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PlayStation 3 development seen as "a waste of everybody's time," says Half-Life 2 developer

The Orange Box released earlier this week, giving PC faithful and Xbox 360 gamers the best effort from Valve Software yet. Those who own only PlayStation 3s, however, will have to sit by the sidelines to watch other games rave over the innovations introduced in Portal, the fun of Team Fortress 2 and the sheer brilliance of Episode 2.

If Valve Software could have had its way, the PlayStation 3 version of The Orange Box would be on stores shelves right now – but the version of the game for Sony’s console is actually in the hands the title’s publisher, Electronic Arts.

While Valve Software handled the development and porting of The Orange Box to the Xbox 360, the games developer specifically chose not to handle the PlayStation 3 version.

When Gabe Newell, one of Valve’s founders, was asked by Edge magazine whether or not he still had any issue with the PlayStation 3’s design architecture, he replied, “Absolutely. I think [PS3 is] a waste of everybody’s time. Investing in the Cell, investing in the SPE gives you no long-term benefits. There’s nothing there that you’re going to apply to anything else. You’re not going to gain anything except a hatred of the architecture they’ve created. I don’t think they’re going to make money off their box. I don’t think it’s a good solution.”

Newell also pointed out that porting the PC game to the Xbox 360 wasn’t an effortless experience either, but that Microsoft’s system was far more receptive to the developer’s technologies. “We’ve learned that you can create a framework where all you need to do is recompile for each of those three platforms. You know, that’s a sort of abstraction of our goal. With The Orange Box we could do that, so getting Left 4 Dead up on the 360 was like a day’s worth of work. It requires a big technology investment to be able to do that. I was pretty skeptical that we would; I thought there was going to be more work than that.”

Although the PlayStation 3 version of The Orange Box won’t be handled by Valve, the developer likely would prefer to port all versions of its game in-house. “I think in the longer term we’ll have the PS3 as well, but, to be honest, the biggest hole for us right now is the Wii,” Newell added.



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PS3
By 5c8wc4 on 10/15/2007 7:40:57 AM , Rating: 2
Hasent he mentioned this before that the PS3 is more harder to create games to?. I seem to recall the entire thing besides the talk of the "orange box".

Hate the ps3 or not, its still sad to see developers and programmers reject a system like that.




RE: PS3
By Moishe on 10/15/2007 7:55:36 AM , Rating: 5
Why is it sad to see developers reject a gaming system?

If we put aside all of our natural human picking of sides we should be left with basic facts. One of those is that the cell is harder (more costly) to develop for.
Game companies are in existence specifically to make money. It's not like Valve or any other company would reject any game system if it were just as easy to develop for. They want the widest market possible. They're just looking out for themselves (as they should).

Sony made the choice to embrace a very new kind of chip in their new console and cutting edge costs more. As with anything there are tradeoffs; risks and benefits. This is just the way life works.

I don't think it's "sad". I think it's the consequences of the choice that Sony made... It may pay off in the end, but for the short term it's kinda tough for them.


RE: PS3
By 5c8wc4 on 10/15/2007 8:22:41 AM , Rating: 2
Its sad as in we are the customers and we are playing the games?. I agree though that its Sonys own making that developers are reluctant to the PS3. And they should have thought ahead when they were making the system. To streamline and lower the learning curve required to program for it.


RE: PS3
By bplewis24 on 10/15/2007 1:03:46 PM , Rating: 2
One thing that I DO think is sad is that, by this way of thinking, more ports will be encouraged at the lowest common denominator, and not games designed specifically for that particular architecture.

:(

Brandon


RE: PS3
By Blight AC on 10/15/2007 8:34:10 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I agree that it is sad to see. Sony put themselves in a bad position, and I think they were just hoping on their PS2 base would help them through it. Lets face it, if Sony had the #2 position, the sentiment would probably be towards the Xbox 360 (that it's just too difficult to program for).

Nobody wants to go out of their way for #3.

One thing I am surprised by, I couldn't find The Orange Box (Xbox360) in stock at two WalMart's near me. Seems like they received a small stock of it. Plenty of Halo 3 copies though.


RE: PS3
By scrapsma54 on 10/15/2007 9:14:38 AM , Rating: 3
Ps3 is Good harware slapped together with no regard to the programmability. Kutagari, you are an idiot/piece of toast.
Bad thing the overzealous idiot left, because the good people in the company have to take the heat. Compared to Microsoft, Microsoft must have colaborated and brought the best of both worlds (hardware/software) and designed a machine for procedural synthesis, I never see any mess ups like Kutagari running around throwing red faced rants (except Ballmer).


RE: PS3
By Blight AC on 10/15/2007 9:34:22 AM , Rating: 5
Developers, Developers, Developers....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMU0tzLwhbE


RE: PS3
By noirsoft on 10/15/2007 11:26:07 AM , Rating: 5
(sound of two cents being inserted)

There are objective measures as to how hard a console is to program for -- it's not just a case of developers ragging on the lowest-selling console.

PS2 was harder to program for than the original Xbox, but since the PS2 was the leader, people just bore the pain since that's where the money was. The difference now is that people are more vocal about the PS3 since they can risk alienating Sony whereas they couldn't before.

