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Sony announces PS4 with 8-core x86 processor, 8GB GDDR5 memory and DualShock 4 (thenextweb.com)
238 points by recoiledsnake 787 days ago | 280 comments



If their recent rework of the Playstation Store is any indication, the PS4 is doomed. They are just Microsoft II - on the surface it ticks all the boxes, but the resulting experience sucks balls. As if it were designed, implemented, but never actually used before the release.

When PS3 came out, it was excellent. It was an adult-oriented standalone console that worked well as a media center and it was also really well designed. It was true to the spirit of old Sony electronics - a self-sufficient device with a polished interface that matched its function. Sure it had a hook up to the Internet and PSN, but it was secondary. But then they started "improving" things. First, you got promo ads in the corner of the home screen. Never asked for a permission, no way to turn them off, even by disabling the network connection. So my device was little bit less mine. Then they started pushing "selected apps"- Netflix-Shmetflix and what not. Again, without asking, just because it was good for me, and, again, the device became even less mine. At the same time they increased the font size and replaced that beautiful Navier-Stokes visualization of a loading indicator with some generic spinner clock thingy. Sprinkled some other crap over the UI.

Just now imagine your old Sony cassette deck deciding to show you ads for new Justin Bieber album and offering to share shit on Facebook. That's PS3 now. So it's hardly surprising that I have no hope and zero expectations that PS4 will be anything else but a disappointment.

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This is my fear as well. The user experience of the PS3 could have been so much better if they hadn't let the bean counters tamper with it. For example the home screen selection starts at the Sony store - each time I turn on the PS3 and have to navigate several slots away just to play my game pissed me off and turns me off from buying another Sony product.

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Er… have you used a Xbox 360 lately? Most of the dashboard is ads: http://images.eurogamer.net/2012/articles//a/1/5/2/9/2/2/6/A...

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I recently was locked out of several games and Netflix because they wanted additional email addresses on my Xbox live account - I already had the primary and a back up - now they have 2 back ups! And this wasn't to play games over the WAN - this was to play games locally while logged in as my XBox Live user!

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I had to deal with this last night so I could play a lego game locally with my son. I've never been particularly happy about having to have a live subscription for streaming video services and this was even more annoying. As it stands now I've just about had it with consoles.

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All of that, and they store your credit card info in plain text.

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That's a problem for the banks (who insure all that money for fraud), not really a problem for the individual (who are insured).

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I disagree. Very much a problem for the individual who has the hassle of dealing with the banks, is exposed to identity theft and all the other numerous repercussions of having your personal information stored insecurely online.

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As somebody who's had his card info stolen before, I'd say it's troublesome even in the best case. Everything starts declining, you have to spend hours talking to the bank to get it all straightened out, and then you have to go through everything you're subscribed to and make sure to change them all to the new card when it comes in.

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I'd love to see a third party service that would deal with having your wallet (or card info) stolen - it would automatically cancel all your cards, sort out billing issues in the meantime, replace all your other cards, etc. Idea for a startup?

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This exists. I saw Royal Bank of Canada offering this service for $15/mo or thereabouts. It felt like a rip-off of gullible customers more than anything.

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It seems that you were never involved with recovering your money once an unapproved debit took place with stolen credit card references. It does not matter if you are insured or not, it's not straightforward and causes major trouble to get back your property.

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5 times. Each time the bank called me, and told me they were sending a new card. (Once was a false positive).

New card arrived within 3 days from old card being stopped. Money was reimbursed the same day it was taken.

The false positive was when I was traveling, and it was a minor hassle (as I had multiple credit cards).

I take it from the responses from people, my experience isn't typical.

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Well you seem to be one of the lucky ones! What's your bank ?

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Time has no value for you, then?

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It doesn't matter if they are Microsoft II since Microsoft is their only competition in this space.

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I don't know why you're saying that, disruption is right around the corner:

http://greenthrottle.com/ - Play mobile games on your TV

http://www.bluestacks.com/ - Play mobile games on your PC

http://www.ouya.tv/ - Android gaming console

http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/6/3958162/valve-steam-box-cak... - Play games sold on Steam directly on your TV

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With the exception of the steam box, you listed mobile gaming platforms.

Mobile games thus far can be placed into one of two categories:

A: Ports of obsolete PC/Console games with terrible control schemes.

B: Casual games.

The last time around, Sony tried to position itself as the platform for hardcore gamers. It appears that they are doing the same thing with the PS4. Hardcore gamers only play casual games either when they are away from home, or when they don't have time to play on their platform of choice. I'm not sure who technically won between Sony and MS, but it wasn't a landslide victory.

Don't get me wrong, casual games are great. Nintendo, Apple and Google have proven that there is a huge market for casual games, and it probably has a larger market than there is for hardcore gaming, I don't really know. Even if it is, that doesn't necessarily mean that traditional gaming is going to die.

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It's surprising to see so many people on HN of all places arguing that Sony is not competing with mobile. The previous poster used the term "disruption" for a reason - this is straight out of Innovator's Dilemma.

Sony and its advocates will argue that their focus is on serious/hardcore gamers, not casual/mobile gaming. Casual gamers don't pay premium prices and there may even be a smaller margin on mobile sales, such that it currently makes business sense to yield that market. But the PS is locked into long hardware development cycles and the platform needs to support games for years into the future, while mobile hardware is updated continuously such that the difference between the platforms will shrink - stealing away increasing numbers of consumers and development shops.

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I think that we'll eventually reach the threshold where devices of all sizes have true "retina" quality screens, along with GPUs powerful enough to back them up, but that won't happen in the next generation of consoles, and even if it did, there is still one astronomical hurdle we have to jump in order to level the playing field.

Even at it's best, controlling a 3d game with a touch screen is a horrifyingly awful experience. It's so bad that I haven't made it out of the first level of any of the games I've tried. Not because I can't clear the content, but instead because doing so is such an awkward experience, that I'd rather go back to playing angry birds or read HN. As someone who spent his teen years playing GoldenEye, TF Classic, Q3A and Counter-Strike for 12-16 hours at a time, I find it quite an accomplishment when someone manages to make a FPS that I can't stand to play for more than 5 minutes.

I think that it's possible that we'll eventually have a level playing field on all platforms, but I don't think capacitive touch screens are going to be the innovation that makes it a reality.

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I agree with everything you said, just not that it will happen within the timespan of this console generation.

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I don't understand what you are saying. According to Apple's 2012 10K filing, both the iPhone and iPad lines independently, each year, net more than Sony's entire market cap.

How can there be any question of mobile game hardware surpassing hardcore gaming in profitability in the next console generation when it has already occurred?

If you're Activision or Blizzard, sure, the money is still in selling $60 titles. But in terms of hardware manufacturers like Sony and Microsoft, the ship has sailed.

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It hasn't sailed. People are still buying those games; in fact those games are still breaking sales records. Casual games may become more popular, I don't know, but it's not zero-sum when the gaming market is growing overall.

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> the gaming market is growing overall.

False: http://business.time.com/2013/02/11/game-over-why-video-game...

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You're comparing an insanely popular mobile phone and a general-purpose computing platform to an Xbox. While they are both mobile devices and both can play games, neither is really mobile gaming hardware per se. I mean, you're obviously not wrong that making the iPhone is good business, but iPhone owners are not primarily gamers -- not even casual ones -- so counting every iPhone sold as a "game hardware" sale at this point is pretty misleading.

Most importantly to the point at hand, there is no evidence that iPhone is stealing many sales from Xbox and PS3, nor that it will start in the foreseeable future. I very, very much doubt that many people find themselves wondering whether to get an iPhone or an Xbox to play games on.

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The Ouya is a console with a controller. It won't just be casual games and it won't suffer from terrible control schemes. I have my doubts it will do much to Sony, but I'm glad to see the additional options coming.

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Options are always great, and a console like Ouya will serve a lot of people better than a more expensive console.

But take a game like space invaders. When it came out, it was new and shiny and amazing. When I played it in the late 80's (My parents were too cheap for a Nintendo, I didn't play one of those until the SNES / Genesis were already out.) It was so awesome that I couldn't imagine any game ever being better. Now, decades later, it's still a good game, but it's so simplistic in comparison to current games, that I can't see myself playing it for hours on end.

