Friday, April 13, 2007

Jaffe implies that Blu-ray is an expendable PS3 feature



David Jaffe, Sony´s prestigious game designer (´God of War´) has implied that Blu-ray is an expendable feature of the PlayStation3.

Questioned what he would have changed about the console, the designer said in an interview with GameTrailers:

I probably would have taken the Blu-ray out and sold it for less money.

The full context of that comment is to be released this Sunday (the quote originates from a teaser advertising the upcoming third part of the interview). Nevertheless, this one sentence has sent a shockwave through the industry.

Dave Karraker, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at Sony Computer Entertainment America, has defended Jaffe´s right to question Blu-ray, but disagreed with his point, speaking to GameDaily.

David Jaffe is an industry pioneer who has earned the right to speak his mind on anything he wants when it comes to videogames. While we respect his opinion, we feel strongly that the future of gaming lies in the ability to deliver more to the consumer -- more gameplay options, more lifelike graphics, more dynamic sound -- all in high definition.

To do that, you need a storage vehicle such as the 50 GB Blu-ray disc, because your standard 9 GB DVD simply can't handle the demands of true next-generation gaming.

There is no mention of the story over on Jaffe´s blog.



This must be seen as a massive PR blunder for Sony (another one, to be sure). One of their most renowned designers is implying that Blu-ray is an unnecessary and, as such, expendable feature of the PlayStation3.

Sony, in contrast, have spent a great deal of time on hammering the message home that Blu-ray was the key to the PlayStation3 and the gateway to entirely new gaming experiences. In the light of Jaffe´s comment, this must be regarded as an overstatement, to be polite.

EDIT Answering to accusations of sensationalism, GameTrailers (via GamePro) has released a slightly longer excerpt from the full interview, which will be released tomorrow.

GameTrailers: If you designed the PlayStation3, what one thing would you have changed about it?

Jaffe: (pauses) This will bite me in the ass in four years, because it was probably a smart decision. But I probably would have taken the Blu-ray out and sold it for less money.

EDIT The third part of the Jaffe interview is online now, adding the full context of the quote in question.

GameTrailers: If you designed the PlayStation3, what one thing would you have changed about it?

Jaffe: (pauses) This will bite me in the ass in four years, because it was probably a smart decision. But I probably would have taken the Blu-ray out and sold it for less money.

GameTrailers: Why?

Jaffe: I think it could have been a more competitive system that way. I think more gamers would have bought it. And ultimately, I am not personally - not as a Sony employee, as a person - convinced that the average or even above-average consumer is really that interested in sort of trading in their DVD collection for another format right now. Maybe even next generation of PlayStation it would have been the right time.

Probably, this... Sony always surprises me, because they are always a hell of a lot smarter than I think when I hear the first, initial decision. So it will probably work out great and I hear Blu-ray is doing really well. But for me, if I was sitting at the helm at the time, I probably would have said: Yeah ...

GameTrailers: ... would not have taken the risk?

Jaffe: It´s not an issue of risk. It just doesn´t seem to be worth... I would have liked to have sold the box for cheaper and get more gamers having it versus sort of pricing it at that level, which we only could have priced it at, which is a great price when you consider Blu-ray is in it, but I would have just taken Blu-ray out.

Sources: GameTrailers, GameDaily
Thanks to: GameDaily,

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

lets apply commonsence
record became tape became disc and now wii have a true digital age
umd dead betamax dead bluray outdated and way to late

future of digital media
broadband stream
flash drives cards
sd cards
harddrives
online storage

ANY PERSON WHO THINKS THE FUTURE IS MOVING PARTS SLOW DATA STREAMING DISCS

IS SONY BRAINWASHED FANBOY FILTH

THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL MEDIA IS NO MOVING PARTS FAST ACCESS I.E FLASH AND NET

ITS ALL IN THE COMMONSENCE CHIP I HAVE IN MY HEAD
SONYFANBOYS DONT SEEM TO HAVE ONE

some guy said...

If people did there research they would learn that Blu-ray is not just a Sony format; the Blu-ray Disc Association is made up of 18 members:

Apple
Dell
Hewlett-Packard
Hitachi
LG
Mitsubishi Electric
Panasonic
Pioneer
Philips
Samsung
Sharp
Sony
Sun Microsystems
TDK
Thomson
Twentieth Century Fox
Walt Disney
Warner Bros.

And don’t forget about the other blue laser optical medium; HD-DVD:

Toshiba
NEC
Sanyo
HP (supports both formats)
Microsoft
RCA
Intel

So as you can see there is still great support for the optical storage medium.

