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Advice to PS3 Fans from a Nintendo Fanboy Part III

by Carmine Red - December 18, 2008, 6:09 am PST
Total comments: 48

Before I get into that though, let me note some reader reactions to the last article. Actually, I have to apologize: you set loose a bunch of Nintendo fanbois and… well… eventually the discussion turned to whether Mario was a symbol of quality. Interesting question! But… sort of peripheral for now. However, there were some comments worth noting for those interested in Sony's plight, mostly regarding how appealing Sony's game library might really be.

"Sony's exclusives are more of the same, a FPS, a mature Zelda, a Realistic Racer, even their MMOs when they come out will be just more of the same. I am afraid Sony and Microsoft ARE fighting over the exact same market and tastes, while Nintendo has differentiated itself in the market." - Spak-Spang

"However, more and more kids I talk to grew up on the PS1, PS2 or...worse...Halo. These people have the same brand enthusiasm we do, but just not for Nintendo." - Halbred

"They struggle as a result, but it's not like they don't have good games. They just have few games that require a PS3 to play that are worth playing." - broodwars

The PlayStation 3 has a more impressive lineup than the GameCube did, but it's having far more trouble carving a niche and identity for itself, an interesting dilemma to say the least. It's simply not enough that the console has blu-ray: Sony needs to tie their game offerings together with a theme that can tell consumers what the PS3 was all about. Nintendo may have been pidgeon-holed as the "kiddie" console last generation (must…resist…urge to….flame…self), but at least no one was competing for the title. Sony has to either find a pidgeon hole to put itself in, or face Microsoft every step of the way.

But enough of that. Whatever strengths Sony molds an identity around, there's another factor to consider: self-destructive behavior and projects that consume resources with little hope of return.

3. Now is the Time to Get Rid of Bad Habits

The PlayStation 3 may be in third place, and Sony may have to make some hard decisions to remain profitable. But that actually gives Sony a mandate: if ever there was a time to clean house and make some readjustments, do some soul-searching, it's now. The impetus to reform into a company that will launch a successful PlayStation 4 could be the kick in the pants for Sony to do what it needs to do to survive this generation and be stronger and leaner in the next.

Now if you're still holding out hope for some huge happenings on the PlayStation Eye… stop. There's no need to bleed money to support what in the end I suspect is a nice little accessory. I'd be concerned if I found out that Eyedentify is still under development: I can’t help but wonder if an overly ambitious title with too small a userbase is worth it. Sony's London studio at least supports the Eyetoy with small-scale projects, but when what they make is not only esoteric but nets only $2 on the PlayStation store… can't their talents be put to somewhat more profitable use?

I guess it's too late to stop Sony's Home online virtual world. As the project nears release, I simply have to wonder how much the project cost Sony, and if gamers will really want to sit on their couch to play the most boring parts of Second Life. Home isn't even essential to playing games, it's an unnecessary layer in the way of instant gaming gratification. And if Sony hopes to make money from Home through virtual advertising and virtual sales, I wonder if anybody will stick around long enough to care. But, what's done is done. I just hope that afterwards, important energy and money are freed up, and that Home doesn't distract Sony any further from the important things they need to do to survive.

Either way, Sony needs to recognize a dud when it falls in their lap. There's a reason that Nintendo didn't really push the GameCube player, the e-card reader, or the GBA-GCN link cables for more than their novelty value. These unique ideas have their fans, but they don't have enough to justify big dreams and big budgets.

Another similarity between Sony and the Nintendo of past is that there are three systems that are drawing on Sony's attention. Nintendo has had the same problem back when the virtual boy was still around, and when they told the world that the DS was a "third pillar" to the GBA. In both situations, Nintendo quickly transitioned away from one of the three consoles.

Consequently, Sony needs to let nature take its course with the PSP. The UMD format is dead and game sales are for the most part unexciting. People nowadays have plenty of competing options for portable movie players, and the iPhone and iPod Touch play games too. Sony should also be angry that the PSP stole a God of War game from the PlayStation 3. The hardware is actually still moving, especially in Japan, but it's on a downward trend that would take too much effort to prop up. Instead, Sony should focus on making money on each sale along the way, even if that comes at the expense of unit sales.

One other lesson that I hope Sony takes to heart is that with hardware as expensive as it is, they need to make more partnerships with other technology firms, and even put some of their system components in their hands. This was a lesson that Nintendo learned somewhat by partnering with other companies after the mostly custom N64 and eventually adopting a standard media format for the Wii. Sony's lesson will be the Cell processor. It's an impressive piece of technology, but it cost Sony tons to design and is part of the reason the PS3 is expensive and difficult to develop for. With Nvidia and ATI the very definitions of graphics today, Sony would be well advised to stop spending money to swim against the current and instead seek compatibility. I know this goes vastly against the grain of Sony's history, but there's evidence that it is possible: the PlayStation 3 reads SD cards too, not just Memory Sticks!

