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Sony releases Playstation 3 (PS3), after giving Microsoft Xbox360 a 12 month head start

ConsumerWatch / Strategic News Nov 19, 2006 - 07:19 PM GMT

By: Nadeem_Walayat

ConsumerWatch

Sony finally releases Play Station 3 in the US and Japan, though other parts of the world will have to wait a while. This might sound like good news for US & Japanese game players, but Sony is not expected to be able to satisfy the demand until well into 2007, so most game players wanting the Sony 3 will still have to wait a while longer. The official price for the PS3's is between $549 and $659 (depending on extras), but some of the PS3s are being offered on eBay for up to five times their retail price i.e. $2,500.

Sony releases Playstation 3 (PS3), after giving Microsoft Xbox360 a 12 month head start


How much will it cost and what do you get ?
There are two PS3 systems . The less expensive system retails at $549 and has a 20 gigabyte hard drive, a built in Blu-ray DVD player, no WiFi but Bluetooth for the PS3 controller, HDMI port and support of 480i, 480p, 720i, 720p 1080i, and 1080p video modes and features four USB ports to hookup USB devices.

The higher-end console retails at $659 and has a 60 gig hard drive, Blu-ray DVD player, WiFi, Bluetooth, memory card reader, HDMI and support of 480i, 480p, 720i, 720p, 1080i, 1080p video modes, USB Port.

Both feature 512meg ram, and the 3.2 gighz processor.

Why the delay ?
Originally the PS3 was due to be released in 2005 !, But continuing problems with the Blu-ray optical disc technology with regards copy protection, problems with the graphics chips, and the difficult to manufacture Sony Cell processor.

The costs of the delay to Sony
You may think that finally Sony will start to reap the rewards from the release of PS3, unfortunately that facts are that the PS3's are being sold at a loss, as Sony is expecting to make money from the games software that will be released. So far the few first generation games released are not much difference quality wise than Xbox. The delay is likely to have a big impact on profits on the back of costs of recalling millions of Sony-made lithium-ion batteries. Thus profits for 2006 are likely to be half the forecasts.

The stock price has also suffered, having fallen by nearly 30% from highs earlier in the year.

Who is the winner ? Microsoft XBOX360 or Sony PS3 ?
Microsoft, having had a 12 month head start over Sony, has had time to grab market share from Sony's delays which seemed to go on for an eternity. Worst still even now, today most customers will not be able to purchase the PS3 for Christmas's, with barely 200,000 units released to the US Market, with an estimated demand for over 1 million machines, which means many more gamers will give up and go with the XBOX360, especially since there is little difference in the quality of games, with the advantage to Microsoft in having many more games available, as Sony is expected to have available barely 20 PS3 games in the launch window. Important titles such as Sega's new Sonic the Hedgehog has not been completed whereas the XBOX360 versions will be released in time for Christmas.

Sony had previously stated that all PS2 games would work on the PS3, unfortunately this is no longer true !, now upto 20% of PS2 games will not work properly with the Sony playstation.

Also Sony has made a major strategic mistake in not developing an online gaming presence and pretty much left it to the game publishers to develop their own sites, whereas Microsoft has developed a central website for all gamers to use. As the future of gaming is for online multi-player action.

Another problem that Sony has is the difference in the DVD technologies adopted, Sony's Blue Ray is not compatible with Microsoft's HD-DVD, what this means is that one of these systems will become invalid as a DVD player within a year or two.

Clearly so far, Microsoft is winning the games console battle. With sony scoring many own goals.

Comparison of Specifications between Xbox360 and PS3

Microsoft Xbox 360
Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3)
CPU IBM PowerPC CPU
  • 3 symmetrical cores @3.2 GHz each
  • 2 hardware threads per core, 6 total
  • VMX-128 vector unit per core; 3 total
  • 128 VMX-128 registers per hardware thread
  • 1 MB L2 cache
Cell Processor -
  • Developed jointly by Sony, Toshiba and IBM ("STI"), Core @3.2GHz
  • 1 VMX vector unit per core
  • 7x SPE @3.2GHz
  • 7x 128b 128 SIMD GPRs
  • 7x 256KB SRAM for SPE
  • 512KB L2 cache

* 1 of 8 SPEs reserved for redundancy total floating point performance : 218 GFLOPS

Graphics Microsoft/ATI @500MHz
  • 10 MB of embedded DRAM
  • 48-way parallel floating-point dynamically scheduled shader pipelines
  • Unified shader architecture
  • 48 billion shader operations per second

RSX (NVIDIA)

