Friday, June 02, 2006

Blu Moon Rising

I've been thinking
about the PS3.

Fail? Succeed?

I don't think we're going to see Playstation do the Dreamcast Nosedive. As for the launch, it'll be chaotic and people will pay way too much, thousands of dollars above that measly 600 dollar suggested price and the machines will break and catch on fire and possibly kill everyone you love. That's how launches go. The games will suck - we'll see hastily slapped-together new titles, stale ports of 360 titles, a bunch of shoddy sports games and a few puzzle games possibly involving tile-shifting.

I've been trying to figure out the value of the Blu-Ray player. There are positives and negatives - plus lots and lots of unknowns.

Blu-Ray is fast and stores just an absolute mind-boggling amount of information. At least until the next format comes along. The problem is that Nintendo and Microsoft don't give a shit. They've decided they don't need lots of storage space on discs.

Which means that if a game company is making a game for all three next-gen systems, they aren't going to do much significant with that space. There are certainly changes they could make, but they'll probably look for simple, cheap extras.

Region-free has been one justification, they can store all localization files on one disc, and that will be compelling - for some. I don't import, but being import-friendly could boost importing itself (I liked that the Sega Saturn supported import games).

I have a feeling that most developers will use the extra space for higher-res textures or sound. Not sure if that will get them to make the switch - especially if the games are more expensive than ones on the 360 or Wii.

I'm sure that eventually someone will decide how to use all that space - and I look forward to the fruit of that labor. Hell, I know most PC games are averaging about four gigs. Space can always be filled.

Sony may have an advantage depending on what movie and television studios adopt their format. This, I believe, is why Microsoft has already been talking about an HD-DVD add-on for the 360 that will not be used for gaming.

The TV studios have figured out exactly how much money there is to milk from consumers. I guarantee that if they switch to a higher-capacity format they'll find there is so much more money. They can charge almost the same amount for series while cutting manufacturing costs (though initial investments will no doubt be high).

I personally can't wait for the day where I can get two full seasons of the Simpsons on one disc.

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