Playstation 2 to outsell all next gen consoles in 2007?

An analyst from Wedbush Morgan Securities is predicting that the Playstation 2 will sell more than any of the new next generation consoles. Sony will ship in the coming months 11 million PS2 and only 6 million PS3 until March of 2007, and according to a rating agency Sony will continue to ship the same numbers until March 2008, which is a bit ironic if you consider that the Playstation 2 had a relatively weak launch, and since then it has beaten all sales records.

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“The PS2 probably has the capacity to sell more than any other gaming” console, says Simon Jeffrey, chief operating officer at game maker Sega of America

So don’t trash your Playstation 2 just yet, because it seems that the next generation is the budget one, and instead of choosing one of the fancy top-end consoles (the PS3 and the XBox 360) a lot of consumers are choosing cheaper consoles like the Nintendo Wii and the PS2.

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Radical new controller headed to PS3

Ps3  controller

Screw the Wiimote! If you want a really radical controller, check out the EdgeFX which is now available for the PS2 and “will be available soon” for the PS3.

“The EdgeFX has a right hand optical mouse controller and gaming pad with a detachable left hand controller. During game play, the left hand controller is used to move while the right rumble-mouse is used to shoot, look left, right, up and down. The EdgeFX allows you to move at maximum speeds and then instantly slow down for precision targeted shooting when the focus button is pressed.”
Yeah, awesome.

Check it out.

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flOw stalled until 2007

WRU?flOw won’t arrive on PlayStation Store today. Despite recent confirmation that thatgamecompany’s console debut (a remake of the studio founders’ free Flash-based title) would be available for download in the coming hours, Sony has announced that flOw will [*fingers crossed*] be released in early January. No explanation for the delay was given.

The PlayStation 3 version of flOw has been enhanced with motion control and improved audio and visuals. The core concept of evolution has also been expanded from a simple gameplay dynamic to the broader foundation of the game itself. thatgamecompany is planning a series of updates that will change flOw considerably, adding new layers, like a multiplayer mode; an alluring experiment that is poised to invigorate PS3’s downloadable games service.

Check it out!

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Shippin’ Out: December 11-15: Zelda GC, lots of Wii

The GameCube receives perhaps its last notable title as Nintendo’s new system ramps up with new releases.
In March of 2004, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker director Eiji Aonuma referenced a “Wind Waker 2” in a presentation at the Game Developers Conference. That project eventually became The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and helped launch Nintendo’s Wii last month. The original GameCube version sees release this week and appears ready to go down as the last notable title for Nintendo’s aging system.

As Nintendo’s previous system goes the way of the dodo, the Wii is entrenching itself at retailers around the country with a slew of new releases. In addition to a quartet of Virtual Console games–Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Gunstar Heroes, Ice Hockey, and Alien Crush– the Wii sees a handful of titles for all age levels refreshing store shelves.

Konami’s first-person hide-and-seek game Elebits offers a bit of E for Everyone-rated entertainment, while the E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older crowd can kick back with new games like Super Swing Golf and Chicken Little: Ace in Action. The cartoonish military shooter Metal Slug Anthology and World Series of Poker: Tournament of Champions have been given T for Teen ratings, while older gamers might enjoy the first-person shooter Far Cry Vengeance, rated M for Mature.

Things are mostly quiet on the Sony front. The PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 get one title each in the form of College Hoops 2K7 and Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII, respectively. The PlayStation Portable is slightly busier, playing host to Blitz: Overtime and Shrek Smash and Crash. The Xbox 360 new-release section is similarly quiet this week, with only Rapala Trophies, Star Trek: Legacy, and the Xbox Live Arcade game Assault Heroes to call its own.

This week’s new releases are listed below (list taken from retailer information–actual dates may vary).

DECEMBER 11, 2006
College Hoops 2K7 (PS2)
Rayman Raving Rabbids (PC)
Alien Crush (Wii)
Gunstar Heroes (Wii)
Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine (Wii)
Ice Hockey (Wii)
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GC)

DECEMBER 12, 2006
Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII (PS3)
Blitz: Overtime (PSP)
Disney’s Chicken Little: Ace in Action (Wii)
DMZ: North Korea (PC)
Elebits (Wii)
Far Cry Vengeance (Wii)
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas (PC)
Star Wars: Lethal Alliance (DS)
Shrek Smash and Crash (PSP)
Super Swing Golf (Wii)
World Series of Poker: Tournament of Champions (Wii)
Lionel Trains On Track (DS)

DECEMBER 13, 2006
Assault Heroes (Xbox 360)

DECEMBER 14, 2006
Metal Slug Anthology (Wii)
Rapala Trophies (Xbox 360)
Star Trek: Legacy (Xbox 360)

DECEMBER 15, 2006
Alexey’s Dwice (PC)
Football Mogul 2007 (PC)

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Xbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3 vs. Nintendo Wii: A Technical Comparison

It’s the battle of the ages, played out with a new generation of hardware that, for the first time, appears to leave all but the most high-end gaming PCs in the dust. Opinions about Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 vary, but it’s pretty clear that both devices kick serious butt from a technical perspective. Looking over the specifications, and listening to representatives of both companies, however, I’ve come away with a few general thoughts.