Sony might also benefit by abandoning a multiple SKU approach that's confusing consumers and complicating production(a problem that Nintendo fortunately never had), and they might also want to take a very hard look at their PS3 inventory. Nintendo had to stop manufacturing the GameCube for several months when it didn't meet sales expectations, and Sony may be exposed to the same risk. It was a tough and humiliating decision, but hard times call for tough decisions.

All of these suggestions can be boiled down to common themes though: tighten focus, cut costs, and trim unprofitable endeavors. Nintendo had the benefit of a handheld GBA moneymaker to help them through the GameCube times. Sony has a consumer electronics business that is probably in even bigger trouble than their gaming division. Sony and their fans needs to prune their dreams and ambition, just for awhile, while they fight to survive.

Where else can Sony and their PlayStation brand stand to lose some weight? I'm sure there's more that can be done. But another thing that Sony needs to take this time to do is plan their next move. Nintendo started planning the Wii the moment the GameCube was done, but they also implemented what they learned from the GameCube into this generation.

Sony needs to do the same. The PlayStation 4 will be shaped by the long-term strategy and war plan that Sony lays out today. They need to take stock of the situation and their opponents.

The next piece will either be tough or easy for me to write, depending on how you look at it. I'm a Nintendo fanboy, but I will need to think about Sony looking for weaknesses in its opponents, including Nintendo.

Talkback

UltimatePartyBearDecember 18, 2008

Quote from: Kairon

The PlayStation 3 may be in third place, and Sony may have to make some hard decisions to remain profitable. But that actually gives Sony a mandate: if ever there was a time to clean house and make some readjustments, do some soul-searching, it's now. The impetus to reform into a company that will launch a successful PlayStation 4 could be the kick in the pants for Sony to do what it needs to do to survive this generation and be stronger and leaner in the next.

So you're saying they need to knock out the fat?

http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n265/UltimatePartyBear/Misc/ps3grill.jpg

NinGurl69 *hugglesDecember 18, 2008

There won't be another "generation," only Nintendo's next dynasty.

UltimatePartyBearDecember 18, 2008

But there will be a next "grilleration!"

All kidding aside, Kairon's right about a lot of this.  Home was a bad idea from the start.  That development work should have gone to making a PS2 emulator.  Taking out the hardware to save money made perfect sense, but taking away the feature did not.  It made the PS3 less valuable to buy more than it made it less costly to produce.  Software emulation with upscaling is the answer.  The upscaling even makes removing the hardware a selling point.

Reselling PS1 and PS2 games in a digital distribution thingy would be a stupid idea, too.  The PS3 userbase probably has very few people in it who didn't have an earlier Playstation except for the Blu-ray early adopters who never cared about games in the first place.

NinGurl69 *hugglesDecember 18, 2008

PS3's sense of value was completely warped from the beginning.  The ideals, direction, and motivation cultivated during the PS2 cycle would only lead to self-destruction.

Quote from: NinGurl69

The ideals, direction, and motivation cultivated during the PS2 cycle would only lead to self-destruction.

Little bit over-dramatic, don't you think?

GoldenPhoenixDecember 18, 2008

Quote from: Lindy

Quote from: NinGurl69

The ideals, direction, and motivation cultivated during the PS2 cycle would only lead to self-destruction.

Little bit over-dramatic, don't you think?

Dramatic but true

UltimatePartyBearDecember 18, 2008

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote from: Lindy

Quote from: NinGurl69

The ideals, direction, and motivation cultivated during the PS2 cycle would only lead to self-destruction.

Little bit over-dramatic, don't you think?

Dramatic but true

In the "Pride goeth before a fall" sense, anyway.  I can't see how Sony's success with the first two Playstations could have led them to making the PS3 unless I factor in vast amounts of hubris.  I guess they just didn't bother to examine the roots of their own success.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 18, 2008

Quote from: UltimatePartyBear

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote from: Lindy

Quote from: NinGurl69

The ideals, direction, and motivation cultivated during the PS2 cycle would only lead to self-destruction.

Little bit over-dramatic, don't you think?

Dramatic but true

In the "Pride goeth before a fall" sense, anyway.  I can't see how Sony's success with the first two Playstations could have led them to making the PS3 unless I factor in vast amounts of hubris.  I guess they just didn't bother to examine the roots of their own success.

It is basically why N64 struggled. Nintendo thought they could do no wrong and people would buy whatever they put out on whatever format they chose. Unlike Nintendo though, Sony doesn't really have the games nor the price/cost for their system going for them.

Home is a horrible, unneccesary, graphics-based menu system. The XMB does just fine. We don't need anything else. Also, Kairon, you're probably aware of this already, but it's kind of unfair to say that Sony "lost" a God of War game to the PSP. They didn't develop the game--I think Ready At Dawn Studios did. Chains of Olympus had always been meant as a PSP title, perhaps for no better reason than to spike PSP sales. Is it any coincidence that Sony marched out a Kratos PSP bundle just a few months after the game's release?

