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TG Daily Live Coverage: E3 2006

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May 8, 2006 6:31:07 PM

Join TG Daily, Tom's Hardware and TwitchGuru on the E3 showfloor: Our editors will cover the the entertainment and gaming event of the year in detail - live and directly from the Los Angeles Covention Center throughout this week.
May 9, 2006 4:29:58 AM

This may just be me, but I think the idea of a motion sensing controlling doesnt seem as cool as it might initially seem. For one you dont get the same feedback that you do from an analog stick. You can tell how 'fast' 'tight turning' your going by the feeling of the analog stick, but with motion sensing who knows? The idea conjures up interesting images of people moving their arms eratically, we may possibly see new gaming related injuries.
May 9, 2006 5:19:39 AM

The technology is there, free for game developers to implement. At least they have it, unlike the 360. I'm sure they will accomodate it to the user's preference. Possibly being able to turn it on or off via the options or even on the controller itself.
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May 9, 2006 12:40:31 PM

yeah, right, 500-600, whatever. Prices are going through the roof, for this garbage. $600 that is a entry level gaming computer. more so, 500-600 for a toy, that have yet to actually be playable, is kinda pricey.. yah blue-ray, = betamax to me.
May 9, 2006 1:44:23 PM

Quote:
yeah, right, 500-600, whatever. Prices are going through the roof, for this garbage. $600 that is a entry level gaming computer. more so, 500-600 for a toy, that have yet to actually be playable, is kinda pricey.. yah blue-ray, = betamax to me.


I'm estatic about the price! 7 3.2 ghz cores and an Nvidia GPU far more advanced than what we got in PCs? all I gotta do is upgrade the memory, and stick linux on the box! presto... uber PC Gaming Machine for 500 bucks
May 9, 2006 2:01:31 PM

Quote:
all I gotta do is upgrade the memory, and stick linux on the box! presto... uber PC Gaming Machine for 500 bucks


i thought they were gonna have linux preinstalled?

probably would be a limited version though, i doubt that they would allow PC games on it?

Ara
May 9, 2006 2:15:24 PM

yeah :)  but if they are planning on putting linux on it, that means it CAN have it already... why crack the firmware when you can mod the OS sitting on top to do what you want.... mainstream people may not do the work involved theres plenty of people who will :) 
May 9, 2006 3:16:58 PM

8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O

interesting
May 9, 2006 4:40:11 PM

I honestly feel like people are afraid to say that Sony is buying way to much into their own hype.

$600 is the true price point here that should be focused on, because again a respectable gamer isn't going to settle for the intro model. Think of a possible $250 price for the Wii and a drop to $349 for a 360 and that's two systems for the price of one. I just don't see a $500 or $600 price as a smart move especially when you are toting a new format player that may and very well could wind up tomorrows UMD. 780p or 1080p whatever, at what point does the resolution out power the graphics and how our eyes percieve them. Truth of the matter is that at some point no matter how good the graphics or resolution may look it will become normal and you will stop noticing. Too much of what Sony is trying to do reminds me of the early Xbox days, late to the Prom, but with superior hardware. And this so called "Cell" thing hasn't posted any real test to show that it can out power anything, but they make really cool movies with it right? The PS3 price for a blu-ray player may be good, but why do care if I don't own a single blu-ray disc?


Let us see what the M and N have to offer.
May 9, 2006 4:56:29 PM

I agree that it is a little shocking to see the $500-$600 price tag. However, like others have said, what you are getting is an AMAZING piece of hardware. If you were to build an equivalent PC for the purposes of gaming it would cost much more would not be possible.

I actually feel that the PS3 is a good value. The only downside is that it would be missing the functionality of a PC. However, I've already heard talks of putting Linux onto the PS3 and booting, so even that argument may be thrown out of the window.

I haven't been following the optical storage battle, but all these companies fighting over their own proprietary formats boils my blood. I'm just shocked that DVD are nearly obsolete after a brief reign as top media format. CD's and VHS lasted such a long time.
May 9, 2006 5:36:48 PM

Quote:
Join TG Daily, Tom's Hardware and TwitchGuru on the E3 showfloor: Our editors will cover the the entertainment and gaming event of the year in detail - live and directly from the Los Angeles Covention Center throughout this week.

Well, I must say I'm not surprised about the 3D controller. (where's the "fourth" dimension coming from, anyway? I never understood people's logic for adding another axis that doesn't exist, just like claiming traditional input fare is "3D" when it's 2-dimensional) As I've stated some times before (but, oddly enough, I don't think once on the TG Forumz) Nintendo, regardless of their market share, somehow manages to be the "harbinger" of new controller types; most gamers, sadly, don't realize that the analog-stick based controller didn't really exist until 1996, with the introduction of the Nintendo64. Likewise, shoulder buttons first appeared with the SNES's controller in 1991, and prior to the NES, digital pads, for some reason, where only found on mobile devices.

What does surprise me, though, is the price. Not the $500US (we're not kidding anyone here; just round it) base model price, but that there's ANOTHER one, that's MORE EXPENSIVE. $600US is pretty darn steep for a gaming console; That makes it twice as expensive as the Playstation2 and Xbox upon launch, and three times the price of the Game Cube upon its launch, as well as three times the assumed launch price of the Wii.

Yes, I do see a lot of features; a larger hard drive to appease those looking for a "numerical difference," for one. (though in reality, I think the price difference between a 20GB and 60GB drive, even a 2.5" one, would be perhaps only $30-40US)

However, some things do catch me; for one, there's the all-important HDMI port; it's effectively a requirement for a true HD machine; component cables are really only capable of up to 720p or 1080i, and even then, they do appear to be slightly lossy. HDMI would imply that the console can actually run at 1080p, contradicting Sony's statements that suggested otherwise. Since HDMI is a digital input/output, and needs no RAMDAC, it appears that there'd be no reason for the console to not have full 1080p support. Perhaps what was implied was that the console wouldn't be able to count on rendering at 60fps @1920x1080. This is vastly different from not being able to do progressive scan; many Xbox 360 titles, for instance, are capped at 30fps regardless of the resolution, though there's still the imaging improvement with progressive scan displays; the lack of "tearing lines" (or whatever the popular term is for it) is a plus in just about anybody's book.

