Sony just stole Nintendo’s controller innovation! PS3 price also announced.

I’m watching the Sony’s Pre-E3 presentation over at Gamespot and it’s pretty close to the end. They’ve just brought out the new PS3 controller and… it looks just like the PS2 controller, except wireless. Which is just fine with me as I love the current controller and wasn’t looking forward to the “Batarang” prototype they showed last year. Then they ran a demo where they revealed that looks are deceiving as this new controller as sensors inside it that respond to you moving and tilting the controller. That’s right, the new controller has X-Y-Z, pitch, roll, yaw, and lateral motion detection all without an external sensor which is required by Nintendo’s offering in the recently named “Wii.” They showed off how this new feature will work using the playable demo of Warhawk and it appears to work pretty damn well. I can remember playing video games when we were younger and how some people would wave the controller around like it would help them control the game, now it looks like it will actually do so.

I do believe Nintendo just got punk’d by Sony!

So now they’re announcing the launch details and the PS3 is not going to be cheap. Like Microsoft, they will be releasing two versions, but the only difference between them will be the size of the HD included in the package. In North America the PS3 will launch on November 17 at a price point of $499 for the 20GB HD version and $599 for the 60GB HD. That makes the 20GB HD PS3 offering $100 more expensive than the 20GB HD version of the Xbox 360 ($399) and I’m sure Microsoft will be pleased about that, but Microsoft is now the only one of the nextgen systems without a motion sensing controller. Sony’s going to need a killer app or two to convince folks to plunk down another $100 to grab a PS3, though. It’s going to be an interesting Christmas this year.

21 thoughts on “Sony just stole Nintendo’s controller innovation! PS3 price also announced.

  1. Say what you will about the Wii, Les… and it looks like you have… being the cheapest system is always a plus.

  2. Not to sound rude or anything, but…

    The core system($500) will not only include a 20GB hard drive, but will not have the following.

    IEEE 802.11 b/g
    MemoryStick/SD/Compact Flash Slot
    x1 HDMI

    In other words, you want the complete package? You’ll have to shell out $600 for that kind of support.

  3. Motion sensing controller.  Man, I remember the days of yanking the damned Atari 2600 across the floor while swinging around playing a game.  Come to think of it, some of us old-schoolers may have to learn to calm our asses down if we’re gonna use that new tech! wink

    Yeah, a few years from now, if Nintendo remains distant third, people will be talking how Nintendo “copied” Sony’s idea.  Took the idea and get the praise for it, just like the asshole at work who steals your big idea and passes it as his own. (I’m just being a smartass about it – the controller likely is some IEEE or other shared tech)

    Not including wireless and flash slots in the lower priced version is just enticement to buy the top version.  They could include it in the lower cost deck, but it’s almost like putting anything worth having in the top version so everyone’ll buy it instead, while they tout the lower cost deck price.

  4. Enigma, being cheapest is certainly an advantage, but it’ll only take you so far. The Gamecube has been the cheapest of the three machines of the current generation on the market pretty much from day one and that hasn’t helped move Nintendo from the third place spot. I think the Wii’s best chance to gain some ground will come from clever use of the unusual controller it sports in combo with its cheaper price. If the controller doesn’t live up to the hype or is more of a frustration to use than it should be then the cheapness of the system won’t move it off of shelves.

    UDX, looking around the net this morning I can’t find confirmation of your claims, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that were the case. I watched Sony’s presentation live last night and they certainly didn’t imply there would be any differences outside of hard drive size between the two models.

    Ragman, honestly I’m not that excited by the motion sensing aspect of the new controller as I think it could end up being more of a pain than a joy to use. My hope is that it’ll be used sparingly to enhance segments of some games—say using it to simulate keeping your balance on a tightrope or girder in Metal Gear Solid—rather than as a primary control method. I can see how it would add to a game like the Tony Hawk skateboarding series where you might use tilting the controller to maintain his balance on the board, though.

    The price is going to be the biggest barrier to the PS3’s success. A lot of the initial reaction around the net has been negative and it certainly makes me question how soon I’ll pick one up. I’m a big Playstation fan, but I may have to wait for a price drop or two before plunking down the cash for it.

  5. Ah, hadn’t checked Engadget yet this morning. Thanks for digging up the link.

    That certainly makes the $100 difference in price a little more reasonable then. I’d still probably go with the lower end model as I don’t foresee me having an HDTV compliant TV anytime soon and the card readers aren’t a critical issue for me. I would miss having the WiFi though.  I’d imagine that latter two could always be added later via the USB ports.

