Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
02 November 2007
Hold on to your PS2, controllers, discs...
Last night Sony put a downloadable version of Twisted Metal 2 up on the PlayStation Store. I'd been meaning to check out one of these downloadable games, and TM2 is by far the best one they've made available. So I gave them my $6 and a few minutes later was enjoying frantic car combat in a fictional part of Los Angeles.

I liked having access to a PS1 game without having to extract it from the shelves of my library. Sony should put more games up on the store or -- my preference -- sell a downloadable software package that allows me to rip my existing PS1 games to my PS3 hard drive. Or, perhaps, charge me a small fee (say a dollar) for the service. Make me an offer, Sony, and I'll consider it. This $6-or-more-per-game racket isn't my thing, even if it is more convenient.

However, the real trouble I had with Twisted Metal 2 on the PS3 is that my preferred control scheme -- Run 'n Gun -- isn't really feasible with the SIXAXIS controller. The lower controller triggers now have a lot of analog throw, and so are not very useful as digital switches. Since PS1 games like Twisted Metal 2 don't need analog triggers, they suffer. I briefly wondered how I could hook up a PS1 or PS2 controller, and remembered that it involves some controller-to-USB dongle that I don't own (yet).

So, with rumors that a cheaper, smaller PS2 system will be out next year, this just reinforces how I think people should view playing Sony games from here on out: get two systems. Keep a PS2 around for PS2 and PS1 games and view the PS3 as purely for PS3 games and Blu-Ray movies.

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--Matt Matthews at 09:25
Comment [ 4 ]

Comments on this post:

Heck, I keep a PS1 for PS1 games. I have never believed promises of backwards compatibility. Software is just to picky, and sometimes the PS2 is too sensitive to read my old PS1 discs. I'd rather have the extra doorstops hanging around on the off chance I need to play the original Crash Bandicoot than just stare at the useless disc and wonder why publishers won't continue to produce new discs for old games. Why should the eBay market make all the money?

By Blogger LisaB, at 02 November, 2007 12:39  

I still can't see it as anything less than a failure of design. The Wii, for instance, handles GC games flawlessly - because Nintendo, unlike MS or Sony, made BC a priority. And it's a huge boon to have one small console over two hanging around.

By Blogger Josh, at 02 November, 2007 14:02  

I still can't see it as anything less than a failure of design.

Idealistically a failure, perhaps. Capitalistically speaking? I'm missing the mistake. I wonder if someone who never played TM2 would even notice the gameplay issue Matt did. Maybe they'd like TM2 less, but what are they comparing to?

But more to the point, where has Sony lost money in this picture, other than possibly the PS1 fanboys who won't shell out if they can't perfectly recreate their vintage experience on the 3? That's not a commercially significant market, I don't think. Matt's going to download fewer PS1 games; I wonder how far you can extrapolation his displeasure and determine how it affects the bottom line.

Why should the eBay market make all the money?

I think you may have just answered your own question. This isn't exactly a volume proposition. To grossly oversimplify and misrepresent what's going on, heck, the Mac market can't even convince folk to press new discs. Printing new discs on demand is not [yet?] a trivial activity. Providing downloads for $6 and giving you another reason to buy the new console plays into profit a bit more easily, doesn't it?

By Blogger rufbo, at 02 November, 2007 20:33  

It may not seem like a volume proposition, but you can't consider how many discs come up for sale as a litmus for demand. So few come up for sale because so few people want to part with their discs.

Downloads would be wonderful, but why do they start with games easy to find on the secondary market like Spyro? Silent Hill goes for fifty bucks on eBay. Spyro goes for less than half that.

Gamers are getting older, and those PS1 (and PS2) games are good memories and still relevant to stories that are continuing to be told. There's a market there, and it's probably as big as "Heavenly Sword" dontcha think?

By Blogger LisaB, at 03 November, 2007 14:34  

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