Thursday, August 19, 2010

Episode 39: "The Emperor Has No Clothes"

update: as of 9/13/11 this video is at THIS LINK

hard link HERE


Drake Sigar said...

Provocative as always, and listening to the public comments of Sony representatives, I can believe it too.

Wish one of the reviewers I watch would mention the PC, I'm starting to think nobody grew up with one because they were too expensive. :/

Kyle said...

PC Gaming is still out of my price range, and I'm 32. Glad it's doing well. Blizzard and Valve say "You're Welcome"

I love the creation story of the PlayStation. I wonder if what I heard is true:

Sony was so impressed with themselves and the PS2 they'd made, that they claimed it would "become the center of the living room with games, movies and music all run through it. It would even replace the PC" Something like that anyway. So the story goes that Microsoft has an understandable reaction to that statement and thus the xbox was born- intended to humble Sony for its claim.

Did that happen?

Eyes_Only said...

I'd be hard pressed to find a greater Nintendo fanboy than you.

Let me ask you something: what about the last 3 years of Sony? What about the launch of the Slim and the re-invigoration of the PS 3 brand along with it? What about the new ads and the new attitude?
Have you watched anything Sony related in the past couple of years?

I would venture to guess no, since this episode seems to have completely settled in that fanboy Limbo of thought, where it's become fashionable to hate on Sony because of their poor decision making with this generation. One really bad E3 presentation, and people that talk just like you, on the exact same subjects, have become the new roaches of gaming discussions. Sony so without 'clothes' now, with a full lineup of AAA titles under the belt?
Are they naked when the console's quality has ascended in leaps and bounds, to bold heights?
Sure, it started out as an almost failing console, but look at it now. Where are the dumb ads now? Where is that 4 year old argument that the price point is too high?'s still in the mouths of those such as yourself, that mistake pure arrogance for lack of perspective and vision.

Sony was taught a fun lesson with this generation. But where would we really be without them? Probably the XBox wouldn't exist, since the console market would've died out even before the Dreamcast. And that wouldn't have existed without the real success of the PSOne and what it did to gamers then.
What happens when Sony is pitted against real competition after 2 generations of leadership?
The same thing that happened to Nintendo after their luck with the NES and SNES...sad to say, the N64 was impressive, but the GameCube shows how a 'real' gaming company can go spiraling down into their own arrogance.

Ha, a nicely argumented video, but one sided and fanboish at best. Too bad Mr Bob, I was expecting more.

TheOrangeFellow said...

What went wrong is Sony got smug. They saw themselves as being too big to fail - that everyone would NEED a PS3/PSP because hey - they were Sony. They made their systems expensive without warrant, and they marketed the system as if people who didn't own one were stupid OR they thought they could get away with being offensive (nut you can play outside, the white PSP racism and now... marcus). Nintendo got smug with the N64 and Gamecube, and they learnt their lesson when they released a more moderately priced console that appealed to everyone. Sonys problem is humility.

Andrew Green said...

Sony entered this round of the console war with the assumption that they'd win...just as they released the PSP against the DS with the same assumption.

More power doesn't mean a console is going to win.

Kevin said...

I love your videos but you're clouded by your Nintendo fanboyishness.

Nintendo is great at marketing and they print money, no one denies this. But everyone I know who bought a Wii had their month long love affair with it and now it just collects dust.

An equally poignant video could be made about how Nintendo tricked a whole lot of people into buying a bad system.

Twinmill said...

I think what Sony did with the PS3 was cater to the developers more than anything. Even this year's E3 they did exactly that: stating how awesome their hardware was and how YOU (the developer) should develop for US. The problem with that is that, with exporting to different consoles not requiring calling up Gearbox to do all new coding anymore, the word exclusive is nonexistent outside of contracts or... well, half of the engines out there.

I have to say, I personally liked Marcus and Sony's decision to get aggressive with their ad campaigns. They're trying to stamp out a potential competitor before it gets big. Additionally, it does, in a way, make the average customer (don't read: Core Gamer) more willing to buy their product.

Back to the PS3: I think its biggest failing point for me is the price. While I can't say that I couldn't afford it, or I wouldn't be typing from a gaming PC, it was still too much for what it was. I like mod communities and I was an idiot thinking I could get into consoles again when I got the Xbox. I played my PS2 more than my 360. Alot more. And I won't touch a shooter on either platform other than PC.

With that being said, I loved my PSP. Even if my games collection was only NFS: ASDF, The Sims: GHJK, and another title or two, I had a blast with it. Maybe it was because the PSP reminded me of a PS1 without the analog sticks I despised so much. I loved my PSP, until it got stolen. Right now, my DS is sitting on my desk next to Dragon Age: Origins, and Flight Sim X. I haven't touched for about a half a year now, and the games I had on it were some of the best for it. Maybe I just hate touchscreens and the lack of the X button. Maybe it's because my main reason for playing consoles is driving games, and with my experience of a NFS port on the DS. Don't get me started. Ever. On top of that, an old friend of mine has a PSP that he modded. It's running a java recreation of the Windows OS that he created. It's like... if Windows was a website.

Clayton said...

The comments on Sony are pretty much correct. I adored my PS1 and PS2, but the only reason they succeeded so much is because Nintendo and SEGA screwed up AT THE SAME TIME. That was borderline cosmic interference of the highest caliber. And the game that helped launch Sony's status was by a 3rd party who just so happened to be disappointed in Nintendo (and would later show that there was no such thing as loyalty in the game's industry a decade later). Heck, people go on and on about the PS3's so-called incredible exclusives, but one is just Indiana Jones meets Dane Cook, two others were the latest installments in long, storied franchises (though one is going to be forgotten as soon as someone makes a more insane hack and slash), yet another is just an interactive movie with a poor man's version of Seven as the screenplay, and finally a dark fantasy horror RPG (which is indeed pretty interesting). Sony just doesn't do original as good as Nintendo does.

The PSP does indeed flabbergast me; the thing has no games except for J-RPGs (including the upcoming revivals of the Parasite Eve and Ogre Battle franchises), extremely weird nichey titles, and Monster Hunter and the upcoming fall lineup is absolute crap. Sony just didn't get that graphics mean even LESS on portable gaming than they do in console gaming. Heck, what could the PSP2 hope to do against Nintendo's upcoming 3DS? And yes, MARCUS IS A FRIGGIN BRAT.

So I do wonder if Sony will indeed be able to keep on chugging in the industry come next gen. Even with the Slim the PS3 is still in third place and now MS has one upped them with their own Slim. Looks like Sony may be in third place for awhile longer.

V Gray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
V Gray said...

Wait, there's one problem, in the last E3, Nintendo openly stated that their enemy isn't Microsoft or sony, it's apple. The I phone is squeaking by in the gaming market with little boundaries and tuns of room to grow and experiment, and in the hands of a wide variety of consumers.

