Had roles been reversed...

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Nite_Hawk, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. Nite_Hawk

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    Sony's troubles were a lot more gradual imho. They could have had a mediocre release and still done well, it's the cumulation of everything (lateness, price, aesthetics, marketing strategy, etc) that really did them in. Many of these things weren't fully known until near launch.

    Agreed about the common sense thing though. I get the feeling that rule by schizophrenic committee happens more often than not.

    Nite_Hawk
     
  2. Readykilowatt

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    Yes.
     
  3. Akumajou

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    To answer your question, its impossible to even consider this as a serious discussion because you are forgetting alot of important points.

    Blu Ray was going to be used not only to help prevent rampant piracy but to enhance games with the extra space, rushing BR would mean it would have had a much weaker DRM and lack of compatability with HDMI 1.3.

    Not including Blu Ray as a storage medium in a Sony console after PS2 would have been pointless, look at all the great business PS2 did for DVD movies since 2000 with gamers becoming movie buyers and previously videogame only magazines recommending DVD movies.

    Sony PS2 was still profitable all the way to this year with the biggest installed base of all other consoles despite its age, it still amazes me that people forget.

    If I take your "switch" into serious consideration then Sony would have been crucified because of the RRoD issue and later because of the shrinking disc space considering that in your "switch" Microsoft's console would have had a built in HD-DVD drive as a game storage medium and movie format.

    There are several US companies that have or are filing patent law suits against SONY, picking appart at the BR disc, Cell BE CPU, Rumble, etc, not to mention that Microsoft owns a percentage of Immersion Technologies, the company who apparently won their rumble suit against Sony, then again its not hard to imagine that these same US companies would most likely not sue Microsoft, cue the conspiracy theories.

    I could list more reasons but by far this is the most important one:

    The real reason Microsoft made the XBox 360 was not only to come out first and start a new generation of consoles but they also did this because they had the mind share to get gamers who bought Halo 1 and Halo 2 and played Halo 2 on XBox Live as a way to have gamers support them, just imagine if you will if Microsoft did not have Halo and the XBox 360 would not have had as strong as support coming from gamers pockets.

    Microsoft called their console the XBox for a reason, Microsoft has set the rules of what companies like ATI and Nvidia can produce as far as a graphics chip, its no wonder that both these companies are the leading GPU makers as others have scaled down and out of competition for failing to support Microsoft's API set in hardware.

    Knowing that, its no wonder that XBox 360's ATI GPU was able to feature a unified shader architecture for release in 2005 while it took Nvidia till November of 2006 to release G80, a GPU that in its current 90nm form is just not practical to be inside of a game console.

    Nvidia may have had the information to make a unified GPU earlier but in realitity they must have known that it would have been impossible to implement such a gpu into a game console like the PS3 and perhaps not even be practical when G70 specially after the special 90nm shrink would render the idea too expensive and as for G80, only if it were to be in 65nm and after serious steppings progression to keep thermals in check and power consumption in check then would it make sense to put that transistor count monster into a game console.

    Its amazing that with all of its serious flaws and problems being swept under the rug by gamers and the gaming media, the XBox 360 is going to enjoy a second wind thanks to Halo 3.

    meanwhile Sony offers their PS3 with excellent reliability and features only to be heavily critisized for its price. IMO the biggest mistake Sony did was in trying to mimick Microsoft with a near global console launch, they really should have taken their time, made the US gamers wait at least 6 to 9 months before ANY consoles would be available for launch in the US while keeping their focus in Japan sales and gaming development.

    Then again there is nothing stopping the US gamers from importing PS3s just like we did with PS2, Dreamcast, etc.
     
  4. MrWibble

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    Had they actually had one of those back in the 90s, Playstation probably wouldn't exist at all.
     
  5. aselto

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    It's not amazing, it's obvious for anyone who's been following the market for the last year.

