No PS3 surprises at CES keynote address

Sony CEO Howard Stringer touts Sony's overall digital vision as Kaz Hirai rehashes E3 footage, talks PSP and PS2.

LAS VEGAS--For gamers, no event at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show was as anticipated as Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer's keynote address. While yesterday's Microsoft presentation did have some surprises--like an HD-DVD peripheral and Capcom Xbox Live Arcade games--the fact that the Xbox 360 is already on the market made it largely moot, from a gaming perspective. Not so Stringer's address, which many hoped would offer new revelations about Sony's next-generation console, the PlayStation 3.

Unfortunately, Stringer chose to focus more on Sony's overall vision of a "digital future" than on games in particular. After a series of flashy multimedia presentations, the wealthy Welshman began a keynote address, which hewed closely to the official Sony CES 2006 Web site.

Both the site and Stringer's speech outlined the company's four-pronged plan of attack for the digital age. The first prong the CEO mentioned was e-Entertainment, the concept of using--what else--Sony electronics to access entertainment in new ways from any location. As examples, Stringer trotted out the new Sony Ericsson W810 mobile phone with Walkman music playback and the Sony Reader, a slim new e-book device.

However, it was only when Stringer whipped out a PSP that gamers' ears perked up. Stringer used the handheld to show off LocationFree, Sony's Internet-enabled video system, which streams video to multiple TVs, PCs, or PSPs wirelessly or over the Web. To demonstrate, Stringer showed a live East Coast TV broadcast being played onto the PSP via a nearby Wi-Fi hotspot.

Several celebrities joined Stringer to help tout the second aspect of Sony's four-part plan, Digital Cinema. Unsurprisingly, all three--actor Tom Hanks, director Ron Howard, and producer Brian Grazer--are involved in a major Sony film production, Columbia Pictures' forthcoming The Da Vinci Code.

Of greater interest to gamers was Sony's third prong, Higher Definition. Similar to Microsoft's prophecy of the forthcoming "HD Era," this part of Sony's plan outlines how it will (hopefully) dominate HDTV entertainment. Its cornerstone is Blu-ray Disc, the next-generation media format that is vying against HD-DVD, backed by Microsoft and Toshiba, to succeed the current standard, DVD. The PlayStation 3 will come with an internal BD-ROM drive, while the Xbox 360 will require users to buy an external HD-DVD peripheral.

To help drive home the importance of Blu-Ray, Stringer was joined on stage by Michael Dell, founder and chairman of Dell Computer. In a presentation tailor-made to counter Microsoft's hyping of HD-DVD the previous evening, Dell said that BD-ROM was a format that would last over 10 years. He also reiterated his company's support for the format, which can store upward of 50GB of data on a single disc.

Unfortunately, when it came to the fourth part of Sony's digital future vision, PlayStation, the Sony keynote address disappointed. Stringer, a masterful presenter, ceded the floor to Kaz Hirai, the similarly smooth president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, who talked about...the PlayStation 2. Hirai said the console actually saw a 10 percent year-on-year increase in holiday sales, contradicting many analysts' predictions. He also elicited chuckles by pointing out that both the PS2 and the PSP outsold the hard-to-find Xbox 360 over the holidays. He also took a verbal swipe at Sony's next-gen rival, saying, "The next generation doesn't start until we say it does."

When the subject did turn to the PlayStation 3, Hirai offered no major new information. He did say that the console is a "key pillar of Sony growth in 2006"--reconfirming its release this year--and said Sony has shipped out 4,000 software development kits for the console worldwide. Otherwise, though, Hirai merely restated previously known information about the PS3. He said its CPU, the vaunted Cell processor, would use only seven of its eight cores, and, yes, the console would be backward-compatible with both PS2 and original PlayStation games.

Hirai's multimedia presentation also contained nothing new about the PS3. After running through a series of slides showing a nonfunctioning PS3 console and its controversial "batarang" controller, the lights dimmed. Then trailers for MotorStorm, Formula 1, Vision Gran Turismo, Lair, and Warhawk were shown--the same trailers Sony showed at E3 last May. The only one with any discernible additions was Vision Gran Turismo, which had a flashy new introduction.

With that, Stringer retook the stage to deliver his closing comments. But by that time, many gamers in the audience had tuned out, already calculating when they might get a closer look at the PS3. Luckily, it won't be long until their next opportunity--the 2006 Game Developers Conference is less than two months away.

