Monday, January 09, 2006

Sony developer slams PS3

Here are some very sobering, if not shocking comments about the PlayStation3, made by Sony developer Josh Robinson (formatting is mine):
Well my immediate impression of the PS3 is... where is it? Seriously, where is it? They have a case, a controller and a dev kit. But the system still doesn’t even exist. So what is there to say? We received one of 5 PS3 dev kits in the United States some time ago. Several companies in the US as well as companies over seas were given the daunting task of creating a demo in less than 9 weeks on a first generation dev kit.

Now I’ll be honest with you. What most companies do is fake the entire demo. I mean they come up with some great visuals and neat tricks and scripted events. In the end however, its not a real time demo and its not running ON the actual box. We were the only company to my knowledge that showed something that ran it live on the box. Even then it was a scripted event. You could not pause the camera and fly around the scene.
So much for the ´Killzone 2´ demo, I guess. This must be regarded as proof that all the demos shown at E3 2005 were fake (with the possible exception of ´Unreal´). This could be a huge blow to Sony´s reputation. Ever since May, there has been speculation about the authenticity of those demos. It now emerges that the console may not even have the power to output graphics of this quality.
Now I’ve spoken with people who are on the technical side of the PS3. I’ve also talked with people on the technical side of the XBOX 360. The consistent comment I am hearing from people on my end is, “The XBOX 360 is better”. They are saying that it is capable of just doing more.
I see Microsoft execs grinning from one ear to another. Sony´s claims that the PS3 boasts two teraflops computational power (apparently twice that of the Xbox360), if true, doesn´t seem to translate into a more powerful gaming machine. At the same time, development costs are truly staggering:
The game that we are creating for a launch title is a “just get it out” title in my opinion. It doesn’t look next generation. I don’t see how anyone could debate otherwise. (...) To be fair, this is a business. Sometimes you have to treat it as a business and not make the best title you can. The best title you can make usually costs 20-40million dollars/3 start overs and 4 years of your life. You just cant do that every time out. Its impossible.
This should end the speculation about just how much the development of a ´AAA´ title (i.e. a blockbuster) will cost on the PS3. At the same time, Josh is highly sceptical that even those games will really look next-gen in the near future. As a result, his closing comments sound quite gloomy.
Where is the box? Where is the final system? When is it coming out? No one knows and in the mean time people in the industry are starting to get just a little salty. I mean I was at e3 2005 and PS3 was almost no where to be seen.

In closing, I started of VERY excited about the PS3. I was very confident that it was going to just destroy the XBOX 360 just on the name SONY alone. The more time that goes by the more I am becoming doubtful. Everything I’ve developed or seen developed has yet to be “next gen”. The poly counts are not really any higher, im not seeing sub surface scattering, im not seeing much HDR lighting. (or they are faking it and not really doing it), I’m not seeing next gen fluid dynamics or object dynamics. I suspect that you’ll be able to have more dynamic objects in a scene than before. But im not seeing games doing this yet. We dont have a controller, there is no network code and there is no box. Its still the size of a normal PC.

I’m confident that the PS3 will have a few “crazy” games that show it off to its potential. But I would expect the full capabilities of the box to not show up until the system has been released PUBLICALLY for over a year. This is the extra time the developers will need with a FINAL system to truly make next gen games.
These comments are truly shocking in my opinion. Especially so, since this developer is employed by Sony. And he really is who he claims to be. His profile can be viewed on Sony Online Entertainment´s Station.com. I have been sceptical of the PlayStation3 becoming another Sony success story all along. But Sony seems to be in even bigger trouble than I thought.

EDIT There have been a number of people who have questioned the validity of the article. I just spoke to Carlos, the owner of the review site. He told me that Josh Robinson is still with SOE and still working on a PS3 project (which, obviously, cannot be named). He is a 3D designer and, as part of a development team, works alongside programmers. They are still working on PS3 development kits and, though the article really was written in late November, the article´s contents are all still valid. Josh himself posted some further comments only a week ago:
I was having a conversation with a programmer here at sony over the holiday for a bit. We were discussig the PS3 a little and how non existant it is.

We are still getting the ps3 in a huge silver cpu case. No controller yet. absolutely NO netowork code has been written. In fact I'm pretty sure that the company i work for is gonna be the one responsible to port our network code for it.

Not sure how this thing is gonna make it out any time soon. It may be closer to 2007 or christmas of 06 before this thing sees the light of day. We'll see.
Asked why Josh was prepared to speak so bluntly about the PS3 while being a Sony employee, Carlos said that that´s just the way he is. Carlos confirmed that Josh was an industry veteran who had worked on numerous consoles, including the original PlayStation, and was about to publish a book on 3D design.

Source: Down in Front
Thanks to: Joystiq

75 comments:

Ben said...

Woah. If this is true, than the PS3 will have very few games, meaning less units will sell, meaning less developer interest. Sony could end up losing a lot of money, not to mention permantly tarnishing the Playstation name.

By the way, first comment. w00t!

Raph said...

WOOOT! Death to Sony! Hail to the second coming of Nintendo!

Anonymous said...

I don't find this is really shocking by the way. At least it's not really surprising me. They wanted too much with the Cell. It's simply too hard to code for. But i don't see the Playstation-Brand fall anytime soon... The name "Playstation" is too strong. I think Sony will continue to lead the market but surely the Gap will be much closer.

Kraid said...

Man, that just made my day ! :D

Falafelkid said...

Hi Anonymous. Obviously, the PlayStation brand will go some way. But there is a limit here. Consider the worst case scenario:

* The system will be delayed.
* The system will be at least $500.
* Blu Ray will not become a standard.
* PS3 games will not look next-gen.
* The console´s design fails to convince.

Only a combination of these may result in Sony not selling enough consoles to convince publishers to invest in it further. Once that happens, the lack of games will result in even worse sales and the PS3 will follow the path the Dreamcast went down (and consider that the Dreamcast was one hell of a console boasting some of the best videogames ever). This will not happen in 2006 yet. But in 2006 the foundations for the PS3´s demise may be laid.

Obinna Orisa said...

WOW!!!! wow from sony wow!!!

Shock aside deep down inside I knew there were going to have problems because of all the bells and whistles sony had on thier system. There's just to many shit on that system that nobody is interest in.

