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PS3 Impressions

As in years past, Sony put on a pretty impressive news conference. Once we got through the requisite Power Point presentations about how many units they've sold so far (over 100 million PS2s in the world) and how great PSP is, we got to see what we all came for -- PS3 game demos.

How good were they? Overall, what I expected. EA Sports was around to show off some cool facial animations and "player awareness" with demos of NBA Live 07 and Tiger Woods. Sony showed off some pretty wicked fist party offerings (including a demo of Heavenly Sword -- which was by far the best demo of the presentation).

Good news for all -- the controller for the PS3 is pretty much the same thing that we're used to on the PS2. Today, Sony unveiled the controller's six degrees of motion -- think a gyroscope inside the controller -- where players can adjust pitch and yaw just by moving the controller left to right and up and down.

Does this rain on Nintendo's Wii parade and their "revolutionary" controller? Um ... yeah, but where Nintendo got burned today by Sony, they can make fun of the PS3's price. Oh yeah, a lot of people are going to talk about this.

First off, Sony is going for two skews. Didn't they learn anything from Microsoft? Guess not. Who would ever buy the 20-gigabyte version? So when the PS3 launches on Nov. 17, be prepared to lay out some cash to do it right. A console, an extra controller, maybe a few games -- you're close to $1,000. Sure, you're getting a Blu-Ray player too, but $600 is still a lot to pay for a gaming console.

Looking forward to Nintendo's and Microsoft's news conferences today.

By Bob Greiner  |  May 9, 2006; 4:32 AM ET  | Category:  E3: Dispatches
Previous: Party Hardly | Next: What Will Microsoft, Nintendo Cook Up?

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burned??? i dont think so seeing as the controller only features accelerometeres meaning that that only know movement on a basic scale, they have no spacial awearness and cannot be used in the same way as the Wii controller can, such as depth or as a poiting device, it cannot be used for things like light sabers, swords, guns, etc, also i notice how you didnt mention the bad things about the controller such as a lack of rumble feature or the fact that many people have been complaining about no place to put their thumbs when not being used,

as usual you have portrayed a bias view, my spelling may not be perfect but i can spot a bit of bad journalism when i see it!

Posted by: duophonix | May 9, 2006 8:32 AM

$600 is way too much to pay for a gaming console.

Posted by: Broke Gamer | May 9, 2006 8:47 AM

Seems to me like Sony's taking a huge risk including Blu-ray. They're so desperate to beat HD-DVD (Toshiba, NEC) in the format war, that they're in serious danger of allowing Nintendo back into the console war. If there was no Blu-ray inside -- and keep in mind, Sony claims that they're actually selling each console at a loss b/c of Blu-ray -- that would probably cut the price by $200, easy.

Remember, this will be the first Blu-ray device released in this country for the consumer market. HD-DVD will have hit the stores a couple months ahead of it (it's already out in Japan), and Sony's desperate to ensure that HD-DVD doesn't gain a foothold.

Sony's gotten burned by this before (Beta, MiniDisc), where they make a technologically superior format that no consumer wants to buy because of price point. You'd think they would've learned their lesson.

Posted by: jb | May 9, 2006 9:05 AM

'Does this rain on Nintendo's Wii parade and their "revolutionary" controller? Um ... yeah, but where Nintendo got burned today by Sony, they can make fun of the PS3's price. Oh yeah, a lot of people are going to talk about this.'

You got paid to write this? Do you know anything about the Nintendo's controller and what it does?........Bad journalism mate, it aint rained on nothing! It showed a knee jerk reaction from Sony. Only one game made use of this at E3 meaning they rushed it out.
Right now my mind is set. Every Console that has been released I have bought at launch and payed over the odds. Not anymore, I'll wait a few years for the PS3 to drop in price and get good games. While I play my Nintendo and have a blast..( Still find it hard to call it a Wii ) Right now I own a PS2, Gamecube and PSP but right now I want a DS lite, it simply has more fun games..I got a PSP as soon as it came out but the games are all rehashes of the PS2...I dont want the same game twice, as for the UMD discs.what a joke?

Posted by: Oh dear! | May 9, 2006 9:18 AM

the $499 version is a much better deal if it was just about a 60 gig versus 20 gig hard drive, and the $499 would way outsell the $599 version.