Now take a game like Grand Theft Auto 3, represents one of the more complex / graphically intensive games ported to Android / IOS. When it was first released, it too was an amazing game. I spent countless hours driving around, shooting things, and completing the missions. While it was amazing for it's time, in comparison to this generation's games, the graphics are dated and the game play seems to lack depth. Once again, I can't see myself enjoying it now for more than a few minutes.

There are some games that are truly timeless, like Contra, Mario, Chess, Go, Quake 3 Arena, Mario Kart, etc.., but most console and PC games don't age well.

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You had me until Contra. I loved Contra when I was that age too, but it's not in the same galaxy as Tetris, Metroid, or the original Zelda.

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I actually couldn't really get into Metroid. I'm a 3rd generation military brat that ended up joining the Army so I think the theme of Contra appealed more to me. In the grand scheme of things, I agree Metroid was more influential, but I just didn't like it.

I can't believe I forgot to mention Tetris though.

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Ouya is not even out yet, and just because it found 100 000 clients on Kickstarter does not mean it will be much bigger once it reaches the market. And it's probably "too cheap" in terms of hardware to motivate anyone serious with gaming to buy it.

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mrbill, not sure if you know but you are [dead]. Anyway, for me being serious about gaming is not just about playing good games of all ages, but also keep trying NEW games. I would not be satisfied playing with the Atari 2600 forever.

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The Ouya is too slow to make a dent in the hardcore gamer market.

It might very well sell ok, but not to replace PS4's or any other "real" consoles.

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I mean, spec-wise, the Ouya doesn't compare with the PS4 - 2gb ram to 8gb right off the bat.

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Guess how much RAM the PS3 and 360 have.

PS3: 256MB for the Cell and GPU each 360: 512MB shared

I don't think Ouya is worth anything, but comparing RAM sizes is almost useless.

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I don't know why you're saying that. These systems are completely unproven in a way that traditional consoles are not. This seems like looking at those little joystick consoles they sell at the mall that play '70s arcade games and declaring them "disruption."

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You forgot "PC Gaming" which is not only Steam. It's always been there in the corner and has never disappeared because of consoles. In fact the best looking games are always on PC, and they usually target the most demanding players, while consoles are clearly mainstream.

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and it is still a huge part of the market.

bf3 sold more copies on PC than both "hardcore" consoles combined. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/02/18/mouse-keyboard-st...?

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Wake me up when Madden and Fifa run on these.

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I'm with you on this one. I own a PS3 and for the past 3 years I've only purchased 3 games. FIFA 11, 12, and 13.

I will probably buy a PS4 just for FIFA XX

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You know you can buy the exact same games on PC cheaper, and play with a pad on it with much better resolution and Framerate?

Purchasing a console to play only non-exclusive titles... I have never understood that.

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A gaming PC that can run these games on a better resolution and framerate costs a lot more than a PS3

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Let's not start price comparisons. Can you do photoshop on PS3? Can you edit documents ? Can you run professional applications ?

A PC will ALWAYS do more things than a console, and the better you PC config is, the better all your applications will run so it's win-win for all you do with it.

Besides, even games are cheaper and faster to buy on PC. So compare the price of a PS3 with 30 games with one of a PC with 30 games and you will see your argument is wrong.

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The question was basically, why would anybody buy a PS3 for these games instead of a PC?

I just told you. It's cheaper. That's not some obscure "gotcha" reason.

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I could, but I've been playing with the same group of people (in a Pro Club) for the past 4 years, I'm in too deep. Plus, I just like the Playstation.

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And Call of Duty. And Modern Warfare. And, and and..

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This is a very short-sighted analysis. There are other players and forces involved in gaming than just the big three of last generation. In fact, if I had to bet, I would bet against any of them being the largest force in consumer gaming in four years.

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I only know what I know, and I don't know (or have heard any real rumors, for that matter) of anyone else entering the AAA-title console market. Of course secrets exist.

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The problem is the "AAA-title console market" is a subset of the "home video game market" which is of course being invaded from both ends.

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It's not really a problem, though. People have mistaken what is a growing market for one that is being invaded. It's just growing. Some people want casual games, which is fine, but Call of Duty games continue to break sales records, studios get bigger budgets (See Bungie's upcoming games), and those games won't play on an Ouya or an Apple TV.

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Apple's presumed console competitor hasn't even been released so it's premature to say what games won't play on it. They already pay game developers more than Microsoft and Sony combined.

My argument is not that people don't want to play CoD. My argument is that even Activision wants Apple and come in and kill the current console paradigm. They don't want to keep making 30% of $60 games that sell 10 million copies when they could be making 70% of a $10 game that moves 50 million copies.

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> They don't want to keep making 30% of $60 games that sell 10 million copies when they could be making 70% of a $10 game that moves 50 million copies.

I don't understand. Are you saying that Activision should kill CoD and fund the next Angry Birds so they could sell more copies of a cheaper game, or are you saying that CoD could sell 50 million copies if it was priced at $10?

Both of those claims are questionable. I am pretty sure Activision is scared shitless of becoming the next Rovio, and I doubt CoD would even break even being priced at $10.

Considering that CoD had a 200 million dollar budget, they would need to sell 20 million copies to break even vs 3.33 million, and consider to date (4 months) they have sold 20 million copies.

Even if such a price cut caused sales to double, you would have:

20 million * $60 * 30% - $200 million = $160 million dollars

40 million * $10 * 70% - $200 million = $80 million dollars.

Again, they would break even with their old model if they sold ~50 million copies, however, I don't think "hardcore" gaming is that price sensitive, and I doubt we would see a 150% increase in sales if you cut CoD's price to $10.

Lastly, where would these people come from? I don't think Activision has an untapped market 5x their current market size that want to buy Call of Duty but only for $10. Even if you talk about opening to the "casual" market, Nintendo showed us just how toxic that is. Casual gamers don't buy games. I'm sure its a lot smarter to sell to the gamer who buy 3 games a year @ $60, than it so to sell to 5 people who will buy 1 game /year @ $10. So if Activision could sell 50 million copies of CoD, would that stick them in the same position as Rovio, where all they can do is sell CoD, while WoW and Diablo bleed cash?

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"Even if such a price cut caused sales to double"

Wait, you're doubting whether a price cut of 85% would even double sales? With a demand curve like that someone will need to tell the game companies they are leaving billions on the table when they could be charging $150 a copy.

I'm pretty sure we'd see sales explode on price alone but the limited console installed base is also depressing game sales. A large percentage of high end console users use them primarily for netflix and other non-gaming uses but they aren't marketed effectively for these uses. Apple isn't even marketing the ipad as a game machine but they move far more $300+ units than Sony and MS put together each month.

"I don't think 'hardcore' gaming is that price sensitive"

You're talking yourself into a conclusion here. Not only "hardcore" gamers enjoy playing Call of Duty. {And the notion of console fps players being hardcore itself is problematic}

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Sure, maybe Apple is going to release a high-end gaming console. And maybe they are going to release a watch. And maybe they are going to release a TV. I don't have any inside information on these things, and a gaming console hasn't (to my knowledge) even been rumored at this point. I don't know if they want to make one. I don't know if it would be profitable enough for them. I... don't know. So I'm going to just go off of what I do know, which is the XBox 720, the PS4, a huge drop off, the Wii U, a huge dropoff and various ARM based consoles.

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I guess Valve isn't a AAA publisher.

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the last aaa game they published was portal 2. quite a while ago.

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I agree with this sentiment. The biggest gaming platform in 2018 is one that hasn't even been started on yet.

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With console cycles getting longer and longer, the PS4 needs to be competitive for a decade. Even if Ouya and their ilk don't take off in the near future, tablets and phones will keep chipping away at console gaming.

Microsoft may be the competition right now, but they can't count on it staying that way. When the PSP and PS3 came out, the iPhone didn't exist yet, but things change.

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The PS Vita is the answer in the mobile space, and it's release cycle will likely be shorter than the PlayStation Consoles.

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Until the Steam Box is out.

