Monday, September 18, 2006

Sony's Dragon

I'm not finished with the OEM and Microsoft story yet, but I want to comment on Sony's most recent move with the Playstation3. So, why here? Because as I stated in the Gamenikki Blog, I'm not a real big fan of turning that forum into a Sony Bashing party. We'll get back to Microsoft's mafia behavior later, so stay comfy.

Now, how many people have ever seen the old Disney Movie Pete's Dragon? Remember the villains of the movie, the guys wanting dragon parts? What did the villains want Dragon parts for? To give some real power to their elixers. The villains were old con artists, promoting various elixers that could cure any disease. If you were blind, they could restore site. If you were old, their forumla could make you young again.

Get the image? The guy up on a soapbox, street stand behind him, bragging about this miracle new product?

That's the image I got when I came across this link from Joystiq

I got the image in my head of Sony standing at a street corner bragging about the Playstation3. It will play your movies, it will play your games, it will cure your diseases.

Now, the technical side of why Folding@Home doesn't work is already covered by Gamespot.

And, by the way, that's not up for argument. Folding@Home does not work. Same as SETI. No, SETI doesn't work either. Keep in mind that any radio signals you "might" recieve or distinguish are at a minimum of 4 years old for the closet stars, presuming the electromagnetic waves are moving at the speed of light constantly. For the stars that we haven't documented fully yet, the electromagnetic waves are over 10-15 years old. Going out even further, in the sections of the universe that SETI tries to decode signals from, electromagnetic waves are going up 50, 100, or 150 years old. Keep that in mind, SETI started in 1999. It's been 6years. Any radio traffic recieved now would have been generated 6 years ago. As it goes forward, you pretty much are looking at a time warp into the past. The short story is, given our present ability to travel in space, it would take decades, if not centuries, to even reach locations determined to possibly harbor electromagnetic wave generation.

So no, SETI doesn't work either.

But that's getting off the point, which is supposed to be Sony, not debunking false science.

On Gamenikki.com we ran a feature where I gave Sony a path to actually getting out of the mire created by the aftermath of E3. One of the points I hit on is that Sony can't treat the Playstation3 as just a Blu-Ray player. Sony can't treat the Playstation3 as just a VideoGame console. At the price point the Playstation3 plays in, Sony needs to go full bore in competing against Dell, HP, and Gateway.

The initial reaction, beyond the con man idea, is that somebody in Sony is at least getting some semblance of the picture. Sony, with this announcment, appears to be realizing that the Playstation3 has to do more. I'm just not convinced that the whole "cure disease" approach is a good one for Sony to take, and it's not really going to convert customers who actually pay attention to general computing trends.

Nor will Sony's Folding client be of any interest to the average consumer who doesn't understand, or might be fooled, by what Folding does or does not do. Basically, that would be like me walking into a Touranment Center, hearing people arguing over MLG rules, stopping them, and then telling them what the WCG rules are. In other words, it's coming in and going so far above their heads that sharks swimming around wouldn't be out of place.


Now, this isn't to say that it isn't good that Sony is looking at more options for the Playstation3. Consider the Playstation2 which has a nice second life in grid computing and clusters.

Then there are the General Purpose Computer on Graphics Processors (GPGPU) which the Playstation3 may be uniquely suited for in the future.

For now though, Folding just isn't good enough. Sony needs to stop grasping at straws and reach for the ladder I've already given them.
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