The PS3 was a nightmare to get anything running on, since their development environment was originally a bunch of Makefiles and gcc. I've heard it has gotten better since the launch of the platform, (I haven't done any PS3 programming myself in 2 years, which was clearly long before the platform actually launched) but it is still far less than Visual Studio + Pix in terms of tools available to developers to help with porting.

That added to Sony's abandonment of OpenGL ES and replacing it with a proprietary graphics API as the preferred method means that there is no leveraging of existing knowledge when programming the PS3. The thought of a first-time developer putting together a truly innovative new game for the PS3 is mind-boggling, whereas it is much more possible on the wii or 360 (particularly the 360 with XNA)


RE: PS3
By The0ne on 10/15/2007 3:50:36 PM , Rating: 2
And often times it's not how hard it is to code but also the amount of resource and the product cycle. If it's taking you months or even years to complete a single project, it's not cost effective to do so. This is the model that companies follow regardless on "when" and what new technologies are out there. If the learning curve is too steep your product is going to suffer and consequently so is the company.

One of the biggest drawbacks to this, however, has been the release of bloated, buggy and what have you games and software. In some cases, the push to release a product by deadline has made it even worse than if it was done properly. I'm sure many of you know, by heart, some products that share this fate. I don't really blame it on the programmers but rather the management teams. I work with many good programmers that would like to optimize their coding but can't due to pressures.


RE: PS3
By FITCamaro on 10/15/2007 8:56:32 AM , Rating: 1
Japanese developers have long rejected the Xbox and Xbox 360.


RE: PS3
By scrapsma54 on 10/15/2007 9:19:38 AM , Rating: 2
And many japanese game developers make retarded anime games.


RE: PS3
By chick0n on 10/15/2007 3:16:45 PM , Rating: 1
Thats probably why a lot of gamers WORLDWIDE buy Japanese retarded anime games ?


RE: PS3
By T4RTER S4UCE on 10/17/2007 5:48:25 PM , Rating: 2
1/4 of the population is retarded.


RE: PS3
By bozilla on 10/15/2007 9:27:53 AM , Rating: 1
Which has nothing to do with the quality of the console or even world popularity but only hatred for western technologies.

But don't worry, Halo 3 is on top of the gaming charts there now, the Xbox 360 console is getting more and more numbers sold and Microsoft is specifically addressing game types to suck in Japanese crowd (games like Lost Odyssey or even Final Fantasy, and something tells me that Fable 2 might do well too). The cultural resistance, despite the "real world value" is a strong motivator, however it will change. More and more young people, Japan too, are influenced by western culture. This will eventually reflect in sales as it has already started to.


RE: PS3
By FITCamaro on 10/15/2007 11:52:19 AM , Rating: 2
I know I'm just saying. He's acting like only Sony is getting its console shunned.


RE: PS3
By ruibing on 10/15/2007 2:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
My favorite games all come from Japan, and they are mostly RPGs. I think Microsoft made the right decision in financing Mistwalker to make exclusive games for them, but I don't think the 360 is going to be Microsoft's trump card for Japan in this generation. The next generation Microsoft will start with heavy support from Asian developers, so I think they will do much better then.


RE: PS3
By afkrotch on 10/15/2007 8:47:53 PM , Rating: 2
Xbox 360 isn't going to do well in Japan, simply cause even now it currently has a poor selection of titles that meet what the Japanese community wants.

Every RPG to come out on Xbox 360 has been pretty much a failure. Haven't seen a single interactive sim game on the Xbox 360.

So far, the only games on Xbox 360 that has appealed to my tastes has been Idolm@ster, Oneechanbara Vortex, and Dead Rising. Don't get me wrong, I like FPS games and such, just not on a console. Already beat Bioshock a few times and Orange Box in the mail.


Not surprising really.......
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/15/2007 7:45:16 AM , Rating: 4
The Cell is an odd design, especially for game programming. While I'm sure many will try to echo the Sony line of "It just takes time to learn the system". I'm willing to bet programming for it is just a headache because of how different it is from the other architectures. Programming for multithreaded processors and multi core processors is still new, but the Cell goes into the whole SPE bullshit which doesn't let you execute what you want on whichever core is free. Some things can be done by the SPE's, but not everything, forcing you to load balanace as best as possibible.

There is no doubt the Cell can crunch Floating Point numbers, its very good at that. But when it comes to gaming design and play its a pain in the ass and it's no secret.




RE: Not surprising really.......
By Proteusza on 10/15/2007 8:23:31 AM , Rating: 5
I think many people dont understand what the Cell really is. Its SPEs unfortunately are not full fledged processors, so as you say, you need to be careful what you run on them.

With both the PC and 360, you can just create a thread, and let the system sort it out for you. With the PS3, you cant do that. Only the PPE can run full threads, so to get anything near playable speed, you need to load of ass much as possible to the SPE, but then you need to work out what to offload.

It wasnt a wise choice for a games console, but I think Sony wants it for more than games - video encoding etc - which it is probably excellent at.

Using an asymmetric design forces the programmer to be aware of the CPU and its cores, which I think is counterproductive.