I mean the PS3 was given to much hype and has to much power and probably can't control it.
Hmmmmm..., and maybe the reason why the PS3 isn't playable yet is because of the problems and because the games look crapy.

Arsenis said...

Sony, Sony, what are we gonna do with your promeses, aren't they still having overheating problems or thats something they said.

Anonymous said...

I ve never heard of this guy. Can anyone tell me what games he has done?

martinlam said...

Hi falafelkid

your comment is very good.
But the playstation 2 had some of these problems too.

- had a dvd-player
- was expensive (dont know the cost in dollars)
- and was not easy too code

but the main thing now is the development cost of a game. It's now a hugh risk too make a game of that size in cost. And the targetmarket isnt growing very much like in the last console era.

And the blu ray is now against the hd-dvd. blu ray isnt very necessary now so the player isnt a big plus for people to buy it (most of the consumers)

So i think it sony have to take a heavy loss. Because of microsoft and nintendo. But they will not go like sega because the brandname. Just look at there other divisions. They're taking a beating there too.



Microsoft have a released earlier and good online gameplay and big titles. X360 will do very well in the western world, mainly US.

But nintendo CAN be a big winner.

- Free online
- non-gamer games
- low price
- controller
- price of games

But nintendo must convince more 3rd party's
And show up with more main streamgames and great marketing.

hope that big N do it again like the DS.
Atleast I will buy 1 revo :D

Anonymous said...

I knew this was gonna bappen.
they will never live up to the same promises again.

Anonymous said...

eh, they'll do fine. holy crap, 1 negative comment about the system!! 1 negative comment and 10 hundred billion ps2 users are going to jump ship!! yeah right.

nintendo seems to be doing fine and they get shit on all the time by everyone! this is no biggie.

Anonymous said...

anybody know how much it costs for a person to buy Street Fighter II on Microsoft Live? (Yeah, they beat Nintendo to the punch). If they keep this up, that drops one of nintendo's exclusive revolutionary aspects.

Taylor said...

To the second Anonymous person above me: Except for a select few die-hard Sony fans, Sony's userbase primarily consists of casual quasi-gamers who aren't slaves to the brand. Probably 80% of Playstation 2 owners bought theirs purely because they wanted a video game system, and this was the one with twice as many games as the other two. There's little, if any brand loyalty outside of the hardcore gamer group, and that group simply isn't enough to sustain a console for a long period of time (hence the Turbo Grafx 16). If your average current Playstation 2 owner buys an XBox 360, he isn't "jumping ship," and he isn't "betraying" Sony. He's simply buying a new video game system.

To the other guy directly above me: No, it doesn't. The Virtual Console is a system-seller because people love Mario and the Nintendo games of old. As good of a game as Wik: Fable of Souls, Geometry Wars, and SF2 might be, very few people actually give enough of a shit about them to pay any attention. Am I thrilled that I'll get to play all these totally cool indie games on my XBox 360 [that I do not currently own, but I will probably get whenever Elder Scrolls comes out]? Totally. But I don't represent the average consumer, the ones that Microsoft is selling this shit to.

Anonymous said...

yeah but you won't see NES, SNES and N64 games on Live anytime soon.

HereticPB said...

Didn't this exact same thing happened before the PS2 was really revealed?

Developers were dropping support for Sony's PS2 and complaining about the system.

But within a six months to a year the developers came back in droves when the hardware was shown, finished, and working.

-

In this case, however, Sony has gotten greedy and wanted a processor that will do all kinds of things and the company sees other plans for the Cell which is clouding their judgement on the game system.

Sony has become the dazed and confused company as of late and their quality of hardware has dropped significantly since the early to mid 80's.

Signs look bad for Sony who is not doing so hot in movies, music, entertainment, and money.

Despite Sony's bragging about the PSP being the "IT" thing it is not breaking any records in any territory.

Sony tried to do the same with the PSP as they did with the PS2 and that is sell movies first and then games but the problem here is that people do not see the UMD disc as the future of video entertainment and are not buying the movies. I have not heard of one person buying movies for the PSP. Then on top of that there is the factor of the battery not lasting too long. Of course somebody comes by and says well there are battery packs for the PSP.

Yah and you look like a goof carrying around a battery pack.

But it is major when someone within Sony is saying these things and the truth is this guy will probably not be working for Sony too much longer.

therealabdallah said...

He'll have fun explaining himself to his bosses.

Falafelkid said...

Hi everyone.

@Taylor: I couldn´t have put that better. You are so right, both about the strength of the Nintendo characters translating into the strength of their virtual console, as well as the lack of manufacturer loyalty among casual gamers. If anything, Nintendo has a strong brand recognition with the casual gamers: everyone knows Mario and Donkey Kong. What characters or games do casual gamers associate with the PlayStation? ´Singstar´, ´Buzz´ and ´Eye Toy´ perhaps, but all of these are fairly new licenses for Sony. Also, these are not memorable in the same way you remember a character.

Speaking about loyalty, I also strongly believe that Nintendo has the most loyal hardcore fans. I once saw a guy who had the beveled Nintendo logo tattooed all over his leg. It was easily twenty inches long. Imagine that for either Sony or Microsoft - ridiculous. And why is that? Because the company names Sony and Microsoft are associated with a vast number of products (and those aren´t always fond memories), whereas Nintendo is exclusively known as making fun games. Unlike any other hardware manufacturer, people believe Nintendo to have a soul.

@martinlam: Hang on, you listed the PS2 also being a DVD player as a problem? This was THE main reason for most people to buy one. It was a cheap and affordable DVD player (regular set-top models were even more expensive when it came out), plus it was a game console. I am sure you just got that mixed up.

Secondly, you said:

They will not go like sega because the brandname. Just look at there other divisions. They're taking a beating there too.

What kind of an argument is that? Precisely because almost all Sony divisions are in the reds, SCEI is under great pressure to perform. If they don´t perform as a hardware manufacturer anymore, they will immediately follow SEGA and develop software only. Granted, it will take some time for that to happen, even given the worst case scenario. But once they realise they could be better off without the hardware business, they will ditch it immediately. Sony at large is in a dire financial situation.

Anonymous said...

Is nintendo online for Revo. seriously going to be free?

Anonymous said...

a highly not credible source. anyone credible would have signed NDA's. this guy isnt even a developer and the comments are from november. the final reference kit was made available in december which probably means most development houses dont even have those yet. its total bs.