From a pure processing standpoint, the PS3 appears to beat the Xbox 360, but the first generation PS3 games are not graphically superior to anything that’s available on the Xbox 360. The PS3 has a few advantages, however. For example, it’s mostly compatible with the millions of existing PlayStation (PS1) and PlayStation 2 (PS2) titles, which is a huge plus.

Xbox 360, however, drops the bomb on the PS3 in a few important categories as well. It’s HD Media Center Extender experience blows away anything Sony offers on the PS3, and it supports live and recorded HDTV over your home network, along with TV show and movie downlaods. Its device connectivity–including direct support for Apple iPod and Sony PSP devices–is top notch. And the hugely compelling Xbox Live service gets even better with Xbox 360. Sony has nothing like it: On the PS3, games are isolated islands of connectivity, allowing gamers only to communicate with others in the same games. Finally, Microsoft took away one of Sony’s biggest advantages when it announced a free 1080p upgrade for all existing Xbox 360 units.

And then there’s the Nintendo Wii. Nintendo’s next-generation console eschews technical prowress for a truly innovative new hand controller system that includes two devices, a remote controller that can double as a classic NES-type controller for older games, and a Nunchuk, which plugs into the remote controller and provide additonal functionality. The remote controller is wireless and provdes gamers with a degree of motion and freedom that is simply unavailable on either the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3: For example, to swing a golf club in Wii Sports, which is bundled with the console, you literally swing the remote controller as if it were a golf club. To hit a baseball, you swing the controller like a bat. This system is much less expensive than Microsoft’s and Sony’s offerings, and it is much more appealing for kids of all ages.

No matter what your perpective, this is an interesting battle to watch. Here’s how the systems fare.

