The Xbox 360 will be celebrating a anniversary the day that Sony finally launches it's Playstation 3. In the year that Microsoft has had against last generations giant, has it gotten far enough ahead in the numbers that Sony will have to make some amazing sales numbers?
If you watch the gaming market as much as me, having worked in it for some time, you will noticed that Microsoft's second time out has been bad on a number of fronts.
Aside from a estimated 36% returned/defective rate since the initial launch, the periodic shortages have done nothing but to hurt the system.
Another issue brought up too frequently is the shortage of games, and the shortage of game content. games that cost $10 more for the 360 versions end up wit ha extreme return/trade value. Much like Prey, a well received title for PC and 360, the amount of stuff available is nothing. Prey, where you play a native american saving the world from space creatures, has a game play of about 8 hours from start to finish. Is $69.99 worth entertainment for 8 hours? For casual gamers and parents, I could see that. Pick it up when you have time.
For the hardcore? not likely.
Prey isn't the only game that suffers from exponentially short game play.
The games that everyone are waiting for are coming, but are they worth the hype? Most of the must have games since launch have suffered from this problem.
And, put on top of that, the 360 library is not growing by leaps and bounds...more like baby steps interrupted by naps.
A year was not enough for Microsoft to gain a edge.
But wait, Sony is not going to escape unscathed.
If we talk about the 360's return rate, we must bring out the PS1 and 2. PS1 return rate for the first run was close to 90% with the poor design of the system that put important wires next to the internal power...
And lets not forget the 70% failure rate of the first couple of runs of the PS2. Faulty lasers and malfunctioning disc drives, oh my!
Sony had the edge because it wasn't pigeon holing it's audience like the 360 and the Xbox do. Sony brough out a variety of games and genres, while the 360 caters to the 18-36 year old demographic. Microsoft doesn't even think about women or people not interested in blowing things up. Sony balanced out their game line bcause they are not from North America. Gaming in Japan is varied and fresh there, a lot more than we here.
Sony had the games, but will it have the hardware? We have waited over a three year period for the PS3, but will it fill the void? With only a estimated 1 million units at launch, and a million more by january of next year, they could be shooting themselves in the foot also. They want to grab attention from Microsoft, but how many people will end up with a 360 under their tree because of a short availability of the PS3?
What about launch? they have not finalized many of the games that have proported to be on the system. A handful of game, none look too promising.
Is part of the problem that these two console makers are too involved trying to make the most realistic games, instead of the better content? It seems so to me. While they are trying to 1080i us into the next generation, what are we sacrificing for this? game content? Story? These things seem secondary in this console war. High Definition is great, but it hardly makes me feel horrible when a lead character dies for plot. It can just show me more details of it, more blood and how the light reflects off the tears of those around them.
I think Nintendo finally got it right. They continue to make a game a adventure, not a showpiece of technology.