Of course, that's not the true story; and despite some apparently deliberate ambiguity by SONY, the real difference between the 499 and the 599 versions is significant:

$499: no wifi, no HDMI for HDTV, and no slots for memory cards.

SO yes, you are right, only a fool would buy the $499 version, but not because of the hard drive. In todays market, a 20 gig and a 60 gig hard drive are essentially the same price.

Posted by: gamer | May 9, 2006 9:21 AM

Nintendo will exploit this sad attempt to copy their technology and make Sony look like real chumps...

Posted by: Jim | May 9, 2006 9:24 AM

at that price, a lot of people won't buy it. when will they figure out, when people buy a game console they just want a game console.

Posted by: Matt | May 9, 2006 9:44 AM

Wii are coming.....Are you ready?

"Sony's gotten burned by this before (Beta, MiniDisc)"

Uh, minidisc should not be included with Betamax. Betamax failed. Minidisc is still the professional's choice for recording. If you don't believe me, check out the new Sony MZ-RH1 Hi-MD.

Posted by: Monte | May 9, 2006 10:21 AM

Wow. WaPo's gaming writer is almost as misinformed as their political writers, if that's possible.

Comparing the tile-sensistive PS3 controller to the Wii-mote is like comparing a Commodore 64 to an iMac.

The tilt-function added to the PS3 controller by Sony is a feature that was available on a standard Gameboy Advance 4 years ago.

The Nintendo "Wii-mote" can actually sense complete movement in 3D space, including tilting, depth perception, acceleration-detection, and pixel-accurate pointing capabilities.

Get your facts straight, WaPo, or we'll start calling this blog "Red America Part Deux" (inside joke about a political blog here on WaPo whose author, as it turns out, was a serial plageurist).

Posted by: John in Chicago | May 9, 2006 10:36 AM

$600! For that price you can buy an X-Box 360 pro console and four games. I agree with others that this blu-ray thing is the next beta max. After really enjoying my PS1 adn PS2, I am really disappointed and now getting an X-box 360.

Posted by: Craig in Bethesda | May 9, 2006 10:43 AM

if you take away the benefit of having a blu ray player, which is debatable at this time, with a dearth of movies, then the PS3 does not stack up well against the xbox 360-as a gaming device.

$600, won't be available to most US residents this year, and few games of any merit.

Sony's press conference sucked, by the way-and I think that the Sony is probably a better package than the xbox 360, even without the blu-ray--they threw a lot of money at it and it probably is more advanced than the xbox 360. Problem is it is exepensive as a game machine-forget about blu ray. By the time blu ray has enough movie to be worthwhile, the machines will be $300 a pop and people wont feel a need to buy a game player just to get a blu ray.

Sony was LAME---and showed very little. WHat they showed was a joke, and makes me wonder if the machine is really ready for delivery this november.

Posted by: gamez | May 9, 2006 10:54 AM

Sony's news conference was a pretty big letdown. Many of the features they had promised for the PS3:

4 USB ports, not 6
1 ethernet port, not 3
5.1 no 7.1

Posted by: Nick | May 9, 2006 10:59 AM

I'd just like to know where Sony and MS are finding these 20GB hard drives. Or even 60GB hard drives. Does anyone actually make something that small anymore?

"SO yes, you are right, only a fool would buy the $499 version, but not because of the hard drive. In todays market, a 20 gig and a 60 gig hard drive are essentially the same price."

Yeah, $0. Actually, if you could find a place that still had a 20GB drive in stock they would probably pay you to take it off their hands to free up inventory for $100 250GB drives.

Posted by: S C | May 9, 2006 11:05 AM

I had to smile to see everyone sticking up for the Wii---I was going to write it myself. Glad to know there are others out there. Also, the Sony Conference was one of the weakest ever. When the main speaker was drumming up reactions/memories to Ridge Racer I about died--haha! That is the game that is suppose to pull at our hearts and minds---haha! They have nothing on Mario, Zelda, Metroid and company. Some of their games did look pretty good---at least the ones that you could tell were not CG and were actual gameplay. What a piece of crap article. haha.