That's another thing Sony is sucking at--the PSP. They keep "improving" the core system, but not in any meaningful way. You can do a lot with firmware upgrades, and they do continue to do that, but did they really need a PSP-3000? No. That's time and effort which could be spent making GAMES for the damn handheld. Give me another Patapon, or God of War, or Mega Man: Powered UP 2! You know what? I'd even buy a sequel to Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X. You've got brands, Sony. USE THEM. Don't give me a PSP-3000 or a useless Home thing on my PS3.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 20, 2008

Quote from: Halbred

That's time and effort which could be spent making GAMES for the damn handheld.

But the games aren't selling!  The system is!  Why make more games that everyone's just going to pirate when, instead, you can make a slightly better system that everyone will re-buy? ;)

White MageDecember 20, 2008

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote from: UltimatePartyBear

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote from: Lindy

Quote from: NinGurl69

The ideals, direction, and motivation cultivated during the PS2 cycle would only lead to self-destruction.

Little bit over-dramatic, don't you think?

Dramatic but true

In the "Pride goeth before a fall" sense, anyway.  I can't see how Sony's success with the first two Playstations could have led them to making the PS3 unless I factor in vast amounts of hubris.  I guess they just didn't bother to examine the roots of their own success.

It is basically why N64 struggled. Nintendo thought they could do no wrong and people would buy whatever they put out on whatever format they chose. Unlike Nintendo though, Sony doesn't really have the games nor the price/cost for their system going for them.

I just don't understand why Sony didn't learn from Nintendo's mistake?  Dominate system -> cocky attitude towards consumers and business practices -> lost market lead next time around.  Wouldn't you, as the leading company, think to yourself, "okay, the company we took the lead from was in a similar situation, lets do what we can to make sure what happened to them doesn't happen to us!"  Isn't that part of being a business?  Learning from others mistakes and staying ahead of the pack?  Don't they understand that the market changes and that they have to be ready for it?  Obviously going with the exact same strategy they did for the PS1 and PS2 might not be the most sound idea...

The more of theses editorials that Kairon puts up examining Sony and the PS3, the more I come to realize just how big of a blunder Sony has made of this whole situation.  Who allowed for this all to take place?  Wasn't there anyone that was kind of like... "hmm, maybe we should look at where the market might be heading instead of jumping on PS2-ALL-OVER-AGAIN train?"  Wasn't one of the reasons Nintendo took such a radical direction with the Wii because the Japanese game market had begun taking such a downward turn?

It just seems like no one at Sony was paying any attention to what was happening around them.

DeguelloJeff Shirley, Staff AlumnusDecember 20, 2008

Quote:

That's time and effort which could be spent making GAMES for the damn handheld. Give me another Patapon, or God of War, or Mega Man: Powered UP 2! You know what? I'd even buy a sequel to Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X. You've got brands, Sony. USE THEM.

Just gonna correct this here and say Mega Man is 100% a Capcom franchise, which Sony has no control over.  I mean they could moneyhat it, but considering the sales it'd probably be worse than Sony making Home for the PSP.

As for advice to PS3 fans.  First, Game quality is now of the utmost importance.  And nothing is a better indicator for quality than a review.  You must find solace in reviews only.  A good reviewed game IS a good game.    Sales mean nothing.  Low sales are actually GOOD because they show how 1337 and underground you are, how non-mainstream or non-conforming you are.

Now of course I'm being facetious, but this is from years of observation of Nintendo fans on these and various other forums.  I think the main problem is that Sony "fans" have no identity.  There is something Ian said a while back (Yes, Ian.  I actually do hold you to be one of the more intelligent posters here) that Sony doesn't have "fans," they have "customers" and this is something that is evident in the bulk of PS2 "fans" did not transfer to the PS3.  And as such they are reliant on their first party stuff, which is, despite a few gems, lacking in the face of Nintendo's properties and developers, who run rings around Sony's.

I dunno about the intent of these posts, Kairon.  It more insulting to tell PS3 fans that they're favorite console is one only losers have and their best games are 360 ports, or to perform an autopsy on the console and give their fans advice on how to be in the minority? :D

Quote from: Deguello

As for advice to PS3 fans.  First, Game quality is now of the utmost importance.  And nothing is a better indicator for quality than a review.  You must find solace in reviews only.  A good reviewed game IS a good game.    Sales mean nothing.  Low sales are actually GOOD because they show how 1337 and underground you are, how non-mainstream or non-conforming you are.

Now of course I'm being facetious, but this is from years of observation of Nintendo fans on these and various other forums.  I think the main problem is that Sony "fans" have no identity.  There is something Ian said a while back (Yes, Ian.  I actually do hold you to be one of the more intelligent posters here) that Sony doesn't have "fans," they have "customers" and this is something that is evident in the bulk of PS2 "fans" did not transfer to the PS3.  And as such they are reliant on their first party stuff, which is, despite a few gems, lacking in the face of Nintendo's properties and developers, who run rings around Sony's.

This is actually an excellent point. I wouldn't go so far as to say that you must put your trust in reviews. You should put your trust in your OWN self-concept of fun.

