/25/2007 5:58:22 PM , Rating: 3
You forgot exploding batteries. ;)


RE: Interesting
By James Holden on 2/25/2007 6:15:55 PM , Rating: 3
I've seen a few big things, the most exciting being laser backlight (demo'ed behind closed doors at CES) and OLED 17" displays, also at CES.

Sony is a huge company, they'll recover from 2006.


RE: Interesting
By deeznuts on 2/25/2007 7:42:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
they'll recover from 2006


They actually didn't do too bad in 2006. As you say, they are a huge company, and their stock price has recovered.


RE: Interesting
By Scabies on 2/26/2007 9:22:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
They actually didn't do too bad in 2006.

Yeah, wasn't this their best year yet in TV (HDTV) sales? They got $2,500 off of me.
...plus $500 for my 120gb (formerly 20) PS3.


RE: Interesting
By kmmatney on 2/26/2007 9:12:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty happy with my SONY LCD projection TV.


RE: Interesting
By vortmax on 2/28/2007 12:22:24 PM , Rating: 2
They do make nice TVs...can't argue that...


RE: Interesting
By BladeVenom on 2/25/2007 7:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
There have been a few stories about how well the PS2 is still selling.


RE: Interesting
By xphile on 2/26/2007 5:54:55 AM , Rating: 2
With regard to you saying you suppose next week etc - it's most certainly on the cards. The following linked article is pretty interesting - interesting to me because the author couldnt in my opinion be more wrong, but that aside it does contain a reference to "A report in Ultra One Monthly, a Japanese technology magazine in June of last year stated that the firm would be removing the PS2 chipset from future revisions of the PS3 hardware once it completed development of a software-based emulator." If that is true then there is little hope for any PS3 market moving forward in relation to retaining the emulation hardware and that makes sense given Sony's utter determination to make every single entry in the "World's Top Ten Worst Techology Decisions Of All Time" list within a 2 year period. Guinness Records are calling you Sony.

http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_conte...

Many people outside North America know they will pay through the nose for a PS3. They know the reviews arent all hot, they know the game releases arent great. But Sony supporters are loyal people. The one huge factor in Sony's favour when all was said and done )and this was quoted to me almost word for word by two or three separate people who dont even know each other was "Well they will surely have some great games sooner or later, and until they come along at least they have true hardware support for PS2 games, not like the 360 that has had so much trouble supporting original X-Box games coz its software only support"

Oh dear Sony - didnt you hear that? That was the sound of your loyalist supporters tramping out of the building. Many others have packed up and left now too, because they plonked down deposits (and even trade in PS2's) on a system you said would do A,B and C, and they find that all it is going to do is A - play Bluray movies. No B because just where ARE all the killer PS3 games you promised, and now no C either because you just removed the PS1/2 support you promised.

But yeah you will support hundreds of PS2 games in software yeah? Or most right? Ok how many then? You will give us a list? Ok where is it? Oh ok we can have it AFTER we buy the system and you have taken our cash off us!

Um Sony, heads up...

Patience over, Bullshit session over, GAME OVER - YOU LOSE!


RE: Interesting
By peternelson on 2/26/2007 8:04:41 PM , Rating: 2
I agree completely with you on the complaint that the website with list of titles and compatible / partial / not for each will not be available until launch day.

Unfortunately most Europeans have to PRE-ORDER ie make a purchase decision BEFORE launch day in order to ensure getting one.

Given the few PS3 titles so far, the PS2 library is a big benefit. But Sony expect me to make a purchase decision on the console ie to pre-order it BEFORE they tell me if it can run my games.

Sony wake up! You must test and post this list ASAP not on launch day.


RE: Interesting
By AGAC on 3/2/2007 6:12:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yo´re skipping those 10 mil or so exploding laptop/cellphone batteries.


take care to note what the guy actually said...
By yacoub on 2/25/2007 8:46:33 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The hardware changes to the European PS3 represent the first step taken to reduce costs. “If we are able to reduce the production cost, it has a follow-on effect” on the selling price, Sharples said. But the new, less costly PS3 aimed at Europe carries one of the priciest stickers for the system, revealing a contradiction in the Sony representative’s statement.