What perhaps REALLY hit me, and made me go back and check, was the comment on media support; the Playstation3 would be able to support not just Sony Memorysticks, but also SecureDigital and CompactFlash cards as well?!

Somebody wake me up, because this does not seem like Sony! Their name has, over the past decades, become synonymous with refusal to us generic formats, instead using their own proprietary ones, ones that with few exceptions went the way of the dinosaurs - And even in all those exceptions, of which I can name TWO (CD, DVD) that actually survived, but perhaps largely because Sony was far from the only creator; Phillips was behind the CD, and Sony, in working with the DVD, was more of jumping on the bandwagon that actually pionnering it.

Personally, I think that such support is good news. The cynical side of me suggests that, like perhaps their re-designed controller, they're "aping" Nintendo, whose Wii will have a slot for using highly standard (as well as vastly faster and cheaper) SecureDigital cards, rather than their own format. Either way, it can't really be bad; perhaps this will mean an end to the search and high prices of buying YET ANOTHER type of media card to support the new console. Rather, we can pull from whatever stack of cards we already have. It's even good to me to see the 10th device to actually use Sony's memorysticks. (yes, that is a facetous number)

As for the graphical power of the machine... I'll remain skeptical at this point, until I can see one of them myself. As unfortunately, I'm not a noteworthy person in "the industry," so that obviously won't be at E3. But needless to say, while I'll admit it's likely pretty impressive, I've found, over the years, that even those in the gaming/technology media often don't have a sharp eye when it comes to discerning what's at work to bring them their 3D imagery. Particularly if it's something that's, even in the slightest degree, in some ways, superior, or somehow better, than what they've seen before.

The CPU? I'm a bit ambivilant about that. It might turn out to be powerful, but as far as I've seen, the SPEs are highly limited in function, even though each appears to contain four independant floating-point units. Obviously, we've seen that they can be used for video encoding rather well; each unit can apparently handle a full HD MPEG-2 encoding stream (to laymen, this means turning HD video into aa form you'll see on a DVD) in real time. Impressive in some ways, but quite less than what you'd expect out of, say, any 3.2GHz x86 processor, with the identical (theoretical) floating-point muscle.

The graphics chip, of course, may be an entirely different story. Specs thus far give us the highest transistor count ever seen for an nVidia chip, at (correct me if I'm off) some 350 million transistors; by comparison, the 7800GTX's chip weighed in at 302M transistors (link) and the 7900GTX actually shaved off some transistors with a more efficient design, and came down to something like 290M.

However, regardless of the exact count, I would theorize that this suggests something of similar power. Not overwhelming, particularly compared to even today's PC cards, as the X1900XTX, and possibly even the 7900GTX, is likely more powerful, (note that the X1900XTX's R580 has roughly 381M transistors, and ~2.8 times the shader power of the entirety of the Xbox 360's Xenos) but still likely to produce a good ammount of graphics punch.

Coming back after all of these features, perhaps the $600US price tag isn't all that bad. After all, one should note that as of now, no HD-DVD players seem to exist for less than $1,000US. Perhaps the allure of getting, by a serious margin, the cheapest possible HD-disc movie player on the market might fuel sales even against the big, black mark that the price otherwise is. I've guessed for over a year now that such is perhaps Sony's bet, and I guess we'll see in the year to come if it was a wise bet or not.
May 9, 2006 5:48:06 PM

(snipped from the previous, over-sized post, as I thought it made sense, and so that people might actually notice that I've replied to four posts, not just one)
Quote:
This may just be me, but I think the idea of a motion sensing controlling doesnt seem as cool as it might initially seem. For one you dont get the same feedback that you do from an analog stick. You can tell how 'fast' 'tight turning' your going by the feeling of the analog stick, but with motion sensing who knows? The idea conjures up interesting images of people moving their arms eratically, we may possibly see new gaming related injuries.

I would take it you're a console-only gamer, then? Or perhaps more accurately, you've simply not given too much thought on the ideas of what input devices power gaming today?

In effect, all that these "motion sensing" controllers are, from both Sony and Nintendo, and with Microsoft to no doubt follow suit by the year's end, is simply incorporating a "3D mouse." These devices already exist in plenty, chiefly in use at universities, for things like lectures; they allow the speaker to walk about and speak naturally, while remaining in control of the projected presentation.

PC mice, in gaming, are controlled in effectively the exact same way, only they operate on two axes instead of three. It's pretty easy to tell where you are on each axis. And anyone who's played extensive in games using both analog sticks and mice will tell you, that although analog sticks, like their joystick parents, might be "calibrated" to get a center they naturally return to, but they cannot possibly beat the precision of a mouse. Not to bash anything here, but an analog stick is simply another finger-based input device; in effect, a 3D controller or mouse is a motion-capture device.

Quote:
I'm estatic about the price! 7 3.2 ghz cores and an Nvidia GPU far more advanced than what we got in PCs? all I gotta do is upgrade the memory, and stick linux on the box! presto... uber PC Gaming Machine for 500 bucks

The (potentially) limited capabilities of the SPEs aside, you forgot the part that kills the "Cell" as for playing PC games.

It's that it's a PowerPC chip, wheras modern PC games are made for x86 chips. There are a bunch of other differences, which all also boil down to the same thing; it's a largely incompatible form, that will certainly not play any PC games without some modifications to the games, or the use of an emulator. In any case, you'd be effectively cutting a vast portion away from the Cell's power, as any processor benefits the most when software is written natively for it, rather than ported.

