Console Differences

here’s something i wrote over in the joystiq comments:

well. what do you expect developers to say? microsoft went to them and said, “what do you want in the console?” going off of that, they built the 360.

sony, however, not only assumed what most developers would want (granted, they have a pretty good idea, so i don’t really have a problem with that), but it came shoe-horned with blu-ray and cell. despite the fact that both are not really optimal for game consoles.

blu-ray is too expensive for a console to make up for its capacity and the cell is great for multimedia (floating point vs. integer, non-branching, etc.) but not game programming.

— not to say it’s useless, of course. it’s not at all. the cell is still a pretty smartly designed chip. it’s just that an optimized set of gaming (meaning, focused on games, not movie playback) hardware with fewer mhz can make better (as in performance, not necessarily design) games.

the ps3 isn’t optimized for gaming. it’s built for movies. it’s like they took the umd initiative and blew it up a hundred fold. it’s really not a coincidence that sony also has a movie studio.

so, to sum up: it appears that sony has built a living room convergence device focused more on movies and less so on games where microsoft has built a living room convergence device focused on games and less so on movies.

the key takeaway?

it appears that sony has built a living room convergence device focused more on movies and less so on games where microsoft has built a living room convergence device focused on games and less so on movies.



16 comments so far

  1. MacAttack on

    Didn’t see it that way but than again its the PSP all over again!

  2. m3mnoch on

    yep, yep.

    by the way, i was using you for your econ grad status over on a joystiq comment thread. thought i’d let you know.

    some dork was questioning my ‘economics.’


  3. MacAttack on

    Yeah it was some dork saying what made you the economist since I quoted your “channel conflict”. Well I guess to some people if you are not on CNN with a PHD than you are not an economist.

  4. m3mnoch on

    hahahahaha… i like you. you’re funny.


  5. bd on

    Well, I was the “dork”. I just assumed that m3mnoch was a Computer Science major, but I could be wrong. I don’t know what major he is, he could just be savvy at both things, given that he has some development experience and he is also an importer, but again, I think I trust more an opinion by “Merrill Lynch” than m3mnoch’s… not to say m3mnoch’s opinions are absolutely wrong, I don’t even trust Merrill Lynch anyway, I’m just saying that there are too many variables to consider, and that Merrill Lynch is more likely to know more about those variables than we three.

    By the way, not to offend you “Mac”, but the fact that you are an economy major doesn’t mean your opinion is worth more because the topic had something to do with economics; not like mine is worth more or less, but I don’t think it is of any relevance for me to mention that I study both Math and Actuarial Science if I’m making sense anyway. It would just make us al look like “Blow-hards”. m3mnoch knows what that is, he has seen it on a website we both know. lol



  6. bd on

    Hi m3mnoch:

    I just read this post. Sorry, I didn’t have much time to read it before, given I got the eye surgery I told you about. Anyway, I know it might sound stupid if I say “I knew most of this”, but yeah, I was assuming that *maybe* (and just maybe) some games will need to stick to one disc only and that even with procedural synthesis, it *might* not be enough (although, and to be humble, I did learn a some more, thanks!).

    Of course, I never said that the 360 will go affected (and nobody except hardcore gamers or PS3 fanboys will give a shit if a game does not surpass the DVD9 space), since it is unlikely given its popularity (which developer wouldn’t want to develop for the 360 given its huge upcoming installed base?). There’s something likely though: There will be games on PS3 that will use Blu-ray, but as I said, I’ll keep my mind open enough to think that it may not happen (and to think that Blu-ray might even not win the format war).

    Fighting , Sports and “The Getaway” games (if I am not forgetting others) are the games that will probably use less procedural synthesis than games like “Oblivion” or FPS. With procedural synthesis, not only do you save disc space, but you also save development time (and therefore, budget; isn’t talent i.e. people the main cost of development anyway?); so if you save some budget, you can still keep creating content, (therefore, sizing the game up again).

    Might another Mortal Kombat or compilation fit into a DVD-9 with all the characters, new characters, new features, and *acceptable* endings for each character? I don’t think that neither the Xbox 360 nor the PS3 are able to generate in-game cut-scenes, but even if they are, we know that cut-scenes are not limited (and should not be underestimated; at least the Japanese don’t); machines are.

    Would the whole city of London fit inside a DVD-9? If you want London, you might not be able to use procedural synthesis (or at least as much as Oblivion uses it), unless you want it to resemble, not equal London.

    Will impressively detailed faces for FIFA 2010 with every team and player in the world fit in a DVD-9? I don’t like sports games anyway, but the thing is, DVD-9 has a limit (that may or may not be reached this generation).

