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Looking For A Comeback.

Next up, the PlayStation 3. This has been a tough year for Sony. They've mounted huge losses in their gaming division and have had some major shake-ups with management. The father of the PlayStation has left the building. What part of his legacy will remain? Will Sony be able to recover some losses this year and gain market share? Or will the other consoles remain in a leading position leaving the PS3 to perpetually play catch-up?

This is the year that will make or break Sony. They've been struggling against the 360, and more surprisingly the Wii, for a little over a year now. Thankfully for them, 2008 looks to be the year for Sony to make up some ground. In the war of consoles, exclusives are the big guns, and Sony has some very big guns on the way.

This year will see the release of several of Sony's biggest exclusives. We'll have Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Gran Tourismo 5, and Killzone 2 as continuing series'. The gamers are awaiting these games with baited breath, but a couple of other titles have some thunder of their own to sound. Later this year we will see the release of the biggest little title in Sony's line-up. Of course, I'm referring to LittleBigPlanet. This game has a lot of people talking, and for all the right reasons. The trailers that have been released for the game look absolutely amazing, and if we can do half the stuff they are telling us we can, it will be a groundbreaking title.

This year is also shaping up to be the year of the gamer as a designer. Starting with Unreal Tournament 3, LBP and continuing with Home, we'll be able to build, show, and play our own creations. Designing your own game experience isn't exactly new, but being able to put it online for other console owners to play is. Home is really the unknown here. We haven't seen a lot about it yet, but we all know what we want out of it. Creating Live and the achievement scheme for the 360 was a genius move on Microsoft's part. Now Sony knows they have to have something great to counter it. They're hoping Home will be it. Unfortunately, it's been delayed a couple of times already and that leads one to worry. Is it goig to be good enough? We really need to get this title in our hands soon or Sony may miss the boat.

Sony has a couple of stumbling blocks to get over before they can hit their stride. The single biggest concern they need to fix in order to be competitive, is price. The move to release the 40 gig model in time for the holidays was a good move. That single action help to pull them out of a distant third to a more respectable third. The problem, is that they are still in third. It's been recently released to the press that Sony has been able to reduce production costs (in some reports by as much as half). If true, Sony needs to pass that savings to the consumers. With the Wii at $250 and the base 360 at $280, the $400 PS3 is just not competitive enough. Even having a product with more features does not make it an instant sale. I think Sony has finally realized the folly of their ways.

The other factor that Sony needs to look at is their online presence. By itself the PlayStation Network is not bad. Free access to multiplayer, downloading games and trailers, and of course, the updates coming from the internet. What they need to do is combat Live itself. Achievements were an undeniable hit for the 360. If Home integrates an awards system, Live may have a run for it's money. A word of caution. Simply copying Microsoft's ideas will only cause a backlash. Whatever Sony comes up with had better be original and competitive.

There is great potential for Sony, and with great potential comes...Well, you know the rest. If Sony decides to sit back and not take advantage of their current momentum, they will definitely lose this war to Microsoft. It's in their hands now.


1 Response to "The Oldtime Heavyweight,"

  1. Anonymous On January 15, 2008 at 2:45 PM

    Hey buddy, it's the horse racing nut from blogcatalog. :)

    Write-up looks good. I even learned something today....I've apparently got to check out this little planet game. Hadn't heard anything about it yet.