Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Is PlayStation 3 a bargain at $599?; 2K Football back?

I'm still not sure if Nintendo's sharp little Wii unit is a fad or not, but initial sales are through the roof. If I was Nintendo I'd be readying an HD-Wii that could get closer to XBox 360 and PS3 for processing power while still delivering the fun quotient brought forth by the Wii-mote.

I think we'll see similar remote control devices and games from Microsoft and Sony (whose current controller will detect up and down and side to side motion already), which is hurting because of the high costs of launching such an expensive video game system. This week, Sony said the PS3 was chiefly to blame for a five percent dip in net profit for the final three months of 2006.

"Startup costs are high, and the losses (in the gaming division) will continue for some time," Chief Financial Officer Nobuyuki Oneda told reporters.

I think Sony will recover. It's going to probably have to drop prices a little but I think people will begin to see there's a bargain to be had with PS3.

It does so much more than just play games. It's a true machine that can be the hub of your entertainment network. I've been playing around with the unit quite a bit recently, using it to read photos from memory cards, CDs and even those little USB thumb drives. I can save them to the PS3 hard drive seamlessly. You can even browse the internet on your big screen, which is kind of cool.

The PS3 will also play DVDs and CDs and Super Audio CDs, which provide better sound like regular versions. But best of all, the PS3 will play Blu-Ray DVDs, giving viewers a true high definition experience via DVD. The PS3 will output in 1080p, which is the highest resolution possible. Most TVs today can't render it but you can see the difference in quality. Blu-Ray discs look better than over-the-air HD, which before now, was the king daddy of HDTV.

Sony recently released a $20 bluetooth remote controller that is simple to pair with the PS3 and makes operating the DVD and CD functions much easier than using the game remote. Now the PS3 won't upconvert movies (at least best I can tell) but that's not the worst thing in the world and you can't change resolutions at the touch of the button, but for what's you're getting, I think it's a nice package.

So if you consider a Blu-Ray DVD player can cost as much as $1,500 alone, maybe ol' PS3 -- for those interested in such things -- is looking like a better bargain. Now if you're buying strictly to beat your buddies online in Madden, well, it's still an awfully expensive game machine.


It looks like cult favorite 2K Football is coming back, three years after Electronic Arts signed an exclusive deal with the NFL that knocked the title off store shelves.

EA's agreement made Madden the only licensed NFL game. When that happened Sega sold Visual Concepts, the studio that made 2K, to Take-Two Interactive. Take-Two started 2K Sports and released hockey, baseball and pro basketball titles.

Visual Concepts now is ready to get back into football, president Greg Thomas told the GameSpot website. Look for All-Pro Football 2K8 on next generation video game systems this summer.

Thomas is tight on details but rumors floating say the game will feature former pro players, though that would require 2K to sign licensing agreements with every old player featured. It could work, though, and might be better than generic players. I'm sure some gamers would rather use generic players and assign them real-life names and numbers on their own.

We'll see what happens. Bottom line, Madden will have some competition this fall and I know a lot of gamers out there are loving that fact.


Clayj said...

This is a simple question:

If you want a Blu-ray player or if you simply MUST be able to play one of the few remaining Sony exclusives, then get a PS3.

Otherwise, it's an overpriced console that requires you to pay a lot more than you should for a really good gaming experience. There is NOTHING the Xbox 360 can't do that the PS3 can except offer Blu-ray playback... and the 360 has a far superior online experience.

As far as dropping prices goes... Sony is already losing $200 per console sold. They can't AFFORD to drop prices anymore.

Anonymous said...

I gotta disagree with you, Langston.

People are saying they don't want Blu-Ray and the kind of convergence Sony offers. They want a fun, reasonably affordable system that's good at playing games. They're voting for the Wii with their wallets.

I've heard of PS3 price drops in Japan but I generally agree with Clay. They can't go much lower because the break-even point on number of games associated with each console will go up dramatically. I think today it is 7 or so games for each PS3 to get into the black. If you raise that to 11 or 12 games via a big price drop, that's asking a lot. I don't see that happening in the PS3's life-cycle.