11 Nov 06
There are so many reasons that Sony is terrible, and yet it's still here (like Bush).
In the past 2 rounds of consoles, Sony’s Playstation was always near the top of my list. I chose the Playstation over the Nintendo 64, and last time I had a very difficult choice between the Gamecube and the PS2. Mario and Samus swayed my vote that time, but the PS2 followed soon after.
This time though, everything’s all crazy. the PS3 isn’t even near my list, and I hope it stays that way. Whereas Nintendo and Microsoft (seriously!) both seem to care about putting out a product that makes people happy, Sony seems content to stuff their console full of the newest (unproven) technology and assume we’ll eat it up at any price.
I really, really hope this doesn’t happen. I’m not going to go spouting a bunch of factual and technological jargon; rather, I’m just going to say that Sony has made me feel worthless as a potential customer by putting their interests ahead of my own. All this time they’ve been pushing Blu-Ray and 1080p (the “real” high-def). Blu-Ray is nice because you’re looking at something like 27 gigabytes of storage on the low end, so I can understand the decision at that level.
At the same time, it’s that technology that’s pushing the PS3 into prohibitively expensive territory for some people. Also, remember that this is Sony, king of the proprietary media format (Betamax, MiniDisc, Memory Stick, UMD) and so the new Playstation feels more like a weapon in a format war than a game console.
I also don’t understand their logic for pushing 1080p as hard as they have been. I’m glad the hardware supports it, but that’s about it right now. They can’t even tout this as an advantage over the Xbox anymore since Microsoft added 1080p support with the latest Dashboard update.
Then we get to the SIXAXIS – Sony’s moniker for the new controller. It looks almost exactly like a PS2 controller, except this time it has less cords and more lights. Also, it has motion sensing, at the expense of the rumble feature. To me Sony’s motion sensing seems tacked on (as a response to the Wii), and the loss of rumble for whatever reason pretty much kills it. Well, that and the price. And the fact that it’s the same controller I bought in 1998.
But let’s forget the hardware side of things; all points above notwithstanding, the PS3 still has the potential to be a very good machine. That’s where Sony’s attitude comes in! Some choice quotes:
Sony has “built up a certain brand equity over time since the launch of PlayStation in 1995 and PS2 in 2000 that the first five million are going to buy it, whatever it is, even it didn’t have games.” (Source)
(on Microsoft) Every time we go down a path, we look behind and they’re right there – we just can’t shake these guys. I wish that they would come up with some strategies of their own, but they seem to be going down the path of everything we do. If you look at their strategy in other business areas as well, they tend to do that. (Source)
Oh, like Xbox Live? It’s a good thing Sony doesn’t copy others’ ideas! You know, except for the portable gaming thing or the motion sensing controllers thing or the rumble thing. Wait; didn’t Nintendo do all of those first? Finally:
So are you saying that not having an exclusive on Grand Theft Auto doesn’t hurt you at all?
No, I don’t think it hurts us. No, I really don’t. (Source)
Let’s step back and look at that last one. That nugget of wisdom was courtesy of Jack Tretton, o-chief operating officer of Sony Computer Entertainment America. Given his position, it’s only natural to take everything he says with a grain of salt, but it does bring me back to one important factor: the games.
First, let’s take a look at the list of franchises that made me buy a PS2 in the first place:
- Grand Theft Auto
- Gran Turismo
I can imagine that a lot of people had lists that looked like that. I’m not saying those were the only games I ever played, but those were the clinchers for me; that was why I bought the PS2. Now, one of those is no longer a Playstation exclusive. The other is being re-released in “HD” for the PS3, possibly without any cars or tracks. Furthermore, Forza 2 is coming next year and that’s more game than GT could ever be, which brings my list of must-have franchises for the PS3 to zero.
And finally, as if Sony hadn’t irritated enough gamers already, there’s this.