DeAngelo Guillory said...

Development kits and middleware can always change though if the PS2 was of any indication. I remember horror stories from developers having a harder time to develop for it than the N64 but in 2 years it was the system with the most games even after the GameCube. Despite development ease, hardware lastibility and better graphics/effects that the GameCube (and XBox) sported over PS2, the inferior system still outsold the other two.

(Fanboy Mode: Switch ON!)
I feel that history will repeat itself even with NVidia and IBM's help, that the PS3 will once again be oversold in its abilitiies. We were shown high quality CGI-esque graphics in tech demos but the real system may be no more than 2x or 3x GameCube's visuals in-game whereas the Revolution ironically DOES deliver the experiences that PS3 SUPPOSEDLY had. Why is this? One because I wouldn't underestimate the former SGI and ArtX team who is working with ATi. Second, Nintendo has a history of being powerful enough (not the most powerful, but in some cases more refined than at least one competitor) but not actually BRAGGING about what they may not deliver upfront and without an intimidating price tag. Second, despite the specs on paper and the power that the PS3 console DOES seem capable of, there are somethings that bother me

-Initially the system's components were thrown together rather than have the Cell processor and hardware "tweaked" to work together and support each other. Do something about the LSI. (take this as a bash if you will)

-The Reality Synthesizer has potential but how many developers will take advantage of it? I'm sensing a lot of GameCube and XBox quality visuals and models from other developers.

-Sony's been known for inferior hardware and planned obsoletion in the PlayStation brand and their electronics aren't exactly the best these days. It's hard to swallow the the PS3 would be the most powerful (even over the 360, despite support for dual 1080p which some suggest is due to the Cell processor without taking hits to polygon count and possible slowdown into consideration), let alone easy to develop for at the same time.

-7-core development is a bitch, most developers haven't even gotten used to DUAL CORE development! Granted the 360 gives you the OPTION not OBLIGATION to write for it's 3 multithreaded cores but we don't hear a lot of complaints on CURRENT 360 hardware.

-The mindset developers have, or "Sony Trust" as I call it seems to make them think that if the system is hard to work on, it's a challenge to bring out its potential. Yes all the Gran Turismo look great but the truth is that PS3 may be nothing more than a slightly more powerful PS2 or at best, an XBox360 with dual 1080p support. Even so, it's hardly worth wasting your time trying to make a killer ap on PS3 (with developer hell) when people who bought a Revolution or XBox360 were really wet seeing your company's name supporting said system. Granted Blu-Ray is a bigger format and you may want a slew of HDTV modes but really does that change gaming?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that, yeah PS3 is powerful but how many developers will get a 30-60FPS stabilized game with visuals like the Gundam demo? Not if your threads of code slow gameplay down.

Hideo Kojima aside, I feel as though that some developers still believe PS3 is the most powerful based on what the paper specs tell them and because of that they use it as an excuse to be assholes about supporting the most powerful system like Itagaki. If such was the case why did they pussyfoot on XBox let alone the GameCube for quality titles that the PS2 WOULDN'T have? I think some of those [Japanese] developers will make up excuses about the Revolution like "Oh, it's not very powerful" or "It's not as powerful as the PS3" or something along the lines of "That controller is ridiculous" or "We feel it has a child oriented userbase" BULLSHIT! You bet on the PlayStation because it looks like the safest pony in the race (given the history of 10-12 years that the system does indeed bring the games). Well I got news for you: Sony's Pony seems to have some messed up legs in this race and Nintendo seems to be having the headstart (out of Japanese game consoles at least)!

Yes SquareEnix made amends and Sega jumped on board which I won't underestimate for Nintendo's support for the future. What still determines the quality of their games is how well the system sells IN JAPAN which still worries me because I feel the Japanese consumers associate the words "PlayStation" with "system with lots of good games" after a decade of dominance.

Anonymous said...

The Sony developer is not entirely correct about nearly all the E3 demos being just CG fake videos. That's total BS. Vision Gran Turismo used the GT4 car models due to the lack of time given and merely souped up the race track a bit. That's real-time for sure, and no where near the PS3's capabilities. I-8 and Warhawk are definitely real-time, since Insomniac and Naughty Dog never show CG videos (and the Warhawk trailer at TGS and CES look even BETTER than the one at E3). I-8 looks as good as Call of Duty 2 on XBox360, so it's definitely real-time, plus you can tell by the fact that the gun lacked any animation yet and the AI were simplistic. Unreal demo was obviously real-time as they showed it and Fight Night PS3 is real, since XBox360 version looks very similar. FFVII Tech Demo is definitely real-time since the SquareEnix devs who did it said in a 1UP.com interview that the tech demo was not "in perfect form" nor were they able to even come close to using the PS3's full power, due to the 1 month deadline. As for Heavenly Sword, which is my most anticipated next-gen game, it is DEFINITELY real-time gameplay, since the ppl at Ninja Theory worked on this game for over 2 years before they even signed on to SCEE publisher. Visit there site to see for yourself, and they had gameplay footage up before any next-gen systems was ever announced on an Xbox site.

There are obviously some fakes amidst the demos such as Killzone PS3, Motorstorm, Tekken, Gundam (which redeemed itself when the devs showed a nearly identical real-time version of it at PS Meeting 2005 around July).

Killing Day easily looks like it came from a high-end PC, so the PS3 can easily handle it.

Past E3, Lair and MGS4 are no doubt real-time, as the Factor 5 devs swear that it is real-time (and judging by their rogue squadron games, which were always graphically impressive, it probably was), and Hideo Kojima showed a REAL-TIME demonstration of the MGS4 trailer to prove that the graphics were real. Sonic the Hegdehog PS3 is also real-time since it was running on PS3 alpha dev kits at TGS when SEGA announced it for PS3 and XBox360.

Endless Saga, Genji 2, F1 PS3, and the rest are debatable as to whether the trailers were CG or real-time.

Just because this dev at SOE can't program for PS3 so well, doesn't mean that everyone else will have the same problem. Look at the PS2 and you see PLENTY of fantastic games with awesome graphics such as FFX, FFX-2, God of War, Jak and Daxter series, Ratchet and CLank series, Tekken series, Virtua Fighter 4 + Evolution, Gran Turismo 4, MGS2, Killzone (graphically), and MGS3.

