Archive for November, 2006|Monthly archive page

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Export Controls

uh. not that i’m an expert, but, with the ps3 being a “super computer” and all, what about those hairy, two little words: export controls. i mean, sure, they can have an xbox or a ps2, but, dude! the ps3? it’s used by nasa!

“Hans noted that his PowerPoint slide discussing comprehensive sanctions sent someone to jail as a result of an indirect export to Iran.”

i bet that “indirect” export was a ps3 preorder! damn the ABSOLUTE POWER of the ps3!


PS3 == Minidisc

so, i’m just sitting here, working, and a strange analogy just struck me. it’s the similarity in music media and game consoles.

for the geeks out there:
ps3 : minidisc :: xbox 360 : cd :: wii : itunes :: pc : cd-r

a bit of explanation.

ps3 : minidisc

xbox 360 : cd

  • both are unmaleable. (compared to the original xbox or the ps3, for example)
  • both work well with your current supporting technology. (i.e. pc, mce, ALL tvs and audio outs, ALL plug and play devices — all kinds of tertiary tech — it still doesn’t play those damn cassette tapes tho!)
  • both have relatively uneditable content from a delivery perspective.  (once you get it out of context tho, it’s a different story)

wii : itunes

  • both are radically unlike the others.
  • many people will play both, but not very deep.
  • both have strong “everyman” support but not a lot of supergeek support.
  • well… apple and nintendo. peas in a pod.

pc : cd-r

  • both play, hold, run whatever you want them too.
  • both are applicable outside of the industry.
  • it’s the wild, wild west where anything goes.


The Shift Key Slows You Down

yer goddamn right j.

He even blazes through e-mail, jotting down notes all in lower case: “shift key slows you down,” he writes.

’bout time someone else has put that together.


The Best Thing About the PS3/P

i’m a big fan of foss — but, really. who isn’t? homebrew? rad. nwn mods?  hl mods?  xna?  all awesome.  the offline value of the ps3? i saw the quake 3 thing the other day, but this one kicks ass.

just like the psp but subsidized!

…which reminds me. can you handheld developers make more games for the psp? the ds is cool and all, but, dammit, the psp is just sexy.


Tracking PS3 Defect Issues #4 – Bluetooth Controllers

so, since this is technically a series, i suppose it’s my duty to report these playstation 3 freakshow things when they popup.  bluetooth connectivity for controllers.  btw, sony’s gonna want to offer some wired controllers here pretty quick.

the funny thing about this tho?  i have a draft post from august titled “bluetooth bummer” that is really just a few notes on why bluetooth is bad for mission critical connectivity in a wifi saturated area.  i got busy and never found the time to flesh it out.

basically, it comes down to: spectrum hopping is good.  sharing is bad.  there’s a reason microsoft didn’t go with an off-the-shelf technology for their controllers — this is it.  they don’t need to obey all the bluetooth sig rules.  (disclaimer: i work/worked for a company who was a co-creator of bluetooth)

i mean, really, raise your hand if you hate your bluetooth mouse. *raises hand*  i got rid of that thing the week after i got it.

anyway, probably my favorite snippet of text from that whole article?  the little sony-drone in the comments.

I had it happen a few times during my SP Resistence jaunt, i would be running along and then id try to turn it something and id just keep running straight for like 5 seconds until the controller resynced.

It even got me killed one time, but overall not that bad.

… not that bad.  for microsoft and nintendo, that is.


PS3 Problem Probability

so, here’s a thought. if this many reviewers are personally having issues with their ps3, how many end-users will have problems once these things get out in the general public?

mainstreamers will be putting these things in their entertainment centers. mainstreamers will be leaving them on all the time. mainstreamers will destroy these things.


p.s. for the record, my 360 runs damn near 24 hours a day with it’s standby mode.

p.p.s. whew… i think i’m getting tired of bashing the ps3. i’m on record, so, i’ll just go back to talking about more interesting things. this’ll be the last one for a bit — barring someone’s house buring down.

UPDATE: this video is damn funny. the “squeaking” noise is like something out of a cartoon.

When High Attach Rates are Evil

the excellently brilliant guys over at susquehanna financial group — jason kraft and chris kwak — have just published a paper on how high attach rates show weakness in hardware sales.

makes total sense. they nail it:

It doesn’t take effort to see that a console with an attach rate of 8 and an installed base of 50 million is superior to a console with an attach rate of 12 with an installed base of 20 mln.

what does that mean for the xbox 360 with its 5.2 game attach rate?

well. to me, it means the games are good. it’s not just a market flop *cough* psp *cough* with a crap hardware run rate AND a crappy attach rate.

so, why are hardware sales so… well… meh? they’re not bad. everyone agrees on that, tho, they certainly aren’t stellar.

it’s the “wait and see” tactic. now that they are “software entrenched” microsoft was right to want to hurry along the launch of the ps3 and the wii. from microsoft’s point of view, it’ll be nice to see the marketplace recognize hype when they finally see it. and, it’s always good to compare apples to apples — not apples to photos of apples you may get some day.

that being said, it’s the end of the wait and see period. everything is on the table now. so, expect the 360’s tie ratio to drop and the ps3’s to rise. (the wii will always have a terrible tie ratio. that’s just the kind of console it is. tho, for nintendo, it doesn’t matter — they make money on the hardware.)

and, in their conclusion, they posit this:

The only metric worth focusing on is the console installed base, as this metric drives all others.

which, is absolutely true.

that’s why i get soooooooo goddamn irritated when i see uneducated comments in forums where people say they are going to get a ps3 because it’s about the “games.”

folks. i hate to break this to you, but, there are a few truths coming out about this generation of consoles vs. the last:

  1. sony is pissing on software partners.
  2. microsoft is wooing and loving on software partners.
  3. last generation, sony had “all the games” because they had the install-base. this generation, the 360 has the install-base.

sony’s saving grace is old, established franchises like final fantasy, mgs and gran turismo. however, those are NOT games that the mainstream plays.

these are the top games of the last 12 months: madden, cars (yes, from the movie), need for speed, tony hawk, wwe, pro evo, fifa, lego star wars, gta….

seeing the trend? yep. all cross-platform.

the large majority of people can play the same game on hardware that costs 60% of the playstation 3. not only that, but the third fastest-selling game on the planet right now (behind the soccer … er… football games) is gears of war — an exclusive.

so, yeah. in the past, sony had the games. that’s because they had the install-base. this time around, they guaranteed themselves a tiny install-base by pricing their console at $600.

thank god sony’s got blu-ray, tho. john madden will totally thank them.


Dear PS3: The NYT Hates You.

as noted.


Controlling Spin

so.  get this.  there are these magical, disappearing posts over in the sony forums.  why do they disappear, you ask?

for the simple reason that they dare compare the ps3 with any other consoles.

While on the PLAYSTATION®3 forum, please keep all content related to the PLAYSTATION®3, its games and accessories, thanks.

Comparison threads about other console’s and their contents vs PS3 aren’t permitted on this board.

heh.  that’s awesome.

sony — if your console is so awesome, why are you so afraid of comparisons?  hmmmm?