2006: The launch of Playstation 3.
2009: Playstation 3 coming in form
When the Playstation 3 was launched way back in 2006, the system was criticized for being expensive and having an average line up of launch games. People had written Sony’s next generation console off even before it was launched. Having seen through almots three years we analyze how the Playstation 3 has performed and how it has literally awakened from the ashes. ( Breif Details up to GamesCom 2009)
Sony digs a graveyard for itself in 2005 & 2006:
During E3 2005 Sony had announced the Playtstation 3. With much fanfare the console was very well received when it was uneveiled in one of the best E3 shows in recent history. Sony had promised a pleothera of exclusives including Metal gear Solid 4, Devil May Cry 4 and much, much more. The console was represented in such a way that the line between reality and virtual world will be erased for good. The console was supposed to have a multitude of USB and HDMI ports. Overall the fan hype was huge and Sony did announced during the show that the console will be released in Spring 2006. Weeks passed and finally months passed, it was announced that the PS3 is delayed to Fall 2006, a decisive event that gave Microsofts Xbox 360 a great lead in the next gen console wars. At E3 2006 Sony announced the much awaited price point for the console. It was announced that the console will be available in two SKUs: 20Gb for 499$ and 60GB for 599$. This lead to a big negative criticism in the media about Sony’s price setting and questions were asked whether the Cell processor and Blu Ray are too young for gaming. Sony also showed some of the games footage running on real time on the console, but to the disappointment of the fans the shown footage were no where near the CG flicks shown in the previous months. PS3 launched with shortage issues as well, and this was what Sony never wanted, specially what had happened in the months leading to the launch. Year 2006 ends and it was announced that PS3 production issues have been sorted out, but everybody had the same question? “Where are the Games Sony ” ” Where is the Dual Shock?”
The Ship almost sinks in 2007:
With Metal Gear Solid 4 delayed to 2008, Sony had no BIG IPs set for released in 2007. Most of the multiplatform games ran better on the 360 and developers were not able to harness the power of the Cell processor and the huge storage capacity of Blu Ray disc. Many also stated that Blu Ray is not needed for this generation of games or in broader terms some also concluded that Blu ray is not needed for gaming as a whole. No body knewed where Sony’s Halo Killer Killzone 2 is in production and whether it will meet the huge graphical lift as suggested by the infamous E3 2005 trailer. People started to doubt the consoles overall claim as one spot for multimedia entertainment. Sony’s huge game LAIR was released in August 2007, and the game was utter rubbish and flopped very badly considering the hype the game had in the months before the launch. At E3 2007 a few new IP’s were shown in action and most notably of them was Uncharted: Drakes Fortune. The game was an example of the PS3’s raw processor power, rendering life like characters and animations. Leading to the fall, the PS3 had some great games in Warhawk and Heavenly Sword. I must say Heavely Sword had one of the best motion capture in video games to date according to me. The months leading to fall were just OK with multiplatform games selling and looking better on the Xbox 360, Sony had nothing but two games to lay their backs on: Uncharted: Drakes Fortune and Ratchet and Clank: ToD and the return of Dual Shock. The PS3 just managed to scrape through the holiday season against big games like Mass Effect and other huge 360 exclusives! Year 2007 was one that Sony would wanna forget. Sony lost Virtua Fighter 5, Devil May Cry 4, Assasins Creed and some other big exclusives. All the boasting by Sony had bitten the dust.
2008: The Year of Revival
2008 started with a bang and perhaps was one of the best years for video games the Industry has ever seen. In early 2008 great games like Devil May Cry 4 and Burnout Paradise hit the 360 and the PS3, and they both did pretty well and infact better than Microsoft’s console. That never ended there, Condemned 2 and RainBow Six 2 came in next which did reasonably well. By this time the developers were quite acquainted with the PS3 “dos” and “donts”, and multiplatform games were doring better on the PS3. Some of the Huge exclusives that gamers were waiting since the advent of nex gen were MGS4 and GTA4, both monster franchises and sales drivers. Microsoft were one step ahead with that exclusive GTA4 DLC, but Sony had a huge weapon in the exclusive MGS4. The game was received very well and helped pick up sales of the PS3. If that wasnt enough, some of the big games were launched in fall 2008. Resistance 2, Little Big Planet , SOCOM were released along side Gears of War 2 and Fable 2. Microsoft had an asnwer to Sony’s counter attack, but it was a clear indication that the Sony Empire was striking and fighting back. About this time rumors of a price drop and a slimmer PS3 came in to the picture.
2009: Year of the PS3
Sony started the year with a HUGE bang with Killzone 2. The critics received the game very well and we ourselves gave the game a great 9.6. PS3 had some big games for Spring as well. Infamous was one of them and it showed how a super hero game should be made. At E3 2009, Sony had a very clear picture about where they were going in 2010 as well. Heavy Rain, MAG, Last Guardian, Rockstars two major exclusives, Final Fantasy XIV were an icing on the cake. But still that did not pleased some of the fans. They wanted a price drop. And Sony did listened to them. A slimmer PS3 and a price cut was introduced at GamesCom a few days ago. At 299.99$ entry point I must say that the PS3 is the best option that a gamer can have out there. Mind you the 360 has some great games and is a great console but their road map for 2010 doesnt look clear.
So folks what a turn around it has been. The Playstation 3 might be dead last in the current gen wars. But do we really care? I guess most of the gamers out there shouldnt. This article isnt about 360 is doing bad or something. Its just that we have been astonished at how Sony has managed to keep pace despite all the hurdles. This console war will be a long one and in the end , there was , there is and there will be only one winner: Me and You: The Gamers.