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jestarinc's blog

2:17 AM on 07.02.2008

I do not understand the PS3's success of late...

Note: Mitch makes blog for the first time in a bajillion years (7 months really)

Ever since my mind has been exposed to the Internet, my views towards console gaming has been agnostic. Apart from the Dreamcast (which I couldn't find), I owned all the consoles last gen. I enjoyed them all for their merits and their games. So, when this current generation came up, I tried to go about it with the same open mentality...

But, the PlayStation 3.... there's just something that makes me feel some sort of disdain towards it....

Yes, it had a terrible launch. It was overpriced. Ken Kutaragi and Kaz Hirai sounded like raving lunatics whenever they spoke of the machine. It had no exclusives that made it worth buying a $1000 media centre. Ports were horrible. But, all these things have been addressed (Price cuts, developers are more comfortable with the hardware, Kutaragi has been silenced, etc).

Then, why do I still feel that it's success is somewhat undeserved?

I can see why the other two are where they are. Microsoft were first, so their install base and game library is quite significant. The Wii is something refreshing, allowing many whom were intimidated, for whatever reason, by the medium to actively play games (though the amount of shit on the Wii is unacceptable, but that's for another blog...).

But as for the PS3, there isn't any apparent reason (to me anyway) to buy it over the other two. There's the Blu Ray capabilities, but the HD market is still a niche. Games are generally more expensive than the other two formats (usual RRP in Australia for PS3 games is around $120; the same for the Wii is generally $100, Xbox 360 $100-110) As superb as Metal Gear Solid 4 is (and this is coming from a guy who steers clear from MGS generally), it's only one superb exclusive out of a few OK ones and a couple of duds (Lair and Haze say hai!). In Australia (and probably world wide too), the PS3 is still the most expensive SKU on the market. PS1 and PS2 backwards compatibility is gone from the newer 40 GB models.

Has Microsoft and the whole RRoD fiasco (even though the new Falcon and Jasper chipsets eliminate this problem) pushed heaps of people towards Sony (a.k.a. Jim's Exodus)? Is the whole "Free Online" with the PSN attracting would-be fraggers? Or is it pure brand loyalty, as many would recognise ("I've always been a Sony boy" is used a lot)?

Please, D'toiders, help me understand. Because this baffles me. The PS3 doesn't feel like a console to me, just some hi-def multimedia centre with games capabilites. I really just don't get it why people are buying this over the much cheaper and more varied Xbox 360.

Help!   read

9:14 PM on 11.05.2007

The Rape of Australia (or, the Price of Gaming Down Under)

Ahh, Australia. The Lucky Country. We seem to have the best beaches, cities, animals and obnoxious personalities. However, we aren't lucky with every thing...

Especially when it comes to games.

Sure, we're the annoying niece of the world that has a knack of getting every important people's attention, so we can't have everything that the States, Japan and Europe get with games (fuck, they develop them all, what have Australia contributed? Wow, Fury and a ton of shitty platformers, bravo!) But, lately, we've been gaining from the plight of America's doomed economy.

Yet, we still pay the same old Australian price for games.

Now, this is bullshit. The last time I checked (yesterday, actually), our dollar bought 0.9205 American, yet we are still getting charged up to $AU120 for a brand new game. Ok, so the GST and the rest of Costello's legion of taxes that have plagued Australians for the past 12 years contribute to the higher price. But, that is a small percentage.

The point is: WE ARE PAYING DOUBLE OF WHAT WE SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO! Some might say "Oh, Mitch, stop being a bitch and import like every rad dude like me!". Sure, that's fine for the 2 people who own a PlayStation 3 for more than a cheap Blu Ray DVD player. But what about those who own Xbox 360s? Not every game released is region free, so people are not going to risk buying a game from Europe or the US to find that it doesn't work on their Australian 360.

Then there is Nintendo. Yes, the DS is region-free, but most people who have a DS don't know that. Paying $AU70 retail for a new DS game is a rip and a half, not to mention a pain in this day and age of portability symbolised by the iPod. The Wii is the biggest pain for budget. For a console being marketed as "the el cheapo choice", they sure like to exploit consumers with the outdated game prices, absurd game delays and the criminal (yes, CRIMINAL) region-locking. Oh, and there's the expense of getting 3 extra controllers with all their add ons (and the WiiFit mat and the WiiZapper aren't even out yet!)

I am aware that the avid gaming community is very alert (and furious) about Nintendo's neglect. However, it's not just them, it is everyone. However, I doubt we'll be seeing a gaming equivalent of actions taken by the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead. I just hope that I can make the international community (especially those Canadians! I hear you guys are in a similar position, and your dollar is STRONGER than the greenback!). No wonder people steal games.   read

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