Why Sony wins the video game wars
June 18th, 2009
Yes. I think Sony wins thevideo game wars. You will either find this statement (a) entirely credulous since I already sunk $600 into a 60GB Playstation 3 (personal bias revealed) or (b) entirely incredulous, because the Wii is clearly the fastest-selling system, and the XBox 360 has the most marketshare of next-generation games.
Let me start by saying that there is nothing wrong with either of the other two systems. But here are my reasons for this statement.
(1) The Playstation 2 is still the most popular video game system. Recent tech news indicates that Playstation 2 won the video game wars of 2008-2009. What? That thing is nine years old! The Playstation 2 is still benefiting from the same phenomenon, that, frankly, is killing blue-ray movies. The advent of blue-ray has made DVDs even cheaper. And Playstation 2 operates with DVDs. Sony has either been ingenious or downright stupid by releasing a large majority of their new games both on Playstation 2 and Playstation 3. So when both versions are available, you suddenly have a completely awesome $40 PS 3 game also available for $20 on PS 2…
The most popular game console — based on minutes spent playing during the course of the month — is none of the current consoles but rather Sony’s venerable PlayStation 2. That’s a real testament to the phenomenal staying power of the little black system, with 21.6 percent of all gaming minutes during the month spent playing it.
(2) The Playstation 3 allows you to play the games you already own on Playstation and Playstation 2. I am aware that the Xbox 360 allows you to play some games from the original Xbox. But it is not nearly as broadbased a support for the video game dollars already spent as with the Playstation. This allows you to have a single video game box rather than have several. (It’s dorky enough to have one video game console in your home–but several? Dates will fail.)
(3) The Playstation 3 has the capability to everything and more on the Wii and Xbox. What does the Wii have going for it? Not graphics. Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 are far superior. It’s ease of play. You can use a Wii-mote and feel like your doing something natural. None of this messing around trying to learn a controller. Controllers suck. Remember the N64 controller? Bleh. The Playstation 3 has always had motion-sensor capability but has never taken advantage of it. And in recent news, Sony has designed a “wand” that they will be releasing in 2010 to go head-to-head with Nintendo.
(4) Convergence Culture is the future. Come on folks, we know that discs aren’t the future. Direct internet-to-console downloads are the future. At least, according to Jenkins. All three systems allow you to download things from varying degress onto your harddrive. Skins for your desktop, patches for games, extra levels, old Castlevania games from the original Nintendo. On my PS3, not only can I download Street Fighter 2 and the most recent episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” but I can go online and check my email, watch YouTube and Hulu. I don’t have a DVD player or a Blue-ray player or a cd player in my house. I have a Playstation 3 and it does more than all three.