    And if there are tools for content to be created in-game, aren’t tools getting increasingly sophisticated in order to facilitate development? If Sony and Microsoft want to reach the best out of future consoles, they are going to need incredible tools for development, because after all, procedural synthesis just might not be enough. Who knows, there was a developer that said something interesting (I’m not sure if it was Cliffy B.), but he might be right about what he said: “Games should cost the same as movies”. We might be seeing for Xbox 4000 or V-box games that meassure more than 50 GB in content, that can potentially hold 400 hours of gameplay, and that cost as little as 30 dollars, or maybe even less if you buy it online (if Gigabit internet becomes popular?).

    I know all this sounds like speculation and that it might take long, but I think Microsoft shut some doors that could have been available, and it’s a risk they took. A small risk, but still a risk. As somebody said in the thread “a great game is a combination of a bunch of great things, not either or”. Again, I think we should remain with an open mind; after all, what do we care? I think both of us are going to have all three consoles sooner or later (even if it takes the whole “next-generation” to gather them all); and do casual/non-gamers care? they don’t.

    Good point about the Premium Bundle. The Core one might be discontinued, “forcing” early adopters to buy a 20 GB HD (with a price drop, or an even bigger one?). Then again, those early adopters most likely bought one already, and or/are waiting for bigger ones, and/or are hardcore gamers that know what they will need eventually. Then again, this is still speculation! Developers “shouldn’t” count on the Hard Drive because we don’t know if “everyone” or 95% of potential consumers will have an HD, but given the trends, Developers will probably force the consumer into buying one (just as it happened with FFXI for PS2), sort of eliminating that problem.

    We might as well end up having even bigger games than the ones possible for PS3, given that the PS3 hard drive will be “mainly for media”, as they said:-D!

    The only “bad? thing is, it would have been sweet if HD-DVD was a standard on a 360. If it is selling like Hot-cakes now, it would be selling like freaking sugar or something. At least now, part of the porn industry chose Blu-ray thanks to PS3, and they even mentioned that they would have liked it if the 360 would have had HD-DVD. If Blu-ray got support really fast even when it is so cost prohibitive, do you imagine how fast would it have gotten support given how cheap it is compared to? Especially since it is being launched a long time earlier! (I know that it could have been delayed if HD-DVD was on it, but I think Microsoft could have gotten even more involved with it and make it happen: after all, they have the money). Who knows, that way Sony might have been so pressured that they would have chosen to unify both formats.


    P.S.: You can use my e-mail if you want to respond.

  7. bd on

    “Might another Mortal Kombat or compilation ”

    I put “insert your favorite fighting game” between tags before the word “compilation”. Stupid bullshit.

  8. bd on

    I just realized I fucked up big time, I meant to post it on another thread. I’ll post it again, and corrected.

  9. m3mnoch on

    was the dork really you? hmm…. i don’t remember. if that’s the case, you’re much less dorky these days.

    i think we just got off on the wrong foot.


  10. Far on

    Xbox fanboys are so pathetic, hoenslt m3mnopch get a life

  11. m3mnoch on

    playstation fanboys are so pathetic. hoenslt fapr get a life.


  12. Far on

    Aww did I make the big geek cry? Go hug your $400 Xbox 1.5, ahaha.

    And playstation? Only gaming worth doing is PC, although if I had to get a console I’d get the PS3 (probably will too). ~$400 for a Blu-Ray drive and better graphcis than it’s competitors? Sign me

    PS3 – more games, better games, improved format
    Xbox 360 – less games, worse games, same old format

  13. Far on

    And wow, fast response for such an inactive blog…almost like you’re monitoring it all day

    Have nothing better to do with your life between watch Star Trek and play Xbox? Sad stuff right there…

  14. m3mnoch on

    cry? dude. can you not read. i was making fun of you. we’re laughing at you over here. worked tho, didn’t it? you double-checked your posts this time and they look much nicer now. good for you! gold star!

    and, for the quick response? um. there’s this cool technology called email. you know. it was invented in the 60’s. when you write something on my blog — get this! — it gets emailed to me! crazy that technology stuff!

    now, you, on the otherhand, look like fucktard by sitting there, wasting your time on someone elses blog hitting the refresh button.

    heh. i can just imagine you sitting there: “ooh! ooh! did he post? no. damn. f5 refresh! ooh! ooh! did he post? no? damn f5 refresh!”


  15. Far on

    Heh, nothing more pathetic than taking what someone said and implying it to them. Saying I’m here refreshing…haha, wow. Sad that what appears to be a middle aged man is using the “I know yo uare but what am I!” approach

    Oh by the way, your blog is terrible, no wonder it seems like no one comes here, haha.

    Ah, anyways sicne I KNOW you’re just a fat american nerd, I find you uninteresting. I won’t be visiting this blog again, haha, that’s for sure. You should have some notes from the good ones out there, maybe then you won’t account for 90% of the hits this site gets.

  16. m3mnoch on


    you’re still sitting there hitting refresh! what a tard! i get up to get some coffee and here’s another email with a whiny, defensive message from you!

    do it again! you know you want to! hit refresh! go on! you can do it!



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