That's what Nintendo fans do. Some of us LOVE Animal Crossing, and we consider it a key Nintendo franchise no matter the non-blockbuster sales (though Animal Crossing on the DS delivered in spades) and despite the criticism that it takes for being an N64 game on the Wii. We don't care. We know what's fun, and we stand by it. Same goes for Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, Mario Kart: Double Dash and Wii, Wii Sports, Wii Fit, or even Wii Music for many of us.

Nintendo fans like it when their favorite games are liked by critics, or bought in droves, but if they're not we still retain trust in our own opinions.

And I also like your point about identities. Nintendo fans wouldn't be able to maintain loyalty to Nintendo if we didn't identify ourselves as fans of something beyond paying X number of dollars for Y hours of entertainment. If Sony, and Sony Fans, want to exist next generation, they'd be well advised to find something to adhere to that's higher than sales or review scores, they must find some transcendant value that makes following Sony inherently worthwhile.

Quote from: Deguello

I dunno about the intent of these posts, Kairon.  It more insulting to tell PS3 fans that they're favorite console is one only losers have and their best games are 360 ports, or to perform an autopsy on the console and give their fans advice on how to be in the minority? :D

T_T I don't mean to be insulting. I'm deadly earnest when I point out that Sony has a great stable of games, and excellent second parties or exclusive third parties. PlayStation 3 owners don't have a losing console, they have a GameCube. And I loved the GameCube, for all its difficulties. If they want to love the PS3, there are plenty of reasons for them to do so.

And besides, who better to give advice on how to be in the minority than Nintendo fans? We've been assailed and marginalized and ridiculed ever since the SNES days when Sega did what Nintendon't. We're experts at popular, cool, common opinion being against us. Even now when the Wii is successful we're STILL in the minority, if you think about it.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 20, 2008

Yeah Kairon but at least Nintendo fans had stellar, ground breaking titles to look forward to on N64 and even GC to an extent. Poor PS3 fans have hardly anything to look forward too

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Yeah Kairon but at least Nintendo fans had stellar, ground breaking titles to look forward to on N64 and even GC to an extent. Poor PS3 fans have hardly anything to look forward too

But Heavy Rain will be awesome!

*looks around*

No! Seriously! I wish it was on the Wii... T_T

GoldenPhoenixDecember 20, 2008

Quote from: Kairon

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Yeah Kairon but at least Nintendo fans had stellar, ground breaking titles to look forward to on N64 and even GC to an extent. Poor PS3 fans have hardly anything to look forward too

But Heavy Rain will be awesome!

*looks around*

No! Seriously! I wish it was on the Wii... T_T

We'll see. Hopefully it is. But still I doubt that will be a huge seller.

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote from: Kairon

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Yeah Kairon but at least Nintendo fans had stellar, ground breaking titles to look forward to on N64 and even GC to an extent. Poor PS3 fans have hardly anything to look forward too

But Heavy Rain will be awesome!

*looks around*

No! Seriously! I wish it was on the Wii... T_T

We'll see. Hopefully it is. But still I doubt that will be a huge seller.

Animal Crossing on the GC didn't sell loads, but Nintendo fans still embraced it.

MarioDecember 20, 2008

HELL NO.

PS3 is not GameCube.

GameCube has some of the best games ever made, games with true passion, true INNOVATION. Even the sequels like Mario Sunshine and Wind Waker felt brand new. PS3 has abortions and soulless clones. Gimmick games with ipod product placement. No emotion. No direction.

GameCube sold and profited DESPITE all the negative media, DESPITE being a purple lunchbox for babies, despite third parties hurling big bricks of shit at it. PS3 is selling the same with massive marketing behind it, viral campaigns, support from all the gaming media, being a huge powerful box, having multimedia capabilities, and third parties liking it so much that they are willing to risk TOTAL COLLAPSE to make games for it. It's INCREDIBLE how bad PS3 is doing, in fact I don't think it could possibly be doing worse, with all that "going" for it. GameCube is a modest little man who can't reach the key because it's too high up, while PS3 is a giant fucking fat slob who can't reach the key because he knocked the entire bookshelf over and fell on the key and it got stuck inside his flab rolls and embedded in his skin. They are in the same predicament for completely different reasons.

Nintendo can always support a console no matter what the climate, because they actually make games themselves, Sony has been exposed as having no idea what to do. They even dropped the ball with one of the few games they have left Gran Turismo.

UltimatePartyBearDecember 22, 2008

Quote from: White

I just don't understand why Sony didn't learn from Nintendo's mistake?  Dominate system -> cocky attitude towards consumers and business practices -> lost market lead next time around.  Wouldn't you, as the leading company, think to yourself, "okay, the company we took the lead from was in a similar situation, lets do what we can to make sure what happened to them doesn't happen to us!"  Isn't that part of being a business?  Learning from others mistakes and staying ahead of the pack?  Don't they understand that the market changes and that they have to be ready for it?  Obviously going with the exact same strategy they did for the PS1 and PS2 might not be the most sound idea...

