This is the first time I've ever posted a blog here on Destructoid, but I've been commenting a lot on the recent stories about Sony, and I've been following the whole debacle extensively. Sony's conduct and breach of security is by no means commendable, and they deserve as much condemnation as the extent of their crimes allow. I mean, for gods sakes, they leaked out people's personal information that could possibly be used to commit credit card fraud! In this day and age, that's one of the worst
things to happen to anybody. I've known friends who have had to go through the process of reclaiming their identities, and it is NOT easy.
However, I feel that in the great scheme of things, and especially in terms of the PS3 and Sony as a whole, this entire thing has been blown out of proportion. I hear people screaming in the comment section "I'm leaving Sony!" "Sony is the worst company ever!" "Those fucks should go out of business!" "They'll never see another DIME of my money!". To this, I say "Really?". I understand that a lot of people have had a serious beef with Sony for a long while, and this is just icing on their rage-cake. But there has to be more options on the table, other than "They fucked up, they deserve no mercy."
It's not like I'm defending Sony here. I'm not. They did fuck up, and like I said earlier, they deserve the full punishment that the law demands. It's not like I'm saying "Trust Sony again! They're okay guys!"...Because I'm not. You won't see me putting another debit card on the PSN for a good long while. However, I think that a lot of people are letting this debacle overshadow all the good that Sony has done for its customers over the years with the PS3.
And here comes the hate storm. Yes, I know a lot of you hate Sony with a passion. I don't see it. I don't see the reason for all the blind hate. They deserve hate on this one, but it is no reason to give up their services altogether, and I'll explain why.
1. Sony's Online Service is Free
I think that this point is the most important. Whereas Xbox Live would charge you for basic online capability, the PSN charges you nothing to just hop on a game and play online (Provided you don't have a used EA game =/). Yes, it's not as feature-riddled as Xbox Live (In some areas), but what the hey...It's free!
I'm not going to sit here and explain to you why PSN > XBL or any of that crap...I just think it's very much worth noting that the PSN is a FREE
service provided to you by Sony to play PS3 games online whenever you want.
2. Sony is Actively Improving their Services for Gamers
While Xbox Live has recently taken a turn for the casual, offering no substantial updates that are of any worth to Gamers in the past few months (Instead opting to give us FACEBOOK and KINECT and ESPN)...Sony has generally kept their focus on the gamers. Even with their "Failed" motion control device, Move, they were trying to target the gamer in their ads. The device, while not popular now, is good tech and has the potential to be something really great later on once it gets a bit more game support behind it.
Most recently, Valve introduced Steamworks support on PSN with Portal 2. This is a big one, as it actually introduced what we've wanted for a long time on consoles and PCs...Cross platform play. While this wasn't exactly Sony's doing, they were the ones who green-lighted the project, and now we have Steam on the PS3, or at least Steam support, which is a hellava lot better than anything you're going to see on Xbox (Games for Windows Live? Psh.)
My point here is that the big upgrades and big pushes made by Sony are for us, the gamers...Not some unattainable "Casual" crowd. You may argue that they don't really care about gamers (Which they probably don't...) but their marketing strategy is in the right place. They want to appeal to US, and they've done a damn good job backing it up.
3. Sony's Hardware is Reliable and Stable
Say what you want about big firmware updates that don't do shit...But damn if the PS3 doesn't run like a well-greased machine. You hear very few problems to ever come out of the PS3 hardware, as opposed to a certain other console that was riddled with them. The PS3 may have been an expensive piece of tech to begin with, but now that production costs have gone down and the system is more accessible to the average consumer, the PS3 is a clearly superior product. It packs more of a punch, and is much more reliable and durable than its Microsoft counterpart.
It's also far more stable in terms of console life. The Xbox is hitting it's limits, and we see consistently that games must be lowered in graphical detail to run well on the Xbox 360. However, the PS3 is keeping up, and seems to be chugging down the latest games just fine, and at full quality to boot (If the games are built right for the system...I'm looking at YOU Activision).
The PS3 is a stable machine from purchase to whenever the consumer decides to get rid of it, which is what a piece of hardware is supposed to do. It isn't supposed to break. It's supposed to work out of the box, and as long as the consumer wants to keep it. That's what the PS3 does.
4. Sony's Paid Service is the Best Deal for Gamers
"For Gamers"...Again...I know. But this is all important stuff! I mean Playstation Plus may be young as a service, but in that time it's given Xbox Live a run for its money. The fact that you get to keep a Playstation Classic game every month, get early access to demos and betas, and discounts here and there on the Playstation Store is just staggeringly better than anything Xbox Live will ever give you.
And it's cheaper. By 10 bucks a year. Woo.
Xbox Live will charge you extra for pointless features like Video Kinect and Facebook integration, while the Playstation Plus program will give you stuff that actually matters to real gamers. Again...For the gamers.
I tried to keep this to services that Sony provides, not quality of games or exclusivity or anything like that.
My entire point with all of this is that Sony provides a good service to gamers...Much better than anything you'll see with other consoles. They deserve the hate that they get on this most recent issue about the security breach. But as I see it...there's no reason to completely abandon their services and cut yourself away from a brand that has had a track record of providing good services to gamers...Most of them free of charge.
So...Hate on Sony all you want for not protecting your information. But don't use this as a platform to attack Sony as a whole, and don't forget that they've treated us gamers better than most other companies have in the past.
LOOK WHO CAME: