Originally Posted by VulcanDragon
Very good point, the "keeping up with the Jones's" thing is very strong with personal electronics. It's not enough these days for kids to have personal MP3 players, they throw a hissy fit if its not a genuine iPod. Kind of like designer jeans in the 80s, but a lot more expensive!
But if that's what Sony is thinking, then we're back to the arrogance thing again. First, for music: if they think they are going to knock the iPod off the top of the hill with UMDs, that borders on retarded, not arrogant. That ship has sailed and Apple has beaten the pants off of everyone. Second, for movies: if this is their goal, then they are eating their own lunch. By trying to make both Blu-Ray and UMD the "next big thing", they would be competing against themselves and setting up one (if not both) to fail.
From an engineer's stand point, multifunctionality is a major aspect in any kind of design. I took an introductory design class during my sophmore year and one of the major things that was pushed is fitting more into a small package. Look at cars for example, many have TVs and DVD players in them, as well as high quality speaker systems. A car is for driving and yet other things not directly tied into the actual driving are placed into the car. Look at the iPod too, it was originally for music, but now they added video. Why? The answer is convience. It is convenient to have "more" in one thing. It isn't necessarily better or more functional (watching movies on a iPod screen is not the best way to watch movies), but it is a nice feature to have.
So what's the problem, you might ask? The problem is that adding extra features tends to cheapen other aspects of any product. Why? Because for example, people didn't want to pay more for colored iPod screens, or for the video function and Apple knew this. So instead of having the tocuh wheel, they made it a click wheel. They went from electronic to mechanical. Electronic components have a vastly better lifespan compared to mechanical. In otherwords, Apple cheapened the iPod to get the extra functionality.
Let me give another example, going back to cars. Adding TV's and DVD players means that less time may be put into other aspects of the car such as the engine and such. It also means that the seat design is limited to necessary placement of the TV and DVD players, meaning that the most comfortable seating arrangement may not be the one that is used.
So what the HELL does this have to do with video games, the PSP, or the PS3? EVERYTHING! Take for example the PSP and the the fact that it can play MP3's and UMDs. Somewhere along the line, some functionality was dropped... something that actually had to do with gaming. Even if it was simply extra time and money that could have been put into longer battery life or even more processing power. You get convenience at the price of necessity. Same goes with the PS3, as more and more effort is dumped into making the graphics better, improvements in game play are dropped.
And yet people still inexplicably buy into the UMD movies and such, knowing that it was more of convience rather than a necessity. Seems odd, but the answer should be clear. In order to justify the extra functionality, people will use it inspite of its flaws. UMD movies are not practical is the least (same as iPod movies) when compared to say a portable DVD player. But people buy them because you have to justify buying a gaming system that has that functionality. I mean, and lets be honest, the PSP game line up is pretty lackluster. There are some good puzzle games like Mercury and Lumines, and proven franchises like GTA and such keep the line up acceptable, but to justify paying 300 bucks for a system, you better damn well use the music player and get the UMD movies. It is a matter of people conviencing themselves that they got what they paid for.
EDIT: Sorry for the poor grammar and spelling, I just got out of class and I need a nap, but I wanted to post this before I do.