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I Love It!!

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Bill Stewart

Dec 13, 2000, 12:55:16 PM12/13/00
I got this from another group.
My favorite quote is "Sony has become Nintendo".

Pow!....Sony Gets Hit

    PlayStation 2 was designed to conquer the computing world,
starting with Japanese gamers. But it's first fans are turning against
the ballyhooed box.
By George Wehrfritz and Kay Itoi
Dec. 18 issue — Gameplayers from all over Tokyo gathered recently to
bash the machine Sony swore would change their lives—and yours too.
PlayStation 2 was hyped as a magical device that would realize the
promise of the Internet Age, playing games, CDs, DVDs, tapping the World
Wide Web.
       ALL-IN-ONE GIZMO with movie-quality graphics. Japanese
gamers were the machine's first fans, snapping up a million the first
week it went on sale. Not anymore. The title of the late-November
conference at a trendy coffeehouse in Tokyo said it all: "What Happened
to PlayStation 2?"
        Japanese gaming guru Hiroyuki kicked off the Sony-slam
with a question: "How many of you own a PS2?" Hands shot up all over the
room. "What are you playing on it?" asked Hiroyuki, who goes by one
name. The audience of 50 gameplayers and designers fell silent, then
succumbed to giggles. "Dragon Quest for PS1," someone finally offered
sheepishly, referring to a game for the first, supposedly outdated
PlayStation 1. "DVD movies!" a second voice shouted. With that, the
geekerati erupted in derisive hoots and hollers.
       It is way too early to call the PlayStation 2 a joke.
Sony had always aimed to introduce the PS2 as a game machine and a DVD
player, targeted mainly at young gameplayers. Then in year two, Sony
planned to transform the PS2 with add-ons like a hard drive and a
keyboard into an all-in-one Internet device, and a must-have gizmo for
adults the world over. In Japan, a nation that has been slow to embrace
the personal computer, the PS2 was even hailed as the platform that
would carry the country into the Information Age. That may still happen,
but there's no question that Sony is tripping up on step one—the
effort to dazzle millions of young Japanese gamers.
"The model of the gaming business is that you lose money selling
hardware, then make money by selling games that run on. Sony hasn't been
able to do that with PS2."
— KYOKO MURAKAMI,senior analyst at e-Research in Tokyo  
      The numbers tell part of the story. Japanese have purchased
about 3.5 million PlayStation 2s, but there are signs that sales have
leveled off. The main complaint is not with the machine itself, but with
the 82 programs written for it so far, critics say. The box was rushed
to market too soon, so designers didn't have the time to create games
that exploit the computing power of the PS2. The result: many new PS2
games look very much like old computer games, and customers are left
wondering what they shelled out $370 on the new console for. Analysts
had predicted a runaway success, but now they are forecasting Sony
losses of more than $200 million on its game business in the year ending
next March—its first such loss in years. "The model of the gaming
business is that you lose money selling hardware, then make money by
selling games that run on it," says Kyoko Murakami, a senior analyst at
e-Research in Tokyo. "Sony hasn't been able to do that with PS2."  
          Sony's hopes for a big Christmas hit are
melting. Problems at a plant in Nagasaki led to shortages of the
graphics synthesizer that produces the gee-whiz PS2 visuals. Sony
insists it has solved the problem, but outsiders aren't so sure. The
disruption forced Sony to delay and cut planned shipments to the United
States and Europe by half, to 500,000 units. In recent weeks, when the
boxes finally went on sale in New York and London, they flew off the
shelves. But that is how the PS2 got started in Japan, before customers
started to discover that the PS2 software is not equal to the machine.
In a Nov. 27 article titled "PS2's Big Miscalculation," the influential
Japanese news magazine AERA exposed the software flaws and warned that
PS2 sales may have peaked in Japan. Sony insists sales are meeting
expectations. But analysts warn that failure to solve the software
shortage could derail Sony's global plan to sell 100 million PS2s by
2005—and allow competitors like Nintendo, Sega and Microsoft back in
the game.
        So what happened to PlayStation 2? Launched in 1994, the
original PlayStation was designed to dethrone the reigning king of
gaming machines, Nintendo's SuperFamicon. To compete, Sony courted
independent designers, many of whom bristled at Nintendo's efforts to
micromanage their work.
                Sony granted designers