Well your quote of what he said mysteriously ended BEFORE the words "on the selling price", so if your quotation marks are acurate, he never said the "on the selling price" part - that is something you (or whomever wrote the article) inferred from his statement. Perhaps your inference is inaccurate. Perhaps what the Sony rep means is that the reduced cost will have a follow-on effect of reducing Sony's loss per unit. After all, if they subsequently sold it at a lower price, they wouldn't be cutting their loss.

Perhaps the Sony rep was being tricky and hoping you'd think he meant it the reduced cost would in turn lower the sticker price. I wouldn't put that past them. =)




By Hyperlite on 2/25/2007 9:02:11 PM , Rating: 2
right, at the amounts we are talking about here (~$30) the savings will be for $ony, not for the consumer.


By crystal clear on 2/26/2007 2:18:08 AM , Rating: 2
This is the official version-

23/02/2007 10:00
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Announces Hardware Specification of PLAYSTATION®3 for Europe

http://www.scee.presscentre.com/Content/Detail.asp...


RE: take care to note what the guy actually said...
By alifbaa on 2/26/2007 9:09:27 AM , Rating: 2
The real aim of all this is to increase sales of PS3 games by reducing legacy compatibility. That is one of the biggest problems the PS3 has right now -- the average person is just not buying enough PS3 games to make the console profitable.


By maethorechannen on 2/27/2007 6:21:11 AM , Rating: 2
And now, the average person won't be buying enough PS3 consoles to make the PS3 console profitable.


Sony: How You Killed Your Brand
By James Holden on 2/25/2007 5:21:45 PM , Rating: 4
http://www.joystiq.com/2007/02/25/killing-us-softl...

Outstanding spoof if anyone has the 3 min to watch it.




By Hotdogah on 2/25/2007 5:48:55 PM , Rating: 2
This is an awsome vid! I watched it at gametrailers.com yesterday and its so funny its sad.


By BladeVenom on 2/25/2007 7:03:24 PM , Rating: 2
It should have been longer. There are so many more "good" Ken Kutaragi quotes they could've put in there.


RE: Sony: How You Killed Your Brand
By mrgq912 on 2/25/07, Rating: 0
Sony's Arrogance
By DannyH246 on 2/25/2007 6:05:26 PM , Rating: 4
I call on all Europeans to boycott the PS3. This is an absolute disgrace!!!! More expensive, and less features than its American & Japanese counterparts. Come on every European that was planning to buy one of these, buy an Xbox 360 or a Wii instead. Its the only way Sony are going to learn.




RE: Sony's Arrogance
By Chadder007 on 2/25/2007 7:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I hope they do, and I believe that Europe's consumers are smart enough to see how Sony has shafted them.


This is fucking unfair!
By Darthefe on 2/26/2007 1:57:19 AM , Rating: 2
I have to pay nearly double as much compared to the japanese guys but i get will get a ps3 with out the emotion engine thats honestly just sad and buy how much dose the price actually fall? i live in europe and sometime i wish i live in Japan:) (only cause of the electronics and Manga and thats it) Also tchuss meine Freunde




RE: This is fucking unfair!
By Inepted on 2/26/2007 3:10:56 AM , Rating: 2
I live in Japan, you'd rather live in America. In the states they have basically everything they have in Japan, except cheaper. Manga is somewhat of an exception but if you live in for example California you'd be hard pressed NOT to find every manga ever made.


RE: This is fucking unfair!
By vdig on 2/26/2007 3:38:03 PM , Rating: 2
...I feel sorry for you guys that want a standard - not crippled - premium PS3 over there in Europe. That really sounds like tough luck. As if Sony needs any more bad press. Sony should not think of themselves as Hollywood stars; bad publicity is only good publicity if you are a Hollywood star. People want to avoid products with bad reputation.

In the end, I feel that you are going to need to either find a company courageous (read: stupid - see "Lik-Sang") enough to import PS3 units from the American or Japanese market or make a vacation to the aforementioned areas of the world and purchase it during your break away from work in the U.S., Canada, or Japan. I'm sure Sony won't sue individual people for bringing their purchases back to their homes, now, would they?

Would they?