As for the memory, you're also forgetting that it's not built like a PC; if the Xbox 360's, or even the PS2's, construction is any indication, it's not upgradable; the chips, rather than being put onto DIMMs and inserted into slots on the motherboard, are simply attached to the motherboard itself. The PS3 also uses XD-RAM for its main memory, which is a rediculously proprietary format.

Quote:
i thought they were gonna have linux preinstalled?

probably would be a limited version though, i doubt that they would allow PC games on it?

Ara

As I've commented above, even with a version of Linux made for the console, it would require more than that to play PC games, since the PS3 uses a PowerPC-based CPU, rather than an x86-based one.

All current Linux games, and for that matter, Linux applications in general, are made for x86 CPUs. I don't even think that, before now, any non-x86 versions of Linux exist.
May 9, 2006 7:06:49 PM

3d controllers are so cool:

from the article on the nintendo wii:

Quote:
The controller was taking centre stage again, and one can move with one controller and then use your arm completely independently with the other. As the Ubisoft representatives pointed out, this means that you can do everything up to holding and firing your weapon "gangster style" if you so wish, as well as enabling you to open or beat down doors as you normally would (well, normal for the former we hope.) One can also make hand gestures, for example to order people to kneel down or take cover. We can see this coming into play in tactical shooters in particular.


besides, think about some of the newer "puzzles" they could put into games like resident evil, however, i don't think it would be a good idea in racing games... unless you could use the controller like a steering wheel? holding it facing you for example... (although you wouldn't get any force feedback, and wouldn't the "dual shock" mess up the motion sensors?)

and also, is it me or does anyone else here just hate wireless stuff? i find it so annoying... i think it's psychological, but i have never bought anything wireless (save remote controls) since the early days of wireless mice (and i have tried a few since then including the logitech mx1000). i would prefer that the miniUSB which is to be used for charging would also allow a signal through it.

one last thing: i find it strange that sony would release the PS3 with 6 USB ports, (to charge many controllers at once?) without having a major use for them (considering some of the ports are on the back) so i honestly think this hints to some sort of OS with decent driver support (for use with other USB devices)

Ara
May 9, 2006 7:34:09 PM

I see a lot of complaining about prices for consols, and I can't help but shake my head. Every brand new consol that has ever come out has been more expensive at its release than the one that came before. At one point a $300 release was considered expensive, and now so many hail a $399 xbox as reasonably priced. At what point did gamers forget that inflation exists? And when did everyone begin ignoring that consol sales are not where these companies are making their money? All three lose money for each unit sold, and expect to recoup the costs in peripherals and games, not the core system itself. I wonder how many would change their tune if they learned how much money is lost on a PS3 consol.

Further when you say something like '$600 bucks? For 600 bucks I could build a gaming computer instead!', you're completely missing the point here. The PS3, Xbox, and Wii, are NOT gaming computers. The two (consol and PC) are different entities with different purposes. They have similarities, granted, but a consol was never designed to be a replacement for a PC, so such comparisons hold little water in my book. I really doubt any serious gamer would settle for a $600 PC to game with any way.

I'll always have a use for a consol and for a PC, and I'll always be having both because they have distinctly different features and uses, and because I love having choices. My advice to those that feel the need to complain is to either solve their problem by getting one for free somehow, or drop it and go and get your $600 'gaming computer'.
May 9, 2006 8:24:05 PM

Are you kidding me?
Quote:
I don't even think that, before now, any non-x86 versions of Linux exist.


What?! Linux can, and is used as an OS in (you know, little things like) TiVo, PDAs, watches, SmartPhones, routers, modems, hotspots, non-X86 servers...the list is huge.

The whole point of Linux is that the source code is available for compilation under any system. And thus, the "only" things you would need for PC (Linux) gaming on a PS3 is a compiler and 3d driver. (I assume that all the other system drivers would be available with the pre-installed version - if it exists)
May 9, 2006 9:46:30 PM

Is this general E3 discussion or just PS3 vs Pii?

Can I just say that the WoW movie sounds like the worst idea I think anyone has ever come up with in the world, ever.

Ā§back to consolesĀ§

As far as controllers go, Nintendo had the genius of the Nes/Snes, followed by the utterly inspired N64 controller, before totally pissing on their own parade with the GameCube controller. IMO they have A LOT to make up for.

I'll still trust Sony to come up with something brilliant every time, though. The basic design of the PlayStation controller is nearly 15 years old, and remains unchanged (bar analog sticks, not a real 'major' change to shape) for that entire time, yet still feels as comfortable as the day it came out. Great!! Shame they aren't making original XBox controllers for 360, though.
May 10, 2006 2:18:36 AM

Nottheking

No I am not only a consle gamer, and you do have a point, however, i still think it a bad idea. It doesnt matter whether or not professors use such technology because their needs are different than a gamers. Even joysticks and mouses give some sort of friction that a gamer gets used too, we can alter the calibration in the virtual playing field, but our brains still feel the friction from a joystick or mouse, all that happens is that our brain learns to equate that friction we feel in the real world into the 'movement speed' in the virtual world.

BTW, in my opinin analog sticks are not as good for shooters as mouses because of the greater impact of the natural shake of a person rather than any inherent superiority to the mouse.

HALO 3 trailer, and it looks beautiful!
May 10, 2006 2:29:46 AM

@ Toms editors.

Am I looking at a different E3?

What kind of baboons do you have on location there saying that the new nintendo is "outshining" the ps3? Have you even LOOKED at the previews? Wii looks like a cartoon - AT BEST. The PS3, however looks REAL

Has Nintendo paid you off to be partial, or are you too busy playing favorites ever since Sony got up your arse over the entire rootkit fiasco and you have trouble letting go?