The main things I agree on with the author of this article is the lack of development support from Sony compared to Microsoft and Nintendo. Sony is taking too damn long to give out the final dev kits, and I doubt they will launch the PS3 in Spring worldwide. Sony has always released it in Japan, then US, and finally Europe, so I'm guessing US will get PS3 by Fall 2006, when developers have had PS3 dev kits for over a year. The PS3 will launch in Spring for Japan, but with little and not-so-next-gen games graphics-wise.

Anyway, I'm hoping Sony improves with their PS3 strategy and I'm going to get all three systems baby! Here's hoping to the success of Revolution, Xbox360, and PS3!!!

Shoxware Games said...

Well, i heard the same things about the PS2 too in the first place, i mean what is that?

i really don't think that it will lead up to sony's death, even if some diehard nintendo fans (i am also one) wish so!

Arsenis said...

falafelkid said that if sony sees sofware as more profitable they would just do that, i remember when they where only software, on the SNES.
nintendo and sony had a partnertship to create the next nintendo or an add on for the snes, nintendo drop-ed for the FX chip, starfox came alive but sony decided with what they have to create the PS1, so sony fans thanx to nintendo you have the PLAYSTATION CONSOLES.

hektor said...

@ DeAngelo Guillory: Warning you are still in Fanboy Mode!

To your last concern. Wasn't Japan not the country where Nintendo did best compared to the world?

And Japanese know that good games are also comming from Nintendo. See the DS sales.

nz guy said...

good news all round

Moe-c said...

Hahha this guy is funny. Do you know were he works at? Josh works for Microsoft right now at Microsoft Enterprise Library Data Access, no wounder why he talks skit about the Ps3.

Case closed.

Arsenis said...

I’ve been looking through Joystiq’s archives quite thoroughly lately, and no matter how many articles I see speculating on future hardware—including ones not even remotely announced—I can’t seem to find anything relating to the next iteration of the Game Boy, aside from one tiny piece from July ‘04 confirming that, yes, Nintendo is working on it, maybe possibly perhaps. This got me to thinking: how will Nintendo market a traditional handheld after the undeniable success of their nonconformist third pillar? Obviously differentiation is key, as high hardware sales translate into higher software sales, which are the crux of a publishing giant such as Nintendo. How will the Game Boy Evolution differentiate itself from the DS and all of its subsequent progeny? Nintendo isn’t talking—yet—so we’ll opt for the next best thing: rampant speculation!

Fal how 'bout Gameboy Speculation blog or an article about it would be nice.

Anonymous said...

Sony will drop bombs at E3 proving why they are the no.1 and still on top of the game. I have a lot of respect for them, I like the way they do business, they're cold hearted, they're the bad guy, the ones you love to hate, the Darth Maul/ Vader combined of the industry, unstoppable. Sony.

Carmine M. Red said...

If Sony is Darth Vader, Microsoft is...?

~Carmine M. Red

Anonymous said...

I'm certianly not surprised... Sony has been letting me down a lot recently, which is why I lean more tword Nintendo these days.

Honestly though, I'm not really impressed with what Sony OR MS has to offer this gen...

And only Nintendo seems to be on the right track.

pi said...

Sony may drop bombs at E3 proving why they never say about ps3's price or how ps3's joystick look. And that all.

HereticPB said...

The new Gen
MS #1
Nintendo #2
Sony #3

Anonymous said...

GTA, Final Fantasy, Gran Turismo are some of the franchises that are associated with 'PlayStation'. Final Fantasy, more specifically FF7 is what pushed the 'PlayStation' ahead of Nintendo.

Nintendo probably does have the most loyal hardcore fans, but where were they during the GC? If they were so loyal and hardcore for Nintendo... how come the GC only sold 20 million consoles from 40 million N64's?

When did a site based solely on the speculation of the Nintendo Revolution turn into a MS and Sony bashfest?

Don't assume I'm a Nintendo-hater or Sony-fanboy because of my comments. I've been a big Nintendo fan since the NES days its just that it annoys me to see all this dumb hating.

Anonymous said...

GC come tooo late that time maket is ps2 already
... but even that GC still get Final:CC Also Bio4

Taylor said...

But people don't normally associate those franchises with any particular console, especially Grand Theft Auto, which has been "loyal" to no less than five different entertainment devices (PS2, DC, PC, XBox, GBA); Final Fantasy is available on many platforms as well. Gran Turismo, while it is totally awesome, is essentially just one in a vast sea of driving titles. These are not "Sony-specific" franchises, and they owe no allegiance to the company. Halo drives the XBox; people immediately associate Halo with the XBox. Nothing really defines the PlayStation. Perhaps that's a byproduct of being such an enormous success, but you'd think that Sony would have at least one or two system "mascots" by now. It was Crash Bandicoot, for a little while.

And you just reiterated my point: the reason that the GC sold so poorly was because the only thing supporting it was its hardcore fanbase. The N64 sold well because it was riding high on the success of the SNES, and because it had THE multiplayer title of the 32-bit generation: Goldeneye.

But I tend to agree with you, that Sony and Microsoft news don't really belong on a Nintendo-centric blog. I need burly, mustachioed Russians to argue this stuff with, not blog comment sections. Perhaps it's on the site because it's such a slow news season?

Grandmaster B said...

Both posts of Taylor I agree with entirely.

You'd be surprised at how many sales Nintendo do actually get from their fans. It is also another reason why mainly Nintendo 1st party & 2nd party games sell well and 3rd parties dont so much. Well there are other reasons but I wont go into it.

In relation to PS3 and Xbox360 info on here, I see it as relevant information as it effects the Revolution in some way or another. Indirectly in a sense. The downfall of another brings larger hope for success for Rev.

No one is forcing you to read it, geese.

robotplague said...

I personally was looking forward to the PS3. I know better then to be caught up in hype...but after E3 last year I was extremely stoked and looking forward to it. It will be delayed and there will be some great titles to come out to it. It has too big of a market share to just roll over and die. It'll be decent at best and with it's gigantic 3rd party support there will be at least some note worthy titles.

Falafelkid said...

