In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (LASERandDVDfan) wrote:
> Cartridge manufacturing cost over $26 per unit to manufacture, and that
> include the packaging, books, and licensing which add up to the wholesale
> Plus, mask ROM media requires a preorder of about ***six months in
> Mask ROM media takes a long time to manufacture, so you must predict sales
> months in advance and accurately predict demand. Very risky.
Don't forget that the larger the cartridge was, the more it would cost
to manufacture. A 90 meg cart like Zelda: The Ocarina of Time cost
nearly double that of a 30 meg cart to build. Where as with a CD-ROM
disc(which can hold much more data to begin with) you can max out it's
storage capabilities without having to spend an extra cent.
> First, you had the 32x fiasco which made a bad image for Sega.
One odd thing that should be noted is that around the same time Nintendo
unleashed the Virtual Boy, which was just as big of a failure as the
32x. I can only assume that Nintendo recovered better because they
essentially buried the Virtual Boy and acted like it never even existed.
Not to mention Sega was already suffering a bit when they released the
32x because of the Sega CD's failure shortly before it.
> Third, the Saturn architecture proved to be overly complex to program
> on, and the fact that the dev kits came in rather late only complicated
> matters. Most programmers were forced to write code in assembler language,
> while the PSX allowed you to write effective code in C++.
It's my understanding that the Saturn failed because it wasn't built
from the ground up for 3D gaming. It was originally designed to be a
strictly 2D system, albeit a very powerful one. After Sega learned that
Nintendo and Sony's systems were going to be built with 3D in mind they
redesigned the Saturn with a second processor specifically for 3D
processing. This ended up making the system overly complicated to code
for. Developers had trouble getting both processors to run in synch
> Nintendo still has a rather hard line in terms of licensing, but they have
> loosened up. The only problem is that Sony already has the major marketshare
> that cannot be ignored by the third party at this time. If you concentrate
> development primarily on Nintendo, you are going to lose an oppourtunity to
> make money off the Sony and Microsoft crowds, and most the gameplaying
> customers cannot afford or are unwilling to go multi-platform.
Let's go back in time a bit. Back to about 1995 or so. At this time Sony
was just about to enter the video game hardware market for the very
first time, while veterans Nintendo and Sega had the entire market to
themselves. Sony had ZERO marketshare at this time. But did this stop
third parties from supporting console? As we all know, NO! Many of the
developers started working exclusively for Sony and ignored the other
guys. So as you can see, marketshare doesn't determine everything.
> The neat thing is that this particular architecture is capable of dedicated
> SIMD operations, while the Gamecube and especially the X-Box are based on
> traditional platforms. This means that you can do alot with what the PS-2
> despite the fact that it doesn't have as much processing muscle.
While it can push more polygons per second, it struggles with things
like bump-mapping and real time lighting effects. Because of it's vastly
slower main processor it also has a lot trouble keeping framerates up.
Take a look at the screen shots for the online Resident Evil game being
developed for the PS2 and then compare them with the Gamecube RE games.
You'll see just how far behind the PS2 is when compared to what the
Gamecube and Xbox can do.
> The developers have a lot to argue about in terms of staying with the PS-2
> while developing for the other platforms. It's VERY difficult to make money
> the games business, and staying with what's the best supported console helps
> ensure that you can gain a worthwhile profit. Denying a significant
> marketshare because of difficult programming on the foolish hope and unlikely
> occurance that gamers will suddenly leap to the competitors for an
> easier-to-program console is foolhardy.
You're contradicting yourself here. Tell me, how did Sony gain all that
marketshare? The answer of course being by getting support from most, if
not all third parties including major developers like Squaresoft and
> Badly designed? On what basis with clear elaboration, please.
We've already discussed the cooling fan blowing air onto the laser lens,
only two controller ports and difficulties working with it's 3 different
processors. If you want more, you can throw slow loading times into the
mix. This is of course based on the loading times Xbox and GC are
> My gameplay tends to go more towards RPGs and action/adventure, with many of
> those titles only allowing one player. So, obviously, I have a PS-2 and
> Gamecube for those purposes. But, that's my preference. Yours will vary.
> might actually enjoy multiplayer Halo on one screen or Super Smash Bros., but
That's your preference and that's fine, but don't think everyone else
feels the same way. Many people, myself included do use and enjoy the
extra controller ports. Remember that not all multiplayer games require
split screens either. So clearly the lack of two additional controller
ports can be a hindrance to a lot of people. Booohoo you say, but no buy
> Someone like that would have to be awfully stupid, ignorant, or blind. The
> PlayStation is popular enough for any casual gamer to know that Sony made it.