About the only thing the Wii has on the PS3 is a new controller. Whoop-tie fricken do It's just a freaking controller with a speaker. Get the hell OVER it. WOW! My controller has a SPEAKER! Now my game system totally outshines everything else. Forget the fact that Wii's games look like something a four year old could design. Give me a break. And if it's really THAT magnificent - How many of those speakers do you think are going to be working after a year of abuse by a set of 12yr old boys?
May 10, 2006 6:18:40 AM

Amen brother! I would also like to point out that S0ny scarcely had half as much presence in its E3 presentation than Nintend0 and yet attendees gobbled it all up and didn't ask for more. One might conclude that "innovation" won't always overcome tradition.
May 10, 2006 11:27:30 AM

I'm rendering video of the eFocus preview event and it will be going live in the morning. Part 1 of the video will be going live, while Part 2 will go up tomorrow.

Part I has Alienware, Genplay, Greystripe, InFocus and Kingston.
Part II features Plantronics, Seagate, Toshiba, Ubicom, Via and Viewsonic

Rendering H264 is killing my best laptop. It looks like it will take close to 28 minutes to render around 8 minutes of video. Windows Update blew up my first render because it kicked in and forced a restart while I was working on my other two laptops.

/rant on - Why does Windows Update default to restarting the computer? Why the heck can't they make the default to not restart? /rant off

4:27 AM PST now... looks like I wont be getting too much sleep.
May 10, 2006 2:00:06 PM

Hello... I am looking for some usability information about emagin's Z800 visor and I know they have a booth on display...

Since E3 is not only about console gaming, can someone from TG drop by their booth and try it out? thxs
May 10, 2006 3:40:20 PM

Pssht, fan boy. Ok, that was harsh. But to put it into perspective, Sony nearly put us to sleep (or near tears, I can't quite recall) at their conference, with the marketing bull, no specifics, pre rendered videos. Nintendo has us smiling within the first 30 seconds of theirs. They've left a much better impression, and screw the goddamn graphics, I dunno about you, but I'm a gamer who is interested in how fun the game is. The Wii doesn't look as good as the 360 or PS3, but it looks to be much more fun.
May 10, 2006 4:04:00 PM

I liked the Red Sword demo. One thing is for sure about the Wii: kids who play this console will get more excercise than their 360/PS3 bretheren, unless said bretheren are playing DDR...

Hey! DDR with added arm movements! Perfect idea for the Wii! :D 

Beyond a certain point, adding eye-candy is more fun for spectators than the game players, and the extra processing of all that graphical stuff cuts down on the processing time for other game elements like screen-filling hordes of enemies, a-la the original Serious Sam game, or indefineable elements, like Barney or the Scientists from Half Life 1. None of the Half Life 2 extras engendered the same amount of protectiveness as those old Half Life 1 buddies, with their spastic movement and hokey dialogs. I think the whole game industry has gotten too fixated on "graphics Graphics GRAPHICS!" as the be-all and end-all of game evolution.
May 10, 2006 5:20:20 PM

Quote:
like Barney or the Scientists from Half Life 1. None of the Half Life 2 extras engendered the same amount of protectiveness as those old Half Life 1 buddies


that's definitely true, in half life 1, they protected you, in half life 2, you protect them... (what a switch in roles...!)

anyway, if you look at the situation of the games, you'll see why, in HL1 your all trying to get away from black mesa whilst in HL2, your leading a revolution...

Ara







* warning, the above text contains spoilers *
May 10, 2006 5:31:52 PM

The '"7 Cores" of the Cell chip are a programmers nightmare, mostly because the main core has a slightly different instruction/feature-set from the other six, making the creation of multi-threaded code very complicated. Any videogame programmer will tell you that the bottleneck on games is not on the processor, but the GPU.. what do all these mean? well, games are hard to program, which increase the developers budget which means higher game prices..

PS3
Console: $600
Extra Controllers: $30 ~ $50
1 Game: $60
------------Total to save for launch day: $750 to $900

compare to a low budget gamming pc:
Athlon 64-X2 3800+
1 GB Ram
GeForce 7800GT
---------------------------------~$700

let you decide.
May 10, 2006 5:51:22 PM

I think my biggest gripe with this, will be the $500+ dollar investment up front. Like previously mentioned, the game+1 additoinal joystick + 1-2 games.. (cant have 1, or you will be pissed after 4-5 hrrs, of same content). And like the 60+% of people out there, people are just now getting into composite video, let alone the progressive.. So tv's are gonna get bought just for this..
That is just a lot of money, just to play some video games. Lets not kid ourselves, no way in the world that i would use a 360 or ps3, as my media server.. just stupid. HD dvd / blue disk.. yeah right, we are looking at 12-18 months, from now, before any good titles are out that people would even think about spending +25$$$ for.. Let alone, for block buster to offer for rent. BUT in 12-18 months, you best believe, that the pc's we have now, will be like junk compared to what will be out in a year.. Vicious cycle, ..

But $600 ,, chezee... that is a lot of money , just to spend a toys r us.. dont care what it can do for you..
May 10, 2006 6:30:42 PM

Still, can't help but look at the Sony price tag and think there is NO WAY my 11 year old will be playing that!!!
At least with Nintendo I am guaranteed a system the whole family can use, and at much less cost.
On the whole we are a gaming family...we have had practically every console that ever was, and currently have a cube, ps2, and xbox....I just dons't get that "real" looking graphics are going to improve my gaming experience that much.

It is all about what you want out of a system. I am willing to bet most families where the parents will be footing the bill will be looking at Nintendo....especially with their ability to offer those non-m rated games with a lot of appeal.

