View Full Version : The Gaming Scene in 2006

01-23-2006, 10:14 AM
This is a damn good article IMO. It's about the gaming scene in 2006, and I think the guy is spot on for most of the stuff.

What's the deal with "Cell," the chip that powers the PlayStation 3? Will it really be able to handle more powerful games than the Xbox 360?
The Cell chip is radically different from any chip before it. But developers who are working on PlayStation 3 games tell BusinessWeek Online that PlayStation 3 games won't be all that different from Xbox 360 titles, at least at the outset.

Because the Cell chip has one central processing unit surrounded by seven smaller processing "cores" to assist the central one, in theory programmers can delegate whole aspects of a game to the supplementary processors and push through a lot more data at once than they could with the standard chips used in the Xbox 360.

Andrew Goldman, CEO of BioWare/Pandemic Studios, which is developing games for both next-gen consoles, says he imagines that as games get more sophisticated, consumers will see games on the PS 3 with more immersive graphics and "richer single-player experiences," while Xbox 360 games will have more sophisticated online components.

Taking advantage of Cell's special powers isn't easy right now, though. "Instead of one potential problem, now you have seven," says Andy Sites, a producer for Sony Online Entertainment in San Diego who is working on a yet-to-be-announced PlayStation 3 project

While he states his game will take advantage of the chip's multiple processors, he admits it isn't easy. "It's very much a lot of fumbling around at this point," and a lot of "trial and error," to get something to work on the PS 3, says James Kosta, chief architect for BattleBorne Entertainment, a studio developing a game for both the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. "It could take three or four generations of games (i.e., years) before we see anything taking advantage of the Cell's real potential."

What about the other killer app, Grand Theft Auto?
Publisher Take-Two Interactive (TTWO (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:%20void%20showTicker%28%27TTWO%27%29) ) hasn't announced its plans for the next installment in this series. But according to one source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Take-Two still has the option to release the next Grand Theft Auto on both new platforms simultaneously, rather than exclusively for PlayStation. That could effectively kill Sony's ability to drive console sales with that title, something it did with the Grand Theft Auto games for the PlayStation 2.

In general, both Microsoft and Sony will have to develop exclusive titles internally this time around. The majors, including Electronic Arts (ERTS (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:%20void%20showTicker%28%27ERTS%27%29) ) and Activision, say they are loath to sign exclusive deals, instead opting to release games simultaneously across platforms to maximize sales.


Another cool article from Joystiq:

HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray
Format wars have been a staple of the consumer electronics world since X vs Y, through VHS vs. Betamax, DVD dash R vs. DVD plus R, and now we stand at the epicenter of the largest battle yet: HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray. Industry giants, including generals Sony and Toshiba, have squared off against each other, making next generation video game consoles their strategic battlefield. While there are advantages to both formats, and concessions have been made by each group to woo reticent movie studios to their offering, there is still no clear winner. With the world's largest software company, Microsoft, adamantly supporting the HD-DVD standard -- which includes their own iHD interface blah blah blah -- you can be certain their upcoming, ubiquitous Windows operating system, Vista, will be heavy on the HD-DVD features and comparatively light on the Blu-Ray features, at least out of the box.

Microsoft and Sony are playing a very expensive game of next-generation optical media "chicken." As the weight of these massive corporations figuratively hurtle towards each other, stoic and confident, they're risking not only the significant investment in a platform that may not prove victorious, but they're also risking the good will of consumers, who rely on them to provide not only the best technology, but the most feasible one.

We're setting ourselves up for failure right out the gate, but... our prediction: someone will veer off the road. Microsoft's Bill Gates told Engadget (http://www.engadget.com/2006/01/09/the-engadget-interview-bill-gates-again/) that it wasn't too late for unification. Although Sony is confident that inclusion of Blu-Ray will provide a powerful incentive for consumers to adopt their console, the math on this calculated risk won't work out. It'll be HD-Ray.

The PlayStation 3
What about Sony then? All we know is that the PS3 will be immensely powerful, capable of proving that P=NP, creating cold fusion, and harnessing the power of the Sun. What is their online strategy, what does it really look like, when will the system launch? Expect all these questions to be answered before E3, most likely at the upcoming PS3 Developer's conference (http://www.devstation.scee.com/) in March... but why wait until then?

Killzone 2 will not make the PS3 launch, but we will get our eyes on it long before then. While it still impresses, don't expect anything approaching the detail of last year's demo video. Metal Gear Solid 4 will also not make the PS3 launch but, like Metal Gear Solid 2, will ultimately look every bit as good as the trailer. GTA4 will also not make the PS3 launch, but it will be a PS3 exclusive. Expect the graphically antiquated franchise to turn the PS3 all the way up to 11. It will look so good you'll be able to see steam coming off that hot coffee.

And what about Halo 3? Is the PlayStation 3 going to walk right into Microsoft's killer-app? No way. Without any killer-apps ready for the PS3's launch, Microsoft will sit on Halo 3, timing the release to coincide with the upcoming movie in 2007.

Some we're pretty sure about, others we're positive about, while others still we're so certain of, we'll eat this blog post if they don't play out. There might be one or two that snuck in there, that we couldn't possibly be held responsible for, of course. You'll have to wait until 2007 before we're saying which ones are which.

There you have it, folks: 2006 in video games! And if you think this year was is cool, you won't believe what we saw in our crystal balls for 2007. Two words: cerebral implants!


01-23-2006, 10:25 AM
Interesting, that goes along with Sony's early statement though. They are building PS3 for the future. As with any console it takes time to master its potential. Should be fun to see what happens.

01-23-2006, 10:29 AM
I still think they down talk Sony a little bit too much. But that's because nobody's seen the thing. Once Sony releases some news (hopefully good news... Not some delayed until crap) they'll be riding the wave again.