Friday, March 17, 2006

Revolutionizing the PS3

There's been a lot of buzz lately about the PS3.... the biggest things are:

1) It's not coming out until November 2006. In 3 major markets: Europe, North America and Japan
2) It's most likely going to include a hard drive
3) Their online network is going to rival XBOX live

I'm not trying to put Sony down, honest. I love my PS2 and I'm sure I'll love the PS3. But I gotta say, I'm questioning some decisions. Either Sony is really being tight lipped in order to pull a surprise attack, or they might be making some poor decisions.

On point #1 ... I understand delays (oh boy do I) but trying to pull of 3 markets at the same time is tough. Microsoft proved that. If a company with the resources of Microsoft has a hard time pulling it off, how is Sony going to fare? They have already indicated their capacity will be maxed at 1 million units a month. There are going to be some disappointed customers.

On point #2 ... it's been back and forth. They don't want to have a two SKU solution like Microsoft (although I honestly don't think that ended up being such a disaster after all.... but the truth is, nobody really wants the machine without one anyways). People are saying 'well, you can't count on it being there so you can't take advantage of it'. Not true. Well written software will take advantage of it if it's there, and one thing Microsoft does know is software. Sony needs to make up their minds and fast. I love how they criticized the XBOX 1 for having it saying it wasn't necessary, pretty much abandonded their own hard drive solution when poor security made it a pirate's wet dream. I think they took one look at what Microsoft is doing with game demo, trailer and XBOX ARCADE downloads and realized they need something similar. Some sites are reporting Sony saying "Hard Drive will be available at all times" so maybe they really have made a decision.

On point #3...partnering with Gamespy networks is surely a good move on Sony's part. I think it's premature though to compare what Sony does with what Microsoft has done. They have had 4 years to make Live work as well as it does. I'm not saying it's impossible, but Microsoft has a way of making things good after trying over and over again. They rarely get it right the first time (can you say Windows/286?) but keep hammering until it gets better (Windows 3.1).

I think this year's E3 is going to be really important to this generation. I can't wait to go!

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