It's an interesting match up if you think of it. Sony is a hardware company, so the PS3 has great hardware but poor software. On the flip side Microsoft is a software company, so the 360 had amazing software, and horrible hardware. Both Apple and Nintendo have the hardware and software, plus both are the major innovators of their field.

If Apple truly gets into the games business as they said they would. Then Nintendo the company that has resurrected and shaped the gaming industry, will be going up against Steve Jobs, the man who is responsible for the core concept of the home computer.

Furore said...

So very nice to have you back. Thanks, Mr Thinker - or may I call you Game Over?

The commercial history lesson is of less direct relevance to me than your game culture pieces (that one on the Mario goddesses was nothing short of inspirational). But I still found this interesting - plus, you are a stylish speaker and I even liked your home-town scenery.

Once more - thanks for being The Guy.

TheAlmightyNarf said...

Oh my god, I've been saying that forever! Sony had always been spectacularly lucky with their timing and 3rd party right up until Nintendo started to wake up and Microsoft started to catch on. The simple fact that most of the big shows on both PS1 and PS2 (as well as PSP and PS3 for that matter) had absolutely nothing to do with anything Sony themselves had ever done makes it all the more clear... Sony themselves have no clue how to actually run a game console.

Personally, I don't expect Sony to ever really come back. Too many of the properties associated with the PlayStation "brand" have gone cross console because they never owned by them to begin with, and every time they show off some big new features it's years after Microsoft or Nintendo had done the same thing.

Unless they really shake things up with their next console, I think the era of Sony in the game market is over.

john said...

*raises a Coke in memory of the Amiga CD consoles*

Andrey said...

Even though I am a bit of a Sony fanboy, I do agree with you up to a certain point.

Sure, Sony was extremely lucky for quite a while, but after striking out with the PSP and in th early years with the PS3, it seems like it's starting to care about the whole gaming business.

You've got a competitively priced PS3 with one of the greatest marketing campaigns out there, while the PSP is looking for breaks where it can catch them.
Sony's been coasting for a while, but it's not giving up a fight. It didn't have any clothes, but at least it's reaching out for some underwear.

But that may be just me rooting for the underdog :)

Kabal said...

I can't say it was luck but I can say that sony did something nintendo refused to do. Sony listened to its community of creators. SNES was a amazing system and really most likely the main reason anyone today buys a WII. Short of health reasons that come with buying a wii for older people. Really how many wii games can you name off the top of your head that you actually want to play that aren't SNES, or NES games on the virtual console?.. Honestly I can't think of many outside the Resident evil series and some mario games that were pretty fun.

Don't get me wrong I LOVE NINTENDO to death it was a big big part of my youth and I will continue to support it for just that reason. Yet honestly I am the type of person who lives within his means and only buys stuff of value to my dollar. My dollar value goes to systems like sony that are well built and wow me. Have you ever watched a blu ray compared to a dvd. Its simply amazing to say the least and if you haven't perhaps you should. Honestly everyone today is talking now about 3D..and some gamers insist its going to fail but sony insists its the right way to go. Have you played a 3DS? ITS AMAZING no one can deny that however the question comes to mind "what games are you going to play while not traveling with your 3DS?" Microsoft is clearly moving in the direction of the wii so chances are there going to lose that fan base REALLY quick. Sony is moving in 3D's direction which again if you have played a 3D game you LOVE IT..if you haven't chances are your making up a opinion based on what you have read online from the close minded.

Don't get me wrong but in the past few years sony didn't get lucky it got smart. Nintendo in the past when the Gamecube came out...had ZERO games on it that anyone really enjoyed. N64 as had a few titles but I can bet money that anyone here can name more titles on the Sony PS1 then either of those systems.

What your saying is that sony got lucky with GTA, RESIDENT EVIL, QUAKE, KILLZONE, Mortal Kombat, DOOM, Crash, Grand Torismo, and so on...and nitendo had everything to itself?.... You would have to be insane to say you could name more titles in the past 10 years that started and got its fame from the sony PS1 then the Nintendo.. Heck even Final Fantasy which up until 3 hooked sony up and made the best version of its title FF7 on its system and told the nintendo to screw off..

To say it was luck is insanity and to say sony did nothing for this industry but get lucky is clearly even more insanity.. your points are valid to no degree and you simply are living in the past.

Love the shows but this is the only one I must disagree with you on..

Philbo said...

Yeah, I'm sorry Bob. The whole thing feels overshadowed by fanboyism.

Admittedly this is part history lesson, but after the history you cannot keep using outdated arguments against the PS3 and PSP. Especially without an update report on how Sony IS starting to get it, their Kevin Butler adverts were extremely clever, the price of the PS3 has come way down; and the list of AAA titles has gone way up. Not to forget non-exclusive games (like FF13) are now showing WHY Sony went Blueray when they did (and I'm willing to put money on Bluerays completely surpassing DVD by next generation).

Also, I have no love for Xbox, and Games for Windows Live pissed me off to no end, but by Episode 39 this Xbox/Master Chief/FPS hatred has to stop. I'm not saying you can't hate certain things in gaming, or to remove your personal opinion from these videos; but such easy dismassal of an "everyman" character and an ENTIRE gaming genre is not nice to watch.

How about a video where you talk about gamers like myself, my family, my neighbours, pretty much every person I've talked to, who were all tricked into buying a Nintendo Wii that we thought was going to be cheap (until we had 3 more controllers and nunchucks to buy); own maybe 4 or 5 party games (of which only 1 is any good); and have the Wii now collecting dust sitting next to a PS3 which allows us to play Singstar/Guitar Hero with music vids in SD and HD on Blueray discs which mean loads more content and which can quickly switch to streaming the bbc iplayer, be used properly online, or lastly as an amazing games console.

Or the Xbox with how achievements changed gaming forever (for better and worse); and how they brought online playing to the masses; and how the gamerscore and friend system of Xbox360 has yet to be matched.

z2ei said...

Your Nintendo bias is showing again.

A) Blu-Ray compared to UMD. Which one failed, and which one is the industry standard for HD home video again? Anyone who pays even a slight bit of attention to the outside world would have realized this already.

B) Exactly zero mention of Nintendo hitting a lucky break with the DS and Wii, coinciding with a boom in casual gamers. This is paying off for Nintendo and no one else, because the Wii's software attach rates are the lowest among the three consoles. Third parties are not going to keep pumping money into developing games for a system that doesn't pay off forever.

osrabit said...

Pretty good video but I have 2 minor issues with your arguement.
1. The first CD attachment for a console was the Turbografx CD released in 1989. (which was pretty sucessful in Japan)
2. The PSP isn't a total failure, it has sold around 50 million units and is quite popular in Japan.
Other than those two issues, it's a great episode as always.

Drake Sigar said...

