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Why Is A 10-Year Lifespan A Bad Thing?

Much has been made about Sony saying the PlayStation 3 has a ten-year lifespan. In fact, most of that commentary has consisted of mockery and oddly hostile derision.

But I don't know why. Is it because people don't want a console to last ten years, or because they don't think it will and Sony is just blowing smoke? Whichever the reason, I say these people are completely wrong.

I'm reminded of the issue when EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich told NowGamer that Sony doesn't believe their own claims of a decade-long life-cycle and that the PS3 is now maxed out. Okay, first things first- You aren't a developer, Jesse, so to make any comment based on the technology of the system is outside your jurisdiction. Secondly, comparing the PS3 to phones and computers is inaccurate in more ways than one.

I would definitely question the Vita's supposed 10-year lifespan. That's an entirely different situation because you're entering the world of mobile gaming, which has changed drastically in the past four or five years. The world of console gaming doesn't appear to me to have changed much at all, outside of rising development costs and the rapidly expanding digital realm. The PS2 launched in 2000 and as of 2010, was still selling, in terms of both hardware and software. Obviously, those sales were tailing off and 2010 may have marked the downward turn for the console...but mathematically speaking, I'm counting ten years there.

Also, let's not forget that Sony enjoyed fantastic profitability in those last years of the PS2's reign, and there's nothing saying the same thing won't happen with the PS3. The latter console launched in 2006 and we are entering the 7th year. By 2008, the PS2 was pretty much done in terms of high-profile, system-selling AAA titles; it was mostly selling on its accumulated gigantic library and low price. But in its 7th year, the PS3 will see even more top-notch exclusives (Beyond: Two Souls, God of War: Ascension, The Last Of Us), and there is definite evidence that designers have not maxed out the console. Take one look at Naughty Dog's latest and your eyes will confirm that.

So logically, there's absolutely no reason why the PS3 won't last ten years and in fact, at this point, it's essentially inevitable that the system will still be available, and will still be going strong in 2015 and even 2016. It'll be cheap and there will be a ton of games for it. I just can't understand why people wouldn't want this, or why they'd scoff at the idea. It seems abundantly clear to me and considering how cheap and whiny a lot of the gaming community has become recently, I'm surprised they don't want 20-year lifespans so they don't have to pay for new hardware so frequently. Just my two cents on the issue.

Tags: ps3, playstation 3, sony, ps3 lifespan

12/13/2012 1:03:43 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (27 posts)

maxpontiac
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 1:53:20 PM
Reply

A 10 year life span for the PS3 was more than feasible when it was initially stated and only those critical of the PS3 thought otherwise.

Today, the PS3 is just starting to reach it's potential and many developers have yet to make use of what the Blu Ray brings to the table. Why are games still being made on one DVD?

Honestly, unless I see something mind blowingly awesome, I will remain happy with the PS3 and everything it offers.

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Doppel
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 4:34:24 PM

The only ones I see complaining are the PC-only gamers, crying because "consoles are holding graphics technology back" or some other things to complain about.

Pft. Honestly I just hope graphics stay the same and make games longer and have more content.

How about an Elder Scrolls game with the same graphics as Skyrim (ok, maybe upgrade the framerate to 60fps, locked) but has multiple continents? Or how about the entire world of Tamriel?

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maxpontiac
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 5:53:48 PM

Doppel -

I do not want bigger worlds (Skyrim was fine), I want populated ones. You know, herds of animals, towns with hundreds of people in it, one that mirrors the real world.

When I arrive at the major metropolis of the land, I want to know it. So far in every game, I feel like I am walking into a ghost town.

If a game on the next gen system can do that, I'll be sold in a hurry.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 2:02:26 PM
Reply

I see no reason the PS3 can't still be healthy at 10 years old, or even a bit longer than that.

Hell, even $E still has a one more FF related game coming out in 2013, for the older 10 year PS2.

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Dante399
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 2:36:39 PM
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I can't imagine myself buying a new console right now. And, no, money is not the issue.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 2:43:25 PM
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I think the majority of people simply don't take the continuing life of a console after a new console releases into account. They think "10" years means 10 years without a PS4, and that's obviously not true but really only people like us who follow everything these people say closely know that.

Furthermore, the media is now controlled mainly by xbox enthusiasts and we know that MS dropped Xbox1 support right away so I can see how they are skeptical.

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Cesar_ser_4
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 3:02:10 PM

Apparently that year of advantage Microsoft had on Sony made it possible for everyone to think Microsoft is the industry leader of videogame consoles.

