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Author Topic: Epic Games - "Sony is still the one to beat"  (Read 1587 times)
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Hetz
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« on: March 14, 2007, 08:44:54 PM »

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=23503

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Epic Games VP Mark Rein has taken on Sony's critics, saying that he believes the strength of the PlayStation brand and the company's ongoing strategy will ensure PS3 is a success.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz in an interview at GDC last week, Rein said, "Sony has a very, very strong brand, so in my opinion, they're still the one to beat.

"The Wii is an impressive piece of hardware, but as you get the visually more impressive games coming out for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, as the marketing dollars get turned up to support the larger quantities of machines, with potential price drops and titles like Singstar which appeal to the larger market... Those machines will ignite, they'll take off, and they'll sell just fine."

Rein questioned some of the criticisms which have been levelled at Sony in recent months, particularly with regard to the amount of PS3 stock currently available in US stores.

"So wait, if they don't have enough machines in stores, that's a bad thing? If they do have enough machines, that's a bad thing? Pick one!

"People just seem to want to take a smack at [Sony], and I can't figure it out. They're the leader, so I guess they have a target on their back."



He has a point. People are saying Sony has "killed the brand" as the song goes....but you know in the end the strength of their franchises will carry the day again for them.

*edit* Let's keep it civil, ok? I don't want to fight. I will be happy to discuss this though in a mature manner. See I even posted a funny picture to start off this thread with a laugh! smile

*edit 2* Wow, I had no idea they started work on Home back in 2004!
« Last Edit: March 14, 2007, 08:53:25 PM by Hetz » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2007, 08:58:30 PM »

I would have eyed that claim skepticly.. but then I saw the presentation for LittleBigPlanet.
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2007, 09:14:22 PM »

Quote from: Hetz on March 14, 2007, 08:44:54 PM

He has a point. People are saying Sony has "killed the brand" as the song goes....but you know in the end the strength of their franchises will carry the day again for them.

He does have a point, but I still make one contention with your claim: back in the days of the N64/PS1/Saturn, Nintendo went into that generation as the king of the hill, and the conventional wisdom of the time (including my own view) was that the strength of their franchises would ensure their success.

Sadly, Nintendo was too complacent and allowed Sony to sneak up on them and steal away the market leader position. While I'm not saying that is necessarily going to happen, Sony has to actively make every effort to ensure that they stay ahead of the game. And while they may be making some solid moves, Sony has made a lot of questionable calls this time around considering the competition's offerings.

They're starting to make some good moves: the Home network and the intent of providing new and innovative content (little big planet being the primary example at this time) are a good push but we need to see more.

With more limited time and money it's going to take a lot to sell me a PS3 because I already own a 360. I'm not biased against the PS3 for any arbitrary reason (as I've said, I thoroughly enjoyed the previous two iterations of Sony's gaming machine), but I'm not biased towards it either. Heck, if anything, I was against the 360 going into this generation, but I was won over by the many strengths of the console and its growing library. I expected going into this generation that the Wii would be my most-wanted console and my first purchase, but I haven't even picked one up yet and don't know when I'll finally swing from "interested" to "buy". And the PS3 is a wild card too: the price is beyond my personal acceptability (and affordability) point right now (yes, I bought a Core 360 to start with, adding the hard drive later when I had need of it), plus there's little of interest to me on the console yet.

All of this is subject to change, of course. icon_biggrin Sony's making moves in a very good direction, and I look forward to seeing them continue down that course to see what else they surprise us with.
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2007, 09:15:50 PM »

He just wants to sell his new engine to SCEA and SOE.  It's all spin.
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2007, 09:17:21 PM »

This gets about as much credit as Kotaku reports on Analysts' downgrading sales projections.
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2007, 09:32:03 PM »

Personally what would concern me is that he didn't praise the strength of the PS3, but rather was praising the strength of the brand. 
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Hetz
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2007, 09:33:52 PM »

Quote
He does have a point, but I still make one contention with your claim: back in the days of the N64/PS1/Saturn, Nintendo went into that generation as the king of the hill, and the conventional wisdom of the time (including my own view) was that the strength of their franchises would ensure their success.

Sadly, Nintendo was too complacent and allowed Sony to sneak up on them and steal away the market leader position. While I'm not saying that is necessarily going to happen, Sony has to actively make every effort to ensure that they stay ahead of the game. And while they may be making some solid moves, Sony has made a lot of questionable calls this time around considering the competition's offerings.

Yep, that is a very good point and one that has occured to me as well. Sony needs to cut the "we will win because we are the best" and make people want to get the system based on the strength of the games available...not because they say we should buy it cause they are the best. I do think that the games are starting to speak for themselves, IMO, and Harrison needs to shut his trap. Later this year with the launch of home and some great games (Ratchet and Clank, Devil May Cry 4 etc..), things will really start to heat up.