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The Steam box is competition whether or not it's out, since it's on the horizon and people will potentially not buy a PS4 so they can wait and see what the Steam box is like.

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Who are these people, if not PC gamers?

Steam is fantastic, but it's a name that is totally unknown to almost all console gamers. Just the presence of a Steam Box isn't going to magically convert people, they have a huge uphill struggle ahead of them. Most of their market, IMO, is PC gamers.

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Steam has a large, loyal following and, because of this, people like myself (console gamer) and my girlfriend (not a gamer) know about it through online media. I currently play PS3 games because there is no PC gaming solution I can plop down in my living room and have it just work. But once the Steam Box comes out that will change. Not only will I have a living room compatible ready-to-wear PC gaming solution, but gaming will also be cheaper because Steam has tons of deals. Steam is also reputedly a lot more developer friendly than Sony and Microsoft so I really don't see how Sony and Microsoft are going to be able to compete in the long term.

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By your logic, I, as purely a PC gamer, shouldn't know anything about the PS3 or the XBOX360 even existing, yet i definitely know of them.

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How would you feel about buying an ad-free version at a higher price point (like Amazon does with the Kindle)? Part of the problem might be that the console hardware is somewhat subsidized, and the only way to recoup is software sales.

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He did buy an ad free version. Selling at loss is no excuse for crippling the device after sale.

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Ironically the experience of using a modded PS3 (not connected to internet) with multiman (a PS3 homebrew app) is pretty nice. It's sad when modded > default.

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Huh? When is modded NOT better than the default? Why would you even do it otherwise? The issue is that modding/hacking is questionably legal and often dangerous for your console or its software (whether by the mod/hack's nature or because of the host company actively bricking the changed consoles).

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It's really only questionably legal if you consider the DMCA a valid law. (I choose not to.)

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Meh, by the same logic I chose Penal Code Title 5 Chapter 19 (1) not to be valid. Yah, lets see how that works...

OTOH Homebrewing is perfectly legal in countries like mine (outside the USA).

(1) http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.19.htm

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It's sad when modded < default

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I thought that was the point. ;-) I know what you mean though, usually when tampering you give up some niceties.

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This is why I am so terribly excited by the underground cult hit console, the Open Pandora.

http://openpandora.org/

I find it just wonderful that a bunch of enthusiasts can get together and make their own game console, and accessories, all the while struggling under the economics forced on them by the broader consumer electronics market .. yet still build something that is just plain FUN to use.

If there is anything to be learned by the mainstream, it is that parts of it get too big, fall off, die and become the new old-thing. This happens in minor localities such as the Pandora project too, but nevertheless for one who wishes to participate in construction/usage/culture of an open, well-designed, affordable, powerful device .. with its own people .. the DIY hardware markets are lucrative. Sony going down like this, as its peers too, reminds me that new new-things are the new thing.

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Yeah, the Open Pandora is awesome! I pre-ordered (fully paid) mine back in early March 2009, before production had even started.

Now, almost four years later, I'm still waiting.

I'm sure it will be awesome, but of course the hotness (relatively speaking) of it specs will have cooled off a bit during these years. Any day now ...

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I've had two since the day they shipped. I'm sorry about your plight, but really, you should get that sorted. There were quite some screwups with the early orders, alas. And while the specs may not be super-'lite, the community and fun-factor in the entire underground scene around the Pandora more than make up for it. The thing feels fabulous when fully loaded, and I mean: fully.

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Isn't that equally the advantage and the folly of consoles? They are basically computers, but locked down. You can't do with your hardware what you want; you get told what's good. Just like with Apple, it's a golden cage; good because it's golden; bad because it's a cage. On PC, it's the other way around: It's not a cage, you have the power to change pretty much anything. With that power comes responsibility, though. There's infinitely more ways of fucking up your PC; the freedom isn't golden anymore.

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I agree with your thoughts. I guess the only good thing is my backlog of games to play is quite long, so I could probably last till 2015 or so.

I'm also not happy about potentially buying the same game 2 or 3 times with their streaming game service. Though I think the spectating option could be cool.

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It's going to make Sony billions.

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There were quite a few true innovations shown off in this endless whatever:

-- silent preloading of games you may be interested in

-- immediate local play of digital titles while they download

-- OnLive/Gaikai style video streaming of full disc games you haven't yet purchased

-- rolling video replay of your screen as a core system service

-- Mobile-style instant system hibernation

-- continuously streaming your display to remote friends

-- allowing remote friends to assume control over your currently playing game

All of these are welcome, but "play the full game as a streamed demo" and "preload digital games of likely interest" are brilliant, wiping out so many pain points from digital software purchasing.

(and back to cynicism: every game they showed off was pre-rendered nonsense, their target market is plateauing at best, mobile's strangling them, etc etc etc)

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>-- OnLive/Gaikai style video streaming of full disc games you haven't yet purchased

What everyone seems to worry about here is that Sony can use this against piracy and/or game resale. Going streaming-only is a long-term direction that, if implemented right, could well improve Sony's bottom line and introducing it gradually is a great means for them to ensure gamers don't simply take their business elsewhere when it is the only option left.

Take the ability to stream older PS1-PS3 titles. Old titles can be a source of free money for a publisher like Sony but due to those titles' smaller size they are especially easy to pirate (according a torrent tracker the entire PSN PSX collection takes up around 58.7 GiB; that's 179 game titles for the PlayStation). Streaming would eliminate the possibility of this kind of piracy.

Still, I think you can make a strong argument that Sony won't implement a stream-only policy for games this generation since in the US, a key market, far too many of gamers just don't have the bandwidth yet.

>-- rolling video replay of your screen as a core system service

You've got to note that this feature will be "free" in terms of computational resources for every streamed game.

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Forget about streaming older PS1-PS3 titles - the hardware will not be compatible this time, so earlier games won't work at all unless their developers make a time consuming port to quite differenct hardware architecture.

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They create emulators on the server side and stream the games to whatever architecture is running the client. It's one of the main reasons they purchased Gaikai.

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That seems like a massive, unworkable kludge that will frustrate users more often than it actually works.

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Wasn't it a gaming company that basically did that? (video game streaming). I think their technology was fine and they were doing good, until they were bought.

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All of those features require constant data streams except one.

In a country like Australia where we have data caps, pretty much the ONLY feature above that will actually benefit us, is the feature that involves us turning the console off.

Ironic.

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The PS4 sounds like a pretty good reason for consumers to demand capless data. Along with services like Netflix this should diminish the market for crippled net access.

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consumers can demand all they want. it downy doesn't mean they will get anything. the bandwidth problem in Australia is due to the small population, and distance from the rest of the world.

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Wow, Data Caps in you home connection?, You should really fight against that..

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Comcast and AT&T, two of the largest ISPs in the US, also have data caps.

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> -- silent preloading of games you may be interested in

This is only brilliant if consumers don't have data caps.

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I read this for a bit, and then did a double take on

"The new system uses a DualShock 4 controller with a touchpad, share button, lightbar and headphone jack."

I know the one thing that I have been missing on all consoles to date is a share button! It doesn't go far enough though, it really should have separate share buttons for each of the online services I use!

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Did you read the rest of the article on what "sharing" means?

The new PlayStation 4 is also highly focused on offering social experiences. You’ll be able to stream your play sessions to allow input, including your friends taking over control to help you out with a rough patch, for instance. You can also quickly share video clips to friends and the PS network.

Gaikai’s technology is also behind the spectating feature of the PS4 which allows you to share your gaming session with a button push and allows friends to jump in and take over control to help you. Some games will allow people to give you items that will help you in game play like ‘health potions’.

Having friends take over sounds pretty cool to me.

That being said I liked Andy Levy's Tweet.

I hope I'll be able to turn off all of these social features on the #PS4. If I wanted to be social I wouldn't be playing videogames.

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You joke, but "Record that awesome thing that just happened" is a button video games have been needing for a long, long time.

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Yea, I actually loved this feature with OnLive when I was accepted into the beta. And they had the full VCR controls on it.

I really liked this controller as it had the bulk of an xbox controller but with aligned sticks.

http://cdn.arstechnica.net/OnLiveController.jpg

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The future does not look like more buttons for increasingly specific functions.

