Five things Sony needs to do save the PS3
Price cuts, exclusive games and a more integrated mobile strategy would help
1. Cut the price - now
And not just a measly amount either. We'd like to see £125 at least off the UK price. Ideally even more. That would give away the Blu-ray portion of the console for free, as a bonus, and put the gaming portion of the console at too tempting a price to refuse.
Resistance: Fall of Man
2. Exclusives, exclusives, exclusives
Where was The Getaway, Ratchet & Clank and Wipeout on day one? It's clear now that most third-party publishers will hedge their Microsoft/Sony bets, so exclusive titles are all about in-house stuff. Those games need to be here right now. Sure, Little Big Planet looks neat, but it's quirky, and the one thing Sony doesn't need right now is quirky (see below). It needs big ticket sellers and mainstream classics. It needs to think EA and go simple. In the same ballpark, it needs to start throwing money at third-party to get the edge - three-month exclusive windows, exclusive extra download content, etc. Microsoft has done the smart thing with GTA IV, now Sony must get out an even bigger wallet.
3. Forget quirky
As an addition to the point above, Sony needs to stop making such a fuss about Little Big Planet and Home. The occasional quirky classic like every recent Rare release, doesn't sell a console to a new audience. Sony can't compete against the Wii on fun. Fun is not what this is all about. People will not buy a PS3 for Little Big Planet. They will buy it for Killzone or Wipeout, if Sony make them very, very, very good. Or for Final Fantasy XIII.
Sony can't compete against the PC for social networking - everyone's got a PC, everyone uses their PC online, it has a keyboard for chatting to people. Why would teens on MySpace, Second Life and MSN Messenger suddenly embrace a more clunky, awkward and fundamentally limited version of these options on the PS3? It makes no sense, other than as a snazzy showcase to try and explain how the PS3 is different. Only now we all know the key difference: it doesn't sell so well. Forget the differences of the PS3, concentrate on what sells - the games.
4. Learn to be cool again
Years ago, Sony made the PlayStation generation something to be part of. Wipeout and that "conquered worlds" advert made gaming cool, edgy, in tune with cutting-edge culture. While Tomb Raider and Resident Evil radically shook up existing genres and added a graphical sheen and new sensibility to make them exciting to mainstream, non-geeky gamers.
Is there a single thing that Sony's done since then that equals these campaigns, in terms of mainstream culture impact? I don't think so. Sony rode the crest of a wave of increasing consumer acceptance of videogames as part of the fabric of our lives through the PS2. But along the way, Sony, along with many other games companies, started to think "cutting edge" meant hiring a big-name pop video director to do your ads, or that games had to demonstrate how cool the licensed music was, or how many polygons they could push.
Cool is an altogether more elusive quantity - but whatever it is, Sony needs to find it, grab it and use it. It needs TV ads, viral Internet campaigns and games that make you sit up and take notice - and leave you unsure of what you're seeing. And that means taking risks and stepping outside the usual game settings and genres.
5. Embrace the mobile, forget the PSP
Another symptom of Sony's corporate sluggishness and lack of cool is that it's still pushing its PSP "connectibility" as a key driver. That boat's long sailed - kids bought DSs as a cheap novelty, got iPods for Christmas and have already gone back to their true love: the mobile. Make a mobile PSP, soon. And spread PS3 spin-off games and PS3 extras across mobile networks on all handsets.
i know i am late on this, but the 525 i paid for my ps3 was expensive, got it from play.com with 3 games, HDMI lead and Click, so that alone is what about 150+ quid of extras.
update 1.8 allows DVD's to be up-scaled to 1080i/p, this i have with a standalone DVD upscaler which compared to the PS3 is pants. not only this but media streaming from a PC, i know the 360 can do this but its a very good add on. OK ps2 support is limited and a firmware update could cancel the support but hey, i want full HD games.