However, one thing IMO that is different from Nintendo then and Sony now: Stubbornly sticking to the past. Nintendo refused to give up cartridges. They insisited on having high priced carts than couldn't do FMV or CD Quailty Audio, which were big new things back then. They also lacked the storage page for larger games, like Final Fantasy VII, in fact...that is one of the main reasons why they lost the Final Fantasy series to Sony. You can say a lot about Sony, but one thing you can't fault them on is sticking to the past. They have developed a ton of new IP's for each generation and pushed hardware bounderies with CD, DVD and now Blu-Ray. Yes, you can fault them for the price....but I do commend them for taking a chance and not sticking to DVD's, because Blu-Ray has a great upside to it, if used correctly.

My 2 cents. smile
« Last Edit: March 14, 2007, 09:35:55 PM by Hetz » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2007, 10:19:51 PM »

Quote from: Hetz on March 14, 2007, 09:33:52 PM

However, one thing IMO that is different from Nintendo then and Sony now: Stubbornly sticking to the past. Nintendo refused to give up cartridges. They insisited on having high priced carts than couldn't do FMV or CD Quailty Audio, which were big new things back then. They also lacked the storage page for larger games, like Final Fantasy VII, in fact...that is one of the main reasons why they lost the Final Fantasy series to Sony. You can say a lot about Sony, but one thing you can't fault them on is sticking to the past. They have developed a ton of new IP's for each generation and pushed hardware bounderies with CD, DVD and now Blu-Ray. Yes, you can fault them for the price....but I do commend them for taking a chance and not sticking to DVD's, because Blu-Ray has a great upside to it, if used correctly.

My 2 cents. smile

I agree. While we're still in the timeframe when the move to Blu-Ray remains questionable for many reasons, taking the risks on new ideas/technology is better than just stubbornly sticking to the old ways. Sometimes sticking with the old technology is better. I honestly don't know which path was the better move: MS's or Sony's. While I debate the necessity of a newer disc format just yet, I won't deny that  the new format does leave more room for growth! Nintendo took a risk of a different kind this time around, and we'll see how that will play out too.

One thing we should all be able to agree on: it's still far too early to really know how things will play out over the course of this generation. It's a much tighter race due to a larger number of factors this time around than last time.
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2007, 10:22:52 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on March 14, 2007, 09:32:03 PM

Personally what would concern me is that he didn't praise the strength of the PS3, but rather was praising the strength of the brand. 

Doesn't really factor in for the console's success chances in my opinion. The PSP is a more powerful system than the DS, but the DS is the clear winner so far in market share overall. The PS2 was the weakest of the three consoles last round, and yet it left the X-Box and Gamecube crying in the corner (in the world market; the US market wasn't quite that huge of a blowout, though it was still the clear market leader).
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Doopri
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2007, 11:45:56 PM »

hes totally wrong - the phantom is totally THE console to beat this generation
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2007, 12:26:27 AM »

I keep hearing "the strength of the brand", but that seems like a complete and utter non-issue to me.  The XBox 360 is a brand with recognition.  And Nintendo... talk about a strong brand.

Also, no matter how they try to spin it, PS2 owners do not equal future PS3 owners.  Every console is going to have to stand on it's own merits.  Backward compatibility is only one purchasing consideration out of many.

And if anything, the fact that the PS2 is still selling so well actually works AGAINST Sony, rather than for it.  To me, it looks like people buying PS2s are potential PS3 sales which Sony failed to close the deal on.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2007, 12:28:35 AM by unbreakable » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2007, 12:31:05 AM »

Quote from: unbreakable on March 15, 2007, 12:26:27 AM

Also, no matter how they try to spin it, PS2 owners do not equal future PS3 owners.  Every console is going to have to stand on it's own merits.  Backward compatibility is only one purchasing consideration out of many.

It's one hell of a consideration though.  For someone with a gigantic PS2 library, a PS3 is still the logical upgrade.  Aside from just keeping the PS2 in rotation I suppose.

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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2007, 07:15:07 AM »

"So wait, if they don't have enough machines in stores, that's a bad thing? If they do have enough machines, that's a bad thing? Pick one!

This comment by him is just stupid.

I have a question for Mark. Would Sony rather have the criticism of there still not being enough systems to sell right now like Nintendo or having people criticize about there already being systems sitting unsold right after the launch of the so called 'uber system'...
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2007, 07:28:54 AM »

I want a PS3, thats all I have to say, just the style design of it makes me want one, I want to see its curves shimmer in my family room.

