There are some things that people know is true, and yet will never admit it, they will summon all other excuses in an effort to turn away from the truth. The simpler solution would be to come clean, be honest and get the load off their backs but no, they choose to go the difficult path of making excuses in an effort to defend their stance.
This is displayed perfectly among some PS3 owners who passionately defend their console and fail to see or recognize anything that's good from the other side. One of the issues being the clear evidence showing Microsoft forced Sony to be a better company by forcing it to stay on its guards, not leaving not an inch of room for error, or else get punished for gazing. The software giant kept the heat on the hardware giant and because of it, PS3 owners spend less cash, get better service and second to none exclusives. Let's look at some of the benefits caused by the pressure Microsoft placed on Sony.
A cheaper PS3:
Some will argue that Sony always does this with all its consoles, that is true, but the PS3 Slim came rather early, in fact earlier than all its predecessors and the reasons are so blatant that even a blind person would comprehend. The PS3 is just over 3 years old and Sony has dropped the Price of its flagship console three times. The Reason: Microsoft's Xbox 360 was constantly outselling PS3 globally save Japan, causing Sony to lose market share precipitously; therefore, it had no other options but do something drastic. They did, in August of this year, Sony announced that there would indeed be a redesigned PS3 that would be sold a the new price point of $299. Thanks to Microsoft.
Ah, many a times people have complained about PSN in the past. I said in the past because they were comparing it to the service that introduced online play and in the process revolutionizing gaming forever. Xbox Live first debuted with the original Xbox and since then the service has grown by leaps-and-bounds. Sony followed suit with PS3 but initially the service was a dud. There's no denying it, if Xbox Live was not established, we probably would still be stuck with only campaign modes in our videogames today. Not only that but the people who complained about PSN in the beginning as being weak and stale, (rightfully so) we inevitably comparing to Xbox Live.
Sony needed to do something, and that's exactly what they did. Overtime the service has grown almost identical with Xbox Live marching its experience in almost every way. Sony also issued a major overhaul to the service recently with firmware 3.0, giving PSN new life and a fresh look. Again, Microsoft deserves credit for forcing the company to create a better online experience.
While Sony has been delivering great exclusive games throughout its over 15 years in the industry, a lot of said exclusives were from third party devs. Think Square-Einx - Final Fantasy, Rockstar - Grand Theft Auto, Konami - Metal Gear Solid and Namco Bandai's Tekken. As you can probably tell by now, all of the aforementioned are no longer PS3 exclusives but can now be found on other consoles, namely Microsoft's Xbox 360. So all the great titles that made the PlayStation brand what it is were ending up on the competition's system. That was a problem, a big one that needed immediate attention.
Full throttle, Sony started pumping out fresh IPs from first party devs and some third party partners with whom relationship ties ran deep. New IPs Like Resistance appeared, Uncharted, and MAG helping to beef up PS3's lineup and leading the industry with innovation. MAG will be the first game to handle 256 players at once, Uncharted has surpassed all else in terms of narrative and graphics, and Resistance has been revolutionizing the FPS genre in its own way.
There's one company you should thank, it's Microsoft. They kept the heat on Sony, and the results are benefiting PS3 owners across the globe. So the next time you go to a store and collect a great exclusive, the next time you go online to play against your friends, or the next time you're thinking about buying a PS3 because of its cheaper price point, think and thank Microsoft. Because although Redmond is not solely responsible for all the changes made at Sony, they definitely are responsible for some.
12/24/09 Ernice Gilbert