GameDaily is drunk on PS3 kool-aid

Post ImageTomorrow is November, and you know what that means – game console launches! Both Nintendo and Sony will be releasing their latest offerings this month, so don’t be surprised if you hear a lot about it over the next few weeks. Hopefully though, the coverage is more accurate and credible than GameDaily’s latest. Author James Brightman outlines five reasons that Sony will win the “Next Gen Console War”. Here are his reasons, with my comments underneath each one:

1. The Brand
Brightman is right, a “strong brand should not be underestimated.” However, the problem with this argument (that Sony will win because it has a strong brand) is that nothing lasts forever! Indeed, Brightman states, “in the late ’80s and early ’90s Nintendo was king, but on today’s market there is no brand more synonymous with the world of video games than PlayStation.” Too bad he couldn’t read his own sentence and realize that what happened to Nintendo could happen to Sony too.

2. Microsoft (somewhat) Squandered its Lead
Nice to the see conviction in his argument – “somewhat” hey? Microsoft’s goal is to sell 10 million consoles by the end of 2006. They are definitely behind at the moment. But let’s see how the holiday season shakes out, shall we?

3. Japan is Ripe for the Taking
Japan has never been a strong market for Microsoft. The first Xbox did horribly there, and I don’t think MS execs were expecting to do that much better with the Xbox 360. Not that it matters – Sony cannot “win” by simply selling more in Japan. Once again, Brightman neglects to read his own writing: “let’s not forget that this is a global market.”

4. Blu-ray Will Matter
If there’s one good thing about Brightman and his article, it’s that he makes tearing it apart really easy. He writes, “sure some of this is hype, and maybe we’re falling for it…” You better believe it is hype. Anything related to Blu-ray or HD-DVD at this point is hype.

“In one to two years, we think the combination of the Blu-ray medium and the Cell processor will lead to a noticeable difference between the visuals of the PS3 and the Xbox 360, as developers begin to really harness the technology in the PS3.”

Seems to me that Brightman isn’t a very technical person. Developing for the Xbox 360 in such a way that you can extract every ounce of performance is hard. It requires a shift in the way developers think and work (because of multiple cores, etc). There aren’t any 360 games that really do this yet. So, to say that in a one or two years the Cell processor and Blu-ray will lead to a noticeable difference is ridiculous. First of all, 360 games are going to get better. More importantly though, developing for the PS3 is even more complex than for the Xbox 360, so I would expect it to take much more time before we see the best possible visuals.

5. Free Online
This is the one argument I somewhat agree with. Completely free, full online access for PS3 gamers is a big deal. We all know Microsoft has deep pockets however, so if they wanted to make Xbox Live Gold free, they certainly could. I think they’ll wait though, to see what the PS3 online service is like. People will pay for quality.

A few more things
There’s a ton of other problems with this article. For one, what about Nintendo? Brightman compares Sony almost exclusively to Microsoft. The Wii might not have fancy graphics, but I’d argue it belongs in the “next gen” classification. The PS3 is going to have to beat the Wii too. For another thing, there’s no mention of the cost. The PS3 is really expensive, both in comparison to previous consoles, and to its competitors. Brand allegiance is important, but it often falls apart in the case of extremely high prices. Another thing – the Playstation doesn’t have the huge list of exclusive titles that previous versions did. Lots of games are now available for multiple consoles. I could go on.

It’s really easy to make predictions about how the consoles will fare against one another. It is much harder to make accurate predictions. That said, its pretty simple to come up with something better than this GameDaily article.

Read: GameDaily

Microsoft: Buy a Wii with your 360

Post ImageAh you gotta love Microsoft sometimes. They hate Sony so much that they are willing to side with another competitor, that being Nintendo. Dickson and I have long planned to buy a Nintendo Wii (used to be called Revolution) simply because we don’t expect it to cost very much. Microsoft VP Peter Moore agrees:

“Tell me why you would buy a $600 PS3?” Peter Moore, a Microsoft vice president, said in an interview. “People are going to buy two (machines.) They’re going to buy an Xbox and they’re going to buy a Wii … for the price of one PS3.”

“People will always gravitate toward a competitively priced product — like what I believe Wii will be — with innovative new designs and great intellectual property like Mario, Zelda and Metroid,” Moore told Reuters.

He makes a good point. Super Mario Galaxy looks like a pretty cool game, especially with the Wii’s very innovative controller. I hope they announce pricing for the Wii soon!

Read: Washington Post

Sharon – proof she's a gamer at heart!

Post Image You might recall that a few weeks ago I posted about how our good friend Sharon is a closet gamer. To refresh your memory:

When Sharon took the controls to play, it was like I had stepped into an alternate universe! She was so masterful at the famous side-scroller, she knew where all the coins and mushrooms and flowers were, all the secret passages, everything. Not only did she know the features of the game like the back of her hand, she had the timing down pat. And her hand-eye coordination was surprisingly good. In fact, she played so hard and so well, that I saw her head bob to the music. It was nuts!

Well, now I have more than simple text – I have a couple of photos! In the first, you can see Sharon is holding the NES controller. In the second, you can see she’s actually playing Mario. Enjoy!