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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Alternate history: What if PS3 launched without Cell or Blu-Ray at $399?

There are some things I feel people aren't willing to consider. First, there were people that purchased the PS3 as a relatively cheap (for the time) Blu-Ray player. My girlfriends parents actually did this. They purchased 2 PS3's (one for her and one for the living room), but she was the only one that used it for gaming. Second, I think everyone assumes here that the PS3 without the cell would be just as powerful as the 360, but what people forget is that the 360's GPU was much more powerful than the PS3's, and that the PS3 offset this by using the Cell processor. It's entirely possible that, like the PS2 vs the Xbox, the 360 would be the best hardware.

Then there are other factors. At the launch of the PS3 there was a shortage of Blu-Ray drive materials, but this obviously wouldn't happen if they would have taken that out. Also, they cut costs on the PS3 later models by reducing backwards compatibility, but they may not have had to do this if they didn't have the Cell or Blu-Ray. Which could have impacted PS2 sales a bit, driving the hardware more towards the middle (e.g. PS2 at 130M, PS3 at 100M). Also, the 360's CPU was based around research from IBM surrounding the Cell processor, and is actually modified from that original model, so it's also possible that the 360 would have had a worse CPU in the final product.

So, this is what I ultimately predict. A 20M gain on the PS3, a 15-20M loss on the 360. A 20M loss on PS2 sales, though Wii sales stay the same. However, this also goes towards the future. Less 360 presence in America and Europe means Microsoft tries harder with the Xbox One. Hardware with that console is much more powerful due to a lack of arrogance, and no DRM fiasco. This leads to slightly more sales for the Xbox One, though PS4 still ultimately surpasses it.



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Doctor_MG said:
There are some things I feel people aren't willing to consider. First, there were people that purchased the PS3 as a relatively cheap (for the time) Blu-Ray player. My girlfriends parents actually did this. They purchased 2 PS3's (one for her and one for the living room), but she was the only one that used it for gaming. Second, I think everyone assumes here that the PS3 without the cell would be just as powerful as the 360, but what people forget is that the 360's GPU was much more powerful than the PS3's, and that the PS3 offset this by using the Cell processor. It's entirely possible that, like the PS2 vs the Xbox, the 360 would be the best hardware.

Then there are other factors. At the launch of the PS3 there was a shortage of Blu-Ray drive materials, but this obviously wouldn't happen if they would have taken that out. Also, they cut costs on the PS3 later models by reducing backwards compatibility, but they may not have had to do this if they didn't have the Cell or Blu-Ray. Which could have impacted PS2 sales a bit, driving the hardware more towards the middle (e.g. PS2 at 130M, PS3 at 100M). Also, the 360's CPU was based around research from IBM surrounding the Cell processor, and is actually modified from that original model, so it's also possible that the 360 would have had a worse CPU in the final product.

So, this is what I ultimately predict. A 20M gain on the PS3, a 15-20M loss on the 360. A 20M loss on PS2 sales, though Wii sales stay the same. However, this also goes towards the future. Less 360 presence in America and Europe means Microsoft tries harder with the Xbox One. Hardware with that console is much more powerful due to a lack of arrogance, and no DRM fiasco. This leads to slightly more sales for the Xbox One, though PS4 still ultimately surpasses it.

PS1 and PS2 were weaker than the competition and that didn't affect a single iota on the sales of both. So if PS3 because of Cell removal ended up being slightly weaker than X360 that wouldn't really impact the sales negatively, while 200 USD less for PS3 would certainly made sales go up a lot. The Multimedia discount on sales for PS2 and PS3 should stop already, look at the tie ratio it is similar to X360 and PS4 so piracy, DVD or BD Player were very minimal distortions on the sales total.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

DonFerrari said:

PS1 and PS2 were weaker than the competition and that didn't affect a single iota on the sales of both. So if PS3 because of Cell removal ended up being slightly weaker than X360 that wouldn't really impact the sales negatively, while 200 USD less for PS3 would certainly made sales go up a lot. The Multimedia discount on sales for PS2 and PS3 should stop already, look at the tie ratio it is similar to X360 and PS4 so piracy, DVD or BD Player were very minimal distortions on the sales total.

The PS1 and PS2 had a huge benefit with the medium that they were using. The Nintendo 64 didn't perform well because third parties did not want to use the medium that they provided, and game prices were extraneous. The PS2 also started with a great medium, DVD's. Nintendo tried to compete with their mini-disks but, unfortunately, there hold on the market was already reduced and third parties weren't in support of their products as much (mini-disks also held around half the data as a DVD). Meanwhile, Microsoft was an entirely new contender in the market, and had to work very hard to receive the support that Sony received as a baseline. Of course, it helped that the PS2 played DVD movies out of the box where the Xbox had to have a separately purchased dongle and remote. 

Obviously, power isn't everything, but one reason that people purchased the 360 in comparison to the PS3 was it's better performance in games like Call of Duty. In fact, that's a typical mention up and down this thread. Basically, what I'm saying, is just that the Cell wouldn't necessarily mean that there would be better quality ports. All it means is that there would be easier ports in the beginning of it's life-cycle. 