why is everyone so down on the fact that the PS3 has a Blu Ray player? it is the cheapest why to get full HD no matter how you look at it. most standalone HD players are £600+
also for the 525 i paid, if i was the buy the 360 today with the 54.99 wifi adapter, the 109.99 HD player and the 279.99 xbox360 Premium Console, costs 444.97, with no games, how is this cheaper? how is it better value for money, when it comes to about the same costs,
yes i am a "fanboy" but not to the extent of some, i just want something that impresses me, and the 360 hasn't so far, and i wouldn't wanna buy one in case it "red ring of death'd" on me, as they seem to more then is acceptable.
gears of war and C&C 3 are the only real reason for me wanting a 360, i just can't buy one for 2 games.
the PSP is a fantastic machine, linking it to the PS3 is a great idea, streaming on the go from a machine that will soon be able to make and receive phone and video calls at no extra cost.
i really cannot see why people are putting they down. Sony is Sony, they want to make money and make it fast and easy, we are the punters who by the stuff, you cannot buy it then moan and you can't moan if you can't afford it.
profit will always, not matter what be Sony's, Ninty's and M$ goal, just grab what you think is the best and see how it goes, i have and i hope i am right.
Some very stupid points being made about the PSP:
"Speaking of the failings of the PSP, lets see, too expensive, too big, no touch screen, no keyboard (an pop out one, like on smart phones, would do) low resolution display (VGA or DVD at least) and no embedded camera with HD video. An CHEAP PSP mobile smart phone is needed that is not hobbled (or restricted to mobile downloads). An larger UMPC like tablet (even running PS2 disks), that could have faster hardware (to compete with the sometimes mentioned Game cube based Game Boy Advanced 2) would be good. Computer functionality with home development, Linux or Java, are also desirable."
Ridiculous. The PSP is an excellent portable device, but trying to add some of these features (or GSM, as so many people harp on about) would have been the equivalent of blu-ray to the PS3, a very expensive gamble that would push prices up and return little except to a minority group of tech heads. The PSP is a great wee beasty if you travel a lot by train or bus - UMD was a turkey I ignored, but I happily rip downlaoded tv to the PSP so I watch tv as well as game on it. There's been lots of good titles recently, but the killer app has been excellent online gaming - Syphon filter, Medal of Honour, Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops... And with downloadable levels for wipeout and burnout, and online wipeout (infrastructure, more important than adhoc) due out soon, it'll keep on truckin for another few years. Anyone who won't buy one because it doesn't have a phone in it is an idiot - I don't buy my PC because it comes with a spinning wheel...
And some good points made:
"The very first thing Sony need to do, not just for the PS3 but all of their hardware products, is to realise that people in countries like the UK are not happy to be charged close to double for the same products when compared with other countries. "
Damn straight - I'd probably have a ps3 by now if sone hadn't alienated me - and I own some sony kit, would be thgeir their target demographic... except they want me to pay fgar more for reduced functionality, after everyone else gets their release first? No thanks...
games machine or computer?
Sony are really missing the boat here. With the original PlayStation we
got some fantastic new games and genres. The PS2 continued that
heritage but the PSP and the PS3 have both suffered some serious
issues with game releases and coverage. I've got a PSP - bought
when LocoRoco came out. But since last summer there have been
very very few titles to buy. the DS (i side-graded to a DS-Lite) has
had a dozen since last summer. I bought a Wii because of the game
philosophy...but there has been a very poor game release schedule
so far....and the PS3 has been the same - which is why I havent bought
one. especially for that amount of cash! the Wii was almost an impulse
buy at its price....and its still very hard to get a Wii - whereas I can buy a PS3
any place and any time. the 360? nope. its PC gaming in a can with
expensive online add-ons and a very kludgy interface to the world of HD DVD.
then Sony try the 'computer' line with the PS3. sure. its got immense power
with its Cell architecture...but unless they go with the AmigaOS4.1 port they're
stuck with Linux...which is too technical for the home user and doesnt have
the fluid interface and multitasking needed for a basic home OS