PS3 Deathwatch: The Prelude

Okay, that’s a gloomily unwarranted title for a post, but pretty much 100 percent of the PlayStation 3 news and rumors so far has been bad. (Well, some news has been good in theory, but you know what Homer says about communism working in theory.)

The latest: The Inquirer says “the current PS3s are about 50% too large to fit in the sleek but empty boxes they have been showing off,” and Sony is still bidding on components. And Ps3Portal.com says “Sony has removed up to 25% of the available CPU power and 18.75% of RAM” for the operating system that will run the PS3. (Hat tip: Kotaku.) I don’t know exactly what that means, other than it seems like a lot of the machine’s horsepower will be used for running the system rather than for showing us cooler explosions. Kotaku thinks it’s bad news. This comes on top of rumors that while the PS3 will be playable at E3 next month, the demo units will be in short supply and tightly controlled.

The E3 rumors aren’t so bad. Microsoft didn’t have much in the way of actual games playable at E3 last year, and the May 2005 MTV informercial that introduced the 360 didn’t show any games beyond terrible-looking glimpses of Perfect Dark Zero. But at least Microsoft had the design — and, presumably, what went inside the design — nailed down, and a holiday launch seemed realistic (whether games would be ready was another matter). Sony, on the other hand, seems to be flailing about at every turn.

At this point, I’m not even worried about possible delays or high prices. I just think Sony is blinding itself with its Blu-ray obsessions and digging itself a deep hole, when it could be capitalizing on its PS2 victory and focusing on snuffing out Microsoft once and for all.

— April 15, 2006

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