Pricing
Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 Wii
Low-end model $299 $499 n/a
Mainstream model $399 $599 $249
Microprocessor
Feature Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 Wii
Processor type 3.2 GHz PowerPC with 3 dual-threaded processor cores 3.2 GHz Cell processor with 7 single-threaded synergistic processing units cores (not directly comparable to Xbox 360 processor cores) 729 MHz IBM Broadway processor with 5 execution units
Graphics processor
Feature Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 Wii
GPU Type ATI-based custom processor NVIDIA-based RSX “Reality Synthesizer” ATI Hollywood processor
Clock speed 500 MHz 550 MHz 243 MHz
Video RAM Up to 512 MB GDDR3 system RAM (700 MHz) plus 10 MB embedded DRAM (eDRAM) frame buffer 256MB GDDR3 (700MHz) 24 MB of system RAM (486 MHz) plus 3 MB of embedded DRAM (eDRAM)
Video memory bandwidth 21.6 GBps to system RAM
256 GBps to eDRAM
22.4 GBps 3.9 GBps
Video
Feature Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 Wii
Native video resolutions 16:9 widescreen 720p, 1080i, 1080p (will downsample to standard definition) 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p (will downsample to standard definition) 853 x 480 (480p) in widescreen or 4:3 aspect ratio
Component HDTV output Yes Yes No (does support 480p EDTV)
HDMI output No Yes, but HDMI cable not included No
Audio
Feature Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 Wii
Sound output Multi-channel, up to 256 discrete channels 5.1 channel Dolby surround sound Dolby Pro-Logic II
System memory
Feature Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 Wii
Main System RAM 512 MB GDDR3 RAM (700 MHz), shared with GPU 256 MB XDR RAM (3.2GHz) 64 MB GDDR3 RAM
Memory bandwidth 22.4 GBps 25.6 GBps 1.9 GBps
Storage
Feature Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 Wii
Optical drive 12X dual-layer DVD; HD-DVD drive offered as add-on Blu-Ray DVD-like optical drive (late 2007 models will support DVD movie playback)
Supported optical formats Xbox DVD, DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, WMA CD, MP3 CD, and JPEG Photo CD (HD-DVD supported with optional HD-DVD drive) BD, BD-ROM, Blu-ray Disc, CD, CD-DA, CD-DA (ROM), CD-R, CD-RW, DualDisc (audio side), DualDisc (DVD side), DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-ROM, DVD-RW, PlayStation 2 DVD-ROM, PlayStation 3 BD-ROM, PlayStation 3 DVD-ROM, PlayStation CD-ROM, PlayStation2 CD-ROM, SACD HD, and SACD Hybrid (CD layer) Wii discs (both 4.7 GB single layer and 8.5 GB dual layer), Nintendo GameCube discs
Hard drive 20 GB removable hard drive 20 GB or 60 GB replaceable hard drive No (does include 512 MB of flash memory for storing saved games, downloaded games, and other data)
Memory card ports 2 Xbox 360 Memory Unit ports (64 MB each; 256 MB unit coming soon) n/a in 20 GB version; 60 GB version includes flash memory card reader (supports Memory Stick, Compact Flash and SD/MMC) 1 SD card slot, 2 GameCube memory card ports
USB 2.0 ports 3 4 in 20 GB version; 6 in 60 GB version 2
Networking
Feature Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 Wii
Ethernet 1 port (100 Mbs) 1 port (1 Gbps) No; optional with USB-based add-on
Wireless networking Wi-Fi ready, 802.11-based controller communications Bluetooth 2.0, Bluetooth controller interface; Wi-Fi is available only on 60 GB version Integrated Wi-Fi for networking and Internet access; Bluetooth 2.0 for controllers
Online service Pervasive online experience through Xbox Live Silver (free), Xbox Live Gold; includes ability to download full-length movies and TV shows “Free” PlayStation Network with micropayment system; includes a Web browser Includes access to Wii Network online service with online shopping, Web browsing, messaging, and other features
Multimedia features
Feature Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 Wii
Full Media Center Extender 2.0 experience Yes No No
Live and recorded TV support (including HDTV) Yes No No
Supports streaming video Yes Yes No
Supports streaming audio Yes Yes No
Supports streaming photo slideshows Yes Yes No
Plays content from portable media players, including iPod and Sony PSP, and with digital cameras Yes (includes supported for protected WMA files) Some; cannot play protected WMA files No
Displays content from portable storage devices Yes Yes Photos, MPEG and Quicktime movies, and MP3 music files from SD storage only
Controllers
Feature Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 Wii
Number of supported controllers 4 wireless (plus wired controllers via USB), controllers will work with Windows PCs as well. Controllers feature removable batteries and can be replaced with removable rechargeable batteries. 4 wireless (plus wired controllers via USB). PS3 controller does not feature a removable battery. 4 wireless (plus 4 wired GameCube controllers). Also supports Nunchuk add-on controller (attaches to remote contrller and for many Wii games) and Wii Classic Controller (also attaches to remote controller; for older, downloadable games).
Compatibility
Feature Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 Wii
Compatible with previous generation games Partial compatibility with original Xbox titles (only some original Xbox titles work, more are being added slowly over time) Near-complete compatiblity with PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games (only a minority of titles don’t work) Plays all GameCube game titles (but doesn’t include GameCube controller or memory card); Nintendo offers some downloadable versions of Nintendo NES, SNES, and N64 titles, as well as NEC TurboGrafix-16 and Sega Genseis titles, for $5 to $10 each via online service.
Improves legacy game experience Yes. Original Xbox games are upscaled to HDTV resolutions and some games (like Halo 2) are graphically improved. No. PS3 can only downscale current-gen games to non-HDTV resolutions. No

I’d like this table to remain the definitive guide to the differences between the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. Please email me with any additions, comments, or corrections. Thanks!

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PS4 In 2010 Claims Sony. Major PS3 Upgrades In Between

A PS4 will be launched by Sony but not until at least 2010 claims the Vice President of Technology for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Paul Holman.

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What will happen between then and now is that Sony will introduce a series of firmware upgrades that will give the PS3 more media centre capability while allowing for the introduction of third party applications and hardware “Such as interactive controllers” similar to the Nintendo Wii he said.

“To say that there will be no PS4 because of a management change is a bit far fetched: he said.

Speaking to SmartHouse in Sydney, Holman said that right now Sony game developers are realizing that the PS3 with the Cell processor has “A heap more processing headroom than they initially anticipated and that this was resulting in the development of new gaming capabilities”.

He also said that by March when the PAL version of the Sony PS3 will be launched in Europe and Australia that the PS3 will undergo an additional firmware upgrade and that he anticipates that at least 20 new games will be available to coincide with the launch.

