Lights, camera, action! It came on the scene in 2006 and the events that played out thereafter could be pulled directly from a story detailing the good fortunes of someone gone bad and eventually came right back to their former glory. I don't work at Sony, but when looking at what the company has in store for the PS3, including the endless possibilities of Blu-ray, Wand Controller, the second to none exclusive lineup, PSN, Home, and stereoscopic 3D gaming, there's no other way to the visualize it in my mind. The PS3's future has 'win' written all over it. Let's take them one at a time...
The "Wand Controller" -
Some might think Nintendo was the company which started the motion trend but they're totally wrong. So wrong that we had to provide proof to demonstrate not only did Sony started the trend, but what they had back then with the PS2 Eye Toy challenges the likes of Microsoft's Project Natal. The mistake Sony made was not capitalizing on the wave; literally giving millions of consumers away to Nintendo and affording the company to make billions of dollars, some of what could have been the electronics giant's cash.
Now they've gone back full throttle to their roots with what is universally known as the "Wand". Sony has yet to name the device but the prototype looks extremely promising. And if the PS2 Eye Toy was ahead of its time, there's not a doubt that the "Wand" will be an amazing motion device. Quench your thirst with the video below.
It is no secret that the decision Sony made to include a Blu-ray player in the PS3's build instead of settling for a DVD format, caused the hardware giant a lot of pain. Firstly, it caused the massive PS3 shortages at launch because back then the technology was brand new and components were scarce. It also was very expensive, adding to the amount loss on every console sold by a great percentage. Blu-ray is the reason the PS3's initial price was $699, a stretch for even the most avid Sony supporter.
But now everyone is singing Blu-ray's praises. Developers are now starting to realize the full potential of the format and are thanking Sony for taking such a risk. It is also future-proof for at least the next 7 years and even beyond. And while the Xbox 360 is stuck with the DVD format, limiting the amount of content that can be squeezed into one disc, PS3 has room to rent. It's a big win for Sony.
Say what you may about Xbox Live being leaps and Bounds over PSN, but it's just not true. Yes, Xbox Live has been around longer but that fact simply adds more credence as to why PSN is a formidable and even better in many ways experience. First and foremost the service is free. No need to pay monthly fees to play games online; if you have a PS3 and broadband internet connection then jump online and kick some butt. Also the content available on the network is growing rapidly, the exclusives like flower, flow, and many others help bolster the unique offerings only to be had on PSN.
The network has over 27 million registered users, membership is not limited to PS3 owners, but it includes folks with PSPs.
Although it's a work in progress, Home has seen its population grow from zero to over 9 million members in less than three years. Astounding figures when you link that with the fact that you really can't do much in the custom-made for PS3 social network. You can't jump into an online battle straight from Home, a function that would help. But there's a plethora of great offerings as well: 3D space, apartments, great interaction, meet and make friends and so much more. Is Home where Sony envisioned it to be? I doubt it, but it's surely not where it was 2 years ago.
The exclusives -
We've talked about this time and time again, and there's no need to go into detail; Sony's exclusive lineup for 2010 and beyond is one that's hard to beat:
God of War III
Gran Turismo 5
The Last Guardian
White Knight Chronicles
Final Fantasy Versus XIII
And many more. Now don't think that the Xbox 360 has no exclusives; that's not true by a long short but it's fair to say that the PS3 has some games that any gamer would love to get the hands on coming in the near future.
I saved the best for last; and believe it or not, 3D gaming will be the next big thing and PS3 is leading the way.
Sony recently announced that 3D gaming is coming to the PS3 via a firmware update in 2010. The giant will be the first in the gaming industry to take full advantage of stereoscopic 3D entertainment, leaving the Wii and Xbox 360 in PS3's dust. The electronics giant recently showed off Polyphony Digital and Evolution's MotorStorm with full depth of field using the emerging 3D display technology.
But there's more, Sony says it also plans to integrate the stereoscopic 3D technology directly into the PS3 beginning in 2011 or 2012. The company has thrown its weight behind the tech and last month, a full presentation was given to investors.
I hope you're now convinced (if you were not already) that PS3 has a bright and enduring future. And if all goes well, the years ahead could be better than anything we've experienced as gamers in this industry. Should be fun.
12/17/09 Ernice Gilbert