Disclaimer: This article is very pro Sony and pro Nintendo, so if your a fan of the multiplat is the way of the future method no disrespect to you, but this blog was not written with that in mind, this blog is the result of a dinner with a few friends and their collective opinions and none of them were really pleased with the MS (and thus there isn't going to be an article on them)method of doing things, however this was a good conversation that yielded some good points so I thought I should share.
Because this blog is mostly a bunch of opinions from a group of people ( even though the words I, me , and myself will pop up often) I will add my own opinion towards the end of each segment.
Sony is in a weird position this gen after leading for the past two, the ps3 wasnít received well early and only recently got back on track with public opinion. It would seem most of this was caused by the recession, and a few bad decisions on the part of the Sonyís head offices.
Despite all that however they're very poised for a comeback, mostly due to the fact that a lot of the BS they spewed early on was not BS and eventually came to pass, most importantly of them (and theyíll let you know this often) is blu-rayís victory as the successor to DVD. The constant claim is their main competition the (the 360) will have to retire early due to its hardware issues (and no Iím not talking about the rrod). Sony has claimed that a number of their games simply arenít possible on other systems.
However if sony really does desire that top spot back there going to have to walk a long road to get there. So with that in mind hereís what Iíd like to see from sony this E3.
There main objectives
Kill the me too factor.
Part of the reason sonyís claims of technological supremacy falls on deaf ears is the fact that with multiplats a lot of the ps3 capabilities donít get used ,with everyone trying to get by devs have shifted their focus from trying to make the biggest and baddest games than and are well trying to get by, therefore a lot of the games on the 360 seem equal to the ps3.So heres a few suggestions to kill that off
1 create the rift
Killzone 2 was a good start but keep it up, this E3 its time to really show your stuff. While Iíll a admit your first party games are a cut above most multiplats apparently it hasnít been enough to get your average gamer to give the ps3 a go, add in the media denial and bashing and even great games go unappreciated. You must set out to create games so graphically superior, with such advance AI, and with such great game play innovation that no one would even dare say it could exist on any other system (except PC because apparently Iím told as long as you have a billion dollars for upgrades your pc can even fix the economy).And note the phrase GAMES (plural, like as in more than one), why just one Killzone 2 like quality game. MAG is getting attention for a reason, keep dreaming bigger and better. You have the hardware to support it.
2 Treat devs WELL
Now I forgot where I read this but as I recall Valkyria chronicles was supposed to be multiplat but MS said NO, so they tailored their game engine to take advantage of your system ( and apparently the low sales of Japanese style games coupled with the amount of money and effort that would have to go into undoing some of the engine and refitting to work on the 360 is the reason a port or the sequel going to the 360 is unlikely, really wish I had remembered where I saw that article.) . Now the game went unnoticed and you (sorta) helped by throwing the game in your greatest hits. Go further than that, you created your pub fund now create a pub fund for good games that didnít make it. If the first game doesnít make it offer to help with a sequel and advertising (and let them keep the rights to the game) and in exchange this game is exclusive to the PS3. You look good, you have another exclusive, and most importantly devs will feel like safe, and then putting things on the PS3 will be a no brainier, and exclusives will become plentiful.
Games on the PS3 only seem to be quality when devs focus on the ps3 first and foremost, and for devs they will be a little more willing to take a risk and make something other than a shooter, with this the ps3 might be responsible for the new final fantasy or grand theft auto.
3A price cut
Not just for the people, for the devs as well, one of the reason devs are still at ends putting games on ps3 is because people wonít stop complaining about the price.
Let me paint you a picture here, the ps3 gets all the superior games (thanks to its advantages) and terminates the 360. However you have a group of people who have to jump ship and buy a new console. At your current price point that would take time, this means for a year and a half or so 20 million some odd Xbox owners wonít be buying anything. In this economy thatís a large portion of the market to go missing and might result in the smaller companies going out of business or a large reduction in profits ( and in turn lost staff and such), not a pretty picture is it.
Sony PSN is your wild card, free is a price everyone can love and in some aspects its better than xbl, but it still needs some fine tweaking. A few suggestions (I hope I hear at E3) for ya,
1 Add a party system (this is the keep silver dragon happy part of the post)
Listen I donít care about cross game chat but their needs to be a party system of some sort, as a PS3 FNF regular organizing these things is a bit of a mess, and being able to form a party (say about 50 people or so) would help dramaticly.Most of the stuff that made the RUMORED 2.70 list would also be nice (There was a bit of a group WTF here at dtoid when we actually saw 2.70 hit)
2 More ps1, ps2 stuff
For guys who talk about profit a lot you sure pass up easy money often, there should be more classics on psn plain and simple.
3 make sure EVERYONE gets updates
Apparently theres content discrepancies between Japan, USA, and Europe, for now we will focus on Europe because they get screwed the most, Now I am aware that the head of SCEE is retiring so with that in mind hereís my advice to his successor , Grab the guy who heads the Japanese division , get the American guy and start coordinating, I know there are going to be some differences in content and timing but last year ( specifically the SSF2THD or however you say it ) was a true example that you have chimps running some of your offices.
