290w ago - Sony's PlayStation 3 is currently in 3rd place in the mighty console wars. Now we know sales do not always reflect quality, but with such a slow start and a multitude of other reasons, the PS3 was the undesired machine for your average gamer.
With missing features and less-than-satisfactory games, the future wasn't looking very bright. The PlayStation 2 reigned supreme last generation, and it was clear Sony was expecting double the sales with only half the effort.
But come 2008 the PlayStation 3 is now leading its hardcore competitor; Microsoft's Xbox 360, and slowing gaining on Nintendo's always out of stock Wii. Proven franchises and new IP's are on the way, and those missing featuring are slowly but surely being implemented. Things are quickly turning around for Sony's console and by the looks of it they're only going to get better.
But can the PS3 close the gap on Microsoft's supreme gaming machine, and catch up to Nintendo in the sales department? Is it really the future proof console? Read on to find your answer.
The most probable reason for Sony's late start to the 7th generation of console wars was the addition of the Blu-ray format, a disc that can hold 7 times the amount of your standard DVD. Again, early this didn't seem to be a smart idea. The exclusive games never really lacked in the visual department, but the content seemed lacking...incomplete if you will.
Multiplatform titles ended up being the exact opposite, with quality content but incompetent visuals. Games and Blu-ray movies are taking up more and more space than ever and the content in increasing by the day. Assuming Blu-ray will eventually take the crown from DVD, the best looking movies will only be found on a Blu-ray player, making the PS3 that much more appealing.
And on the games side, there is already buzz about other console hitting their graphical limit because of lack of space. With 50 gigabytes to work with, the Playstation 3 seems to be overflowing with potential.
Even though it is a relatively new service, the Playstation Network is has been making great strides against its Lively competitor. From the get-go basic features like a network wide messaging system were missing, as were the more advanced features like a video on demand service. But with rumours swirling of XMB arriving this summer, and the virtual HOME world slated for later this year, it looks as if Sony may become king of online play in an incredibly short amount of time.
One issue that Sony may have to deal with in the future is whether or not their online service will remain free. This is currently a big advantage that PSN has over its competitors, but when more content keeps getting added, along with more people working and becoming involved, all of a sudden that ad revenue will no longer be enough to sustain it. But on the other hand when you look at the massive user base of 10 million+ subscribers to the $50/year Xbox Live, maybe paying for online isn't such a bad thing.
And perhaps the most important piece of evidence that proves the Playstation 3's adaptability for the future is Sony's experience in the field in general. Sony is a very trusted brand, and has been the gaming console for the last decade. Along the way to their previous victories many developers have fallen in Sony's lap ad have become accustomed to their hardware.
Classic Playstation developers will most likely continue to produce games for the PS3, and because of this already sculpted mold, new developers will continue to flock to Sony's console.
Old school developers like Konami and Insomniac will continue to produce quality titles for years to come, and newer developers bring games such as LittleBigPlanet. Although this last fact may be lacking statistics, Playstation is a gaming console, and everyone knows it.
Nintendo and Microsoft have had clever titles in the past, but the name Sony gave their machine has become synonymous with good gaming. Simple but very effective, regardless of what format it uses, the quality of its online service, and its games, if it has the name Playstation you can be sure it will sell.
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