> It's like saying that another extensively popular system, the NES, would have
> gamers not know that it was made by Nintendo.
Uh. That was a really bad example man. NES was an abbreviation for
NINTENDO Enertainment System. Nintendo's name was right there for
everyone to see so of course everyone knew who made it. Even today
Nintendo still uses their name with the Gamecube. Sony and Microsoft
conveniently keep their names out of the spotlight. It's a sneeky
business tactic designed to keep your focus on the Playstation 2 and
Xbox brand names.
> Sega hyping up the Genesis (blast processing, anyone? GENESIS DOES WHAT
> NINTENDON'T, and their SegaVisions magazine) and Sega CD (Hey, you still
> have a Sega CD? What are you waiting for, Nintendo to make one?!) and 32X
> Saturn (anyone shoot an N64 for skeet?) and Dreamcast and Game Gear (Ooohhh!
> Microsoft REALLY hyping up on the X-Box (There's no power greater than X,
> PROJECT MIDWAY - reference to a WWII offensive at how the American allied
> forces outsmarted the Japanese.).
> Atari hyping up the Jaguar (it's 64-bits!).
> 3DO hyping up about the REAL and M-2 systems (everything else are toys).
At least none of these companies flat out lied about the capabilities of
their systems like Sony did. There's a thin line between hype and
stretching the truth and Sony has crossed it on more than one occasion.
>Don't forget that the larger the cartridge was, the more it would cost
Of course, because larger capacity cartridges required either more mask ROM
chips or a higher density mask ROM chip.
But the other big problem was having to predict sales six months in advance,
which brought about some significant problems, especially in the Japanese
market with the introduction of the Shoshinkai distribution channel to deal
with supplies of this kind of commodity. The avenue of mask ROM only added to
the videogame business' complexity, while CD-ROMs, under Sony's leadership,
helped simplify it.
Sega didn't do much to simplify the business model with CD-ROM because they
lacked the resources. They didn't have a record company for inspiration of a
new business model, nor did they have their own CD replication capabilities.
Their CD software ended up being treated like cartridges in the Shoshinkai
Sony, on the other hand, didn't. They had the resources of their own disc
replication plants and Sony Music to handle distribution of software.
PlayStation software distribution was based on the record company distribution
business model. Not only were CD-ROMs cheaper, but manufacturing and inventory
fulfillment was much quicker and simpler than mask ROMs in the Shoshinkai
channel. Sony avoided the Shoshinkai channel and distributed inventory
directly to the retail chains.
>One odd thing that should be noted is that around the same time Nintendo
>unleashed the Virtual Boy, which was just as big of a failure as the
>32x. I can only assume that Nintendo recovered better because they
>essentially buried the Virtual Boy and acted like it never even existed.
That, and the "Virtual Boy" was never an expansion to an existing console and
wasn't totally designed as a home system.
>Not to mention Sega was already suffering a bit when they released the
>32x because of the Sega CD's failure shortly before it.
The Sega CD actually stopped shortly after the 32x release. There are Sega CD
games that work with the 32x expansion, although there are only a very small
number of titles made that way, and all of them FMV titles. As for failure,
the Sega CD wasn't really a failure as it managed to stick around for about
five years. However, it wasn't a real success, either.
>It's my understanding that the Saturn failed because it wasn't built
>from the ground up for 3D gaming. It was originally designed to be a
>strictly 2D system, albeit a very powerful one. After Sega learned that
>Nintendo and Sony's systems were going to be built with 3D in mind they
>redesigned the Saturn with a second processor specifically for 3D
Don't forget modifications to the VDP cores to work with 3-D so you won't bog
down the CPUs.
This ended up making the system overly complicated to code
>for. Developers had trouble getting both processors to run in synch
And that would be the problem, as I've stated from the beginning. "Third, the
Saturn proved to be overly complex to program properly on..." You've just
merely clarified my stance. There were supposedly dev kits available to deal
with programming on the Saturn to take advantage of the dual CPU layout, but
they came too late.
>Let's go back in time a bit. Back to about 1995 or so. At this time Sony
>was just about to enter the video game hardware market for the very
>first time, while veterans Nintendo and Sega had the entire market to
>themselves. Sony had ZERO marketshare at this time. But did this stop
>third parties from supporting console? As we all know, NO! Many of the
>developers started working exclusively for Sony and ignored the other
>guys. So as you can see, marketshare doesn't determine everything.