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221 comments
Sh0GuNz
Sh0GuNz

ps3 for end of 2006 woOt

majin_vegeta300
majin_vegeta300

They can say the next generation dosent start untill they say so all they want, but it has, they're just in denial (not a fanboy, just stating truth)

PaulH_1980
PaulH_1980

This whole thing reminds me of the episode of the Simpsons where Homer finds his long lost brother Herb Simpson, who then lets Homer design his companies next generation car. All the innovation and ideas are great but sometimes it can just get out of control. Also I remember the reaction of the crowd when they released the price point of that modern day marvel. hehe Anyway I have been watching the PS3 and XBox360 since information first started coming out on both systems and I am still waiting so I can make an informed decision. One thing that irritates me is hearing people comment about "getting a job" because spending $500-1000 should be perfectly reasonable. Sorry to say but for those of us that are the target audience of these systems that IS ALOT of money. I pay my own bills, rent, food, gas, car insurance etc. My parents do not offer the finacial support some must receive to casually throw down $500+ on a game system. To be realistic there are a lot of gamers out there that don't make 50k a year or have parents who are willing to support them indefinitely so in the end my business will go to the company that offers the most value for my dollar. It's irrelevant if you have the most powerful system out there if you isolate half your audience through over pricing your system. I can understand wanting to be innovative, but at the same time be realistic. Whatever happened to the Segway Human Transporter. Tons of hype about how it is going to change the world, and in the end only rich people own them. This is not a flame towards Sony or Microsoft, I just think both need to be realistic. As I said, in the end my money will go to whoever delivers the most experience for the lowest cost.

brotherscampos
brotherscampos

I think Sony know what they do but we are very nervius all the days and wait for answer about the PS3. But I feel the E3 is the date for to know what we will receive from them

tcn1019
tcn1019

"The next generation doesn't start until we say it does." Haha...damn that's pretty cocky of him. Then again Sony can afford to be cocky every now and then

Das_Spence
Das_Spence

Never would of thought sony would do a Nintendo and hold back info ;) Oh yeah...Sean05....PS2 sales being higher was because there was no 360's to actually sell since they sold out ^^ I find Sony need to concentrate more on keeping the prices down and concentrate on the games more since all I hear is their vision for a media centre harmony. Only problem with this is that they're already out...they are called "Media Centre PCs"... :P The games of the new PS3 don't seem all that spectacular tbh since it's just like the old ones with new graphics(e.g.MGS4 and GT5) and I can't really say that Microsoft were that much different but at least they have a whole slew of exclusives for next year....such as Gears of War and Lost Odessey as well as some awesome sequels such as KOTOR3... I am indeed a 360 owner but I'd like to see Sony get their asses into gear so Microsoft can stop slacking :)

SuraTek
SuraTek

It's true sony's acting all high and mighty, but maybe its all part of their strategy. We might have to wait becuase of this "strategy" but I'm sure its going to be worth it in the end. If your a real die hard playstation fan you would understand. I'm sure someone would of mentioned this already...I just don't have time to look through 9 or so pages of comments. Mwahaha chances are no one is reading this comment...

lee291
lee291

all i can say is good things take time, they rushed the 360 just to get to the market b4 the ps3 and look at the crappy games they have. when the ps3 comes out i bet there will be more than just 20 games to chose from

bobomb64
bobomb64

Nintendo are the smart ones. They have just sat back and watched the idiots bragging about how good their consoles are; even though there not that good at all. Sony have their heads so far up their own **** i dont know where they start or begin. As for Microsoft and Gates, well, their just after your money. The Xbox graphics may look good but the gamplay isn't there. Perfect Dark on the 64 had better gamplay, All X-box have done is glossed things up a bit. At the end of the day i don't need a console that can do a dance or make me a cuppa. I need a console that can privide me with the best and ultimate gaming experience, me and you are only going to get it from the revolution, trust! I have always noticed how playstation games have always looked a bit blocky, and not quite as smooth and polished off as a gamecube game does. Look at any title on multi-format, a good one is warrior within. It will always look that bit better on the gamecube because the machine is so much better. Who cares about what is says on paper, the nintendo consoles are much better. I mean look at the England football team, on paper they are worth millions. On the pitch they are crap! Trust me, don't rush out and grb a 360 or ps3. Wait for a whole new gaming revolution that Nintendo are going to give us.

touree
touree

There is no doubt, that PS3 is going to be the top system out there, but I wonder what their other competitors think of Sony now (promises, promises) that the systems release got pushed back even further, "thats just great". All this time waisted making movie footage when there isn't even one finished game, with some..... kind of game footage out there. If there wasn't any real games finished then WHY show any video at all. We all know that when a company or business put alot of money into something (like the games for instants) they would like to see that product grow into something big while they sit back and reap the rewards, of knowing that they came out with something that was worth the cost. I leave now with a commented question "are the developers of these fantastic games that were to be released as PS3 exclusives really going to wait for the PS3 launch anymore".

