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Former Microsoft Exec: Sony Coming Back In Console War

It comes as no surprise to anyone that the recent influx of high-quality software, the price drops over the past year and a half, and the Blu-Ray format war victory has placed Sony in a relatively favorable position in the current battle with Microsoft and Nintendo. However, we can't forget the horrendous start for the PlayStation 3, which leads us to the current - and very stark - compare 'n contrast.

According to a recent GameDaily interview with former Microsoft executive Ed Fries, just about everyone is seeing the newfound appeal and success of the PS3. Fries oversaw game publishing on the original Xbox (he helped land studios like Rare and Bungie), and he left Microsoft back in 2004 to work on several other non-game-related projects. But he just recently founded the independent development studio, Airtight Games, which has the game Dark Void scheduled for release on the PS3, 360 and PC. And here's what he had to say about Sony's rise:

"I think it's obvious that Sony got off to a slow start; I think they made some pretty big mistakes and they've done a good job in the last year in recovering from those; I think they're putting up a much stronger battle now. They've also done a great job in keeping the PS2 business alive, so you've got a lot of happy PS2 customers who are just waiting for the price of PS3 to be right before they switch over. If Sony can keep those guys brand loyal, they will have a lot of people coming over to the PS3.

It leaves Microsoft in a kind of awkward position because with Sony winning the Blu-ray battle, it's nice to have a hi-def player as part of your games machine, and now that that's the standard I think it's a big advantage for Sony. It kind of pushes Microsoft into a box where the main the thing that they have [going for them] right now is they can exert price pressure on Sony... I think they can cause Sony some pain by making the 360 a lot more accessible price-wise. So Sony's got the brand on their side and the extra [Blu-ray] capability, but they're always going to be at a price premium versus 360, and a lot of games are available on both, so for many 360 would be the cheaper choice."

To us, this appears to be a perfectly reasonable and legitimate analysis of the current state of the console war. We're so tired of the fanboy response on all three sides; it's often refreshing to hear the real deal from industry professionals. We all readily admit Sony has a ways to go with the PS3, but we should also recognize its impressive turnaround. For now, we'll just be happy with that.

7/13/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (22 posts)

Reccaman18
Sunday, July 13, 2008 @ 11:52:27 PM
Reply

it will only get better.

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Deleted User
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 7:14:41 AM

They were never out of the console war.

Let's review shall we: The Xbox and Gamecube were not very popular so Microsoft and Nintendo rushed to make the next generation. The result: a powerless and graphics-deprived Wii and a faulty-tin covered Xbox 360 that makes a noise like a chainsaw.

All this time Sony never stopped making PS2 games (which the Ps2 was the most successful system ever made). They EASED into the next generation and were careful to make a PS3 that was powerful, has many features, great graphics and runs very efficiently and QUIETLY.

Sony builds their systems to last and THAT is why they are the superior video game system developer.

Think what Microsoft and Nintendo will be like in 5 years (they'll probably have another crappy system by then). Now think about the PS3 in 5 years. They'll still be improving the graphics of games by then.

That's now much potential the PS3 has.

And "big mistakes"? If Sony could go back in time I don't think they would have changed a thing.

Last edited by n/a on 7/14/2008 7:15:46 AM

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Qubex
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 12:38:32 AM
Reply

Fanbotics aside, we recognise and appreciate the problems Sony had at launch, however, what I feel (and what has been expressed to me by friends who own consoles, in some cases both a PS3 and 360), is that Sony never concentrated on the simple things that makes a games console a games console for this generation as hyped, and not a general multi-media machine. That is not a consoles primary function.

Whilst we knew from the specs that the machine had great capabilities, I think if Sony had released an SKU which had robust online multiplayer infrastructure out the box and a rubust network to support it, it would have been an instant hit.

Price will always be a sticking point with many people, especially during an economic downturn, however no excuses for not getting the basics right. I enjoy my PS3 and do get excited when new features are added and new improvements are made, however it would be nice to know that features that really mattered and the infrastructure and services that gamers wanted were/are in place to make it truely iconic.