Many Sony fans dont want to hear it, because of things like its good performance in Folding@Home, but the 360 CPU is a better console CPU - its simple, cheap, multi core and symmetrical.


RE: Not surprising really.......
By Spivonious on 10/15/2007 9:01:46 AM , Rating: 2
So with the PS3 it's the developer's job to handle processor scheduling? No wonder no one wants to program for it.


RE: Not surprising really.......
By FITCamaro on 10/15/2007 9:10:29 AM , Rating: 4
Both posts from you and Kenobi very well said.

Pisses me off whenever I hear/see people calling the Cell an 8 core processor. To me if you call an SPE a core, you have to start calling things like SSE registers cores. Sure SPE's have their own memory whereas SSE registers don't, but to me the two are very similar in functionality. To offload complex calculations from the main CPU core.


RE: Not surprising really.......
By Proteusza on 10/15/2007 9:21:38 AM , Rating: 2
I was amazed when I heard they dont have cache, but I guess it shows how simple they are.

MS poked fun at Sony when they said they had a CPU with 8 DSPs, but as I see it, it wasnt far from the truth unfortunately.


RE: Not surprising really.......
By MGSsancho on 10/15/2007 6:43:45 PM , Rating: 2
each SPE has 128K of cache. but the SPE are In-Order-Operation. no branch prediction. what they are good at are things like effects. want to draw mystery foggy things around a rail gun blast slug as it flys, awesome. heck if the SPEs had a simple 4 stage pipeline like the niagra (suns T1 proc. an their new rock core has a 6 stage pipeline) core or a 6 stage like the xenon (360 core). even a simple pipeline that requires pre-empative caching (the programmer/compiler helps the core with scheduling. its like a hybrid) would be great. however it did not happen. maybe in a PS4 or something.


RE: Not surprising really.......
By Proteusza on 10/16/2007 5:24:16 AM , Rating: 2
The 360 is also an in order core. I suppose, with sufficient compiler optimization, out of order may not add enough performance for it to be worth the transistors.

ALso, each SPE has no local cache, only local memory, which is not transparent. There is a difference between cache and local memory unfortunately.

I'm not sure whether each SPE has an ALU or simply a vector unit, but I know they are gimped enough for them to not be able to run full threads.


Gabe Newell Hates Everything
By deeznuts on 10/15/2007 1:35:28 PM , Rating: 3
Gabe Newell cries about everything that isn't easy. This is not new.

quote:

Gabe Newell on how "Xbox 360 Makes My Life Worse"

http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/9103/Gabe-Newell-Xbo...

Newell on "Half-Life 2 on Xbox Was a Disappointment"

http://biz.gamedaily.com/industry/feature/?id=1224...

Gabe Newell "Explains Why Valve Hates The Mac"

http://kotaku.com/gaming/player-hater/gabe-newell-...

Gabe Newell on how "DirectX 10 for Vista was a mistake"

http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/94869


Also, if you invest the time, use the tools, excellent games can be made. Insomniac is doing wonders with the hardware. 1080p and 60fps I think, with Ratchet and Clank????




RE: Gabe Newell Hates Everything
By BansheeX on 10/15/2007 10:39:53 PM , Rating: 2
Best post in the whole thread so far. The PS3 may be more difficult to program for, but it's totally being blown out of proportion. For one thing, Sony has always had extremely long product cycles for its systems. The original xbox came out a year after the ps2, and the 360 came out a year before the ps3. Sony doesn't plan for obsolescence as quickly as Sega did or MS does. They don't try to one-up its competition with rushed launches. Thus the benefit of "carrying over" development knowledge from one console to the next isn't as big of a factor in Sony's camp. And the PC... who cares? The game selection and cost has made it a dying brand. Fewer and fewer people are spending gobs of money to play the same two genres on the PC. You're so limited on the PC as a gamer, it's not even funny. The games don't retain their resale value at all, they're a pain in the ass to install, and there's no controller standard for genres that NEED them (fighting). It's a money pit, but Valve is partial to it because they only make one type of game. Saying the PS3 is a waste of time is as wrong as saying exercise is a waste of time (note to Gabe, it's not).


RE: Gabe Newell Hates Everything
By SigmaHyperion on 10/15/2007 11:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
Bzzzt.

It's amazing how many people think PC gaming is dying off just because they don't see any of the games sitting on the shelves of their local GameStop. GameStop doesn't carry many PC games for one simple reason -- it makes the vast majority of its' money on used game sales, and you can't sell PC games used (well, you can try, never really works though). It's not because they don't sell. It's just that that space is much better used for additional used game inventory.

As a matter of fact, In 2006 PCs generated about $1.5B in gaming software revenue (that was up from 2005). All consoles put together posted $4.8B in software sales. In 2006 (and for a number of years previous) sales of PC gaming software was second only to PS2 software. And those numbers are very conservative, as digitally-distributed games are not counted, and one of the reasons brick-and-mortar stores aren't carrying many PC games anymore is because digital distribution is growing in popularity. And if you want to take subscription fees into account, World of Warcraft alone generated more revenue in 2006 than sales of the entire library of 360 games.