Sony got it because they did what they could to cater to the third parties. No
different from when Nintendo started with the NES. However, marketshare still
means everything, especially if you wish to CONTINUE your business.
You can gather as many developers as you want in the beginning, but if you
don't have enough marketshare, then what incentive do the developers have to
stick around with you? Case in point: the 3DO. They gathered an impressive
array of third party support, but the console still didn't last long. The high
price of admission turned customers away, which kept its marketshare on a niche
level. Of course, this happened because 3DO never made their own consoles,
which Sega, Nintendo, and newcomer Sony did. 3DO licensed their consoles to
manufacturers, and manufacturers marked up the price of their product to earn a
profit since they wouldn't score a profit from the software sales.
Because the 3DO's ability as a profitable platform was in jeopardy due to
insufficient marketshare, many developers which had pledged support jumped off
of Trip Hawkin's ship and moved on to bigger things. (Trip Hawkins was founder
of 3DO. Before, he founded and served as CEO of Electronic Arts.)
>> The neat thing is that this particular architecture is capable of dedicated
>> SIMD operations, while the Gamecube and especially the X-Box are based on
>> traditional platforms. This means that you can do alot with what the PS-2
>> despite the fact that it doesn't have as much processing muscle.
>While it can push more polygons per second, it struggles with things
>like bump-mapping and real time lighting effects. Because of it's vastly
>slower main processor it also has a lot trouble keeping framerates up.
>Take a look at the screen shots for the online Resident Evil game being
Being developed? Don't cite works in progress as examples. Since they are not
a finished product and are constantly improved on in due time, they can turn
around and backfire on your argument.
If you wanted to make a decent example, you could've cited the PS-2 translation
of "Splinter Cell." And yet, I can counter with an example of just how good
the PS-2 chipset is in the hands of good programmers, "Rygar," "Kingdom
Hearts," "Final Fantasy X," "Ico," and "Rez" being notable examples.
As for system speed, if you are going by the clock speed alone, then learn more
Right now, the X-Box is the most powerful platform because it's nVidia
architecture can push the most GFLOPS, or LOTS of decimal calculations to those
who are curious. It can also move more polygons than the PS-2 and the
Gamecube. The main CPU on the X-Box, on the other hand, has a clock of 733
MHz, but its GFLOPS rating is pitiful and has processing power that pales in
comparison to the Gekko CPU in the Gamecube and the EmotionEngine in the PS-2.
In the X-Box, it's not the CPU that makes it impressive, but its graphics
architecture. It's also based around the more traditional CISC x86 platform
that's capable of running RISC instructions.
The Gamecube Gekko CPU is based on the PowerPC RISC architecture. The same
kind that tends to give Pentiums a run for their money because they seem to
score higher on GFLOPS and overall processing muscle, despite their lower clock
speeds. Compare the best Pentium 4 Xeon against the Apple G5 as an example.
As for the PS-2, its design is totally unconventional and uses SIMD (Single
Instruction Multiple Data) processing modes pretty much exclusively. It's an
example of a complex RISC-dedicated architecture. Part of its difficulty is
stemmed from the fact that its design is unconventional, in addition to
inherent complexities within the architecture itself. But the PS-2, along with
the Saturn to some degree, allowed greater flexibility in writing code due to
its internal complexities.
While this weblink contains some info which is out of date, it describes the
innards of the EmotionEngine in great and accurrate detail, so it's worth a
What would be neat is that if the next generation from Nintendo, Mircrosoft,
and Sony ever utilizes the new EPIC platform exclusively, in place of CISC and
>You're contradicting yourself here. Tell me, how did Sony gain all that
>marketshare? The answer of course being by getting support from most, if
>not all third parties including major developers like Squaresoft and
And how did they manage to get such support for the PS-2, from the success of
the PSX, a.k.a PS-One.
Developers went to the PS-2 because of their impressions with Sony and their
PS-One. The Saturn didn't have that kind of support to fall back on to gain
developers. It had the Genesis, but the leap from 16-bit to 32-bit is a far
cry more dramatic than 32-bit to the current generation. (X-Box and Gamecube
are technically 32-bit systems while the PS-2 is 128-bit. The bit measure on
videogames have applied to only the main microprocessor and now are pretty much
useless in figuring out overall power. Only looking at the system as a whole
will give you an idea as to a system's overall power. You can't just consider
processing ability as well; you must also consider it's flexibility to
determine overall power.)
>We've already discussed the cooling fan blowing air onto the laser lens,
Dust accumulation from this can be prevented and even fixed.
>only two controller ports
Puh-lease! That's a very pathetic explanation for a design weakness. It's
more like an inconvenience than a design weakness, especially if the console is
being used by only one gamer most of the time.