cyber_sonix
cyber_sonix

I am going to have to agree with Ortadragoon, everytime I see Kaz on stage, I feel a little dead inside. Mostly because I know all he is there for is to make up false statistics and keep peoples interest in the ps3. The fact of the matter is, sony has yet to present a working console, release date, a finished controller, price, or playable game. It looks like all the games they've shown (other then msg4) have been pre-rendered so, that doesnt tell me anything about the hardware or what its capable of. So, if sony really is on the right track, why not release more information about their product? Are they waiting for the right time? Because as we speak, people are looking and bidding furiously just to get a core system. I know because I work at a Target store in the electronics department and we get calls all the time asking if we have any xbox 360s.I was lucky enough to grab mine one day at 8am. They usually sell out around an hour after the store opens through word of mouth and whatnot (since we dont hold or take reservations). Wouldnt you think sony would give us more information about the heart of their operation now to possibly halt xbox sales? I've seen that the ps2 and psp have sold better then 360s, but only because they're are more of them. Otherwise I think 360 would have beaten out ps2. I guess I am not in the business, but if sony wants to smash any rumor about not making a 2006 launch, they should give us more information rather then keep seeding us the same data they did almost a year ago. just my two cents. p.s. I am not a xbox fan boy, I intend on getting a ps3, I am just sick of sony beating around the bush.

Ortadragoon
Ortadragoon

1. I see ol' Kaz hasn't changed. He's still a cocky prick who thinks his company is invincible. I have news for you, Kaz. Yamuachi thought the same thing back in 1995-96 with the Nintendo 64. Look at what happened. 2. They rehashd old trailers? What the hell? Why not show something new. Plus, if you are going to rehash, at least use Metal Gear Solid 4. It's the only true Playstation 3 game so far, since the rest are pretty much pre-rendered and are "approximations" at this point. 3. He brags about the Playstation 2 and the Playstation Portable outselling the Xbox-360. Ok, first off Kaz and all you Playstation fanboys, there were plenty of Playstation 2's to go around. Sony delivered more PS2's last holiday season then any other time in the console's lifecycle. You could actually find them. Second, the PSP is a handheld, not a console. It doesn't influence consoles, even if it is priced like one. It doesn't compete. Plus, there were plenty of them to go around. Finally, there were not plenty of Xbox-360's to go around. They were using a new manufacturing method, and the fact that the console is the most complex game console ever produced doesn't help its situation. So, just shut up, Kaz, and get a life.

biofreak12
biofreak12

Nothing cant stand XBOX live... not even Revolution without Revolutionally HDTV in it LOL... Rvolution will be bad imo. PS3 Will end up almost as good as xbox360 just without Online play and 1 year late. MS is very smart about the HD movies era, whatever format wins MS can just make a quick addon player for it's 360. So u can buy xbox360 now and with addon and then whatever format wins i bet ms will release another version of xbox with builtin technology, maybe in 2 years or so when every 2nd house will have HDTV at home.

Eszrial
Eszrial

Amazing how everyone is looking at this and sales numbers to compare what is better, ok first off i don't care what the ps2 sells are i don't care what the xbox 360 sells are i really don't care that doesn't make me want to buy a system or not. What makes me want to buy a system is what it has to offer, ps3 no one still knows but its going to work differently and all that with the cell but if your read how the cell actually works then you will realize how it wont be used in a lot of stuff especially wont be used in pc's because they are so different. I bought a ps2 when it originaly came out and just my opinion of it is i got tired of the games really quick, i traded it in for xbox and i just enjoyed the games more and thats just my opinion so no one bash about it. I enjoyed xbox live and how well it worked but what has really caught my eye is the revolution because its going to be something new and different instead of the same old stuff over and over

jason16396
jason16396

Hey i've been reading thourgh all these posts today and it sounds like a bunch of fanboys trash talking ps3. I mean dont get me wrong the PS3 could very well flop thus making Microsoft the leader of next-gen counseles. But any way i think we should all just wait until we actually have some demos of the PS3 before saying a system is better then the other one. and by the way, i hope nintendo wins the so called next gen race. one more thing if you think i'm a fanboy forget bout it i have a ps2 and a gamecube and go over my cousins house each weekend just to play halo 2 so there

i_n_k
i_n_k

Though I am a PS2 fan, its really disappointing about PS3 marketing... Its gonna be a tough market for Sony if they don't back their talk with the walk!!

