Oh dear, Sony is generally looking like they’re getting old.
And with the revelations that Nintendo and Microsoft are to launch new consoles, Sony is looking a little bit redundant, especially after they announced that they won’t be developing a new console anytime soon as they want to develop their Move controllers further, but there’s something that Sony hasn’t really figured out.
These Move things are just rubbish! I mean, they’re awfully clever, don’t get me wrong but they knew what Microsoft were developing, they knew that Kinect was well on its way and here at the Dundee School of Computing, we knew it was a major contender, our Visual Interaction research department had been looking into 3D cameras and tracking human motion without the use of lights or other tracking tags for quite some time now.
So to see Sony boasting a system that effectively used a low quality webcam that doesn’t work in living room light, to track a glowing ping pong ball on a stick, just seemed a little old fashioned… in computing terms.
I own a Playstation 3, not an Xbox 360. When I bought my PS3, I didn’t do my research, I just wanted a bluray player and at the time, the PS3 worked out being not much more than buying a normal one. Over time, I’ve discovered various things about the PS3 that really hold it back.
It seems PS3 always see what others are doing and do something similar, just a little less. When Wii was announced to have it’s amazing motion detection controls, PS3 was suddenly announcing, a short time later, to be getting motion detection controllers, something they’d failed to mention before. They had obviously rushed to add them too, with the vibration function of the controllers suddenly stripped out to make it all work. Vibrations you see, don’t work well with accelerometers, but a little research would have fixed this, something they didn’t have time to do, because they’d only just thought of it (when i say, thought of it, i mean, Nintendo thought of it). Vibrating controllers of course came back later and but the motion detection that we gained on the PS3 controllers, well it’s fun, i like it, but it’s just not Wii.
The only thing Sony did well was to support BluRay over HD-DVD. But then, Sony own BluRay, they license the format, it makes it rather awkward for any other console to use it… we’ll see though, I doubt they can keep it to themselves forever.
Now let’s look at Sony from a developers point of view. My flatmate, does develop for Playstation consoles. To do so, he is attending what was the first University in the world to have a Games Development course, Dundee’s Abertay University. But to do so, Abertay is subject to very strict licensing. If I wanted to develop for PS3, I would have to be approved under strict regulations by Sony, it would cost me a lot, same goes for Wii. Home Brew games and apps are the new generation of software packages being made. There’s likely to be a program on your computer a program, on your smart phone or your tablet PC that was developed by someone at home.
The only console that supports home brew, is Xbox. In fact, Microsoft provides the stuff in the form of, XNA studio, to develop these games for Xbox and Windows for free. There is talk of Nintendo developing a similar platform too. Sony however is continuously striving to make sure people can not make home brew apps on their consoles and with a major hack (which I honestly believe could have been prevented) of Playstation Network User details, the Playstation network still remains down weeks later and Sony continues to not tell us stuff. Why is the Network still down? Has it been destroyed? Do you not know how to fix it?
Now we’ve got Wii2 and XBox 720 on the way and all I can think is, I wish I didn’t have a PS3. Because until Sony realise how software development is changing, I don’t think we’ll be hearing much from Sony in the coming years.
Remember Nokia? That brand of phone that everybody had? We all had a Nokia phone because they were the best. Then with the new generation of smartphones and the new generation of software made for them, we forgot about Nokia. Well if Sony don’t get ready for the next generation, we’ll forget them and their Playstation very soon too.