This has nothing to do with some one liking or hating Sony; it is just that the market knows that true and reliable digital distribution will be at least 10 years off. So for this generation we will still be stuck with optical storage. (Regardless if it is Sony or not).

PS
SD cards are flash cards.
Wii uses DVD9 medium.
I hope you have a warranty on that chip in your head it seems when you turn it on you type in all caps :)

Ripe_Melons said...

Including a Blu-ray player in PS3 is little more than another case of Sony telling us what we want. Obviously, games will evolve with or without Blu-ray technology. And what could have been a cheaper system, released earlier, and with a greater supply of consoles is not because of the decision to include Blu-ray.

Jaffe is right.

Anonymous said...

wii dont care who backs bluray DISC TECH IS OLD TECH FLASH AND FUTURE VERSIONS OF IT ARE THE FUTURE

SOLID STATE LAPTOPS ARE ALREADY AVALABLE

DISC IS OBSOLETE THATS A ELECTRICAL TECH INDUSTRE "FACT"

SORRY SONY FANBOUYS ITS JUST THE TRUTH

Anonymous said...

freeview boxes digital tv harddrives sky satalite boxes hardrives mdden laptops flashdrives

i dont see bluray or moving dics tech there even a hardrive is 50s tech and neds fooking of into the past

moving parts media is OBSOLETE

Falafelkid said...

Hi Anonymous 1 & 2.

Remember Sony´s Phil Harrison saying: "I’d be amazed if the PlayStation 4 has a physical disc drive." So much for the future of Blu-ray.

M. Ferreira said...

Anonymous: The only issue I see with solid state at the moment is its write lifetime. Solid state drives have a limited number of writes and reads (100^n, if I recall correctly, with about 10,000 being the normal guaranteed amount) that can be performed before the medium starts to fail. While I"m sure this will become near infinite in the future, it simply isn't practical as a solution just yet. :) A shame, since less moving parts = less power used = less power consumption.

Yes, there are solid state notebooks, but they are also more expensive than disk-based units, due to the cost of magnetic tape. Because of these factors, it's going to be a while before solid state media becomes preferable over the typical HDD.

some guy said...

I agree with M. Ferreira, I was about to make a similar post but he beat me to it. :)
To add to it though there is also the issue of data capacity; currently the largest available flash drive comes in at around 32 GB. Magnetic disc drives are past the TB mark and growing.

Also the point of my earlier post was to highlight that this is not just about Sony; there are several companies who have a lot to gain/lose if HD-DVD or Blu-Ray succeeds.

PS
@ Faladelkid: Phil Harrison also said that the PS3 will last at least 10 years. So I would take anything that man says with a grain of salt. If the PS3 is still around and selling in 2016 I will be shocked and somewhat disappointed that no one came out with something better in a decade.

Anonymous said...

hey Mr Falafel :).

Still no good looking Wii games?

Anonymous said...

Ferreira,

Well at least they can predict when the flash will fail. Not so for hard-drives.

I'm sure in the future we'll combine RAID of with arrays of flash cards.

-FlyingSquirrl

Falafelkid said...

As far as hard drives are concerned, the current method of ´longitudinal recording´ is reaching its physical limit. New, ´perpendicular recording methods´ do have limits too. But this will mean that "mechanical parts will be around for another 20 years or so", according to experts.

M. Ferreira said...

Anonymous:

When you get down to brass tacks, the disk vs solid state argument boils down to cost. While disk drives may die at an irregular timing, they're also cheap when compared to memory on solid state. At the moment, comparing a similar disk capacity with Flash's limit, it'd be far less painful to replace a $38US, 40GB drive than it would a $350US, 32GB flash unit.

In the future, I fully expect solid state to overtake disk. However, as Falafelkid has stated, it'll easily be another 20 years before that happens.

Revaen said...

which one is winning Blu-ray or HD dvd?

some guy said...

@revaen
It has been very back in forth for some time now. But it appears at the moment that Blu-Ray is leading with about a 2-1 in movie sales. Remember it is still very early so it will probably go back in forth a few more times. Also note that the PS3 is a big reason for the increasing sales of Blu-Ray discs. In terms of actual stand-alone players I believe that HD-DVD is leading.

Personally, as long as they make dual-format players it really doesn’t matter. Similar to the situation with the CD-R and CD+R formats; when drives came out that could support both formats there was no more need for a “format war” since both worked the same.

Starstriker1 said...

Fal, I just got linked to a story saying that FF XIII isn't a Sony exclusive anymore.

http://www.ps3center.net/story-394.html

Heard anything about this?

Falafelkid said...

Hi Starstriker1. Apparently, this story does not only relate to FFXIII, so it does not contradict the game coming to PS3 exclusively.

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