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maxpontiac
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 4:21:58 PM

You make a valid point World, could imagine the interweb right now if the 360 passed the PS3 in global sales?

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Lord carlos
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 4:21:54 PM
Reply

There's lots to be squeezed out of the cell & RSX since sony released the cap on the cell being able to utilise the 256mb of vram last year.
Thats right, we have'nt even got to play an exclusive game yet thats been developed with the cell having access to both the 256mb of system ram & 256mb of video ram.
Uncharted 1-3 and killzone 2-3 were all created with the cell being locked to just being able to use the 256mb of system ram !!
The RSX is always locked to 256mb of video ram.
Kojima productions were waiting for this cap removal to happen so they could give us the opinion to fully install MGS 4 on our HDD instead of installing 1 chapter at a time.
I for one cant wait to play these new wave of PS3 exclusives.
Hellz yeah !!

Last edited by Lord carlos on 12/13/2012 4:28:34 PM

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Beamboom
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 4:33:35 PM

Pardon me for saying so but what a strange thing to say. The system memory has nothing to do with how much of a game can be installed on the hard drive. There simply is no relation.


Last edited by Beamboom on 12/13/2012 4:33:48 PM

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Ignitus
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 5:47:01 PM

As far as I know. Developers have always had the Cell access the RSX Vram. But it's pretty much useless. The Cell's cpu access to RSX's VRAM has a mere 16MB/s bandwith, compared to the Xbox 22GB/s bandwith.

No, that's not a typo, the diference really is MEGAbytes to GIGAbytes per SECOND.

It is believed Bethestha stores it's game save (but it actually behaves more like a database than a simple save file) in the RSX VRAM and the shutering and frezzes occur because of this bottleneck. Also some multiplats freeze more on PS3 for this reason.

This is taken from the Digital Foundry Blog analysis of the Skyrim PS3 version and hope it helps understand better:

"The split-pool RAM architecture on PS3 is more constrictive than it is on 360, and this is clearly a RAM-intensive game. We wonder if the save game resides in the graphics RAM instead of the XDR, which Cell addresses much more quickly. Bandwidth between the PS3 CPU and VRAM is a mere 16MB/s, compared to the 22GB/s access the 360 has to its unified 512MB of GDDR3. Advanced database management on a much larger save would have clear performance implications bearing in mind this bottleneck."


In a post below I will share some links for those who want to read more about the tricky PS3 Memory architecture.

In the end, the Cell's access to the VRAM is not going to give us more performance than we already have.

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Ignitus
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 5:49:14 PM

Here are some links:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-vs-ps3-skyrim-lag

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1007286/ps3-hardware-slow-broken

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Lord carlos
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 11:18:00 PM

beamboom
so the mandatory individual chapter installs for the 1st 4 years was just for a bit of a laugh.
ignitus
Drawback of mutiplatform engines
if naughty dog made skyrim as a ps3 exclusive,there be none of this buggy sh!t.
It would run perfectly.

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Beamboom
Friday, December 14, 2012 @ 12:46:24 AM

Carlos, I'm sorry but you sit and make up theories without understanding what you talk about.

It's not easy to explain why they made that chapter based install of MGS, it was really quite stupid (as far as I am aware we've not seen that in other games) but I would guess they made it like that to save disk space? The first PS3s came with pretty small hard drives, after all.

There seriously is no relation between memory handling and storage capacity. I can only ask that you please trust me when I say so.

Last edited by Beamboom on 12/14/2012 12:52:36 AM

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Lord carlos
Friday, December 14, 2012 @ 12:56:20 PM

Beam i'm not making up anything i'm actually trying to find and paste the article that has a developers explanation,but basically their was'nt enough free ram for the ps3 to run itself,run mgs4,process 8 gig of install data & set up the 1st chapter of the game.if they had more time they could have gotten the SPE's optimized and gotten more flops and freed up ram at a faster rate.In 2011 the cap on the cell was released which ment more ram plus devs knew far more about handling SPE workloads.
Both Sony & nintendo have purposely kept back their cpu's full capability untill halfway through the console or handhelds lifecycle,hence why MGS 3 looks better than MGS 2.
While i'm not a programmer i'm not an idiot and understand the basics of most of the subjects i'm interested in !!

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Temjin001
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 5:15:45 PM
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Yes I agree it is invevitable. I won't be surprised if the PS3 receives support for beyond 15 years. The PS3 is tethered to the PS store where content and also media services are easily obtainable, or in other words profitable. It does Blu Rays and popular media services like Netflix.