An additional fact -- sales of software for the PC "platform" are also expected to be the fastest-growing by a wide margin over the next 5 years. Primarily because the ever-growing barriers of entry into consoles, coupled with the ability to have much more control over the finances (i.e. digital distribution), has made the PC an attractive market for smaller developers.

I agree with your criticisms of the PC platforms barriers of entry and inherent problems. But the platform is FAR from dying, despite the image portrayed by your local game store.


RE: Gabe Newell Hates Everything
By wallijonn on 10/16/2007 1:41:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's amazing how many people think PC gaming is dying off just because they don't see any of the games sitting on the shelves of their local GameStop.


Perception is reality.

Add WalMart and Target to that list of vanishing PC shelf space. The PC isn't doing itself any favours by packaging itself in fat cardboard boxes when people are used to DVD movie packaging (console game packaging, too.)

While the numbers you posted are real, now that Vista is out I predict a nose dive in PC game revenues this time next year solely because fewer people wish to buy a whole new PC to play the half dozen good or great games coming to the PC.

Of all the 66 games listed on GameInformer as coming out this month, the PC accounted for 11, 50% of which were on PC and the console. If this is any indication then PC games will account for about 20% of all games produced. Everybody else will be able to chose from 5 times as many games.


By SigmaHyperion on 10/16/2007 5:50:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
While the numbers you posted are real, now that Vista is out I predict a nose dive in PC game revenues this time next year solely because fewer people wish to buy a whole new PC to play the half dozen good or great games coming to the PC.

How does Vista being out equate to people having to buy a new PC? With the sole exception of Halo 2 and Shadowrun, neither of which were releases anyone cared about, not a single PC game has, or for any major release planned for the next 2 years, require DX10 to play. There are plenty of games that USE DX10, but it would be suicide of a developer to make a game requiring DX10 for at least another 2 years.

quote:
Of all the 66 games listed on GameInformer as coming out this month, the PC accounted for 11, 50% of which were on PC and the console. If this is any indication then PC games will account for about 20% of all games produced. Everybody else will be able to chose from 5 times as many games.

First off, even if your numbers were right (and they're not) everyone else wouldn't have 5 times as many games to choose from. The only way they'd have 5 times as many games is if they had every single other console. No single console has more than 50% of even the limited number of titles listed within GameInformer. Considering how many platforms that are out there, even if the 20% figure was correct, that's still an equal representation amongst platforms.

GameInformer is published by GameStop/EBGames, and, as already discussed, their selection of PC games is obviously very limited. They don't list anywhere even CLOSE to all the games that come out within their magazine because it eats up useless space for them. Even their own website shows far more PC games available than you'll find within their magazine or on shelves in their stores. And their own website still doesn't list all of them.

As a matter of fact there are twenty PC releases this week alone and seventy-five for the month of October. And that still doesn't count digital-distribution-only titles, which is become an ever more popular distribution method for even top line games. Now I'm not about to claim that all 75+ releases this month are AAA titles. They're not. But the selection is there. And it's that selection, the availability of "niche" titles, that has always made the PC a popular platform. You get most of what's worth playing on the consoles ported over and there's a huge genre of games that aren't very often, if ever, published on a console.


Newell's Insight Continues
By Sahrin on 10/15/2007 10:57:46 AM , Rating: 5
I like to hear from people like Gabe Newell, particularly on issues like these.

I'm not sure if what he says is designed to spark a response (a lot of times, it seems like comments from gaming industry execs are designed to spark controversy or draw attention to a particular situation, person or company. They take a rational idea, load it up with meth, and then speak a distorted but relatively accurate version of the truth for the "shock value" of it); but it is very insightful into platform development in general.

Newell's point isn't that Sony is stupid or wrong - the PS3 is a magnificent piece of technology, any rational person can admit to that. His point is that what for Sony is pound for dollar the most powerful piece of gaming hardware available is for Valve (and many other developers) just a massive hurdle to completing a game. Even moreso (where Newell's true insight lies), though is the fact that once Valve invests resources in learning how to develop for this massive beast, the resources are going to be obsolete in 5 years anyways. Conversely, every dollar he invests in x86 or PowerPC development is going to have continuing value for the next 20 years. From a business management standpoint of a "mid-cap" developer, the PS3 just doesn't make sense.




Not Everyone
By SavagePotato on 10/15/2007 10:46:04 AM , Rating: 1
Yet not everyone seems to be having the same problems. Games are still coming out for the ps3 and coming out on time from other developers. I'm not sure if it was Gabe Newell or Mark Rein, but I'm fairly certain it was one of them, who had a very similar negative opinion of dual cores when the AMD x2's came out. Now most modern games make use of dual core or even quad core cpu's.

Being tricky to design for is never a good thing, It killed the atari jaquar, as well as im sure other consoles that don't immediately come to mind. But only time will tell, and on that same note the ps3 is still popular and does have quite a number of units out there. So many people are waiting to upgrade as well. I've talked personaly to quite a few ps2 owners and they all say the same thing, they are getting a ps3, but not for a while. Making big prediction is something better left to those guys that call themselves analysts and get payed to guess.




RE: Not Everyone
By Chaser on 10/16/2007 8:54:57 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you.