The more of theses editorials that Kairon puts up examining Sony and the PS3, the more I come to realize just how big of a blunder Sony has made of this whole situation.  Who allowed for this all to take place?  Wasn't there anyone that was kind of like... "hmm, maybe we should look at where the market might be heading instead of jumping on PS2-ALL-OVER-AGAIN train?"  Wasn't one of the reasons Nintendo took such a radical direction with the Wii because the Japanese game market had begun taking such a downward turn?

It just seems like no one at Sony was paying any attention to what was happening around them.

I don't think Sony tried to do the same thing they did with the PS2 at all.  The PS2 and PS3 have two major things in common: incomprehensible hardware and doubling as a new media player (I recall reading that the title with the highest attach rate to the PS2 the week it launched in Japan was The Matrix, not a game).  Everything else, including the reasoning behind those similarities, is different.  Firstly, the incomprehensible hardware in the PS2 was motivated by traditional hardware design philosophy, i.e. getting the most bang for the buck/watt/processing cycle.  The Cell, on the other hand, is only in the PS3 because the parent company wanted it there to help sell the Cell as a general processor.  Next, the PS2's DVD playback was included as a bonus to encourage sales.  The PS3's Blu-ray playback is another kind of marketing move.  Yes, it's also a selling point for the PS3, but only if Blu-ray is as popular as DVD.  Sony put the cart before the horse, thinking PS3 sales would drive Blu-ray sales which would drive further PS3 sales.  In the PS2's case, DVD was already established as the new standard a few years before the console launched, making it a completely risk-free inclusion.  Sony was probably saved there by IBM's involvement in preventing another format war, or else the PS2 would have only played MMCDs.

One factor in Sony's PS3 strategy is already clear.  Sony's certainty of its own success led to the attempt to use the PS3 to push up other parts of Sony.  They forgot Newton's Third Law, figuratively speaking, and the PS3 got pushed down instead.

Beyond that, there's the glaring difference in relative power.  The PS2 was no slouch, but despite Sony's claims to the contrary, it was weaker than competing consoles.  Why, after two generations of seeing the sales dominance of weaker hardware, did Sony set out to make the PS3 such a monster?  It makes no sense.  Granted, PS3 work began early in the PS2's life, and Sony may have overestimated progress when they first set development targets, but it's not like anything was set in stone by the time the PS2 had soundly beaten two more powerful competitors.  It should have been clear that being the most powerful was not necessary.  It should have been clear that they were wasting money.

IceColdDecember 29, 2008

Quote from: Mario

HELL NO.

PS3 is not GameCube.

GameCube has some of the best games ever made, games with true passion, true INNOVATION. Even the sequels like Mario Sunshine and Wind Waker felt brand new. PS3 has abortions and soulless clones. Gimmick games with ipod product placement. No emotion. No direction.

GameCube sold and profited DESPITE all the negative media, DESPITE being a purple lunchbox for babies, despite third parties hurling big bricks of shit at it. PS3 is selling the same with massive marketing behind it, viral campaigns, support from all the gaming media, being a huge powerful box, having multimedia capabilities, and third parties liking it so much that they are willing to risk TOTAL COLLAPSE to make games for it. It's INCREDIBLE how bad PS3 is doing, in fact I don't think it could possibly be doing worse, with all that "going" for it. GameCube is a modest little man who can't reach the key because it's too high up, while PS3 is a giant fucking fat slob who can't reach the key because he knocked the entire bookshelf over and fell on the key and it got stuck inside his flab rolls and embedded in his skin. They are in the same predicament for completely different reasons.

Nintendo can always support a console no matter what the climate, because they actually make games themselves, Sony has been exposed as having no idea what to do. They even dropped the ball with one of the few games they have left Gran Turismo.

Thank you. My top 10 GameCube games easily beat any PS3 list I've seen.

The PS3 is the Saturn, not the GameCube. It's the most expensive, hardest to develop for, gets some of the third party stuff it's primary competitor (PS1/360) gets but not all of it and has a solid first party lineup but nothing compared to what Nintendo's console has.

I'm cautiously optimistic about Heavy Rain. Hopefully QuanticDream learned from their Indigo Prophesy mistakes, but it looks like the interface will be very similar. More storyline, less action sequences, please. Sorry folks, but I can tell you that Heavy Rain will NOT be on the Wii. It hasn't been announced for it, and it's pretty close to release for a surprise like that to pop up. I don't even know if it's been confirmed for the 360...?

I'm also annoyed by game sales stats. Reviews and word-of-mouth are your best friends when it comes to game recommendations. I had a friend a LONG time ago on the GI forums (BigRedRockEater) who told me to drop what I was doing and go buy Beyond Good & Evil. Never looked back. Now it's one of my favorite games.

Reviews for BG&E were average. Actually, this gets me into a whole tyrade about the review process, but I'll blog about that sometime. I will say this: When you write a review, it's almost impossible to convey how damn FUN a game is. Yeah, you can write that. You can say "This game is the freaking bomb," but that's not the same as experiencing that awesomeness firsthand. I would go as far as saying that reading a review of Super Mario Galaxy is useless. It's a game you need to play to understand.

