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In this thread, I’m going to rant. Today, I’m going to rant about why… The PS3 is not the N64! One thing I see people say—both Ninty zealots and neutral observers—is that the PS3 is Sony’s N64. Um… I have to disagree… But maybe not for the reasons you think… Sony today and Ninty 10 years ago may have gotten themselves into similar situations. But they did not get to this point in the same way. In fact, it was basically the exact opposite. Nintendo was focusing on out-dated technology—tradition—Sony is focusing on pushing the envelope. The N64 was cheap, and PS3 is expensive. N64 was a “games only” machine, PS3 is a multi-media beast. N64 was a leader in controller innovation, PS3 is a follower. Basically, the whole theory and ideology behind the two consoles are totally different. But even more than that, here’s the key: Nintendo alienated developers, Sony is alienating customers. You don’t have to look past N64 launch sales, or N64’s top games vs. PS1’s top games, to know that customers were still enamored with Nintendo as the generation started. A $200 console with $50-60 games, which would produce well under 1,000 games during its cycle—no one knew that a better cost:value relationship could exist in the home console market, and there were tens of millions who were fine with it. It was developers, led by Square, who said “good riddance” to Nintendo. Nintendo’s policies towards third parties were atrocious, and were halting the growth of the industry. To developers and publishers looking at their bottom lines, this was as obvious and as angering as the PS3’s sticker price is to the public today. Today, by and large, developers don’t want to see Sony fail. They’ve prospered under the rule of PlayStation. Sony has repeatedly helped up-and-coming devs establish themselves (LittleBigWorld’s and flOw’s devs most recently), and invested heavily in tools for devs (most recently EDGE). The bulk of the perceived hate of Sony from devs is really them hoping for more parity in the home console business, not a Sony collapse. It’s the customers who are pissed at Sony, because the cost:value relationship they’ve come to expect is out the window. The days of buying one console for $300, getting games at $50 (without worrying about micro-transactions afterwards) and having a game library of 2,500 which includes “everything but the Nintendo games and Halo” are over. And your average Sony defender today? They're sold on Blu-Ray, or in other words, the new cost:value relationship works for them. The comparisons which do exist—both companies are arrogant, both are likely to shed a ton of marketshare… They’re surface observations which probably could be made between thousands of products. The scary thing for Sony is… They don’t understand what’s going on. A recent blog post by IGN’s Hilary Goldstein (Hil-IGN)… “Tonight, Sony held a meeting of the minds between some popular bloggers and a half-dozen high fallutin' PlayStation folks. For some reason Sony invited me… We sat at a table of about 20 people…On Sony's side were Phil Harrison and a handful of others who cooled themselves under the shade he provided. Everyone was very nice to each other, even when Harrison and the Sony crew were grilled about the negativity slung constantly at PS3. Unlike most interviews or press briefings, Harrison and crew were fairly candid. Though a few bits of marketing speak slipped into the conversation, Sony more or less conceded they have no idea why people are shitting all over them. It was Dylan Jobe, game director for Warhawk, who turned the tables and asked the bloggers (and me, for some reason) why people were so angry with Sony. /rant ~Erik.



"[Our former customers] are unable to find software which they WANT to play."
"The way to solve this problem lies in how to communicate what kind of games [they CAN play]."

Satoru Iwata, Nintendo President. Only slightly paraphrased.