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Are Sony Due A Failure?


Bojangle
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Sony is in the perfect position to take the handheld market away from Nintendo. And Sony will accomplish this in exactly the same way it managed to wrestle away Nintendo's dominance in the home console market, previously.

Nintendo has a track record of missing what the mainstream actually want. This is how Sony made a success of the PlayStation. Sony aimed the PlayStation at an older audience and maintained the momentum with a stream of cool, adult-orientated games and a clever marketing campaign.

While the Nintendo DS will maintain the Game Boy Advance's position as being a good gaming device, Sony will be marketing the PSP towards gadget hungry adults and the legion of mature gamers its previously won over with the PlayStation and PlayStation2. The Nintendo DS will be marketed in typical Nintendo fashion and will soon enough take a back seat to the PSP.

While other handhelds have tried to beat the Game Boy and have failed, it's worth noting that they came then the name Nintendo meant more than it does now and that they were simply to expensive to maintain, thanks to poor battery life.

The PSP's battery is rechargeable and its life simply needs to be enough to play a sizeable amount of a game on any trip and allow for the uninterrupted playback of an entire movie to find its way into people's hearts.

Bottom line is, people are going to walk into a shop, see the DS and its bulky design and collection of cutesy Mario titles and ignore it for the cooler, sleeker, Sony branded PSP, that while giving them a more mature selection of games, can also double up as a portable movie and MP3 player.

Both handhelds can probably co-exist, but the PSP will be by far the most popular. It'll be a pretty much carbon copy of the current home console market, except with handhelds. The DS will be limited to games in the same way the GameCube is, it will be marketed to children just as the GameCube is and it will take a backseat to the cooler PSP, much like the GameCube has taken a backseat to the cooler PS2.

You seem to be ignoring the fact the Game Boy really is aimed and mainly used by kids....Sonys expensive gadget is not going to take away that part of Nintendo's market.

Will it have Pokemon? Exactly

I think the two will bebale to co-exist - PSP pulling in the adult ipod crowd and GBA as a tool to keep the kids happy....will a short battery life be enough to keep the kids quiet on a long journey? PSP succeeding does not mean GBA will decline as yet...

Sadly I can't see where the DS fits in...nice idea but who's going to buy it?

And on the subject of the Cube pad...it makes the GC my format of choice for multi platform simply becuase the pad is so comfortable to use - sure the d-pad is rubbish but which games use the digital pad these days anyway?

(and you can get a Hori pad if you want which is of course basically the best classic pad design ever - the SNES)

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No it isn't.

Loads of adult gamers have GBAs simply because it's the only choice.

PSP will take many of these people away from GBA - it's that simple.

As an adult gamer who has a Gameboy himself, I can tell you the main reason I have it is because I travel a lot and like to keep myself entertained on the 4-5 hour plane journeys.

How useful is the PSP going to be for that?

Also comments made above that "PSP will appeal to the iPod generation who don't care about battery life" are utter crap. 8 hours of music may seem short to some people, but its a far cry from 1 hour battery life playing games. 8 hours is honestly the maximum I want to spend in one day with headphones on. 1 hour (or even 2.5 hours) is a frustrating limit on how long I can play games.

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Nah, I'm just a bit st00pid :D

You're saying that if it's a bigger area of contact it's easier to press down right?

So, another example, say you crash your car into a pole or a wall. If you crash it into a pole all that energy is very much concentrated on one area and it'll severly fuck up your car. If you crash it into a wall with the entire front side of your car, the energy can be displaced over a far bigger area, which'll also fuck up your car but probably less so.

Another example, say a woman's shoe with a heel walking over sand. Because the heel has a lot of pressure concentrated on one area the heel will probably go into the sand, in contrast to a flat shoe which has all the pressure over a larger area. If you want the flat shoe to go into the sand as easily as the shoe with the heel, you'll have to press far harder no?

Another example, crashing your car with the side into a tree, perhaps you've seen this before in a picture, has so much energy concentrated in one place it can break your car in half.

It's the same as when people think that wider tyres on the car will always give it more traction, but especially in the rain, the weight of the car is displaced over a bigger area so the force is LESS and will actually give you less traction then....

I think, feel free to correct me though, I don't claim to know everything, or perhaps I just misunderstand what you said...

Sorry - I couldn't post a reply to this yesterday for some reason.

All the reasons you give above are correct, and they are all why smaller buttons hurt your thumb more!

My assumption is this: The amount of pressure on your thumb is equivalent to how much it will eventually hurt.

Pressure = force / area

The force you need to push down a button is the same for the PS2 and Gamecube (honestly I think its less for the GC because of the lack of pressure sensitive buttons, but for this we'll assume).

So there is less pressure on your thumb pressing down the GC A button, hence less pain after hours of pressing.

QED :D

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As an adult gamer who has a Gameboy himself, I can tell you the main reason I have it is because I travel a lot and like to keep myself entertained on the 4-5 hour plane journeys.

