January 31, 2009 // 10:51 pm
- There's no doubt that Sony has made mistakes this generation such as underestimating both Microsoft and Nintendo. Another mistake is relying too much on the brand image and not pumping out enough marketing.
However, if you have a look at the bigger picture, I think Sony are the smart ones in this console race, and I'm going to tell you why...
The Internet has been full of articles on why the PS3 is in trouble and how Sony have made mistakes since it launched. So I thought it would be right to give a fresh opinion on the matter.
There's no question that the PS3 has had a rocky start; it launched with very few quality games and it was argued by many that at its inception there was very little incentive to buy the PS3 over the older and cheaper Xbox 360.
The Xbox also had more titles and many multi-platform games that felt so much better than their PS3 counter-parts. As we approach the PS3's two-year anniversary in Europe however, the console is looking very different.
There are many quality titles under the PS3's belt including some impressive exclusives like LittleBigPlanet and Resistance 2. With Killzone 2 and hundreds of other titles just on the horizon, why does the media still bash the PS3?
Could it be 'revenue related'. The huge majority of websites on the internet are out there to make money, of course, and when the 360 has a higher market share than the PS3 they potentially can grab a lot more fans if they praise the Xbox and attack the PS3.
The problem is that these Web sites don't project the full picture. Right now HDTVs are only just starting to fully come out into the mass market and appeal beyond the early adopters. Likewise, the same is true with Blu-ray which is why HD consoles will start to become more and more important.
Sony included the Blu-ray drive into the PS3, an intelligent move considering it helped them win the format war and get all the royalties from every Blu-ray disc and player sold. Now as Blu-ray becomes more dominant in the home movie market, and as HDTVs become more popular, the PS3 will benefit immensely.
Microsoft released one year earlier than the PS3 (even earlier in Europe) at a time where HDTVs were in a niche market. In the last three years they have released many of their top titles like Halo while the PS3 struggled. Now that the public are more interested in the benefits of HD, the tide may have turned.
Sony is only now starting to push out their big names like Killzone 2, inFamous, Uncharted 2, Gran Turismo 5 and God of War III; all set to be big hits when they release in the future. And of course when you buy an HDTV you want some top HD movies to watch and this is where the ball bounces into Sony's court again.
Yes, the 360 has HD movies via download (and so does the PS3 in North America), but they are a long way from having dominance in the mass market.
Nintendo are clearly outselling both companies with the Wii, but how long will that last and further more, how will the software attach rate compare to the PS3 as it progresses? Historically, casual gamers buy far less software than the hardcore market and the Wii is simply a casual console.
Finally, the last subject I am going to look at is the PSP. The PSP isn't just Sony's attempt to dive into the portable market; it is also the half-way house from the PS2 to the PS3.
While PS2 owners started to use their PS2 system less and less, Sony introduced the PSP where gamers could continue their gaming habits until the PS3 was attractive enough to invest in. The PSP also introduces gamers who do not yet have a PS3 into the world of PSN which is starting to become a bigger part of the PS3's offerings.