>and difficulties working with it's 3 different
VU0, VU1, and the MIPS III work as one integrated architecture. It's complex,
but allows a variety of modes for whatever the programmer may need. The
advantage is flexibility.
>Remember that not all multiplayer games require
>split screens either.
If you've got X-Box Live or have linked other consoles through a network. But
what if you don't, and you have four players over for a little deathmatch on
"Time Splitters 2?" How else can you play that kind of multiplayer with just
one box with four controllers and just one TV?
>Uh. That was a really bad example man. NES was an abbreviation for
>NINTENDO Enertainment System. Nintendo's name was right there for
>everyone to see so of course everyone knew who made it.
But did ANYONE know about Nintendo's existence when the NES first came out?
Their reputation with Donkey Kong is not enough to get people to recognize and
buy Nintendo's home system. They had to start somewhere for their NES to be a
household name, and they had a beginning that could be classified as VERY
RISKY! So risky that with success, the rewards would be great. But, failure
would have meant the ruin of Nintendo.
As a matter of fact, Nintendo was even thinking about licensing the Famicom to
Atari for distribution in the U.S. market.
Ultimately, Atari backed out of the deal because of Coleco illegally using
Donkey Kong to demonstrate their ADAM system during CES, and Nintendo went
ahead and marketed the NES by themselves. Atari thought that Nintendo had
doublecrossed them and went with Coleco for licensed distribution of the
Famicom, so they dropped the deal. Good thing that happened, too, because
Atari would have buried it and proceeded to releasing their 7800 ProSystem if
they acquired the rights for the Famicom.
Anyways, the release of the NES took place at about the time where the
videogame industry was thought to be dead after the big Atari crash. Very few
retailers were even considering taking the risk of selling the NES through fear
that another videogame crash which would make the value of the Nintendo product
plummet. Nintendo spent a lot of money to market their system and also went so
far as to guarantee all retailers a buyback of all unsold NES inventories
should the NES fail in order to ensure marketability and cooperation from
retail outlets! And, they were trying to learn, and even invent, ways to carry
on the videogame console business.
For instance, the selling of hardware at a loss and earning profit from
software sales: Nintendo idea.
The utilization of licensing to "control software quality," a.k.a. the
developer's decision on which platform to develop on (which eventually prompted
FTC action from the U.S. Government): Nintendo idea.
Controlling manufacturing, inventory, and distribution of software: Nintendo
The very basis of the videogame industry to which Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft
follows was initially established by Nintendo when they are starting to make a
name for themselves. They established this all at very big risks because they
were not well-known in 1985, which was why I cited the NES as a comparable
example to the success of the Sony PlayStation. Sony also took risks,
including establishing a new distribution model better suited to the advantages
>Nintendo still uses their name with the Gamecube. Sony and Microsoft
>conveniently keep their names out of the spotlight. It's a sneeky
>business tactic designed to keep your focus on the Playstation 2 and
>Xbox brand names.
Bullshit, especially in the case with PS-2 products. Their own hardware they
make themselves are PLASTERED with the Sony logo, and they are more than
popular enough for consumers to know that PlayStation is a Sony product. As
for software and hardware not made by Sony, why should they put their names on
something they didn't make?
The only people who wouldn't know that X-Box is Microsoft and PlayStation is
Sony are those who are totally unfamiliar with videogaming.
>At least none of these companies flat out lied about the capabilities of
>their systems like Sony did.
Bullhockey. ALL businesses involved in videogames have essentially told
mistruths about their product in the name of profitability. No one company is
ever innocent of this.
When Nintendo promised the N64's power to be beyond anything and the games to
show it off when there was hardly anything of the sort in the long run, what do
you call Nintendo?
When Nintendo illegally canceled their contract with Sony in terms of
developing the Super CD platform, what do you call Nintendo?
When Nintendo supplied evidence to congressional hearings about videogame
violence involving "Night Trap" and "Mortal Kombat" against Sega, and then
Nintendo would later release Mortal Kombat 2 with all the gore intact, what do
you call Nintendo?
When Sega dropped an agreement with 3Dfx and went with NEC to develop the
graphics architecture of the Dreamcast, what do you call Sega?
When Sega claimed a feature of the Genesis, blast processing, that was nothing
but marketing hype, what do you call Sega?
When Sega released the 32x to extend the life of the Genesis in the eve of the
Saturn, what do you call Sega?
There are many more, but I feel this lengthy debate has gone on for long
enough. - Reinhart
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