Hi everyone. First of all, let me say that it is not my intention to engage in Sony- or MS-bashing here. I am a games journalist and perhaps even more than any journalistic ethos, the need to cooperate with all three companies on a regular basis prevents me from expressing a strong bias either way. Just for the record: While I personally believe that the PS2 did not deserve to win against the Dreamcast, titles like ´Eye Toy´, ´Singstar´ or ´Buzz´ do go a long way in justifying Sony´s leadership towards the end of the console´s life cycle. There is no doubt that it was the software offering that made the PS2 the hot-seller last christmas and Sony deserves a lot of respect for those franchises. I know a number of people at SCEE and they all know exactly what their doing.

Having said that, a sober judgement must also come to the conclusion that while the name PlayStation is almost synonymous with home consoles, Nintendo is synonymous with handhelds. Furthermore, people on the street will not easily be able to identify Sony-specific franchises, while everyone will be able to come up with at least Mario and Donkey Kong when asked about Nintendo properties. So, Sony is famous for their hardware, while Nintendo is famous for their software. This can be seen as a huge advantage for Nintendo, since people normally do buy consoles for the games.

Why hasn´t this helped them in the past two generations then, you may ask. Well, certainly with the PS2, people bought the console not only because of the games. The PS2 was an affordable DVD player as well as a console and this made sense to a lot of early buyers I have come across. The brand name also did its part, of course. So did the ability to mod-chip. All aspects of what is undoubtably Sony´s second success story.

But I am more hesitant when it comes to chapter three and for very good reasons. The prospect of owning both a Blu Ray player and a game console is nowhere near as good an incentive as the PS2 offered, for two important reasons: While the move from VHS to DVD seemed desirable in every respect and thus inevitable, the move from DVD to a higher resolution DVD does not. Especially because it requires a second investment, namely having to buy a new television set, as well. So this change does not seem inevitable. Secondly, even if this change is desired by consumers, they still have to choose between two standards and fully well know they might put their money in the wrong basket. So this added feature of the PS3 may turn out to be a huge liability, rather than an asset, because while it will not convince consumers to buy the product (at least not to the extent desired by Sony), it certainly will push up the price.

So what may convince buyers to buy the PS3? Let us return to games. Anonymous listed ´GTA, Final Fantasy, Gran Turismo´. I disagree. These are strong franchises with the core gamers, for sure. But the majority of PS2 owners will play ´Eye Toy´, ´Singstar´ or ´Buzz´. Remember that (at least for Germany) no console was selling as well as the PS2 this christmas and these were the must-have titles for the mass of casual gamers. And Nintendo should find it easy to convince this fun-loving crowd of their innovative controller.

Now to some more fundamental criticism. ´When did a site based solely on the speculation of the Nintendo Revolution turn into a MS and Sony bashfest?´ I have given my reasons above why I don´t want to be seen as bashing anyone. In fact, I can´t be seen as doing that, since that might have severe consequences for my work. Why do I post news about the PS3 and Xbox360, though? Because I always have. Because it´s vitally important as far as Nintendo is concerned.

And a last point about the bashing accusations: When developers came forward and confirmed that the Revolution would be significantly underpowered, I posted that information just as well. In fact, my post Revolution to be least powerful was an exclusive and the first confirmation that the console would not be able to compete on hardware specs and was rumoured to be priced between $99 and $150.

Concerning the validity of Josh´s remarks, the mention on Sony Online Entertainment´s Station.com was enough proof for me that he at least was a developer with Sony. Whether he still is I cannot say for sure and will check that. However, his comments are just as valid in my mind. One of my friends used to work for Rare and left soon before the Microsoft takeover and he will say nothing negative about the company (though he undoubtedly left in anger). You just don´t turn on the hand that feeds yu (or fed you) unless you have some very good reason to.

Falafelkid said...

P.S.: Down in Front is down, at the moment. I guess either there was too much traffic or the site owners took it down.

DiscipleInAgony said...

I know that I am far off topic, but I have hust discovered this...
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3219944462895578813&q=nintendo
It is a google video, originating from Nintendo, which shows the RS menu..Could be it real?Can someone examine it in order to debunk it or not??
My apogies if this has been already mentioned..

Falafelkid said...

Hi DiscipleInAgony. No need to apologize, but it has been posted before. Simply judging from the lack of quality (especially evident in the shoddy logo) it must be fake. I didn´t even see the need to discuss it at great length.

Falafelkid said...

´Down In Front´ is back online.

Falafelkid said...

Two important updates here. Anonym is right. The article seems to have been written in November. However, Josh has posted some further comments only a week ago.

I was having a conversation with a programmer here at sony over the holiday for a bit. We were discussig the PS3 a little and how non existant it is.

We are still getting the ps3 in a huge silver cpu case.

No controller yet.

absolutely NO netowork code has been written. In fact I'm pretty sure that the company i work for is gonna be the one responsible to port our network code for it.

Not sure how this thing is gonna make it out any time soon. It may be closer to 2007 or christmas of 06 before this thing sees the light of day. We'll see.


This would suggest that Josh still is with Sony (why else would he be mentioned on the Station.com site?). However, for maximum clarity on this point (since this topic is both an important and sensitive one), I will try to contact Josh himself to learn a bit more about what he is actually working on (since there seems to have been some confusion about this). So stay tight. I will post this info right after work, in a few hours.

martinlam said...

Hi
Me again. I found some article about the revolution on the gamespot forum.
It tells about the specs of the alpha and beta.

http://www.gamespot.com/forums/show_msgs.php?topic_id=24196813

Tell me what you think about it

martinlam said...

It shows some very strange things

Like a hd-dvd, nintendo will never do that.
And the 3.8 dualcore seems very high.
And the numbers (polycount) doesnt at up.
But the rest seems very plausibel

Iceleaf said...

Killzone 2 video was fake! Its even proven!!(i dont remember was it themselfs but its fact!) It was made by scottish CG movie makers..its very well known fact(atleast now!) Screw you sony! Now i dont have to worry about
"oh PS3 graphs look so sweet i want it"

We want revolution!

It happened like wth PS2 hype "toy story 2 level graphics" they said..

go to gamespot and see getaways first pics! That will get them >_<

Anonymous said...