ewjim
ewjim

PS 3 - RULE!!!

crazyluc
crazyluc

There is only 2 reason for buying a PS2 right now... 1-You area dumb ... or ... 2-You really really really want to play Guitar Hero. I went for reason 2 ... but feel like reason 1 ;-)

biofreak12
biofreak12

Fact is xbox360 is more powerful than ps3, and its a FACT : http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/617/617951p1.html sony and nintendo were doomed with the release of xbox 1, thanks to LIVE service. it's like a computer and the internet. No one of us can live a single day without the internet these days. It's all good sitdown and chat with ppl then play with them all kind of games... even downloaded games. Sony and Nintendo wont be able to delive anything close. MS is a real great company, that will make lots of $$$ in 2006, thanks to 360 and windows vista. Face it u cant live without MS this days. And yes u guys are right its all about the games. the best game PS2 and Nintendo had was Resident Evil 4. btw RE5 will be on xbox360 and ps3. Just Face the facts guys. BTW i dont care who will win, but the facts are talking for themselths. PS3 can be called PS2.5 because it can run Photoshop on it.

Drudaddy
Drudaddy

Sony doesnt have anything ready yet that's why there not saying nothing. It's time to just give it up and go for the xbox360 people, because sony is finished.

animeGTZ
animeGTZ

The fact that Sony had nothing new to show doesn't look very good on them, kinda looks like they are falling pretty far behind on their deadline. Everyone's screaming about them making a splash at E3...God I hope so! E3 is in early May, pretty close to the end of spring, and I don't remember seeing ANY realtime footage yet. Don't hold your breath fanboyz, we ain't gonna see a PS3 in the states till fall (if then). And before the haters start howling, I don't own a 360, I want a PS3...I'm just starting to think Sony is full of crap. I have a feeling PS3 isn't going to be all Sony wants it to be. Sony has a habit of promising the **** and underdelivering.

Enigma2K99
Enigma2K99

I'm worried that the reason they haven't given us a price on it is because they know we're not gonna like it....

niket527
niket527

ps2 and psp only outsold 360s cuz there was a shortage of 360s, that's nothin to be proud of

niket527
niket527

ps2 and psp only outsold 360 cuz there was a shortage of 360s, that's not big news

damanoconnell
damanoconnell

i think that sony has lost a grip of economy Vs. power. their PS3 is unbelievably powerful but HOW MUCH WILL IT COST that is the big questioin. i can almost guarentee that sony will not launch when they say they would. any smart company would release AT LEAST a prototype that worked and was shown working (sony never did that all we have seen is a box for all we know there could be the cell in there or just air) and some sort of playable demos wich they havn't. Don't misinterprit what im saying i am a sony fan but i just don't think that they will have it together. both HD-DVD and BR-DVD have suffored major setbacks (thats why X360 didn't launch with HD-DVD)

choas_era
choas_era

Does anyone of you that agree with Sony understand that this is the PS and Sega Saturn era all over again??? Down to the grave with PS3!!! As long as Square Enix pumps out games for the 360, PS3 really has nothing to look forward too.......HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA

limpbizkit818
limpbizkit818

coment to "sean_05". ps2 outsold the 360 because there was not enough 360 to go around. if there had been then the 360 would of smashed the ps2 in sales.

hellspawnt
hellspawnt

" And Blu Ray will flop majorly as no one has even started using the hardware yet, it isnt mainstream and players in the generic family home will not support it, nor can anyone pay 300 bucks for a Blu Ray player" You seem to forget that when DVD players were first released they cost over 1000 $. I purchased my first one for over 300$. It usually takes a few years for new technologies to become mainstream. So wether anyone has started using Blu-Ray yet is irrelevant. Buying a periphereal for watching HD movies won't be ridiculous as long as the price of this add-on is less then a stand-alone HD-DVD player. Honestly I've never liked any of the consoles as DVD players... I'll use a DVD player for playing DVDs just like i'll buy an HD-DVD/Blueray player for watching movies The unfortunate part is because of the 2 standards, it will be the customer that loses out if they purchase one or the other and 1 format ends up dissapearing. I'm not quite sure where you get saying that the 360 was a miserable failture thus far. Its completely sold out in North America and the demand for it is high. People out there want it and are satisfied with it, I don't call that a failure.