How useful is the PSP going to be for that?

Also comments made above that "PSP will appeal to the iPod generation who don't care about battery life" are utter crap. 8 hours of music may seem short to some people, but its a far cry from 1 hour battery life playing games. 8 hours is honestly the maximum I want to spend in one day with headphones on. 1 hour (or even 2.5 hours) is a frustrating limit on how long I can play games.

No-one can really comment on the actual battery life yet and figures are so up in the air at the moment it's pointless making a decision based on that alone.

As for your 4-5 hour plane journeys, do you REALLY need your GBA for that entire period of time? And do the games on it really keep you interested enough to play it non-stop for that long? I know that when I had mine I got bored fairly quickly and spent my time on trains either reading or staring out of the window. The PSP is a more interesting prospect for me as not only will it give me 3D games (not to diss retro, but there's only so long I can spend playing 'NES Classics'), but it will allow me to listen to music and watch movies.

I'll be disappointed if the battery life ruins the experience, but to be honest, I'd probably end up buying an extra battery or two anyway...

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I guess we differ there. I'm not a graphics whore who gets "bored" of 2D gaming. :D

My last trip down to Florida I spent the entire time I was allowed playing Astroboy on my GBA.

As for the battery life, we're had it metioned in another thread that the release PSP will get 1-2 hours at most.

I don't want to have to carry around a bunch of spare expensive rechargable batteries.

I'm sorry - but in portable gaming battery life is king. Unless PSP can get somewhere over 5 hours, its dead in the water as far as I'm concerned.

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Sorry - I couldn't post a reply to this yesterday for some reason.

All the reasons you give above are correct, and they are all why smaller buttons hurt your thumb more!

My assumption is this: The amount of pressure on your thumb is equivalent to how much it will eventually hurt.

Pressure = force / area

The force you need to push down a button is the same for the PS2 and Gamecube (honestly I think its less for the GC because of the lack of pressure sensitive buttons, but for this we'll assume).

So there is less pressure on your thumb pressing down the GC A button, hence less pain after hours of pressing.

QED :D

Oh yes, it'll probably hurt more with a PS2 button, I believe that, or at least more likely to leave an imprint of the button in your thumb due to it's smaller size, although I've never actually holded a GC pad in my life :D

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Oh yes, it'll probably hurt more with a PS2 button, I believe that, or at least more likely to leave an imprint of the button in your thumb due to it's smaller size, although I've never actually holded a GC pad in my life :D

You really should you know - its a lovely pad. Just hold my wavebird now feel great, mainly because I've been hooked up to a Dual Shock 2 for the last week! It just feels comfortable to hold, and as someone who has freakishly large hands like me, that really means something.

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The PSP's size is putting me off it, and it seems likely that you'd need to carry it in a case. I don't want to wind up with another portable device that I only play at home, like the original GBA. :/

Indeed. Both machines are looking overly-big that way.

Although one assumes that if they are to do 3d, you'll need that bigger screen to tell what's going on.

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As for your 4-5 hour plane journeys, do you REALLY need your GBA for that entire period of time? And do the games on it really keep you interested enough to play it non-stop for that long?

I played Advance Wars for 22 hours solid on a trip to Australia (bar a break when we landed to re-fuel in Singapore).

I only really tend to play handhelds for long periods, mostly on long trips. If either the DS or PSP can't be used on a plane it won't be getting purchased by me.

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I played Advance Wars for 22 hours solid on a trip to Australia (bar a break when we landed to re-fuel in Singapore).

I only really tend to play handhelds for long periods, mostly on long trips. If either the DS or PSP can't be used on a plane it won't be getting purchased by me.

Indeed. This whole "1-2 hours should be enough for me" arguments just smacks of being an apologist for the PSP's poor battery life to me. 1-2 hours is not enough, quite simply, for any portable device.

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No it isn't.

Loads of adult gamers have GBAs simply because it's the only choice.

PSP will take many of these people away from GBA - it's that simple.

I'm an adult gamer too and have a GBA SP - but despite the 'lifestyle' marketing approach to the SP the majority of owners/regular users are kids - look at the GB's softography - sure there's games for adults in there but most are aimed at the machines target market - children!

The PSP will be a gadget - but I doubt its going to achieve ipod style mass acceptance - most people don't have a need for a portable console - I really don't think there is a huge market for Sony to steal here - the PSP will be overpriced, short battery lived and not really suitable for kids....

Sony have made more then the odd mistake with gadgets before....here's another

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Sony are getting too cocky, letting ambition get in front of producing a solid, massmarket-and-developer friendly product (which the PS was). No matter how clever the PS2's parallel processing theory was, it simply gave less bang for the buck in practice, something that they should've seen coming if they'd taken enough care about planning everything out.

