Published on October 5th, 2006 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder
Justify It – PlayStation 3Here we are. It’s early October, and the launch of Sony’s behemoth is less than 50 days away, with Nintendo’s Wii coming in a couple days later. With all this action going down fairly soon, it’s no surprise that gaming forums worldwide are heating up in anticipation and arguments based on their system of preference. I’ve decided to write my reasons, just to gauge where my opinion is compared to the rest of the public, and here goes nothing…
The first thing people bring up in these discussions is Sony’s use of Blu-Ray disc as it’s storage medium. Personally, I have no use for a High-Def format right now. Neither HD-DVD or Blu-Ray has any bearing on my gaming purchase as of yet due to my not owning an HDTV, so the entire “It’s a Blu-Ray player” argument does nothing to change my opinion.
I see no reasons to invest $600 for another console, add $60 for a game, and taxes – that comes to around $700 just to get the system home with a SINGLE game. Not to mention the fact that launch games for systems are generally the worst you’ll see. Combine that with the fact that nothing I’ve seen for the PS3 is too complex forthe Xbox 360 I have at home, and that investment seems like a bad move, does it not?
Then there’s the online network to worry about. The only games that will have any online for the PS3 on launch are first-party games. Sony just hasn’t seen fit to give third-party developers information about their gaming network plans, and that doesn’t bode well for launch either. After getting used to Xbox Live over the last couple of years, online gameplay is something I’ve come to expect from a gaming system that i’ll be investing close to a thousand dollars initially. Again, no reason for me to look into upgrading yet.
Another nail in the coffin for me about the PS3 was the Blu-Ray drive. As a gamer, I know that 50GB of gaming content would be an awesome feat – think of the size of an RPG on there! Alas, the reality hit me about that as well: how many companies can afford to fill up 50GB with game content? Think of the man-hours involved with creating that amount of models, textures, audio, etc… There are only a handful of companies that would even attempt such a massive game: Square-Enix, Capcom, Konami, and First-Party Sony developers. Even then, most of the space would be filled with Full-Motion Videos – something I honestly could care less about. Nowadays, consoles are more than capable enough to display cutscenes in the in-game engine, so resorting to FMVs is like a cop-out in my opinion, since the game doesn’t always look as good as FMV.
Here’s yet another common argument. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Cell processor is amazing, and is worth the money because of open worlds, and not needing pre-rendered videos.Ã¢â‚¬Â Once again, devs can do the same with 360 games – it just takes a developer that’s willing to do it, same thing goes for the “No pre-rendered graphics” argument. Now that they have 50GB of disc space due to Blu-Ray in the PS3, devs that enjoy FMVs will be adding them in because they have the space to do so.
Some people like to bring up technical info for the two juggernaut consoles, so here are come CPU stats:
The Cell processor is a custom-made IBM chip that is a single processor with 8 SPEs (Special Processing Elements). One of those controls the system, while the other seven are open for whatever devs can throw at it. The CPU in the 360 is also a custom-made IBM chip (that’s based on similar tech, no less) that is also a single chip, except the 360 chip has 3 cores capable of hyperthreading, giving the system a total of 6 cores. So, if having a multiple cored/threaded processor makes the PS3 next-gen and worth the money, then you would have to submit that the same can be said of the Xbox 360, correct?
To be honest, I could go on all day about the logical reasons I won’t be getting a PS3 this year. With developers making more multi-console games than ever before, the PS3 specs not being THAT much better than the 360 (CPU/GPU-wise), the 360’s ease of development, and the lower initial investment cost with Xbox 360, you have the makings of a serious battle in the console wars.
Don’t get me wrong, I want a PS3 as well – I just can’t justify spending over $660 just to get it home and play this holiday season, not to mention their unknown online structure again. For now, i’ll just stick to my Xbox 360 and plan on getting a Live Vision camera, Gears of War, Rainbow Six: Vegas, and Splinter Cell: Double Agent. That’s more gaming that I can shake a stick at until 2007 – and all for less than $250. Savings over getting a PS3 and one game: $410. Let’s check back in about a year Ã¢â‚¬â€œ when Sony has more games on the market, possibly a price drop or PS3 bundle deal, and I’ll probably have gotten an HDTV. Then we’ll see whether or not I can justify the price, unlike today.
All in all, the Playstation 3 is exactly the volley the next-gen gaming wars needed – it just seems that Sony’s breaking their own ankles when it comes to PR. In a year’s time, these console wars will heat up exponentially. And that’s not even factoring in the Wii yet, but my feelings for the Wii will be discussed another time.