Here is a comprehensive news round-up, most big news relating to the PlayStation3. There are some Wii tidbits, too.
1.) PS3 is a waste of TIME
TIME magazine has called the PlayStation3 a waste of time and money, only days after calling ´Wii: Sports´ potentially ´the greatest videogame ever´.
I wouldn't recommend buying one, not even for the regular price, which is plenty expensive without the import markup. (...) Look at what you get. The Playstation 3 is expensive: $500 or $600 bucks, depending on which version you buy, plus $60 for each game. (An Xbox 360 only costs $400 max, and Nintendo's Wii — yep, that name, still funny — is only $250.)
For that kind of scratch you want the deluxe treatment, and the PS3 simply doesn't deliver it. It's got some good-looking games, but unless you have a top-notch TV, the difference isn't mind-blowing. (And even if you do have a fancy TV, Sony makes you supply your own HDMI cable. Stingy.)
And Sony's launch line-up just isn't that interesting. Almost all the PS3's outstanding games — F.E.A.R., Madden NFL '07, Need for Speed: Carbon, Call of Duty 3 — are available on the Xbox 360, and most (all except F.E.A.R.) are out for the Wii, too. There just isn't the leverage there to make buying a PS3 de rigeur.
The article goes on to say that the console will be worth buying once the price comes down. This is pretty much what CNN´s Chris Morris has been saying, albeit less derogatory, calling the system ´incomplete´:
Is it worth buying one? Sadly, the answer is not yet. The system is too expensive for what most people will get out of it -- and the initial slate of games don't offer enough innovation or thrills to justify the purchase.
Wait until prices drop $100 or even $200 -- and until there are a few more good games available - before you consider making the plunge.
Finally, the New York Post also recommends buying the Wii instead of the PS3.
Sources: TIME magazine, CNN Money, GoNintendo
Thanks to: Ogryder, Joystiq
2.) Sony is losing $240 to $300 with each PS3
Sony is losing $300 and $240 with each 20 GB and 60 GB model sold, respectively. Market intelligence firm iSuppli has added up all the components and done the maths. At the same time, Microsoft are already making a profit with their Xbox360, as the following chart illustrates.
While market analysts are likely to call the financial risks involved suicidal, iSuppli celebrates this as good value for the consumer, calling the console an ´engineering masterpiece that sets a new high mark for computing price/performance´.
The company´s teardown services manager and senior analyst Andrew Rassweiler has only praise for the hardware:
With the PlayStation 3, you are getting the performance of a supercomputer at the price of an entry-level PC. (...) The reason why the PlayStation 3 is so costly to produce is because it has incredible processing power. If someone had shown me the PlayStation 3 motherboard from afar without telling me what it was, I would have assumed it was for a network switch or an enterprise server. (...)
To give an example of how cutting-edge the design is, in the entire history of the iSuppli Teardown Analysis team, we have seen only three semiconductors with 1,200 or more pins. The PlayStation 3 has three such semiconductors all by itself. There is nothing cheap about the PlayStation 3 design. This is not an adapted PC design. Even beyond the major chips in the PlayStation 3, the other components seem to also be expensive and somewhat exotic.
Thanks to: DigiTimes
3.) PS3 backward compatibility issues
The PlayStation3 appears to have problems playing a number of PS1 and PS2 titles, including ´Tekken 5´, ´Gran Turismo 4´ and ´Devil May Cry´.
While some news sites have made quite a big deal of this, most experts believe that a simple firmware upgrade will solve this problem. Microsoft is dealing with this issue in a similar fashion, as far as Xbox360 backward compatibility is concerned.
4.) Wii channels not ready at launch
Some Wii channels will not be ready from day one, Joystiq has learned, citing a Nintendo press release. Like online gaming, some channels will not be ready until early 2007:
The release reveals the forecast channel will debut on Dec. 20, while the news channel (with content from the Associated Press) will debut Jan. 27 of next year. The release also suggested that the Wii's Opera browser would not be available for download immediately, saying "more information about the availability of the browser will be released in the coming weeks."
5.) Red Steel uses PhysX Engine
There was some confusion about the ´PhysX´ logo appearing on Wii games, which fueled speculation that Wii might include a dedicated physics chip (PPU).
A simple call to ´PhysX´ manufacturer Ageia put those rumours to rest. PR rep Marti Miernik told me that a number of videogames are using the ´PhysX´ software solution, ´Red Steel´ and ´Gods of War´ being two examples. This does not mean that the consoles these games run on contain the company´s hardware solution, which is a separate PPU. In fact, neither PlayStation2 nor Wii does.
Source: Codename Revolution
6.) Wii SD card revealed
SD card manufacturer SanDisk has announced special Wii branded SD cards:
The press release reads:
The white cards, bearing the label “SanDisk For Wii”, will be available in three capacities – 512 megabytes (MB), 1 gigabyte (GB) and 2GB* -- at gaming and major consumer electronics stores. Suggested retail prices range from $34.99 to $89.99.
“We believe that the Nintendo Wii, with its physically interactive format and compelling games, will be a big hit this holiday season, and these co-branded flash cards will make it easy for gamers to purchase memory that allows for the portability of game saves between Wii consoles,” said Christina Day, SanDisk senior product marketing manager.
7.) Miyamoto confirms $99 rumour
Saving the best for last, Shigeru Miyamoto has confirmed my exclusive story I ran in October 2005 that Nintendo had plans of releasing the Wii for a price tag of $99. Alongside this rumour, I also broke the news that the console would be significantly underpowered when compared to its competitors.
While the latter quickly turned out to be true, the validity of the $99 rumour remained uncertain until now. Miyamoto now told Business Week:
Originally, I wanted a machine that would cost $100. My idea was to spend nothing on the console technology so all the money could be spent on improving the interface and software. If we hadn't used NAND flash memory [to store data such as games and photos] and other pricey parts, we might have succeeded.
So while Nintendo chose a different route, my sources proved reliable on both fronts.
Source: Business Week