PS3 coffin is comprised completely of nails
By otispunkmeyer on 2/26/2007 4:41:27 AM , Rating: 2
boy they are shafting away furiously at us europeans.

i dont mind the software emulation, thats not really the problem, though looking at the 360's SE id say its going to be pretty poor for a while. its the fact that

1) its late, and we "dont mind waiting"
2) its illegal to import a PS3 (?)
3) it costs a stack load more
4) now has less functionality out of the box than the US or JAP models.

the PS2 chips must be dirt cheap to make now, its over 5 year old tech so theyre hardly gonna save much.

i dont expect them to pass this saving onto the consumer, its a small enough saving as it is and theyre already loosing an arm and a leg on each one sold, passing the saving on means they neednt of bothered cost cutting in the first place.

it always amazes me that the powers that be in this worlds biggest companies are often the most clueless idiots ever. how do they even get so high ranked and over paid for managing to fvck things up royally?




RE: PS3 coffin is comprised completely of nails
By Visual on 2/26/2007 5:41:31 AM , Rating: 2
unfortunately, they aren't at all as clueless as you might think. fact is, the ps3 is gonna sell even the way it is - double price and half functionality, half an year later... but it's gonna sell.

not sell as good as wii or maybe even xbox, definitely not sell as good as it could if it had proper price and wasn't cut down - but you know, the higher price makes up the lower sale numbers. if it sells just good enough to match their production rates, they'd be happy. they won't like it selling too fast, as that'd mean they need to produce more and sell more at a loss. they have all the numbers planned out, and have calculated that they will actually be able to milk europe this way.

sure as hell, if i ever met the powers that be in sony, i'd stab them in the eyes over and over...and over. but i wouldn't call them clueless.


By mircea on 2/27/2007 7:32:09 AM , Rating: 2
The thing is that real money on consoles come from games per console sold, and those games come from developers which also want money. To make money they need to sell as many copies as possible, so that means they need to have as many console units in customers homes as possible. If PS3 won't be in those homes, then developers won't be sticking with developing the game just for it, considering that it's so hard to develop now. So they will go multiplatform. And if any game you can have on PS3 can be found on Xbox360 or Wii, the why buy a PS3 at all. Get a Xbox360 for high definition if that's what you want or a Wii if the same game would prove to be more fun with it's controle scheme.

Even more, Sony had planed to increase the life cycle of game consoles, so they better know they have the market dominated so other companies won't force them earlier in a new generation, considering they already came in late.

So Sony is milking itself of future profits if you think that they are slowing production to increase demand and sell at little or no loss. Believe me Sony is making the maximum number of PS3 it can. I think that this move is in that direction as well. Removing the EE not only reduces on some costs, but free's up factories to build other components of PS3.

Also people keep saying that Sony looses $$$ on each console sold, but the truth is that it lost that money and more the moment it made each unit of PS3. Selling it at any cost means recovering some lost. Not selling it at all means a complete loss, since they cannot undo the PS3 and put the money back in the bank. And even stopping production of PS3 means a loss considering the R&D that went on it.


Europe doesn't mind!!!
By nerdye on 2/25/2007 5:19:08 PM , Rating: 5
Europe, a whole continent of potential gamers doesn't mind waiting several months in order to be "allowed" to purchase PS3 consoles stripped of many valid hardware features for a more expensive price than the US and Japan can get them all the while having it be illegal to attempt to import a PS3 console in their country until Sony allows Europe to buy them several months after the console launched in other countries!
When did George W Bush start running Sony's PR campaign, maybe he worked with sony during his recent ONE MONTH long vacation?

Oh ya and for Australia, they don't get blue ray players in their PS3's, they get BETA MAX players instead, no big deal!




If It Worked
By kelmon on 2/26/2007 3:30:52 AM , Rating: 3
In principal I have no problems with performing the emulation under software rather than hardware. However, the basis for this statement is the assumption of the following:

1. The software emulation works
2. Performance is comparable
3. The reduced price required for Sony to use this rather than hardware is passed onto the consumer

Based on the article it appears clear that this will not be the case and therefore I can't see anything good from this announcement. Other responses on other websites have suggested that this isn't a problem because:

1. The firmware will be updated to add compatibility incrementally
2. In the meantime you can just use your old PS2
3. Who cares anyway because once you play PS3 games you won't be interested in PS1/PS2 games anymore

Frankly I think these people are nuts and are simply making excuses for Sony for some unfathomable reason. I still play PS1 games today (mostly R-Type Delta), I'll be damned if I'm swapping consoles around, and there's almost no games for the PS3 now so none of these arguments (for me) makes any logical sense. But when has sense ever mattered in a platform war?




