Are We Too Hard on Sony?

A post over on the Guardian Gamesblog entitled “PS3 doubters get desperate” got me thinking – is there too much editorialising going on surrounding the PS3 at the moment? With little in the way of gaming news and two new consoles due in a few months it’s easy site hits to doomsay and play on the mainstream interest in the Wii while you’re at it. More people will click on “Sony are Doomed!!!1!” than they will “Sony are Cool”, after all.

Then again, I’m sure anyone reading this is familiar with the SmackDown story (read this if you’re not). Although SmackDown is coming to the PS3 next year as the post states, its version of SmackDown 2007 has been cancelled. The 2008 version will come to the PS3, but those looking for next-gen wrestling will be limited to the Xbox 360 this year.

So what? I asked that too frankly since I couldn’t care less, but the fact is these games are popular; none of them has sold less than two million copies (vgcharts.org). That’s a lot of money and a lot of people obviously like the games, so if they’re looking for a new console this Christmas and want a new wrestling game it could swing them. It’s never going to be make or break especially when there’s still a PS2 version, but it’s something to consider.

I must admit I’m torn here. It’s fun in a trainwreck sort of way when another minor PR disaster like an exec who thinks that people should buy it regardless of games because it’s such a bargain at £425 and it’s from Sony comes along, but then again I’m getting tired of banging this drum. They just make it so easy…

7 thoughts on “Are We Too Hard on Sony?

  1. Oh, these stories are entirely necessary. How else would 360 owners feel like they made the right choice if it wasn’t for the constant media stories that Sony are doomed? How would thousands of people with an annual disposable income in the thousands relive their childhoods by pretending they can only buy (and therfore support) only one console?

    Besides, everyone’s got to get all their anti-Sony comments in before Team ICO announce a PS3 exclusive title.

  2. A new Ico game would be nice (I stand by my belief that Shadow of the Colossus should have been delayed and made a PS3 game) but still…£425 for one game!?

  3. One game would be a start, at least.

    I never give these consoles much credit at launch. I thought the 360s little launch line-up was nothing short of an atrocity. But now that some proper games have been announced, it’s a package that’s easier to tolerate.

    The PS3 really needs to get some games out there. Not even finished games, just some new screenshots of promising titles. For every update on every decent game announced, that £425 price tag would become a little easier to swallow, I would imagine.

    I still maintain my stance that people are being overly critical of Sony because they’re just bored and really need something to hate.

    If anything, the PS3 release is almost a carbon copy of the PS2. It comes out later than the opposition, it costs way more than its worth, and the original software doesn’t look at good as the stuff that was already kicking about on the alternative white box console at the time. And i’ll be damned if the PS2 didn’t eventually yield some of the finest gaming fruit i’ve ever tasted.

  4. Launches are always a mixed bag, and the only really great one that I can remember was the N64 (Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64 sold it alone), although I suppose if two games are enough the original Xbox with Halo and Jet Set Radio Future should be up there. I miss the days of every console launching with a classic that becomes inexorably linked with it – Super Mario World, Tetris, etc. On the 360 I loved COD2 and PGR3 but yeah, they weren’t the AAA title.

    The thing with the PS3 though is that it doesn’t have that AAA title now, doesn’t have it announced on the horizon as far as I can see, and costs four hundred and twenty-five pounds. At least the 360 was/is only £280, and even the Xbox and PS2 were under £300 at launch. The PS2 took an age to have anything worth buying it for as well, but here you’re paying for the Blu-ray trojan horse which has received poorer writeups than HD DVD at half the price.

    As for the PS2, it certainly now does have some great stuff but it took its sweet time. The thing is I still have more Dreamcast games and I still consider it a better system, so eventual success or failure is of no relevance whatsoever for me. Just like I’d take an N64 over a PS1, as well.

  5. I never buy the cost argument at launch and i’m still not buying it now. Nobody buys a console at launch for the games, and anyone that says otherwise is lying.

    £280 for what Microsoft were selling at launch was still, when it came down to the games, a waste of £280. I think when you start dealing with money in these amounts – the hundreds – anyone that can afford £280 just like that can probably put down £425. I mean, sure, it’s fine if nobody wants to, but there’s so much disposable income from all these twentysomethings out there that people CAN afford £425.

    No, you’re buying an image, a dream, and the reason people are being so tough on Sony right now is that Sony aren’t selling the future as well as Microsoft are. What they need to do is announce more videos of stuff like DMC4 and MGS4, and get these established brands out in the open. That will convince more people that the PS3 at least *has* a future. Get some videos of a new FF game out there or something.

    For instance, Heavenly Sword could be a game so great it makes everyone cream themselves by just hearing it’s name, but nobody will know this until that game comes out. It’s a new brand, and people just don’t want to invest in new brands as much as they want to be reassured by new sequels from their favourite franchises.

    If I was playing the PR game, every time Microsoft put out some crummy billion year old game on XBLA, i’d whip out some whizzy video of something badass the PS3 will do. So you’re going to play GALAGA on your 360, huh? That’s really worth £280. Well, check this out, the PS3 is going to have Dante killing a hojillion monsters! Ka-smack! Boom! Check out his MOVES!

    Or I could just send out press releases announcing that i’ve copied another bloody feature from pissing xbox live. S’cool.

  6. If I didn’t buy an N64 at launch for Mario 64 then I guess I’m a filthy rotten liar. There was that whole Zelda thingy on the horizon I suppose, but if it wasn’t for Mario I’d have kept my £250 and waited for the drop. Which was a couple of weeks, if I remember correctly -_-

  7. Okay, apart from Mario 64. Mario 64 was the only one. I guess. Maybe a few others. Here and there.

    But, still, on a whole, you’re buying into an image and a dream when purchasing a new console rather than the games themselves. It’s the promise and potential of future games, coupled with the innate human desire to own whizzy technology, that is the real reason to give up the pennies. Even moreso with the 360 and PS3. Because, seriously, nobody with any sense was buying a launch 360 for Perfect Dark: Zero, right? And nobody is going to be buying a PS3 at launch for Warhawk and Singstar, no matter how whizzy and flash the new Singstar is. Right? For the good of our species, I better be right.

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