Gamer Hype

by MaxPower

The video game industry is by the latest estimates similar in size to the motion picture industry. A couple things strike me about that comparison; first off there are not many video game maker/producer ‘stars’ in the conventional sense. With the tremendously self gratifying, egotistically flattering, tragically shallow, orgiastic gong show that is the Oscars just past there really isn’t the same thing for vids. Sure there are some trade shows in Las Vegas (cough E3 cough) for all of the nerds to gather, but historically we haven’t seen the same level of hype.

Part of that is that video games used to be for kids. With the kids growing up and becoming non-kids (who aren’t warped by years of slaying orcs and jumping on shroom-like-baddies before dropping down pipes thank you very much Mr. & Mrs. Moral Majority) the industry is maturing – both on a financial and technical levels.

Video games are big business and the majors in the video game console wars are just that – majors. Sony, Microsoft and to a lesser extent Nintendo are battling for supreme world dominance in a scenario which giant corporations clash to be the first to release the next generation machine – keeping the players locked in cycle of buying rapidly antiquing hardware. No one seems to mind. While some complain about prices of airline tickets, or mindlessly about the preponderance of SUV’s – no one raises a flag about another place to spend your disposable income – video games. Probably because it’s consumer choice, if people want to spend their disposable income on SUV’s go for it. Same idea for video games – there is probably a similar proportion of the world who would A) not buy a SUV for aesthetic or other (probably pop-psuedo-enviro-crap) reasons as B) who would not buy a video game for entertainment purposes. But then again there are people who like to play baseball so go figure.

Case in point, a recent report out of Taiwan (where else?) was that Sony was going to SHOCK the video gaming world and release the PS3 by late Q3 2003. The story spread like wildfire with some major news wires picking up and carrying the story. Of course, this is typical about the still-maturing video game industry where the majority of consumers are on the lower end of the age spectrum.

1R00l: ya h34r ab0t teh n3w pS3 0ut in 0ct0b3r?

uR0X: d00d th4t5 l33t

(Note: D4V accurately predicted this rumour in January 2003

It MUST be true. Unfortunately – or not depending on your view point, most of the vid game followers don’t understand that Sony is a publicly traded company and as such must disclose anything that would have a ‘material impact’ on the company’s balance sheet under Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule FD (Fair Disclosure)

Now I have a hunch that a snap release of the PS3 would have a bit of an impact on Sony’s bottom line. Don’t expect a PS3 or Xbox2 (or Ybox) until late 2004 at the absolute earliest and most likely Q4 2005 or Q1 2006. There is no reason for Sony or Microsoft to rush forward the release of a next generation machine when the PS2 has been selling like mad without any major discounts since the last round prior to Christmas.

Making and distributing a new box is expensive, however, making and distributing games is cheap and profitable. Most likely we’ll see Sony and Microsoft squeeze every last drop out of the two systems and then drop a new next gen machine into the mix when the old console sales are declining. However, recently Sony has gotten into the movie industry hyping game. FUNNIEST MOVIE THIS YEAR!!!!!! Or in Sony’s case WILL HAVE TiVo RECORDING CAPABILITIES!!!!!!

The PS3 will supposedly have the next generation of chip are focusing on “cell microprocessor” technology. That is just nerdese for a machine that will have dozens of processors working in tandem on a single chip. That basically means the standard definition of computing speed MHz can be thrown out the window. We are talking FLOPS – Floating Point Operations per Second – which measures the internal speed of a processor. Sony claims their processor will be 1 teraflop, with 256 megs of DRAM, yadda yadda yadda. It would hypothetically be 1,000 times more powerful than the fastest computer around now, and offer cinematic-quality games – how often have we heard that. Yes graphics are far superior to what we have seen in the past but honest movie quality graphics? I’m not holding my breath. According to Shinichi Okamoto, the Chief Technology Officer at Sony, not only is it possible, but they are going to do it, with the help of the IBM Deep Blue Supercomputer team. That type of chip will not be around till first quarter 2004 at the earliest – so in that case either a potential PS3 will be minus the cell microprocessor or won’t be until 2005ish. I think the later is far more likely.

Whether or not the PS3 or Xbox2 will live up to the hype is similar to guessing if that new Steven Segal movie will really be the funniest movie of the year.

So here are the specs… apparently:

Main Processor: code-named “Cell” produced by IBM on 0.10-micron SOI process.
Clock Speed: 3 GHz
Floating-Point Performance: 196 GFLOPS
Operations per Second: 2 Trillion
3D Geometric Transformations: 2 Billion Polygons per Second
New processor design specifically for broadband communication generation.

System Memory: 512MB
System Memory Bandwidth: 24 GB/sec

Secondary Processor: Emotion Engine on 0.13-micron process (backward compatible with PS2)
Clock Speed: 300 MHz or 375 MHz (selectable)

GS3 (Graphics Synthesizer 3)
Clock Speed: 750 MHz
Embedded DRAM: 32MB

Screen Resolution: variable from 320×224 to 1920×1080
Fillrate: 24 Billion Pixels per Second

Sound: SPU3 + CPU
Number of Voices: 256 ADPCM channels + software

Built-in Broadband Ethernet Port
120GB Hard Disk Drive

What did this r4nt accomplish? Nothing at all.

  • Gamer Hype
  • by MaxPower
  • Published on April 1st, 2003

More from :

Other recent features: