Sony Makes an Interesting Business Decision


Some news from E3 while I take a break from the day's studying: Sony will be charging $500 for the PS3 base unit, which will be less powerful than the standard unit and do almost nothing. The price for the real edition will be $600. It will do nothing notably new, but will feature 1. slightly improvied graphics and 2. Sony's proprietary Blu-Ray discs. Blu-Ray discs are significant because they hold more data than a DVD, which would be important if there were any games currently being released that didn't fit on a single DVD, but there aren't. Blu-Ray discs are also proprietary Sony technology, so Sony will be able to take a larger chunk of the royalties.

Also, in response to universal hatred for the previously announced PS3 controller, Sony is making the PS3 controller exactly the same as the PS2 controller. But now it's wireless. And says "Playstation 3" instead of "Playstation 2." Also, because Nintendo's console had a good-looking idea with the built-in motion sensor, they installed a half-assed gyroscope in the controller at the last minute. No games are set to use it, but maybe they could in theory.

Also, the PS3 will look exactly like the PS2, but more curvy.

I hate to be the sort of person who predicts console failures on the basis of performance at E3, and Sony has displayed a remarkable ability to win every round of console generation that it competes in for no particularly good reason. Nonetheless, having bought a PS1 and a PS2, I really can't see myself buying a PS3. Now, the Nintendo Wii, that I'm excited about. I'm planning to make reservations to buy one from Nintendo World as soon as it comes out. I'll be waiting in line to buy it on the launch day.

And it'll be worth it when I get to be one of the first to play with my Wii.


While little in the human experience is ever really new, and indicating that one has done something which few have done before is fraught with problems of assumption and interpretation, I do feel that it is good for one to be the first to play with one's own Wii. Certainly an individual who possesses a Wii, while acknowledging that others may want to play with that Wii, should be allowed to play with that Wii and develop a feel for it before feeling any obligation to allow others to play with it.

Inasmuch as the major demographic targeted by game systems is adolescent males and others who tend to think like adolescent males in some respects, I feel that Nintendo has made an excellent decision in selecting that name.

Clearly you, like most women, are just suffering from Wii envy.

I would also like to add that I will be incredibly excited to get ahold of my Wii. I plan to rush home just so that I can tear my Wii out of its package and touch it. Then I will invite all my friends over to come and play with my Wii. Of course, I need to exercise caution; I don't want to get too exuberant, shake my Wii too hard, and it.

I am indeed suffering from Wii envy. I don't have one of my own, but I just know that if I had one I'd enjoy playing with it. But my experience is likely to be limited to playing with other people's Wiis.

Last night Jacob was trying to explain to me the user interface for the Wii. As I understand it takes two hands and you wind up doing a fair amount of shaking your Wii around. It sounds, frankly, intense.

Like most, I was initially put off by Nintendo's announcement. Playing with my Wii? In public? But then I saw Shigeru Miyamoto, the designer behind the Mario, Donkey Kong, and Zelda games, get in front of an audience and conduct a symphony with his Wii, and it got me excited. And then the video! People playing Tennis with their Wiis! People steering cars with their Wiis! People fishing with their Wiis (using them as rods to cast off, then tugging at them when they got a nibble)! Now I see that you can use your Wii for just about anything. So now I'm excited to try out new uses for my eventual Wii. I've heard rumors that you'll eventually be able to cook with your Wii!

I have to admit that, while I was initially revulsed by the name along with everyone else, I now think Wii is the best name for a game system ever. It doesn't just appeal to me as a game player; it appeals to me as a guy who likes corny puns and fourth-grade humor.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on May 9, 2006 12:30 PM.

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