And now a few final tips for E3
1 When you announce a launch date, hit the launch date
Actually you guys have been good with this so far, just keep it up.
2 We honestly couldnít care less about your finances
Even though itís a business summit, and you like money YOU HAVE SAID THAT ENOUGH, you are japans #1 retailer, you just streamlined your business, and your still in the top 100 richest companies (were even Microsoft and their windows monopoly was knocked to around 160) you got one more ďwere about profitĒ excuse left before I sic my armored core on you. The we are about profit thing is no longer an excuse for stupid decisions, GAMES GAMES GAMES got it.
Black Nexus opinion time
Personally I would love to see all of the above happen, Sony took the same strategy they always took but because of the recession they were damned for it, even when they turn out right the media still gives them hell. I have always been taught to live by a few phrases, if it ain't broke donít fix it, donít panic under pressure, patience will win the day. In my opinion sony adhered to all of these and are now reaping the rewards, while there claims of there main rivalís hardware hitting the wall are arrogant, there not without evidence. Microsoft rushed into the situation and used what was apparently a bit of a double edge sword, it let them take an early advantage but it came with a price they would have to pay down the road , and now were starting to see that price( this is understandable considering they are still the console new guy). A lot of Sonyís words came true BUT they shouldnít get that arrogant, as I said earlier they still must walk a long road , but if the walk that long hard road, nothing but good awaits them in the future.
(BTW Iím focusing on the home consoles so the psp, psp2 (I hope), DS, and DSi will be covered in another post)
Ahh the Wii (settle down Jonathan Holmes Good constructive things will be said here so turn off the destroyer cannon, but I am going to crack jokes here and there), the system thatís number one in the sales charts, yet seems to be hated by so many. Part of the hatred seems to be at Nintendo themselves, and another part seems to be at the Shovelware Ocean that plagues the system, whatís even more the shovelware sells like crazy. Nintendo seems pleased with this (and after the gamecube who wouldnít) but their core fanbase and the hardcore are condemning them for it. With that in mind letís serve up some E3 suggestions.
Choose your path
Nintendo says they havenít forgotten about the hardcore to this day, the fact that they have to constantly say this proves you may not have forgotten but your not really doing anything about it. A lot of the Ďcoreí titles are from 3rd parties, and at GDC what did you do, you announced a new Zelda game ÖÖÖÖ.. For the DS. How long have we been screaming for a new metroid (even a 2d one), listen Nintendo this E3 choose your path. Hardcore Wii fans are constantly getting their hopes up just for you to piledrive them back into the ground, one Ďcoreí title every blue moon is not supporting the core gamers. If your not going to support them let them move on, itís fine if youíre going to dedicate yourself to casual gamers but state that instead of keeping up this ďwe still support the hardcoreĒ charade.
Your experiencing a similar problem along with Sony, 3rd party devs just canít get there mojo going on the Wii. This is mostly due to the fact that thereís barely any middle ground on the Wii due to the heavy reliance on the motion controls. Like a small nick on a collectorís item degrades the value of the item greatly, a small screw up in the controls totally ruins what should have been an awesome game and youíre not doing anything about it. And not letting devs no about Wii motion plus to the last minute really didnít help. 3rd party devs are saying screw the Wii (no pun intended) for a reason.
Send some of your devs out there that understand how to make the controller do their bidding to those third parties, very few people besides yourself seem to know how to get these controllers to work, taking care of this alone should greatly reduce the shovelware.
Fix your online
Your online system is technically on online system like an ounce of sauce on dough with a grain of cheese is technically pizza, BARE BONES doesnít even begin to describe it and whatís worse is that a lot of the online problems are simply bad decisions and have nothing to do with the systems actual capabilities.
Friend codes are anything but friendly, and with your channels system right there (how hard is it to make a friendís channel) it really doesnít make sense. And donít even get me started on how badly the system lags, with 1,000 hands I couldnít count the number of disconnects I have had.
Black Nexus opinion time
other than whatís above and a few other small gripes Nintendo has basically done everything else right. However I honestly think the days of hardcore Nintendo have come and gone and frankly they probably no longer have an interest in us (Its hard to here us on top of a giant mountain of money).But even with that in mind ill hang on to the wii with the hope that one day I will see a new 2d metroid . However one thing has yet to be decided in my mind and thatís whether or not the Wii is a fad that will fade ( sorry but living through the 90ís has made me skeptical of things that become that popular that fast for no apparent reason) recently Nintendo has been worried as hardware sales have been dropping somewhat, it will be interesting to see how they respond to this at E3 (I know they claimed games will spur hardware sales but if they Ďre losing the casual crowd they better announce something other than Wii lawnmower).
Well thatís some of my E3 expectations. Iím sure I missed some so if you have any opinions to add feel free, and while I appreciate enthusiasm( thatís what it was called before we invented the term fanboy) lets keep the swearing and name calling to a minimum as Iím sure somebody out there is going to have a different opinion. I'll do more of these leading up to E3 so leave some recommondations here if you want to here about a particular topic in the future.