Posted by: The Czar | May 9, 2006 11:07 AM

Risky Pricing and Sony still hasn't really announced anything about their online gaming capabilities. Seems to me, that the PS3 is putting a lot of stock into the Blu -Ray Drive, and that is taking this piece of hardware more into a niche target of high end consumers who will see the value of spending 600 bux on a BR DVD player that by itself might run up to 1000.

But what about the family who doesn't care about Blu Ray? MS and Nintendo have to be happy to see the high pricing point.

Posted by: LWC | May 9, 2006 11:30 AM

So far, it sounds like I should buy a Wii (hate the name, love the games they listed and what you can do with them).

I'm far more excited that I got to see a pre-release Spore video - but down that I may have to buy another computer to play this PC game. Oh well.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | May 9, 2006 11:32 AM

Like many people, I have been anxiously awaiting the Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) ever since major discussion of the Cell processor emerged in late 2004. I have followed many of the announcements about the PS3, among them, the long list of speed and specs from last years e3 2005.

I resisted temptation to buy an Xbox 360, preferring to wait for Sony's more powerful, blu-ray playin', fully backwards compatible PS3.

As soon as I found out about Sony's latest "reductions" to the PS3, I wanted to post stating what a ripoff it all is. NO HDMI, No WiFi, No 1080p? As well as NO dual HDMI, No Tri-Ethernet. Sony must be out of their mind.

Forget about the $499 system, the only real next-gen system with blu-ray, HDMI and WiFi costs $599. Just like the Xbox, it is pointless to buy the lesser system, as it is lacking essential features needed for long term enjoyment of the system.

Sony should have swallowed the extra $800 million ($599 - $200 = $399, $200 x 4 million units = $800 million) and released a single console version with all the features. You want to charge $499? Throw in 160GB hard drive, two controllers and a game.)

Bottom line, the system Sony announced last year was worth $499 to me. The system they are actually selling is stripped down, and still costs $599. Sony should be selling the $599 system for $399 to compete with Xbox 360. It's simply not $200 dollars better than the Xbox 360.

Posted by: MrFezzywig | May 9, 2006 12:03 PM

"Does this rain on Nintendo's Wii parade and their "revolutionary" controller? Um ... yeah, but where Nintendo got burned today by Sony, they can make fun of the PS3's price. Oh yeah, a lot of people are going to talk about this."

Wow. Just wow. Sony has HARDLY rained on Nintendo's parade in this case. Do you know anything about the Wiimote at all? Do you know about its capabilities. Man, if I were you, I'd wait until 11:30 Central Mountain Time on Tuesday, May 9th (today) before you make any more assumptions about Nintendo.

Sony has again stolen an idea. The funny thing is, they've done it really crappily, hastily, and with (as is Sony's trademark) horrible hardware. Not to mention, they've slapped a $600 price tag on it. Way to go, Sony. You have just found yourself in last place.

Posted by: _Frameworks_ | May 9, 2006 12:18 PM

Obviously the guy who wrote this isn't into video games or has an concept of the gaming community. Crap some research first.

Posted by: Richard | May 9, 2006 12:36 PM

HD DVD is actually out now, and has been for about a month.

Posted by: Joe D. | May 9, 2006 1:05 PM

Mr. Reporter, we actually saw the conference online, so spare us the Sony bias. The price is too high, the controller is a remarkable joke (the DEVELOPER could barely land the plane), and the videos of the games did little or nothing to differentiate themselves from the Xbox360 quality.

If Sony doesn't luck out by having Blu-Ray win the format war by a large margin, we might be witnessing the demise of a once great company.

Posted by: Calvin | May 9, 2006 1:26 PM

600$ is steap for a gaming machine, but the ones who should really get the 600$ one arn't only gamers, and if they are.. hardcore gamers. The PS3 is going to be similar to the unreleased in America PSX. The PSX was just a PS2 with a bunch of stuff crammed into it. There were rumors that the PSX was going to be 1,000$+ in the United States. The PS3 is going to be a power house in which one's home theatre will revolve around. It has everything you need to enjoy. HD DVD's, HD Gaming, and communication options in their online community. The 600$ price tag is 100% worth it, but not if you are just going to play a few hit games like GTA and Gran Tourismo. It will be someone who has hundred's of DVD's and games.

I'm buying it!

Posted by: Mike D. | May 9, 2006 1:46 PM

Sony has made a mistake with the price. But the games and everything else will win the war.

Posted by: ollie | May 9, 2006 2:17 PM

I think Sony will succeed in impressing the crowd at E3 but I think it was sort of crazing to hear them basically steal Nintendo's idea of a motion sensitive controller. I guess we will have to see based on gameplay whos controller does best. As far as their online, I like the freeee part verrrry much!!! This will probably be the first time I will be playing online with wi-fi on a stationary system. By the looks of the price I congratulate Sony because they really are losing money on this deal, and for them to sacrifice profit for their loyal gamers I think they deserve a clap. To all of this commotion about Sony I think that Microsoft will go with their plan to combat the sell of the PS3 with the release of Halo 3.

Posted by: JoeShon aka J-City | May 9, 2006 2:43 PM

Sigh, the PS3 will suceed. The difference between the PS3 and an 360 at launch is about $100 (600 vs. 500). the PS3 sold 4-5 times as much as the 360, that pretty much breaks even any price difference there.

Not to mention everytime Sony released a gaming system, it cost $100 more than the competition but still won the majoirty of marketshares.

Examples: PSX (~$200?) vs. N64 (<$150). PS2 vs. Xbox (same price, 100million units sold vs. 20million) vs. Gamecube ($100 more throughout, 100million sold vs. <20million). PSP and the DS, PSP $100 more but sold same amount (people werent as excited for the PSP compared to PS2/PS3).

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2006 4:49 PM

^Correction, PS2 sold 4-5 times as much as the Xbox (not PS3 vs. 360)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2006 4:50 PM

''Sigh, the PS3 will suceed. The difference between the PS3 and an 360 at launch is about $100 (600 vs. 500).''

just to let you know the 360 is going to be cut down in price, when the PS3 comes out, so more people will choose the 360, so it will actually be $300-$400 vs $600.Not to forget, that the price of the games and accesories as well, god knows how much there going to be.

''Sigh, the PS3 will suceed.''

This comment just proves how ignorant you are, didnt you just read the comments? And back up your claims before that computer of yours pours out more stupid comments.How do you even know the PS3 is going to win?its not even out yet!Producing a product that is supported by reputation is the wrong way to go.

Posted by: gaming/ computer enthusiast (geek) | May 9, 2006 5:26 PM

$100 more to have a game system included future techs Blu-Ray, cell processor plus excellent graphic. What more do you want, I guess you can keep $100 in your pocket and settle for the current standard process with soon to be outdated DVD player and not so impressive HD graphic.

Most of you would probably say that Xbox 360 will soon have HD-DVD as an external drive. Would you guys ask yourselves what is the cost for the external HD-DVD? I would guess at least around $300.

Let do the Math??

Posted by: Guest | May 9, 2006 11:33 PM

The xbox 360 beets the PS3 as i have read on many sights (that are unbiased) and have said that the 360 will have better graphics and processing power than the PS3- The CPU (Cell) in the PS3 has only one PPE,compared to the xbox 360's Xenon's three.

which means that developers will have to cram all their game control, AI, and physics code into at most two threads that are sharing a very narrow execution core with no instruction window.

Not forgeting that the cell processor was only produced for multimedia, not gaming. While the xenon CPU was made specificaly for gaming.

Not to forget the graphcs card - but im not going into that as its too long, to many numbers and calculations. How about i make it short? xbox 360 will have better graphics overall and also better value wise.Not forgeting that sony ver hypes its porducts too.

Posted by: gaming/ computer enthusiast (geek) | May 10, 2006 5:21 PM

i really cant be botherd to explain as i will just be repeating everything thats already said, but if you know a bit about computers (and have actually done there research rather than just say the first thing that comes into your mind) then go to this site

all you tech heads would know which one to choose as i have too.

And to all you Ps3 fans out there ill give you some advice try to backup your comments before you spew out more crap.

e.g--'included future techs Blu-Ray, cell processor plus excellent graphics.' How do you know? at least some people who support microsoft backup there claims.

Posted by: gaming/ computer enthusiast (geek) | May 10, 2006 5:30 PM

i allways thought ps3 would be beter now im not so sure and it wont be worth the wait and the xtra cash go xbox360

Posted by: sinista motivs | June 24, 2006 11:19 PM

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