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The evidence suggests it does. How much of this belief do you base on your ideals and how much is based on reality?

There used to be just game buttons (joystick + one button on Atari, for ex). There there were start and select. Then there was a console-specific power button (the "XBox" button and the "PS3" button on the Xbox controller and DS3 respectively). Now there's a share button. I dunno dude, it looks like the arrow of history is actually pointing the opposite direction from what you said in this comment.

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The Xbox button and PS buttons are not "specific" since they have several functions - they pop up a menu where you can access a long list of functions. Having a single button for sharing to your network is borderline stupid, since it will flood the social networks with useless crap nobody cares about.

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twitch.tv and Machinima claim that more than nobody cares about sharing of video game clips.

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Game streaming is popular because of the personalities and explanations. Without narration, the vast majority of videogame clips are just cold and sterile, and not at all 'social'.

"Look at this cool thing I did" is the go-to example in this kind of demo, but in reality nobody cares. We want a human voice.

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You don't think they'll capture the mic in multiplayer? That would surprise me.

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Mic capture and narration is different.

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?? Mic capture is all that's needed for the narration like what happens on twitch.tv.

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Power buttons are somewhat special just from a hardware point of view; I don't think they are especially useful for this question.

You can't navigate a menu to reach a power-on function. A competing power button service will never come out to replace the currently popular power button service. Every single Xbox or PS3 owner will use the power button(s) with regularity.

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He's referring to the center button on PS3 and XBOX controllers that goes to the xbox dashboard or PS3 dashboard, or the home button on the Wiimote, etc... at least, that's what I assumed. That button does count.

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But that button also powers up the Xbox from a cold boot. The dashboard part is just adding some extra functionality to a button you already have.

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Are you sure it's not the other way around? Or, perhaps an intended dual functionality?

Pressing the power button on the physical machine, as far as I remember, does not load the dashboard.

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Sure it does. So many things happen in cycles. Contiuums are really the trace of a penduluum.

We may still be swinging toward "programmable" buttons, but trust me, things will start swinging back at some point, though perhaps not for the reasons we might think.

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Agreed. User-assignable buttons or touchpad gestures however...

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Yes, or just shouting "Save that!"

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The great thing about the 360 isn’t beating the games, it’s showing everyone online that I did.

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OnLive has that button (combination).

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Honestly, the headphone jack is the coolest thing on there. If it's not a custom MSFT headset style thing, that rocks! I would much rather play with headphones on than my crappy speakers.

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You can have that with any console or TV by getting a pair of wireless headphones. I can recommend Sennheiser, they aren't cheap but worth every penny if you ask me. Excellent sound quality, build quality and UX. (I've got a pair of RS 170s, they've been serving me well for two years now.)

http://www.sennheiserusa.com/wireless-stereo-headphones-home

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I tried Sennheisers and couldn't get them to work satisfactory. Lots of interference, crackle and noises. Tried troubleshooting to no avail and in the end had to return them.

In other words, keep in mind that there are setups where even the best wireless headphones don't work.

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My father-in-law has a pair for watching TV. They are pretty awesome. Great sound quality and you can wander around the house and still hear the TV without cranking it.

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The headphone jack on the pad ! Finally someone noticed the excellent idea of the 3DO back from the early 90s. Why did it take so long to copy this feature??

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The 360 controller has the same jack on it.

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I did not check the PS4 specs for the jack, but the Xbox controller jack is a 2.5mm one, while the standard headphone jack is 3.5mm.

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The one they showed in the PS4 presentation looked exactly like the XBox one. I suppose it could be the same shape but be 3.5mm instead of 2.5mm.

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The only thing I kept thinking was that it's gonna cost me $99 bucks instead of $50 each time I throw my controller at wall with my bad temper.

Yes, I'm a sore loser, maybe the share button will make me think twice.

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Still missing a "like" button though.

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Slow. Golf. Clap.

Sony, you finally showed up to the party with hardware that devs actually know how to use and optimize for. While Cell was cool, it took ages before anyone knew what to do with it. Thank you for going with something more common!

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I'm a little disappointed to be honest. Easier to approach, easier to optimize for... but since when has console development been an accessible market? Maybe its a naive outsiders view, but it will take more than a commodity instruction set to make console gaming an easy target.

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Who wants to write code for some exotic chip that's only used on one gaming platform? If I'm not mistaken, making effective use of the cell processor requires you to manage the cache by hand. This is the kind of totally unportable feature that requires expert treatment and lots of fine tweaking.

Now, instead, you get 8 x86 cores, with multithreading, and quite probably a GPU you can also use for general purpose computation if you want to. Simplicity is going to be an advantage.

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Actually, there've been a lot of complaints from developers that it was much easier to develop games for the 360 than for the PS3. Thus, this is an unsurprising move from Sony.

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Microsoft does dev tools remarkably well.

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Yeah, what they especially need is to make the development kits cheaper. MUCH cheaper. It is not just about instruction sets and APIs, just the fact the SDK distribution is restricted AND expensive makes it a challenge for anyone to develop for it in the first place.

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All the console devs I know are happy they didn't do a stupid hardware platform this time.

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Plenty of tiny companies have been able to write games for both XBox Live Arcade and for the Playstation Store. I'm not saying it's easy to get going, but the portion of the difficult attributable to the console is significantly lower than just writing a game.

The real problem with having a separate instruction set and architecture is that it's going to be longer before game engines come out that can be targeted to your system and thus you'll be giving the other guy exclusives that would otherwise have been multi-platform.

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Cell was pathologically bad to write code for--the architecture on the 360 was practically suburban by comparison.

I watched the Killzone trailer and couldn't help but think, "Man, Insomniac folks have got to be so goddamned happy about this."

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I have to wonder if Sony and Mircosoft are dooming themselves to rapid obsolescence by moving to x86 hardware...

In three years it's going to be too easy to compare the specs and quality to the latest and greatest pcs.

EDIT: I'm watching the live stream now: http://www.gamespot.com/features/playstation-meeting-2013-ps...

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Software and network, software and network, software and network. That’s what it’s about this time around. I don’t think the hardware (in terms of its horse power to run games) could matter any less this time around.

It’s do or die time for consoles. Decent hardware is necessary, far from sufficient. The real battle will be fought elsewhere.

Also, PCs won’t even be competing there. Apples and oranges.

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You're forgetting that you get a lot more out of the same horsepower on a console than you do out of a PC. You're not running a full blown OS that requires a few gigs of ram and a bunch of hardware cycles, nor are you writing to a really high level API. Game makers are writing to one set of hardware that they can really optimize for. A Steambox would not significantly higher hardware to achieve the same level of graphical performance.

This is why consoles are still producing pretty good looking games with 512 MBs of ram.

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It looks like it's going to be less about hardware specs and more about services and experience. I can get behind that.

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That hasn't been a problem with past generations because since the hardware is known consoles were able to roughly keep up so that console users never felt gypped. I doubt most people will even know what's inside a PS4/XBOX3/Whatever

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There's always a place for couch-based gaming.

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I still quite enjoy playing PS3 games right now; or watching my wife play (she's better at action-type games, I like RPGs). I don't chase after the latest and greatest graphics, design is a much bigger factor for me.

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People still enjoy Tetris and PacMan. That's not the point. We're discussing the latest tech.

PS4 is doomed to be years behind PC. Even at launch, PS4 will be at least a year behind spec-wise.

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How is that different from every other console release in the history of consoles... they are always behind. But they are different markets.

It's like saying: "The iPhone X is years behind the latest PC chips"

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Both PC and consoles share the same market - high end gaming.

Your iPhone "argument" makes no sense, it's a red herring.

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No they don't. Console games serve the "Console game market".

PCs serve the "PC market" (A subset of that is the High end gaming market that enjoy keyboards and mice).

Show me a Street Fighter tournament being played on PC?

Or a Starcraft game being played on Consoles?

...

The reason you can't find those things, is they are different markets.

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Just because you named a few games that are platform-specific, doesn't mean there are tons of games that exist on both PC and consoles.

With the new PS4 x86 + GPU architecture, portability becomes trivial.

