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Friday, September 08, 2006

Descend of Sony?

This hot question has been playing in gamers’ minds for several months now and would continue to play for many months to come. Once again, Sony tripped on its own shoes when it announced that they have shifted the release date of the PS3 in Europe, Australia, Middle East, Africa and Russia from the initially promised date of November 17 to March 2007. How many more mistakes can Sony afford to make? It first started when Sony revealed the price tag of the PS3. At US$599 for the 60GB PS3, people were wondering whether the PS3 would sell or not, especially to casual gamers. The first pinch of doubt about the success of PS3 has already been sprinkled onto people’s minds. Then, at E3 2006, Sony was surprisingly overshadowed by Nintendo. Only a few playable games were available and further doubts came. However, Sony promises to compensate for the E3 event by saying that it would be allowing a whole lot of more than 15 games to be playable at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show. Nonetheless, Sony’s delay of the PS3 launch cannot be excused, especially when it is going to affect people living in so many regions. All these actions put Sony at risk of losing its dominance of the console market. Although Sony would still be shipping the PS3 to Japan and US on November 11 and November 17 respectively, it is believed that only 100,000 units would be available on the Japan launch and another 400,000 units assigned to the US launch. On the other hand, Nintendo said that it is going to have 6 million Wii units for sale from the launch date itself to March 2007. It is also known that Nintendo would conduct a worldwide simultaneous launch, meaning that it would launch in many countries at the same time. To add to Sony’s woes, Microsoft has already attained steady production of its Xbox 360 console and would be releasing a host of accessories for the Xbox 360 this December, ranging from a web camera to a driving wheel. Xbox 360 has been released last November and would have already secured a significant amount of owners. Saying that Sony would have a challenging task on hand would be of no wrong. Furthermore, Sony has added a blu-ray drive into its PS3 console and would also be releasing games on blu-ray discs. Nintendo is going to release their games on standard DVDs, while Microsoft is releasing games on standard DVD format, although it plans on getting an external HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360 soon. Could games released on blu-ray be more costly, you may ask. Of course, the price is going to be higher. But why is Sony doing this? It wants to push technology, not only common ones, but cutting-edge ones to its consumers, which in turn, leads to the high price. Are all these technologies even necessary now? Sony is having a delusion that it would conquer the market with ease like it did the last time with the PS2, but it takes only a stroke of arrogance and ignorance for the downfall to be plotted. One example can be seen in Nintendo’s N64 console. While discs are gaining popularity, Nintendo still stuck with cartridges. After which, it fell from the number 1 position of the console market. Instead, Sony replaced Nintendo, with the later slipping into oblivion with the GameCube, but fortunately, has the DS to thank. Sony, like the Nintendo of yesteryear, is showing off its arrogance and ignorance. Arrogance in pricing its PS3 so high and including some superfluous features, ignorance in including a yet unproven and unestablished technology in blu-ray. With its PSP already losing out to the DS, Sony can no longer afford to fail with its PS3, but what more does it plan to do with the PS3? The PS3 games are one of Sony’s highest hope now, but as I say earlier, what more does it plan to do with the PS3? Will any more mistakes be made or will the PS3 be cruising to victory? Only time will tell.


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