Sony press conference!

I still think GDC is where we’ll get details on things like pricing and game announcements or demonstrations. It was a last minute decision to let the press into this event. From what I understand this was mostly a “keep the publishers apprised” meeting.

Your optimism is touching.

2m at launch for the 3 regions looks more likely.

  • 1m in december + 1m in jan + 1m in feb + 1m in march = 6million before the end of fiscal 2006 (for sony)

some thoughts:

  1. A million a month seems to be after launch. So they’ll have to have just over 4 million ready for all 3 territories’ simultaneous early-Nov launch, then a million a month after, to reach 6 million sold in 2006. Man, they have their work cut out for them! Even if they roll into mass production by July, they need to crank out a million a month, which is a very tall order for a new system with those specs, so many parts, and so many suppliers. I honestly don’t expect them to be able to hit those numbers.

  2. I love IGN sometimes. “PS Biz Brief '06: Final PS3 Dev Kits in June
    Kits coming sooner than we thought.” Sooner than you thought? The system was supposed to have a “Spring 2006” launch! ;)

  3. The online plans are still not clear. Lobby matching and voice chat doesn’t mean voice chat is mandatory in all games, nor that you have one unique ID across all games, and can invite people from into your game while they’re playing another, and all that jazz that makes Live so neat. They say the “basic” service is free: what exactly do you get with that, and what do you get with the non-free version? I wanna know more.

  4. The whole 4D, “PS3 is Live” thing cracks me up. As much as the 360 “powered by human energy” marketing stuff. Glad they backed off that a bit.

  5. 100% backwards compat plus upscaling to hi-def: I’ll believe it when I see it. They need to do emulation, just like the 360 does. Even the PS2, which had a hardware back compat solution, wasn’t 100% compatible with PS1 games. The upscaling to hi-def is easy, though. Wonder if they’ll anti-alias like Microsoft does?

  6. Hard drive - the announcement that it is included does not preclude them from also shipping an HDD-less version, of course. 60GB is good, but it’s not going to be a PVR with that kinda storage (not to mention the lack of a TV tuner), so I hope those rumors just die. I’m wary of the “it will act as a server and allow users to pull up content elsewhere in the home” thing. That could just mean it’s a LocationFree server, which means only certain Sony products will be able to stream low-quality video over the internet. The “support Linux OS” is also not very informative. I’m not sure that means that anyone can just get in there and start installing Linux apps, so much as it means the root of the PS3’s environment is Linux. If you can just access all the data on your hard drive through Linux, well golly gee, it’s gonna be a cheat-tastic time on the PS3! :(

  7. They never said the speed of the blu-ray drive. I’m curious, because it needs to be about 3x speed to match the 12x DVD drive in the 360, and I don’t want bad loading times.

  8. Eyetoy on PSP? They’re apparently talking about a new one made for the PSP that hooks into the USB port. In portable format, where I have to hold onto the PSP itself with both hands, I don’t see much gameplay point to it. But it’ll be neat for voice and video over IP!

  9. Download classic playstation titles on PSP = awesome. With the dramatically different screen aspect ratio, I wonder how that’ll work?

  10. They say the HDD is “completely upgradable.” Which to me means external, but hopefully pretty elegant like the 360’s. My question to Sony: how do I get my saved games and stuff off of one hard drive and onto an upgrade one?

Doubt we’ll see a price before E3. And probably no exact release date until later than that.

1up.com has a brief write-up of the conference that’s being updated continuously. The PS3 news so far [with my comments]:

Sony plans to produce 1 million PS3s a month [total apparently].

Final PS3 development kits will be sent to developers in June. [That sounds like bad news for the quantity and quality of launch games.]

Sony have confirmed that the PS3 will be backwards compatible with PS1 and PS2 titles and that these games, when played on PS3, will be displayed at high-definition resolutions (similar to what the Xbox 360 does with Xbox 1 games).

A 60GB hard drive is apparently being included with the system. Kutaragi has told publishers to develop titles with the assumption that a hard drive will be present. [Well, Microsoft’s two-SKU stupidity handed them an easy win here.]

Sony has confirmed a worldwide November PS3 launch for PS3. [I definitely think Microsoft forced their hand there – we’ll see another massive shortage but what could they do now that the 360 already had a holiday season?]

It will be within the first 10 days of the month in Japan, which means 11/4, a Saturday, is a strong likelihood. [Given the usual quality of Sony’s Japanese launch hardware, this makes me very wary of buying a PS3 this year. I never had a technical issue with my PS2 and PSP but you know… those were made months after the Japanese launch!)

Kutaragi has moved on to discussing PS3. He’s stated that the system has indeed been delayed because of copy protection functionality isn’t ready with Blu-ray. [Yeah, right…] He’s reinforced that the software medium is indeed the next big step for PlayStation, though – the PS1 used CDs, the PS2 used DVDs, and the PS3 uses Blu-ray.

  1. The online plans are still not clear. Lobby matching and voice chat doesn’t mean voice chat is mandatory in all games, nor that you have one unique ID across all games, and can invite people from into your game while they’re playing another, and all that jazz that makes Live so neat. They say the “basic” service is free: what exactly do you get with that, and what do you get with the non-free version? I wanna know more.

