Much criticism has been thrown Sony's way - most of them striking at the seemingly lackluster sales of Sony's PlayStation 3. The PS3's sales have also been compared to the relatively higher sales of Nintendo Company Ltd.'s Wii since both consoles' release. In the past, Sony replied to this criticism with more PS3 sales figures, including a comparison of the PS3 and PS2's sales when the latter was released.
This time however, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) is responding differently, even tackling its plans for conquering the Christmas market. SCEE representative Jonathan Fargher comments on the PS3 being compared to the Nintendo Wii, saying that it is wrong to pit the PS3 and the Wii against each other.
...It is unfair to put the Nintendo Wii and PS3 in the same category. The Wii is a sub- £ 200 console and does one thing pretty well. Compare that with a £ 400 piece of hardware that plays next-generation games, allows users to access photo files and has built-in Blu-Ray technology.
He admits though, that the PS3 has not done well the previous summer months because many game companies chose not to release "big-name games", causing the "boom and bust scenario" the console went through.
But Fargher explains that Sony is "confident of the PS3's performance in time", and that the company already has plans on how to conquer the Christmas market with what the PS3 and the PlayStation Portable (PSP) have to offer:
* Backward compatibility. Fargher says that gamers don't want to throw away their library of games, and with the previous backward compatibility issues fixed, this is one feature of the PS3 that's sure to appeal to Sony fans. Up to 2,500 titles are now playable.
* PS3 Firmware update. FW v1.8 has been released for the PS3. This helps with the upscaling of PS1 and PS2 games to HD, among many other features.
* No region lock. Games released outside the PAL format are supported by the console.
* Blu-ray and High Definition format. Aside from getting to watch movies in HD format with the Blu-ray player, the PS3 is also able to upscale DVDs to HD format.
* Games on the PlayStation Store. Fargher admits the lack of games from third-party developers at the moment, that's why Sony's seeing to it to "counterbalance" this with providing games on its online PlayStation Store.
* Games to arrive on Christmas. Grand Theft Auto IV, Ratchet and Clank, Metal Gear Solid 4, Jak and Daxter, and Crash Bandicoot are all scheduled to hit the shelves this Christmas.
* Remote Play. The PS3 can be accessed remotely using the PSP and a Wi-Fi connection.
* PSP "upscaling". Fargher hints that there could be a redesign of the handheld.
* Games for the PSP. He also admits that there had been "a lack of AAA titles" for the PSP, but that's going to change because Sony is currently working with some content partners for its handheld, so high-profile games are in the pipeline.
With Sony banking on its console and handheld, and carefully planning its strategy for the coming holidays, we're sure to see interesting development for the PS3 and the PSP, be it in the form of big-name game releases or improvements on either platform.