The Playstation 3: A First Look

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Unread postby vegac » Tue Jul 12, 2005 9:16 pm

Let's see if I can chime in anything a console programmer and all.

Well, ya, the "consoles" today are effectively game-only PCs. They're not the highly specialized machines they once were. Don't get me wrong, they are still specialized, but it's not like the snes or anything. Or maybe it's an issue of PC's becoming more specialized towards gaming when you look at PC tech.

As for the so-called incredible CPU powers of the new consoles...developers are pissed :)

The supposedly amazing 10ghz (3ghz * 3 cores) xbox360 is for most tasks twice the speed of the current xbox (in cpu are VASTLY impproved). I mean, 3 cores are great if you can split the tasks up, but even if you can fill all 3 with code, you're looking at MAYBE 4x the speed of the current xbox (which is still much slower than most PCs these days). The PS3 (despite having a VERY ugly prototype controller than I saw at E3) wasn't much better. 8 cores is great, but if only 1 is really general purpose and the rest are only good for specialized work, it becomes a chore trying to FIND work for the 7 vector processors to do. And sadly, with limited ram available to them, the amount they can do is a tad limited.

On one hand I'd like to get to play with them more (I do almost entirely handhelds) but just to see what crazy effects they can do. Really, I still prefer meddling with assembly code and trying to find out what you can really do with the limits of a system such as the GBA.

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Unread postby MisterDNA » Tue Jul 12, 2005 9:17 pm

2600= nylon springback broke
5200 = no auto-centering
Sega Master System = fire button springs wore out quick
NES = same as Sega MS but took a long time
Genesis = only three buttons on a big controller until later
SNES = best damned console gamepad design EVAR!
N64 = analog stick would get squishy like a car with worn tierod ends
PSone = no analog at first
Dreamcast = too damned big
Xbox = first controllers were too big
PS2 = as good as SNES, but overcomplicated
PC = kb and mouse rawk, but where would you put them with a console?

I saw a demo of a game idea featuring Maddox (rant king) as his pirate character doing nothing but kicking ass. Simple concept, 2D graphics, easy play.

Ever notice how on old consoles you can pick up almost any game and catch onto to the controls after a few minutes without looking at a manual? I like that.

Things that must go:

1. Obscure mandatory things that allow progress in a game

Shit like "you have to hit the konami code plus tap your foot in front of the fourth tree in the forest with the gay grizzly bear to get the magic nyahnyah of onoratu which is the only way to beat the game. This fucking crap is solely meant to sell strategy guides.

2. Games that feel like work

You get Mario all the way to the top of the mountain after half an hour and the boss up there throws his ass off, making you have to run up there again.

3. Games that are advertised as "twice the size of the prequel", etc

When you hear this, you expect to cover more ground for your money. What you get is often less tile cloning and palette swapping with a few PCM noises mixed in. Super Mario World was the opposite of this. You explore something like 80 levels and there are a total of 96 ways to clear these levels. This was way bigger than SMB3 with better graphics.

4. Shitty endings

If I spend $50 on a game, I want the ending to be worth the trouble. That Aliens game for the SNES is a good example of a bad example. You expect to see Ripley dive into the fire but all you see is a splash screen photo with "It is done." on it. WTF?! I paid money for that?!!

5. Using technology just because it's there

Why make a 3D game just because that's what the system was designed to do when you can do a 2D game that's just plain beautiful? Why not go where none have dared tread and make a 2D platformer with an MP3 soundtrack and UXGA resolution? Why elect to turn that potential sleeper-hit into yet another also-ran FPS? So what if you can do depth blur in 3D? Why not use that for special effects in a 2D game? Why make a game require every fucking button on a 30 key controller just because you can?

6. Load times

Oh good god I hate these. There was good reason why Nintendo reluctantly switched to optical media. Chips may be limited on space and relatively expensive, but there aren't any load times unless you compress the hell out of the game. If a computer has a gig of RAM free and the most you could possibly need to prefetch is 512MB, why not load it all in the background while the CPU is waiting for work? I have yet to see a game that does this. My HDD streams data at 50MB/s sustained so that should take roughly ten seconds or so to cache it all to RAM where it can be read at 2100MB/s.

7. Trying to create reality

It's been done. Many times. How about getting artistic and zany? Make things surreal like American McGee's Alice. Now THAT was a beautiful game. Try bending and twisting all the so-called rules. If you're capable of creating reality in a computer, you can literally do anything you want. It's like a dream. Think outside the box for a change, corporate assholes. The last thing I want is to play a game where my brain is idle. Make me think and visualize. Make me wonder what's coming up next rather than showing it all to me because you're too self-important to hold anything back.