It's the same way with BG&E. It is far more than the sum of its arbitrary score values. No individual score would really stand out, and if forced to review the game, I would probably give it an 8. But you know what? It's so much more than that. There is no score for "heart and soul" or "identification with the main characters" or "that was freaking awesome!"

If you haven't played BG&E yet, by the way,  you really need to.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 29, 2008

Heavy Rain looks interesting but I really doubt it will be a big seller. Look at LBP, it was advertised like crazy and the sales have been slumping quite a bit. I'm not sure what Sony can do, even Resistance 2 has sold pretty badly and that was their big game of the year.

If you rethink the PS3 as a GameCube, then there are plenty of modest successes. Animal Crossing on the GC didn't sell a ton, but that doesn't mean bad things. Same goes for Custom Robo, Eternal Darkness, and other titles from that era. As Nintendo gamers, we didn't discount those because they sold less on a third-place console than some games sold on the PS2. Neither should PS3 fans for their exclusives.

This may sound weird coming from a sales watcher like me, but sales aren't indicative of actual quality. They are certainly indicative of a lot of people finding quality in the product... but when it comes down to whether you're happy with your purchase or not (of either game or console), that's up to you personally.

I'd still love Animal Crossing just as much as I do now if the Wii version only sold 250,000 copies ever in the U.S.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 29, 2008

I would never say sales equal quality (heck I remember that Matrix game selling like 4 million copies or something). Though it does say something about the userbase, and frankly I don't know what the PS3 userbase is anymore. On a side not I ordered Afrika and cannot wait!

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

frankly I don't know what the PS3 userbase is anymore.

I agree. If sony wants to have the strong fanbase that Nintendo enjoys... and CONTINUES to enjoy, I believe... then they need to find some way to impart identity to them.

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

On a side not I ordered Afrika and cannot wait!

Maybe the PS3 fanbase should be... people like YOOOUUUUooouuuoOOOUUUU!!! *ooh I scared myself*

KDR_11kDecember 30, 2008

Quote from: Halbred

It's the same way with BG&E. It is far more than the sum of its arbitrary score values. No individual score would really stand out, and if forced to review the game, I would probably give it an 8. But you know what? It's so much more than that. There is no score for "heart and soul" or "identification with the main characters" or "that was freaking awesome!"

Oh yes there is a score for that, it's the final score. If the experience was so fucking awesome why wouldn't you give it a ten? I think for example EDF2 deserves one, it's not terribly polished or anything but playing it feels so awesome it deserves no less than top marks because in the end technology, polish, controls, game time, etc are just means to an end: A better experience. If a game gives an awesome experience don't be afraid to rate it highly even if it's not high budget or whatever. Rate how great the experience is. Rate how much you think people should play it. Don't rate the "total package" because that's a way of saying that you add/subtract points because of some technical or other secondary issues, things that you think make a game deserving of a different scorre despite of the core experience.

By the way, I think BG&E is overrated, the game isn't that interesting to play. Too much stealth.

RizeDavid Trammell, Staff AlumnusDecember 30, 2008

I think a price cut would help Sony when it didn't help Nintendo.  The PS2 was exceptionally dominant.  There are still hoards of people that don't have a 360 or a PS3 and they would prefer to buy a PS3 if they could afford it.  Right now they're buying Wii's instead because it's inexpensive and brings something new to the table.  The Wii will tide them over until Sony drops the price into an affordable range.  The trouble is the PS3 is *really* expensive to manufacture.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 30, 2008

Quote from: Rize

I think a price cut would help Sony when it didn't help Nintendo.  The PS2 was exceptionally dominant.  There are still hoards of people that don't have a 360 or a PS3 and they would prefer to buy a PS3 if they could afford it.  Right now they're buying Wii's instead because it's inexpensive and brings something new to the table.  The Wii will tide them over until Sony drops the price into an affordable range.  The trouble is the PS3 is *really* expensive to manufacture.

Why would people prefer a PS3? Xbox 360 has far more exclusive games, has the best online infrastructure (even if it paid), has a well designed marketplace, has tons of original Xbox Arcade. Not to mention that Sony's "key" brands have really no system selling power. The reason PS2 and PS One did well wasn't because of some fanboi obsession with Sony but the 3rd party exclusives.

vuduDecember 30, 2008

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Why would people prefer a PS3?

I would prefer a PS3 for the simple reason that I wouldn't have to hold my breath every time I turned the system on for fear that I would exhale too hard and RROD the console.

Quote from: KDR_11k

Quote from: Halbred

It's the same way with BG&E. It is far more than the sum of its arbitrary score values. No individual score would really stand out, and if forced to review the game, I would probably give it an 8. But you know what? It's so much more than that. There is no score for "heart and soul" or "identification with the main characters" or "that was freaking awesome!"

