All posts tagged ps3

So with what looks like a slow, struggling recovery, I may be wrong about the stock market's resilience. It wouldn't be the first time. To be honest, fancying myself a technical trader, I've never been very good at the buy-and-hold game. Accumulators probably had a ball with this dip. I took it as an oppotunity to accumulate high dividend stocks. I am no baller in this arena, and I will not play the rebound on a court I don't know. I'll remain cautious, and more importantly, I will not regret gains I might miss out on. That's my style, I'm stickin' to it.

After Nintendo's amazing financial statement came out, Sony follows up with equal aplomb… in the form of pompous bullshit. It's shocking that Sony CFO Kobuyuki Oneda said:

"Actually, because the number of units [of PS3] sold was not as high as we hoped, the loss was better than our original expectation,"

Ignoring the massive costs of R&D, support, and over-manufacturing, let's just think about the sheer illogicity of this spin. If I were the worlds ugliest hooker and had my legs spread on the street next to a bedpan with "five bucks a fuck" scratched into the rim, I'm less of a slut than the rest since no one would be taking me up on the offer.

Get real.

Meanwhile, I am trying very hard to find an Xbox 360 to buy, probably an elite. I've already pre-ordered Bioshock, and I'm just waiting to see if the system price drops on August 12th. This coming gaming season is going to be unmissable, and the raving reviews of the 300 HD-DVD makes my wallet suicidal.

If there is one sector I feel comfortable making predictions in, it would be the video game sector, although the majority of it is really just a cluster of a dozen or so companies that publish for a much broader cast behind the curtain. It excites me everytime that this mini-sector is covered by market blogs, and this article is no exception. I like to read about an industry dear to my heart from the perspective of those less intimate with it. What the article says about EA‘s development difficulties with the PS3 and idealogical difficulties with the Wii, while not surprising in themselves, reminded my of how I’ve forgotten that companies are companies. Even in the business of creativity and play, the corporate speak is nothing new to investors.

That comforts me.

The game industry, for some betters and many worsers, has grown up. It’s leaving its roots in the basement of hackers. It is being held to a multi-national standard, ethically and financially. It has, despite its loss of innocence, become recognized.

And I dearly hope that, like books, radio, comics, television, and film before it, it will endure through its current phase, the scapegoat of political campaigns and modern vices, and enter the annals of pleasant anachronism. Only there is it safe to continue to work its influence as the world whirls around another threat. There, it will build better men.

Right now, the old guard thinks it ruins them. What about the teenage gunman who turns out, contrary to preliminary reports, didn’t own a single game? Or what about when the stepmother of a boy recently apprehended for the sport-killing of a homeless man opens herself and her story to Penny Arcade, telling the world that “Video games DID NOT make this kid who he was, and it’s unfortunate that the correlation is there.” Her story is haunting, even moreso if unheard.

As the year of the Golden Pig arrives, I hope that the industry will have great fortune, making it (and me) rich. Feng Shui experts proclaim this also a year of Fire on top of Water, a year of great conflict and volatility. With game legislation in furor, and the industry cycle starting anew under the duress of the console war, this will no doubt be one of the deciding years on the fate of games and their status among other media.

Yeah, ok, I'm finally done with the subject. It just feels so good to have seen this from miles away. The indulgence in criticism, vulturey I call it, really should be man's eighth sin. I've always felt the critical (and commerical) success of a console has always been linked to its controller. From the Atari 2600's emancipating joystick, to the NES' revolutionary gamepad, to Sega Genesis' sleek but uncomfortable three-button pad, to the classic SNES, to the alienating N64, to the re-classic PS pad, to the Buick-sized XBox controller that was slimmed to a successful "Japanese"-style precursor to its latest bit of perfection, and so forth.

So it comes as no surprise, then, as the sell through rate of PS3s declines on the black market and at retailers, Sony brazenly claims their SIXAXIS controller, an engineering marvel they claimed at E3 to have no gimmicks, had won an Emmy. They gloried in the announcement. They squirmed like a teenager rolling in a vat of oiled Maxims, and prematurely immaculated their product. A day later, they recanted, saying they had jumped the gun. The Emmy was given not to their SIXAXIS, rumbleless from the Immersion spat, but to the PS One controller, in conjunction with Nintendo. Ouch! Holy wax-affixed feathers, Batman!

