November 14, 2008 // 4:48 am
- 2008 has been full of ups and downs for the PlayStation 3. Whether or not Sony delivered on all their promises is questionable.
However, if there is one thing that can't be taken from Sony's next-gen console is the tremendous growth its software library has undergone over the past year.
In 2007, critics of the PS3 lambasted the console's software catalog. The system was victim of numerous shoddy ports, and lacked any defining title it could call its own. Then, early in the new year, Sony made the eyebrow raising announcement that they intended to drive sales not by slashing the price again, but by delivering quality software.
And, to the disbelief of even the most devout Sony fanatics, things did begin to change. The PS3 became the lead platform for many multiplatform projects, ironically, not because it was the most powerful platform, but because it was the most infuriating to develop for. Starting with Burnout Paradise in January, the differences between the PS3 and 360 versions of multiplatform games became a non-issue.
Several big name titles, including Devil May Cry 4 and Grand Theft Auto 4 averaged better reviews on the PS3. Even Madden 2009 averaged a point better on the PS3, an impressive feat after the controversy that erupted the previous year when EA announced that Madden 08 would run at 60 FPS on the 360, but only 30 on the PS3.
In addition to increased quality of multiplatform titles, Sony's flagship titles finally began hitting the shelves. Kojima's long awaited epic, Metal Gear Solid 4, was recieved well commercially and critically, and was the first PS3 exclusive to average over 90% by gaming publications.
Over the course of the next few months, other quality exclusives graced the console's library, including WipEout HD, Motorstorm Pacific Rift, Valkyria Chronicles, and Resistance 2. LittleBigPlanet was also met with a stellar critical reception, eclipsing even MGS4 with a 95% average.
But just how big was this expansion of the PS3's software library? According to review aggregate GameRankings.com, it was huge. At the end of 2007, there were 35 PS3 titles ranking 80% or better. As of right now, even with some big games still on the way, there are 77 titles over that mark. That's an increase of 222%, more than double the 2007 totals. In comparison, during the same time period, the number of quality 360 titles increased 158%.
So while it's questionable whether 2008 was the definitive year of the PS3, there is one thing that is for sure - the issues with the PS3's software library are now a thing of the past.