By ravensword 12 Comments
We last left off discussing PS3s infant years of the launch and first year on the market, and like we know, they werent exactly that stellar. But could this change in the year ahead?
2008: The first full year of PS3s existence had come and gone, and things werent looking good. Their was a drought of Exclusives, no one even thought about getting multiplatform on PS3 save for a few games fi they had the choice, and the features and online were obviously lacking or not up to 360 yet, and PS3 was surely becoming the industries whipping boy, subject to many memes and internet redicule. However, their was a bright light starting to appear at the end of a dark tunnel, a blu light.
Feb. 19th, 2008 marked the end of the bloddy HD Video Wars, with Bluray being the victor. Obviously helped by the fact every PS3 was bluray playback capable, Toshiba pulled the plug on HD-DVD, and now if people wanted HD movies on a disc, they would have to get a bluray player, and the PS3 was the most appealing option at the time. This created a spike in sales for PS3, wether it was solely for the bluray or simply because it was a game machine that also played blurays. this was also helped by a price cut to the 80gb unit to 400 dollars, but came at the price of any kind of PS2 backwards compatiblity. Many could argue that Bluray winning the HD war was the first sign of PS3 starting to finaly take shape and get notice, however many more would tell you it took the climatic conclusion to one of the companys biggest franchises. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was the closey thing to a syestem seller the console ever had at the time. It undoubtably moved systems, and has gone on to sell 5 million plus.
Not only was it one of the PS3s highest selling games and definetly improved sales of the console hardware, it also marked the beginning of the end of the consoles exclusive software drought. It is in my opinon that MGS 4 dosent get enough credit for really saving the PS3. In a time when no one thought the PS3 would get a killer app, MGS 4 appeared and it made the console the talk of the town for atleast a little bit.
2008 was also big because of the release of GTA 4. However, what was big about this was not only the game, but the Platform(s) it came out on. Yes, for the first time ever, a GTA game was released simultaneously at launch on both a Playstation and a XBOX console. And not only that, but the XBOX one sold more and was more saught after by multiplatform owners due to its then Exclusive DLC expansion packs. I know for me personaly it was very weird buying a GTA game on a non SONY console, but I did it because of the DLC and the fact that it was technicaly better on the 360 platform.
2008 also saw the release of the PS3s video delievery service, which was one of the first steps in making the two consoles about equal from a feature standpoint. SONY also launched their Trophies feature, which mimmicked what 360 had before by rewarding player not with numerical "Points" but with either Bronze, Silver, or Gold Trophies that palyers unlocked depending on the challenge. PSN was also making great strides by adding in game dashboard accessa and other improvements.
However, no year previous would have a bigger impact on the PS3s future then 2009. And what many consider to be the year PS3 finaly starting to balance out the scales.
2009: To say that 2009 was a important year in the PS3s life is a major understatement. In one year, SONY had seem to reverse most hate they have garnered in the last 3 years, and turned it into smiles. In other words, it was the year they started getting things together. helped by a rather lacking 360 Exclusive lineup for the year by comparison, PS3 was finaly able to squish most of the Exclusive and software complaints it once had with the release of Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time, Infamous, and Killzone 2. Then it launched its mega ton punch with the release of Uncharted 2, a game that is held in such high regard for its storytelling, its voiceacting, and its graphical prowess. in fact, after a year later, its still one of the best looking games on consoles today and finaly showed that maybe the Cell PR fluff maybe wasnt all BS after all.
PSN also continued to improve and started looking rather similar to what live was offering despite PSN being free of charge compared to Lives 50 dollars a year (at the time) subscription.However, its hard to deny that the biggest moment of change for PS3 came in the form of 3 numbers that everyone thought would never appear. 299. well, 299.99 to be exact. Oh, and there was redesign and rebranding they did, that helped lots as well.
The rebranding did more then people realize I think. It gave a fresh new look to the console, and it tried (and succeeded for the most part) to lift the stigma that it had since its launch by getting a major makeover, and it pumped new life into the console. PS3 finaly became affordable and on the same price plain as the 360, and now it was simply down to what exclusives you wanted when it came to thinking about buying one or the other. Price wasnt a factor really anymore. PS3 saw HUGE sales increases for the rest of the year after the PS3 Slim launched, and went so far as to outselling 360 all together for the year. And the price and redesign would continue to help them since then. I know I might be forgeting some big stuff that happened during this year, but thats because theyre was simply alot of stuff that happened for PS3 in this year.
We now move onto more of the present. Will PS3 be able to keep the momentum and sales up? can they close the gap? Well, you already know these answers by now, but why not still read what I have to say about 2010 when I post it on November 17th? the birthday of the console