Monday, July 24, 2006

The Yamato 3

Not that we didn't see all this coming, but I just thought I'd mention that it's happening as expected. From Business Week Online:
One troubling sign already indicates that the PS3 might not be quite the hit Sony expects. Game makers are steering development resources away from Sony and toward games for machines from Microsoft and Nintendo, says Hirokazu Hamamura, president of Enterbrain, a game-industry researcher in Tokyo. At its autumn games preview on July 13, for instance, traditional Sony ally Electronic Arts spent far more time showing off innovative Nintendo games than it did titles for the PS3. EA announced six Nintendo Wii launch titles and showed long working demos for two of those. But it offered only a short clip of a car-racing game for PS3. EA says it's still testing the potential of the PS3. "Many developers think the console's initial high price will lead to slow sales and are holding off on creating games for Sony," Hamamura says.

...With sales of packaged games declining, Sony execs say they're looking to other sources such as fee-based online gaming and downloads, as well as ads for games Sony creates in-house. "Game advertising is likely to be an important part of our strategy," says Izumi Kawanishi, senior vice-president of Sony's Games division.

The article says that the PS3 is costing Sony "over $750" to manufacture each unit. I still believe it's close to $1,000, even though no one is admitting that yet. You can read the full article here.

Then there was the article last week about Famitsu's latest survey where about 80% of everyone just don't give a damn about the PS3. Here's a brief summary of the poll results.
Gamers (216 participants)
Here’s what gamers said are the consoles they’re most interested in buying:
73.6%: Wii
16.7%: PS3
9.7%: neither

Retailers (85 participants)
Of retailers, here are the consoles they find most appealing:

65.9%: Wii
18.8%: neither
15.3%: PS3

Game makers (33 participants)
69.7%: Wii
27.3%: PS
33%: neither

Full article here.

DQ reader and friend Kwadwo Burgee e-mailed me and came up with the greatest name for the PS3 I can possible imagine: the Yamato.

I know--I've mentioned the Yamato before. Not in this context, though. Here's his summary:
During WWII, the Japanese decided to build the mother of all battleships, called the Yamato. This ship would totally outclass any other battleship before it, as any other ship one-on-one would be outmatched. We won’t go into all of the specs, but let’s say it’s a giant battleship with quite an array of BFGs. With her Superman-in-the-sunshine strength armored plating and incredible gun range, on paper she was impenetrable.

Yet she was sunk in under 2 hours.

When she was built, she was considered state-of-the-art, a true example of Japanese technology. There were tons of secrets and misdirectional pieces floating all around. All the US knew was that the Japanese were building something big. As in “Awww **** NO!” big. This vessel would help to usher in a new age of Japanese technology, a ship that would surely propel the Japanese to victory.

As the tide of the war turned, the face of the war was changing – no longer were naval battles to be decided by big ships with giant guns. Now, airplanes would be introduced – aerial assaults were more effective (even the Japanese knew this, to an extent, when they bombed Pearl Harbor). The Yamato’s main guns, designed for blowing the crap out of battleships and other boats (and even islands!), were ill-equipped for the new face of war. Even certain modifications proved relatively ineffective. Still, at this point, the Japanese were losing, and finally it was decided that the Yamato would be sent to repel the advancing US fleet at Okinawa. She had been in other battles before, but this one was truly the ultimate test. With only enough fuel for a one-way trip, and the knowledge that there was a good chance the crew wasn’t coming back, it truly was a suicide mission.

U.S. planes were able to sink the massive ship, and needed less than two hours to do so. The hits that she took at her weak point (the armor plating just under the surface of the water) caused her to lean. Deck fires from the bombing raids reached the tons of ammo stored on the ship, and, well, it kinda reminded you of those Bugs Bunny cartoons where the person lights a match in a munitions storage. With the weight of her main guns, it caused the ship to sink much faster than normal, and that was it for the mighty Yamato.

That's it, then. Our new internal name for the PS3 is officially the "Yamato 3."

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