Two questions. Why is the controller so weird? And — What’s with the Spider-Man (movie) font?
[UPDATE] Sony gave it a slot-loading DVD tray. I see this as the key feature that will out-cool the Xbox 360. Sony will also pack it with a bunch of slots for Memory Stick Duo, SD media, and CompactFlash.
Here’s the feature that I’m stuck thinking about. It will feature HDTV outputs for two devices. In January, I got a widescreen TV that supports HDTV. I am not going to get a second HDTV anytime soon. However, I still have a 13 inch TV. I still have my old 15 inch monitor. If I could hook one of these up to the PS3 as the second display, I’d almost certainly do it. But I’ve got to think that a setup like that would start to make my room, apartment, house, whatever look like the workstation in the Matrix. Some people might not want two TVs set up. Some people might not have that second TV. Some people might not have room for a second TV. The Xbox sold poorly in Japan. Why? Because it’s so big, and from what I understand homes in Japan are packed pretty tightly.
Now let’s extend this. If the entire Japanese market ignores this two-screen functionality, developers will ignore it. If the whole rest of the world just doesn’t pick up on this, developers will ignore it.
Let’s look at this in a wider perspective. Sony included all these media slots. Two HDTV outputs. Superpowerful processor. Built-in Wi-Fi. Slot-loading tray. What am I getting at? Cost. How much is this thing going to cost at retail? $300? $350? $400?
Looking at the Xbox 360, I’m almost certain that Microsoft will sell that sucker for $300. MS made a change from the first Xbox in that they where Nvidia owned the video processor and Intel owned the CPU, Microsoft owns everything in the 360. This means when Microsoft drops the price of the 360 two or three years from now, they will have no locked-in price with a supplier to cut into margins as they did this time around. Sony? The PS3 uses an Nvidia video processor (or two).
I have this sinking feeling that Sony is going to charge $400 for the PS3 and that it will never be able to drop the price below $200. Microsoft won’t drop the 360’s price to coincide with the PS3’s release (that’s what Halo 3 is for) — but it could drop the price, say twenty bucks for Christmas 2006. This could kill Sony. Look out for it.