    Had they launched in Japan only, they would be in much worse situation right now. The strongest launch games were developed by Western developers and I don't think Resistance could carry the platform in Japan alone for 6 months.:wink:
     
  6. Phil

    Phil wipEout bastard
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    I strongly disagree. If PS3 were to launch in 2005, that would development of next generation titles should have already started way before that to have any reasonable lineup and result in some form of appeal for PS2 owners to upgrade. Which developers that were responsible for multi million sales on the PS2 would have jumped from inexpensive PS2 development to rising next generation development back then? Not many. Especially when you beginn to realize that in 2004-2006 game development reached its peak and the platform (PS2) was at its most lucrative moments: Well established assets, lots of libraries, very large userbase to cater to... the perfect moment to cash in on larger investments at the beginning of the PS2s life.

    So, does it make sense to assume there would be any sort appealing line up for a hypothetical PS3 launch in 2005? I think not. Not at least from any of the very high caliber publishers/developers - as they were just finishing larger projects for the PS2 at the time.

    To name a few;
    Metal Gear Solid 3 (nov 2004)
    Final Fantasy XII (Okt 2006)
    KillZone (Okt 2004)
    Devil May Cry 3 (Feb 2005)
    Resident Evil 4 port (okt 2005)
    Ratchet & Clank 3 (Okt 2004)
    Ratchet Deadlocked (Okt 2005)
    God of War (Mar 2005)
    God of War (Mar 2006)
    GTA: San Andreas (Okt 2004)
    GTA: Liberty City Stories (Jun 2006)
    The Getaway 2 (Jan 2005)
    Tekken 5 (Feb 2005)
    TimeSplitters 3 (Mar 2005)
    Gran Turismo 4 (Feb 2005)
    Shadow of the Colossus (Okt 2005)
    Silent Hill 4 (Sep 2004)
    Sly Cooper 3 (Sep 2005)
    Soul Calibur 3 (Okt 2005)
    SSX On Tour (Okt 2005)

    Just to name a few. All games from very well respected developers that have made an inpact on PS2 for the great games they have made in the past. We all know how long it takes to make a very good game - some take as little as a year.. some take years. Seeing the above list, many of those developers were still well on PS2 development and really just starting on PS3 development. A PS3 launching in 2005 or 2006 just wasn't feasable and wouldn't do much good without the games to be able to make an impact in the first place.

    It would have been a bad idea to cut last generation short, especially in light of how well the PS2 was doing. This would have certainly pissed of developers/publishers as well... As a PS2 owner, I certainly would have felt even less inclined to purchase a PS3 in 2005 than I am less inclined to even buy one now. The PS2 still is giving me plenty of usage, so I am in no hurry to "upgrade" just yet.

    If Sony would have launched a PS3 in 2005, we would have even less games and a much longer wait until good high caliber games come out. Waiting for blu-ray, HDMI1.3 was the right decision - both technically and in sight of the market as well IMO.
     
  7. Acert93

    Acert93 Artist formerly known as Acert93
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    Yep. You have to switch over at some point.

    You could argue the PS2 is still doing so great that the PS3 shouldn't even be released now--just keep riding the PS2 until it dies in 4 more years. The PS2 is a 10 year product afterall.

    You have to migrate at some point, else you lose market position.

    ]

    First, releasing in late 2005 means you essentially get 2 of those 3 years. As for 2006, blockbuster PS2 titles have been pretty rare.

    You also have the option to

    a. migrate PS2 title development over to the PS3
    b. the PS2 has a huge install base and you can still release on it (the PS3 hasn't killed the PS2 yet)

    Microsoft released in 2005 and they haven't had a library issue. Sony, on the other hand, because they rode the PS2 well into the next gen lacks a back catalogue and has put developers at a disadvantage on their platform on a number of fronts.

    I would add to this list that, with a 2005 release of the 360, MS not only had a great Holiday 2004, but also had a million seller (Forza) in May of 2005.

    So you do what Sony already did:

    A. Some titles remain PS2 bound, even though the PS3 is released, due to strong PS2 sales post-PS3 launch and the huge active PS2 install base

    B. Some titles are pushed out the door before the PS3 is released

    C. And other titles planned for the PS2 instead migrate their development to PS3 development

    And because they rode the PS2 (too long IMO) they gave up marketshare and still don't have a library of compelling software.


    I wouldn't call it cutting it short.

    The PS2 was out a year before the Xbox and GCN; the PS3 was out a year after the Xbox 360 and released the same month as the Wii.