PS4, essentially, is a PC stuck in one configuration.

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You're missing the point, they aren't specific games that are platform dependent. We're not comparing MGS4 to counter strike, which are both shooters.

Fighter games, in general, are on consoles. You simply just don't play them on PCs. Similarly, RTS games are PC only; the only RTS on console I know of is Halo Wars, which sucked.

Just these two cover ENORMOUS markets, with Starcraft tournaments having millions of dollars in prizes, etc, yet are based on entirely different markets. PC vs Consoles more accurately share _subsets_ of the high end gaming market, which overlaps in some places (like Call of Duty), and differ in many others.

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In terms of IPC X.86 is where its at performance wise - this is not a mobile device so power isn't a major design issue.

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The Jaguar is a relatively low-IPC and low-power though, it's aimed for the Bobcat/Atom segment.

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In three years it's going to be too easy to compare the specs and quality to the latest and greatest pcs.

And people couldn't and can't do that if it isn't x86 hardware?

The "weakest link" of most consoles right now is the GPU, and those GPUs are branches of the current gaming GPUs, just as they were with the prior generation. People have long been comparing the two.

But it's irrelevant. The target market for an Xbox 360 isn't going to get a triple-SLI GTX Titan PC.

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I think it does make some difference; there was some level of denyability with the current generation that is gone.

>triple-SLI GTX

Roadmaps supposedly show the next Xbox is planned for a(nother) ten year cycle, presumably the ps4 is the same. Half way through it's lifetime it will be beaten by low-end GPUs; perhaps even integrated graphics and smartphone graphics. Not to mention the fact that there has been a faster single GPU available for a year already, then $350 (7870).

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No, but they may well buy SteamBox builds that have internals upgraded each year, rather than on whatever schedule is convenient for Sony/MSs profit margin.

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Not if the SteamBox costs twice as much.

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My PC has gone through three GPUs in the period that I've owned my 360. Each of those GPUs cost more than the 360...now add the cost of the rest of the PC.

The PC-master-race notion of upgradability is utterly detached from the mainstream gaming public who have neither the interest, patience or financial ability to run that gauntlet.

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It's not about upgradability.

It's about the console I buy today having a comparable shelf-life to one purchased 5 or even 7 years ago. When the 360 in my home office died late last year, I was faced with paying essentially as much as I spent in 2008 to get a new one, but knowing it would be end-of-lifed and all-but-unsupported in a year.

To say nothing of the odd situation where that same 360, purchased in 2008, was no better than the 360 I bought for my living room in 2006 (insert RRoD joke here).

Yet the Roku I bought last year for my folks was better than the one I bought in 2009. And the AppleTV I bought last year was better than the one I bought a year before.

The public is never going to swap a GPU. But they certainly understand the difference between a $300 purchase that lasts 5 years and one that lasts 2. And a $300 purchase this year that confers an improved product over what one could buy for $300 five years ago.

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Oh sure, of course. But the value comes from the software stack. iPhones and Android phones both run ARM procs right? If they're the same, why all the fuss about which is better?

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It's been that way for a while, from what I can tell. You fight back in the second half of the console's life cycle with the extreme optimization you can do when targeting a homogeneous platform.

You lose in the end of course, but the goal is just to keep the momentum going until your next release.

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It's PC gaming that's on the way to obsolescence. I tried to help set up a game for my brother in law (he's 12) on my brother's not-too-ancient PC. Steam wouldn't start and we'd lost the activation code for the game (printed on the manual). Which we found out only after we'd spent 30 minutes installing the game. I was minutes worth of patience away from just going out and buying him an XBox.

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This single troublesome incident does not really say anything about the status of PC gaming, sorry. You could of just as easily experienced a red ring of death with the Xbox 360.

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I don't think it's true that, statistically, I'd be just as likely to experience the red ring of death than to lose a manual, have to run an installer for a game, or have problems getting software started up. With a console, there would've been a 99.9% probability of just handing the kid the game, starting it up, and leave him to play it.

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Steam, or platforms like it, are the future if not already the present of game distribution on the PC. I can't really state why you've had problems installing Steam as I have done it on three of my PCs, but I will say that the installation of games purchased through Steam is almost seamless. On Windows, it means you punch in your password for UAC and let it run. Steam's primary use isn't installing games purchased on disc - it's a marketplace and a community that will hold purchase history in the cloud for easy downloading.

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Not so with the Xbox 360, I'll cite Wikipedia on this one:

On February 8, 2008, during the Game Developers Conference 2008, Microsoft announced that the "Failure rate has officially dropped", but without mentioning any specifics.[28] The same month, electronics warranty provider SquareTrade published an examination of 1040 Xbox 360's and said that they suffered from a failure rate of 16.4% (one in six).

Personally I'm on my third Xbox 360 after the first suffered a Red Ring of Death failure and the second had a faulty DVD drive that killed any inserted disk, destroying my copy of Rock Band. It actually convinced me to switch to gaming on the PC, as I refused to trust my Xbox and I didn't want it to fail until I had finished the Mass Effect trilogy.

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Yeah, the Xbox360 hardware is unreliable at best. I never used my first Xbox360 for long hours nor in extreme conditions and yet in less than one year after purchase it did the RROD thing. It was one of the first models, so this may have improved, but this does not leave a very good image of the product.

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It seems to me that the PC and console markets will ultimately merge, or, the PC market will absorb the console market. However you want to look at it, that seems to be an inevitable conclusion at this point when you consider what Valve is apparently looking to do and the hardware powering the PS4 and new Xbox.

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People have been saying this at least since I started gaming on the PC (2003). So far, PC gaming has actually been growing enormously over that time.

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Not exactly. There are now a lot less PC games produced every year, and instead there are fewer but much larger hits (courtesy of the scale of the PC market globally).

The peak of the PC gaming world was Windows 95 to Windows XP (2003/2005 time frame). Shareware was extraordinarily popular and accessible during the first part of that, and the Internet had made downloads / patches / updates / modding possible in the last part. Meanwhile consoles began to present increasingly superior accessibility to casual gamers while providing enough of the eye candy to satisfy many serious gamers.

If you go down through this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_PC_video_g...

You'll find the lopsided majority of those hits occurred during the 1995-2005 era. The biggest hits however, are since then. The PC gaming market has simply become smaller and consolidated to a few hit franchises.

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I don't see a significant difference here. There are about seven elements per year on that list. There are a handful of years during the recession where there are fewer top sellers, but 2011 had just as much as any of the earlier years, and many of the games from 2012 probably are still selling in large quantities today.

This also doesn't account for the rise of free to play gaming on PC. The most popular video game in the history of the world isn't on this list at all.

Also, fatally, digital sales are not factored into these numbers. There's this thing called Steam . . .

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Good point, I don't think Steam releases sales figures unless a company chooses to do so on their own.

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You don't see a difference between 79 and 34?

34 of those games were released after 2005. 79 were released in the 1995 / 2005 time frame. So those ten years averaged 7.9 per year; the seven years after averaged five per year. It's a nearly 60% increase per year.

In my opinion digital PC game sales would do nothing but tip the scale toward my point about the PC gaming market consolidating into just a few mega hit franchises that generate all the sales while the volume of games has significantly contracted. In PC gaming there are maybe ten titles that matter, such as WoW or Sims. In console gaming, there are over 100 titles a year that sell 1 million or more copies.

Free to play PC gaming is a very small market still. The Sims 2 alone made more money than the entire free-to-play market combined did in the previous four years. That may change in the next few years, but it doesn't change the facts that exist right now.

Four of the top five on that list are from 2004 or earlier. Meanwhile of course total console game sales have exploded to the moon during that time.

First of all, would you mind showing me the sales data from Steam? No? Then how do you intend to use that as part of your argument exactly?

Which game on steam has sold 11 million copies on the service, like Starcraft did at retail? 20 million like Sims 2? 9 million like Half-life 1? 12 million like Half-life 2? I'd wager it's not even remotely close.