By drunkenmastermind on 10/15/2007 7:56:08 AM , Rating: 2
I haven't enjoyed a game so much since...HL2 was released. Even my wife (usually an opposing force to me gaming) wondered what all the interest was about? She had a go and not she is enjoying portal. It feels so good to play a game that requires not only a decent CPU and GPU but also use of ones GMU (Grey Matter Unit). Thank you valve, love steam, love your content and creativity and love the experience.




Wii hole?
By wallijonn on 10/16/2007 1:46:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
to be honest, the biggest hole for us right now is the Wii,” Newell added.


What does that mean? That he doesn't want to programme for it or that he wishes he could do so that he could make millions more? Seeing as the Wii is a Game Cube with software extensions, it should be pretty easy to make an XBox / PS2 type game for it. But because it isn't powerful enough the existing code can't be ported over.

What's the problem? Just ignore the Wii altogether and don't write any games for it. There should be more than enough revenue from the PC and 360.




Broken Record?
By Goty on 10/15/07, Rating: 0
VALVe ...
By chick0n on 10/16/07, Rating: -1
The REAL reason why...
By Screwballl on 10/15/07, Rating: -1
RE: The REAL reason why...
By Proteusza on 10/15/2007 10:55:00 AM , Rating: 5
Um, EA only published the game. Doesnt EA also publish PS3 games?

Besides, Valve has, in the past, had arguments with publishers like Vivendi who were upset about Steam. Valve was also formed by ex MS employees. Surely they quit for a reason, and not out of love for their employers?

Basically, EA isnt as close to MS as you think. EA wants money, they dont care where from. Do you really think, if MS said to EA, please dont publish games for the PS3, that they would listen, and allow profits to fall? You underestimate their greed.

I refuse to give EA my money, but why not MS? How many studios has Sony bought out?

Besides, do you know anything about CPU's or programming? Do you know that guys in Epic and id agree with Gabe - that the PS3 is difficult to develop for? They arent lying, I promise. I know you want to believe the hype machine - Cell will prevent nuclear war, cure AIDs and end poverty. The reality is, it isnt a good gaming console CPU.


RE: The REAL reason why...
By SavagePotato on 10/15/2007 10:58:35 AM , Rating: 2
In the end they all want your money, as much of it as they can take. Thats just how it works. Some are more charming at taking it from you than others.

All you can do is the best you can to get your moneys worth at the end of the day.


RE: The REAL reason why...
By Chaser on 10/16/2007 9:15:53 AM , Rating: 2
Tell that to Epic games and Midway. I would say the Unreal engine for the PS3 is a recogized programming milestone.

http://kotaku.com/gaming/gamespy/ps3-ut3-supports-...

Yeah real tough to program for. Maybe thats what going it alone means too?

Any word on when the 360 version of UT3 will be out? Maybe when all 360s without a hard drive are off the market.


RE: The REAL reason why...
By Proteusza on 10/16/2007 9:34:50 AM , Rating: 2
Read this page: http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=2299

quote:
Carmack concedes that the PS3 is a more powerful platform saying "the PS3 has more peak performance on there and that’s what Sony was looking for." However he believes that Sony made a mistake with the Cell architecture in the difficulty there is with programming for it as opposed to the 360.


Shock! Horror! John Carmack says that Sony made a mistake! How could this be? Gabe Newell and John Carmack saying the same thing? Lords above, what has this world come to? Next thing you know, I'll dig out a quote in which Epic says teh same thing!


RE: The REAL reason why...
By Chaser on 10/16/2007 9:41:45 AM , Rating: 2
Now there's a unbiased source.

Here's mine.

http://www.midway.com/rxpage/MidwayHome.html


RE: The REAL reason why...
By Proteusza on 10/16/2007 10:09:39 AM , Rating: 2
So your line of reasoning is, Unreal Tournament 3 is coming out for the PS3, therefore Gabe Newell and John Carmack are both wrong. Sound logic indeed.

I want you to go to both of them, tell them that they are wrong, and that you know better.

You dont know much about CPU design do you? Do you even know what the difference between RISC and CISC is? In order and Out of order? thought not, just a fanboy who doesnt think.


RE: The REAL reason why...
By Chaser on 10/16/2007 10:46:01 AM , Rating: 2
Dude what is your issue? I said was the Unreal engine is coming out for the PS3. I said thats a recognized programming milestone in terms of gaming. UT3 is coming out for the PS3 and all reputable previews say it looks great. Why don't you ask Carmack or Newell to call Midway and have them convince Midway them to pull the project?

Would that make your reduced instruction set happy?


RE: The REAL reason why...
By Proteusza on 10/16/2007 10:56:39 AM , Rating: 2
I took it from the sarcasm in your first post that you thought that, because the Unreal Engine was running on the PS3, that Gabe was just moaning and that it wasnt as hard as it sounds.

I agree with you that UT3 coming out is a milestone. But I dont think that means you can discount everything that people are saying about the console. Just because you get something done, doesnt mean you couldnt have done it better.


By j@cko on 10/15/2007 8:32:15 AM , Rating: 2
it is popular indeed but it is still trailing xbox360 and wii by large margin.