    They did this for obvious reasons: The PS2 was a huge money maker & their design choices for the PS3 (mainly BDR) created a timeline where 2006 was barely possible, let alone 2005. A 2005 design would have required 2005 compromises and design choices.

    Exactly!

    They maintained a very strong PS2 emphasis internally long before they seriously transitioned. As they told us: "Next gen starts when we say so".

    The problem for Sony is Nintendo and Microsoft and 20M consumers already invested in new platforms and, at some point, Sony needed to transition.

    No, that is a choice on Sony's part. The reason the PS3 is still waiting for a large library of good high caliber games is because they didn't have them in the pipeline for 2006 or 2007.

    Sony could have kept the 2006 release point for the PS3 and still put more resources into PS3 game development.

    As you pointed out, they were very, very focused on the PS2 instead.

    IMO they were absolutely the wrong decision.

    Blu-ray is expensive and the market penetration of HD optical media is very low. The fragmented market with HD DVD furthers the issue, especially now that a number of studios have hopped onto the HD DVD bandwagon and sub-$200 HD DVD players are going to be entering the market. Blu-ray wasn't a proven format and holding up PS3 development over it -- and the ballooned cost of entry by including it -- have been a major reason Sony is lagging behind in the market.

    And HDMI... better IQ, yet it is minor and most TVs lack it. It isn't a major selling point to the average consumer and would never be a reason to delay a multi-billion dollar console.

    The PS3 is a game machine. Your design choices should revolve such. Further, they need to be design choices that are relevant at launch: both in how they impact your software as well as price point.

    Sony's choices made the PS3 expensive, difficult, and late.

    It has more potential, at the expense in some ways of early quality. If you are early and the lead SKU with a large back library these can be nice trade-offs; when you are late and facing issues while the competition is hitting the road running and has momentum, not so good.

    Blu-ray is great, the movies look great, and it can make life easier on development... but from a gaming standpoint the fact a component that added a HUGE amount to the price tag at launch still doesn't have a defining app makes it a curious decision for a console.

    If Sony had designed software around Blu-ray which found itself as a meaningful differntiator in the market I would have a different tune. But so far it has been very much like the Xbox's HDD: nice feature, makes life easier, but the additional cost + the lack of defining applications and market response make it an overweighted nicety that distracts from core elements of a console design plan.

    Cost/Reward is far too heavy on the cost for Blu-ray for a mass market console.
     
  8. fireshot

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    I am a bit out of the loop, but i thought PS3 has a bit more raw power than 360? I would be surprised if 360 can more than match PS3 here..
     
  9. wco81

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    Sony's PS3 business is hurting now but what kind of revenues and profits did they have from PS2 in 2005 and 2006?

    They might have had greater sales if they launched in 2005 but they probably wouldn't have seen the same PS2 profits in 2005.

    Much prefer having next-gen optical drive even if it may be hurting the market share now. If anything, they should have looked into more RAM and maybe a better GPU as well. It seems they locked the design of the Cell and the GPU for about a year before waiting for Blu-Ray components/specs. to be finalized.
     
  10. Nite_Hawk

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    It's a bit of a mixed bag. Cell is definitely more powerful than Xenon under the right circumstances. This will probably be more apparent later on in each product's life cycles, but right now it's questionable how much difference this is making as far as users are concerned. RSX vs Xenos is a bit harder to judge imho. Each has strengths and weaknesses and I'm not sure I'd pick one over the other. RSX appears more powerful on paper, but Xenos is a very efficient architecture. In the end they are quite different though perhaps comparable.

    Nite_Hawk
     
  11. Tagrineth

    Tagrineth SNAKES... ON A PLANE
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    And the 360 has a more adaptible memory architecture as well as significantly less memory reserved to the operating system.
     
  12. Phil

    Phil wipEout bastard
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    Releasing in late 2005, means that most of the PS2 games I've listed would have either have seriously compromised a launching PS3 or would have been scrapped and turned into semi-next generation games for the PS3. It doesn't work both ways: Either you have a strong and early PS3 and PS2 dies quicker or you have a weak PS3 and a still strong going PS2. My point is, with the software still planned for the PS2 from 2004-2006, a early launched PS3 in late 2005 would have had it even more difficult than it does now.