bioniccommando1
bioniccommando1

Dang it!! I wanna see some gameplay!! I want to know a release date!! I want at least SOME info other than sometime in 2006 and man is it cool!! I want a hot chic in a bikini to bring me drinks with an umbrella's in em!! Sorry got carried away with the wants LOL.

megamegaman
megamegaman

Who cares? The 360 has been a miserable failure thus far, like come on Microsoft admitted that the console doesnt even come HD-DVD ready, like how stupid is that. Buying a peripheral just to watch movies in HD is rediculous. And Blu Ray will flop majorly as no one has even started using the hardware yet, it isnt mainstream and players in the generic family home will not support it, nor can anyone pay 300 bucks for a Blu Ray player. Sony and MS are in way over their heads, no one will pay 600 bucks for a PS3, not in this lifetime or the next.

mutantnimda
mutantnimda

All I have to say is the xbox360 is great. The reason why the ps2 sold better is because people could get it for 120, and they could actually find it. Better than putting out a lot of one console which will start on fire. But enough with the problems of selling something you do not have. I personally think that the ps3 is going to either cost way too much for consumers or it's going to really hurt sony in the long run. They have a lot of technology to pay for in this little silver box (cell processor, BD-ROM) and I think the project is a little ambitious overall, and sony knows this. This is why they do not have a final ps3 to show off and give out all the details because they are still working out the problems that they are having with new technology. I'll probably end up with a ps3 in the end...that's just part of playing games. I just think they are holding a Jack high and trying to trick everyone into thinking Royal Flush.

jaywraw
jaywraw

PS 2 outselling 360, surprise, surprise. No PS3 news, surprise, surprise.

Go0pynose
Go0pynose

atleast there still saying a 2006 release on the ps3. :-)

blackjack4124
blackjack4124

ZZZZzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzzzz....... Okay, a bit harsh. I expect XBOXes and PS2s to outsell 360s and PS3s this year too - at least in Australia. We had our first (very low-key) ad for a 360. Embedded as a prize in a competition running for 4 months (yeah, get the prize in May...) If PS3 goes worldwide in say March (Spring 06 in the Northern Hemisphere) it could well be launching side by side with the 360 here - making it very interesting.

thatguytony
thatguytony

ArmoredAshes do you actually read any of the posts before yours? Pointing out that cheaper systems(PS2, PSP) that you can find anywhere would out sell a more expensive system that was in short supply is kind of a no brainer don't you think? So far all Sony really has is trash talk that they recycled from the last E3(the next generation starts when we say it does), and numbers that prove nothing(PS2, PSP outselling the 360). Sony are the kings of hype(they said the PS2 would have Toy Story like graphics before it came out, turned out to be a load of crap), lets see if they can actually deliver.

punisher1
punisher1

I stillsay if their not speaking now its more then likely we wont see it in the spring or summer. If we were Gamestop and electronic boutique would have signs up saying they are taking pre-orders.

bigdaddyx80
bigdaddyx80

i have lost lots of respect for sony over the years and this just make me hate them even more. first of all i had to buy 3 ps2 cause sony didnt see a problem with them, i mean seriously i cant find one person in my area where i live that never had the fatal disk read error. (i dont care what u say about xbox360..at least microsoft is fixing them for free at a rapid speed and its only a small percentage, mine works fine) 2) im pissed about the controller redesign. i hope they fix it before it ships or there might be alot of unhappy gamers. 3) i refuse to pay $500 or more for a system so i hope the predictions are wrong about the price. 4) sony really really pissed me off when i heard they were programming thier music CD's with software that will damage your computer. who now a days doesnt put thier music on thier computer so they can listen to it or switch it over to an mp3 player. sony can call it an anti piracy program all they want....i call it a big f*** you to the consumer. i buy the cd i have every right to put it on my hard drive or mp3 player if i want. sony better smarten up... its to bad, i use to be a sony fan boy too... but lately they have been taking advantage of the consumer

Khanezhyray
Khanezhyray

yep seems like they won't have it ready for march >_>. Really starting to seem like that. That means I won't get it for my birthday D:. Ah well.

Theman3788
Theman3788

wait, sony didnt deliver? wow, what a shocker.....

NeO10102525
NeO10102525

true tho.. its not like what dude on page 8 said.. respitory system.. its entertainment for bored ppl.. if you want it to own then WAIT a bit.. jeez.. some ppl are such noobs.. go buy a 2000$ compy like me and wait for ps3 to come out later on and like buy it for a tiny little 800$.. (guessing but w/e) still not that much to me ..if it is for you.. *shocker* !!GET A JOB!! *shocker*