"The multimedia discount on sales for PS2 and PS3 should stop already"

Why? A good DVD player back in 2000 cost about as much as a PS2, and the PS2 did a whole lot more. Sony advertised this feature-set as well. The first Blu-Ray player cost $1000 and released in June of 2006...just five months before the PS3 launched at $500-600. To deny the idea that some people purchased these consoles based on their multimedia capabilities is ridiculous. It wasn't the only reason to buy those consoles, but for some it was a big reason. Also, I'm not talking about piracy at all. I'm just talking about hardware purchases. 



So the general consensus seems to be that Cell/Blu Ray were a mistake, and that the system would've been better off without them?

Last edited by curl-6 - on 12 March 2020

Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

Well I can only speak for myself, but.. 2005-2006 was the era I was looking to branch out from just Nintendo (and partly Sega but they had gone under) and I was truly split, on the fence between the 360 and PS3 at the time. I can pretty safely say that if the PS3 had launched for the same price or cheaper than the 360, I likely would have gone in that direction, and may still have been a Nintendo-Sony gamer today, rather than a Nintendo-MS one.

I even remember watching that epic Resistance vid in early 2006 over and over and hyping myself up for my first Sony console, but the company's rather poor E3 2006 performance and "599USD" for the premium unit pretty much squelched that notion and I shifted to 360 soon after. I mean, there was also Rare (who I was still a big fan of at the time) and Gears looked cool, but I'm not sure that would have been enough if Sony have just launched with a competitive pricepoint.

I definitely think this is somewhat what played out on a larger scale, and the steep pricepoint is a big part of the reason PS3 only barely beat 360 and was outsold by Wii.

Last edited by DarthMetalliCube - on 13 March 2020

 

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d21lewis said:
victor83fernandes said:

360 had everything done right, I doubt they could do it again.

I remember the games, Oblivion, Table tennis, Fight night, Gears of war, Halo 3, Forza 3, rainbow six vegas, dead rising, Test drive unlimited, call of duty 2, saints row, FEAR, Ghost recon - advanced warfighter, Hitman blood money, call of duty 3, the godfather, Battlefield 2, phantasy star, Prey, need for speed, project ghotam 3, condemned and many more. All of these games before the ps3 even came to Europe.

If you really liked videogames at all, you had to have a 360 back in 2005/2006, I'd have waited a couple months for ps3, but that was a huge library of games already available in HD graphics with a fantastic controller that had vibration, I paid 360pounds in UK, the ps3 was supposed to be 500pounds without controller vibration. And it was backwards compatible with a lot of games.

As much as I loved ps2, I had to go 360. I ended up buying a ps3 when uncharted came out.

The fact that in the end the ps3 still outsold the 360 is mind boggling to me as a real gamer who enjoys games. It makes no sense. Its as if people bought into the brand instead of the best library. More so when the xbox 360 played a lot of Xbox games such as Baldurs gate, Black, Batman begins, Burnout 3, colin mcrae4, commandos 2, Constantine, crimson skies, doom 3, Fable, Far cry instincts, GTA trilogy, Halo games, Jade empire, Max payne 1 and 2, Medal of honor, Ninja gaiden, Panzer dragon, Prince of Persia, red faction 2, return to castle Wolfenstein, Shenmue 2, silent hill 2, soul calibur 2, star wars games, and many many more.

PS - I do not believe Microsoft will ever again have that library advantage, sony will not let them. And I wont fall for the talks about several teams and games coming, I remember how they fooled me with the Xbox X because a couple games were cancelled. 

You would have had to be crazy to chose ps3 over 360 at least for the first 3 years. Specially if you play online, xbox live was way better than psn back in 2006.

Even at a higher price, the PS3 had some good selling points. HDMI and Wi-Fi at a time when XB360 offered neither out of the box. Free online (which I still believe was only free to combat the success of XBL Gold) offering the "meat" of what XBL had to offer, a decent web browser, Linux support, etc.

I agree XB 360 had the better library for a few years, the better price (again, offering the important stuff people wanted in a console) and a better online service. Plus the 360 just kept offering features the PS3 hardware got later or never got at all (ie: External HDD support).

That damn RRoD, lack of quality exclusives later in the gen, and gamers just being loyal to Sony in more parts of the world was just too much to overcome. Still, going from hardware that sold like 24m to 80m + is something to be proud of.

That was a hell of a war. Wonder if we'll ever see another like it?

Back in 2005/2006 online gaming on consoles was not so popular at all, so the antenna being bought separately was a great idea to keep the costs low, I never bought one.

Not many people had hdmi either, but the component cables had great picture anyway, most people I new didn't even have an HD TV in 2005.

I agree with you on the free online, but if you ask any online gamers back then, they would rather pay for the much better service, psn was bad back then.

Lets be honest, most console gamers back in 2005 wanted a great console with a lot of great games and as cheap as possible. 

The only reason I bought one at launch was because PS3 came almost 1 full year later to Europe, so I couldn't wait, specially with Oblivion which was for me game of that generation.