RE: If It Worked
By peternelson on 2/26/2007 4:09:09 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree here.

1) Hardware solution works for 98% of the 10,000 PS2 titles (and likely PS1 games also).
2) Software may be slower we cannot evalutate until it launches.
3) The cost reduction is logical for sourcing bluray cheaper etc. But leaving out the ps2 EE chipset only saves them about $27 estimated by isuppli. Instead of selling it more cheaply in Europe, we pay the most in the world for inferior product!

I have ps2 and still play ps1 games on it.

I'd rather consign my ps2 to the cupboard and have one console to run new ps3 and old ps2 games. When there are more ps3 titles I will STILL want to play my old ps2 games.

Firmware patches may increase compatible titles over time, but I don't know how much effort they will put into that.

X360 backward compatibility is a joke, and MS has about given up porting any more titles.

The true backward compatibility that ps2 hardware in a ps3 gives is a great USP (unique selling proposition).

Which marketing guru thought it would be a good idea to throw away one of the best ps3 features who knows? Certainly not to shave off $27.

If I'm paying £425 for my console (near $850 equivalent) then I would rather pay the EXTRA $27 and have a console with the original chipsets built in!

I expect this "cost reduction" will soon be deployed in all worldwide markets. But this Euro launch is probably a trial of whether the market will accept it prior to global rollout. Hopefully if the market doesn't like it we Europeans might be offered a non-crippled console later.

They will have to do lots of work on optimising supported titles to keep us happy, probably costing more than the $27 per console so it is a false economy.


Didn't the Xbox 360....
By daftrok on 2/25/2007 6:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't the Xbox 360 running on software emulation and is that really such a bad thing if it is anyways? I mean sure it would take a little bit off your HDD but so what so long as you can play past generation games.




RE: Didn't the Xbox 360....
By daftrok on 2/25/2007 7:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently I should read the whole article. Disregard this post.


I Love It!
By qdemn7 on 2/25/2007 11:23:35 PM , Rating: 2
Everytime I see something bad about Sony it gives me the warm fuzzies. I stopped in a game shop in a local mall, and asked them about the PS3. They said they had THIRTY units in the back and they are simply not selling. As opposed to the Wii which they get 3 units a week and are gone as quick as the get them in.




RE: I Love It!
By bldckstark on 2/26/2007 1:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
I've been unlucky enough to be in four local area Wal-Marts in the last 3 weeks, and each of them had 3 PS3's in the glass case. Talking to the employees at three of them, they have been there for weeks.

I have a friend who got a PS3 early, ebayed it for $60 profit, then waited for a Wii, which he just got last week. I can't find a Wii in a local store. My twin boys 5th birthday is in 1.5 months. I have to get one by then or I'm dead.


The weak Yen
By crystal clear on 2/26/2007 1:12:08 AM , Rating: 2
"But the new, less costly PS3 aimed at Europe carries one of the priciest stickers for the system, revealing a contradiction in the Sony representative’s statement. In Europe, the lone 60GB PS3 is priced €599 (US$786) or £425 (US$830), and for Australia $999 (US$791)—more expensive than the North American and Japanese PS3 consoles equipped with the EE+G"

Then read this..........

Quote-

Sir Howard Stringer, tasked with turning round Sony, must wish he could have hit the mute button on grumbling European financial chiefs at the recent G7 meeting. The weak yen that is exercising policymakers translates, at current rates, into a Y94,520 price tag for Sony’s PlayStation3 in Europe – almost double what Sony receives for selling the multimedia consoles in Japan.

That is a nice fillip for the group’s performance targets, since Europe typically accounts for around one-third of PlayStation sales. Sony, however, is wisely casting round for other measures to lift operating margins to its target of 5 per cent next fiscal year.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/1c3d089a-bb57-11db-afe4-00...




RE: The weak Yen
By crystal clear on 2/26/2007 1:52:34 AM , Rating: 2
Note this-

"at current rates, into a Y94,520 price tag for Sony’s PlayStation3 in Europe – almost double what Sony receives for selling the multimedia consoles in Japan."

