Before you know it she’ll be heading off to college.
Sony’s Playstation 3 celebrated it’s second birthday yesterday. Well, technically it was released on November 11th 2006 in Japan, but it didn’t hit many other territories until the 17th, 2 years ago, so for that reason, Sony is calling the 17th the PS3′s official 2nd birthday. We’ll just forget that many Europeans didn’t get the PS3 until much later on.
The important thing to remember is that console years are not entirely unlike dog years. Each passing year is like a lifetime in console years and can make all the difference in the perpetual battle for console domination. Two years on the market means the PS3 is like a young adult. It’s spread it’s wings and left the nest. It’s trying to find it’s place in the grand scheme of things.
It’s certainly showing it’s age as well. Not to say it’s reached it full potential yet. In fact it appears it’s only now really starting to hit it’s stride. Like most consoles that have been out for a couple of years, it’s got a few “generation defining” titles under it’s belt, a rabid army of fanboys, ready to defend it with their dying breath and of course a fair amount of shovelware floating around as well. Maybe age isn’t the right word. Let’s say maturity instead.
The black behemoth’s has some notable successes…
It’s been an interesting console generation so far. There’s a weird little white box out there, basically wiping the floor with the competition, there’s an actual competition in the handheld market for once and maybe for the first time ever, console owners are demanding that all multi-platform releases look absolutely identical, lest they fly into a rage and post something nasty on an internet forum somewhere. As I recall, that was never an issue in the Genesis/SNES days, the PS1/N64 days, or even the PS2/XBOX days, but gamers are a fickle lot and times will change whether we like it or not.
So looking back, has the PS3 had a successful first 2 years? Not really. It certainly hasn’t dominated the way Sony was expecting it to, but hey, a little competition is good for everyone and nobody reigns supreme forever in the console business. It’s really just a question of who has the cash to weather the bad years. Obviously Sega didn’t. Luckily Sony does.
…and some embarrassing failures…
Of course the PS3 hasn’t exactly been a failure. Catching up to the Wii may be out of the question, but thus far it’s been a fairly even race with it’s closest competitor, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, on a worldwide basis. It is looking more and more like the American market may be lost to Sony this generation, but worldwide sales should be more than enough to turn a profit for their gaming division over the next few years. Hopefully, if they do lose the US, they’ll be inspired to come back in 2012 with a vengeance. After all, competition drives a healthy market place and a solid whooping in the biggest market in the world can only lead to good things for gamers down the line.
2008 was a far more successful year for the PS3 compared to its extremely rocky launch year. Fortunately, 2009 is shaping up to be a very solid year as well. February will see the long awaited release of one of the PS3′s most anticipated titles “Killzone2″. God of War 3 will be releasing sometime before the busy holiday season (possibly as early as March). Gran Turismo 5 will be coming out (with car damage) at some point in 2009 and, of course, fan favorite devs Insomniac will have at least one new title on store shelves by year’s end. 3d social networking tool “Home” will hopefully address a few key issues with Sony’s less than intuitive online system and, oh yeah, there’s a little title called Heavy Rain on the way that’s been turning a few heads. Aww, let’s be realistic, it’s been snapping necks and melting faces.
…but we think she’ll be just fine.
So maybe it’s not such a bleak picture after all. Personally I couldn’t be happier with the way this generation is shaping up. Nintendo, the grand daddy of them all, is back in the game, Sony has some legitimate competition for once, giving them something to strive for and Microsoft really managed to get their act together (with a few hiccups *cough* RROD *cough*) and put out an excellent console this time. All in all, it’s a great time to be a gamer and a PS3 owner. That’s coming from a happy PS3 owner.
With all that said, allow me to just say happy 2nd birthday PS3! I was nervous a year and a half ago when I plunked down some $600 for my sleek black 60 gig unit, but it hasn’t let me down yet. Here’s to 2 more years good gaming, online or off, among friends or alone, dualshock in hand and all in glorious high definition.