    And as for 2006 blockbuster PS2 titles have been pretty rare: What you may not realize is that the games coming out in 2006 were effectivelly in development for 1 year plus before their launch. That's on well established PS2 development.

    1. generation PS3 games take longer than 5th generation PS2 games.

    You have to look at the PS2's business plan. Sony underwent huge investments to launch the PS2 back in March of 2000. Those losses or investments had to be made back and finance the PS3.

    Obviously, Microsoft didn't have a problem cutting their generation short, since they didn't make any money at all. In other words, the Xbox1 was doomed a business failure from the very beginning. Of course they wanted to launch a successor after onyl 4 years. On the other hand, Sony has been doing what they did last round as well. PSone launched in 1994 - the PS2 in 2000. PS3 in late 2006. As a consumer, I like knowing my console is at least a 6 year investment.

    The problem is, being a console vendor goes a little beyond just kicking out new hardware everynow and then. Long term relationships with publishers is just as important as recouping costs and investments. Those long-term relationships would have been seriously strained if they had launched a very attractive PS3 in 2005. What would they have told Square and all the other developers back in 2003/early 2004 when first dev kits and PS3 outlines should have been made available to devs?

    Sorry Square, forget FFXII on the PS2, we're coming with PS3 in 2005. Forget all those assets and libraries - start with next gen development NOW. Or continue with the PS2, but don't hold your breath as everyone will be into HD next-gen graphics a year before you're launching your game. One or the other, none is very good news for the publisher, especially since publishers need to make up their investments from "next generation transition" as well. Every new generation shift is a huge uphill battle with rising development costs - the end of a consoles lifespan is always the best for everyone. A FFXII (or all the other high profile games in 2005/2006) for PS2 with a PS3 already well over a year out wouldn't have helped the PS3 in anyway either.

    Automatically launching a PS3 in 2005 doesn't magically make publishers support your console. It doesn't mean attractive software will be there and only with that, you form an appealing buy for consumers. In light of all the games coming out in the time frame you're proposing as perfect for a PS3 launch, I am sure that this wouldn't have worked out. Long term relationships with publishers would have been strained and there wouldn't be all that much compeling software to market the PS3 either. Less money made on PS2 to invest into PS3 as well...

    You call that "not a library issue" what Microsoft had in 2005? Maybe to Xbox owners, but given what I'm used to on the PS platform, I really don't see any attractiveness in it at all. I wonder how many of the exclusive PS2 owners outthere agree with you on this one. The reason why Microsoft sold any Xbox360 when it launched and from that point on was because they "killed" the Xbox completely. And all software continued on the 360 - which in that case wasn't a problem because the userbase is not even a quarter of the PS2 and most developers chose the PS2 as the primary platform anyway (which is where they were making most money).

    I also think it's a bit early to call out Sony's mistakes at this point of time. At this point, we still can't quantify the success of the Xbox360 since for all we know, they could be selling to their pre-existing userbase and a small percentage of PS2 exclusive owners. Even those that have bought a Wii are potential PS3 customers which in turn could result in a 80 million userbase on PS3 in no time. We don't know.

    At this point, I hear the high price and not enough attractive games out as reasons why PS3 isn't selling. These two things are bound to change at some point soon - will you change your tune if Sony then goes on to sell millions in the coming months? Most of this talk will be very redundant quickly.

    You must have missed the fact that HDMI1.3 and BluRay are not only there as nice features to push HD-movie-entertainment, they also form distinct gaming advantages: More storage and HDMI1.3 makes 1080p60 possible. Above that, pushing Blu-Ray as a movie format and making money on that front is as important to the PS-business model as was letting the PS2 live longer as well. It all goes hand in hand.

    Lastly: talking about mistakes and disadvantages is all a bit premature without not looking at all the relevant factors. It's also not very indicative since we're not even half way through the generation and the coming months will decide over what is a failure and what a success. Some consoles have a slow start and turn out to be a great success. How well Sonys cards play out ultimately is still left to be seen.

    As a PlayStation 2 supporter, I am very happy with the decisions they have made: The platform is a worthy successor and I still was able to enjoy my "old investment" to the fullest - without it being killed off prematurely. *I* would have felt even less inclined to buy a PS3 in 2005 than I am to buy one today.
     