This is their official press release-

23/02/2007 10:00
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Announces Hardware Specification of PLAYSTATION®3 for Europe

http://www.scee.presscentre.com/Content/Detail.asp...


Ok, someone has to say this…
By ATC on 2/26/2007 7:12:58 PM , Rating: 1
I think some people here are counting their chicken before they hatch. The PS3’s primary existence isn’t to play PS One or PS2 games; it was merely a nice addition to be able to.

For those here squawking about the PS3 while admitting to still playing PS One games on their PS2…are you kidding me? That’s like someone complaining about Vista when they’ve just now upgraded to 95. I can’t fathom why anyone still plays PS One games, not because there’s anything inherently wrong with it but it’s mouldy; I can’t even look at PS2 games anymore now that I’ve played PS3 games in 1080i/p or 720p. Not unlike when I got my HD cable service and DVD player now I can’t be bothered with analogue channels or VHS. It’s called moving on…

And as mentioned already…why complain about the PS3 games line up…it makes no sense comparing a console that was just made available in N. America and Japan since late November to another that’s been out worldwide since 2005. And actually it speaks volume of the PS3’s potential comparing fist-generation half assed games on it to second/third-generation top sellers on other consoles.

I have no qualm that taking out the emotions engine was going to happen at some point. And if it can be done successfully using software, why not?

You cannot judge its success by how badly MSFT screwed their version up. If anything, hardware-wise Sony seems to have learnt from issues/mistakes made by MS.

You won’t find a loud PS3 around, or one that constantly overheats. You won’t see a large power brick attached to it that needs its own ventilation scheme and fan. You won’t hear about the BD Drive in it scratching disks. Why? Because they saw MSFT struggle with all that and learned from it.

Are there concrete indications that make anyone think that Sony’s software implementation will fail?

Also, there’s already talk of a chip shrink for the Cell in the PS3, I can already see the writing on the wall; a revised PS3 for N. America and Japan that’s smaller and cheaper. What’s wrong with that?

Hey, I’m not blindly defending Sony. It’s not like they’ve been fault-free either. I cannot forgive them for not supporting 1080i from 720p content on the PS3 nor can I think of any good reason for only being able to charge the sixaxis while the console is ON or for the numerous other oversights in the design, but I can certainly be honest enough to admit that the PS3 overall has met my expectations and exceeded them in many areas.

All this talk of boycotting Sony and all the negatives surrounding the word ‘Sony’ seems to me to be a little overblown.

Remember; this is a console. Not a be-all and end-all of your life. After all, this is only supposed to help you pass some free time.




By peternelson on 2/26/2007 8:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
"Are there concrete indications that make anyone think that Sony’s software implementation will fail?"

I base it on this:

The existing EE versions don't support all games, merely about 98% and that's on the hardware based solution. It will take a lot of effort if the extra 2% are every supported without issues like audio.

Why? Because in order to do clever high performance games on PS2 developers did not necessarily stick to the neat official Sony library calls to access the hardware, they accessed the hardware directly in ways that Sony did not intend, but worked and was fast.

Moving PS3 emulation of PS2 from hardware into software makes it worse. Sony know their library calls that their emulation software will be written to support. Unfortunately without running titles, they don't know which ones are trying to talk to hardware directly or link to non-sony library calls and proprietary code modules.

I think we can safely assume that since Sony have not yet improved on the 98%, the Euro version without EE will based on the above have LESS support than 98% of PS2 titles, perhaps MUCH less.

There is also the category of those that don't work initially but Sony prioritise for patching the emulator. Just I don't see them making that customised effort to support most "old" PS2 games on PS3, particularly those from 3rd party developers. Perhaps only the really popular ones.


Performance Improvement
By nomagic on 2/25/2007 11:07:49 PM , Rating: 2
Since Sony made last-gen games compatible throught software emulation, I would expect there be performance improvements in graphics and loading time. If there isn't, I screw Sony and skip PS3.




