This week in gaming

Development issues delaying PS3 games?
Industry analyst Evan Wilson believes PS3 development difficulties are to blame for inferior quality when releasing games on schedule with the Xbox 360. The analyst also believes development challenges heighten the number of PS3 game delays.

The statement comes as Madden NFL 08 for PS3 is widely seen as inferior to the Xbox 360 version due to sluggish visuals.

Wilson believes the added difficulty for developing on PS3 is directly to blame for the game’s slower speed despite Electronic Arts comment earlier this week that it simply takes time to get things right for each individual console. The Xbox 360 has been available for a full year longer than the PS3.

“If your game starts on Xbox 360 you will have to re-engineer aspects of the game to run properly on PS3. This means additional effort,” Sony’s development team told us back in June. Assuming Madden first started development on 360, the above issue could have easily resulted in slower moving frame rates.

The analyst also believes PS3 difficulties are causing some publishers to unnecessarily delay their games after the 360 versions in an effort to bring the titles up to par.

Medal of Honor, for example, is slated on Aug. 28th for the 360 but in November for the PS3. EA’s Skate is scheduled for release on Sept. 12 for the 360, and two weeks later for the PS3. And Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter II from Ubisoft came out in March for the 360 and is scheduled for an Aug. 21 release on PS3.

Some speculated that PS3 development challenges forced Rockstar to delay the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto 4 on both the PS3 and 360.


Sony claims PS3 failure rate of less than one per cent
PS3 failure rates are “around .02 percent” according to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe founder, Chris Deering while speaking at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival on Tuesday.

If accurate, that puts PS3 failure rates well below the industry average of three to five percent.

By comparison, some reports pin Xbox 360 failure rates as high as one third of all consoles in existence. As a result, Microsoft extended the Xbox 360 warranty from one to three years in July citing “an unacceptable number of repairs” without disclosing specific failure rates.

Nintendo has yet to reveal any failure rates for the Wii.

Report: Halo 3 takes the sting out of failing Xbox 360s
A majority of Microsoft loyalists don’t mind dealing with failing Xbox 360 machines and their associated high risks says the New York Times due to the imminent and highly anticipated release of Halo 3.

“There’s nothing in the house that breaks down as much,” Stephano Nevarez told the Times when speaking of his Xbox 360. “[Still] I am a happy customer,” he says despite the failing hardware.

A reported 25-30 percent of Xbox 360s fail at one point or another. As a result and while initially reluctant to address rising complaints, Microsoft extended its one year Xbox 360 warranty to three years in July.

According to the Times, however, most 360 owners are quick to forgive Microsoft due to the large selection of games, principle among them being Halo 3.

But some owners are justifiably upset. “‘Forgive’ is a very strong word, and one I don’t think many people would actually use in relation to the 360’s reliability,” writes Kotaku blogger Luke Plunkett. “‘Endure,’ perhaps, or maybe even ‘tolerate,’ but not forgive, and probably not ‘forget’ either.”

Amid mixed reactions to Xbox 360 reliability, a recent study suggests that consumer patience is waning even dissuading some prospective gamers from buying the machine.

“Imagine your blender breaking down twice. The vacuum cleaner giving up the ghost three times. The espresso maker repeatedly going kaput. Then imagine replacing the item with the same model over and over while keeping your brand loyalty and sanity,” writes the Times when comparing what many Xbox 360 owners have to deal with, or at least worry about until Microsoft rectifies overheating issues.

Why would Microsoft release a console with such shoddy innards then? One analyst told the Times he thinks Microsoft rushed the Xbox 360 to market without proper product testing in an effort to beat the PS3 to store shelves by a full year.

“It’s dissipating a tremendous amount of momentum Microsoft built up prior to July,” said analyst Richard Doherty. “This is going to get worse before it gets better.”

Fortunately for Microsoft, a lot of gamers will seemingly bear the hardships for the shot at playing games. — Blake Snow

— All entries provided by GamePro

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