But its fricken expensive and other than the pretty looks it doesnt have much stuff to do yet, games, online, etc.
I can wait...
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2007, 07:56:58 AM »

with the recent rumour that gears of war has racked up 4million copies and is on its way to knocking halo 1 from its spot(and then onto Halo2)...i think its time MS put some loose change together to purchase Epic,even though i thought GoW was good..not megatastic like everyone says,i do see what the title has done for MS

as for comments about sony,i think he is right that sony ARE still the one to beat,but things still change....nintendo had the number 1 spot for a long time for 10 years or so,and sony have ,to be fair had the number 1 spot for 10 years..or prolly more....i still think that there is room for all 3...none of them have 'done a SEGA'...even though nintendo was rumoured awhile ago to be doing it,thankfully not doing

sony may still be the ones to beat,but this time round i think its gonna be a much more even race/war...for nintendo its the compatibilty for their games with the Wii-mote i think ...and for sony and MS its exclusive games...IMO anyway
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2007, 11:07:07 AM »

Quote from: metallicorphan on March 15, 2007, 07:56:58 AM

with the recent rumour that gears of war has racked up 4million copies and is on its way to knocking halo 1 from its spot(and then onto Halo2)...i think its time MS put some loose change together to purchase Epic,even though i thought GoW was good..not megatastic like everyone says,i do see what the title has done for MS

as for comments about sony,i think he is right that sony ARE still the one to beat,but things still change....nintendo had the number 1 spot for a long time for 10 years or so,and sony have ,to be fair had the number 1 spot for 10 years..or prolly more....i still think that there is room for all 3...none of them have 'done a SEGA'...even though nintendo was rumoured awhile ago to be doing it,thankfully not doing

sony may still be the ones to beat,but this time round i think its gonna be a much more even race/war...for nintendo its the compatibilty for their games with the Wii-mote i think ...and for sony and MS its exclusive games...IMO anyway

I know MS could afford it, but it would put a huge loss into their games division for the year and Epic likely doesn't want to sell. They make the Unreal engine and make a tremendous amount of money licensing it. I can't fathom why they would want to be bought out and have that money go elsewhere unless the buyout price is truly obscene-and I don't think MS can risk hemmoraging that much cash.
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2007, 12:31:13 PM »

Wow, what a shocking statement.  I mean, it's almost like Epic has some kind of sweet deal like a licensing agreement with Sony where Sony has sublicensing rights to the UE3 engine or something  slywink

Note a previous Mark Rein statement- "Sony says the next generation starts when they say so - bullshit!"
« Last Edit: March 15, 2007, 12:37:19 PM by kathode » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2007, 12:37:50 PM »

Quote from: kathode on March 15, 2007, 12:31:13 PM

Wow, what a shocking statement.  I mean, it's almost like Epic has some kind of sweet deal like a licensing agreement with Sony where Sony has sublicensing rights to the UE3 engine or something  slywink

Note a previous Mark Rein statement prior to the deal - "Sony says the next generation starts when they say so - bullshit!"

BURN BETHESDA FANBOY!! Microsoft own you haxxor!! Your opinion is tainto!  ban
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2007, 12:41:50 PM »

Quote from: Calvin on March 15, 2007, 12:37:50 PM

Quote from: kathode on March 15, 2007, 12:31:13 PM

Wow, what a shocking statement.  I mean, it's almost like Epic has some kind of sweet deal like a licensing agreement with Sony where Sony has sublicensing rights to the UE3 engine or something  slywink

Note a previous Mark Rein statement - "Sony says the next generation starts when they say so - bullshit!"

BURN BETHESDA FANBOY!! Microsoft own you haxxor!! Your opinion is tainto!  ban

 icon_lol

I made a ninja edit - it turns out that statement was probably not prior to the Sony deal, which makes me respect him a little more than I thought I did.  Still, a lot of Mark Rein's press statements come off like flavor-of-the-month controversial soundbites to me, even the times when I don't necessarily disagree with him. 
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« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2007, 01:10:30 PM »

I like Mark Rein's interviews, I think he is funny, and I love the games I presume he helps make-but I agree that he frequently comes off as a "flavor of the month" type of guy.
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« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2007, 01:36:59 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on March 15, 2007, 12:26:27 AM

And if anything, the fact that the PS2 is still selling so well actually works AGAINST Sony, rather than for it.  To me, it looks like people buying PS2s are potential PS3 sales which Sony failed to close the deal on.

