News: PS3, the new Saturn

| brandon

saturn.jpgLest we forget our history, my GDmag coworker Jeff reminded me that almost everything Kaz Hirai is saying about the PS3 was previously said about the Saturn. Take note of the quote I linked below. Now read this statement from the aforelinked Saturn whitepaper: “This growth won’t be possible on competing systems that offer a simpler architecture. It may be easier in some ways for developers to create programs for the competition because there’s less to learn and work with from a technology standpoint — but that means that developers are much more likely to run up against the limits of the system in a short span of time. The simpler structure of competing architectures also increases the chance that games will be “ported” from other systems (other game systems or even personal computers), which results in games that are generic and not optimized for performance and special features.

In contrast, the sophistication of the Sega Saturn pays off for both developers and consumers alike over the long term. Developers will continue to discover new ways to wield their creative talents, and game players will have an ongoing supply of new, inventive, out-there, beyond-cool titles for their Sega Saturn systems.

That kind of logic is destined for failure. At the same time the Saturn is one of my favorite systems ever. Does this mean the PS3 will eventually be one of my favorite systems? The industry has changed enough that developers no long really “choose” a console, but rather develop somewhat agnostically and port as they can. The current climate does not seem conducive to the kind of quirky hardware differentiation of times past. So with that in mind, Sony had better learn from the past, or the ghost of Sega will come and have its revenge!

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