The PSP's battery life issues are a repeat of that problem. If they'd given a PS-ish handheld with an okay screen and flash RAM cartridges*, they wouldn't have made such an interesting, coo-worthy product, but they would've produced one with more of a guarantee of success.

Of course, their strong market position means they get the third party support, and the third party support means they'll shift units, but a leading position like the PlayStation's can't be taken for granted, and must be jealously held onto. The PSP and to a smaller extent PS2 could well be a sign that they're not being careful enough.

*flash RAM? What are they putting in my tea these days? I meant ROM.

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What sign exactly Alex? It's massively massively popular isn't it? Both in sales and dev support, right?

What sign should they make up from this?

Well, the dual processor thing is widely regarded as being a real bottleneck in programming for the machine. I remember reading the Xbox port of State of Emergency was particularly hasslesome, and that's from a well funded developer like Rockstar. If they continue with this with the CELL (What is it anyway? If you have a Sony TV and fridge, Lara's tits get bigger?), it could bite them on the arse in the future.

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What sign exactly Alex? It's massively massively popular isn't it? Both in sales and dev support, right?

What sign should they make up from this?

I'm not saying it won't succeed (duh, read it), I'm saying that (perhaps) they're not doing everything within reason to hold onto their success just now (which would be a sign of complacency, surely).

Edit- as in, producing a machine at a more competitive price point at the cost of sacrificing some of the "oooh! shiney!" or "2560-bit data bus parallel processing cell engine" factor.

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Well, the dual processor thing is widely regarded as being a real bottleneck in programming for the machine. I remember reading the Xbox port of State of Emergency was particularly hasslesome, and that's from a well funded developer like Rockstar. If they continue with this with the CELL (What is it anyway? If you have a Sony TV and fridge, Lara's tits get bigger?), it could bite them on the arse in the future.

The same dev that ported GTA games no problem?

Ok, I'll believe that games aren't easy to port, but how is that Sony's problem?

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I'm not saying it won't succeed (duh, read it), I'm saying that (perhaps) they're not doing everything within reason to hold onto their success just now (which would be a sign of complacency, surely).

Edit- as in, producing a machine at a more competitive price point at the cost of sacrificing some of the "oooh! shiney!" or "2560-bit data bus parallel processing cell engine" factor.

Do they really have to come up with a more competitive price point? What sign is there that would indicate that that's what's necessary ( or needed or whatever ) ?

Sure, it might have been easy to go to a PC like architecture and off the shelf products but they haven't, and I think that technologically it would be pretty impressive. To use another example other than Sony, as they'll probably get bashed...., Nintendo shows that it doesn't have to be a "problem" at all.

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Sony are getting too cocky, letting ambition get in front of producing a solid, massmarket-and-developer friendly product (which the PS was). No matter how clever the PS2's parallel processing theory was, it simply gave less bang for the buck in practice, something that they should've seen coming if they'd taken enough care about planning everything out.

The PSP's battery life issues are a repeat of that problem. If they'd given a PS-ish handheld with an okay screen and flash RAM cartridges*, they wouldn't have made such an interesting, coo-worthy product, but they would've produced one with more of a guarantee of success.

Of course, their strong market position means they get the third party support, and the third party support means they'll shift units, but a leading position like the PlayStation's can't be taken for granted, and must be jealously held onto. The PSP and to a smaller extent PS2 could well be a sign that they're not being careful enough.

*flash RAM? What are they putting in my tea these days? I meant ROM.

Sony are first and foremost a technology company though. Releasing a handheld using an 8 year old games console as the donor platform (as Nintendo have pretty much done with the GBA) would make them a laughing stock. The whole strength of their products are that they are cutting edge, so that theory just doesn't wash.

I'm also totally with them on the PSX idea too. It's what they wanted to do with the first Playstation.; a complete media center in one unit. Hooked up to an appropriate Sony TV and AV equipment, you have a smart one-brand solution that can be rolled out to millions of homes worldwide.

I think if anything Sony can only continue to get better while people like Nintendo only continue to lose the plot further.

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Sony are first and foremost a technology company though. Releasing a handheld using an 8 year old games console as the donor platform (as Nintendo have pretty much done with the GBA) would make them a laughing stock. The whole strength of their products are that they are cutting edge, so that theory just doesn't wash.

I'm also totally with them on the PSX idea too. It's what they wanted to do with the first Playstation.; a complete media center in one unit. Hooked up to an appropriate Sony TV and AV equipment, you have a smart one-brand solution that can be rolled out to millions of homes worldwide.

I think if anything Sony can only continue to get better while people like Nintendo only continue to lose the plot further.

Shame the latter is a bit on the shit side, though. If you're going to create your "original vision" you should do it properly, instead of making it a mongrel of existing products from your various disparate corporate limbs.

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Shame the latter is a bit on the shit side, though. If you're going to create your "original vision" you should do it properly, instead of making it a mongrel of existing products from your various disparate corporate limbs.

True, even a sleeker unit with wireless pads would've been a start.

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