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Alejandro562
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 7:14:21 PM
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i love ps3, bought it in 07 for 600 bucks, ill wait for pa4 until it is at a reasonable price.

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Gradon
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 7:53:38 PM
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I don't understand why people beg and crave for a new generation of gaming. Not only has our current one not had the best of technology explored (explained above) it just doesn't seem feasible for Xbox or PS3. The Wii needed an upgrade to keep up with PS3 and Xbox, but I think that both of them having online systems and a storefront in place just makes the console have a lot more life left in it. Again, I expect the 3DS to be around a lot longer than original DS and same for Vita and PSP. Thats just me though.

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SaiyanSempai
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 8:26:47 PM
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I don't understand the thought process either Ben. Creating a product with a long life span is a good thing - especially for the consumer.

And no developer wants to see console refreshes come out more frequently than they can release games. The development process takes longer this gen and I imagine even longer next gen.

I like the fact that we don't have a new set of next gen consoles yet (let's face it, the Wii U is current gen).

Which reminds me, I would hate for MS and Sony to do what Nintendo is doing - releasing new hardware that is already underwhelmingly outdated on day one (yet, releasing the new hardware more frequently).

Last edited by SaiyanSempai on 12/13/2012 8:27:38 PM

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OverBerg
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 9:51:36 PM
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I'm perfectly content with my PS3 right now, thank you. That is definitely not saying I won't get a PS4; I will get one for sure. I just feel that the PS3 has so much more left to give and is not on the way out quite yet. When PS3 launched, I pounced almost immediately. I don't regret it, but the software took a few years to catch up. I think I'll wait until the PS4 has titles that I REALLY want to play until I purchase. When that happens, my trusty old PS3 will make the trek to be the bedroom console and the new PS4 will take center stage in the living room. No rush.

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dork02840
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 11:20:47 PM
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i dont think a 10 year life cycle is a bad thing. i just think its irrational to hold any system to a 10 year grip on the top market share. in an age where HDTVs, computers, cell phones, both android, windows phone, and iphone all propagandize getting the next big thing. HDTVs do it also; what was once 120hz is now 240hz, what was once plasma became LCD, which gave way to LED, which gave way to OLED, 4000K, HD projectors, DLP. the technological landscape is more cyclical now than it ever was. ever since the fall of the Genesis or rise of the 32x, depending upon which view you take, once Sony got into the gaming industry they brought with them a more fickle crowd. micosoft, sony, and to an extent nintendo realize that even though a system may have a 10 year window, its primarily the first 5-7 years that will make it the most profit. id say you can break down the systems this way based off the 360 and ps3, 18-24 month integration phase into the market, 5-7 year golden era...and another 2 years fading out of the market like an old arcade console from Wreck it Ralph. I love my ps3 and the integration it provides but in talking with my gf, who is also a gamer :), we both agree it has hit a wall with how far certain elements can go. the gaming end has been maxed out. the multimedia experience, leaves a bit to be desired. while it offers a vast array of add-ons, the ps3 store IMO is hit or miss, and being an avid wresting fan, it always amuses me to see recent WWE movies and ppvs being charged per match or per disc when i can go to moviestop, best buy, target, walmart, newbury comics, deepdiscountdvd or amazon and get the whole set for the cost of 2 discs of digital content out of 3 on the PSN. it has a ways to go to catch up to live. i cannot say it is better than the 360, i have never played on one for more than a store demo. the controller is a total put off, i preferred the original xbox controller. my biggest issue moving forward is wondering whether ps3 will go android and microsoft will go WP, especially seeing as how Windows 8 and the surface and RT tablets are basically windows phone 8 re-dubs. i have a 7.5 WP and am planning to upgrade, so i hope sony doesnt plan to muck it up by going android OS and having it feature a blu ray drive. on some level that wouldnt be bad, the vita OS isnt setting the world on fire either.

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___________
Friday, December 14, 2012 @ 4:06:08 AM
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thats pretty obvious, its a bad thing because allot can change in 10 years.
technology moves at such a rapid pace, and so do services and content.
sometimes its easy to bring such things to old systems, sometimes not so much.
its stupid to have such long life cycles for things though, as developers have constantly said the extended period of this gen has hurt the industry.
people are starting to get bored of the industry, and are looking to new areas to get a more modern up to date experience.
not to mention the technical limitations, and not to mention the whole reason we have basically nothing but sequels, and nothing but shooters, is EXACTLY because of the extended cycle.
new systems brings new IPs, new ideas, new genres, new possibilities.
without them we dont get any of that.

