Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
10 July 2006
How can Sony rehabilitate the PS3 public image?
The blasted PlayStation 3 isn't even out yet, but you can't go to ten random videogame blogs and not find someone bashing it, or Sony execs, for something. I find myself wondering: What can Sony possibly do to turn things around, gain some positive momentum?

All of you about to shout "Lower the price!" please...don't. We know already.

I obviously can't speak for everyone else, but here are a few things that would make me sit up and take notice. These aren't in any particular order...
  • Explain PlayStation Network Platform immediately: Xbox 360 players have access to a much-improved Xbox Live service along with Xbox Live Arcade, and I envy them. Sony needs to tell me how PlayStation Network Platform is going to be as good -- if not better -- than Xbox Live.

    Matching Xbox Live feature-for-feature and then cranking it up to 11 would be a start. Coming up with something I want that Microsoft hasn't already thought of would be even better. As I've said before, if Sony can't get this right, they're screwed.

  • Explain how backward compatibility will work: I'm one of the few people for whom this matters deeply. Will it be hardware or software? Will it improve with updates, as we've seen on the Xbox 360? Tell me the truth about your expectations, and be specific about which games will probably not work.

  • Explain the game pricing model: I do not want to buy a $70 game to go with my $600 PlayStation 3. Tiered pricing I can stand, but if everything is going to shoot for a $70 price tag just to cash in on the initial rush, irrespective of quality, then I am not interested.

  • Other than Metal Gear Solid 4, name one guaranteed exclusive that I want: We already know that I'm going to get MGS4, but that's just one game. Except for Defender 2000 on the Atari Jaguar and Typing of the Dead on the Dreamcast, I'm not that willing to buy a console for a single exclusive game.

    You've already lost your exclusivity on Grand Theft Auto 4, so you can't trot that one out anymore. You lost your Resident Evil exclusivity a long time ago. It does appear you've got Silent Hill and Ace Combat exclusives this generation (with the exception of Silent Hill 2 on the Xbox), but I've not heard any promises of those games on the PlayStation 3.

    So, tell me something truly exclusive that I really want to have.

    (If you're looking for ideas, how about a true, 2D console sequel to Castlevania: Sympony of the Night with HD-quality graphics and a soundtrack that makes me weep...)

  • If Blu-ray fails, how is the PlayStation 3 still going to be special? Consistently Sony reps are saying that the PlayStation 3 is so very much more than a console, thus is truly worth the steep price of admission. Presumably, HD output and Blu-ray are key features in that regard.

    If, heaven forbid, Blu-ray pulls a Betamax, just what will remain to make me feel like this hardware is much more than the average game console? Cut the marketing crap and the buzzwords and just tell me: What sets the PlayStation 3 apart from the Xbox 360 if Blu-ray isn't in the picture?
Ok, that's my list off the top of my head. Anyone else?

Labels: ,

--Matt Matthews at 01:38
Comment [ 9 ]

Comments on this post:

I'm not planning on getting one, but they should explain why the PS3 "core" system lacks upgradeability. Meaning, if I buy the $499 system and eventually want wifi, I can't get it because it's not built into the system.

By Blogger Bigelow, at 10 July, 2006 02:42  

I thought it had been established that there would be a WiFi add-on for the lower-end model. Maybe I misunderstood...

By Blogger jvm, at 10 July, 2006 07:54  

Tell me the truth about your expectations, and be specific about which games will probably not work.

If I didn't know better, I'd say you were a Sony shill: there happen to be murmurs about PS3 backward compatibility today from a brief mention at the end of this interview, which was picked up by Gamasutra and T3. They're interpreting it to mean: Sony is serious about providing backwards compatibility for ALL PS2 and PS1 games.

By Blogger Bob, at 10 July, 2006 10:00  

Everything is upgradable except the HDMI connection.

m.

By Blogger Michael, at 10 July, 2006 14:41  

Silent Hill 4 was also available on the Xbox. Not sure why 3 wasn't available on the Xbox though.

By Blogger chrisswiss83, at 18 August, 2006 01:49  

I've heard that the original Silent Hill is being remade on the PS3, so theres another exclusive. But yes, Sont is indeed....ahem..."fucking up".

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 21 August, 2006 22:04  

If I didn't know better, I'd say you were a Sony shill: there happen to be murmurs about PS3 backward compatibility today from a brief mention at the end of this interview, which was picked up by Gamasutra and T3. They're interpreting it to mean: Sony is serious about providing backwards compatibility for ALL PS2 and PS1 games.

I don't know who's been blowing sunshine up your butt, but even the PS2 was not 100% backwards compatible. How do I know? I own a PS1 game that does not work on the PS2, The X-Files Game.

So with that you can best expect that the PS3 will NOT be 100% backwards compatible.

You can also expect the PS3 to be a crappy Blu-Ray DVD player, just like the PS2. I have DVD's that won't play in the PS2, but play fine in the Xbox & a DVD player. Blu-Ray is hella expensive, so I'm betting that the PS3 is being built on the cheap as possible Blu-Ray drive/system.

By Anonymous Tracy, at 22 August, 2006 01:17  

Assuming you don't have one, why not buy a 360 now? If you're a gamer, if you are anticipating whatever the Live-clone from Sony will be, why wait? Why not take the leap and just get a 360 now? So far you can be pretty sure that you won't get better looking games on a PS3, you won't be getting that many exclusives and you will be getting longer load times. So why wait? Hell, if you do get a 360, I'll send you a year of Live.

By Anonymous JameyT, at 22 August, 2006 12:43  

JameyT, thanks anyway. I'm not a Microsoft kind of guy.

By Blogger jvm, at 22 August, 2006 12:47  

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