I think ya'll are just going to have to accept that Overthinker is and always has been a biased Nintendo fanboy - hell, he must have said as much half a dozen times as a joke by now. This doesn't automatically negate his arguments when they're backed up by sound reasoning, but it's up to you to decide at what point the line has been crossed. Episode 36 is the one that did it for me, he flew over that line wearing jet-powered rocket pants and never looking back.

Twinmill said...

On the bright side, it feels like he toned down the hate by ay-laaawt.

I feel like saying something that will probably ignite at least one vitriolic comment at me: Sony's motion control isn't a Wii clone. The Wii's peripherals are primarily meant for pointing. Sony's successfully integrated solid motion control with this. It's not innovation as in making a totally new gimmick, like their 3d. It's innovation as in taking something that didn't quite work right, and fixing it so it did. BUT BOEING COPIED THE WRIGHT BROS AND MESSERSCHMITT WHEN THEY MADE THE 707! Or Ford copied Mercedes when they made a car with an actual internal combustion engine.

I guess I am partially a Sony fanboy. I grew up with a NES, SEGA Genisis, and for the majority of what I can remember with gaming, a PS1. I want to see Sony win even if I'll probably never own another Playstation. Part of me wants to see them win for the same reason I wanna see Wacom make their version of the iPad so Apple will shut up about innovation. I'm a tech geek. And that probably explains so much.

Mikolaj (Spliter) Kuta said...

While I kind of agree that Sony got lucky in the past it wasn't the only reason for their success. Even now they're far ahead of everybody thanks to PSN and their future integration with Steam, as well as most processing power of all consoles, meanwhile Microsoft released Kinect which I personally think only shows their incompetence, at the same time Nintendo isn't even doing anything to improve Wii (which apart from traditional Nintendo titles doesn't have anything worthwhile), yet released another version of DS.
I would also like to add that while PSP didn't have such a success as DS, it was a lot better than any other handhelds. It seems to me the only reason DS is so popular is thanks to Nintendo franchises that release sequel after sequel on Nintendo hardware.
I have yet so see a person listening to music from DS, or watching a movie on it while in the subway.

As much as I sound like a PS fanboy I'm not, I'm a PC gamer and only comment as an impartial observer.

Luigi Golf said...

Gamers need to stop claiming that their favorite companies, consoles, and games are better than all of the other ones. They also need to stop bashing successful consoles for not having enough games that are worth owning. This fanboyish behavior tears us apart, and it shows ignorance and a lack of knowledge. Some systems that you think of as paperweights that run a few games are ones that might not have your favorite genres, or maybe you just are not looking hard enough.

Luigi Golf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
squall lee said...

I find it kinda funny how arguments for the PS3 in the comment section resort to:

1) price has gone down.
2) blu-ray is awesome
3) there are more games now.

Well to that, I answer; they're still losing money, selling their system for half of what it was initially worth.

Yes, blu-ray is awesome but a stand-alone blu-ray player is worth half as much as a PS3, you can't make that argument anymore.

And finally, aside from Uncharted, God of War, Ratchet, and Demons Souls, as well as having decent multi-platform titles but ehh.... 3 years too late? Your mileage may vary but I still don't see a reason to buy one, especially when I can get a blu-ray disk drive for my computer

Eyes_Only said...

@Squall lee

If you're going at things from this perspective, what are the reasons to buying a 360 then? Halo, Gears, Fable (the RPG of the criminally stupid?), Forza?
Or what would the reasons be to buy a Wii? ANOTHER Mario, ANOTHER Zelda, ANOTHER Kirby, ANOTHER *insert 20 year old NES franchise here*? Which you'll love because you've played them before...over and over.
At this point I may just have to agree with Yahtzee...Nintendo are so afraid of investing in new software directions that even a tiny step away from their familiar titles (with which I really don't think they'll get away for another generation) will make them seize and foam at the mouth.

Sony may be losing money on the sales alone (though from what I've read, they may have started making money a while ago) but they're making profit off the network service, now coupled with a paid service.

I see that you go against the arguments as to why Sony is great, but offer little in return. Keep to the PC, connect a Blu-Ray player there and...oh yeah, play next to none of the big releases of the year. Cheers to PC may never die, but it'll always be full of mediocrity when people won't give good games chances (yeah, I wonder how many of the exclusive PC gamers have actually played 'Metro 2033' and understood it beyond the fact that you shoot snout nosed giant rats; and played it in detriment of another piece of crap like 'Singularity').

Philbo said...

I don't agree at all with squall lee, but eyes_only you're completely wrong about the PC.

Was Bioshock 2 a major release? How about CoD4:MW2? Dragon Age? Mass Effect 2? Battlefield BC2? Fallout 3?

I own a PS3 and yet these were all on PC, all on DVD, and all better looking than their Xbox/PS3 counterparts. So I didn't get one or two titles, boo hoo. I can choose to wait a year or so and buy your console (and game) cheaper, or wait 5 or so years and play your game on an emulator for free (and still better looking).

Oh and
"Cheers to PC may never die, but it'll always be full of mediocrity when people won't give good games chances"

Have you heard of Steam? where any developer AAA-level or indie can sell their game without having to jump through ludicrous hoops? At vastly cheaper prices than on Xbox/PS3?

I'll repeat again I own a PS3 for the few titles I won't get on PC now; I won't own an Xbox BECAUSE 99% of their library is on PC.

Megavolt said...

It's all true. Even Sony's "innovations" during the 32-bit era were either inspired by or ripped from Nintendo (rumble, analog control that would become dual analog, etc). I remember when Sony was Sony Imagesoft and they put out crappy games for the SNES. It's tough for Sony fans to admit (I'll never understand brand loyalty to the point where people close their eyes to the truth - the facts are easily observable if you were there or if you read up on the past a bit), but the stars were in alignment for Sony to have the success that they did. And to the Sony fan who likens it to Nintendo's success with the NES and SNES: the NES had to overcome strong anti-console sentiment in the west and the SNES faced legitimate competition from the Genesis and PC Engine. The Genesis was actually beating the SNES in the states and the SNES had to rise to the challenge. It's not the same as the PS1 and PS2 having the edge from the getgo because of little that had to do with Sony's own ability to cleverly promote consoles or develop great games.

dude said...

I love your show and hey, your right about the Master Chief. He does have a 'limited personality'. Just curious why you comment on that all the time. No that your not entitled to an opinion. I'm sure you know that the Master Chief = The Player, of any Halo game. Your the Master Chief, so you get to fill in the blanks for his lack of character. Halo, Xbox, MS fan or not, you know that must be true.
Keep up the good work!


linkzeldi said...

I wonder, if apple made an attempt to enter the console market in the next gen, what sort of fruit would their console be named after?

Anyway good video as always. I attributed Sony's poor sales in this generation to overconfidence more than running out of luck.

Sssonic said...