Some of those guys claiming they have an uncle who's daugther has a friend who knows someone who works at [insert your favorite developer here] should relax a little, drink a nice cup of tea and read a good book. What's the point about studying those numbers? Most people even don't know what this little number in front of "gHz" has to do with the speed at which calculations can be done, they only think in simple formulas like "more is better". I doubt the majority of people discussing these topics and throwing with numbers can tell what a RISC-chip is or what's the technical difference between the Cell and the three-core-powerPC inside the 360, apart from the numbers of calculating units.
So why bother? The first pictures will come soon enough.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Anonym. You are right with regard to the specs mentioned by Martinlam. I am sure these are completely fake. I don´t know too much about hardware specs myself, but even I find those highly suspicious. Like Martinlam said, HD-DVD isn´t going to happen, for a start. And the polycount seemed to be based on guesswork by a total layman.

However, I hope you are not talking about the story at hand, as well. Because it´s obvious that this is a Sony developer and, though no programmer himself, has direct insight into how far the PS3 has come so far and what it can and cannot do.

iMoron said...

One thing I would like to poin out about last generation and the Dreamcast...

One of the reasons that made the Dreamcast flop was that they, Sega, worked with the devil, microsoft. When one of your partners comes up and after less than a year and anounces that they, microsoft, would realease a console with "1Ghz procesor, 128MB ram" (those where the initial spects of the xbox) among other moves (copying the controler to perfection...) what do you call that... BETRAYAL... MS stabed Sega on their back and their faces... What MS did took away all the momentum that Sega had... But somehow people forget...The dreamcast fail because of the hipe the xbox generated more than one year befor it was even realesed...

Now... sony, I feel, will have the ps3 perform (market wise) like the N64... Remember Nintendo had the control at the end of the 16 bit era... and lost it... It is posible that sony loses some ground this generation... no one is at the top forever...

-fanboy mode on! :P
m$ will lose money again with this generetions 360... and remember that the toilet content's makes a 360 wile been flushed...

Lets pull the chain!

-iMoronviase

martinlam said...

Hi
It mentions about a new cooling system. Did you heard anything about it. Or maybe a patent. Because that may be plausibel and interesting for spec and size of the revolution. And the PPU is almost a fact because the company who created it, said it was in one of the nextgen consoles.

Falafelkid said...

Hi iMoron. I am sure that the Microsoft hype around their Xbox was another factor that ultimately made the Dreamcast fail. However, it was only a minor reason.

Sega pulled the plug on the Dreamcast in January 2001. Microsoft confirmed development of their own console, Xbox, in May 2000. So there is very little overlap and even less marketing.

By 2000, the PlayStation2 launched in all territories and, admittedly, sold like hotcakes. So it was mainly Sony who killed the Dreamcast (as well as SEGA themselves with their rubbish marketing).

Please observe a minute of silence.

...

Falafelkid said...

Oh, and let´s not forget that Electronic Arts´ refusal to develop for the console was another important factor.

Blizz419 said...

@ martinlam, PPU is not even close to being a fact and it would be to expensive for nintendo to include, that article or email or whatever you want to call it is completely fake, although i wish it was true, it is not

Falafelkid said...

Here´s a little update: I just spoke to Carlos, the owner of the review site. He told me that Josh Robinson is still with SOE and still working on a PS3 project (which, obviously, cannot be named). He is a 3D designer and, as part of a development team, works alongside programmers. They are still working on PS3 development kits and the article´s content are all still valid.

Asked why Josh was prepared to speak so bluntly about the PS3, while being a Sony employee, Carlos said that that´s just the way he is. Sony, apparently, had not taken note of the review yet, though. That´s why Josh hasn´t gotten into trouble at work. Not yet, at least.

Carlos confirmed that Josh was an industry veteran who had worked on numerous consoles, including the original PlayStation, and was about to publish a book on 3D design.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Thanks, Falafelkid!

guy who said sony was like darth vader said...

I think all this is just an attempt to lighten the hearts of nintendo fanboys, afterall this is a nintendo revolution blog. But I really can't understand how people think Sony will come in no. 3 or the PS3 will flop next gen. Do the people who say shit (can I say shit?) like this play the playstations exclusives? I don't usually use that 'you're not much of a gamer if you haven't played ...' line, but in the case of Sony and the Playstation... I can make an exception... seriousely, who hasn't played the final fantasy or GTA games? The dragon quests, Tekkens and Gran Turismos? Metal gear solid? C'mon playstation is home to some of the biggest games industry franchises to date. Just as... Nintendo is home to them as well -- and you're not much of a gamer if you don't play theirs exclusives either, hey... guess I do throw that line around afterall. In that respect, I respect the Playstation and what it has done for gaming and how it expanded the core audience, I think without Sony, gaming wouldn't have become as mainstream as it is, any gamer no matter what his console preference is, should at least appreciate that.. But no, the fanboys (nintendo) are always bitter, about the same old bullshit, are'nt you?... They stole Nintendos ideas Wah! Wah! Wyaaahhhh! These people are long overdue for a reality check. Understand business, no great idea can stay exclusive forever, and if Nintendo truely created anything why don't they sue Sony and MS? And why don't Sony pay them to use the ideas? Because Nintendo didn't invent the ideas, they only perfected what was already there, you can't invent a shoulder button without creating a button first just as you can't invent an analog control device without copying joysticks. Nintendo were the first to put an anlog thumb stick on a gamepad but Sony perfected it by putting two analogs, with one for aiming, and clickable sticks for zooming in 3D space. Anyway I'm purposefully rambling because I'm bored, I'm not gonna justify you with a witty ending or conclusion, I'll just cut it here... choke on my text.

Anonymous said...

"Understand business, no great idea can stay exclusive forever, and if Nintendo truely created anything why don't they sue Sony and MS? And why don't Sony pay them to use the ideas?"

Maybe they got around the patents and such like competition always does. :P

Anonymous said...

One important difference between the PS2 to PS3 with respect to programming is that there is already an open SDK available to learn to program the Cell.

http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/topics/cell

Anyone can download this for free, install it under a free operating system (Redhat/Fedora Core 4) and get started with Cell development. This could be a big advantage for PS3 development.

FlyingSquirrl

Falafelkid said...

Hi guy who said sony was like darth vader: Good post! Don´t get me wrong, I agree with you on giving Sony credit for a lot of good games. But I just don´t think their games will cut it for the casual gamers as much as Nintendo´s, once other incentives to buy a PlayStation (DVD playback) no longer apply like the did in the past. Also, all but two exclusives you named were third party exclusives. Those franchises (MGS, GTA, FF, Dragon Quest) will be the first to jump ship, should the new Sony console not perform.

Carlos From Down In Front said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carlos From Down In Front said...

The following statement was never made.

"Sony, apparently, had not taken note of the review yet, though. That´s why Josh hasn´t gotten into trouble at work. Not yet, at least. "

This article streches the truth to try to create a interest.
The members of Down In Front enjoy movies and gaming and simply try to share our opinions with the public.

Anonymous said...

You know that Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, GTA, Metal Gear, GT, etc,etc, etc existed before the PS, right? You know that none of these are exclusive?

The reason that PS has a potential weakness is that they DONT really have many exclusives - most of those that they have are 3rd party. Thats exactly the reason why they got them in the first place - because nintendo LOST all of these third parties in the N64 era (although Square they kind of deserved - Nintendo was stupid to back out on their agreement with Sony).

Anonymous said...

BAD NEWS

Jim Merrick leaves Nintendo


http://www.gameinformer.com/NR/exeres/53FFAD0D-C2AF-4449-AB96-DE1CDB6C4499.htm

Today Nintendo officially announced that Jim Merrick who held the position of Nintendo's Software Engineering Manager, Nintendo Network Marketing Manager, and most recently was Managing Director of Sales and Marketing for Nintendo Europe has left the company.

"After nearly 12 years with Nintendo, the last three of which were at Nintendo of Europe, Jim Merrick has left the company to persue other interests."

After Merrick's stint in Europe, it was rumored that he would return to a position at Nintendo of America. Merrick was often quoted about many revealing elements dealing with Nintendo's hardware, and as of late, with the Nintendo DS and the upcoming Nintendo Revolution.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah...I don't know if this this real or not but Joystiq and Gameinformer picked up on it.

http://www.joystiq.com/2006/01/10/nintendo-conducts-virtual-console-service-survey/

Carmine said...

Hey Falafel, the madness never ends regarding the Zelda:TP Revmote rumours. Now NGC has gone on record to insist that their article was not speculation, and that Nintendo is merely spinning PR.

http://www.pressstartonline.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=232&Itemid=70

~Carmine M. Red

Grandmaster B said...

Darth Vader, the PS pad is not a very good controller IMO. Nintendos analogs work much better.

This is of course my opinion/preference.

Sony have done certain things but thats not to say someone else couldnt of either. The only thing I hope its done is make Nintendo try harder, which I think it has cause thats what competition does.

Grandmaster B said...

In relation to Merrick, It's a pity the entire crew of Nintendo Australia dont follow suit & quit their jobs as well.

ssj2119 said...

two new pieces of news

http://www.gameinformer.com/NR/exeres/53FFAD0D-C2AF-4449-AB96-DE1CDB6C4499.htm

Today Nintendo officially announced that Jim Merrick who held the position of Nintendo's Software Engineering Manager, Nintendo Network Marketing Manager, and most recently was Managing Director of Sales and Marketing for Nintendo Europe has left the company.

"After nearly 12 years with Nintendo, the last three of which were at Nintendo of Europe, Jim Merrick has left the company to persue other interests."

After Merrick's stint in Europe, it was rumored that he would return to a position at Nintendo of America. Merrick was often quoted about many revealing elements dealing with Nintendo's hardware, and as of late, with the Nintendo DS and the upcoming Nintendo Revolution.

Unexpected news...

Also

This is in response to Nintendo's recent "shoot-down" of NGC's claim that Zelda will be compatible with the Revolution controller.

[EDIT] Nintendo's Official Statement: "The article in the January edition of NGC Magazine is pure speculation.

"Nintendo have made no new announcements regarding The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. We can however confirm that the game is still in development and that it will launch on Nintendo GameCube in 2006."


Apparently, NGC spoke with a senior Nintendo rep about it. NGC thinks Nintendo's simply covering their asses, and trying to put the idea back under wraps until E3. (It would ruin the surprise quite a bit, I guess.)

NGC says to "read between the lines" regarding Nintendo's rebuttal. It is indeed sort of odd that it wasn't a complete denial, but rather a "that's just speculation" defense. Interesting...

Read on -- Here's to hoping it's legit!


PRESS START EXCLUSIVE - NGC respond to Nintendo's Zelda denial



NGC magazine today strongly denied the recent claims that their exclusive revelations about The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess were mere speculation.

The unofficial Nintendo mag (heartily recommended by Press Start Online) had claimed that a senior source at Nintendo let slip that "Twilight Princess will be playable on the forthcoming Revolution using the upcoming console's unique controller. When you insert the disc into your Revolution, you'll be given the option to use the Revolution's controller, with all the advantages this will bring."

This was countered by Nintendo, who told the website Eurogamer: "The article in the January edition of NGC Magazine is pure speculation. Nintendo have made no new announcements regarding The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. We can however confirm that the game is still in development and that it will launch on Nintendo GameCube in 2006."

Speaking to Mike and Chris, Martin Kitts claimed: "The news came from somebody senior at Nintendo who, admittedly, probably shouldn't have let it slip before E3. But they did, and we would have been crazy not to print it. Next thing you know, instead of a brilliant news exclusive, we've got somebody else at Nintendo issuing a carefully worded non-denial, and various sites that specialise in rumours are telling the world that NGC is not to be trusted. So to clear things up, that news piece wasn't a load of bull - it's direct from the people who are making the game."

So there you have it. Indeed, if you read the Nintendo comment, there's no flat out denial there. Reading between the lines, it seems they're being cautious not to completely write off the NGC story, which certainly suggests to us that there's some truth in the mag's exclusive.

More news on this when we get it.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Carlos. I apologize if you felt you were quoted incorrectly. When I wrote...

"Sony, apparently, had not taken note of the review yet, though. That´s why Josh hasn´t gotten into trouble at work. Not yet, at least."

..I only meant the first sentence to be an indirect quote. You did tell me on the phone though that there had been no mention of the article at work. It was my interpretation that there could be and that that may spell trouble for Josh.

However, I will delete the sentences as you seem to be uncomfortable with them. As far as my main work goes (for German tv station RTL II), we don´t usually go into that level of detail there. If it would become relevant nevertheless, I would contact you again and make sure you you are comfortable with the text. It has never been my intention to "stretch the truth".

Thank you once again for your time and kindly providing me with information.

Falafelkid said...