8. Overly challenging games

I paid for a game and expect to see every damned nook and cranny within a reasonable amount of time and for the journey to be enjoyable. It is retarded to do the Double Dragon 3 thing of having one life to live with rare powerups. Frustration will lose sales. Don't make a game with enemies that are just too numerous or powerful for anything but dumb luck to see the player through the encounter.

9. Zero replay value

Once I beat the game, I want something to make me keep playing. Make a second goal. Like finding all the coins, all the power ups, all the secrets, etc and give me something for my efforts when I've done it. Make me want to clear the maxed-out SRAM save slots and go at it all over again. Make me want to still play the game ten years later like Super Mario World.

Any others? I know I'm forgetting something.

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Unread postby voidfoo » Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:26 pm

I was crazy about NES when I was a kid. At one time I placed a TV and the console beside my bed, played and played until I fell into sleep. When I woke up the next morning, I played again.

Now I am not a big fan of console/pc games. I did have an xbox but only finished one game so far. I agree that advanced graphics techniques won't help games very much. It is the game play that is most essential.

My all-time favorite is StarCraft (battlenet). the game has low colors, low res, no 3D. The most exciting part is user fighting with users. The three races are very well designed so they are balanced. There are many strategies to win a battle...don't know how to describe it, really a great game.

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Unread postby scottE » Sun Jul 17, 2005 12:08 am

I haven't had time to play video games lately. I really miss 'em.

But not, y'know, Halo or the PS2 controller or other horrible things perpetrated on video games players lately.

At the moment I don't see any compelling reason to buy a PS3 or Xbox360.

No games leaves me with aesthetics, and they both look sort of ugly.

Sigh. Maybe I'm just old.
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Unread postby Shtoink » Fri Jul 29, 2005 9:29 pm

I know the feeling about buying a new console. I had an Xbox here for a while, but we got rid of it recently. It was such a pain in the ass to find a game worth playing and then have it be suitable for my kids to play. Shortly after getting it (two months before it went from $299 to $199) I started referring to it as the seXbox, since the games were very lude. I'm all for porn, but not in the fighting game I'm gonna play with my 6 year old son.

The seXbox was actually my wifes, but we had a buttload of games, several controllers, memory card, one of those momo racing wheels, and a few other doodads. We sold the entire lot for $125. I wanted to cry. It was such a bitter waste of money and it hurt so bad to know that it was all wasted on a pile of crap. I never want to buy another M$ again if I don't have to. I'm left feeling so sore from that entire experiene, that I doubt I'll ever buy another gaming platform all together. That is, unless I see something that is extremely compelling.

It's like the entire industry forgot what a fun game with replay value was. So very sad. A lot of these games are so terrible that givin the choice, I'd rather go out to the deset and dig up a copy of that E.T. game for the 2600 before playing them.

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Unread postby themacosxflies » Sat Jul 30, 2005 1:05 am


We are here on Earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don't know.

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Unread postby GIJoe » Sat Jul 30, 2005 2:28 pm

hmmm, i own a ps2 and a gamecube, had almost no prior console experience outside the emulation camp, besides the me-too-purchase of an original gameboy way back.
so far i have enjoyed the ride, i chose both platforms because of gameplay/specific titles, not graphics. i was unable to find more than a handful exclusive titles worth owning for the xbox and i usually do not rent for tryout, so it never made it on my wishlist.

however i find it embarrassing how fragile controllers these days are. i've been playing since the times of the commodore 64 and the playstation controller is my first one that doesn't even survive a little free flight here or there after a game over. i thought these things are supposed to be used by kids as well?

i bet sony will win the next round again. while there is a lot of commercial bullshit released for their systems, they usually still have some must-have titles in their line-up - and until now they also had enough original, creative, different types of games. also, it seems to me that the japanese simply know better what works as a console game and what not. microsoft supporters seem to usually have their roots in the pc camp and it shows in their games. who want's to play a flood of egoshooters with a joypad? isn't that the genre, the mouse was developed for? ;)

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Unread postby Shtoink » Sun Jul 31, 2005 5:47 pm

You're preachin' the chior GIJoe.

I have been making that caomplaint about seXbox games, too. Why play a FPS on your console with a pad when you already played and beat it several times on your PC the year before? It just seems like a lazy way to add new titles to the list. It isn't like they have to work too terribly hard to "port" it to the Xbox anyway.

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