I do think Nintendo is the "winner" at this years E3, because they are actually selling a concept I ( and a lot of others like me ) could buy into.....I agree that Sony is introducing some seriously nice graphics, but hope that Mario NEVER looks too real :-)
May 10, 2006 6:35:48 PM

Nintendo's downfall is that they've only really made 'fun' games. You don't get the same tense moments in Mario64 that you do in Raven Shield, for example (and a bad example it is too)

Wii will be fun for a while, but unless it undercuts - and I mean SERIOUSLY undercuts - 360+PS3 I won't even consider it.

The 'fun factor' is why 6 year old kids like Nintendo and not Sony/MS so much. But you never get games like Gran Turismo or Halo on any Nintendo console - especially seeing as they've already done Perfect Dark on 360 (which makes up half of the number of 'proper' games Nintendo have had in the last decade)
May 10, 2006 6:57:57 PM

Exactly....and there is no way in heck my kids will be playing those games anyway :-)

But you see how it is all about the target market...Sony is targeting GAMERS....I myself see the appeal... and I love the mature games that offer that "tense" feeling....

that said....Nintendo has an offering for everyone....I played resident evil on the cube, so I expect titles for me will be available on the Wii as well.....

No matter what... you have to admit... Nintendo is selling their concept of fun.... and they are doing a darn good job of selling it to parents and families.....while Sony and xbox may be attractive to the experienced gamer... I can't help but think their pitch this year is falling flat, and expect to see Nintendo get the most "mainstream" press.
May 10, 2006 7:53:33 PM

Quote:
expect to see Nintendo get the most "mainstream" press.


I'd doubt it. Sony is still Sony and folks expect to hear about the PS3. It may be that much of the "mainstream" press is negative info about the PS3, I'm sure you'll see more of it than Nintendo press.

I hope all three do well. Competition is good.

edit: Why worry about cost - there's an ad at the bottom of the page to get your free PS3! I can't wait until mine arrives. :p 
May 10, 2006 8:04:16 PM

Quote:
Hello... I am looking for some usability information about emagin's Z800 visor and I know they have a booth on display...


What usability info are you looking for? They were at efocus and we tried on the glasses, but we didn't get a chance to video it.

We've actually seen them maybe 2-3 before at other conventions and I think we did a video of it either last year or the year before.
May 10, 2006 8:22:04 PM

I wouldn't really call it a downfall. Nintendo has a completely different strategy and target this time around: take a game like Nintendogs or Brain Age. Zero story immersion or anything...and yet wildly popular and big money makers.

That's not to say that Nintendo will not focus on any story-driven games, look at Zelda or any number of other games, but competing against the PS3, Xbox and the PC for gorgeous, immersive - adult - games is not a winning strategy. And I'm glad that Nintendo chose a different one: the thought of all potential awesome that the Wiimote could bring, along with the "fun" orientation Nintendo is taking, is enough to make me salivate. Because, really, I'm tired of firing-up the ol' emulator when I want some mindless fun without all the emotion, story, backstory, immersion or whatnot that most modern games bring with them.

Plus, the thing will be cheap enough to buy even if you have all the other consoles - it's not going to be a near $1000 investment.
May 10, 2006 8:58:59 PM

I'm thinking it doesn't matter to the masses that the "WII" has some "fun" titles. Hell I can get fun titles in a $12 joystick of old arcade games. That doesn't mean I want to slap it in my living room for the kids and ban the high end stuff from my house. How many "families" didn't buy an Xbox,PS2,360...etc. due to price and not enough fun factor. Joe Sixpack will give in to getting the latest and greatest for junior. Hell, I know plenty of guys that will "say" they had so much more fun with the old Nintendo, but they all have either an Xbox 360 or PS2 sitting in thier homes.
May 12, 2006 12:24:46 AM

Actually, Linux runs on many different architectures:

1. x86 (32-bit)
2. x86_64
3. PowerPC
4. ARM
5. MIPS
6. MIPS little-endian ("mipsel")
7. SPARC
8. HP PA-RISC
9, Motorola MC68K
10. Intel Itanium (IA64)
11. IBM S/390
12. DEC Alpha

The first four are the most common, and in that order.
May 12, 2006 1:16:58 AM

The worst part is that you're paying 600 dollars for a console/dvd player. With a computer you can do so much more than just play games and watch movies.
May 12, 2006 1:33:30 AM

IBM has already ported Linux to the Cell processor. The code is in
arch/powerpc/platforms/cell. The question is, will Sony ship it and allow it to run?
May 12, 2006 5:03:02 PM

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Coming back after all of these features, perhaps the $600US price tag isn't all that bad. After all, one should note that as of now, no HD-DVD players seem to exist for less than $1,000US. Perhaps the allure of getting, by a serious margin, the cheapest possible HD-disc movie player on the market might fuel sales even against the big, black mark that the price otherwise is. I've guessed for over a year now that such is perhaps Sony's bet, and I guess we'll see in the year to come if it was a wise bet or not.


Did I miss something? I thought the Toshiba HD-A1 cost $500.00. Although not widely available, they do exist and some are in fact "in the wild".
May 12, 2006 5:32:20 PM

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IBM has already ported Linux to the Cell processor. The code is in
arch/powerpc/platforms/cell. The question is, will Sony ship it and allow it to run?


If past experience is anything to go by, that's not really Sony's choice.
May 13, 2006 12:33:13 AM

I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I would like to see one of those fancy quad sli machines run with those new ageia physx cards installed.

True, the machine would be expensive, and not many current games would show much improvement, but I think the potential would be there considering that both Core 2 extreme, Vista and DX10 are just around the corner.

Reading the review on crysis, it really does seem that the hardware is getting to the point where you won't be able to tell whether you're seeing a game playing on the screen or a real photorealistic video image.

