Monday, January 21, 2008

Oh look, more FANFICTION in video game writing!

It's blanket statements like this that make me LOL. No, wait....statements like this make me LOVVLAROTFLMAO:

"But the PlayStation brand and the Sony brand have survived. They have clung on. They are still here. And now they are going to come back into play. The battle against Xbox 360 (let’s leave Wii aside for now) is not over. In fact, it’s only just beginning. And PlayStation will be the ultimate winner, although what that actually means is something I reckon is worth analysing in its own right."

Oh my goodness. So funny!!!

The craziness never ceases in paid advertising game journalism.

More delusionary video game writing here....including all my arguments against it. Why reiterate what's already been said before?

This generation's console battle (between Sony and Microsoft) is already over. Sony should be looking towards the next generation (2010 and beyond) for any chance of success, because the hole they've dug themselves into is far, far too deep:

1. Sony has lost too many third-parties to Microsoft (in the USA and in Japan. Japan sales are lackluster for the Xbox 360 but Japanese developer support for the Xbox 360 is unparalleled in the history of the platform).

2. Sony's installed base won't ever catch up with the 360 given the incredible sales in the United States (the only market which really matters to third party software makers worldwide)

3. In terms of looking at their business, Sony's hurting pretty badly considering their dismal console software sales (a key part of making money in the console business is to sell a lot of software---which Sony has never accomplished at all, since launch). The Playstation 3 is burning a hole in Sony's bottom line. The press never covers this fact because it's just beyond their level of understanding to see the significance of it for their future performance (less profits means less marketing for future games, less big exclusives in the future, etc etc...)

4. As a hardware device, the Playstation 3 may be more reliable, but time and again it's been stated (by third parties in various interviews) that developing games on the PS3 is far more complex than for the Xbox 360, and that may explain the weak support that the machine is getting from developers worldwide. The delays for key games like Final Fantasy 13 and Metal Gear Solid 4 attest to this assertion. The complexity of the Playstation 3 hardware may be great on paper, but because of this, developers are unable to deliver games for the platform in a timely manner, and in my opinion, this is what hurts the Playstation 3 the most. Games sell consoles. Software sells hardware. And until Sony can establish a very solid library of titles for the PS3 that comes out with some regularity throughout the year, it will be difficult to convince console gamers who already own the Xbox 360 or the Wii to invest in a third machine for their gaming needs.

5. From the very beginning, Sony's Playstation 3 has suffered from an identity crisis. Is it a blu-ray player or a gaming device? This lack of focus is one of the things that has hurt the platform severely. For one thing, it made the console incredibly expensive at the outset, ruining its reputation with gamers early on in the race. Blu ray also does nothing for game developers, considering the machine only has 256MB of video RAM and 256MB of system RAM. The massive storage media is meaningless from a game design standpoint, considering that one is still limited by the available RAM. If the PS3 had upwards of 2GB of RAM or better, the massive storage space of blu-ray media would have been well justified.

What video game writers could do for Sony, instead of giving them even more false hope for this generation, is to encourage the company to jump the gun on Microsoft. Release the next Playstation earlier than the next Xbox, with a Final Fantasy/Metal Gear Solid sequel bundled with the hardware on launch. For this generation, Sony should just content itself with third place, try to sell as much hardware as it can, but they shouldn't waste their resources on impossible ambitions.

And video game writers like Colin Campbell should stick to posting fanboy dreamz on . His "Editor's View" is no different from the usual Sony fanboy tripe that you'll find there every day.

1 comment:

  1. This could be an interesting argument... let me play Devil's Advocate for a while. ;)

    The main point, I think, that Colin Campbell was pursuing is the fact that the PS3 had an absolute dud of a launch. I'd say it was a launch on the scale of a 3DO.

    And yet... the Playstation brand itself still carries its own weight. I am bothered by how many people still want the PS3 when the 360 offers a lot of what the PS3 has & possibly more... oops, I'm supposed to be on the other side for now :)

    The fact is that Sony is stumbling along on the strength of their previous hardware, the PS2, which had achieved a near NES / Famicom level of monopoly. The last time anyone went from a strong console performance to a lackluster one (in relative marketing terms) was Sega, and they ultimately bowed out of the race (Long live Saturn and Dreamcast!).

    For Sony to still remain competitive, even in terms of mindshare among consumers, is admittedly a very impressive feat, and it might be enough to pull Sony out of the rut they're in.

    ...or maybe not. Who knows?

    For many people, it looks like a tres-moderne piece of under-the-telly technology. And, what‘s more, it carries the Sony logo and the PlayStation logo. For those of us entrenched in the biz, both these brands carry baggage. But for them out there – the Year 3 Console Adopters, the people who bought a DVD player after the Millennium – these are brands to trust. They speak of sophistication and quality.

    I don’t even posit this as an argument against Microsoft or Nintendo, simply as a point about Sony and its relationship with consumers. Sony still means something to billions of people, and so does PlayStation.

    Couple this with the other points Campbell makes (Blu-ray's seeming push towards dominance, Sony's strong 1st Half 2008 lineup, the market's increasing positive attitude towards a full-featured media player rather than 'just a game box') and you have some rather compelling arguments that, perhaps things are indeed looking brighter for Sony.

    Certainly, the battle is far from over. But the market has changed and 'winning' or 'losing' is no longer measured in sales charts and graphs... Certainly, that's what Sony thinks so.