Monday, May 15, 2006

Sony & Common Sense Part Ways

Games Industry.Biz posted a story today that gives completely undeniable proof that Sony and common sense have officially fallen out:
In an interview with Japanese website IT Media, partially translated by IGN, Kutaragi said: "This is the PS3 price. Expensive, cheap - we don't want you to think of it in terms of game machines."

"For instance," Kutaragi continued, "Is it not nonsense to compare the charge for dinner at the company cafeteria with dinner at a fine restaurant? It's a question of what you can do with that game machine. If you can have an amazing experience, we believe price is not a problem."
The full story is right here.

Let me take a moment to point out that for all of us and everyone else who was actually at E3 the response to Sony and the PS3 was unanimous: Are you out of your f&*#in' mind?!?!?

There is no way on God's green and verdent earth that I'm paying $500 for a gimped, non-upgradeable console, let alone $600 for the full version. Bear in mind that when held side by side, the Xbox 360 and the PS3 illustrated IDENTICAL quality. So why would I pay $200+ more for Sony's latest version of Betamax?

Sony has lost it completely. This is one of the most stunning instances of corporate hubris this century has seen, and that's saying something. No one cared that Sony had playable PS3 games on the floor. Let me say that again just to clarify for the hard of reading:


It's not like it was close. This E3 was an unmitigated disaster for Sony in the United States and anyone who says otherwise wasn't there or is in denial. There is no middle ground. All of the demos we saw for the next generation of console games were impressive, but when your chief rival has a console out for $200 less than yours and shows off tons of second-generation titles and all you do is say you're better than they are then you're doing it wrong.

I never thought Microsoft would completely clean Sony's clock but at the same time that's mostly Sony's fault. Sony is so convinced of its own superiority that they think just because their name is on the console we'll buy it. Take another look at that price tag, hombres, because that's the price beyond which no one but the early adopters will pass. The PS3 is going to be a disaster the likes of which Sony hasn't seen in a generation and this one is entirely on them. The goal of the PS3 was never about high-def gaming, it was always about forcing Blu-Ray onto a market that neither wants nor cares about it. Everyone is more than happy with current DVD tech, and the revelation that HD-DVD upconverts existing DVDs to look even better than they do now all combines to make me laugh at Sony.

On the other hand, Nintendo pwned both Microsoft and Sony by convincing the entire convention that their console was a must-own on Day 1. I've never been an early adopter for anything anywhere, but I want a Revolution (I refuse to call it the Wii) the second it's available. Having played with the controller, I'm an absolute believer. Should the developers program this gem correctly we could be looking at a smorgasboard of extremely fun games. If Nintendo also lets us download and own previous generation titles, then I'll sing hosannas from on high. It's unbelievable as to just how responsive and intuitive the controls for the Revolution are until you try it yourself.

As for Microsoft, I still can't play my existing library on the 360. Should they correct that with the backwards compatible list by this time next year, I would definitely upgrade. There are too many things coming down the pipe that are must-owns. Combine that with the beautiful functionality they're adding to the XBL Marketplace and that's the system to have in the house right next to the Revolution.

The PS3 can sit outside in the cold where it belongs. With 200+ titles for the PS2 coming out by the end of this year alone, I have exactly zero reason to upgrade for the cost of both a 360 and a Revolution. Besides, since Microsoft also will have Grand Theft Auto 4 on the 360 next October Sony is in dire straits.

But hubris won't let them see it.

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