Friday, June 5, 2009

Sony = Rubberband?..

I stared at the keynote from Microsoft intently and walked away impressed, with a ton of positive things to say in retrospect.

I walked away from this keynote with a bit of dry taste in my mouth, albeit somewhat impressed in spots, but not really blown away.


Highlights next.

We'll start out with the exciting.

Despite the fact that they've lost exclusivity, Final Fantasy XIII still began life as a PS3 careful though, this is a long one.

God of War III was already a given, eh? Do I need to write an introduction? Kratos has never looked better, honestly. One thing I love, is that the developers WON'T stop prattling on about how THESE visuals are early, and the game is going to look better before release. Heh. We'll see guys. Judging from some gameplay I've seen, it should be a great time, though I'm skeptical because neither David Jaffe (Creator, director of 1) or Cory Barlog (Art designer, Director of 2) are involved on any level. At least there's a date now. March 2010.

Did you play ICO? How about Shadow of the Colossus? Team ICO's newest, The Last Guardian is finally in viewable form, and it looks AMAZING:

Okay Naughty Dog. We get it. You have an INCREDIBLE hold on every Sony console you've ever touched. I'm speechless. This just might be the best looking game I've seen on the system to date. Uncharted 2? I'm sold.

And then it became a bit stale..

We have a Wii, Project Natal is using your entire body and then some, and now there's this.....thing. I don't know. While it admittedly looks a bit cool, isn't the Wii already doing this? As if we didn't underutilize the Sixaxis' gyro enough, here's something that just screams "me too" in the face of what the competition's already offering.

Gran Turismo 5 is STILL coming. Microsoft unleashes Forza 3 on us, with stunning visuals, 400+ licensed customizable, destructible cars, 100+ tracks,a prospective release window, and the Sony response is to CONTINUE teasing us with GT5? No feature list? No release date? Do they realize that in the time it's taken to make this one game, Forza is now on it's third installment, making it a literal franchise? At least we're getting a portable one...right?


MAG is a great idea in concept, massive scale 256 player battles, but it's decidedly last-gen look and somewhat underwhelming looking gameplay have me on the fence. What happens when the novelty of so many simultaneous players wears off?

While Final Fantasy XIII was already a given in many of our eyes, I know losing exclusivity was a massive blow to Sony and their plans to edge out Microsoft in the long run. So how do they counter this decisive blow? MMO in the form of Final Fantasy XVI Online for a same-day release. Huh?

Way to take the thunder away from the former with the latter, guys. This screams like a great idea with dubious timing. FFXIII already has a lot to contend with, given the long wait and the fact that it's a next gen installment. by tossing us that AND the sequel to Final Fantasy XI at the same time, it means both releases will suffer to some extent as far as consumer perception is concerned. Ever try to care about two RPGs at once? I usually end up indifferent to both.

Other parts of the Keynote left me a bit puzzled. Why does the PSPgo exist? Your portable sales halve those of Nintendo's, and this ailing console is undergoing ANOTHER redesign? This would make the fourth in the console's 4 year running time. Perhaps Sony, instead of sinking countless thousands into R&D, you could produce some worthwhile GAMES for it, or at least bribe publishers to, in a span shorter than every 6 months. This isn't to say that the new Metal Gear or Resident Evil titles don't look excellent, but they're a ways off, case in point. Just a thought.


Also, why am I being thrown sales numbers yet again?..Why is Playstation Home being reinforced as something I will be unable to ignore? The rest of the conference struck me as superfluous. Sony seems to live in their own world, one where their past successes overshadow all and their needless additions to the Playstation platform help them elevate past what made them successful in the first place--strong third party support. I walked away from their announcements not with a renewed sense of faith in the PS brand, but with faith in the few exclusives coming to the PS3 in the near future.

Very often, between the PSP redesigns and "me too" esque motion wand, it seems like Sony is simply playing catch up with everyone else. I remember when the brand could stand on its own two feet, and the company had so much pull, it was enough to outright KILL off a rival system, when they had so much clout that the threat of not releasing on a Playstation platform meant a loss for the publisher, and not Sony themselves. It seems they still have a hard time humbling and accepting the reality now, but at least in a sense, the games are actually coming.

Dubious decisions aside, it was a solid show, and nowhere near the trainwreck it could've been. Thank heavens.

1 comment:

  1. I was some what impressed by their motion controller because even though microsoft's is amazing, I still saw some quirkiness with that guys avatar when he wanted to show what the bottom of the shoe looked like,

    Also the paint feature seemed to be lacking compared to sony's which was more precise,

    but I think once microsoft works out the kinks it would be good. I remember seeing that same technology on G4 when they did CES, Im sure microsoft bought the tech and adjusted it to fit the 360, they didnt really develop it.