Brian Dipert, founder and
principal at Sierra Media, said, “The price tag of the PS3, combined
with the dearth of compelling gaming content, not only at intro but also
for a long time afterward were a one-two knockdown punch.” He believes
the migration to x86 “addresses both of these concerns.”
to success for any gaming platform is game developers. Sony clearly
listened to them, and took to heart what they had to say.
Doherty, research director at Envisioneering Group, recalled when he saw
Kutaragi after Sony’s PS3 roll-out. “I had to tell Kutaragi that he
needs to become a ‘professor’ of PS3,” because learning how to program
on PS3 was like going back to college. Nobody in the development world
really understood how to program on that platform.
All the talk about Sony’s PS4 announcement this week, however, doesn’t
necessarily prove that Sony has solved all its challenges. One sticking
point is how Sony plans to maintain backward compatibility for all the
classic games developed on PS2 and PS3.
By using the cloud and
PS4’s streaming capabilities, the emulation of PlayStation’s library of
games is a possibility; and yet, we don’t know when that will become a
Competing with other X86 architecture systems
More important, Sony’s already hearing the footsteps of
Microsoft, which plans soon to launch the next-generation Xbox 360.
Rumor has it that Microsoft (its current system is on Power PC
architecture) might be also opting for X86.
If true, we’re in for an interesting battle.
here’s the killer question posed by Dipert. If we see PS4 as
essentially one of today’s mid-range to high-end PCs with a dedicated
GPU from a hardware standpoint, “how will PS4 be able to compete with
PCs in a year or a few years down the road, with inevitably better
Playing nice with the ecosystem is one thing,
but competing with others armed with similar hardware specs becomes a
much tougher task than ever before.
“Content exclusivity is the only answer,” said Dipert. But that won't come either cheap or easy in my opinion. The real answer may be in designing a simple and elegant system (and software) that connects intuitively with others.
Yes, Sony has overcome the not invented here syndrome. The actual digital cameras, music players, ... support standard SD cards. These devices use standard protocols and file formats.
For that reason, no more no go for my wife and me. As a result my wife bought a Sony digital camera some half a year ago.
I was absolutely disappointed of PS Vita memory card. I thought whether Sony has learned anything from its past product launch. Nowadays, consumers doesn't care the hidden benefit of a product. The convenience of the universal adaption matters more. The best example probably is the memory duo. It might support higher data rate. Yet, the fact is it cannot be used in the other devices w/o an adapter. Who would like to buy another set of memory once a new camera is bought?
Sony has made pretty good products. To this date, Sony high-end TV still deliver the best pictures among all brands. If money is not a concern, I will definitely go for it. Sony has made panorama available in digital cameras. It is the best feature that I have been looking for for years. Just like Yoshida said, there are multiple signs showing Sony has come out from Not Invented Here Syndrome. In addition, the fact that Sony has chosen x86 as the platform for PS4 is a very good sign. Now that Sony has understood ultimately consumers drive the success of a product, I hope the bright future ahead of Sony.
I think you are right that the big question is how they will compete with the Alienwares and other souped up PCs of the world. I suspect they won't.
The price to be paid for standards is commoditization.
Bye bye Kutaragi-san
Unfortunately I don't own any Sony products anymore these days. Even 5-10 years ago, I had to have Sony camcorders, digital camera with memory sticks, TVs, CD player, walkman etc. Instead now I have iphone & Samsung Galaxy note, iPad/Samsung tablet, Samsung TVs, and I am thinking of buying a Microsoft surface tablet/PC combo product. The time has changed and Sony no longer produced things I need.
"One sticking point is how Sony plans to maintain backward compatibility for all the classic games developed on PS2 and PS3."
Why does it *need* to?
If I'm a gamer, and I have and still play any of those classic games, it's because I have the game console to play them. If the PS4 won't play them, and I care that much, I simply keep the old console to play them. Many gamers have more than one game console.
If I'm Sony, I'm betting on an eco-system developing around the PS4, with new games being developed for it that will be compelling enough to drives sales of the console. (If I'm a game developer, I also have the possibility of games that can be developed for both console *and* PC because both use the same architecture and much of the code will be the same. This increases my potential market.)
Sony's announcement made clear this move was aimed at developers to have content available for the console. I think they made a smart move.
Using x86 doesn't make the PS4 any more or less able to compete with actual PCs than using the Cell processor did in the PS3. The PS4 isn't being sold as a PC replacement, it's being sold as a PS3/X-Box replacement. There is much to love in gaming consoles by developers. The model is fixed for 5-10 years. Piracy is less common. Consoles are sold specifically for gaming, so the developer has some real idea about the size of the market.
It's possible this will be hacked into a PC replacement by loading some other OS on it... one of the problems Microsoft had with the original X-box. But that's not impacting on the normal use of the console. Gaming consoles start out very, very competitive with desktop gaming PCs per dollar spent, often significantly better than PCs per dollar. But they don't stay that way: PCs change every year, PC games escalate to match. The fixed console, regardless of what's inside, starts out ahead, winds up behind. It happens every time.
The PS4 has to do "PC like" stuff much better than the current PS3 to increase interest. I purchased the PS3 when I did because it was (at the time) an attractively priced blue-ray player and it also did gaming (which I really had very little interest in). If the PS4 doesn't do media sharing and streaming well and it can't easily do browsing, there is little reason for a non hard core gamer to give it a second look.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.