It will get there, we know this, but it is taking a long long time. FW2.41 surely helps us along that path... within a year though, I suspect the picture will look quite different... and not forgetting that E3 should have a number lovely surprises instore for the community.

There maybe some genuine things to really get excited about this time. It is almost as if the PS3 should have been released now, and not earlier with everything in place.

Q!

"aLL RoAdS LeAd ToO HoMe"

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aaronisbla
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 1:44:49 AM

Well, for those who are just jumping on the ps3 brand, they are getting a much better deal out of the box. Thats not even including if they get a MGS4 bundle.

But with that bundle, they get the game of course, they totally skip over the six axis standard controller and get a DS3 controller. And, they don't have to suffer like we did when it comes to ingame xmb. not to mention trophies in the near future ( hopefully sooner than later )

Once they get some must have, solid rpgs, i think the ps3 will sell even more.

For the most part, systems tend to pick up their legs and start running after a being on the market for a bit. I do think the 360 got its legs a bit earlier than some would have thought, whether its cuz of its headstart, who knows.

Sony has a lot of promising titles coming out as well as multi platform releases, hopefully we are pass the era of 360 games playing better than their ps3 versions, cuz honestly, the only reason im getting a 360 is for its exclusives (although i tend to enjoy ps3's exclusives more, i cant sleep on the 360 ), everything else my ps3 can handle.

Last edited by aaronisbla on 7/14/2008 1:49:31 AM

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ThePoetRazel
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 2:22:30 AM

Personally, i think the "games console should be just a games console" idea is rather backwards facing. Having the extra capabilities that the PS3 has gives it an array of selling points that really do shift units. Having various media functions like playing movies and music is important because people like listening to music and watching movies. And people like to have as much of it in one machine as possible. Look at mobile phones; cameras, email, music players, video players, games and so much more all in one device.
When i demonstrate ALL of the PS3's capabilities to people, they tell me they want one.
Great games console AND a great all round media player. Sounds worth the cost to me, especially considering the cost of buying devices for all those functions separately.

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Qubex
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 2:41:54 AM

@ ThePoetRazel; don't get me wrong, the extra capabilities are great as we all use this functionality to some degree, my only objection was that from the outset Sony could have concentrated on the "essentials".

The "essentials" being what matters to gamers, what challenges the 360 and Wii, or whatever else were to have emerged at the time. Put simply, would you have had XMB access first before the ability to play DiVX's, or after?

Clearly it is to do with prioritisation and what is important for the games console to succeed... and we know this comes down too (in this gen anyway) ... the games and online multiplayer capabilities with a robust online community.

I can't help thinking that all the time and money that has gone into HOME (eventhough admittedly, it does look exciting), could have been better spent on PSN and multiplayer functionality. Everything else around these two core areas is fluff!

Q!

'aLL RoAdS LeAd ToO HoMe - or so we think"

Last edited by Qubex on 7/14/2008 2:45:20 AM

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SirWa11ace
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 8:01:45 AM

it's not that they should just be a games console, it's that they *are* a games console, and that's where it should excel, not just be "Ok".

While the Bluray images are clearer, in some movies, the framerate issue is a serious one, it just feels like butter spread over too much bread. the PSN (for me) is intermittent and downright poor in other areas.

While PSN might be fine in the US, or Europe, out here in Asia it's unusable for multiplayer. The store works fine etc.. and downloads work Ok (just very slow), I can't play a multiplayer game of anything without some amateurish and undocumented 800 error code coming up, of which Sony support refuses to even describe (all attempts at google or posting on official forums lead to naught).

When there's a lot of "value" in the box, where's the actual usefulness?? It's a lot of box-ticking for the sake of having a feature. Movies, check. Space, check. Linux, check. Games, check, networking, check. does it all fit nicely together? barely, or not at all.








Last edited by SirWa11ace on 7/14/2008 8:02:07 AM

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GamerKid123
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 2:15:53 AM
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I am a sony fanboy admittedly, but i can honestly say that the 360 does out do the ps3, it's just so much cheaper, i think if sony continue dropping the price for a while, there might be just that little bit more ps3s sold

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TomG1013
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 2:35:05 AM
Reply

Doesn't Xbox still have a bunch of extra stuff you have to buy? is there wirless adaptor still $100.00? when they had HD-DVD players they were another $100.00. I'm not sure how much there camera is, but you still have to pay for multi-player. So yeah, it may be cheaper out of the box, but in the long run, I think Playstation is cheaper.

