Sony is Getting It Right



Before I even begin, let me state that I am well aware that even suggesting that Sony is actually doing something write is bait for a flame war. I am well aware that someone is likely to flame me for having said this in the first place. Rest assured that a flame war is the last thing I want to start with this post. I have absolutely nothing against the X-Box 360 (infact, that is the only item on my Christmas list this year. I want Mass Effect) or the Nintendo Wii. Both are excellent systems that seem to get praised everywhere you look. The Playstation 3 is different, however. People seem to want to insult the system left and right, even if there isn't a strong basis to do so. This is more of a response to that than anything else.The two primary arguments against the PS3 are that it has no games and that it is too expensive. Both reasons either have been erased or are currently in the process of being erased. Why is there still such endearing hatred for the Playstation 3? If you ask me, Sony has been doing alot of things right recently

Exclusives -

What is probably the biggest complaint against the Playstation 3 is that it largely lacks games that are not exclusive. To this day. I have heard people complain about this on various video game related forums. It is usually followed by someone rattling off a list of Playstation 3 exclusives, but that is beside the point. Why are people still using this to drag the PS3 down? It may not have as many console exclusives as the X-Box 360, but the 360 has also been out a year longer. For a while, it was true that the Playstation 3 didn't have that many exclusive games for it, but this wrong has been writed in the last few months with the release of quite a few great games, including some must haves. This begs the question of why people are still using this argument against the Playstation 3? It's almost as if people turn a blind eye to the fact that it is getting games as of late, but why?

I may not be able to answer that question, but I can tell you for certain that the Playstation 3 has a decent collection of exclusive games now. It really all started at launch with Resistance: Fall of Man, which is an excellent shooter from acclaimed developers Insomniac. It featured very cool weapons and fantastic multiplayer. The problem was that, for some time, it was about all that the PS3 owners had to show off their system. It was the only game that set it apart. There were other good games on the system, but many of them were out on other systems as well.

Anyway, Sony added to their catalog of games with the release of Motostorm. I am not big on racing games, but I won't lie. Motostorm is fun. It needed more content at launch for sure. It's lack of depth was disappointing, but the game was a technical showcase for the PS3, especially with it's impressive crashes, and it was alot of fun. It may not be a must have, but it isn't gad either. The Playstation finally had a second great exclusive, but the flood gates didn't open until Warhawk hit the system. Ever since that game (a must have in the eyes of many, and I can understand why. The dog figths are amazing), the PS3 has been getting a fairly steady stream of good exclusives, including, but not limited to, Folklore, Heavenly Sword, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Ratchet and Clank Future Tools of Destruction. Those that bought the system finally have a nice selection of games that they can use to show people "This is why the system is cool." The system has a bright future as well, with upcoming titles such as Metal Gear Solid 4, Haze, White Knight Story and Killzone 2.

Playstation Network -

Anyoe that had the network adapter for the Playstation 2 and a Playstation 3 will tell you that the Playstation Network has improved a ton from it's humble and not so well thought out beginings on the Playstation 2. Gone are the days of having a different account for every game that you play online and friends lists for each individual one. Gone are the days of trying to keep up with your friends every time they got an online enabled game. The Playstation Network, even in it's current form, offers a metric ton of improvements over it's previous incarnation.You log into the PSN from the main menu of the PS3, or you can set it up to log you in automatically. You can keep a friends list. You can send and recieve messages and files. You can browse the internet and invite friends into voice chat. You can also DL items off of the internet to the system's harddrive. There is also the recently added information board that keeps you informed on the latest Playstation news and deals. It may be minor, but it is a nice touch and is appreciated. All of this is infinitely better than what was on the PS2, but it just scratches the surface.

Where the big improvement comes in is in the online play. There is no excessively long waiting period to get online fron the PS23 like there was for the PS2. If you remember the PS2's online, every game had to check for the network adapter. Then it checked for the configurations. It checked for the online data for that particular game and, if there was an update, it would check for that too. It was annoying, to say the least. The Playstation 3 has the option of always being connected, which means you skip ALL of that and go straight to the online mode. In the games where the online is good, you can bring up your friends lists. ?You can also, quite often, look at leaderboards, keep stats in ranked and unranked matches, increase your rank online and join clans. All of this is present in Resistance: Fall of Man, which shines as a primary example of how to do a PS3 online game right

The PSN is only going to get better. Early next year, Sony will finally release Home, which will completely renovate their online service. The ycould have merely copied X-Box Live, but they decided to do something that is a bit more fresh and different. Instead of just having chat rooms, Sony is gifting it's fans with a massive online world where you can create and customize your own character and personal space, that you can invite your friends back to if you want. There is a virutal PSP that allows for many functions, including launching a game from Home, which is a vital feature if it is going to be worth it's weight. I don't know about anyone else, but I an very excited a bout Home. Sony finally has a good, solid plan for their online service, and they intend ot take it to the next level

Downloadable content -

I am not going to knock on the content DL for the 360 or the Wii. I like retro and classic video games as much as the next guy, and I appreciate that all three consoles are doing this, however, Sony deffinitely has the right idea with downloadable content. They are focused on creating original games (that are quite often quirky and innovative). They may be short, but what can you expect for 5 dollars huh? Doing original games is a great idea. It gives playeers those little time wasters and games that are innovative and fun to mess around with. Think about it. What are the most talked about downloadable games? Is it things we have played before or is it Flow, Calling All Cars and Everyday Shooter? What gets more coverage from gaming websites such as IGN? It would be nice just to get regular games, but the fact that Sony is focused on making quirky games such as Echochrome and Flower, it turns heads because no one has ever seen anything like that. People think "I could pay five bucks to see what that's all about."

Ad campaign

Ok. I will openly admit that the ad campaign for the Playstation 3 for most of it's life was very very strange. The early adds featured the PS3 sitting in a white room, and the Sixaxis would levitate and do something like tilt one direction and pull eggs toward it or a giant dragon would crash through one wall and hte name of a game woiuld be given. These comercials were not good ones. Instead of making people go "Wow that system looks cool," they made people sit back and go "Wait....what? Someone tell me what I just watched." They had a serious 'what the heck' factor to them, and video game adds should not do that. We all know that there were any number of adds for the Playstation 2 and it's games that were good, so what happened? Why the strange adds for the PS3?

Thankfully, this has been righted recently. Sony is finally starting to create good adds for the Playstation 3. They are making adds that make the system look good and cool instead of odd like you have no idea what you are buying or that the add was even about a game (would you if the Ps3 wasn't there anyway? Think aobut it). What are they doing differently? Well, the short answer is everything. The new adds feature heavy, adrenaline fueled rock riffs for music with lyrics that challenge you to re-evaluate whether or not you want the Playstation 3. This sets the mood, and the new commercials show action shots of some of the systems better games, and some of it's upcoming titles that really help to drive home the point. Gone are the days "Dude, what did I just watch? Welcome to the days of "Dude the PS3 looks AWESOME." The ads that the yare doign now are infinitely better.

Anyway, this is getting excessively long, so I am going to wrap it up. The final thing that Sony is doing right is dropping hte price. Teh Playstation 3 starts at 400 dollars, which people cannot complain about too much, really. The most exlensive 360 is 50 dollars more and the Pro is 50 dollars less. It's not a bad price. The 360 launched at that price and, for what you are getting, it's a good deal as well. Sales are showing that what Sony is doing is actually working. Sales have increased significantly recently and the system has even outsild the Wii in Japan for 3 weeks in a row. I doubt that Sony willreach their sales goal, but it's nice to see people starting to come around. I am no fanboy, but it is a good system that has gotten a bad rep. Sony has pretty much fixed that at this point, and hte PS3 should enjoy a bright future.

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