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Technology steps backwards

Posted by Nathan Strum, 19 September 2012 · 1,214 views

Video Game Ramblings
Sony finally announced the new, long rumored, slimmer, cheaper, PS3.

Uh... wait a sec.

Cheaper isn't the right word... what's the word I'm looking for?

Oh right... pricier. The base PS3 now costs $269, instead of $249.

I suspect most people were expecting $199. I certainly was.

After all, they did away with the slot-loading Blu-ray drive, for a (presumably) cheaper top-loader. Generally the reason products like this are re-engineered, are to make them more cost-effective to produce, and therefore cheaper to sell to consumers while maintaining or improving profitability.

Note that I said re-engineered. Not upgraded.

Upgrading implies improved performance. New features. More speed. Better graphics. Moving from a PS3 to a PS4, for example.

Usually with technology, you get either:
  • Improvements to the technology at a similar cost, or...
  • Similar or equivalent technology at a lower cost
But not if you're Sony.

Sony repackaged the PS3, undoubtably reducing their costs, while increasing the price.

This is going to draw in new owners how exactly?

Now, sure you can say, "Well - it comes with a free game and some DLC for some other game. So that's like getting a bunch of money off the price." But DLC doesn't cost Sony anything to include, and the cost of a game on a Blu-ray disc is negligible (even so, Uncharted 3 is only retailing for $20). Sure, you're saving money by not buying the game separately - assuming you want it - but it's only costing Sony pennies to include it. If you don't want the game, you don't have the option to not get it at a lower cost, or get an alternate game you do want. It's false, perceived value.

Like including Pac-Man with the 2600. :roll:

Also, Sony already includes bundled games with the current $249 PS3. In fact, last year during Black Friday, they were selling a bundle with two games and a console for $199 (guess I should've braved the crowds for that one). So why the price increase?

It could also be argued, "But now the PS3 comes with a 250 GB drive in the base model - the old one was only 160 GB." Yes, but that drive was introduced in July, 2010. Hard drives have universally increased in capacity and decreased in price since then (here's a cool chart that I wish someone would update). In fact, some 160 GB hard drives now cost more than 250 GB (or larger) drives because smaller capacity drives are discontinued as higher capacity ones become cheaper.

So it's not the free game or bigger storage. Why else would Sony increase the price?

Oh right... because they're stupid.

I keep forgetting that.




I love how the linked article states, the $300 Super Slim PS3 "packs in a gigantic 500GB hard drive". LMAO, a 500GB hard drive hasn't been "gigantic" in many years. I agree with you, this is a lame update. I have an older PS3 (before they started slimming it down), and I don't use it very often. I have a ton of games purchased through Steam that I can play at much higher resolution, with a keyboard and mouse, and for console gaming I generally gravitate towards my Xbox 360.

..Al
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I'll admit though - I'll probably end up buying one anyway. But I'm much more likely to wait until Black Friday now.

Just as well. I can use the money for an iPhone 5 in the meantime. ;)
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This is going to draw in new owners how exactly?

There are going to be plenty of first-time buyers looking for new, store-bought, consoles.
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Judging by the title I thought this was going to be about iOS 6. If the new iPhone acts anything like my retina iPad after upgrading you may want to wait a while. Grumble, grumble...
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"There's been nothing that says the new Super Slim PS3 will perform any better than its predecessors, but we'll be the judge when CNET reviews the console soon."

I'm not sure what they would expect. Under the hood it's almost certainly the exact same hardware (although possibly smaller versions) as the first PS3. My only question is whether it's any quieter or cooler than the current PS3 slim. If I close the door on my entertainment unit my 2007 PS3 kicks it's fan into overdrive.
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I'm not sure what they would expect. Under the hood it's almost certainly the exact same hardware (although possibly smaller versions) as the first PS3. My only question is whether it's any quieter or cooler than the current PS3 slim. If I close the door on my entertainment unit my 2007 PS3 kicks it's fan into overdrive.

Probably the only notable performance difference (good or bad) on the PS3 would be the speed of the Blu-ray drive. I'm worried that in an attempt to bring their costs down, Sony put in a slower drive. One of the reasons I'm interested in a PS3 is that my current Blu-ray player is really slow. I've heard that PS3s are pretty zippy.
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Judging by the title I thought this was going to be about iOS 6. If the new iPhone acts anything like my retina iPad after upgrading you may want to wait a while. Grumble, grumble...

I updated my 3GS, and it seems to be okay except for Apple's new Map app and the new YouTube player. I suspect the YouTube player is just a matter of getting used to the new interface, but I really hope Google brings back their own Map app to iOS. I don't really care much for Apple's (my 3GS gets none of the shiny bells and whistles anyway).

Oh, and iTunes no longer properly reports usage. It just says "Other, 27GB", instead of breaking it down into music, apps, photos, etc. Oddly enough, it shows up on the phone okay.

What happened to your iPad with the update?
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What happened to your iPad with the update?


It turned it into just another computer. Everything functioned fine before the install. Afterwards:

- Map app is a joke. 3D may be great if you live anywhere near a 3D city. I want Street View back.
- Everything seems slower. Many more typos as it no longer seems to keep up with my typing. Typing in the iPad virtual keyboard isn't exactly up to desktop speed even on a good day, but was acceptable. Now it alternates between acceptable and frustrating.
- Passwords forgotten. I had to relog into iTunes and all other apps that required my AppleID. But they wouldn't accept the password I used only an hour earlier. It seemed like maybe they had changed the password requirements as well and no longer liked my old-school, simple, easy to remember and steal password. Hey, if I'm okay with it so should they be.
- No longer synchs to any of my Yahoo mail accounts in email app.
- Yahoo email in Safari logs me in and immediately logs me out. I understand there have been persistent Yahoo email issue with iOS but it had always worked fine for me.
- Little things that used to make sense and were intuitive have been replaced by new-fangled ways of doing things but no explanation has been given. Like the email refresh circular arrow button. It vanished and you're on your own to figure out you now drag down the entire list to refresh. Who thought that made sense?
- Siri cannot tell a joke to save her life. I've tried "tell me a joke" half a dozen times and she just refuses. The thing is she know what a joke is though and makes excuses like "you wouldn't like my kind of humor" or "how many iPhones does it take to...oh nevermind."

I could go on but I'm boring myself.

FWIW I don't miss the Youtube app that I always found useless. YT always worked fine in the browser and I hated being bounced into a separate app whenever viewing a movie. You couldn't cut/paste URLs to share in forums, the interface was bad, and it never seemed to find everything the browser version did. I'll never understand the need for an app that duplicates the same functionality that exists on a website and dumbs it down. Are you listening Netflix?
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Here's a nice fix to get Google Maps (basically) back on your iDevice.

Just be sure you have Settings>Privacy>Location Services allowed for Safari first.
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I reiterate... Sony is stupid.

And Sony Computer Entertainment America VP of marketing, handhelds and home consoles John Koller, is an idiot:

"There's no price drop formally, but the thing that's been happening in the market over the last year or so is that there's been so many retail price promotions, and so many different gift card offers and all those things, being done by all of us (Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony), that we've heard from our consumer, 'Enough with all these weird price moves. What we really want is content and games and value,'" Koller says.

Pardon me? How does any of that indicate that consumers don't want a price drop? Wouldn't "value" include, oh... I don't know... a price drop?
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John Keller is probabably thinking, "that sounded better in the shower somehow".
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Okay Sony... your move.
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