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Qubex
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 2:44:43 AM

It is more about the games and the robustness of "Live"... the rest is secondary... you don't buy a console to watch movies essentially... it is nice to have, but do it when everything else works flawelessly on the games side...

Q!

"aLL RoAdS LeAd ToO HoMe"

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LunaticFringe
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 6:57:50 AM
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Didn't they just drop the price of the xbox 20 gig by 50 bucks and add a model with a bigger hard drive? 60 gigs to replace the 20, I think. they also just made a deal with netflix to stream movies. I thought the ps3 was supposed have the same deal with netflix?

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Zapix
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 8:38:01 AM

Yes, they dropped it $50 as of yesterday and will be pushing a 60gb harddrive next month. All this was announced yesterday. I think it's likely in response to sales slowing down, and the PS3 picking up.

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orangpelupa
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 8:57:35 AM
Reply

ps3 multimedia capability is great. and sure with MGS4 ps3 is selling more and more.

but when i see it as gaming console, i choose x360.
cheapest x360, x360 arcade with 256MB memory unit already more than enough for me. its already big enough for many DLC.
it have many RPG. it have ace combat, but it don't have mgs4 >_< ouch

x360 also can play some multimedia files, although not as good as my PS2.

for those who afraid with RROD, just wait aug/sep 2008 (jasper) or jan/feb 2009 (valhala)

i also don't need blu-ray movies, because no-one is selling blu-ray in my city XD
i don't have money to buy HDTV.
my x360 can run @1080p on my cheap LCD monitor.

for multimedia i already happy with my PS2.
it already can play movies from DVD, CD, Network, USB.
it already can play avi, mp3, ac3, mp4, ogg

and it already support .srt subtitles too.

basically ps3 is an expensive gaming system with too many extra features that not everyone need it.

thanks

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Qubex
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 9:15:10 AM

Hmmm... an interesting observation, reality is sinking in!

Q!

"aLL RoAdS LeAd ToO HoMe"

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Bugzbunny109
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 11:45:33 AM

xbox360 can only produce 480p/i,720p, and 1080i

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Aftab
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 9:24:09 AM
Reply

Yeah, well, in regards to the 360 vs ps3, a wireless adapter, plus the subscripton costs of xboxlive make it more expensive than the ps3. So although some of the ps3 features are unnecessary, your paying less for more.

Last edited by Aftab on 7/14/2008 9:25:20 AM

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Aftab
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 9:27:16 AM
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...Unless you don't plan to play online.

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SirWa11ace
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 9:53:30 AM
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I do plan to play online, and the PSN is entirely non functional for me. I'd rather have paid and good, than free and broken.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 10:22:20 AM
Reply

...there's nothing "broken" about the PSN. In my experience, it's far more reliable than Live, actually.

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Bugzbunny109
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 11:47:01 AM

How come?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 12:03:51 PM
Reply

I'm not online a lot, but all I know is that every single time I've gone online to get on the Store or play a game on the Network, everything has always functioned properly. I can't say the same for Live, and neither can most people I know.

Take last Christmas, for example, when Live basically crashed for more than a week. Microsoft could only apologize and offer some crappy downloadable game as a form of lame compensation. I know Live has more of the bells and whistles, and I can certainly understand why it's worth the money for many avid online players. But the PSN is most certainly NOT broken.

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Tatsujin
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 7:30:15 PM
Reply

Yea honestly, Congradulations.. You have just made it to the Stupidist comment of the Day list :) Wallace, I have previously owned an Xbox 360 and I currently own a Playstation 3... And from what I recall, I couldn't connect to Live during the first few weeks that I recieved it... After finally connecting to Live, whoa what a surprise! My X360 broke 2 GoW CD's, no need of Xbox Live now huh? Shows how much more reliable the X360 system is all together hmm?

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