    Of course if I’m waiting for the price to drop anyway then I’ll just wait until the high end comes down to a reasonable level.

  6. Until I see a few titles that blow my mind I’ll stick with the PS2. All the fancy doo-hicky in the world mean jack-shit if you don’t have decent games to back it up.

    I never bought an Xbox because there weren’t enough interesting titles to make me want to burn my cash on another system. And the 360’s library is looking pretty slim so far.

    Unfortunately I don’t think the selection on any of the platforms is going to get better. The wave of the now is MMORPGs and such, so I don’t think Sony, MS and Nintendo are going to provide/support many decent off-line games.

    Sad.

    Monopoly, anyone? Risk?

  7. I have to admit that Gears of War has me considering an Xbox, but I’ll probably wait to see if it comes out for the PC first.

  8. I’m curious why people think PC Gaming hasn’t overcome entertainment systems yet.  I hardly have time to do any gaming and don’t own many games, but once I started doing first person shooters on PC I absolutely refuse to go back to consoles.  Even strategy games on consoles can’t keep me entertained because the ease at which multitasking is done on a PC is so much greater than a controller with limited functionality.  I don’t use consoles to play games any more complex than racing, martial arts and sports games, but even those have special cheap equipment you can buy to plug into the computer to make them as easy to play (controllers, steering wheels, etc.).  Those games don’t interest me a whole lot any more which is why I haven’t owned any system since the N64 (Conker’s Bad Fur Day would be the greatest game to ever exist if I could get it to work on my computer grin ).  So, why are consoles able to compete with PCs when PCs, as far as I can tell, can do everything a console can and then some?

  9. Consoles have some advantages over the PC such as not needing to worry about having to upgrade it every time you buy a new game just to run it at it’s full potential, the fact that it’s most often found in the living room and allows for multiple players to sit and play party games, the put-it-in-and-go nature of using the software, and so on.

    That said I enjoy gaming on my PC easily as much as I do my console and I actually prefer it for things such as First Person Shooters and RTS games. I don’t like playing platformers on my PC, though, or racing games or most fighting games. For those I turn to my console.

  10. Yeah, PCs definitely have that advantage..But, until now, they seemed to have the price thing down. I mean, come on, PS2s were 300 when they came out? Something like that? I don’t remember. (But it was definitely not $500)

    Getting your hands on a decent PC is a little bit pricey, but it actually may be worth it as the price of consoles begins to rise in tremendous leaps like this.

    ..At least I won’t be freaking out when the newest GTA comes out and its only for PS3..Because, if all goes well, I’ll be nicely settled in with a Voodoo or an Alienware, and not have to upgrade systems every three, four, or five years.

    Waiting for games is worth it, and PCs have a pretty badass setup goin on with the whole mousepoint and shit.

  11. So, why are consoles able to compete with PCs when PCs, as far as I can tell, can do everything a console can and then some?

    Multi-player on a 38” widescreen with surround sound speakers, in a room with enough comfy furniture for a group of people.  Easy to just plug right in.  Not to mention games you can’t get on PC does help.  More reliable – kinda hard to dick up a console like you can a PC.  In a nutshell, simplicity and convenience.

    I did like it when PC games went to mouse aiming, but WASD for movement sucks ass – it’s totally unnatural.  I’ve gotten to really like the PS2 controller and dual joystick controls for movement and aiming, but it doesn’t always work out well.  I got a logitech PS2 style for my pc, playing some XWing v TIE, but I’m still not sure it’s better than my old Thrustmaster MKI joystick in the right hand and the left on the keyboard.  Not enough buttons for everything on the PS2 controller.  But then, after I put a new HD in and loaded everything from scratch, I have PCI input device probs and can’t see my joystick, so I’m stuck with it for now.  I really should learn to use my right hand to do keyboard so I can keep moving while I’m hitting keys. 

    Haven’t tried the logitech pad with Mechwarrior yet.  I’ve wanted to get some better controls for that game with the torso twisting.  Just never wanted to spend the money on a rudder setup.

  12. Check out this video demonstrating the Wii controller.  I think it will do a lot to bridge the gap in usability between the typical controller and the PC mouse.  The sword fighting game and the FPSs look like they will be much easier than before being able to point at the screen instead of thumb-joysticking to the spot.  For the FPSs though it might be nice for them to put out a more ergonomic controller to get the gun feel.  Maybe something retro like the old NES Zapper. grin If there is one thing I’ve consistently liked about Nintendo more so than Sony, it’s that they are much more creative with their controller and console aesthetic design. 

  13. I fixed it for you. Sometimes EE gets a little slap-happy in converting some characters to HTML entities and it mangles things in the process.

    As for the controller, seeing some of the games in action yesterday helped to illustrate the possibilities it holds. I’m still not entirely sold on the idea myself, but it’s growing on me. I’ll definitely be trying one out when it hits the local stores. It’ll really come down to what games it has and how well the controller works with them.

  14. A few things should be noted that haven’t been brought up yet. 

    1.  Sony added the tilt functionality to the controller at the last minute because they were getting a little bit scared of all the hype Nintendo’s been garnering for themselves as of late.  All it is is a gyroscope, and because of the way they added it in at the last minute, they had to nix the rumble because it screwed with the sensors. 

    2.  Nintendo’s controller, while requiring an external component, are a lot better.  They sense full range of motion, up, down, left right, tilting, whatever, and the analog attachment has all the same axis.  Sony’s only has the one component, and all it does is sense tilt, it’s basically a third joystick, nothing more, nothing less. 

    3.  Last I checked Nintendo was still beating Microsoft in console sales by about twenty million.  Sony still beat them by 75 million or so though. 

    4.  Motion sensing controllers won’t be anything more than a gimmick on either Sony or Nintendo’s consoles if they don’t figure out unique ways to use it. 

    Oh, also Nintendo’s already shown off a gun shell at E3 that places the Wii-mote at the tip of the gun and the analog nunchuck attachment where the hammer/trigger are.  The analog stick is situated where the hammer on a gun would be for movement and the trigger is where you’d expect it.  They also debuted the retro-controller attachment, which is basically like an SNES controller with two joysticks down near the middle and a few more buttons for N64/Gamecube functionality.

  15. they had to nix the rumble because it screwed with the sensors.

    Could make explosions/collisions interesting if the rumble jacked with your “balance”.

    Motion sensing controllers won’t be anything more than a gimmick on either Sony or Nintendo’s consoles if they don’t figure out unique ways to use it.

      No doubt.  The glove and U-force didn’t seem to last long.

  16. Jim:
    Motion sensing controllers won’t be anything more than a gimmick on either Sony or Nintendo’s consoles if they don’t figure out unique ways to use it.

    Red Steel is going to be Wii’s Halo.  I think Nintendo will have a significant market comeback because of games like Red Steel.  I am really excited to try it.  Wii is also getting Call of Duty 3 and that looks spectacular.  Zelda: Twilight Princess demonstrated that the remote actually has a speaker in it so when Zelda uses his bow you will here the draw and whiz of the string come from your hand as the arrow flies into the screen to hit the enemy which you will hear from the TV.  Of course, fishing, tennis, baseball, golf and other sports are going to get a lot more realistic.  They didn’t show any new way to enhance Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but that wouldn’t matter a whole lot in my opinion becuase SSB is a great series anyways.  The new SSB will feature new characters Wario and Snake from Metal Gear Solid amongst others so it shows definite promise.  They even have a game where you conduct a symphony.  It just occurs to me that if some developer puts out a Harry Potter game for Wii, I think that alone could cause Nintendo to trump both Sony and Microsoft on the market because casting spells with a special flick of the wrist would become more realistic than ever. raspberry

  17. Dude, I know.  But on the other hand, while pretty cool looking none of the games on display yet have demonstrated the full potential of the Wii-mote.  All of them are prescripted motions that cause a certain action on screen.  Fancy buttons if you will.  Where’s the freeform swordfighting, the game where you get to carry a gun and a sword and pretend to be a pirate, etc.  Even Red Steel only has eight movements for the swordfights, cool as it looks. 

    I’ll still be buying one on launch after they announed the deal with Hudson Soft though.  <3 Loderunner.

  18. I’ll say this much, both Microsoft and Nintendo seemed to fair much better than Sony did at their respective pre-E3 keynotes. The high sticker price of the PS3 is going to be a big challenge for Sony to overcome and could be enough to drop them down a notch or two in terms of market share.

    I’m still not too excited about the Wii, but I’ve not actually tried one yet so I’m reserving my final judgment until I can try one at the store. I have to admit, though, that I’m looking much more favorably on the Xbox 360 these days.

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