technical support and "a very easy creative environment," says
game-industry journalist Kenji Ono. These artists created hot action and
fantasy games that catapulted PlayStation 1 to the top spot in an
exploding global game market. Then came the sequel. When Sony began
laying plans for PS2, it cut out small design houses, and tightened
control of software development. "In short," says Ono, "Sony has become
        Complicated technology made matters worse. To build
games for any new machine, creators need tools, such as code-writing
aides and designing programs, known as middleware. Sony's middleware for
PS2 arrived late and much of it was hard to use. In desperation,
designers developed tools of their own. That raised costs from $1
million to as much as $9 million per game. "It's like telling a movie
director to start by making a lens for his camera," says Kazunari
Yonemitsu, a 36-year-old game producer. Many games failed to tap the
power of the PS2's vaunted "Emotion Engine" processor, and some even
came out with rough edges and jerky graphics.
        Not surprisingly, many of the pioneering PS2 titles are
flopping. In fact PS1 is still the hotter machine among gamers. Japanese
consumers have purchased nearly six games for every PS1 sold so far, but
just over two games for every PS2. According to Famicon Marketing
Systems, which tracks game sales, Japan's most popular PS2 title, Ridge
Racer V, ranks only eighth in sales. The first, second and fourth best
sellers are all PS1 games. "There has not been one killer PS2 title,"
confessed a game designer at the coffeehouse forum.
        Software companies that design for the PS2 are
suffering. The top designer, Namco, has sold nearly 800,000 copies of
Ridge Racer V since the game hit stores in March. Normally that would be
considered a respectable hit, but not after the blockbuster hype for
PS2. Namco has seen its share price tumble 60 percent since March and
recently announced that it expects to report its first-ever yearly loss
million) since going public in 1988.
        Sony has at least tacitly acknowledged the problem.
Hoping to gain a firmer handle on its games, the electronics giant
recently turned four of five affiliated companies that design for the
PlayStation 2 into in-house design teams. The aim: "bring out PS2's
power and push the envelope in terms of entertainment content," says
Benjamin Gurnsey, spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment. By March
one Sony design house, Polyphony Digital Inc., is expected to unveil a
new car-racing game called Gran Turismo 3. Alan Bell, a games analyst at
Credit Suisse First Boston in London, calls Gran Turismo 3 a crucial
"test case." PS2 "is all about fast video and visuals" that are
"uniquely suited to high-octane race-car games," says Bell. "If Sony
can't do it right themselves, who else is going to?"
        Sony can only hope that the future for PS2 is not
written by disappointed gamers. "I waited in line on launch day and
ordered seven machines to make sure I'd get one," says Masaya Yuki, 25,
a self-described game fanatic. "Yet I am very unhappy with the games now
on the market." Is he waiting for better PS2 games? No. He's playing
imported titles on his Japanese Gameboy, made by Nintendo. It's this
year's "coolest thing," he says. That's bad news for a box that claimed
to be the coolest game machine ever, and so much more. Now all Sony can
do is shoot for Christmas 2001.
With Masato Kawaguchi in Tokyo
       © 2000 Newsweek, Inc.


David Gutierrez

Dec 13, 2000, 1:56:18 PM12/13/00
I found that yesterday at MSNBC when I was going a couple of the groups.
That article is so true. The PS2 really has become a great DVD player in
Japan. The new model with the DVD remote comes out and sells out
immidiately. I wonder if the system to software sales were even 1:1.



Dec 13, 2000, 5:11:59 PM12/13/00

Dec 13, 2000, 9:42:49 PM12/13/00
In article <>, (Bryan) wrote:
> --WebTV-Mail-9833-259
> Content-Type: Text/Plain; Charset=US-ASCII
> Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7Bit
> Oh no Bill, you posted somthing negative regarding the PS2, let the
> fanboys come in masses.
> Honestly it was a great article that was actually wrotten by Newsweek
> and not MSNBC so no one can say "Don't take what MSNBC says with a
> of salt".

You know what? Fuck em!

Even more intersting: I just read that the new model PS2's now out in
Japan have compatibility problems with 3 existing software titles.
How's the rocket science coming Sony?

Did I say "fuck em" ?
Oh yeah...


> --WebTV-Mail-9833-259
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> <html>
> <body bgcolor="black" text="white">
> <center><img src=""></center>
> </html>
> --WebTV-Mail-9833-259--

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