Monday, May 08, 2006

PS3 20GB Has Less Options

Interesting, this is via Gamespot. I'll blockquote it for reference:
According to the latest specifications released by Sony, the PS3 now only comes with one Ethernet port and four USB ports. Also, the lack of a second HDMI port means that the dual-screen setup running 1080p function that was shown off last year is no longer a possibility.

The PlayStation 3 will come in two configurations, one will have a 20GB hard drive and the other will have a 60GB hard drive. However, losing 40GB isn't the only downgrade with the 20GB version. The 20GB version, priced at $499, will not have Memory Stick, SD, or Compact Flash inputs, Wi-Fi capabilities, or any HDMI output.
So, they're basically attempting to make the 60GB version more appealling for the $100 extra hit. That's all well and good until you look down and see yourself paying $200 more than the 360 and who knows how much more than the Wii. I'm not saying this to slap Sony in the face, but there is a price point people won't pass and I think they aren't going to bite at $600.

That the 20GB version is so neutered (no memory inputs, no HDMI port and no Wi-Fi is arguably more detrimental than the 360 Core) makes the 60GB one even more enticing than the Core vs. Premium decision with the 360.

The other interesting thing in the story is presented here and goes back to my previous post:

The new motion-sensitive controller, included standard in both the 20GB and 60GB models, will lack a feature that was present in the PlayStation 2's DualShock 2 controller--vibration. Citing the new "six-degree," a statement from Sony says "vibration itself interferes with information detected by the sensor."
No vibration means Sony doesn't want to pay Immersion to use it in case they ultimately lose the suit (as they have been for a while now), even though they pass it off as vibration interfering with the sensor. I'm not sure vibration is going to matter, but it does give a little more sense of "being there" than a controller without one. The one question I have about the gyroscopic controller is whether you can turn it off or not. I know I have the habit of moving the controller while in a driving game for instance. If the "six-way motion" was on I'd be screwed so to speak.

This isn't a knock on Sony, but I'm not sure how much they're going to use the gyroscopic characteristics of the controller. Yes, Warhawk looked pretty cool, but in the end do I want to fly like that or use the analog stick? If Sony's going to rip off Nintendo they also need innovative games with which to use it. We'll have to see if that takes off or not.

And, yes, Metal Gear Solid 4 looked sweet, but I also saw the "Coming 2007" on it as well. This means it isn't a launch title. Final Fantasy XIII looked sweet too, although that was mostly pre-rendered stuff. I do wonder if Square-Enix has anything planned for the Xbox 360 or if they're sticking with Sony again. I'm not sure Square-Enix has the hold it once did on gamers and their loyalties, but I could be wrong.

One last thing on this post. This whole price point is a good indicator of where Sony feels its place is in the market. They feel they are #1 and are riding on the fact they've been #1 for 2 generations now. They are smug enough to believe that people will unload this kind of money to play the next Playstation machine. We'll have to see whether that works out for them or not...I remember a lot of people in line with me who were complaining about having to scrape together $400 for the Xbox 360.

I can't wait to see more from Sony, but at $600 for the higher system it seems like a tough pill to take...