“The PS3 has an awful lot of processing power and we will harness this power with firmware upgrades and new features. He also admitted that the PS3 will become as much a media centre for the home as it is a gaming machine and the introduction of new capabilities such as the ability to download third party operating systems to the PS3 will see several new capabilities added to the system. We have already seen one European Linux application running on the PS3 and over the next few months we know of several others that plan to launch a product for the PS3”

He also said that in the future the PS3 could come with a keyboard and mouse that will allow for easier access to the internet as well as the use of new media centre and third party applications.

Today I played with the new PS3 and while the graphics are significantly inproved the big advantage is it’s ability to plau Blu Ray movies. Despite the delays, the shortages and the unprecedented high price of US$599 for the premium 60-gigabyte model, assuming you can find one – and the small number of available high-definition games that take advantage of its powerful new Cell processor, the PS3 sets new standards not just for video game play but also for multimedia entertainment in the digital era.

It also reaffirms that Sony is still at the top of its game when it comes to designing advanced technology in stylish packages. Sleek and gleaming black, it blends in with the most sophisticated of living-room home-theater systems, which sets it apart from the alien designs of its two main competitors, the Microsoft Xbox 360 and the new Nintendo Wii.

In the ongoing DVD format war, it also gives a huge boost to Sony’s push to make the Blu-ray Disc the dominant standard for high-definition DVD players and movie titles (over rival HD-DVD), since the PS3 becomes, for now, the least expensive Blu-ray player on the market. At todays briefing I was shown the difference between Blu Ray on the PS3 and the traditinal DVD playback. The difference was dramatic with clearer and sharper images.

The Xbox 360 has a full year’s headstart on the PS3 and Wii, which means it has more third-generation games available for it, and Microsoft has recently added new bells and whistles like an optional HD-DVD player and full-length movie and TV downloads in high-definition. However indications are that it is not hitting its sales targets in the USA and this could be a problem as both Sony and Nintendo roll out competitive products.

The Wii can’t match the PS3 or the Xbox 360 in terms of realistic graphics or movie playback, but it is significantly cheaper $395 in Australia. It also has its own set of innovative technologies and will appeal to families whose idea of fun does not necessarily entail eviscerating alien monsters.

In terms of technical firepower, the PS3 and the Xbox 360 appear to be in a dead heat. The Xbox 360 excels at online game play and has millions of Xbox Live customers already. Sony’s PS3 online game network had not yet been switched on at the time of this writing. Hoever we were shown an online shop that will see Sony Entertainment competing directly with mass retailers for software sales.

Technical propellerheads argue over which system, Sony’s or Microsoft’s, is the most advanced. In my view, Sony’s Cell processor and its integrated Blu-ray DVD drive are superior to the Xbox 360’s PowerPC chip and optional HD-DVD drive.

It will take software developers a long time to harness the full power of the Cell chip and the greater capacity of the Blu-ray Disc, so Sony’s technical advantage over the Xbox 360 won’t be apparent immediately.

Sony had claimed that the PS3 was backward-compatible with all games – some 16,000 in total – written for the previous PlayStation and PS2 game consoles. It turns out that not all older games will play properly on the new system, but most will.

Sony has endured what Elizabeth II once called an annus horribilis, a year of misery, what with exploding batteries, imploding profits and all the PS3-related delays, supply problems and griping over high prices. But Sony’s engineers and designers have reason to be proud: The PS3 is well worth the money and well worth waiting for.

Sony says PS3 has trouble running older games

Sony said Tuesday its new video game console, the PlayStation 3, does not run some PlayStation and PlayStation 2 software titles properly, the latest problem the electronics maker has encountered in its cash cow game business.

Sound is eliminated on some software titles when played on the PS3, while some other titles do not play on the latest machine at all.

The PS3, launched in Japan on Saturday, is supposed be compatible with game software designed for its previous models.

Satoshi Fukuoka, a spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment, said the game unit of Sony is checking the compatibility of the PS3 with some 8,000 game titles launched in Japan for the PS and PS2, but declined to give the number of games found incompatible so far.

The Sankei Shimbun daily said on Tuesday about 200 PS and PS2 titles are likely to have compatibility problems.

Fukuoka said Sony plans to solve the problems by online upgrading of system software for the PS3.

By the highly anticipated PS3 launch, Sony is pitting itself against Microsoft’s already available Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii, which will hit U.S. stores on Sunday.

Sony plans to start rolling out the PS3 in North America on Friday. Gamers in Europe must wait until March due to a glitch in commercial production of blue laser diodes, a key component of the game gear’s Blu-ray high-definition DVD player.

Sony sold 88,400 units of its PS3 in the first two days of the Japan launch, leaving most stores without any stock, video game magazine publisher Enterbrain said on Monday.

Sony aims to ship 6 million units of the PS3 by March.

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