I disagree with that- people looking to buy a $129.99 console are not the same people looking to buy a $500 or $600 console (or even a $400 360). 
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« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2007, 02:40:50 PM »

Until the price point drops on the PS3 it will always be the number 3 system for me with the Wii being the number 2.  Sad, cause I LOVED my PS2 dearly. 
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« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2007, 04:03:47 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 15, 2007, 01:36:59 PM

Quote from: unbreakable on March 15, 2007, 12:26:27 AM

And if anything, the fact that the PS2 is still selling so well actually works AGAINST Sony, rather than for it.  To me, it looks like people buying PS2s are potential PS3 sales which Sony failed to close the deal on.

I disagree with that- people looking to buy a $129.99 console are not the same people looking to buy a $500 or $600 console (or even a $400 360). 

I can only speak for myself, but I had been holding off a PS2 purchase and contemplating getting a PS3.  But when they stated it would be $600... I just went and picked up a PS2.

Now assuming my attitude isn't a freak aberration (it wouldn't be the first time), I'm guessing a similar internal dialogue was going on with just about everyone who has purchased a PS2 in the recent past.
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« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2007, 04:15:56 PM »

Don't have a PS3, don't want a PS3, don't care if they ever drop the price.  As far as I'm concerned Sony lost this round.  Let's hope they do a better job next time.  I love my PS2 and it still gets played on occasion, but with their "It's Sony, you'll buy it and like it!" attitude coupled with the outrageous price, and then add in the asstastic launch line-up = no interest what-so-ever from this gamer.  Their happy little building game didn't impress, looked pretty but also like it would get old real quick.

And I really couldn't care less what Mark Rein thinks.  He goes with the flow, and in this case it sounds like the "flow" is Sony cash flowing right into his pocket.  I could be wrong, but I really don't care either way.  smile

glyc
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« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2007, 04:18:18 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on March 15, 2007, 04:03:47 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 15, 2007, 01:36:59 PM

Quote from: unbreakable on March 15, 2007, 12:26:27 AM

And if anything, the fact that the PS2 is still selling so well actually works AGAINST Sony, rather than for it.  To me, it looks like people buying PS2s are potential PS3 sales which Sony failed to close the deal on.

I disagree with that- people looking to buy a $129.99 console are not the same people looking to buy a $500 or $600 console (or even a $400 360).

I can only speak for myself, but I had been holding off a PS2 purchase and contemplating getting a PS3.  But when they stated it would be $600... I just went and picked up a PS2.

Now assuming my attitude isn't a freak aberration (it wouldn't be the first time), I'm guessing a similar internal dialogue was going on with just about everyone who has purchased a PS2 in the recent past.

I think most of our attitudes are abberrations- we're a part of the hardcore gaming community and in that community it's the vast minority of people who don't or haven't had a PS2 at one point since it's release.  That small segment (hardcore gamers without a PS2) isn't big enough to post the numbers that the PS2 was doing over the holidays.

Instead, I believe that the large numbers the PS2 continues to put up are driven by people who are *very* casual when it comes to video games and/or  are also very price conscious about such things (ie non-gaming parents buying for their kids).  Maybe some of those people might consider a Wii for double the price but the 360 and PS3 just aren't going to be on their radar at all for a good number of years.   
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« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2007, 05:52:56 PM »

That's somewhat my point.  The PS3 may offer appeal to hardcore of the hardcore gamers, but I'm not sure a successful strategy involves appealing to a subset of a subset.  And... the price of the console pretty much keeps it there, since $600 doesn't really lend itself well to impulse purchases, or even a holiday gift.  That's the sort of thing which would have made my parents tell me not to expect a gift for my next birthday, and probably the Christmas after that as well, and likely the birthday after that.

Heck, that's the kind of gift even a kid would (should?) be embarrased to ask for.  It's like a 16 year old asking for an Aston-Martin.
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« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2007, 05:59:22 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on March 15, 2007, 05:52:56 PM

That's somewhat my point.  The PS3 may offer appeal to hardcore of the hardcore gamers, but I'm not sure a successful strategy involves appealing to a subset of a subset.  And... the price of the console pretty much keeps it there, since $600 doesn't really lend itself well to impulse purchases, or even a holiday gift.  That's the sort of thing which would have made my parents tell me not to expect a gift for my next birthday, and probably the Christmas after that as well, and likely the birthday after that.

Heck, that's the kind of gift even a kid would (should?) be embarrased to ask for.  It's like a 16 year old asking for an Aston-Martin.

Sure, the PS3 has it's own share of issues right now that they need to overcome.  I'm just of the opinion that a continued strong PS2 only helps them while they work to overcome the issues. 
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« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2007, 06:38:13 PM »

I'm just thinking it's going to make me want to skip this generation and wait for the PS4...

..and then I'll end up balking at the announced $1000 pricetag and getting a $250 PS3.
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