  • 1.8 TFLOPS floating point performance
  • Dual screen output, each up to 1080p resolution (1920x1080)
Memory
  • 512 MB GDDR3 RAM
  • 256MB XDR Main RAM @3.2GHz
  • 256MB GDDR3 VRAM @700MHz
Memory Bandwidth
  • 22.4 GB/s memory interface bus bandwidth
  • 256 GB/s memory bandwidth to EDRAM
  • 21.6 GB/s front-side bus
  • Main RAM: 25.6GB/s
  • VRAM: 22.4GB/s
  • RSX: 20GB/s (write) + 15GB/s (read)
  • SB: 2.5GB/s
HDD Detachable 20GB Detachable 2.5″ HDD slot x 1
60GB (Premium) 20GB (Base)
Communication
  • Ethernet
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g (optional extra)
  • 3x Ethernet
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g (built-in)
  • Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)
I/O
  • up to 4 wireless controllers
  • 3x USB 2.0 ports
  • 2x memory unit slots
  • up to 7 wireless controllers (Bluetooth)
  • 4x Front USB (2.0)
  • 2x Rear USB (2.0)
  • 1x Memory Stick Standard/Duo, PRO x 1
  • 1x SD standard/mini
  • 1x CompactFlash (Type I, II) x 1
AV Connections Component, composite, VGA, Optical Audio
  • 2x HDMI, Optical Audio, AV Multi
Video Output 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Audio Output
  • Multi-channel surround sound output
  • Supports 48KHz 16-bit audio
  • 320 independent decompression channels
  • 32-bit audio processing
  • Over 256 audio channels
  • Dolby 5.1, DTS, LPCM, etc.
Disc Media
  • CD: CD-DA (ROM), CD-R, CD-RW, WMA CD, MP3 CD, JPEG Photo CD
  • DVD: DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW
  • CD: CD-DA (ROM), CD-R, CD-RW, SACD, DualDisc
  • DVD: DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW
  • Blu-ray Disc: BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE
Price $299 to $360 depening on extra's $549 to $659 depending on extra's

 

Conclusion
Sony has developed a potentially good gaming platform in the PS 3, BUT it has made far too many strategic mistakes, far too many, that have likely enabled Microsoft to benefit hugely, especially since the problems will continue well into 2007, namely the lack of supply, the lack of PS3 games, and relative price, means that XBOX will likely continue to benefit at Sony's expense well into 2007. We will have to see what the situation is in 6 months time, whether the DVD Player technology takes off, and what level of supplies hit the market as most importantly the number of games titles on release.

If you are looking to buy an PS3, then I would say buy a Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii. There is nothing in the new PS3 games is worth paying that much for it right now and the technology needs to be tested in the market place for compatability and durability issues..


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Comments


19 Nov 06, 21:03
30,000 PS3's on ebay
Your right, ebay is full of sony playstation 3's. getting over 30000 hits !

And you say they only recieved 200k in the USA ? Though the price is as low as $900, which is probably due to so many people trying to make a quick buck by selling them on.

26 Nov 06, 13:07
Too few PS3's released in the USA
200,000 units is nowhere enough for the USA, Sony have messed up big time !

I tried to get one but failed and no way am i going to pay $1,000+ to get one off ebay !

I agree the winner here is definetly Xbox, I personally will now buy an Xbox 360 its far cheaper and most importantly its in stock !

They are going to sell millions of these over Christmas, sony has made a big mistake as people who had been waiting for it will now literally give up !

27 Nov 06, 16:17
Re: Sony releases Playstation 3 (PS3), after giving Microsoft Xbox360 a 12 month head
Here in the USA the PS3 Has dropped in retail price on E-Bay drastically.
They were going for over $1500 at first, but now they are asking for $700 and getting no bids. It only went on sale two weeks ago!
If I were Sony, I'd be very concerned.

05 Dec 06, 23:12
Sony PS3 - HD 1080i problems with PS3 games and blu-ray drives
HD 1080i problems with PS3 games and blu-ray

I'm learning this the hard way and it's really pissing me off. It's absolutely ridiculous that Sony doesn't state these compatibility issues. No where is it listed on the box or documentation. Basically if you don't have 720p and or 1080p you are screwed. Several reports say this affects older HDTVs that don't support 720p/1080p. I have a Sony and Zenith HD tv set. Is a 2 year old and a 3 year old CRT based HDTV set really old school? I run HD cable service and the XBOX360 and run everything at 1080i. ZERO problem and never would have even thought it would be an issue.

Basically - I'm playing Gears of War at 480p - no 1080i support at all. While 480p is not shabby it's not HD and doesn't provide widescreen viewing.

Playing BluRay movies at 1080i makes my Zenith turn on and off every 7-8 seconds. It's annoying because when I can see it running at 1080i it's great for 7 seconds then the screen blanks out for 4 seconds. On occasions I was able to watch a complete BluRay movie without it flicking on and off.

On another note... setting up the wireless connection was a real pain in the butt. I had to completely change my wireless security setup just to get it to connect. It took me two days just to figure out how to get online. It's embarrassing considering I've setup maybe a dozen wireless appliances in the past without a hitch.

I've never encountered a console machine with so many fatal flaws. And I mean "FATAL" flaws. I've already got this piece of sh#$*@t on Craigslist because I simply don't need this much aggravation to play video games.

The new CEO of Sony Entertainment I squarely blame with these problems.

I'm a big Sony fan and was rooting for the PS3. I bought the XBOX360 last year as an "interim" machine while I waited for the PS3. The logic was to sell my XBOX360 after getting the PS3. Now after just owning the PS3 for less than a week, I'm fed up with the continued list of problems.

Observation: I've been switching back and forth between playing the XBOX 360 and PS3 and I'm having a hard time believing that the top rated game Resistance Fall of Man for the PS3 is a "next generation" game. I'm playing Gears of War and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfare on the XBOX 360 and by far they are superior games to Resistance (not just in graphics but in overall gameplay).

FYI - I'm posting this message on as many forums to help other frustrated users. This is not because I want to take it out on Sony. It's my duty to inform others because I've been thankful with all of the useful info I've found on the web which has made my life easier.
Niyaaz Mustapha
08 Apr 08, 16:15
what made u make a ps3

i have a question

what made the sony people make a ps3 why coundn't you just stop at the ps2?


Robbi
16 Oct 10, 04:09
Ps3 now dominates

Ps3 now dominates xbox. Xbox sucks, guys! remember this, if you want the better console just wait till the future! Im waiting for ps4!


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