By Gul Westfale on 10/15/2007 8:33:01 AM , Rating: 2
gabe newell is a founder of valve and used to work for MS. while i admit to not liking HL (i only bought HL2 for CS:S, and have never touched the single-player), and while i don't like steam very much either, i must admit that newell does know what he is talking about.

two things that you must remember:

1. sony always likes to go it alone. when the entire industry uses standard tools to make games, they create their own custom tools instead. that means that any game made for PS3 is difficult to port over to other systems (thus making PS3 exclusives more likely), but when sony is not the market leader and everyone else uses different tools then this means that there will be fewer games for their platform. so sony's insistence on custom tech is a double-edged sword, and yet there seems to be no real advantage to this tech- the PS2 was not clearly superior to any of its competitors, and neither is the PS3.

2. valve makes not only games, but also gaming engines. if newell says that their engine is hard to port over to the PS3 then that means that all the other companies that use the valve engine will have similar difficulty.

so it looks like sony's arrogance got the best of them yet again. maybe they will learn from this and use more standard tech on the PS4? i wouldn't bet on it. i'm guessing PS4 will have just one 100-core CPUGPU hybrid with the same lousy 256MB RAM as the PS3 and use a bluray minidisc format... but i could be wrong :)


By Spivonious on 10/15/2007 8:52:04 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
i admit to not liking HL


I have lost all faith in gamers. HL and HL2 are easily in the top 5 games of all time. Please try the single-player game. It will suck you in.


By iFX on 10/15/2007 9:23:48 AM , Rating: 1
It's not a small enclosed place - you didn't play long enough. The game is huge!


By VIAN on 10/15/2007 9:35:19 AM , Rating: 2
The game is not that great. I have lost faith in gamers because they actually think that HL2 is great. It isn't. It's just a mediocre, super-linear, easy game that failed to deliver a better experience than HL.


By allometry on 10/15/2007 11:59:45 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, and I'm sure the game is "not that great" because of all the awards it's won and the admiration and respect it gets from the vast majority of the gaming community.

As for you stating it's failure to deliver, I'm not entirely sure what your point is here. This game has sold copy after copy and retains tons of gamers for years. The mod community is very large and always been well supported by Valve.

On a critical note, I'm sure every lover of the game will agree, the episodes could have been longer and a bit more challenging with the puzzles.


By emboss on 10/15/2007 7:40:20 PM , Rating: 2
He's talking about delivering gaming experience (relative to HL1), not sales. And I sort of agree with him on this point.

To me, HL2 feels like a number of well-designed set-pieces very loosely strung together, unfortunately lacking the overall cohesiveness of HL1. In HL1, I want to keep playing to progress the story, to find out what happens next, to get out of (or back in to) Black Mesa. In HL2, for me at least, that just isn't there. After a set piece finishes, I can just walk away and do something else. It's like there was too much focus on small details, and not enough on the game as a whole.

It's actually sorta the opposite to Halo (one, haven't played the later ones). In the "big picture" Halo was well done, but there were so many annoying small details (such as the am-I-driving-on-ice Warthog handling) that I wanted to keep playing, but just couldn't take the agony any more.


By afkrotch on 10/15/2007 9:53:46 PM , Rating: 2
You aren't really talking about gameplay, but storyline for the most part, which HL² really didn't. While the game plays well, by the end, I really didn't have an overall feeling of accomplishment.

Also nothing pisses me off more than these stupid ideas about episodic gaming. I really enjoyed Sin Episodes and was eagerly awaiting the next one. What happens? Ritual Entertainment gets bought out and no more Sin Episodes.

If the company were just producing one big game, odds would be high that if the game was near completion, it would have come out. If the game wasn't far along, it would have been scraped and I wouldn't be left hanging.


By iFX on 10/15/2007 3:38:47 PM , Rating: 2
Why would you ever have faith in gamers to begine with? What are you expecting to get from them.

I thought HL2 was great, it was at the time amazing looking, introduced several new technoligies, offers a great story and replayability.

It sounds like you wanted something more along the lines of a Deus Ex game with more choices to make - well HL was never that type of game, it has always been a linear, find the key, open the door, next map sort of game. I don't know what you expected from it. I thought it was brilliant.


By blaster5k on 10/15/2007 9:35:28 AM , Rating: 1
I wouldn't judge it based on such a tiny part of the game. I'll admit to hating on HL2 before I played it, but after getting into it, I just couldn't. The reviews were right -- it was among the best first person shooters of all time.


By Nfarce on 10/15/2007 10:52:22 AM , Rating: 2
I guess it's just in the eye of the beholder. How someone can infer that HL2 is small is either looking for a completely different experience or just didn't play much, as was admitted here. I've played the single player three times with different difficulties, and each time it was a different experience. One should also keep in mind that game will be three years old next month (wow time flies).


By drq on 10/15/2007 10:45:41 AM , Rating: 3
Funny thing how you ditch HL2 because it has a small enclosed space and then go on to playing CS:S. Last time I checked CS was being played on maps, and I never saw a map comparable to 25% of the city map.