It's my opinion that Steam is moving a mid number of high priced new releases, and a lot more lower priced discounted games (eg buying Shogun for $9.99 or Torchlight 2 for $9.99 during discounts). A quick look through their top 50 best selling reveals the strong majority are $20 or less, with many being $11.99 or less. Is Steam popular? Of course, but what does that have to do with whether the PC gaming market has consolidated into a few hit franchises with less total games produced per year?

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Yes, with the gap for the recession, that makes perfect sense to me. Also, you're forgetting that as sample size decreases variance increases. The ten year sample is larger than the six year sample (2006-2011) that you've set up. I expect variance.

Also, I count only 73 in ['95,'05). Are you counting ['95,'05]? That's 11 years. 7.3 per year is really not that different from 4.8/yr (29 in ['06,'12)), which includes two to three years of recession.

As for this:

> First of all, would you mind showing me the sales data from Steam? No? Then how do you intend to use that as part of your argument exactly?

I'm not interested in winning a debate with you, I'm just trying to demonstrate what's true to any fair-minded people reading this. If you want to pretend that Steam sales didn't account for a huge portion of all PC games sold, and therefore that the PC sales are extraordinarily under-represented in the last few years of this chart, be my guest. It's only yourself that you're deceiving.

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> a lot less PC games produced every year

> The PC gaming market has simply become smaller

I'd argue that the second half of the 1990's was actually something of a bubble. 3D-ness and CD-ROM's were the hot new thing, and everyone tried to make their games 3D, increase polygon counts and texture resolutions, add cutscenes, fill an entire CD with assets -- which meant bloated art and development budgets, and a loss of focus on innovation.

In short, new 3D and storage technology, dotcom-era funding of big publishing conglomerates, those conglomerates' control of retail channels, and a lack of alternative distribution for smaller developers, led to an unusually large number of big-budget games.

IMHO gaming's "natural" state is more similar to the era c. 1975-1995, where small studios and innovative gameplay were a big part of the industry.

There's still a market segment today for big-budget "A" titles, but c. 1997-2005 was the heyday.

Anyone in the world who can make a game now has affordable access to a number of digital distribution and payment channels like Steam, Gamersgate, Android/Apple Apps, Facebook, HTML5, or plain old downloads on a website with payment provided by Paypal/Stripe/Dwolla/Amazon/Google Checkout/Bitcoin [1]. There are plenty of open-source and commercial tools and libraries for developing games. This means individual developers and startups can enter the industry relatively freely, with minimal upfront costs, can restore innovation to its rightful place, and can exert downward price pressure with their small costs.

I believe the number of games/developers/publishers in the ecosystem is larger than it ever was [citation needed], as is the revenue of the industry as a whole [citation needed], but A-list console and PC titles have given up a fair amount of ground to the "long tail" of modestly successful indie games.

[1] 1990's connection speeds, and the pesky business of tying up telephone lines for hours or days during long downloads, made yesterday's Internet an unappealing distribution platform.

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List is also kind of misleading in regards that many games do not release individual sales based on systems anymore so they cannot be accurately listed (and are omitted). For example, Deus Ex: Human Revolution sold at least 2 million copies[1] since it came out 2 years ago and a large % were probably PC based on it being a PC franchise.

It's also generally better to buy on steam directly versus physical copies to avoid headaches (usually cheaper as well if you catch steam seasonal sales). I can understand not doing that if you preorder for some special items though. That and to always make sure the game does not come with some sort of other annoying DRM that is not listed[2].

[1] http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/09/09/deus-ex-human-revolution-s...

[2] http://steamdrm.flibitijibibo.com/index.php?page=DRM_Lists/T...

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Given how massively prolific the humble bundles and indie games in general are, I disagree. There's a very long tail on PC :).

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> There are now a lot less PC games produced every year

I am curious where you are getting this information

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Im never ever going to play a FPS on a console. I'm sure many like it, but for me, that's a PC exlusive experience

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DUST 514 has support for keyboard/mouse controls. Is that the only issue, or is it something else?

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I've been playing PC games since the 80's. Every time a new generation of consoles come out, people claim that PC gaming is going to die. It hasn't thus far, and many developers still openly admit that hardcore PC gamers are a large part of what's driving the entire gaming industry into the future.

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Really? A bad experience you went through suddenly means PC gaming is going to be obsolete?

Steam wouldn't start is a vague statement, care to elaborate? Steam.exe wouldn't run, or the window wouldn't show, or...?

And which game took 30 minutes installing on a not-too-ancient PC (one that we're lacking the specs for, keeping in mind not every PC can game well).

Losing the activation code is just as likely to happen with consoles especially with the increasingly amount of games that require codes for online gaming.

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Remember the Xbox? It was almost exactly an off-the-shelf PC.

Those of you chiding the PS4 for being the same thing seem to forget how well xbox has worked out for microsoft.

The average person playing video games does not care what makes the video games go.

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And certainly not when that platform makes it easier for more interesting games from indie developers to make appearances on the system.

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When the PS3 was announced it had a hefty feature set, some of which did not happen on launch, or ever.

Things that didn't happen: Two HDMI ports, three ethernet ports, and six USB ports.

Backwards PS2 compatability, multiple card reader formats, and SACD support were all dropped later on. Ones that do support SACDs still no longer support digital surround output.

I love my PS3, but Sony seems to have quite a history of over-promising and under-delivering with these announcements, and then cutting features that they launched with down the line as well.

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I'm not really sure that dropping dual-HDMI, tri-Ethernet and hexa-USB is such a big loss for a videogame console.

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No, but PS2 computability and SACD over digital going away really sucked.

The point is more that Sony sells the systems at these announcements as having everything, and eventually... have less.

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    "
    There is background uploading and downloading, allowing the console to update game and system items in the background even if the main power is off. [...] 

    This is enabled by a secondary processor that allows for background work while the main processor is handling gameplay.
   "
Hopefully one day there will be a time sharing multi user environment, then we will no longer need dedicated hardware for updates.

Aside from this, I am somewhat undecided if the PS4 could be interesting. The Kinect+Move controller sounds good, if it is implemented well ( and the libraries are anywhere close to the Kinect ones). And the hardware seems to me okay, roughly what one would expect from a new console. On the other hand, I do not see anything like the blue ray drive of the PS3, a really compelling reason why I should get a PS4 instead of an xBox ( or an upgrade to the PC that sits next to my TV).

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Yeah, the secondary processor thing sounds odd to me. Couldn't they reserve one core for background processing? I doubt games will use all 8 cores anyway.

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The PS3 could do that. Except it didn't work well for a few games. I remember horrible frame drop experience on Assassin's Creed, which was due to a game or demo that was downloading in the background.

Also, think of the power user case. I'd much prefer a 3W processor waking up during the night doing silent updates, instead of the whole 100W monster (or maybe a fifth of that if they do intelligent power-gating).

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Bizarre because the 360 OS just reserves a core for background tasks, including downloads.

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Sounds great, but I will not be buying one. Sorry Sony, but after what you did to the PS3 I do not think anyone can trust you or your products.

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"Our security comes at a high price: our freedom."

"We already live in a culture of fear"

That just got political real fast.

(From the live stream)

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Yay, hypocritically using currently trendy counter-culture politics to market super-violent video games! It truly is the future!

(Game’s no doubt gonna be awesome, though. So I forgive their dumb marketing shenanigans.)

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They should just open up the PlayStation store like the app store. Sure you'd have a lot of crap, but the market will sort that out and they won't rise to the top. It will be well worth it if any small studios develop a hit indie game.

That would be far more revolutionary than social integration and some buzzwords.

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PlayStation Mobile is fairly open at least: https://psm.playstation.net/portal/en/index.html#register

Console dev used to take special, expensive development kits, although moving to a more PC like architecture will make a public SDK at an affordable price more likely. Probably the easiest way to do it right now is to just use the multi-platform Unity engine.

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Looking at the Apple App Store Top Charts today, there is a fair bit of shovelware there - good things too mind, but I think there's something to be said for curation.

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Sony shouldn't worry about MS. imo this is why Apple and Google or some Android variant will be a major contender. It's all about developers.

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So basically a desktop pc with "Social gaming features" and onLive?

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...and locked-down so that you cannot run the software you want, and the ability for Sony to remove features whenever they want (and you cannot disable that).