That was not a war, Microsoft just had the advantage of 1 full year without competition as the only HD console on the market, even sony fans gave in.

Had sony released on the same week the story would have been very different.

Bear in mind here in Europe ps3 was almost twice the price, 360euros vs 600euros but I still believe had they released the same week, sony would have outsold the xbox by far.

Same thing this coming next generation, if xbox series X releases in November 2020, and ps5 would be delayed to November 2021, I would buy the X on launch day, and that would become my main console, I wouldn't wait.



Doctor_MG said:
DonFerrari said:

PS1 and PS2 were weaker than the competition and that didn't affect a single iota on the sales of both. So if PS3 because of Cell removal ended up being slightly weaker than X360 that wouldn't really impact the sales negatively, while 200 USD less for PS3 would certainly made sales go up a lot. The Multimedia discount on sales for PS2 and PS3 should stop already, look at the tie ratio it is similar to X360 and PS4 so piracy, DVD or BD Player were very minimal distortions on the sales total.

The PS1 and PS2 had a huge benefit with the medium that they were using. The Nintendo 64 didn't perform well because third parties did not want to use the medium that they provided, and game prices were extraneous. The PS2 also started with a great medium, DVD's. Nintendo tried to compete with their mini-disks but, unfortunately, there hold on the market was already reduced and third parties weren't in support of their products as much (mini-disks also held around half the data as a DVD). Meanwhile, Microsoft was an entirely new contender in the market, and had to work very hard to receive the support that Sony received as a baseline. Of course, it helped that the PS2 played DVD movies out of the box where the Xbox had to have a separately purchased dongle and remote. 

Obviously, power isn't everything, but one reason that people purchased the 360 in comparison to the PS3 was it's better performance in games like Call of Duty. In fact, that's a typical mention up and down this thread. Basically, what I'm saying, is just that the Cell wouldn't necessarily mean that there would be better quality ports. All it means is that there would be easier ports in the beginning of it's life-cycle. 

"The multimedia discount on sales for PS2 and PS3 should stop already"

Why? A good DVD player back in 2000 cost about as much as a PS2, and the PS2 did a whole lot more. Sony advertised this feature-set as well. The first Blu-Ray player cost $1000 and released in June of 2006...just five months before the PS3 launched at $500-600. To deny the idea that some people purchased these consoles based on their multimedia capabilities is ridiculous. It wasn't the only reason to buy those consoles, but for some it was a big reason. Also, I'm not talking about piracy at all. I'm just talking about hardware purchases. 

Sure PS1, 2 and 3 had a good media solution that on the case of Nintendo competitor made several 3rd party go exclusive to them (besides Nintendo relationship being bad at the time). But the buy of the console for the use to hear CD or buy DVD and BD were minimal.

Haven't said no one bought PS2 or PS3 for those reasons, but that was a very minimal quantity that nowhere would really change the quantity of consoles sold.

curl-6 said:

So the general consensus seems to be that Cell/Blu Ray were a mistake, and that the system would've been better off without them?

The Cell/Bluray themselves weren't mistake but what they brought, high cost and difficult to develop made a big negative impact to PS3.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

DonFerrari said:

Sure PS1, 2 and 3 had a good media solution that on the case of Nintendo competitor made several 3rd party go exclusive to them (besides Nintendo relationship being bad at the time). But the buy of the console for the use to hear CD or buy DVD and BD were minimal.

Haven't said no one bought PS2 or PS3 for those reasons, but that was a very minimal quantity that nowhere would really change the quantity of consoles sold.

How can you say that with any amount of confidence though? At launch the system was constantly praised for it's Blu-Ray capabilities. It was the CHEAPEST Blu-Ray player on the market at launch, and for a good time afterward. Not to mention it was the only Blu-Ray player at the time that could also get bonus content from the internet. 

This was all when HD TV's were starting to pick up sales, and before streaming. Anyone who decided to upgrade to an HD TV was going to get another HD companion device, and Blu-Ray handily beat HD DVD. If someone was looking for a Blu-Ray player and noticed that the PS3 was $400 cheaper with MORE features than the competition you bet they'd be choosing that device. Especially since many people were stating that the quality of playback surpassed those of other Blu-Ray players on the market at the time. So: cheaper, more features, AND better quality?

Less people purchased the PS1 as a CD player (though it was a great CD player at the time too), but a lot of people did actually purchase the PS2 and PS3 for their multimedia capabilities.



Whose to say Cell supported PS3? Are we even certain people play video games in that universe? Even if so, whose to say the PS3 exists in it? Not to mention the Cell Saga originally ended in 1993 originally in Japan. If they had predicted the PS3 a whopping 13 years in advance that would be astounding!



well we could have a high end PS4 in this gen

the problem is that modern consoles are holding back gaming, because gamers want to save money, just look at this downgrade: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX_WePhiYHE, thats why i spent $599 in the PS3

Consoles gamers about PS3: Its overpriced
Sony: Alright, we gonna fix that with the PS4

PC gamers about PS4: Its underpowered
Sony: WTF!!!!