Interestingly, the article is no longer online. The site owners have removed it permanently, a brief statement explaining their action will follow. For archive purposes, here is the article in full:

I’ve spent some time the past year developing for the PS3. Actually it was a cinematic demo to be shown at e3 in 2005 at a closed door viewing. I was one of the few artists selected to work on it for the demo. My job was primarily asset creation. I was creating assets to populate the path where our camera would be flying during the demo. The company I work for is also working on a launch title that I am quite familiar with. In short, I’ve spent some time around the PS3 and or the teams developing for it.

I’ve really had to sit here and think for a long time about what my first comment about the PS3 would be. Will I say, its GREAT or will I give it two thumbs down. Well my immediate impression of the PS3 is…where is it? Seriously, where is it? They have a case, a controller and a dev kit. But the system still doesn’t even exist. So what is there to say? We received one of 5 PS3 dev kits in the United States some time ago. Several companies in the US as well as companies over seas were given the daunting task of creating a demo in less than 9 weeks on a first generation dev kit. Now I’ll be honest with you. What most companies do is fake the entire demo. I mean they come up with some great visuals and neat tricks and scripted events. In the end however, its not a real time demo and its not running ON the actual box. We were the only company to my knowledge that showed something that ran it live on the box. Even then it was a scripted event. You could not pause the camera and fly around the scene. So if you saw the demo once, you saw it again the exact same way the second time. Also this was on a brutally early dev box. You could always tell where the PS3 dev box was because it’s the room that had the f-bomb coming out of it half the day.

Lots of time has passed since that demo and the dev box has gone from a totally jimmy rigged computer and box of parts about the size of a small child, to a much more realistic size. Although its still the size of a normal pc. I have been pretty excited about the whole cell processing thing. I am not a very technical person but my understanding of it was pretty clear. (Multiple processors to handle individual events in parallel). Sounds pretty good to me! To hear people talk, you’d thing that a processor revolution was about to happen. So I’ve been pretty excited to say the least. Now in my opinion it doesn’t matter how good the PS3 is. If the XBOX 360 is better, then it doesn’t really matter how the cell processors work or how good they say it is. Realistically one of them will be better over all. Now I’ve spoken with people who are on the technical side of the PS3. I’ve also talked with people on the technical side of the XBOX 360. The consistent comment I am hearing from people on my end is, “The XBOX 360 is better”. They are saying that it is capable of just doing more. (shrugs) Now take that for what its worth. If you watch all the videos on the PS3 they will say how much more powerful it is than the XBOX and vice versa. Im just telling you what I am hearing. They proceeded to go into a lot of technical info that I don’t understand. So I just nod.

The game that we are creating for a launch title is a “just get it out” title in my opinion. It doesn’t look next generation. I don’t see how anyone could debate otherwise. It looks good. But it looks good for a game that has come out in the last couple years or so. I mean we are talking about a box that will be with us for the next 5+ years! In 5 years will the games we are making today look good? The only way for that to be possible is if the new games coming out for the PS3 are drastically improved. So good that they can stand the test of time until the next system comes out. We’ve all seen Gears of War for the xbox 360. If that even looks half as good when it comes out then I’ll be floored! The game we are making isn’t even in the same league as Gears of War. In fact there are many current games out that look just as good and are using the exact same specs. So, on our end we are either not pushing the bar or were just trying to “get a title out”. To be fair, this is a business. Sometimes you have to treat it as a business and not make the best title you can. The best title you can make usually costs 20-40million dollars/3 start overs and 4 years of your life. You just cant do that every time out. Its impossible. Our game just keeps getting moved back….and back…..and back…..and back. Again, where is the box? Where is the final system? When is it coming out? No one knows and in the mean time people in the industry are starting to get just a little salty. I mean I was at e3 2005 and PS3 was almost no where to be seen.

In closing, I started of VERY excited about the PS3. I was very confident that it was going to just destroy the XBOX 360 just on the name SONY alone. The more time that goes by the more I am becoming doubtful. Everything I’ve developed or seen developed has yet to be “next gen”. The poly counts are not really any higher, im not seeing sub surface scattering, im not seeing much HDR lighting. (or they are faking it and not really doing it), I’m not seeing next gen fluid dynamics or object dynamics. I suspect that you’ll be able to have more dynamic objects in a scene than before. But im not seeing games doing this yet. We dont have a controller, there is no network code and there is no box. Its still the size of a normal PC. Oh well, at least they have normal maps. Although I’m over the normal maps fad ok everyone!

I’m confident that the PS3 will have a few “crazy” games that show it off to its potential. But I would expect the full capabilities of the box to not show up until the system has been released PUBLICALLY for over a year. This is the extra time the developers will need with a FINAL system to truly make next gen games.


I will post their statement here once it is online.

Anonymous said...

1) Josh worked on Planetside, Everquest 2, and various other small SOE titles. I believe he once worked for EA on a basketball game or two. He's not that old but has been in the industry 8 years or so. He does 3d modeling.

2) Josh no longer works for SOE due to his actions. Rightfully so. His comments have caused a lot of intraweb broohaha questioning the integrity of Sony and its developers.

Anonymous said...

Falafelkid : The Revealing the Revolution blog is back up. Apparently there were real problems, and the guy wasn't trying to hide.

Anonymous said...

[Sony divisions are in the reds, SCEI is under great pressure to perform. If they don´t perform as a hardware manufacturer anymore, they will immediately follow SEGA and develop software only]

I dont remember any 1st party games for ps2.Ps2 had a good 3rd party dev connection.Tekken,MGS,FinalFAntasy,GTA.ALl 3rd party SO sony should not make anything,cause they suck ass period.Nintendo and 360 are for me.

Anonymous said...

anyone who even remotly believes sonys specs and real world performance must be a proper fool ps1 was faked at its 1st e3 with pre rendered graphics and fmvs all the silly jornios reported how amasing it was and it was all faked wen ps1 arived it stank just like saturn n64 kicked its ass/ps2 the emotion engine i ask you god what a bodged and overly hard pile of crap to programme and no AA or texture compression just a joke and a blatant copy of the n64s reality engine sony just copyed the n64 with newer chips risc cpu and a vector in n64 and a risc cpu and a 2 vectors in ps2 and lets not forget that crap clunky rambus ram///cell is emotion engine all over again many cpu experts are saying its a great number cruncher and media cpu but its not game centric or game optermized at all sony just havnt got a clue have they

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