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That security is going to be disabled so fast it'll make Sony's head spin. x86 is a well known processor with a ton of corner cases, legacy code, and know attacks that should make this a lot easier than the Cell, where no one really knew how to attack an IBM LPAR.

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All three previous generation consoles were almost perfect in terms of the security of their design, the problems were due to bugs in the software implementations. As such the actual architecture of the processors didn't matter too much.

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So basically a console?

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Yeah yeah. Tired old argument rears its head.

It's a refreshing combination of hardware and software I'm keen to try out. It merges features of say Steam combined with a dedicated gaming machine. Some people don't want to screw around with buying individual hardware, and at the end of the day just want to switch on a machine and pick up where they left.

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Sooo..... Standard PC hardware but with a locked down software stack you can't run anything but approved software on.

Why? I can't think of a single reason to buy this... unless there are some really good exclusive games.

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A single hardware configuration with a single software configuration is infinitely easier to target, test and optimize for than the free, but vast landscape of PC configurations. Here's hoping the SteamBox will give us all the advantages of consoles without being locked down for the more adventurous.

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Subsidized PC cheaper than white-box machines you can jailbreak into one?

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Good thing it will likely have some really good exclusive games then.

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The rumor that they would be using Gaikai to run previous games (PS2, PS3) was actually true. This is no where as good as emulation, though, since there will always be a tremendous lag during play, unless you live next door from the big servers and have a flawless, fast connection with almost zero ping. Net, for most people out there, this will be a terrible experience.

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OnLive has shown there's surprisingly little lag with most above average connections.

We'll see how it goes here, but I'm pretty sure it will be a good experience (that will only get better as internet infrastructure and their servers expand).

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Well trying to access Onlive from Japan has been a bittersweet experience.

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Yeah, it will make sense once they expand their servers to cover that area.

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I hope Sony are planning on investing in many international mirrors/cdns to make this work. Australia and New Zealand traditionally get excluded from this kind of thing, which makes me wonder if this will be one of the first consoles where your location drastically affects the quality of the service. Lousy pings in multiplayer games are tolerable, but laggy single-player games would be pretty miserable.

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One more thing. This also means I cannot replay all my PS3 games in disk form (thanks Sony!!) and probably that I have to pay AGAIN to play them on Gaikai (or that it will be part of a subscription fee). That clearly shows how little they think of their costumers.

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Or you could just keep your PS3. Nobody is putting a gun to your head to sell it.

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And some great digital distribution features. Finally, a modern console.

Even as a PC gamer, this is incredibly exciting. More powerful hardware means you can do fancy graphics and still have plenty leftover for other features. Every cross-platform title benefits.

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It's great for PC gaming for say the next 4 years, for the first time in ages all AAA games will make decent use of a graphics card/features (with PCs running higher res + less optimised) . After that it will be dire and stagnated again. That is IF these consoles last as a major force past then.. the traditional advantages of consoles over PC gaming are a thing of the past erroded from both sides; your console has constant required system updates, a web browser, 0 day game updates, meanwhile your PC can now do instant-on, has proper controller support (360), an app store (steam).

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A proper gaming PC is still way more expensive than a console.

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More? Probably, although it depends on how you define proper, whether you factor in aftermarket costs and whether you already have prior hardware lying around(very likely with PCs).

But definitely not "way". The 600$ the PS4 is rumored to cost(yes, i know, just a rumor) can get you a decent gaming rig.

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Also a stereo camera for depth sensing and an always-on screen recorder that lets you watch your friends' games in real time and save video screenshots from any game.

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I wish there was screenshot functionality better integrated on the ps3. I want some snapshots of Okami HD.

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The PS3 does allow screenshots, but the game gets to decide whether or not to let you do it. Press PS button and browse over to the Photos section. There will be a screenshot option if the game OKs it. Sadly, most games don't seem to have it enabled.

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I don't think the PS4 will save Sony from the mess that they are in. Is it just me? I used to be so excited for new consoles to come out. Now I try to get myself excited about the PS4, but can't.

Actually, I'm very excited about the next XBOX. Microsoft has been onto something with the whole gaming thing.

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Depends on if the 720 can play 360 and/or used games. If they lock it down as rumored, then no, I won't get one.

Personally, I'm more excited about the Steam console.

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You realize the irony of buying a Steam console because you can't get used games for the new Xbox?

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I said I was more excited about the Steam console, not that I would buy one instead should MS lock down the 720. I'm excited because Valve has traditionally made some truly excellent games. If they can translate that excellence into the hardware arena then we could see something interesting and new.

The 720 is a generational upgrade, but is not, strictly speaking, new. The Valve console, on the other hand, is from someone whom I have developed a good deal of respect for over the years. I'm curious to see what they come up with.

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The fate of the steam box is rather dependent on how much support there is for developing/porting to linux.

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I think you read too much into their post.

I read it as: If MS locks it down, it would be on even footing with the Steam console, in which case his preference is for Steam.

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Yes, that's a perfectly valid but far less entertaining interpretation of the comment I replied to.

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It's really hard to imagine it will be able to play 360 games — not because of some evil scheme by Microsoft, but just because it's impractical. In order to backwards-compatible like that, you need one of two things:

A) Hardware that is extremely similar to the old system, so that you can either run its software natively on the metal or virtualize it without much of a penalty

-- This is how the Wii ran GameCube games

-- In a strange way, this is also how the original PS3 ran PS2 games — it included special hardware just for PS2 compatibility

B) Hardware that is radically more powerful than the old system, so that even though you have to emulate the old hardware, you're doing it fast enough to run the software at full speed

-- This is how the PS2 and PS3 play PS1 games

-- This is also how modern PCs do emulation of old consoles

Neither of these is the case for the 720 as far as I know. The hardware is very different from the 360, and although modern hardware is significantly more powerful than the 360, there still aren't any emulators for it or the PS3.

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PS2 wasn't powerful enough to emulate a Playstation. The PS2 had a PS1 CPU that could run PS1 games, but normally served as an I/O processor.

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How old were you when the PS3 came out? When the PS2 came out? Now?

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I think you're on to something there. I'm not very excited about next-gen consoles, but I think could be due to the fact that I'm 26 and not 19 this time around.

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Still, when the PS2 came out it was bringing true 3D. When the wii came out it was bringing motion. What is the PS4 bringing to the table?

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mid twenties now late teens ps3 early teens ps2

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mid thirties here and I did have a blink of excitement when I read the word "PS4", like "oh I forgot there was such thing to wait for, yay".

It lasted 4 beautiful seconds. Not sure whether to blame Sony though...

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I'll be more interested when I see actual games running on it. Sony is well known for showning cut scenes of games running "in real time" on the PS<insert number>. I am sure that the PS4 can play pre rendered movies really well in real time but I'd like to see the actual game.

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There's a guy onstage playing games.

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My thought is that no matter what the next generation of gaming platform looks like (Steam Box, PS4, XBox 720, etc.) the network is going to be the weak link. If cable/satellite/telephone companies don't get their head out of their ass we wont be able to take advantage of all this functionality. Sure, downloading games and updates in the background sounds cool, until your 10MB DSL bogs down and your game drops to 5fps. :(

This is another area where Google will blow the doors off of the competition. Or at least get them to upgrade their offerings so that we can actually use these gaming boxes like they are supposed to be used. Yea, right. Oh well, I guess that the Kansas City folks will be happy anyway.

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This is interesting: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3Aparad...

> We are pleased to announce that we have ported Paradox Engine and Yebis Post-Processing Middleware on PS4 last year. In order to successfully achieve this, we have managed to develop a full compatible Direct3D11/DXGI/D3DCompiler API on top of PS4 existing graphics API. We plan to use also this layer to port other middleware developed at our company.

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There was a study that came out years ago that stated that the closer something comes to looking real without being real, the more it is mentally rejected.

I like the eye candy I've seen in beginning of the PS4 gameplay of Watch Dogs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PODJJN3fTME

But I really notice the roughness, like when he slows down after running across the street, and the unrealistic smooth circular pans that don't accelerate and decelerate like a normal panning movie camera would.