I think these next two years are going to be the best times ever for the pc, and definitely a good opportunity to upgrade.
May 13, 2006 9:18:40 AM

I suppose I should've predicted this number of responses. Especially with my mistake on Linux; again, looking back, that was a silly statement. I guess I really didn't look into it deeper to note that there were indeed Linux versions for (perhaps almost) every concievable CPU style around. The related responses from the multitude of posters on that subject, I'll say, are duly noted.

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3d controllers are so cool:

from the article on the nintendo wii:

besides, think about some of the newer "puzzles" they could put into games like resident evil, however, i don't think it would be a good idea in racing games... unless you could use the controller like a steering wheel? holding it facing you for example... (although you wouldn't get any force feedback, and wouldn't the "dual shock" mess up the motion sensors?)


Aye, I'm aware of plenty of options for the use of the Wii's controller; one that particular caught my eye was Project H.A.M.M.E.R.. (no hammer time jokes, please :p ) It reminds me of Die by the Sword, a title that was tragically under-exposed. And knowing that the controller can also "scan" the TV as well as having gyroscopic motion sensitivity, that yields some more interesting options, as well; that could possibly beat the mouse for FPS titles!

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one last thing: i find it strange that sony would release the PS3 with 6 USB ports, (to charge many controllers at once?) without having a major use for them (considering some of the ports are on the back) so i honestly think this hints to some sort of OS with decent driver support (for use with other USB devices)

Ara


Perhaps the console might support 6-person split-screen mode? :p 

More likely, though, is that if it intends those as controller ports, perhaps one might want to recharge more than 4 controllers at once, since they apparently burn through in 30 hours or so. Another cool thought might be a return of the GoldenEye007-style "akimbo" mode; I personally liked that concept, and partly why I find the Wii's two-piece setup intriguing.

When it comes to USB ports, I still somehow live by the philosophy of "you can't have too many." (though admitedly, I personally stopped short of adding an extra PCI->USB adapter to my system) Aside from controllers, it could be used for other, miscelaneous add-ons, like the Eye Toy gadget, or an external (additional) hard drive.

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I see a lot of complaining about prices for consols, and I can't help but shake my head. Every brand new consol that has ever come out has been more expensive at its release than the one that came before. At one point a $300 release was considered expensive, and now so many hail a $399 xbox as reasonably priced. At what point did gamers forget that inflation exists? And when did everyone begin ignoring that consol sales are not where these companies are making their money? All three lose money for each unit sold, and expect to recoup the costs in peripherals and games, not the core system itself. I wonder how many would change their tune if they learned how much money is lost on a PS3 consol.

Oh, I'm well aware of inflation. However, I don't see how one could justify a 100% price increase in the span of 6 years. Some people might make political barbs about the economy here, but it really hasn't been THAT bad.

And I'm also well aware of how rediculously much money Sony's losing even at $600US per unit. However, I consider it their fault if the price drives people away; they are, after all, their own business, so it's their choice to decide how "risky" their investment into the next round will be. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that they will make a WISE decision on their investment risk.

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Further when you say something like '$600 bucks? For 600 bucks I could build a gaming computer instead!', you're completely missing the point here. The PS3, Xbox, and Wii, are NOT gaming computers. The two (consol and PC) are different entities with different purposes. They have similarities, granted, but a consol was never designed to be a replacement for a PC, so such comparisons hold little water in my book. I really doubt any serious gamer would settle for a $600 PC to game with any way.

I'll always have a use for a consol and for a PC, and I'll always be having both because they have distinctly different features and uses, and because I love having choices. My advice to those that feel the need to complain is to either solve their problem by getting one for free somehow, or drop it and go and get your $600 'gaming computer'.

Although I don't mean it as anything other than a sidebar, my current gaming rig, which plays Oblivion better than most, came just abit over $600US. Granted, it may have had help from rebates, but that's because I can't get the benefits of buying my hardware in massive bulk.

More on the discussion, I think the point here with the price is not on the point of competitively comparing the PS3 to the PC, but that it's bluring aline of contrast; normally, people bought a console with the expectation that it would play games well, and perhaps have certain living-room media functions, from playing CD music, or playing movies.
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Nottheking

No I am not only a consle gamer, and you do have a point, however, i still think it a bad idea. It doesnt matter whether or not professors use such technology because their needs are different than a gamers. Even joysticks and mouses give some sort of friction that a gamer gets used too, we can alter the calibration in the virtual playing field, but our brains still feel the friction from a joystick or mouse, all that happens is that our brain learns to equate that friction we feel in the real world into the 'movement speed' in the virtual world.

BTW, in my opinin analog sticks are not as good for shooters as mouses because of the greater impact of the natural shake of a person rather than any inherent superiority to the mouse.

HALO 3 trailer, and it looks beautiful!

Okay then; you just didn't give this much explanation of your opinion in your original post. I can agree that your merits, to some people, would be quite valid reason for your opinion.

And yes, I'm impressed with what the Halo franchise is unveiling. It's cool to see things from there that look good on more than just standard-def televisions. (PC Halo, in spite of being graphically superior to anytjhing on the original Xbox, simply looked awful) Master Chief looks a lot better normal-mapped than bump-mapped. They're also making clever use of some things, such as demonstrating REAL use of widescreen resolutions as more than a gimmick.

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@ Toms editors.

Am I looking at a different E3?

What kind of baboons do you have on location there saying that the new nintendo is "outshining" the ps3? Have you even LOOKED at the previews? Wii looks like a cartoon - AT BEST. The PS3, however looks REAL

Has Nintendo paid you off to be partial, or are you too busy playing favorites ever since Sony got up your arse over the entire rootkit fiasco and you have trouble letting go?

About the only thing the Wii has on the PS3 is a new controller. Whoop-tie fricken do It's just a freaking controller with a speaker. Get the hell OVER it. WOW! My controller has a SPEAKER! Now my game system totally outshines everything else. Forget the fact that Wii's games look like something a four year old could design. Give me a break. And if it's really THAT magnificent - How many of those speakers do you think are going to be working after a year of abuse by a set of 12yr old boys?