On the bright side, video game publisher stocks took flight today. Pity I got knocked out of my Activision stop, but it was a high stop and I'm happy with the trade. I've been watching Sony stock too (SNE) but it seems like there is too much weakness, despite breaking out of its channel. But news about poor sell-thru, which isn't really news to anyone who's gone to Best Buy recently, cast a big glaring sun, daring them to rise higher on their borrowed wings.

A wild week eh?

First, a tumultuous launch, raucous and powerful as fans braved BB gun attacks and fisticuffs to lay their hands on the PS3, showing that the hardcore gamers who sip in the absinthe of the Sony brand name chase the rarest fairy of all. And my were they rewarded! Queue heroes of Japan, facing the Marxist raffle system that was sure to placate even the most mannered repressed society on earth, were not so lucky. The mere 80,000 grails stamped for that country were brilliantly cornered by rich business men hiring swarms of Chinese immigrants to infiltrate the line. At one department store, all twenty of the first PS3s went to proud, happy octogenerians who spoke not a whit of Japanese, and gave ecstatic stares when asked what games they were going to buy.

Then, the storm wept itself out, a wink of time passed, and the lines formed again for the Wii, this time with grandmothers instead of gangsters, kids instead of their pushers, and the horizon beamed with hope. People brought goodies and Nintendo paraphenalia out to appease this teletubby crowd, but it was all in vain. As the eleventh hour faded, a man dressed as Mario purchased the first Wii, turned to the press that was broadcasting the perfect launch across the world… and broke into an insipid lullaby that will cement the uncool factor of the Nintendo fanboy for all eternity. So say we all. So say we all.

Yet I must say, as the first launch I hadn't waited in line for something for, I do wish I had at least driven past a line. I would have liked to wait those long morning hours vicariously, and from the comfort of my heated leather seats and loyal crate of In-N-Out offerings. But I think I shall watch this war from afar. I will bide my time. I am, after all, a PC gamer at heart, neither impressed by the graphics of the PS3, nor by the lackluster lasting appeal of Nintendo's minigames. On Gamasutra, we see that price is an overwhelming factor for most people. It is for me. And the gambit I shall make, my quinceañera into next-gen, will be this amazing Amazon deal. It begins!

Mark Twain says:

"The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right."

In a downward spiral of serial debacles, Sony announced today that after the estimate of 4 million PS3 units by end of year was slashed down to 2 million, with launch seeing a paltry 100,000 units for Japan and 400,000 for the U.S., guess what? Japan, the heart of PS3 loyalty, is actually going to be getting 80,000 at launch. In completed unrelated news, end of year units for the Wii is expected to "handily" beat 6 million, with 1-2 million estimated ready to go at launch. Preliminary reports rumor 24-120 Wii's per Best Buy.

Let's step back from the numbers here. What the heck is Sony doing? Do they really want their plentiful holiday season preceded by plentiful consumer base exposure to their competitors? And their weapon against the monumental XBox Live is a petulant adaptation of XFire (for which support falls into the duties of individual developers), completely ignoring the necessity of the online community in the console world, a need PC gamers have taken for granted? Even the Wii Channels system is taking the Animal Crossing model to make gamers networked and personal. The story is quickly going from a Miracle on 34th St. to Great Expectations to Macbeth.

Admittedly, their launch list looks like the strongest of the three so far, but it's almost as if they were actively sowing the seeds of confusion and disappointment into their product. From PR snafus to logistics drama, we're seeing a lot of weakness as they strut and fret their hour on the stage. Though people who find the whole console war debate irrelevant would say the market is robust enough for them all, and the industry stands to gain no matter who is the victor, if they're wrong, there is no doubt that Sony has its hands furthest down the cookie jar.

Despite growing apprehension in the currently overbought market, I recently bought a good chunk of Nintendo stock, something I should have done a long time ago. Even with a soft landing, the economy isn't too supporting of the PS3 price point, nor an alinear jump in game sales (yes I know it's cyclic). I think very soon, the industry will realize that huge budgets net huge revenues, but huge profit margin is what ultimately counts. As it stands, only the Big N seems to be on that terra firma. Looking at how game stocks did this past year, shareholders agree that "next-gen" is just bluster, signifying nothing. Show me the money.

Isn’t it strange how little hypocrisy has evolved over the course of human civilization? Invariably, it sticks to a couple simple propositions:

– Believe in an issue.
– Protest an antagonist issue except if it applies to you.

So the Democrats grabbed on to a report pulling selective quotes about how the Iraqi war has only engendered more conflict. The Bush Administration tried to intercept the critics by saying it was going to release specific portions of the document claiming overall threat has decreased. Democrats then scorn the administration for “selective declassification” and dismiss the whole charade as propaganda.

Apparently pulling selective quotes to begin with wasn’t “selective declassification.” Is anyone else getting sick of this game? I can’t believe how many people out there believe more in the game than in reality. It saddens me that 60% of Americans believe recent drops in oil prices is somehow right-wing oil manipulation. Maybe it serves Big Oil right for having such shitty PR, but most Americans do not know that Big Oil is a drop in the barrel compared to other oil barons in Saudi Arabia or Venezuela. Exxon ranks a distant number 15 in size, and only half of that even is oil.

The Fed thinks we’ve peaked on inflation. My portfolio has risen precariously on that news. I’ve made enough in the past few days to buy myself a PS3, but that would be succumbing to Harrisonragi’s “selective declassification” of next-gen details. All I can be bullish on is the Xbox 360’s version of Guitar Hero 2 with DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT! I want that wireless X-Plorer dammit! No doubt the chum in the picture is struggling with his Democratic desire to tell all his friends about it, and his Republican desire to rock out against the man.

Shame it’s the other way around today in real politics, where Democrats do nothing but tell all against the man, and the Republicans do nothing but rock out with their friends.

TJ writes:

One of my superiors is hellbent on getting a PS3. He mostly just wants it for the Blue Ray thing that it comes with, since current Blue Ray players are supposedly $1K, and the PS3 is gonna be $600.

I was telling him I'd bring my Wii over when he has his PS3 and we'd see who got the better deal.


There's been alot of talk about the coming forced evolution to HD. I'd like to clarify for readers what the real deal with Blu-Ray is at the moment.

  • Blu-Ray stores more data than HD-DVD by packing information in a smaller space, and is named for the narrow blue laser used to read the disc. Actually, both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD use blue lasers.
  • Blu-Ray stores about twice as much as HD-DVD, theoretically. In actuality, since Blu-Ray is expensive to manufacture and license, most Blu-Ray media will be encoded with MPEG-4 instead of the improved VC-1 codec, essentially making HD-DVD a superior choice pricewise.
  • Blu-Ray discs have not yet hit dual-layered dual-sided formats yet, which HD-DVD has, so practically, HD-DVDs hold more at the moment.
  • Blu-Ray has better sound encoding.
  • As it stands, copy-protection standardization on Blu-Rays is up in the air, and the Sony/Warner Bros. discs may not (and don't with the latest PC Blu-Ray drives) play movies from other publishers. They also require an HDMI output or the Blu-Ray players will output at a severely downsized image resolution.
  • Even if Blu-Ray problems are solved, how likely are we going to see studios release one $150 3-disc set, instead of three $60 separate sets? Did we see anything more than extras added when DVDs upped capacity?

Basically, just because Sony says $1000 for a Blu-Ray player, a price they made up, makes the PS3 a good deal, doesn't make it so. Games will be a better factor in determining the worth of the PS3, which today had its price knocked down a bit in Japan and for the Japanese base machines only. Conclusion? Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD is like choosing between a blond and a brunette. Regardless of which one we have, we all know which one is better.

So the news is out. Sony Playstation 3 will be out November 17th at a cost that could buy you two hot hookers for three hot hours. And if you're the kinda swank who shells out extra for greek lessons, you'd be able to get a REAL PS3.

That's correct, there are two versions of the PS3, the poor rich man's edition, and the rich man's edition. The first is for people who somehow can cough up $499 for a 20GB version, but not $599 for the 60GB version. The $599 version includes Wifi, HDMI outputs, memory/SD slots, and rumble… which renders the other version impotent for all intents and purposes. It's like shelling out for $499 for a lady of the night and having her tell ya she ain't going to do it standing. Or sitting. Or even with YOUR dick. Heck she ain't even got a hole.

But that's not the announcement that bothered me, no sirree boob. Here's the shocker. Remember the boomerang? Well, it went flying out the window, and has flown back stripped of all original innovations, but dripping in the blood of victimized Wii. They've gone back to using the original controller design, except with bluetooth and… MOTION SENSING! Who didn't see that coming? Who didn't expect Sony to fake an orgasm and deem it the performance of the night? Oh, that's right, gamer virgins. Of which only 6 out of 10 Americans still are.

Sigh. Honestly, their plagarism would be a lot less shameful if it was implemented with a modicum of creativity. I mean, the controller only detects tilt while in motion! I call shenanigans! And I mean the urethra burning type!

As I write this, it is 5 am and Xstine is furiously trying to master Cowboys From Hell. I feel zombified.

We had a dinner party with some of her company folks, where her inebriated boss drew upon his fifteen extra years on her as a long-haired metal hippie to whup her thoroughly on CFH expert in a duel, even though his strategy was mostly pressing random buttons but to a fairly accurate beat. Xstine, raised on a simpleton's diet of J-pop, is now on a warpath to defend her gamer's honor. I think she has hope. The blood of true dirtcore still flows within this young padawan.

For myself, I think I've plateaued at still being unable to conquer expert Bark At The Moon. Her CEO gleefully tried to take me down on the fastest songs, and my lack of stamina almost didn't meet the challenge. But I wasn't about to let his $20k speakers smackdown this whippersnapper. Still, no game has so thoroughly balanced players of skill and players of life experience as well as this. I'm dying for a sequel.

We also happened to run into a fellow who was one of the main guys responsible for the awesome Unreal Tournament 2k7 tech demo for the PS3. I should have known a guy who looks likes Jesus 'cept with UNREAL across his T-shirt would pick up Guitar Hero faster than any of us had. UT2k7 is the only thing I could possibly consider a PS3 for… but ah, no. Mouse will always be superior. And how the hell will Xstine cover me from massive turrets all on one screen? That's ok, I prefer we work on teamwork with me as lead guitarist and her as bass.

Now that I'm digging beat games, maybe I should get Ouendan for the DS? I think my masculinity is safely ensconced in riffing to Ozzy, let's give it a try.

Xstine and I will be heading down for E3 again, so give me a call folks if you're going to be in town. We'll probably be staying at my parent's place as usual. We'll head down Wednesday night and be back up Saturday night.

I've never gone to E3 for a console launch, which is what I'm hoping this time will be. I dearly want to see the Wii and the somewhat want to see the PS3 in action. So far, current-gen X360 games have failed to impress, mainly due to poor and rushed art direction than raw horsepower, but I fully expect that to change soon. Gears of War should be there, and possibly Halo 3, giving our American Ford-Focused console a boost in mileage.

I'll be sure bring my camera to try to capture the idiocies, geniuses, and spectrum defiances that happens in Kentia Hall. Unlike when I was Taiwan, I will probably have a harder time capturing a ghost on film… the Phantom is teh bust. But one can mock hope.

The funny thing is that E3 won't be the most exciting thing of the trip. That honor goes to my intention to do 120mph down the 5 at night in our new G35 while simultaneously thinking of insurance and loan payments. In fact, someone should invent a real driving sim with those realities built into a paranoia meter on the edge of the screen, with reckless driving fueling you with adrenaline and a screaming gal in the passenger seat. Zoom zoom zoom capoeira wants to zoom.

If Guitar Hero 2 is there, however, I won't be coming back. :headbang: