A Brit's view of the future of the PS3
Hi, Cajun Chicken here once again after quite a few months of zilch blogging. This is not a doom and gloom article about Sony, nor is it an article which is only on the subject of the PS3 Slim and how 'MS is going to react', but, hey, come on, how can I avoid that?
As most of you know, I am most favorable to the PLAYSTATION 3, whoops, I mean, Playstation 3, or uh, the newly branded PS3. I also have all the other systems except a DSi now, pretty good going, huh?
Anyway, this isn't about me spending a small fortune on new and secondhand consoles over the last 3 years or so, this is about the new state Sony is in.
The PS3 slim
I personally think with the announcement of the PS3 Slim and the 're-launch' of the PS3 with a cheaper slimmer version is completely brilliant, it is now at a price range with is perfect for the average consumer. I admit, I am looking forward to play games online with one of my old workplace friends who moved back to South Africa once he gets his PS3 Slim.
Despite the 360 virtually winning over the majority of the US, the Playstation brand still sticks in peoples minds in the United Kingdom. Lots of people I talk to daily want a PS3, but the price was stopping them. Admittedly in 2007 I did fork out the grand total of £425 for a PS3, I had my reasons and they were Naughty Dog and Insomniac, I can see why a lot of people didn't bother. Especially with the lack of titles and slow pace Sony took. Now is the perfect price and Sony is just started off. I think Sony will see a huge boom in PS3s sold now people have their cheap 360s from last christmas, even just as a Bluray player most the time.
The Relaunch of the console formerly known as PLAYSTATION 3 and Playstation 3
Essentially in the last week or so, what we have been seeing is Sony reinventing theirselves. Simple things such as a basic revision of the PS3 being the PS3 Slim and the PSP Go, not to mention the old school PS3 font instead of the Spiderman movie font. These subtle changes in image may retrigger an interest of Sony in the previous two generations. Not to mention Firmware 3.0 which has quite a few radical changes in the XMB, which is similar to Microsoft's approach with the NXE which in the long run made the 360 a better console for it, despite how pointless Avatars are. I am very excited to get my hands on Animated Themes.
It's great how with the internet a console can shed it's image like a popstar with updates and revisions. People like change, change is exciting.
I admit, I still have a PSP-1000 and have been very strongly considering getting a secondhand PSP Slim. I actually have a problem with the PSP Go and this is, wait for it...No UMD drive.
Okay, I have accumulated secondhand and retail about 22 PSP UMD based games, there is no reason for me to get a PSP Go. Infact, everything announced for the PSP Go software related is still compatible with the PSPs all the way back to the PSP 1000. However, no matter how much pointless I find the PSP Go personally, I can see what Sony are aiming for.
The concept of the PSP Minis excite me very much. Now, this is pretty much the nearest to Sony reacting to the popularity of homebrew as it gets. I love the fact that I can look forward to Minis on the PSP as I can with PSN games on PS3. I have an unbelievable amount of digital content on my PS3 now, but I feel this is only appropiate for small games, because I believe the secondhand market should ALWAYS exist.
Anyway, so far announced, the Minis range game I'm looking forward to so far is BreakQuest, which is a port of one of the best Breakout style games on PC, in my opinion, to date.
The PSP Go has also given Sony a fantastic chance to relaunch the PSP with a great line up of titles we haven't seen the like of for at least 4 years. Jak and Daxter and LBP for, the, win.
PSN is in a great state now. Full of games to play and games to download, I find PSN is the heart of the PS3, just recently PSN games have been bypassing the quality and originality of XBLA games for about the last 7 months or so outside of XBLA's recent Shadow Complex. PSN is also soon getting some classic XBLA games such as Castle Crashers and Braid, I think that soon, PS3 owners are going to be spoilt for PSN games to download, exciting news is that most games over the next year on XBLA will have timed exclusivity on the 360 for only a few months such as Alien Breed Evolution and Earthworm Jim. I'm sure there will be enough for PS3 players to play between that.
Not to mention, finally at Gamescon; Sony finally announced an estimated date of the EU Videostore and also good for the UK, the BBC iPlayer on the XMB, the most funniest thing about this, after having so much less than the US for so many years, all of sudden Sony are spoiling the UK with Vidzone, the PSN Videostore and iPlayer, let alone the services which play in the PS3's browser and all these services include no payable subscriptions, what, so, ever.
Oh yeah...and online gaming is still free and getting more robust every month.
Obviously, the PS3 has had a fantastic year for games, with the like of Flower, Burn Zombie Burn, Killzone 2, Infamous and Shatter, it's this point that the Sony first party factory are going full pelt, with no sign of currently stopping.
For a new consumer in the UK, the Platinum selection of games are amazing, especially with Killzone 2, Resistance 2 and Motorstorm Pacific Rift apparently hitting the range soon. Heck, people pick up a PS3, they can get about 3 AAA quality first party games for about £60 and have hours of online gameplay. Especially those excited and intregued by Uncharted 2, there is Uncharted:DF for £20 or under secondhand. Economically, with the selection of Platinum titles, PS3 is looking like a very good choice if you like exclusives and especially right from the box.
I prefer the idea of still holding a physical item in my hands other than the hand free sound of Microsoft's Natal. I think the wands could really take off if used correctly, but don't expect it for large franchises. Because face it, when you come back from work and you're tired, do you really want to wave around and lean backwards and forwards whilst standing up?
All in all, I think that in the UK, the perception of the PS3 will change radically and could in theory, if only in the UK, could well take over the lead of the 360. Problem is now we're at the point that not all games are going to be mature, so expect lots of family friendly titles on the way too. Expect Christmas to be big for Sony in the UK, expect it to be huge if GT5 does make it out the door in '09.