In the world of single player games, any episode of HL/2 is like a breath of fresh air. The action is scripted, but you dont get that feeling that you HAVE to do this as strong as in other games. And many times I've been left with my mouth open watching the scripts that made the action before me.

Too bad that is't a relatively short game.


By Chaser on 10/15/2007 9:19:37 AM , Rating: 2
Sony has several partnership inititives underway to broaden the PS3's game base. One that comes to mind is their announcement with NCsoft for developing online MMORPGs with the Sony online network. http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_conte...

I'm not sure where your vast knowledge of Sony's global marketing strategies comes from but "going it alone" couldn't be further from the truth.


By retrospooty on 10/15/2007 10:31:59 AM , Rating: 2
"I'm not sure where your vast knowledge of Sony's global marketing strategies comes from but "going it alone" couldn't be further from the truth."

No, he is right... "sony always likes to go it alone. when the entire industry uses standard tools to make games, they create their own custom tools instead. that means that any game made for PS3 is difficult to port over to other systems"

Betamax, UMD, memory stick, Blue RAy, PS3, and many other of thier hardware is all custom and proprietary, and a pain in the entire industry's ass. In order for a proprietary system to win in the market it HAS to be significantly cheaper or significantly better then everything else out there. Sony cant hit that mark.

As for working with software companies to broaden the game base, that is not really relevant to the proprietary hardware they make, its a band-aid for it.


By Chaser on 10/15/2007 10:56:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
As for working with software companies to broaden the game base, that is not really relevant to the proprietary hardware they make, its a band-aid for it.


And the topic is:

Valve Software's Gabe Newell Speaks on Porting Games to Consoles


By retrospooty on 10/15/2007 2:14:25 PM , Rating: 2
and your comment was responding to

(Gul Westfale - maybe they will learn from this and use more standard tech on the PS4? i wouldn't bet on it.")

The point was use std hardware an avoid the need to band aid it.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/15/2007 8:37:57 AM , Rating: 3
The number of consoles sold worldwide would dictate that is not the case. Sony right now trails both the X360 and Wii by a large margin.

According to NexGen Wars the PS3 trails big time with just short of 5 million consoles sold worldwide. Where as both the X360 and Wii are above 11 million each.

What he said makes perfect sense. They want to get into the Wii market, which is business smart given the number of consoles sold. They also want to stay in the PC market (They are a PC first company still), and they want a chunk of the X360 market, which is also a good business decision given the amount of X360's sold to date.

The PS3 isn't even in the running right now with a dismal 17% marketshare of the nextgen consoles. For Valve to decide to let EA handle the port is a good business decision, as they want to focus their development teams on the X360 and getting into the Wii platform.


By Chaser on 10/15/2007 10:42:59 AM , Rating: 1
And if you exclude U.S. sales where are those numbers Kenobi?

Yes Value is having EA do the port just as Sony is looking beyond the U.S. for its partnerships and growing its customer base.

PS3 worldwide sales are at 4.5 million now. With the $399.00 PS3 coming soon Sony estimates they will be at 14.5 million by March of 2008. If one developer chooses to ignore those numbers I wonder how that "good business practice" will be looked upon by their share holders.

Unlike most of you that lose sleep at night when there's positive PS3/BR announcements I hope for all the consoles to be a thriving success. Imagine that?

And in other good PS3 news. The movie 300 did quite well iin High Def sales:

Warner's 300 smashes high-def disc sales records

According to its latest numbers, Warner Bros announced that 300 has surpassed the 400,000 unit mark. That is more than any other Blu-ray or HD DVD movie.

The Blu-ray version of 300 has outsold the HD DVD version by a margin of around two-to-one, which is the same for most dual-format releases to date. Blu-ray movie sales on whole are outperforming the competing format by a margin of around four-to-one.

http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/tags/show/High-Def...


By SavagePotato on 10/15/2007 10:48:34 AM , Rating: 2
I have a ps3, but even I have to doubt the likelyhood of 14.5 million of them sold by march 2008. Who knows what will happen with a $399 console but still those are some pretty optimistic numbers.


By Nfarce on 10/15/2007 11:04:13 AM , Rating: 2
Gotta agree with you on that. As a PS3 online gamer, especially w/Motorstorm, the available racing pickings are slim without having to create a game and be a host, which I don't like to do. Currently Motorstorm's North American server averages about 125 gamers racing online in the evenings at any time. That's for the entire nation.

Anyway, here's to hoping the 40GB version will bump up sales.


By FITCamaro on 10/15/2007 12:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
If Sony thinks they're going to sell 10 million consoles in 5 months when they could only do half of that in 12, they have another thing coming.

Their holiday lineup isn't even that great. UT3 is gone. Call of Duty 4 and Assassin's Creed are multiplatform. Once the holiday is over UT3 is multiplatform, Dark Sector is multiplatform, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is multiplatform.

For spring all Sony's really got exclusive is MGS4 and even that isn't a guarantee for long since Konami has talked about making it multiplatform due to the PS3s poor sales.


By retrospooty on 10/15/2007 6:13:41 PM , Rating: 2
agreed...

" Chaser on 10/15/2007 10:42:59 AM:
Sony is looking beyond the U.S. for its partnerships and growing its customer base."


