Did MS and sony start the new gen too early?

WelshBluebird

Well-known Member
Just something that I thought I'd bring up since it was being discussed on another site I go onto.

Considering that the PS2 is still outselling both the 360 and the PS3, does anyone else feel the new generation was started too early? Or is it just that people are still buying the PS2 because its cheap and still has good games (like god of war 2).
 
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Deleted member 92943

Guest
I've noticed that a few of my family members have been picking up cheap PS2 consoles becuase of games like Buzz and Singstar which are good fun to play with the family. I don't think next gen consoles came too soon though, especially with the xbox as the Original one has been dead in the water a while now while PS2 still sells
 

Mark Botwright

Distinguished Member
If the European PS3 had full BC i would've said no. However, without the space for another box under my TV, for me it's a case of PS2 or PS3 and for now the PS2 still seems to have a lot of life left in it.

Microsoft had to do something to gain an advantage in some way and forcing an early entrance into the "next gen" race seems to have forced Sony's hand likewise.
 

Kahled

Active Member
An interesting question.

Bear in mind with my answer that I do tend to be quite pro-XBox but also that I have purchased all of the current gen and old gen machines as well.

Did Sony and Microsoft launch too soon?

Microsoft no with the 360, Sony yes with the PS3.

The original XBox, while being a damn fine gaming machine offering the first really great online integerated service for a console, launched too late into the market against the heavily entrenched PS2. At the time it was too expensive over the competition and offered some improvement over the PS2 but outside of the online not much that was to make it a mass must buy. The XBox did okay but to give the brand the spark it needed Microsoft had to get the 360 out and introduce HD gaming, modern processors and graphics capability. The XBox was fumbling in the market and so they needed the 360.

The PS3 is in a different boat though and it never ceases to amaze me how many parallels can be drawn between the PS3 launch and the original XBox launch, I've been knocked for saying it before but as time goes on more and more I see the PS3 as this generations XBox. Just about every knock and insult aimed at the original XBox is now applying to the PS3. If the PS3 had launched at the same time (give or take a month or two) as the 360 and been non-blu ray based with a similar price tag then things would be very different but it did not and they are not. The PS3 has launched much later giving the 360 a good entrenched user base and more importantly a good software base that appears only to be improving with exclusive after exlusive going multi-format rather than remaining in the Sony stable. The PS3 has a lot of catching up to do and the price tag that it's carrying could be every bit as detremental as it was to the original XBox, and worse a good number of titles being ported to it are widely being criticised for being inferior to their 360 counterparts... and that is really not the sort of stigma that the machine would want to be carrying even if the odd title is improved (Oblivion being a good example). Sony could survive quite happily on the laurels of the PS2 for some time yet (as sales certainly show) so to come to market late with a machine that offers any debateable advantage outside of its blu-ray playing capability (and how long will that advantage remain before cheaper players are available?) is quite possibly mistimed. They should probably have waited another year or two and come back with something that offered the advantages over the 360 as the 360 has over the previous generation machines. And so that is why I would say the PS3 has launched too soon. If it had been at the same time as the 360 or the 360 was not there then the time would have been right as people wanted that sort of leap, but as yet the PS3 is more a case of too little (over the 360) too late than any sort of revolution that will capture people.

The phenominal success of the Wii shows that SD gaming is far from dead and PS2 sales also back this up, but a lot of people were ready for the next evolution and the PS3 is very late for that party.

That's my take on it anyway.
 

Tejstar

Distinguished Member
Console sales really kick-off once the hardware pricing comes right down - the same happened with the PSone. I think this gen came at the right time, however for many people, they will unlikely adopt this hardware until pricing is a much more reasonable level.
 

Sinzer

Distinguished Member
I think this Gen is the first gen that people are not really excited about! You have one console that does not offer any significant improvement over current consoles in terms of power. And you have two consoles who offer some improvement but do not deliver in terms of gameplay.

To me the industry has slowed down a lot since the heady days of the Megadrive and SNES. The jumps in console hardware and software were far more than today's gen.

Atari 2600 - NES/Master System - Simple block graphics to sprites and the ability to have larger scale games, adventure games, platformers etc. that no longer relied on simple repetitions of previous levels in different colours :p

NES/Master - SNES/ Megadrive - Huge improvement in power and game size, suddenly truely epic games started being made, that actually looked pretty good too.

