Sony Bandwagon Goes Boom: Is There Good Reason?
There are a whole lot of Sony critics out there these days. It appears that criticism of the Japanese media company is climbing as the launch day for its Playstation 3 (PS3) console approaches, and to the surprise of this writer, the bandwagon appears to be emptying. Isn't this the same console maker behind the ridiculously popular Playstation and Playstation 2? What has changed so much that critics feel the need to label the PS3 and its future as a complete nightmare?
There are a number of issues with the Playstation 3 that should have even the most devout Sony fanboy shakin' in his Jak and Daxter booties. I won't go into great detail, since a number of other posts have explored the potential disasters, but clearly the cost - to both the consumer and Sony - is a perilous business venture for the Japanese developer. Less covered is the availability of the PS3 at launch, which might make memories of the Xbox 360's November 2005 inauguration a fond flashback.
Most recently, cynics are wondering if Sony will even survive this potential console debacle. The newest worry stems from the cost of the internal Blu-Ray player, which could potentially force Sony to sacrifice ten times more to include than Microsoft's expenditure on a standard DVD player for the Xbox 360.
So, it doesn't sound good. No, sir. But, what are we all forgetting? For someone who has always favored the big green (and now white) box, it surprises me that I'm here defending Sony. But, it's simply impossible to deny that the Playstation and PS2 have been awesome successes in the video game world. Is it that hard to believe people will pay more for the PS3?
Sony is pretty sure the gaming public will be on board, no matter the cost. Ken Kutaragi, Sony Computer Entertainment president, has told the media that he foresees people simply working harder in order to afford the company's expensive hardware. Kutaragi has been heard saying, "'We want people to feel that they want it, no matter what.'"
The financial gurus appear to have been seduced by Kutaragi's charm. Most have ranked the PS3 as the console to beat in the next generation, with little ground gained by either Nintendo's Wii or the Microsoft Xbox 360. According to the world's accountants - maybe even those who have never touched a gaming peripheral - funny controllers and a year's head start are still not enough to take down Sly Cooper and Sony.
So, there is evidence on both sides of the coin. But, what do the hard-line cynics and critics of Sony really have? Mostly, just a "feeling" that this whole Blu-Ray thing could sink the Japanese company. This writer thinks that only Sony can prove who is right on this debate, and it will do so depending on the quality of games and the popularity of a still untested high definition DVD player.
The real answer can only be provided by Solid Snake, Ratchet and Clank, and maybe even Cloud. These will be the judges of Sony's next-gen success or failure, and I'm thinking they're pretty optimistic.