Sony had a tough year with the Playstation 3 in 2007. Seems like everyone, from the media to the competition’s fanboys, were bashing the home console for the expensive price point to the lack of games. This was reflected in the lackluster sales. It was a long fall from grace from the Playstation 2 for Sony. The situation got better in the second half of the year but the damage was done.
But that was last year. In 2008, Sony turned over a new leaf. As a result, attitudes about the Playstation 3 are changing for the better. Why the sudden turnaround? Here are six reasons as to why the Playstation 3 will see a resurrection in 2008.
You heard the same stories before: multiplatform games on the Playstation 3 don’t look nearly as good as its Xbox 360’s counterpart. That is slowly beginning to change. Developers are just now getting their grips on the Playstation 3’s unique architecture, mainly the power of the Cell processor. We already saw some games like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Burnout Paradise that looks virtually identical on both platforms.
As good as multiplatform games look, however, they don’t hold a candle to Sony’s first-party developers who are constantly tapping the system for more power. Sony has been quietly building a collection of internal powerhouse developers and the results are beginning to show on the first-party games on the Playstation 3. Some of their games, Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, look heads and shoulders above everything else on consoles. Moreover, Sony recently implemented the sharing of developmental technologies among its first-party developers. So, don’t expect this trend to stop anytime soon.
The situation for the Playstation 3 in Japan is as bad as North America, if not worse. The main culprit is the lack of any appealing games. That will change in 2008. Although they were slow to adopt at developing for a new high-definition system, many big name companies are releasing their next-generation titles this year. Devil May Cry 4, Soulcalibur IV, Street Fighter IV and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots among others will help boost the sales of the Playstation 3 in the land of the rising sun (not to mention in North America, as well).
The inclusion of Blu-ray was a huge risk for Sony and the Playstation 3. At first Blu-ray turned out to be a curse as it lead to an expensive price point for the Playstation 3. Not to mention that it was in a heated format war with HD DVD.
Now that Blu-ray has won the war (mostly thanks to the Playstation 3), it is now a blessing for Sony. With the Playstation 3 being one of the cheapest Blu-ray players out in addition to being upgradeable, the victory will give a significant boost to the Playstation 3 sales.
Playstation Home has a lot of potential; so much so that it probably won’t end up living up to the hype initially. But there is no doubting its impact. Playstation Home will give Playstation 3 a community and an identity, something the Playstation 3 was really lacking in. Most importantly, it will be free (unlike Xbox LIVE) for everyone.
In addition, Sony has proved quite active in updating the firmware of both the PSP and Playstation 3. This include listening and following through on the wishes of the fan base. Expect to see improvements such as custom soundtracks, in-game messaging and a revamped Playstation Store all out by 2008.
Delayed Exclusives No Longer Delayed
Let’s face it: games are the only thing that matters. Delays had really hurt Sony in 2007. The biggest titles that were supposed to help spur sales in 2007 were bumped into 2008. The wait for big exclusives like Killzone 2, LittleBigPlanet and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots has been torturous for both Sony and its fans.
2008 provides the light at the end of the tunnel. These super-hyped games are finally coming out this year. Many people will buy a Playstation 3 just to play these killer aps and system sellers.
2008 will be a dramatic turn around for Sony and the Playstation 3. While it is doubtful that they will be as dominant as the Playstation 2 era, Sony has taken the right steps and ensures the Playstation 3 will be a great console for them and their consumers. Not to mention that 2009 is looking equally as promising with God of War III and Final Fantasy XIII already slated for the year.