Oh yes there is a score for that, it's the final score. If the experience was so ****ing awesome why wouldn't you give it a ten? I think for example EDF2 deserves one, it's not terribly polished or anything but playing it feels so awesome it deserves no less than top marks because in the end technology, polish, controls, game time, etc are just means to an end: A better experience. If a game gives an awesome experience don't be afraid to rate it highly even if it's not high budget or whatever. Rate how great the experience is. Rate how much you think people should play it. Don't rate the "total package" because that's a way of saying that you add/subtract points because of some technical or other secondary issues, things that you think make a game deserving of a different scorre despite of the core experience.

By the way, I think BG&E is overrated, the game isn't that interesting to play. Too much stealth.

Final score is great, but when people look at your other scores (Graphics, Sound, Control, Gameplay, Lastability) and those are mediocre, and then they see the final score and it's perfect, there's a disconnect there. Numerical values do not equal reason to play a game. Here at NWR, we're lucky enough to be able to choose our poison, as it were, or what games we review. It is rare that anyone is assigned anything. So we generally review what we think we'll enjoy, or at the very least, not gouge our eyes out over.

(Homie Rollez was a hilarious exception!)

But even so, it's still ONE PERSON'S view on a game. I loved Tomb Raider: Underworld (DS), but Metts might hate it. Our numerical scores might differ significantly. So to me, it's more important in a review to express how the game feels, what the experience is like. If I were to write reviews my way, you wouldn't recognize them as such. Again, we're tied to the numerical score system here, and that review system forces you to, in some way, justify those numbers. If I'm raving about BG&E, I'm not going to mention, in any great fashion, the midrange graphics or floaty platforming. I'm going to talk about the experience, the plot, everything that makes the game worth playing.

But this is a rant for another day.

BG&E isn't all about stealth. If you're good with the disk glove, you can disable most of the troopers in any given dungeon, then wander around at your leisure.

DeguelloJeff Shirley, Staff AlumnusDecember 30, 2008

Quote from: Rize

I think a price cut would help Sony when it didn't help Nintendo.  The PS2 was exceptionally dominant.  There are still hoards of people that don't have a 360 or a PS3 and they would prefer to buy a PS3 if they could afford it.  Right now they're buying Wii's instead because it's inexpensive and brings something new to the table.  The Wii will tide them over until Sony drops the price into an affordable range.  The trouble is the PS3 is *really* expensive to manufacture.

Would a price cut really help?  Do you really think that there are throngs of people who, instead of saving money for another month to get a PS3, are getting a Wii and a few games in order to "tide them over?"

I don't think a price cut will help Sony.  Especially not with the mainstream media turning against it.

Quote from: Deguello

Quote from: Rize

I think a price cut would help Sony when it didn't help Nintendo.  The PS2 was exceptionally dominant.  There are still hoards of people that don't have a 360 or a PS3 and they would prefer to buy a PS3 if they could afford it.  Right now they're buying Wii's instead because it's inexpensive and brings something new to the table.  The Wii will tide them over until Sony drops the price into an affordable range.  The trouble is the PS3 is *really* expensive to manufacture.

Would a price cut really help?  Do you really think that there are throngs of people who, instead of saving money for another month to get a PS3, are getting a Wii and a few games in order to "tide them over?"

I don't think a price cut will help Sony.  Especially not with the mainstream media turning against it.

I don't think a price cut would hurt, obviously. Price is obviously a major hurdle for Sony. But I highly doubt that a price cut can do anything really significant for their position. It's still imperative that they continue to depress the PS3 price, but with a price cut having limited effect (as per GameCube comparison, or even recent 360 versus Wii comparison) doesn't justify some of the more extreme means it would require.

D_AverageDecember 30, 2008

I think a price cut would help greatly.  I wasn't willing to pay $400, but when a special offer to get one for $250 (brand new, 80 gig) rolled along I snatched it right up!  Additionally, all of my buddies who picked one up waited at minimum, for some sort of Amazon deal for free games or blu rays.

At the end of the day though its all about GAMES and thats what they really need, exclusives.  Had GTA 4 been exclusive to Sony they'd be just fine, but titles like MGS 4, Uncharted, and Rachet, while great, just aren't popular enough to move millions.

KDR_11kDecember 30, 2008

A price drop might help them fight against Microsoft but it won't help against Nintendo at all. People who buy a Wii aren't buying it because it's cheap (the 360 is cheaper and yes that does include the one with the harddrive) but because it does what only the Wii does. Sony cannot take the Wii buyers away, the PS3 completely lacks the necessary qualities. The best they can do is pull people away from the 360 since the two are practically interchangeable. Unfortunately Sony tends to take the Apple stance by proclaiming that their value is so great that the price is a bargain when the value to most potential customers is much lower (they don't care about most of the features no matter how much the Sony defenders will argue about how great BluRay is). To most potential buyers both systems have roughly equal value and one being much cheaper makes a massive difference.

Quote from: Halbred

BG&E isn't all about stealth. If you're good with the disk glove, you can disable most of the troopers in any given dungeon, then wander around at your leisure.

Yeah, except in the one room I got stuck in. Two guards, almost no hiding spots and an insta-death laser next to the camera.