  13. LunchBox

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    I'm a little confused with the question given by the topic starter?
    Is he refering to the technology or the time of launch or both????
     
  14. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Both. The XB360 launches but named PS3 and produced by Sony with Sony titles (and XBox backwards compatibility) and the PS3 launches a year later but named XBox360 with MS software and PS2 BC.

    It's not a sensible topic, and the subsequent discussion isn't anything new either, just being a generic sales and market-share debate. But if people like raking over old ground, let 'em, says I!
     
  15. Nite_Hawk

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    It's entirely hypothetical, but I was curious how people would respond to it. Is a particular console fan more a fan of the hardware or of the company? Would someone I've seen favor one console think it would do better/worse under the branding of their competitor? What circumstances do people think will lead to success/failure for each console?

    So far it seems that most people on this board think the PS3 would have been a total failure if Microsoft had launched it instead of Sony, and I agree. Similarly, it seems that most people here think that the xbox360 would be in a more dominant position than it is now if it had been launched by Sony (which makes sense given Sony's last generation marketshare). Do you think we would see the same kind of responses if these questions were asked on PS3 and xbox360 fan sites? What if we asked investors in each company?

    Nite_Hawk
     
  16. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    I would have thought that obvious. Fanishness follows the overarcing 'brand'. It'll be a fan of the company's product, or the football team, or the pop-group, more than the hardware, the players, or the singers. How many people switch the team they support because a player they like is relocated? I've never heard of that happening!

    Yes. The responses strike me as evaluating the positions of the brands and hardwares coming out of last gen. XB360 would have been at a huge disadvantage releasing a year later, accruing MS an extra billion dollars debt or whatever XB would have lost, and releasing more expensive with nothing to show for it as even if the hardware is more powerful, launch titles and more specifically XB360 (current PS3) versus PS3 (current XB360) second year titles, don't have a marked difference.

    Is there any argument at all for the opposite? That if Sony released PS3 a year earlier and $200 cheaper, MS would make a dramatic comeback selling a $600 console?
     
  17. Nite_Hawk

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    True, but shouldn't the fans be supporting Sony or MS despite their competitors branding or hardware being better? It seems to me that people in this thread are admitting that MS's hardware combined with Sony's branding would result in a better selling product than either of the current consoles. That's logical, and doesn't follow the herd mentality. It leads me to believe that most people on this forum are actually fans of the hardware more than they are fans of either company.

    I thought the point raised earlier in the thread that a 2005/2006 PS3 would have been hampered by the PS2's continued success interesting. In some ways, MS had the advantage that they could more easily cut ties with the xbox than Sony could with the PS2. It would be interesting to know how Sony calculated it's cost benefit analysis of the PS3. Did they intentionally target a later release and was the talk about the blueray delay just an excuse for poor planning? Did they really think a $600 console would sell like the PS2?

    Nite_Hawk
     
  18. Mintmaster

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    I see your point, but MS would nonetheless be crushed. In this scenario, it may piss off developers a wee bit, but MS would be marginalized and Sony would be gunning it out with Nintendo. Since the Wii is not particularly profitable for third party devs (aside from a few exceptions), PS3 would be their primary platform for next gen titles.

    The impact on PS2 development would me minimal. The userbase was already mostly established by the end of 2005. Maybe launching the PS3 in 2005 would reduce PS2 sales by 5M by now, which is under 5%. So what? It doesn't substantially change the economics for devs. If they had profitable PS2 franchises, they'd stick to that. If they felt they could make more money by diverting some resources to a PS3 title, they'd do that.
     
  19. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Again, isn't that quite obvious? You've got two main factors accounting for sales in play distinguishing the machines - the name and the price. PS3 has +1 sales from name and -1 from price. XB360 has -1 from name and +1 from price. Neither sells gangbusters. Swap them around and PS3 would have +1 from the name and +1 from the price...

    What's inside the box is generally irrelevant for mass consumers. As long as it looks pretty on screen and has the games they want, they're happy. Thus a less powerful PS3 wouldn't be at a disadvantage versus the current model. A less powerful, much cheaper machine would be at a distinct advantage!
     
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