The Playstation 3 has been the little engine that could of our current console generation, with criticism and a variety of heavy shake ups still not being enough to dampen the console’s appeal and massive potential. It’s been a long and winding road for Sony with the PS3, and one that we feel is worth retracing, so join us as we take a look at how the PS3 we see today has come to be.
We need to start our tale by considering the PS2. As the major driving force behind the DVD format and the most widely adopted sixth generation console in its own right, it was fairly obvious that a successor was on the cards. It was thus at E3 2005 that Sony gave us our first look at the Playstation 3, though at the time all eyes were focused on the silver design of the console and its accompanying boomerang shaped controller. Though some were baffled by the console’s bizarre aesthetics, the tech demos shown were undeniably cool, with early shots of Metal Gear Solid 4 and a Final Fantasy 7 remake demo solidifying some of the ongoing successes and requests that would later define the PS3.
Next year’s E3 brought a run down of hardware SKUs that consumers could expect, along with a general hardware alteration that removed some of the USB and HDMI ports sported on the initial system. Despite these cut backs, fans were still concerned by the system’s price. Expecting to debut in America at no less than $499, it seemed like the PS3 was going to be more of a long term investment than your usual games console. The questionable pricing strategy wasn’t helped by Ken Kutaragi’s now infamously outlandish statements, though we won’t get into that affair for sake of brevity. The start for the system became rockier as well, with components required for the Blu-ray drive proving scarce in PAL regions. This forced Sony to delay the system’s launch in PAL territories by a massive six months, which proved just too long for the more impatient fans. By the time system launched worldwide, it was subject to a mixed reception. Many felt baffled by the price and lack of quality launch titles, but few could argue against the system’s incredible Blu-ray playback and stunning hardware.