D_AverageDecember 30, 2008

Never thought about an MS v Apple comparison here, but that certainly seems to relate.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 30, 2008

I do think Sony screwed up by not trying to put their focus on a particular franchise to define who they are. Both Nintendo and MS have games with established names that people relate to each company and stir up excitement (like GoW or Halo for MS and for NIntendo Mario and Zelda along with other franchises).Now Sony's only real draw is the hardware and as we've seen historically just because you have good hardware does not make a system successful if that is pretty much all it is relying on.

No, that's Sony's fault. They have plenty of triple-A franchises, but they don't incorporate those names into their ads. Ratchet & Clank, God of War, Metal Gear Solid, these are all great exclusive brands. However, the advertising focuses on the flexibility of the PS3/PSP and big shiny Blu-Ray movies. These are not things gamers care about. Nobody is listening to music on their PSP--that's what iPods are for. And Blu-Ray won't dominate the market until there's a good reason to give up DVD's, which are both cheaper and more embedded.

Guess what, Sony: We buy gaming consoles to play games.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 30, 2008

Well MGS isn't really a Sony franchise, Ratchet and Clank, is well, perceived as more of a Mario clone than anything and God of War is an action game in the midst of other action games. None of those games really stand out as THE game to play in a genre like Halo, and in fact some are seen as Halo clones like Resistance. But you are right lots of it has to do with advertising, but some of it has to do with the fact they never "found themselves" in the PSone or PS2 generation as a game maker, at least in the eyes of people.

You'd think that Gran Turismo could've evolved into their key franchise, but I have no idea what happened to that series.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 30, 2008

Quote from: Kairon

You'd think that Gran Turismo could've evolved into their key franchise, but I have no idea what happened to that series.

Yeah, personally I think the "realistic" racer genre is pretty niche to begin with, so it is king of a mole hill.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusDecember 30, 2008

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

I do think Sony screwed up by not trying to put their focus on a particular franchise to define who they are. Both Nintendo and MS have games with established names that people relate to each company and stir up excitement (like GoW or Halo for MS and for NIntendo Mario and Zelda along with other franchises).Now Sony's only real draw is the hardware and as we've seen historically just because you have good hardware does not make a system successful if that is pretty much all it is relying on.

Well Golden Sony's greatest weakness is also Microsoft's greatest weakness, if either one of them loses big 3rd party support or exclusives they are toast because compared to Nintendo Microsoft and Sony's first party is subpar. But this generation the strongest 2 first parties are Nintendo and Sony, Sony is ramping up some interesting 1st party games on PSP and PS3 and Nintendo is always going to have a strong influence on their own platforms. The only standout first party game from Microsoft that really amazed me this generation was Crackdown while all the other ones either didn't really interested me that much, were a broken mess glitch wise, or just not really outstanding.  You can bet your ass if the third party situation between Sony and Microsoft was flip flopped at it current state there would be more PS3s out there in N.America and Europe.

DeguelloJeff Shirley, Staff AlumnusDecember 30, 2008

Quote:

Guess what, Sony: We buy gaming consoles to play games.

Well I certainly wish somebody told them that in 2006.  Instead what they heard was "ZOMG Blu-Ray movies will win the HD-format War and thus also beat Nintendo!  Convergence!  Home!  March Excitement!"  Everybody predicted that the PS3 would stomp everything because of what's being advertised.  Common sense like "It'll be games and games alone" was regarded as "Nintendo fanboyism."

I don't think ads really have that much impact.  People were clamoring for Nintendo to change its advertising for the Gamecube a whole lot when it was failing around.  They did several times and not much happened.

It's gonna be rough for them, because they are locked into this HD mindset by their fans who won't buy anything less.  This'll probably lead to studio closings and "refinement" of genres (IE, not making any that don't sell.)

How in the WORLD is Ratchet & Clank seen as a Mario clone?

Everything not made by Nintendo is generic, a clone, or otherwise total refuse not worthy of consideration as even being part of video gaming.  Didn't you get the memo, Zach?

DAaaMan64December 31, 2008

Lindy, your to casual to understand our hardcore ways.

And Sly Cooper I thought was an awesome IP, I'm still working on getting all the Jak, Sly, and Rachet games for PS2 but I play on playing through some of them since I love platformers.

And using rude remarks like that doesn't get anyone anywhere.

I'm sorry, that memo is currently buried under my significant backlog of awesome PS3 games! :-D

Although, honestly, I'm starting to regret buying Fallout 3. It's not a bad game--it's really quite good. I just don't have the time for it--Fallout 3 is a game you really have to dedicate some time to.

D_AverageDecember 31, 2008

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote from: Kairon

You'd think that Gran Turismo could've evolved into their key franchise, but I have no idea what happened to that series.

Yeah, personally I think the "realistic" racer genre is pretty niche to begin with, so it is king of a mole hill.

Yeup, its WAY to niche.  Its a great series but Burnout swallowed it whole long ago.  Besides that, theres too many people that don't like any type of racing games.

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