That was my first thought.
Sony? What has happened to you?
There was a time when you could let rip with a long, rippling, wet fart and it would be beautifully designed.
What is this supposed to be? It looks as big as the original XBOX (which couldn’t get through the doors of a lot of Japanese homes) and also manages to be uglier than it. I didn’t think that was possible. Whats with all the angles, straight lines, and curves? I don’t get what you were trying to achieve.
And the controller! WTF is that! I know you had to nick the designs of the damn near perfect Dual Shock 2’s, but these new ones had better be easier to use than they look. I’ve never looked at a banana (or a Batarang) and thought “Oooh that looks like an ergonomically perfect fit for my hands…”.
However ugly this thing is, it is powerful. Incredibly powerful. Sony would have us believe that it’s twice as powerful as the 360, but most experts, – not caught up in the fervour of Sony’s show – reckon it may have an extra 20% in raw processor grunt. Here’s some of the specs:
- One 3.2GHz Cell processor – this makes direct comparisons with the 360 ridiculous from the start. The Cell is 1 chip made up of lots of mini chips that can farm out work and share the load at the same time. It’s a brand new idea and offers a lot of possibilities. But it’s still 1 chip, whereas the 360 effectively has 3 dual chips (6 processors all together). Overall the Cell has the raw straight line power, but from what I’ve read (and from PC experience) the 360’s power should be more usable.
- An nVidia Graphics unit – dubbed the Reality Synthesiser (give me strength!) – which has been give a dedicated memory allocation of 256Mb DDR3 RAM and runs at 550Mhz in the core, and 700Mhz in the memeory. This is a lot of memory compared to the 360’s ATi unit with 10Mb, but…
- … the rest of the unit also has 256Mb of RAM. This is different to the 360’s 512Mb + 10Mb in the GFX which can be spread where necessary. It’s impossible to know which way is better
- For the first time the PS3 will ship with a removable hard drive
- It will support up to 7 (butt ugly) joypads. Wirelessly over Bluetooth
- It will use the spanking new 54Gb BlueRay disks, as well as DVDs and CDs – this potentially a very important point
- Also it has confirmed backwards compatibility with ALL existing PS games. Something MS has only sorta, kinda, confirmed.. maybe… for some games… when the weather’s right.
The PS3 specs are incredibly impressive stuff. Probably a lot more impressive than MS were
hoping for expecting. They showed some absolutely mind blowing videos at E3. I mean incredible stuff. But it’s also almost all fake, pre rendered film. Or if it is being rendered real time, there certainly isn’t any AI or other processing involved to hold the graphics back. It’s still very encouraging, but Sony always do this (Emotion Engine anyone?) and I think they are doing it again. So i’m not getting too excited just yet.
They haven’t really mentioned much about the online side of things. They have said it will be like MS’s always on, Live! system, but details are non-existent where as MS already has one brilliant system up and running, plus they’ve been heavily detailing the 360’s online capabilities.
This is going to be the big hurdle for Sony to clear. In every other respect Sony is either well ahead of MS or at least on a par. But their online services are so far behind that you see it hard for them to catch up. MS are seasoned practitioners of online, with 2 years of development behind them, whereas Sony are going to have to scrap their frankly crap current system and start from the very beginning.
One ace up Sony’s sleeve is the PSP. With all the WiFi and network gubbins the PS3 and the PSP have, it is inevitable the two are going to be very closely linked. Streaming video/music to your PSP in the bog anyone?
Of course games are going to be the biggest thing about the PS3, and the Next Gen of consoles as a whole. MS have been banging on a bit too much about the multimedia aspects of their unit, and Sony have been too busy hyping up their Floating Point Operations Per Second Power (WooHoo!) for my liking. There just hasn’t been too much in the way of game details coming out of all the PR bollocks.
But then there is still little(?!) “Gameplay is King” Nintendo. Do you remember them? They used to be quite big, “back in the day”, by all accounts.
What have they got to offer for the next generation?
A Revolution, apparently, but I’ll go into that in a day or so…