January 22nd, 2008, 19:13 Posted By: wraggster
It has endured a horrible introduction to the world, but PlayStation 3 has survived. Now it's set to prosper. Next-Gen's editor-in-chief Colin Campbell explains...
* The decision to go with Blu-ray was good because Blu-ray is going to emerge as the winning platform in the war against HD-DVD. It was good because millions of people will be upgrading to hi-def over the next five years. It was good because a significant percentage of them will make PS3 a central part of that upgrade process.
* Up until this point, Xbox 360 has represented the best value. No longer. PS3 is $50 more expensive than Xbox 360 but you get a bigger hard drive, you get a Blu-ray drive and you get to play online for free. It is becoming extremely difficult to argue the case that Xbox 360 is better value than PS3.
* For many people, it looks like a tres-moderne piece of under-the-telly technology. And, what‘s more, it carries the Sony logo and the PlayStation logo. For those of us entrenched in the biz, both these brands carry baggage. But for them out there - the Year 3 Console Adopters, the people who bought a DVD player after the Millennium - these are brands to trust. They speak of sophistication and quality.
* Will PlayStation Home make a difference? When I saw it a year ago, I was convinced that this piece of software would play a major role in the console wars. I still believe it has a touch of genius, the common touch, to take virtual living out of the machismo ghettoes of Xbox Live or the vacant loonyness of Second Life. If it works, it's an amazing thing.
This hardware cycle has confounded most of what we thought we knew about the console games market. We used to believe that there would always be an ultra-dominant console and a distant second-place. We used to believe that third place was no-where. It was once a central belief that games consoles ought not try and be something else; that convergent devices were anathema.
Those things don't seem to hold any longer. All three console manufacturers are in a strong position to take a win from this generation; simultaneously.
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