What do you do when you’ve created the most successful video game console of all time in the interactive media monster known only as the Playstation 2 (achieving over 100 million units sold to this day)? Do you create another one? Definitely. Do you increase its capabilities as a modern media center that will continue to capture the minds of future generations to come? Of course. Do you make plans to conquer the world? Already in progress.
This seemed like the mindset that Sony Computer Entertainment had when they launched the Playstation 3 in the early weeks of November 2006.
A free online service, a relatively cheap internal Blue-ray disc player, hi-definition projection, and not to mention the ability to host the hottest new exclusive games were only a few of the features implemented within the PS3 to make it just as prominent in the industry as its predecessor. However, what started off as almost too good to be true quickly became just that.
Already one year behind Microsoft and their increasingly impressive Xbox 360, the Playstation 3 launch games lacked not only the high end polish that was promised of next-generation hardware (Resistance: Fall of Man being but one of a few that held its own) but it came at a staggering price tag of $600 for its fully featured 60 GB version. Furthermore, what were originally supposed to be high-profile PS3 exclusive games (such as Grand Theft Auto 4, Devil May Cry 4, and Assassins Creed) quickly went multiplatform as their developers made them available on the 360 as well. Add this to a lackluster online store, the fact that its Sixaxis controller’s sensing capabilities came at the cost of its rumble feature (considered a videogame staple for a long time now), and the stiff competition coming from the Xbox 360’s $500 price tag (as well as its blooming game catalogue) and the PS3 had a lot of serious catching up to do.
Sony was no longer number one and they would have to fight for their spot back.
If at first you don’t succeed…Oh how the mighty had fallen. But oh how they slowly yet surely picked themselves up and dusted themselves off.
What proved to be a slow start for Sony and their third major console with the PS3 has now proven to be an ugly specter of the past as Sony has methodically approached each and every one of their previous faults in a conscious effort to fix their mistakes and claim their place as the number one console of this generation.
Yes, it is true that the road for the PS3 has not been all candy canes and lollipops with the further loss of its exclusive blockbuster titles Resident Evil 5 and Final Fantasy XIII to multiplatform status, but Sony took these problems as minor setbacks rather then a pair of permanent cement shoes and has gone on to sell over 1.8 million units in America alone. Exclusive titles such as Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Heavenly Sword, and the much revered Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots have already succeeded in spiking its sales (with over half a million for MGS4 alone) and future titles such as God of War III and Little Big Planet seem poised to continue the trend.
The Playstation Network has also continued to grow allowing for full games (such as Warhawk and flOw) to be downloaded as well as promising a near-future release of the Second Life-like Playstation Home (allowing you to build your own virtual house with fully customizable avatars and trophy rooms of your gaming achievements).
Out of the console variations available (20 GB, 40 GB, 80 GB, and 160 GB) the 80 GB has recently received a price cut down to $400, and with the victory of Blu-ray over HD-DVD it has become the cheapest as well as the most robust Blue-ray player available on the market. Add all of this to the final touch of the rumble-less Sixaxis being abandoned for the Dual Shock 3 controller (containing both the rumble feature and motion sensitivity) and the PS3 has made itself the most versatile console of 2008 and possibly the superior one of this generation.