Well, for one, it may be highly debatable to some, but it does seem clear that Sony's proclaimed "graphics advantage" isn't anywhere near as massive as people think; I'm 2,000 miles from E3, and even I can see that some of those materials are pre-rendered. Similar things go for the Wii; their technological trailling is far less than IGN has led people to believe; the Wii is clearly FAR closer in power to the Xbox 360 than the original Xbox.

As for the games, really, do graphics really make the best games? If so, one wouldn't touch the consoles in the first place; they've NEVER managed to match the best that could be had on a $5,000US+ PC; the Xbox 360's graphics match an X1800XL, the PS3, a 7900. For the Wii, perhaps an X800 or X1700.

Yes, having good appearances is great. However, having played a LOT of (so-called "serious") games, an ammount I might wager more than perhaps most gamers, (think 4-digits) I can say that there's a lot you don't get out of screenshots and pre-rendered clips. A lot of recent games have demonstrated that you only need a certain level of graphics to look "real enough;" Some good examples we saw in 2005 were Battlefield 2 (which, for all the proclamations, was about as detailed as 2002's best-looking games, like Morrowind and Unreal Tournament 2003; another example would be Indigo Prophecy. (A.K.A. Fahrenheit in Europe)

The latter was a particularly good example of "not care to much about graphics, more about innovative gaming experience." In spite of the fact that it was within the (by now) ancient capabilities of the Playstation2, the game still looked amazing, and in spite of the fact that it didn't offer a popular scheme of gameplay, the thing was a blast.

Meanwhile, some over-loaded technological games flopped, like F.E.A.R.. Sure, it looked great, and its initial promise to take "instinct gaming" to a new level, it wasn't as good a game as it was a graphics benchmark.

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The '"7 Cores" of the Cell chip are a programmers nightmare, mostly because the main core has a slightly different instruction/feature-set from the other six, making the creation of multi-threaded code very complicated. Any videogame programmer will tell you that the bottleneck on games is not on the processor, but the GPU.. what do all these mean? well, games are hard to program, which increase the developers budget which means higher game prices..

Although I have little to say on your comments with prices, I will just comment that the Cell has seven SPEs, PLUS the single PPE.

The single PPE will likely be what the first games use, since most titles don't have use for the theoretical 89.6 gigaflops those 7 additional cores will slap on. Apparently, they're good for ecoding/decoding, though I don't know what one would need for ecoding 30+ HD MPEG-2 streams in real-time.

Aside from being a pain to work with, (you have to sacrifice a lot of flexibility and ease-of-programming when you're cramming multiple cores, each with 4 separate arithmetic units, onto a single 90nm chip) I wonder if there really is much point for that sort of thing; even physics really won't need that much, as some titles have pointed out. Of all things, the Cell has me puzzled the most.

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Nintendo's downfall is that they've only really made 'fun' games. You don't get the same tense moments in Mario64 that you do in Raven Shield, for example (and a bad example it is too)

Wii will be fun for a while, but unless it undercuts - and I mean SERIOUSLY undercuts - 360+PS3 I won't even consider it.

The 'fun factor' is why 6 year old kids like Nintendo and not Sony/MS so much. But you never get games like Gran Turismo or Halo on any Nintendo console - especially seeing as they've already done Perfect Dark on 360 (which makes up half of the number of 'proper' games Nintendo have had in the last decade)

Funny... I recall a number of such "tense" titles for the Game Cube; why do so many people think of Resident Evil 4 as a GC title, rather than just a PS2 title?

And just to set you straight, Nintendo didn't actually make Perfect Dark Zero; They sold Rareware to Microsoft in 2003 (2002?) for a whopping $375US million. (to put that in perspective, that's more than the total SALES volume of Halo 2, the Xbox franchises all-time best-seller) Also, what would be this other "'proper' game?" The original Perfect Dark, which was vastly superior to the Xbox 360 sequel? (what you likely thought) GoldenEye 007? (the best-selling FPS of all time, BTW, a good million copies past Halo 2 and Half-Life) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time? (possibly the only game to be rated "perfect" unanimously by the media outlets) Super Smash Brothers Melee? (possibly the best-selling fighting game of all time)

I think what many people are missing here is the perspective to see that games outside of their narrow preferences make up the vast majority of game sales. Nintendo DOES have a point in their game-making strategy; hence why most of the top slots for the best-selling games of all time are occupied by Nintendo-made games, and it appears that Nintendo has sold more games than anyone else in the past years, including EA, Microsoft, and Sony.

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Did I miss something? I thought the Toshiba HD-A1 cost $500.00. Although not widely available, they do exist and some are in fact "in the wild".
I guess I missed that, then; last I had checked, I thought they started in the $800-1,000US range. My bad. Still, +$100US isn't bad at all. Let's just hope the PS3 adds some more redeeming qualities, like PVR capability.
May 13, 2006 9:22:13 AM

Um, did it fail to recieve my post?
May 13, 2006 12:00:13 PM

Your post is way too long and quite boring.

I didn't mean that Nintendo themselves had made PD for 360, I meant that it had come out on 360 and that Nintendo had lost it as a 'key title'.

Of course you can name some games for GameCube that were involving beyond the age of 8 years, but what I was saying is that PS3 and 360 are 'proper' consoles.
May 13, 2006 2:34:44 PM

The following is a quote from Analysis: Sony's high-stakes, high-definition gamble on PlayStation 3

"Today, a 32-inch Sony 1080p HDTV display sells for about $800, but the prices only go up from there. And a Sony Dolby 5.1 surround sound component sells for an average of $375. "

Now I only spent a few moments looking but...using TG Stores the ONLY 1080p Sony TV I found costs $7500.