SNES/Megadrive - PSOne/N64 - The 3D revolution and gaming on a format that offered huge data space. Suddenly, new genres were invented or properly realised, true physics based racing games, 3rd Person Adventure games, FPS.

DC - Travesty of justice! Demonstration of what happens when you sit in between gens!

PSOne/N64 - PS2/GC/X-Box - Again an increase in power, but not exceeding the previous gens, releases begin to stale. The only platform that offers truely inventive gaming performs the worst (GC). The tried and tested mass appeal formulas let the PS2 thrive, despite it being the middle of the road machine. Online gaming actually established itself in the form of the X-box.

PS2/GC/X-Box - PS3/Wii/X-Box360 - Increase in power is no longer exponential, PS2 games produced today can still look impressive. Games being released on the two main systems PS3 and X-Box360 both stick to mass appeal (so far). The Wii gets an amazing start as it takes the pre-cursor of the GC and finally goes all out for a reinvention and ignores power as a selling point.

Was this gen too soon?

No, it came at the right time.

Does this gen actually deliver?

No, it simply cannot match the gameplay and power jumps that the previous gens offered. It will be an interesting 24 months. It may even be that games companies reconsider their position on future gens, I think the industry has peaked, it is now mass market and how it deals with that will determine the timescales for the next gen.

On a personal note, I don't yet own any new gen macines and predominantly play PC and PS2 games. I am looking at buying a PS3 though :) I would love a Wii, but until it has enough 3rd Party Support I am loath to get it as I am bored of the formulaic in house Nintendo games. 360 does not offer anything over the PC at the moment, and I would rather fiddle around with driver issues :p lol
 

INSOMANiAC

Banned
I think this Gen is the first gen that people are not really excited about! .

thats just you getting old mate !

It true though, these 'next-gen' machines dont blow people away like machines of old. Simply because the leap in graphics isnt as huge as from megadrive to Psone, or snes to N64. Its the future ! and its bleak.
 

shay0

Distinguished Member
I don't think it's just down to graphics that people don't get blown away... it's more down to complacency. When the MD/SNES came out it was a big thing and a lot of homes weren't into gaming and couldn't afford the kit.

As time has gone on, the prices have tumbled, people have had more disposable income, electronics in general are now just about everywhere in the home and people expect new consoles as a matter of course. They're not wowed by much anymore, because they've been spoilt with something new coming out on a regular basis.

TBH, I believe the next gen's are going to have to wait at least 5+ years or be completely revolutionary and mind blowing, otherwise people just won't be interested.
 

Tejstar

Distinguished Member
TBH, I believe the next gen's are going to have to wait at least 5+ years or be completely revolutionary and mind blowing, otherwise people just won't be interested.

Who knows whether we'll see big console releases in the future. Manufacturers may just take a modular approach and continually revise hardware (much like Ninty's handheld strategy).
 

Dunwa

Active Member
Okay first things first, where my loyalty and instinctive bias resides. I’m an avid gamer who’s been playing since Elite on the BBC Micro, through the Amiga days and now onto PC games. I have an original Xbox but only really for Halo 1 & 2, my wife uses it mainly for Sims games now. I do not own a single “Next Gen” console.

So down to the question, did MS and Sony start “Next gen” too early. Wording aside and what people expect from “Next Gen”, as a PC gamer I don’t consider HD “Next gen”, I believe that now is the right time to release the “next version” of their consoles.

The current version of their consoles is fast reaching capacity and developers are trying every trick in the book to squeeze performance out of them, kind of like console over clocking. This can only go so far and I think we’ll see the crunch in 6 months as they hit the brick wall. It is going to take a year or so before we see games that stretch the “Next Version” consoles as the developers despite have pre release kits further enhance and tweak processes to get the most out of the console.

If MS and Sony had waited until the developers hit the brick wall then they would potentially expose themselves to a gap in the market that would arise from the various development houses getting to grips with the new code.