I'm amused at the accusations of Nintendo fanboyism in the comments section of this Video for two reasons:

1.) I don't think Bob's ever made his affection for Nintendo a secret, so it's not as if this should come as a surprise to anyone

2.) A true "fanboy", rather than simply a person who is a fan, is one so completely blinded by their rampant affection that they cannot or will not see or accept fault on the part of the thing they admire so much. In this video, Bob points out quite openly Nintendo's less-than-admirable handling of their brief and bitter partnership with Sony, going so far as to call it a "dick move" on their part, as well as the domineering manner in which they ran the Video Game market back in their heyday. While I'm hardly going to claim he's got no bias (but then, who doesn't?), this honestly seems like a rather balanced critique of both Sony in general and Nintendo's own practices during the era the PS1 was born.

As for the video itself, I was aware of most of the history behind the birth of the PS1, though the accounts I've heard varied in how much it was Sony or Nintendo who was responsible for their partnership dissolving; at this point, I'm pretty inclined to believe Nintendo was the one at fault. But I admit, I never really looked at Sony's successes in this light before, mainly because I never paid that much attention to Sony's consoles in the past; as far as I could tell, the failures of the PSP and PS3 at their launches really were isolated incidents. But I think this argument may have some real merit to it, particulary given a lot of the franchises which first found success on Sony systems, like "Kingdom Hearts" and "Metal Gear Solid", are quickly expanding to other platforms.

lockonandfire said...,_Ranked_From_Worst_Failure_to_Biggest_Success

I read this the other day, so your video doesn't seem quite so revelatory as it may have otherwise been. Sony as a whole seem to have long been of the mindset "suck it and see", and strategies that may not have made sense for their gaming division (the pushing of blu-ray in PS3 despite it making the console astronomically expensive) were beneficial for the company as a whole (HD DVD bit the dust after all and Sony's format won).

G said...

I remember reading a hypothesis on that Microsoft released the first Xbox knowing it would lose money but using it as a way to push DirectX and take that market away from OpenGL. Then the Xbox 360 would come in to exploit DirectX market dominance.

Twinmill said...

@The few people who DARE challenge Bob's views

I'm sorry guys, but I don't think this is the place to do it anymore. Don't get me wrong, the more I think about what he says in his videos, the more of a counterargument I want to post. He won't change his views, and he won't let off more than slightly his hate for everything other than them for more than one video. I seriously hate anything super colorful anywhere, and for perfectly legitimate reasons-- it hurts my eyes and gives me headaches, but you don't see me spewing said hate all over the net in a thick brown splooge.

He's so big partially because of his hate. There are people out there that like to drink that splooge up because it's their flavor. Lots. I've blogged about it before and how hating anything dark or particularly mindless is like the new ICP. Fuck'n Trends, How Do They Work.

The contradictions seem to either go against his core values, or he just ignores everything said that isn't praise. Because we're stupid. Writers are stupid. Psychologists are stupid. Lawyers are stupid. Graphic Designers are stupid. All stupid people who liked figures such as Master Chief. Apparently. (In case you missed it, read: Sarcasm.)

Anony said...

In my eyes, it seems that Sony is being delusional about their status in the industry, which is sort of the same trap Sega fell into. To the guy who mentioned success in Japan - remember the Sega Saturn?

Great episode as usual, I agree with a lot. The only reason I ever bought a PSP was for Mega Man Powered Up, but its failure meant no sequels (at least anytime soon). I can only hope some of the PSP lineup is ported to the 3DS similar to PS2 -> Wii. It's how some titles like Okami found and deserved new life.

If Sony doesn't discover what humility is anytime soon, I safely predict it (or at least its gaming division) will collapse.

As for first person shooters.... well, there's simply a creative roadblock with the genre. I think developers will have to think up some real innovation soon before fanboys realize that they're mostly copies of their own success.

Ezenwa said...

As stated once before, I don't think it was luck. I think, if anything, it was smart thinking. Sony was smart enough to go for a market that no one else did: the casual 18-49 male demographic of non-gamers. I believe Bob made that point before in Ep. 4

Blake said...

I think that Sony deserves a bit more credit than the vid gives them. The saying "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity," is generally considered to be a wise phrase. There is no shame in succeeding when others fail.

That said, I don't like Sony and I will never own a Playstation because of the controllers and the games. People like to argue about the console that can do this that and the other thing, but really what it boils down to is... do you like the controller, and can you play the games you want to play on it. If one of those answers is no, you'll probably hate the console.

Ryan Keys said...

Fantastic, and I have to say it's true, in all honesty can you think of a single first party game on either the PSX or the PS2 that was good? All the best games they had were third party titles that were either ported to the PSX because they wouldn't work on a cartridge, or they were fucked off with Nintendo's sticking to the cartridge with the N64.

Also, Cap versus Goku is a fight I'd want to watch.

Bob said...

Awesome video keep up the good work.

Pi-Rates said...

There appears to be a point here that has been lost. Nintendo made a huge mistake in sticking to cartridges with the N64, because they knew that having the control that cartridges gave would give profits. Sony did something similar with the PS2>PSP>PS3 thing, the first go round (PS2) was made a huge success by a new media format...they tried to replicate this success in the latter 2 (PSP and Ps3) and failed....So both companies are really guilty of the SAME THING.
They failed to innovate on business strategies, and repeated old ones hoping to make similar profits.

So, with most companies being guilty of this, what can we expect in the future? Will Sony make a comeback with new innovation now that they are down similar to the Wiis success in the next generation? Will Nintendo repeat the No-Innovation mistake and make a rehash of the Wii in the upcoming generation?

Pfft, I dont know.

But I do know that I still love Sony, and that the Wii (as far as gameplay is concerned) is a piece of shit.

Matteo said...

I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to add my voice to the overwhelming cry of "fanboy!".

It's easy to kick a company when it's down, especially from the supposed hights that Nintendo has risen to. But lets be realistic, the only inovative thing that Nintendo have done in the past 15 years was create motion controllers, and to be honest, I'm not impressed. I really enjoyed the last Super Mario Brothers, the only dificulty I had was with the controls when you had to arbitrarily waggle the controller to fly or pick up objects. This could easily have been replaced by button taps, the controls would have been tighter and I could have used a gamecube controller, but no, Nintendo had to shoehorn in it's tired old gimick. The novelty wears thin quickly and even Nintendo seem aware of this. The last E3 all they did was promote the sam old line up of re-hashed games but this time without an emphasis on motion controls.

I'm no fanboy, I live with 2 other guys and we have 6 consoles in the front room, 3 of which are made by Nintendo and from my experience, it's these 3 Nintendo consoles that are used the least. And I fucking loathe FPSs.

Nintendo are the lucky ones, they had no money, were forced to think outside the box and it worked for them. I sincerely hope that they completely fail in the next generation and are reduced to selling games on xbox Live and PSN, which is where most of their titles belong.

Joe said...

Can we really look back on the 30+ year history of console gaming and really say what the "right" way to succeed in the industry is?

