Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Consoles vs PC: Article about PS3

(This topic just doesn't want to let me go...)
A very interesting article was published recently on Gamasutra:Analyst: PS3 To Slow Industry Growth, Nintendo & Microsoft Could Capitalize. Recently I talked about the advantages consoles have over PCs in terms of gaming. When I read the article in Gamasutra, I was really puzzled: it seems like Sony in PS3 is going to forfeit all these advantages. PS3 isn't going to be cheap - I knew that. I would even say it is going to be absurdly expensive. But now the CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) states that
"we don't say it's a game console, the PS3 is clearly a computer unlike PlayStations so far."

He explains further:
Since PS3 is a computer there are no 'models' but configurations. We'll want to upgrade the hard drive size very soon. If new standards appear on the PC, we will want to support them. We may want the Blu-ray drive to write. In the PC business, if you fix the spec for two years you'll be caught by competitors. Computers should be changing, right? It's inevitable that 60GB hard drive will become too small, and memory may become too small as well"

Wow! So, in other terms, the buyers of PS3 should be ready for spending even more money on upgrades. And the developers should be ready for much harder QA, because now the testing of the new game should have to be done on all possible "configurations". Which, in turn, means that the users should be ready for more bugs in the games.

And why would I (or anyone) want to spend money on a contraption like this instead of buying normal PC - which might be in a long run just a little bit more expensive than PS3, but which can do so much more? I don't know the answer to this question. It seems likeanalysts the analysts from "DFC Intelligence" (whose report is a base for this article) are also puzzled. They predict:
1) the high price of the PlayStation 3 is going to slow overall industry growth, especially for software and 2) if Sony does not change its current strategy for the PS3 the system will probably end up in third place in installed base.

I agree with those analysts. Either people at SCE are geniuses, and can see some things in the future which neither I nor the analysts from DFC can see - or we should prepare for a huge change in consoles game market in the nearest future.

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1 comment:

Keith said...

At the rate Sony is going it won't matter what the PS3 is when it comes out as long as it does come out... hehe