The Playstation 3 has had a bumpy ride thus far. Over the past few months I've opined about various wrong turns and I even offered Sony a piece of my mind, for free (I'm still waiting for that 32" Bravia as a thank you...geez), called How to save the PS3.
Today, however, I figured I'd come up with a nice, easy-to-read top 10 list of the missteps Sony has made. So, without further adieu, here we go...
10 - The "Spiderman" font. Why choose a font that already stands for something? It only serves to distract the gamer and make him/her think about Spiderman when they should be thinking about the PS3. On another note, I'm very excited about this week's debut of Spider-Man 3. See, I'm already thinking of something that's not the PS3 by just mentioning the font. My spidey senses are tingling...in a bad way.
9 - Lack of force feedback (vibration) in the controller. Much was made about Sony's decision to emulate the Wii's tilt motion controls. Whether or not you think Sony ripped it off is beside the point. The fact that they couldn't figure out how to get vibration and motion control into the controller, and then, as cover, came out and said vibration is overrated and not necessary, really rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.
8 - Lack of HD cables. Yet another poor decision by Sony who ostensibly claimed that the true HD buff would want to purchase their own cables when it seems Sony was just too cheap to throw in the very cables that would make the PS3's highly touted HD visuals come to life. This is an example of how being cheap actually ended up costing Sony money.
7 - Underestimating the Wii. Sony should have been more prepared for a battle for the hearts and minds of gamers, which Nintendo has definitely won. The $250 Wii should have been on Sony's radar as a potential threat, but their hubris allowed them to ignore it and put it down. Sony, therefore, effectively put down the gamers who would buy a Wii, thus making many of us not want to buy a PS3, just out of principle.
6 - The constant putting down of the customer. Number 7 leads into this one. Sony, throughout much of last year, continually put down their customers, saying, and I'm paraphrasing here, that they should shut up about the price and stop complaining. The PS3 is a good value, they constantly reiterated. Then, there are a variety of classic quotes including one referring to US gamers as "cheap".
5 - Coming out with two versions. A good deal of talk prior to the launch dealt with what console had what. Card reader? 20GB or 60GB HDD? Why confuse the buyer? Why distract the buyer? And, to the average person, $500 and $600 are the same thing: both prices are prohibitively expensive. There's a reason why the 20GB version was discontinued.
4 - No plan for online play at launch. Playstation "Home" was announced last month, three months after launch. You know, you can tout your online gaming capabilities all you want, but if you don't have a plan at launch, then one of your key features is really just a lie, isn't it?
3 - No "must have" games at launch. Console launch lineups are notoriously sparse and many bad games can be forgiven, but the Playstation 3's launch lineup was one of the worst to date. "Resistance Fall of Man" was the only semi-hit and most of the remainder of the games were ports of older games. Compare that to the 360's Perfect Dark Zero, Call of Duty 2, Kameo: Elements of Power, and Project Gotham Racing 3 and the Wii's Zelda: Twilight Princess and Wii Sports.
2 - Blu-Ray. Who cares about Blu-Ray? My guess is about 73 people. Okay, okay, I know it's slightly more than that...like 82. My point is that videophiles care about Blu-Ray. That was who bought the launch PS3s, not gamers. This fact escaped Sony and was a fundamental error. Gamers needed to have been the focus, not the living room entertainment crowd. To tell you the truth, I don't care if my game comes on Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, CD, or cardboard. A good game is a good game and to tie Sony's hopes for the adoption of Blu-Ray to the PS3 was, and is, a disservice to gamers.
1 - Price. $600 for a console? Even if it was gold-plated, dusted with saffron, and served caviar out of its disc tray the average gamer wouldn't pay $600 for a console. Again, gamers are a lot smarter than Sony gives them credit for. We all know that the price will drop between year one and year two, which is about the same time that some decent games will be out for it. In the meantime, gamers will continue to play their PS2s, Wiis, and 360s until there is a compelling game and a price break.
UPDATE: Before you comment about how I'm a fanboy and I don't know what I'm talking about, please read today's post, Top 10 Playstation 3 missteps - the redux.