If we want to take Nintendo's hegemony of the industry ca. 1985-1990 as some kind of benchmark, the kind of "skill" required to gain that hegemony was basically being a tyrannical monopoly that pre-empted any possible threats to its power. It controlled the means of production and through that, the content, and blocked any possible competition. Ethical arguments aside, it was a successful strategy, but it would have been successful in a lot of other, unrelated industries. How does that equate to a particular "skill" in the video games industry?

The first cracks in Nintendo's armour came from the Sega Genesis, and it was mostly their own arrogance ("When America needs a 16-bit console, Nintendo will make it for them" was the rhetoric I remember at the time) that had them stumbling out of the gate during the next console generation, and which would only get worse with the next two consoles.

Meanwhile, Sony succeeded by doing what Sony did best: creating quality home electronics. Sony was always at their creative peak when their engineers were on the cutting edge of home electronics. In many ways they shot themselves in the foot when they became a content owner (as a Hollywood studio and a games publisher), since now the home electronics division is often reined in by the content creators, who insist on things like DRM, proprietary formats, and other regressive ideas that cripple the engineers' innovation.

So historically, the strategy for success in the console industry has been:

Nintendo era: Be the biggest bully on the block.

Sony era: Be the best builder of quality home electronics and attract quality content creators to your platform.

Current era: The market has become so stratified (Western hardcore FPSers/Japanese RPGers/casual gamers worldwide), can any one strategy really "win" them all?

Now the playing field is changing even more radically, since we have smartphones, tablets, Facebook gaming, and a host of other potential competitors for peoples' entertainment dollars cresting the horizon. We're going to see what happens when an industry stalwart, a home electronics company, and a software giant go up against another software giant, a host of telecommunications and web development companies, and Zynga and its clones. Can anyone really predict the outcome at this juncture?

blackshadowax said...

At this point and time I'm never gonna understand loyalty to a faceless company of anything. Be it a car, video game, comic book or even a soda company. They're all out to get a profit with whatever gimmick their trying to push.

Then again, bob has openly stated and joked to be a fan of Nintendo and to expect his views to be unbiased, well your fucking stupid, there is simply no way around it. Crying and bitching like an 11 year old isn't gonna help none. And if you want someone to agree with your views you may want to look somewhere else.

Also to add, your personal experience with games means absolutely jack shit to anyone but you. Your experiences maybe similar to others but in the long run have only affected and influenced you. If you dislike Nintendo consoles/games, good, continue to play whatever console/games of your choice.

Whatever the future holds for gaming has yet to be seen, and just maybe next time around, could the top dog be Microsoft? They've clearly shown the ability to learn and adapt faster then most people gave them credit for.

Anony said...

By the way...Pokemon Jade?

blackshadowax said...

Anony here's something related to pokemon jade.

Twinmill said...

Not a perfect one and full of major misinterpretations missing the point completely, but I'll settle for it. Even if it partially repeated what I said but blunt.

Rena said...

Has Sony been lucky? Yes. Do they shoot themselves in the foot? Oh gosh yes, all the time.

Is it all luck? Nope. It's a mix of all of the above, like any company.

On the point of the PSP:

I like my psp more, because of graphics and media. UMD did not work for movies, but the browser, remote play, and being able to stick files on memory sticks works really well for me.

But that is for me personally, and I don't think the psp is better. I also freely admit my DS has kinda ruined apple and others touch screen for me, because oh my gosh does it respond better!

At the end, it was the games. I have twice as much PSP games, and only so much are first party. And that is totally okay. First on my list when looking at gaming devices is what I can get on it. Thus I will continue to pass on the DSi because I like my gba games too much, but I will most likely get a 3DS because of layton and kingdom hearts. Just like the reason I got my ds lite in the first place was phoenix wright.

....And really? Bringing up the launch price when it's not that price anymore? Find some better ammo, Sony has totally given you some. Though yes, I do hate marcus. Which makes me sad since Kevin is so funny each time.

And no, rumble was because of a fight with the dullshock people. that line with sixaxis was totally bs.

Mark said...

man, you are going to piss some people off with this one...

i agree with you mostly, but i think it should be mentioned that, while there were few great "sony" games in the Ps1 era, their attitude towards the machine's content - i.e., bring in the older crowd, *was* an extremely potent marketing strategy. thus, the "nintendo is for kids" image persists.

1) just got back from Boston. Good times. Good lobster. Good oysters (relatively speaking, that is). GREAT canolli.
2) Saw iron man 2 (finally) on said flight. i have to say - disappointed, after loving the first one and watching your review. just....... not as provocative. wife hated it.

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T'Generalissimo said...

A very interesting history lesson and thought-provoking suggestion, but the biggest problem I see is that when you refer to Sony or Nintendo or whoever you seem to think of them as a single, static entity, which isn't really the case and can really mess up predictions of the future for companies.

Having said that, the idea that Sony doesn't have a great understanding of the games market would explain some of the more recent things I've seen from them. They seemed to underestimate the retailer rebellion that would come from the PSP Go and the fact that a lot of people (me included) really aren't ready for a world in which physical objects have become obsolete. Their insistance that 3D for the home console is the future seems to be missing the lesson of the PS3's release; a lot of people just don't have that kind of money to burn. And Move has to much of the air of the "me too" to give the impression of a coherent vision for gaming. Plus (and this is more of a personal thing), despite being worth it because of all of its great games, I really think the PS2 itself is a horribly designed machine.

Then again, it's always a lot easier to judge a company from an external poistion. Windows Vista was a terrible piece of crap that everyone hated, but I wouldn't say that Microsoft is going to be a side-line player in the future of operating systems. It often seems like sucesses happen by accident and failures are the work of a bunch of arrogant fools.

Sony seem to have a better handle on the PS3 now with a more reasonable price, which, if I recall correctly, doesn't even lose them money, and a fairly interesting plan to monetise the PSN. If this console generation lasts as long as both Sony and Microsoft are insisting it will, it's a bit premature to claim that Sony have lost it so badly.

Soooo...I don't know, the best way of predicting this sort of thing is probably just to invent time travel.

T'Generalissimo said...

Oh, and how could I forget that Sony seems to have finally made an ad campaign that isn't total, complete and utter crap with Kevin Butler? Man, I love that guy.

P.S. Can you really not edit comments on Blogger?

Donald said...

Personally, I would argue that Microsoft have been the lucky ones in the console market, and Sony have actually been unlucky for the PS3.

Microsoft were lucky for the original Xbox that Halo was actually good enough that people bought in masses, and they benefitted from Nintendo goofing with the Gamecube as well.

Microsoft are lucky that they launched the 360 before the world economy tanked, so the machine still sold well when it was at its most expensive. Microsoft also were lucky that people stuck with a machine with such a high failure rate.

Sony, on the other hand, launched later when the world economy started going to pieces and every little flaw in the machine and their strategy was highlighted by a gaming media that was desperate to make sure that Sony did not win again.