By shimman on 2/26/2007 1:06:07 AM , Rating: 2
since it's not depending on hardware of ps2, then sony could enhance the graphic quality of ps2 games on ps3...that's the proper treatment for the loyal user bases in eu.

people in eu, they are paying more than what us & japanese customers while getting **shittier** version of product; i wouldn't even touch ps3

perhaps this will extend the life of ps2 little bit




By Roy2001 on 2/26/2007 2:00:08 AM , Rating: 2
I am serious.




By mrteddyears on 2/26/2007 3:55:07 AM , Rating: 2
Yet more fantastic marketing from the guys at SONY, that’s definitely food for today and Sh1t for tomorrow approach. As well as managing to make Europe the poor relation. These guys are so full of their own hype that they believe we will swallow this rubbish from them.

Well all I can say is that my Wii has is now connected to my TV the PS2 is in the loft and I don’t have an order for the PS3 pending. If anyone buys a Euro spec PS3 your a fool to yourself.

Trust me I used to be total FANBOY and loved SONY products. I would only ever buy SONY but now a company with that level of arrogance who repeatedly stick it to the consumer is never going to get my money ever again.

That’s why I like America you guys would never take that crap from anyone !!!!




By otispunkmeyer on 2/26/2007 4:40:39 AM , Rating: 2
boy they are shafting away furiously at us europeans.

i dont mind the software emulation, thats not really the problem, though looking at the 360's SE id say its going to be pretty poor for a while. its the fact that

1) its late, and we "dont mind waiting"
2) its illegal to import a PS3 (?)
3) it costs a stack load more
4) now has less functionality out of the box than the US or JAP models.

the PS2 chips must be dirt cheap to make now, its over 5 year old tech so theyre hardly gonna save much.

i dont expect them to pass this saving onto the consumer, its a small enough saving as it is and theyre already loosing an arm and a leg on each one sold, passing the saving on means they neednt of bothered cost cutting in the first place.

it always amazes me that the powers that be in this worlds biggest companies are often the most clueless idiots ever. how do they even get so high ranked and over paid for managing to fvck things up royally?




Cost benefit?
By jabber on 2/26/2007 5:47:14 AM , Rating: 2
Folks have been saying that by taking out the PS2 hardware will save around $30 a machine.

So how much does it cost to re-tool for the euro spec machines and develop the software emulation software etc. etc.? Cant be that much of a saving in the end. Its definately testing the water for stripping out features. Wont be long till they are dropped from US/Japan machines too. Its not the first time, remember the phono outs on the original PS1? They were removed fairly quickly.

Better would have been to keep the PS2 support and offer a DVD only option for £150 less. Maybe develop an external BR drive for later purchase like the 360 with its HD drive.




By Lakku on 2/27/2007 1:59:02 AM , Rating: 2
According to that guy, it is coming to the US/JAP versions. For now though, they are just using the onboard EE+GS chips. But, he states that in the future they will use the chips for compatibility, but offload rendering to the PS3 to upscale the image. Either way, the Europeans are still screwed, because the US/JAP will get this upscaling AND have near 100% compatibility by having the actual hardware, at least for launch units. He seems to imply all PS3s will lose the PS2 hardware in the future to cut costs etc. So, it could turn out the US/JAP launch units could become prized units sometime down the line.


It was bound to happen
By MrTeal on 2/26/2007 2:48:18 PM , Rating: 2
From the outset, Sony had planned to go the software emulation route. The EE+GS inclusion was added to the hardware due to the software not being ready in time. Europe is just the first region to lose the chip, the NA and JP versions will in time too.




By blckgrffn on 2/26/2007 3:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
I'll be the first to admit that I wish the Wii was technologically more advanced, but being a supercharged version of a previous console does have a couple of advantages...

At least one anyway...

=)

Nat




Software
By Sureshot324 on 2/26/2007 5:18:04 PM , Rating: 2
Software emulation makes a lot more sense than hardware since the PS3 should have plenty of horespower to do it. They should be able to run higher resolutions and apply anti aliasing and filtering.

Since they obviously have inside knowledge of the PS2's hardware, they should eventually be able to make a perfect emulator that works with all PS2 games, unlike freeware emulators for PCs like PCSX2




By kilkennycat on 2/26/2007 6:48:47 PM , Rating: 2
Get your (US) PS3 while the going is good.... What happens in Europe today will happen in the US tomorrow. So you will have the wonderful choice between (a) first-gen hardware OR (b) lack of backward compatibility. Living in the US ans intending to get a PS3 within 3 months or longer, better plan on holding on to that old PS2 and investing in the appropriate switch-boxes and adapters for your nice new HDTV.... unless you want to consign all those PS2 titles in your collection to your next garage sale.