Please provide a link to the 32" Sony 1080p for $800, because I'll take 2.
May 14, 2006 5:09:30 AM

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Your post is way too long and quite boring.

I didn't mean that Nintendo themselves had made PD for 360, I meant that it had come out on 360 and that Nintendo had lost it as a 'key title'.

Of course you can name some games for GameCube that were involving beyond the age of 8 years, but what I was saying is that PS3 and 360 are 'proper' consoles.



I found the post interesting and well written :?
May 14, 2006 10:11:49 PM

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PS3
Console: $600
Extra Controllers: $30 ~ $50
1 Game: $60
------------Total to save for launch day: $750 to $900

compare to a low budget gamming pc:
Athlon 64-X2 3800+
1 GB Ram
GeForce 7800GT
---------------------------------~$700

let you decide.


Hmm, man that is pretty good deal if you ask me. I remember purchasing the PS 1 Japanese release and paying $900 for console and by the time i was done it was like $1300 with accessories. How long was this ago?.....think about it. Back then console companies cared about how much they made off the console. I paid $600 for the 3DO machine. So really there is not much too decide. If you really want it you will pay for it and if they really want to make money of the console, people will still buy it. So really if you think about it, w/inflation considerations, this is a pretty good deal (assuming you want to dish out the dough when it first comes out).

-Sezy
May 15, 2006 5:26:27 PM

Interesting points.

I just go back and remind the legion pf SONY fans and point out for all their praise for this $500 (and counting) system is that It hasn't been released yet!!!!!!! It is still vaporware. :p 

The Nintendo Wii is shipping now at under $300. :D 

I won't buy either system. I prefer to dabble with the current consoles at bargin prices for my children.
May 15, 2006 10:11:57 PM

So what happened to Unreal Tournament 2007?
May 16, 2006 7:13:27 AM

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Your post is way too long and quite boring.

I didn't mean that Nintendo themselves had made PD for 360, I meant that it had come out on 360 and that Nintendo had lost it as a 'key title'.

Of course you can name some games for GameCube that were involving beyond the age of 8 years, but what I was saying is that PS3 and 360 are 'proper' consoles.

*shrug*

Some people consider my posts too long to maintain their attention. However, I only really chain my replies into one single post because it's considered rude to chain-post. I really didn't intend to put you through reading all of the responses, merely the last one; if you felt like reading the others, that's your prerogrative.

As for your comment on PDZ, I thought you might've meant that, but it was quite far from clear; it makes more sense now that you've re-phrased it that way. Indeed, Had Nintendo kept simply that series, and they had actually released PDZ by now, (ostensibly, for the GC, for which it was originally being developed for) that would've put a complete end to any and all arguments of Nintendo being a "kiddie" company. Of course, it's clear that Microsoft didn't gain much from having PDZ either, which in my opinion, really sucks, as this simply results in the gamers losing out; I was personally disspointed to see the sequel flop like that. Seems Rare stopped shining since Microsoft bought them.

Lastly, could you please define "proper" consoles here? I hate to ask, but just about everyone has a different opinion on what it should mean, usually one that's also in line with their actual opinions on the consoles themselves.

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Hmm, man that is pretty good deal if you ask me. I remember purchasing the PS 1 Japanese release and paying $900 for console and by the time i was done it was like $1300 with accessories. How long was this ago?.....think about it. Back then console companies cared about how much they made off the console. I paid $600 for the 3DO machine. So really there is not much too decide. If you really want it you will pay for it and if they really want to make money of the console, people will still buy it. So really if you think about it, w/inflation considerations, this is a pretty good deal (assuming you want to dish out the dough when it first comes out).

-Sezy

Well, in theory, there's someone who'd buy consoles at any price. For many, $599US for a Playstation 3. If the machine does have PVR ability right out of the box, I can imagine its immense appeal to people looking for a one-piece entertainment center to go with their 1080p HDTV.

However, it might be worth noting that that 3DO was a complete flop. Even considering the serious inflation that's taken place since then, it's also important to note that while prices have increased across the board, (by some 50% since the 1994-1996 era, I believe) wages/salaries really haven't, resulting in a lower standard of living... Which in turn makes people have less money.

So even if the $600US to buy a PS3 is worth substantially less than the $600US for a 3DO back in '93, it actually might be even harder for someone to afford the PS3 today. Especially given that the 3DO worked just fine on any one of the ubiquitous color SDTVs that existed them, but for now, you're largely wasting the money spent on a PS3 unless you also get a 1080p HDTV.
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Interesting points.

I just go back and remind the legion pf SONY fans and point out for all their praise for this $500 (and counting) system is that It hasn't been released yet!!!!!!! It is still vaporware. :p 

The Nintendo Wii is shipping now at under $300. :D 

I won't buy either system. I prefer to dabble with the current consoles at bargin prices for my children.

Is the Wii shipping already? I have my doubts here, unless I really missed something. I do believe that both systems will be hitting stores at roughly the same time, that being in the fall season of this year.

And indeed, I really didn't pay much attention to consoles; the last one I actually had myself was an N64, along with a PS1. I've actually played quite abit on the "current gen," (ending with Xbox/GC) but don't own any of them.

As far as it goes, consoles are trying to mimic PC gaming experiences, including trying to cram loads of processing power in a machine. I say no thanks; my own gaming rig can easily best any console out there, and I only hence need one machine, one which I'd have even if I wasn't a gamer.
May 16, 2006 7:26:46 AM

:roll:

How someone can get as confused as you are, and still function at daily life....
May 16, 2006 4:37:27 PM

By 'proper' I guess I mean 'more grown up', for want of a better phrase. Mario games are great fun for kids and are a bit of an uninvolving laugh for adults, but I find Nintendo are missing a trick where they should be taking a leaf out of the SpongeBob SquarePants book and putting some genuinely funny subtle adult humour in there.
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