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February 17, 2005

Don't get me started!
   [ posted by: R.I.P ]
Chris (Dr. Otto) and his readers are having a rather spirited discussion over in his forum currently about the PSP vs. DS for no other reason than to just stir up an argument. I finally had to drop in my thoughts on the matter when Chris added to his current idea that the PSP is going to revolutionize the hand-held market unless they have a serious hardware flaw.
My response posted there, also runs below...
...Even if there is a serious flaw (in the PSP hardware), it isn't going to change anything on Sony's part. Look how many persistent and well documented flaws where in the original PlayStation from day one. They denied, denied and denied... and then when they would admit there *might* be a problem, it was a "user problem". This was all bull-sh*t because (as I've noted many times in the past) Game Zero received launch PlayStation hardware from Sony directory for reviewing on and it manifested every single problem out of the box. The red line down the screen, the tracking issues where you had to stand the system on it's side or upside down in order to keep it from skipping on videos, etc...
The PS2 was no better, I bought a launch system (picked it up on release day), (with the early problematic DVD drivers that Sony refused to take action on unless you wanted to fork out the bucks for the Sony branded DVD remote) and I finally gave up a year ago and bought our second PS2 because the first one just refused to load games anymore... and as with the original PS, Sony says, there's no problem, these systems fail because of user abuse. F*ck them, I take great care of all of my systems as a collector and gamer.
I've only had two other game systems ever give me problems. The first was the original Turbo-Grafx-CD which was a 1-spin CD-ROM that we absolutely abused. It even spent duty as a portable CD player. My problem with it is as it's been from day one. No shock dampening. If some one breathed at the other end of the house and the CD skiped! Although, we eventually figured out that a bath towel folded twice over and placed under the unit would dampen vibration enough to deal with this issue.
The second was our 3DO FZ-10 which abruptly exploded one day. Literally. Actually I keep thinking I should blame the controller on this one as it appeared that something shorted in the controller and caused the controller port to become grounded. It went "POP!", smoke came out of the front of the unit, and when I took it apart the whole controller mount was charred with carbon, and the controller had damage to it's circuit board.
So, in retrospect, the PlayStation line is the only game platform I've really had consistent hardware problems with that are actual system/design defects. Hmm...
I guess, at least with the PSP I have to give them credit for telling the users up front, "yeah it's busted, we made it that way on purpose because we felt like it so go stuff yourself since you're going to buy it anyways". Not to mention the "we wouln't talk about it" subject of the design problem of the PSP that allows the mini-CD to forcefully eject itself from the player if you tork the unit during intense gameplay. Which begs the question of... didn't they have any real gamers actually play this thing. If they had, they would have caught this before it made it out the door... but then again, they probably did and just like all of the other well documented flaws in Sony's gaming hardware, they probably decided to ignore it. But will charge you $50 service to fix it if you want!?! Well you know what, I'm not buying a PSP. It's too expensive. When they get the price down to around $100 we can talk. I already burned myself spending more than that on a DS, and now feel I should have waited (we'll see how WarioWare Touched is tonight when I get home with it after work).
Speaking of the DS though, I bought one since I happened to have some extra money burning a hole in my pocket when pre-orders were going and I've had some moments of regretting the purchase. Especially since there have been no games, and worst of all they keep pushing back the only game I was really interested in buying (Metroid). The DS launch feels rushed and the smell is bringing back memories of the Saturn launch.
My two biggest gripes with the DS are:
#1) the system should have been branded a GameBoy system. Everyone calls it the GameBoy DS, and people who don't call it a GameBoy frequently call it the "DL" because they can't remember what the hell it's called. Bad marketing move. Period. Most consumers unfortunately, refuse to think to much about any one subject and if you confuse them to much about your products, you're going to loose a sale, or worse if you trick them into a sale they regret, you may loose a future customer.
#2) allowing GBA games to be played in the system, but not providing/allowing multi-player support in the games. What they h*ll was the thinking behind this decision? So now I have to carry both my GBA and DS around with me when I want portable gaming with my family? I had hoped that atleast the wireless portion would be compatible with the GBA wireless adapter, but Noooooo. Stupid me for thinking that. No multiplayer gaming, period... (huge string of explicatives best left deleted). This one puts me through the roof every time I get started thinking about it. Even if it added $5 a unit to the price they should have done it. Half-@ssed GBA support might as well have been the same as no GBA support for me. This all starts to look like bad management directions on the part of Nintendo, and I have to truly wonder what's going on over there.
And now with the recent rumor creeping the net that a new GameBoy platform will be coming out next year? Parents do not like to blow $100 every other year on hardware for their kids. Even adults get sick of this. I see this risks getting old fast and Just like when Sega got into releasing a new Genesis flavor/extension every time you turned around, this crap could really come back to bite Nintendo in the ass. Someone needs to pull out their history books and take a good hard read before we have a repeat of the mid 90's.
Hello?!? Nintendo, anyone home? You can shout as loud as you want to try and drown out your customer's voices, but the *fact* is that the DS *is* a GameBoy system in the eyes of your consumer's, and you have now released three GameBoy systems in the last three years. Please stop.
And to everyone else... sorry for the rant... whew.

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