For the PSP, Sony did make some mistakes. Big ones. Like the emphasis on power and performance over battery life. But it is not like Nintendo have never made mistakes. Virtual Boy and 64DD, anybody?

Disthron said...

I'm just wondering, do you think that a product can be a success in it's own right or is it's success measured only in how it dose against the competition?

Is it enough that a console make a respectable amount of profit or must it "win"?

Because if a consoles success is measured in how it dose against the competition then PS3 and 360 are both failures. But I'm pretty sure that if you asked most people they would not say that the PS3 or 360 was failing.

The Wii seems to be like how Myst (the PC game) was the biggest selling game for ages but in video game circles it was hardly ever talked about.

About the blue-ray thing, I think it made a lot more seance than the UNDs. I don't have an HDTV to watch them on but a couple of my friends who are videophile tell me that it's way better quality than HD-DVD.

All this talk about console wars really reminds me why I love my PC so much. Also, getting a decent PC is not that expensive, you just need to go to a reputable builder that can make you a custom build in your price range.

How about you talk about PC gaming for once?

Master said...

Truthfully I agree with much of what has been said. Sony did get lucky and they made some bad business decisions alright. I've watched your videos for a while and have long decided that you seem to actually pay attention and as unbiasedly as possible open up video game debate that needs to be discussed in order to help our "unstoppable" hobby.

Same goes for this video. However, I would be lying if I said I wasn't a fan of the Sony consoles. While the video is truthful on almost all fronts, the final statement was a bit distressing coming from you. Like one of my previous commentors wrote, you kinda attacked Sony's earlier decision and didn't really address their recent ones involving the price drops and "AAA" game releases.

What really stood out was your strange brushing off and attitude toward Sony throughout. As if they had done something to warrant a sort of "Hate video". While the majority of the video was right you just didn't address all the aspects and basically declared a console dead while it has had recent success.

It just saddens me to hear the person with so many contributions to the gaming culture not treat Sony with the same respect he has giving to the other consoles and the thoroughness I've seen in other videos applied to this one.

Sony could still be, logically, in such straights as described at the end of the video, but I wish you'd have address some of the other factors, like PS3 recent success, before making such a declaration.

Kotorfan04 said...

GAH! The 360 is more than Master Chief, I just get through leaving a TL;DR comment on one page to have you marginalize the 360 users yet again, stereotyping us all as a bunch of brain dead trigger happy shooter fans and yes I am sorry for the lack of hyphens.

The 360 is my console of choice because I like PC games, particularly I like nice fun WRPGs. My three favorite companies are BioWare Blizzard and Bethesda. BioWare and Bethesda release their products for both the 360 and PC and usually/occasionally the PS3 when/if they feel like it. Sometimes the delays are massive and make it not worth investing in a PS3 for me at least.

As for the Wii, while I do have one I rarely use it because in all honesty I am crap at platformers/sidescrollers. I was raised when 3D was coming into vogue and I loved the escapism RPGs offered me. (Guess what my favorite game of all time is? The hint is in my name.) So ehh, I am not going to say that the 360 is better than the Wii, or hell I am not even going to compare it to the PS3, just please please please stop saying or implying that the only people who play the 360 or college frat boys with a limited grasp of what makes sci fi good and a strange love of all things macho. Yes a lot of its exclusives fall into the FPS boom fest category but that is not all it is so... A little love for some of us? Please?

Joao Eduardo said...

Bravo. I don't think it's a fanboy argument at all (i myself enjoyed all the Sony consoles so far and various games), for me it's very rational, and it's not a matter of "look at the latest games", what a obvious statement... I think it's lack a envisioning, and they have a cold posture towards this market, witch is natural for a company with such a horizontal approach, the playstation division is a small fraction of their ridiculously monster general eletronic market.

Obscuromancer said...

If the video content is running dry, and it has never been very stimulating, please save our bandwidth and switch to an audio-only flash player like soundcloud or poscast.

Chazosulls said...

I think leaving out the last few years was a big mistake, everyone knows Sony have caught up...

Just look at worldwide sales, PS3 is about 7 million behind the 360 and the 360 is a whopping 21 million behind the Wii. Whilst Sony is losing "the race", I think the real competition is PS3 vs Xbox for second place, not Xbox vs Wii like Bob says as it's pretty clear Nintendo won that years ago...

GragSmash said...

I still remember the day I got the original playstation. I had a tax refund check for 350, which was a fair amount of money at the time. It must have been 1997.

I went to a record shop whose name escapes me, and picked up the PS1, and three games -- Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Tomb Raider 2, just because it was there.

Took the bus home 35 minutes, and was halfway to bursting with excitement as I unboxed my new toy, connected the power, connected the ... oh crap. STUPID !@#$ing RCA JACKS???? Cue an hour of frantic searching around local shops for a converter.

Somewhere in the next three days, even with 8 hour days at work, I logged about 40 hours of FF7.

There were other games I bought eventually, but the PS1 was sold to me by final fantasy. That was my reason for choosing it.

A generation before, I chose the genesis over supernes because of golden axe. *head-desk* all those squaresoft titles passed me by...

Andrew said...

careful Bob your bias is showing

Mike said...

Not too long ago I made the decision to change from a Wii to a PS3. My reasoning was that while I enjoyed playing my Wii, I was a bit bored of playing a limited amount of quality first party titles while dodging walls of shovelware at my local game store. My intent was to play the Valve games, Bioshocks, Street Fighters, and other high res games I drooled about in game magazines years ago.

I think that what you have said about Sony is accurate to a point. However, a lot has changed since then. We were heart by that E3 showing a few years back, but a lot of people feel the betrayal is over and we can enjoy the PS3 more. The lowered price point is one of those reasons, but so is the fact that the newer systems come with more built-in memory than I have in even the computer I'm typing this on. Also, while Sony did make a mistake about foisting the UMD disc on an apathetic public, they were right about Blu-Ray, and I'm now enjoying the ability to watch hi-res movies on my first generation HDTV, one of the other reasons I switched from Nintendo to Sony.

While it's true that Sony doesn't actually make a system specifically for gaming, that doesn't mean that the system is a failure when it comes to games. Your blender doesn't have to be made specifically for Margaritas to make certain you can throw a good party. Many friends of mine have also made the same switch as I have, and we enjoy a broader, more varied library of games together than we ever did on the Wii, many more of them from american developers, which has the side effect of being good for the economy. Also, isn't it great that this winter we're getting Mass Effect 2?

In summary, I think this episode encapsulates the gaming environment as it was a few years ago, but it just isn't the case as of right now. As a central game pundit it is imperative that you reflect the newest, freshest ideals of your audience instead of hearkening back to the argument as it was a couple of years ago.

Caldera said...

I would like to echo this:
"In summary, I think this episode encapsulates the gaming environment as it was a few years ago, but it just isn't the case as of right now. As a central game pundit it is imperative that you reflect the newest, freshest ideals of your audience instead of hearkening back to the argument as it was a couple of years ago."