Following on from Sinzer’s post I think that we’re seeing a slowdown partly due to the cost and investment it takes to get a game off the drawing boards and out to the market, the cost now rivalling some Hollywood blockbuster movies. This has forced a lot of the innovation and smaller games companies out of the market. It was these small companies that led the “Next Generation Games” from a decade ago, now they have been absorbed into Global conglomerates that are not willing to take the risk in generating a new genre. As a result we get constant rehashes of current games with a few tweaks, bells and whistles added to please the gamer. Take away the lovely HD cut scenes with expensive Hollywood actors and is C&C3 really any different to the plethora of the other RTS games out there ?

For me Nintendo is the only company that has taken a step back and tried to reengineer the games market. With the Wii they have been truly innovative and this can be see from the phenomenal sales of their console. What remains to be seen is whether or not this success is sustainable and if they can attract the software houses to develop innovative games for them before MS and Sony throw investment into their consoles to provide the same interactivity.
 

Sinzer

Distinguished Member
I think that we're seeing a slowdown partly due to the cost and investment it takes to get a game off the drawing boards and out to the market, the cost now rivalling some Hollywood blockbuster movies. This has forced a lot of the innovation and smaller games companies out of the market.

Good point.

I don't think there are any small publishing companies now. The only community that thrives is the PC mod community, and these guys get snapped up left, right and center if their mod is any good.

Manufacturers may just take a modular approach and continually revise hardware (much like Ninty's handheld strategy).

I don't think this will become too widespread, you might be able to get minor updates, like bigger HD or wider screen or higher resolution support. However, I would severly doubt they would go down the full modular route, it would simply be the same as a PC then and games companies would hate it. The testing costs of a console game would sky rocket!!!

Simple fact is that PC market is inundated with bugs and compatability issues, one of the biggest selling points of consoles and one of the main reasons they are so successful is that they work with no technical expertise required.
 

shay0

Distinguished Member
But, isn't the PS3 esentially a PC dressed up as a games console? There has to be some arument for that with YDL being put on it, apparently with the blessing of Sony.

As for a modular launch, why not? People know that with anything electrical, the price is going to drop like a stone in a short period of time and with the lack of launch titles being complained at with the PS3, what's to encourage people to adopt early? Therefore, what's the point in spending shed loads of cash on a massive launch, to an apathetic audience.
 

WelshBluebird

Well-known Member
But the point for consoles though is that it just works. Every game should work in every console that game was designed for. (so every PS3 game will work with every PS3 etc). Thats the beauty and attraction of console gaming (apart from the cheaper entry cost). You don't have to check specs to make sure Game X will work on your machine.

Making it modular would defeat that point. I know there have been modular upgrades to consoles before, but in my limited experience, nothing that major (only came into gaming in the PS1 era though, so have missed stuff before that)
 

Tejstar

Distinguished Member
Both Sony and MS are losing lots on the PS3 and 360 respectively, at least in the short term. A modular approach would make sense as there would be a continual evolution of a console (say every 2 years) which would mean the company's would have to take less of a gamble on which features to introduce in a console just for the sake of future-proofing.
 

Sinzer

Distinguished Member
company's would have to take less of a gamble on which features to introduce in a console just for the sake of future-proofing.

But it will cost them shedloads to develop software for it, they also have the problem of hardware compatibility. This means that developers/publishers will favour the easy to produce for console, because their margins are higher. Development times for the PC are horrendous because of by the time they get halfway through the project, what they can actually do on a PC has changed so much!

I agree that some things could become modular, HD space, type of disc reader, possibly things like system RAM that would allow increased textures etc.

But you could not make the CPU/graphics/motherboard modular without causing lots of issues in software development.

The PC market dwindles because of this, it has a lot of cutting edge software, but it will not become mainstream, because of the amount of problems faced by users. The PC market is now really the beta area for consoles, once something starts to take off in that market it generally goes to consoles and then dies out on the platform. In most cases it is now really becoming a showcase for the latest 3-D engine, which is then used to produce a tonne of console games where publishers really make their money.

Kind of going off-topic :)
 

Tejstar

Distinguished Member
What would be great is if Sony, MS and Ninty joined forces and just had one standard where games could be played on any console. Hardware would then become commodotised whilst they could still make money where the margins are still decent i.e software!
 

shay0

Distinguished Member
Or as an alternative, a machine that could play all formats, ala a HD-DVD/Blu-Ray player :)
 

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