Has Sony failed to deliver on the PS3 promise?

Summary:Has Sony failed to deliver on the PS3 promise of bringing out a games console which takes gaming to a whole new level of fun? A number of reviewers who have spent time with the console believe that Sony has indeed dropped the ball.

Has Sony failed to deliver on the PS3 promise of bringing out a games console which takes gaming to a whole new level of fun?  A number of reviewers who have spent time with the console believe that Sony has indeed dropped the ball.

I've been watching the PS3 reviews hit the web and while most make it clear that Sony's PS3 is a technological marvel, they also show that perhaps the console just wasn't ready for prime time, despite the fact that the console's launch date had been delayed for months.

One review that I think sums up the problems is the one I read by Seth Schiesel of the New York Times.  Schiesel spent some 30 hours playing some 30 different games so he's pretty familiar with the console.  Given the price of the PS3 he should be impressed, but here's how he begins his article:

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Howard Stringer [Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sony Corporation of America], you have a problem. Your company’s new video game system just isn’t that great.

And this isn't just some random rant by Schiesel.  He lists a whole catalog of aspects that leave him displeased and frustrated.

  • Setup of the PS3 took a lot longer than the Xbox 360
  • No cable for hooking it up to a hi-def TV
  • Wireless controllers need to be hooked up via USB to pair them with the system
  • Online experience clunky - for one thing you can't bring in downloads in the background while playing a game
  • Under-supported voice chat

So where has Sony gone wrong?  I think that Schiesel nails it here:

Gates: You know, Sony can make 80,000 bricks, and people would buy themOverall, Sony seems to have put a lot of effort into cramming as much silicon horsepower under the hood as possible but to have forgotten that all the transistors in the world can’t make someone smile.

Bingo!  Over the past 12 months Sony seems to have seriously lost their way (it's a really bad sign when a company can't release music CDs without having to have a recall - although it was quite ironic that the CD recall was going to seem trivial compared to the battery recall they were to later face).  My guess is that Sony gambled on the PS3 as being the golden goose that would turn things around for the company and they rushed to get it out of the door and stumbled.  Anyone who's spent up to $599 for PS3 should be having fun all the way.  It doesn't seem that this is happening and that's not a good sign.  For a start, Sony could stop being cheap and include a cable for connecting the console up to a hi-def TV.  The absence of proper cables is either a serious oversight or an example of how Sony is trying to shave cents off the production costs.

It doesn't even sound like Bill Gates is all that worried about the the PS3:

You know, Sony can make 80,000 bricks, and people would buy them.

My advice (unless you're in a real rush to be an early adopter) is to give the PS3 time to mature because it's definitely not completed yet.  Problem is, who knows how long this will take.  If you're in a rush for a new games console and just want to play some games, then you might be better off picking up a good deal on an Xbox 360.

Topics: Hardware

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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