I don't know, maybe it was your very intention to leave the couple last years out and end this episode at when the format war started.

If not, then I am slightly disapointed. PS3 didn't win console of the year awards for 2 years straight without a reason. While I see your point with the PSP I cannot agree with you when it comes to the modern times of the current console war.

Yes, the PS3 started really slowly, but it has only been accelerating it's pace from then and I believe there's still many years left. The era of PS2 alone was more than 10 years long, so in that sense PS3 is only in its teens now, slowly getting to early adulthood.

Yes, when it comes to sales the Wii is way out of reach for either the 360, or PS3, but looking at sales figures only is very narrow sighted. I have a strong feeling that the ratio of consoles still in use / consoles bought in all is higher when it comes to PS3 compared to the other two.

This in my opinion is a far bigger aspect of a consoles success than raw income. Right now Nintendo is in a much rougher state than it was in the 90's. What I mean by this is that for the next console Nintendo cannot afford to try and pull off "Wii" again. It's an old and used trick now and they have to try something different. Either to find more niche markets, new audiences, or radical new features. Nintendo CAN choose to try and go with HD console for the next one, but I believe we both couldn't see Nintendo doing this.

Sony and Microsoft however is on a very solid stand in this case. The expectations of either console users for their next console is pretty much "more of the same" with enhanced features. This is a request that is very hard to cock up.

Eitherway, the current war between Sony and Microsoft is still far from over, but it seems like which ever wins, the differense is going to be too insignificant to have any major indication for how the next console war will go.

Gerkinman TNG said...

I can't say I agree with all that Bob's come up with, but the previous history thing made sense.

Recently, PS3 has pulled up it's trousers and got to work, bringing back a lot of people who were wondering if they bought their consoles for nothing. Good on them.

The thing is, and I'll admit right now that I have a Wii360, I don't see what PS3 has, that the 360 doesn't. Both are good consoles, and since the 360 has been consistantly good, that's why it's still winning.

One final point from me. People buy 'more of the same' because not everyone has Yahtzee's hatred of 'more of the same'. I'm happy to see a new Donkey Kong Country, Metroid and Kirby game. (Especially Kirby, the poor chap's not had a console game for years..)

Ryan said...

Why the hell do you always, and I mean ALWAYS rip on Halo? It's annoying and if you keep it up I'm not watching anymore

Walsfeo said...

The rips on Halo are getting pretty stale and I don't even like the game.

Timing is an important part of business success in any industry, I think Sony understands timing as much as they have luck.

UMD and BlueRay are the same kind of fight, meaning format/form factor, but I never heard of Sony offering it to any other platforms for use. However timing has also hurt them, because I loved Sony until they had root kit issues and other publicity issues prior to me getting a PS3. (Which I still haven't done.)

Aside from very few intriguing titles, there is very little attractive about the PS3, at least when compared to the latest 360 developments.

Sony should leverage their PSP technologies into a cell phone.

GoofierBrute said...

Excellent video Overthinker. Sony to me has always been a strange entity: On one hand they've done and said things that would deem them crazy, yet they keep staying in business. It blows my mind.

Nicholas Ware said...

This would be a great argument if it weren't wrong.
Sony, at their core, is not a video game company and never have been. They are an electronics company. This makes them different than both Nintendo (which is a video game company) and Microsoft (which is a computer software company). Every video game device Sony has released has pushed their agenda (integrate into the home, push new media formats), some more successfully than others. Apple IS their direct competition, because the iPhone isn't actually a phone, it's a portable media device. That's what the PSP always sought to be, not a games machine. That's why it plays music and movies (though Sony made the poor move of making those movies in a physical, not purely digital format). The failings of the PSP as a device are all about the lack of an internal hard drive, and unfortunately the PSP Go doesn't have the existing sales front of iTunes (which was established as a digital sales device very early, before iPods went from music players to portable media devices, and consumer trust in that sales platform has led to the success of everything built upon it). Plus, the switch game too late and was not seamless enough with the lack of ways to get one's UMDs into the correct format to play on the PSP Go. If the PSP Go was the first form of a PSP, and the "digital media store" for it sold music and movies in addition to games, you would see how flawed your logic is when you compare the PSP to the DS. They are entirely different machines: the PSP is a direct competitor of the iPod and iPhone. They are both platforms for portable media. The iPhone/iPod is just doing it better.

Your logic only applies if Sony's interests in video games were somehow the same as Nintendo's or even Microsoft's. They're not, and never have been. You're saying the Emperor has no clothes, but you're the one who's failing to realize that the Emperor is at a nude beach.

Delano said...

Your arguments and theses are generally pretty sound and well thought-out. However, you undermine them a great deal when you punctuate it on cheap shots at whatever franchise you don't get. Namely, any American FPS. You lump Halo, Gears, and Call of Duty all into the same category and knock them all pretty hard without any solid justification. It'd be just as easy to knock Mario for being little more than a game about jumping for the past 25 years.

You should do an episode and justify your bias. I'd submit that it's because you feel didactically opposed to the core audience of those games. To that I say, "deal with it."

Ran said...

hey man, I just found your website about 2 hours ago and started watching random episodes.

My goodness you are a nintendrone (and I mean no disrespect, I grew up with nintendo as well).

asking if its possible that Sony has "next to no skill" for the video game business...seriously? You also mention that the psp is a what way? in sales only I hope, because the psp has (imo) the best line up this year, but people just don't see it. They are too busy comparing it to other platforms that sell more...which is a mistake since we both know why the wii and ds sell more, don't we?

so I thought "my god, this guy talks about gaming journalists but he is as biased as it gets", and immediately started looking for one single video where you criticize nintendo for what they have been doing...and I found your open letter to nintendo.

It's funny because you made the video so people wouldn't see you as a nintendo fanboy but in a way it only makes you look even more like a fanboy.

I would think the OVERTHINKER would think a little more about the current state of the gaming industry and why it got this way.

Your videos are kinda cool, but not my thing. Actually your videos are AWESOME until the person watching notices you are a huge biased fanboy. Once I noticed that I could barely continue watching.

But I can see how they can be entertaining to people in the same mindset as you though, so good luck with the next reviews and all.

Gya. said...

So I just wanted to ask one thing that I noticed in most... all.. of your videos.

Why do games like Call of Duty and Halo get so much hate from you? Fantastic gameplay, well written and well produced stories, and a VERY long multi-player life. Unless these things are somehow completely eclipsed by the fact that all of these games have similar themes and color palette, your bias is completely unfounded. I dunno. I might be misinterpreting this.

Oh, another thing that struck me. Isn't this video giving Nintendo a... little too much credit? I know they've done many things right. Many. MANY. But they've also had MASSIVE fuck-ups (many of which you address yourself) and its probably only through the prosperous lives of their established franchises that they managed to live this long.

