Sony Rant Time:
So, after finally deciding to buy a PS3 (owning a Wii and Xbox 360 already), I've bought almost all of the really good games for the system and played a pretty good amount of all of them.
What follows are my issues with the PS3 as a video game console in general.
1. The exclusives that are worth playing are often a lot more flash than substance. Not necessarily a bad thing, but definitely gives substance (see what I did there) to gamer complaints back in the day when they were charging $600.00 for the system. Not really worth that exorbitant price for so much flash and not quite enough actual gameplay meat. Yes, I'm looking at you MGS4...even though I haven't finished the game yet, I'm seeing how a lot of it is a slog through cut scenes. Really cinematic and sometimes interestingly interactive cut scenes, but cut scenes nonetheless. Ten awesome minutes of gameplay, followed by half an hour of interesting but long and convoluted storytelling. I thought those went out with the PS2....yes, I know the MGS series has a long, convoluted history and needs to tell it...but cut scenes again? Really? I'd rather have more interactive chatter, some environmental things you could read/look at, and 'cut scenes; where I do actually have to pay attention a la God of War. Speaking of...man, God of War III is awesome...but over so soon. :( I guess that's cool, it is a cinematic experience and all....but Fallout 3 lasts upwards of 100 hours and can often be cinematic, like when I'm blowing Tenpenny's head off in slow motion for the thirty fifth time.
2. No 1080i support for so many games really f***ing pisses me off. I have an older generation HDTV - you know, a CRT heavy-ass kind - one of the first out the gate that enthusiasts bought, and Sony chooses to be assholes about it and not support older tvs with only 1080i and 480p. Motorstorm: Pacific Rift? Looks like total shit on my tv. No thanks, I'll go back to the beautiful amazingness that is Dirt 2 on my Xbox 360. Not to mention the fact that the gameplay of Motorstorm isn't even that tight and well-polished. Honestly, the PSP version does the same thing for a better price. Why don't I get a new HDTV? Well, because it has a 42 inch monitor and games that display in 1080i look beautiful enough to not convince me to get a new $1000.00 set just to play a couple of PS3 exclusives of questionable quality.
3. Yes, the PSN 'art' games like the good games of the Pixeljunk series are pretty awesome...but that's it? Really? That's all you got??! I've been playing all kinds of amazing Xbox Live and Indie games on my 360 for years now and the PS3's library is laughable. Not to mention the archaic demo download and 'buy the code' thing...I know its the same concept on the 360...but wow, do they make it frakkin' confusing. I downloaded the demo to Pixeljunk Eden, deleted the demo when I finished it, and then later that day bought the code and spent the next 15 minutes trying to figure out where the hell the game went. Um, why didn't my system sense the game was missing and just re-download it? FAIL. That's pretty much the exact opposite of user-friendly. Oh yeah, the Warhawk demo feels like when I play-tested Star Wars Battlefront Online and talked about how terrible the controls were for the next two hours. At least I got paid $150.00 for that experience. Warhawk... Got anything to say?
4. Playstation HOME. The rumors and speculation are all true. This whole 'Second-Life wannabe' (which is sad in itself) marketing scheme is such a spectacular failure. I tried to play some dorky minigame involving kicking some sort of ball into score posts last night only to be informed that I was the 23rd person in a queue. Buhhhhh uh...wait, what?!? Since when are gamers willing to wait hours in a line to play a f***ing virtual minigame? I spent the next five minutes running into people on purpose, spinning in circles and announcing "I AM ERROR" and "TAKE THIS, IT WILL HELP YOU ON YOUR QUEST." Then I did the robot for another three minutes, got bored and returned to my virtual space, where I spawned some blank lawn chairs and sofas and tried stacking them. I decided to try out the mall to liven up my space and lolled heartily at the idea of buying an "Egyptian Set" of furniture for ten real dollars. I don't think I'll be returning 'Home' anytime soon, if you get my drift.
5. PSP Remote play. I thought this was such a cool idea. I got all excited and started hooking up my PSP3000 to the PS3 via the incredibly short USB cord that serves as a controller wire when the thing runs out of batteries (side note: the control nub in my original series PSP broke and became seemingly unfixable after several attempts and Ebayed control nubs straight from Hong Kong. Oh yeah, and my Sony H2 12x zoom Carl Zeiss Lens camera that took amazing photos? It has a little focusing problem where the shutter button broke after an unspecified amount of time. Look it up, seems to be an unfortunately common experience. Take that, RROD...) Then I learned that only a very small handful of games support remote play. Then I wept and threw up in my mouth a little bit.
So yeah, my foray into the world of the AMAZING NEXT GEN PS3 has been a little...tepid. God of War III is an amazing game, no doubt. The Uncharted series blows me away. MGS4 has some really interesting ideas and ways to tell its story. LittleBigPlanet is infinitely replayable. Killzone 2 is a solid shooter, although a little on the generic side. But none of it quite trumps everything that has been put out either as an Xbox 360 exclusive or as an amazing multi-plat game for whatever system you may have.
Just to clarify that I'm honestly not an Xbox 360 fanboy - I do own all three console systems and both the DS and the PSP. I love my Wii (especially all of the awesome homebrew stuff people have done with it, and some really great concepts with the remote and nunchuk..), I love my DS (Scribblenauts, The World Ends WIth You, and Warioware Twisted, shout out to you all), I love my PSP (LittleBigPlanet PSP is such a great deal except when it corrupts your save files), I love my Xbox 360, and I try my hardest to love my PS3, even though we've had some difficulties in the past. Also, just to understand exactly where I'm coming from - I'm on my third Xbox 360 because of RROD issues. I was incredibly frustrated both times my old 360's broke, but I used it as an excuse to get outside more and do more hiking on the weekends rather than staying in and playing games for hours. Yeah, I had my Wii and PSP at the time...but I chose to see it as a sign of sorts.
The 360 is not the greatest piece of hardware. In fact, it falls in the same vein as most Microsoft products - works great when it works, makes you want to die when it doesn't. But you know what is great? A megaton of Third Party Support. An open enough platform to allow people to create cool little Indie games and sell them for a buck a pop. A willingness to LISTEN to gamers and mold the online experience to fit gamer expectations.
The whole reason I 'turned to the dark side' and bought a PS3 was because my older brother finally went 'next gen' and bought himself a PS3 and one of the games he got with it was Call of Duty: World At War. Realizing I could get the system and game cheap and finding myself with a recent influx of money, I went ahead and got both and some other PS3 games. I spent the next couple weeks building my library and enjoying great PS3/PSN exclusive games.
I've played the PS3 online with my brother all of two times in the last month and a half. He's a busy guy, so I don't push it. In the meantime, I find random strangers on my 360 to play RDR with and have a total blast. I have a headset that came with the system and does its job just fine. It doesn't cost upwards of 40 bucks. I also have a few friends from other places on the 360 while the only other person I know who has a PS3 is an estranged cousin-in-law, and his system is broken and his wife hates videogames anyhow, so that's a no-go.
I admit I was biased and a little fanboyish when I got my 360. But Sony made it kind of easy to make a choice at the time. Now, so much time has passed and I've grown to not care about brand loyalty so much as playing good games, and have thus become much more objective about videogames and the systems they came from.
However, Sony as a company is so far separated from the average gamer that they come off - STILL AFTER ALL OF THESE YEARS (yes, it has been years since the PS3 was unveiled, kiddies) seeming like douchey assholes who want to make a quick buck and STILL understand NOTHING about what videogamers actually want.
The PSPGo and Sony's sad excuse for its failure are perfect examples of this. I haven't bought a single PSPMini - even with my ol' broken UMD supporting PSP300 and I don't plan to do so anytime soon. I can't even get a trial version of most of the games easily anyhow, so what is going to convince me to buy any of them?!?