What Sony says means zero. They are so far removed from reality its not even funny. They have not lowered the price significantly, nor offered anything new since its release last year. Sony continues to alienate themselves in the industry and sales will show that.


By retrospooty on 10/15/2007 6:14:59 PM , Rating: 2
oops. I meant to quote this comment from Chaser, not the comment above.

quote:
PS3 worldwide sales are at 4.5 million now. With the $399.00 PS3 coming soon Sony estimates they will be at 14.5 million by March of 2008.


Anyhow, not gonna happen.


By SigmaHyperion on 10/15/2007 1:14:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And if you exclude U.S. sales where are those numbers Kenobi?

What in the world does that have to do with anything? Pick and choose what figures you want to use all you want, it doesn't change the fact that there are more 360s out there in people's homes. Who cares where they live at? If anything, since we're talking about a shooter here, if you can discount any region its' Japan since they generally don't sell well there anyhow.

quote:
PS3 worldwide sales are at 4.5 million now. With the $399.00 PS3 coming soon Sony estimates they will be at 14.5 million by March of 2008.


If you actually believe Sony is going to sell twice as many PS3s in the next 6 months than it was able to do in the last 12 months -- so that's 4 TIMES the volume it's selling today -- I've got this really nice bridge in NYC to sell you.

In fact, Sony's latest expectations (as of about 2 weeks ago -- if you have a 14.5 number I'd like to read that story as that would be a significant upward revision) are just 11 million by March of 2008. And that's off from the expectation of 20 million at launch and a revised estimate of 18 million from January. And chances are pretty good that they won't even hit those numbers. In the end, Sony is going to be doing good if it can sell half the PS3s that it thought it would by this time.


By Spotacus on 10/15/2007 10:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
And if you exclude Japan sales where are those numbers Chaser?

Since we are talking about an American company that makes primarily shooters, we can pretty much count out most of those sales. And since the US has a much larger population that is more likely to buy the game why not go with the console that is doing the best in the US?


By Chaser on 10/16/2007 10:02:40 AM , Rating: 2
And how about the 360 vs PS3 sales numbers in those countries Spoc?

Thanks for making my point for me. For the most part the 360 is a U.S. centric console. Although the PS3 is a year behind it had noteworthy successful launches in Europe, Australia, and of course Japan. Not just a handful known as a "sell out" by M$.


By inperfectdarkness on 10/15/2007 9:09:56 AM , Rating: 3
ironic that sony (like nintendo before it) created their first console gaming system because they were spurned by another gaming company.

further irony: sony's 1st console bested the company that spurned them (nintendo's n64) just like the NES did to atari's 2600.

the crux of it all is that nintendo learned from the n64 (and microsoft arguably learned this from the original xbox) that the most powerful system often means the hardest developments and porting.

sony is ONLY NOW learning this with the ps3.


By dflynchimp on 10/15/2007 11:35:16 AM , Rating: 1
wouldn't say that N64 was more powerful than the PS1. In terms of technological evolution it was actually one step behind the PS, being based on the older cartridge media, which had more memory restrictions (and audio limitations) than a CD. But you idea of karma was spot on, lol.


By sweetsauce on 10/15/2007 2:13:04 PM , Rating: 2
Wow you must be retarted. The N64 was way more powerful than the ps, it wasn't even close. The only thing that held it back was their use of cartriges, otherwise sony's console would've been nothing more than a blip in gaming history.


By shaw on 10/15/2007 5:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
If the N64 was CD based history would have been a lot different. Unfortunately (or forunately for Sony) Nintendo stuck with the expensive cartridge media and Sony just dominated with cheapness of CDs.

Nintendo didn't learn it's lesson until Wii to finally just use a dang standard format. Of course Nintendo wouldn't be Nintendo if it wasn't different.


By dflynchimp on 10/15/2007 6:52:15 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, common politeness stood no chance...

In theory the console itself might've been more powerful, but as you conceded the cartridges held it back, so I wasn't wrong about N64 being one step behind in gaming evolution. So none of that lip, zauce.


By Chaser on 10/16/2007 10:05:07 AM , Rating: 2
Not here. It must be those retarted cartriges.


By elgoliath on 10/16/2007 8:35:32 PM , Rating: 2
The media a console uses has nothing to do with how powerful a system is. The N64 was much more powerful than the PS1. No if, ands or buts about it. The games on the other hand were limited by the cartridge format (depending on your perspective and what is important for you- game size versus load times for example- imo using the cartridge was a very bad thing to do at the time).


same direction same results NEW is not NEW anymore
By Ravenlore on 10/15/07, Rating: -1
By afkrotch on 10/15/2007 9:16:02 PM , Rating: 2
Actually PS2 has been going on for 7 years and it has very strong sales, not to mention tons of games are still coming out for the system.

Also do you really expect newer games to simply vanish? All the games up to date are the exact same type of games we've had since the Atari. We have minor steps in graphics, then bam. Those same games turned 3D. Then we have minor steps in graphics, then bam. Those same games turned HD.

How long will ppl keep buying games. Hmm...Madden was first released in 1989 and ppl are still buying those games every year. So....they'll keep buying them for a long time.


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