Because seriously, I don't think many people would have brought the Wii if Mario and Zelda and Metroid and SAKDJALKJDA came along with it.

The PlayStation consoles have the backing of fantastic third party developers, and had an extremely successful fiscal year this time around. I would have lol-ed if this was 2008, but they're rebounding. The PS3 is dominating home console sales in Japan, where the gaming market is significantly larger than that of the West. Sony isn't dominating, sure, but I wish you wouldn't refer to the company as if they have no idea what the heck they're doing.

On another note, maybe you should try some different topics, because it seems like the majority of your fans AREN'T IDIOTS. It'd be nice if you address them as such.

Optimism? :DD?

Sometimes I feel like I'm lumped in with the stereotypical trolls who obsess over FPS games just because I enjoy the genre. I dislike that feeling, I'd like to think I'm better than that. Maybe. :P

Jay said...

Good point but I really think that more info on Sony the brand is needed as a background. The good news is, Wired actually did just such a thing. SavingSony is more about stopping all of the diametrically opposed parts of the conglomerate to "play nice"

This doesn't always happen and it causes Sony to lose focus on how to make the PS3 a better and more viable product.

Eshwin said...

I have to agree with Eyes_Only. You're rationalizing the same kind of immature fanboy prattling over systems you condemn in so many of your videos.

Your video only proved that Sony, young as it is, has done remarkably well for an upstart, and, unlike Microsoft, hasn't relied on one dimension FPS games to do it. As one dimensional a character as Kratos may be, he's inspired endless clones, and with last year's GOTY, Uncharted 2, boasting cutting edge improvement in almost every aspect of gaming, many developers are now lead developing on Sony's architecture, and not the other way around.

Nintendo is an admirable company, and I'm sure the Wii is a 'nice' system for the average joe with disposable income and little to do on a rainy day, but your views on this are pretty dated. You're also conveniently forgetting that at the time that Nintendo was a 'lumbering fascist giant' or whatever it had about the same years behind it as Nintendo. Even your condemning of Sony for servicing the need of a media hub (which is, contrary to your statements, serving to sell the system pretty well) is not unlike the 'Hardcore' dipshits who damn the Wii for bringing in casual gamers. Funny, how picky you can be on the issue of selling a game system for features not traditionally associated with video games ... fanboy.

It's all a moot point anyway, because I don't see Sony failing or disappearing at all. All three are great systems, and aren't going to go anywhere anytime soon, which is as it should be. Competition and diversity are good things, and singling out Sony as doomed for failure to sound intelligent and controversial is probably the most pointless and masturbatory thing you, the Game Overthinker, have ever done. I normally love your videos, but this was utterly pointless.

Eshwin said...

"You're also conveniently forgetting that at the time that Nintendo was a 'lumbering fascist giant' or whatever it had about the same years behind it as Nintendo."

Should read:
"You're also conveniently forgetting that at the time that Nintendo was a 'lumbering fascist giant' or whatever it had about the same years behind it as Sony has at this point."

imsmart said...

Sony had a pretty cool regime, I thought. Not as good as Nintendo's, but far greater than Atari's.

David said...

Seriously Bob, I think you overdo it.

OK, maybe Sony got lucky that Nintendo and Sega screwed it up, but even if you do things right when everyone else do them wrong, you still do things right.

And yes, things went wrong inside Sony starting with the PSP. Actually, things went wrong almost EXACTLY the same way they went wrong with Nintendo during the mid and late 90s: They got arrogant.

Arrogance was what almost took Nintendo down two console generations ago, and only a newly found humility, paired with foresight, got them back on their feet.

Sony did the same thing. Since they were the big honcho of the industry, they thought it would go along with everything they did just because of the PlayStation brand.

That made them repeat the same strategies that they did with PS1 and PS2 without even considering the option that they wouldn't work again.

Specially the UMD was a jarring mistake. They should have fore sought that people was not ready for having a pocket video player, let alone paying 20 bucks AGAIN for movies they most likely would already have in DVD for watching them like that.

Hell! Apple had to introduce video in the iPod brand little by little and even now most people use it only for videoclips and such.

2004 was not the year Sony's luck run out. It was the year Sony got over confident. And they paid it.

However, it's not like they are THAT bad. They are catching the 360 worldwide, so even though they couldn't keep the dominant position in the industry, I doubt they see the PS3 as a total disaster.

And about PSP, we'll have to see if they learned their lesson with their next handheld.

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Slothy said...

WTF? When talking about the PS1 you immediately jump from 'they took a big gamble on this' to 'they didn't do anything and got lucky'.

They were reactionary you say? Well so? Does their motivations really matter?

Flávio Kauling said...

Wow! I lived through it all, had a Genesis, a Sega CD, a PS1, even an original Xbox, and now am happy wiht my choice of 360. I couldn't agree more with you. The emperor has no clothes at all.

Dhatz said...

mists of time sent me here from 2011 through extra credits.

Lord Grey said...

Ok Just want to put this out there the best selling games for the three consoles are

PS3 Gran turismo 5
Wii (not including sport)Wii sports resort
XBOX360 Call of duty Black opp's

I find it funny when fan boy Bob goes on talking about how bland the western world console releases are when the Japanese have spent there whole life kicking out mario games and remake zelda games. They are all as bad as one another

Matt said...

I wonder if this comment will actually go through (unlike the last 5 comments I've tried to leave).

I've watched your show since the Sonic episodes, and I watched this one when it first came out, but the recent EC video made me watch it again.

So Sony while this episode focused on Nintendo Co's Mobster mentality during the '90s, I think it's fair to say that Sony currently runs the most oppressive racket nowadays -- but it's much much worse as their focus isn't on making things harder for the developers or screwing over partners, but rather treating their consumers like assholes. Now, up until this whole PSN fiasco I always figured that Sony's gaming division had a more consumer-focused head on their shoulders (at least compared to the rest of their company), but now I see it was just because they never had any issues go public.

Well, now they have, and people are pissed, for the right reasons, or the wrong ones. Hopefully the consumers will treat this PSN mess the way capitalism is supposed to, causing Sony to move their focus towards listening to what the consumers want instead of telling them what they want. They simply no longer have that power in gaming, and I think that's the only way they'll survive the next generation of consoles.

tv said...

Interesting thought.

I don't think I quite agree though that the top developers would have created great games on other platforms. It's always been hard for 3rd party or even 2nd party developers to create for Nintendo and for the longest time it didn't seem all that much better to work with Microsoft unless you made yet another FPS.

Sony has brought us Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, LocoRoco, Dokodemo Issho, Jak and Daxter, Uncharted, God of War, Infamous, Little Big Planet, and a host of other titles that seem unlikely to have come from any other company. Sony funded those titles. Where are the innovative titles funded by MS?

I'm not dissing on Xbox, in fact I have more 360 games than PS3 games but it's not like Sony has been a Me-Too company. They have gone out of their way to try to bring the industry forward.

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