What a screwed-up roll-out of a new console....shafting the last point of real differentiation with its fiercest competition. The Xbox360 backwards-compatibility is still abysmal.




Haters
By vitul on 2/26/2007 10:16:25 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly what is with all of you haters? Everyone is crying about how bad sony is, always looking for something to complain about.

Xbox360 has been using software emulation since day 1, and incase you didnt know alot of xbox titles do not work. Sony decides to finally do this and now you act as if they killed your puppy. They are following the gaming industry by following suit and now everyone complains. If you want to play ALL of your ps2 games then go buy a ps2. People dont buy xbox360's and ps3's to play old games. As with the 360 im sure the ps3 will play all newwer ps2 games and the old ps2 games however most likely wont work.

If you hate sony so much then dont buy there product or read articles about them.

Such an anti sony website, but yet nobody seems to comment on the HUGE percent of xbox 360's that are broken within a couple months of purchase. The console has been out over a year and the neweest 360s are having problems still.

If you dont like the ps3 dont buy it, if you dont like the xbox360 dont buy it. stop whining like a bunch of school girls with skinned up knees about everything they do.




Compatibility suffers?
By Chaser on 2/27/2007 9:43:46 AM , Rating: 2
Did Daily Tech quote a Sony spokesman on this suffering? Once again we have a prediction acting as a bash recipe.

If you have a plethora of PS2 games that all must work in the PS3 then I guess this feature is a major purchase factor for your. You might want to consider buying a PS2.

I guess we won't really know how bad someone is "suffering" until they try their particular PS2 game out. But this article did what it needed to do, add more perceived blood in the water to get the US$300-$500.00 console buyers circling yet again.

Thanks for sharing my impending suffering with me Daily Tech.




extremely disapointed
By jadeskye on 2/27/2007 11:55:21 AM , Rating: 2
Living in the UK and an avid ps2 fan i was looking forward to the ps3 release for some time. it released in the US and japan. and that really spoke for itself, sony messed up on multiple fronts, supporting the wrong technology, not releasing enough games, lacking features that should idealy be standard. still it's a multinational corporation and most love the ps2 so they have excellent foundations. i had hope for the european release, perhaps not right away but i did expect them to regain some footing. but this just takes the cake! i will not be buying a ps3 until they reinstall the emotion engine. i refuse to have to keep a last generation console and direct predeccesor in my living room just to sate an already overpriced console.

now if you'll excuse me i'm going to go buy a wii and an xbox 360 (and still have change from my ps3 fund).




confused
By Wagnbat on 2/27/2007 2:58:36 PM , Rating: 2
Where's "Australasia"???




Blood in the Water
By fenderkb76 on 2/25/2007 10:21:23 PM , Rating: 1
I smell blood in the water for Sony. Microsoft should move in the for the kill with a price cut. $50 across the board should do it.

Think about it, Sony has a huge PS2 catalog and a very minimal PS3 catalog at this point. The PS2 is still selling like hotcakes, but unless Sony plans on milking the PS2 console for a couple more years, they're making a big mistake. I don't think their current PS3 lineup warrants and upgrade from the PS2. Couple that with limited PS2 game compatibility on PS3 and Europeans really have no reason to upgrade. Sony's spin about putting the money they save into game development is too little too late. With their complicated development process and poor SDK, it's going to be a couple of years for the "savings" to translate into more viable products.

Sony appears to be in panic mode on the PS3 front and is making stupid decisions IMHO. They may say that PS3 is much more than a gaming system, but the world is not yet ready for the HTPC revolution. Only early adopters are a factor in this market. This is a very small niche compared to gamers who play 360/Wii/PS3. Maybe the world will be ready in time for PS4.




my geography must be off
By kattanna on 2/26/07, Rating: 0
FUCK SONY
By Rollomite on 2/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: FUCK SONY
By Rollomite on 2/27/2007 11:02:14 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, my bad. I meant, great job Sony. Way to swindle more precious dollars from consumers in Europe.

Rollo


"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs














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