By ravensword 25 Comments
Ok, so the console gen isnt over yet, and these type of things are mostly done AFTER the hardware gen is over, but I thought it would be cool to get a retrospec of the last 4 years of the consoles life. So I will be doing blog posts like this up until the day it launched, which was Nov. 17th 2006 in North America. Since i owned the console since pretty much its launch, I thought I would do this to chart the PS3s story up until this point, from a factual and personal perspective.
2006: November 17th, 2006. The PS3 is officaly launchd in North America for the suggested price of 599.99 for the main SKU, and 499.99 for the less feature riched model. While the price was indeed a bitter pill to swallow, and every console before hand that launched at anything above 400 dollars has pretty much ended in miserable failure, the console did indeed warrant that price from a strictly value proposition, grant it that you thought what it offered (bluray, built in wifi, rechargable controllers, blutooth, functionality, and memory stick and SD card readers in addition to HDMI) was indeed a value for the price. Compared to 360, it certainly had more value out of the box tfeature wise. It launched with 12 launch titles, most of which were middling to bad save for one or two (namely Resistence: Fall of Man, arguably the strongest of the launch titles) The launch itself was successful and most stores were sold out of the syestem at launch, sparking Jack Trettons infamous boast that he would pay 1,200 dollars to anyone who can find a PS3 console on store shelves at launch. (Spoiler: people did find them on shelves and he never made good on that bet)
2007: The PS3 would be out of a full year at the end of this year, and things were looking rough. Even though the launch sales looked good, there were issues with the experience. First of all was the multiplatform problem. 360 has been out for a full year when PS3 launched, meaning that games that would hit had 360 hardware in mind originaly because devs had the dev kits for 360 alot earlier then they did the PS3 dev kits, meaning that multiplatform games that were on PS3s launch performed noticeably worse on PS3, and this extended to multiplatform games for 2007 as well save for Call of Duty 4 (which was the first multiplatform game where the devs refused for the PS3 version to be a lesser experience) and a few others. This would be something PS3 would struggle with even today. However, many found this odd because of PS3s supposed tech supperiority to the 360 that SONY had claimed during launch. Another issue that arose was the Online and PSN. While Functional, it seriously lacked the ease and interface that Live did at the time, which did little to steer people away from playing on Live and moving over to PSN if they owned both consoles. The only thing that it could considered it had a advantage in was that you can play online and do everything for free. Also, the PSN store wasnt necessarily well integrated to the PS3 at this time. It was much more like a website then it was a application and updated weekly with little to no new content. Another issue that appeared was the lack of quality or compelling exclusives. This lead to many infamous phrases like "PS3 has no games" that will still be joked about even today. While games like Heavenly Sword were well made, it didnt make up for PS3's lack of compelling software to call its own. Many were considering PS3 a bust at this point and the magazine EGM even went so far as to seriously inquire what was wrong with it or if it was a bust in a rather famous (or infamous, depends on your view point) cover story and interview with Jack Tretton. Indeed, it was a hard time to be a PS3 owner, and some even started to question their 600 dollar investment. It didnt help that in this same year, 360 would be getting some of its biggest and most defining games in Bioshock, Mass Effect, and Halo 3.
Could the consoles fortune turn in the new year to come? Well, it could take the effort of one of their biggest franchises and its climactic conclusion to try.
(I will post 2008-2009 maybe next week.)