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richfiles
Sunday, December 16, 2012 @ 7:15:11 PM

Just because we get yearly updates to the main shooter franchises, does not mean we are getting nothing but shooters. Sequels aren't bad either, so long as they continue a story and improve upon the previous title.

I have been very happy with the selection of titles on the PS3, and the only "shooters" I play are Borderlands and Fallout, both of which have heavy RPG characteristics. I've enjoyed many creative titles like Little Big Planet, as well as Skyrim, Journey, and several RPGs. I realize that some of these titles are sequels, but Skyrim is a massive release, and stands well on it's own. LBP2 is less a sequel as it is an improvement and refinement of the first LBP. The enhanced creation tools are a testament to that.

I hope you realize that those yearly shooters will STILL continue to come out on a next gen system, regardless...

As for the tech... You know... I have NOT yet grown tired of the PS3's graphics or capability. Yeah, I KNOW that there's PC hardware that puts it to shame. I really don't care. I'm HAPPY with the PS3. How old the tech is compared to what's NOW available should have nothing to do with the longevity of the system. As long as people are still satisfied and interested in a system with that old tech, then that old tech is STILL just as valid, and not yet worth tossing. If you want that new tech smell right now, then go spend $4000 on a PC. As long as people still have interest in the PS3, I have NO interest in seeing the PS4 yet.

The only thing your next gen system coming early will do it price itself out of people's hands in the bad economy, and kill ALL development for a system people already own.

it's economically stupid to release a new system this early. Killing sales of games to the old system will dry up revenue. A new system will make lover revenue, or even losses, and the system WILL NOT SELL QUICKLY, with the dire state of the economy. Hardcore early adopters will grab the system in droves, and then they will sit on shelves. I'm already seeing it with the Wii U. You couldn't find them when they came out, and now that everyone with cash who wanted one has it, I see MULTIPLE Wii U systems sitting on shelves... and to top it off, it's the weeks preceding Christmas!

A system that costs as much as a PS3 cost when it was new is going to hurt if it's released in this economy. To top that off, it'll destroy the existing good sales of PS3 titles by effectively forcing the cessation of PS3 development.

Last edited by richfiles on 12/16/2012 7:20:44 PM

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olicapone
Friday, December 14, 2012 @ 4:46:34 PM
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I completely agree Ben we should be looking at longer lifespans but there are always those who seek the new and disown the old and reliable. Im very happy with my ps3 and though I recently purchased it (2008) and had to have it replaced and fixed I don't feel like upping the ante in the least all I can ask for is more games to play and that includes on my PSP though forgotten for the Vita it's still superior in my eyes.

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Jackeria
Sunday, December 16, 2012 @ 1:51:55 PM
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I don't care for the consumer world we live in today, I much prefer a handcrafted watch passed down through generation, why? because its built to last and will always do it's core duty. Hey, would you like to be buying a new console as often as phones are released nowadays, wouldn't games be amazing? No, they'd be just like games on the idroid shop, short and mostly crap. And with regards to Tamriel, I hope it doesn't god damn load every time you go through a door. Learn something from the king of MMO's please.

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Ather
Sunday, December 16, 2012 @ 5:10:32 PM
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I don't believe it'll last 10 years, and all this Ps4 talk prior to 10 years prove sit. Sure, there might still be games amde the last few years, but it'll only be a small drizzle since most companies are pouring into PS4. If Sony can't even wait 10 years to release the enxt system, why should I believe it'll last as long as they say?

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richfiles
Sunday, December 16, 2012 @ 6:47:47 PM
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You know... I actually WANT a Wii U... I'm not desperate for it. Won't be till something like a new Zelda comes out for it. I've been lending my Wii to my mom for YEARS, and only want to get it to play my Wii games without buying another Wii

Simple fact is... I CAN'T AFFORD IT!!!

Money is tight these days. The economy and the job situation STILL sucks... And with that in mind... I'll be the first to say, that I'd keep buying PS3 games through 2017 and beyond...

I'd rather buy excellent games on my PS3 right now, and even in the near future, than stare wantingly at a new console that I WON'T be able to afford, that will drain all development away from the PS3 I already have.

In this economy... I think even the Wii U launch could have waited a year or two. Seeing a successor to the PS3 even remotely soon is going to guarantee I can't afford it. There will be early adopters, but release the system too early, and they will likely sit on shelves once the initial wave of units sell.

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