And, of course I think the Atari 2600 was the best home gaming console ever invented.

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I think you're thinking of the uncanny valley: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

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Can someone enlighten me - there choice of x86 processor, does this mean it's a 32bit platform? not a 64 bit one? And if so, how does this affect them with the imminent change that's happening on desktop moving towards 64bit?

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Welcome to 2013, 64-bit took over the world years ago.

There are no 32-bit x86 processors for sale anymore. "x86" means x86_64 as well.

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32bit code can sometimes be faster than 64bit code because 32bit pointers are smaller, use less RAM and put less pressure on the cache.

It'd be interesting if Sony choose to run the processor in 32bit mode for that reason, they could also use something like the Linux x32 ABI (i.e. use the AMD64 instruction set but with 32bit pointers).

Of course referring to the processor architecture as "x86" doesn't mean anything in that regard.

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They didn't talk specifically about processor architecture during the event, but the leaked specs were showing that it (as well as the next Xbox) will have a 8-core AMD x86-64 chip. I can almost guarantee that it will not be plain 32-bit x86.

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Nowadays x86 directly means 64-bit since it's the most common architecture. Also the 8GB of RAM directly suggests 64-bit support. I'm curious how much cheaper and faster it will be to develop for x86 compared to the PS3's Cell processor.

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Was nothing at all said about when this product will actually be available? Neither the OP nor the five other random PS4 announcement articles seem to have any info on that.

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Patience, man. The press event isn't even done yet.

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They said something right at the end. Holiday 2013. As expected, really. Sony will try to get it out before Christmas.

In the meantime there is plenty of time to reveal more and more as is opportune. The design, the price, etc. I feel like this is also a cat and mouse game with Microsoft. Who will show their cards first? Now the ball is certainly in Microsoft’s court (seeing as so far, Sony is ticking all the right boxes but has not yet revealed some critical information).

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I expect HN to be all over it when this is made to run its first unsigned code, and again when someone has a full Linux distro running on it. Don't let me down, friends.

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"Kotaku added that there's also a headphone jack but it's unclear whether this will end up on the final product."

Can someone explain to me why this even requires thought from Sony? A headphone port costs like 5p each when mass producing them surely? You get a lot of value added for that 5p. Is this to simplified? Can someone who knows more about factory production elaborate?

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I don't think the physical headphone port would be the concern - it'd be the battery usage, wireless performance, size/weight constraints, all the additional electronics, extra testing, and games having to support multiplayer sound, etc.

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Sony is probably thinking "Someone will hook this jack up their cassette deck and record our proprietary music and sound effects". Seriously.

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Instead of just enabling 2ch PCM from the optical audio port and recording perfect output from there.

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What advantage has the GDDR5 ram from the normal ddr3 in pc? From quick searching gddr5 has more bandwidth and ddr3 has less latency.

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GDDR is really a requirement when it comes to graphics chipsets when you want to max out fill rate, etc. Now consider that this sports a unified memory architecture for the CPU and GPU.

Armchair programmer speculation: The latency of GDDR5 matters less when you don't have to transfer data back and forth between system memory and GPU memory. In fact, effective latency should be less all things considered compared to a traditional PC architecture.

This might also prove useful as a reference: http://solidlystated.com/hardware/difference-between-gddr-an...

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Meh, not really impressed. Specs are good but they will not look so good in 3 years time. Nothing really new under the hood. This is indeed a machine of the big administrative company known as Sony. This seems more like the common architecture will favor PC gaming and conversions in the end.

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> Specs are good but they will not look so good in 3 years time.

Are you sure? My brother's got a 3 GHz Core 2/8800 GTX/4GB RAM system. Judging from the release dates of the parts, it would've come out in 2007 (5-6 years ago). That could still probably run some great games if developers continued to optimize for it. 3 years ago would be more like Nehalem core i7 and GeForce 300 graphics. Still very serviceable, again assuming game companies continue to optimize for it.

PC hardware improvements have really slowed dramatically since the 1990's and early 2000's.

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> PC hardware improvements have really slowed dramatically since the 1990's and early 2000's.

Well you cannot double frequency anymore on chips if that is what you are referring to. But there are more and more cores, and GPUs is where the innovation is happening (and that's what matters with games). A 2 years old graphic card does not compare well with a new graphic card at the same price nowadays. I usually renew my PC hardware every 2 years or so and I definitely see the difference when I do in games and how well they run on the new config. And I stopped turning on my xbox and PS3 a while ago when I could have full HD games on my PC at great frame rates - playing on console then became slow (loading times) and ugly (certainly not as good as on PC).

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You can watch the event on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noRJ15T4qb4&list=PLE19672...

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IGN appears to be streaming a capture of the official UStream stream complete with buffering animations and stuttering.

http://www.ustream.tv/playstation

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"Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these..." (No, seriously.)

This puts peta-scale APU computing into the sub-$500k range. That's affordable by a (funded) startup, and there are certainly interesting things one could do with that kind of supercomputing firepower.

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Soo.. can it play used games?

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Looks like it can!

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-02-21-sony-tells-euro...

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Curious as to the price point. Could make a good cheap computer if cracked...

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http://www.theonion.com/video/sony-releases-new-stupid-piece...

Sorry, couldn't resist.

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I really don't want any of those networking/social features and I am pretty sure we're doomed to use them. I think I am going to pass on this one.

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Surprising, they didn't even show the console.

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This confirms Visual Studio as the de-facto standard for game development. It explain's Microsoft's recent embrace of Git.

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What do those two things have to do with each other?

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Git is optimized for large files like game assets.

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Any ideas on what format the games will come in? I haven't bought a ps3 because there are no pirated copies sold here in Bolivia and 80$ for a game is entirely too expensive for a third world country budget.

I have a 360 because I can buy burned games on a dvd-dl for 3$ a pop.

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x86_64 CPU/GPU hybrid chip and common DDR5 memory is nice idea (if they have big CPU caches). I would like to run Linux or it.)

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So when can I install linux on it?

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This thing would make a great server. Though, I don't think Sony will ever change their stance on Linux support.

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Why would they want to hand out subsidized consoles to people who aren't going to pay for games to run on them? The only way it would make sense for them to let you run Linux would be if "Linux" was a game they sold for $300 (or whatever the difference is between the hardware cost and the console sale price -- I'm guessing wildly here).

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So, uh, no backwards compatibility with PS3 games?

This is going to put Sony out of business.

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It's not like the PS3 had PS2 backwards compatibility for very long - hardware support was phased out within a few short months, and software emulated support within a year[1]. I'd say it worked out pretty well for them thus far.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ps3

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They hinted at "Gaming in the cloud" that would support PSX, PS2, PS3, PSP... etc

Likely using the same tech they use for playing a PS3/4 on a PSP/PSVita (respectively)

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Real backcompat with cell would be really, really hard. It would either cost a lot because you have to put an useless cell cpu in the box, or cost a lot because you have to expend the engineering resources to redevelop the games you want on a new cpu.

However, the platform is sufficiently close to the PC that shipping the PC versions with slightly tweaked GPU code should be relatively painless. PS4 should have a huge library at release.

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No price. No release date. No hardware. What is this? A Microsoft product launch?

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So they built a PC, and branded it.

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Yeah, just like Apple did with the iPhone. It's just a branded PC, with a touchscreen, and a low powered CPU... What were Apple thinking!?

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Welcome to every console since the PS2/XBOX generation. Your comment is about as useful as saying "oh, so it's just a computer?"

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Nintendo still try to be creative when it comes to hardware. The Wii was innovative and the Wii U is... unique.

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You could say the same about the PS4 though, it has a stereo-optical camera, for example. Ultimately all modern consoles are going to be a bit like a "PC", whether the processor is a Power architecture or an x86 or ARM or whatever.

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For such specs it's better to buy a general purpose computer, since it'll be way more useful.

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I hate to be a Negative Nancy, but I genuinely don't give a shit what Sony does. After their persecution of Geohot for having the audacity to crack their perfect little box, I refused to patronize them at all and a shiny new widget isn't going to change that. Sony is not the kind of company hackers should be patonizing. Please don't let the new toy make you forget what they've done in the past.

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