I’m thinking all your basic multiplayer functionality will be free. MMORPGs and maybe the Sony Connect/Location Free stuff would cost more, maybe game by game or as part of a premium upgrade. But I’m just guessing. I think details on the online service is something likely to be released during GDC and Phil Harrison’s keynote.

  1. Hard drive - the announcement that it is included does not preclude them from also shipping an HDD-less version, of course.

I don’t think they will ship seperate versions. Kutaragi has reportedly said negative thinks about sku confusion. Plus it gives them another wedge against the Xbox 360.

  1. They never said the speed of the blu-ray drive. I’m curious, because it needs to be about 3x speed to match the 12x DVD drive in the 360, and I don’t want bad loading times.

A 3X drive would be my guess, actually. A minimum 1.5x is requirred for movies. I doubt they’ll have a 4X drive that will be practical in time, but a 3X could be the sweet spot.

How can he possibly blame the delay from spring on copy protection issues and simultaneously say finalized devkits won’t be available until June? I know they need an excuse, but can Kutaragi seriously not realize how stupid that sounds? I guess he’s just arrogant enough to believe nobody will notice. Good ol’ Ken.

We never got our final 360 devkits at EA until about a month before launch. It means nothing.

Once again, financial newssites (not gaming sites) clearly state the goal to be FINANCIAL 2006 - which for sony ends in march 2007

Well, financial sites are accustom to financial years, so it’s an obvious assumption for them to make. I don’t think the matter is in any way settled. Considering this was an event for publishers, I think the assumption should skew towards calender year, given the importance of the holidy shopping season.

If by nothing you mean lost features. Didn’t every EA 360 game had major features missing compared to their 7th gen brothers?

IM BELIEVING THE HYPE!!!

I think that the PSP announcements are interesting, and may result in some increased interest:

  • EyeToy coupled with a game, later with video and VOIP integration? Cool.
  • PS1 portability? Sounds intriguing … but since I’ve never had a PS1 I’m not sure what titles they’d port thatwould interest me. My assumption is that the controls translation would be friendlier than for PS2 game ports.
  • The addition of Flash to the browser, and other stuff aimed at making this even more of a ‘convergence device’? Whatever. Gravy - if the good games are there.

Mike

If I can put symphony of the night on my PSP, I’ll have no reason to ever stop using my PSP ever again.

As mentioned, I think MS totally got caught with their pants down on the whole “'tard pack” thing. There’s simply no excuse for them to have shipped that idea, and I personally hope they just give all the Core purchasers the shaft (how many of them don’t have the HD anyway?) and move to making the HD required.

Better yet, ship a frickin’ huge HD to every registered 360 owner for free as an apology for bad SKU-splitting. (Oh, look, there goes a pig past my window)

Sony still has a lot to prove to me, even with this announcement. Ken looks liks a hypocrite with the whole worldwide launch thing, they’re promising numbers not unlike MS promised numbers (and look how that turned out), I’m still not sold on the fact that Blu-Ray or any other next gen storage medium is a requirement for gaming at this point, the launch lineup forecast ain’t great, and Sony’s online plan means nothing until I see some concrete ideas and an interface that’s as sexy as the Live layer on 360.

Required elements will be a singular login, easy access to content, micropayments (laugh while you can, monkeyboy, MS made them work), integrated voice chat, game invites no matter what you’re playing - all the things previously mentioned when people talk about the awesomeness of Live 360.

I really wish I was more confident that Sony will be able to successfully put their money where their mouth is. They sure didn’t do that with (also as mentioned above) the portable music scene or the PSP, IMO.

Who in the world develops a spec so that a minimum 1.5x is required for the basic operation the medium is designed for? It’s the unitary operation that defines what 1x means. Why the hell didn’t they spec it out so that 1x=normal movie playback data rate. It’s not as if “x” is some type of standardized spindle acceleration rate.

That’s my concern. The good news? I can play my PS1 games on my PSP. The bad news is I have to rebuy games I already own first due to the format difference. So I’m not really playing my PS1 games on my PSP, but rather cheap-as-shit-to-produce ports. It annoyed me on Nintendo’s systems when they did this shit, it’ll annoy me on the PSP as well (and I’m therefore just as likely to not avail myself of it, especially since most of the PS1 games I’d like to play over are multi-disc RPGs.)

Have we seen that the HDD comes with the PS3? I’ve seen the HDD Required slide, but well, memory cards were pretty much required and the PS2 didn’t come with those. I’m just sayin’…

Regarding the PS1 games on PSP: how are they going to do that? So many of the later games required dual-analog sticks and 4 trigger buttons.

Its a shame that microsoft couldn’t work out their 360 production problems before this announcement, it really is a nice system. I think the PS3 being only 8 months away is going to destroy a lot of the potential 360 system sales. Once the PS3 hype machine is running full steam, there will be no stopping it.

And yes, we all know alot of the sony hype isn’t going to pan out. But you really can’t argue the fact that for the last 2 generations no other system has seen the sheer quantity and variety of games as the Sony systems. Consumers don’t have to worry if their favorite studio is going to be making games for the PS3, its a given (well, obviously except for bungie).