Sunday Thoughts: 19/10/08

It’s not been a good week, Sony, huh?  

When your competition is going all guns blazing with the New Xbox Experience, alongside Avatars and public, 3D meeting spaces, your loyal fanbase is surely hoping that Home is going to beat it to the post.  It’s not, of course – there’s more chance of sun in Glasgow than Home releasing before the NXE.  For some reason Home has taken about 12 months more than it should have done and it’s still not ready, and now Microsoft have beaten to you it – in precisely one month 360 owners will be able to create their own 3D avatars and bumble about, meet up and chat, all behind a beautiful new Dashboard.  And then there’s the fantastic Xbox customer service too – bought a cheaper 360?  No problem, they’ll help you out.  Bought a cheaper PS3?  Ah well, too bad.

Then we’ve got the games.  This is probably less directly Sony’s fault, but we all now know that Silent Hill is delayed over here, but there’s a real chance that Sony’s about to lose it’s other major Konami title, Metal Gear Solid, or at least its exclusivity.  Naturally Kojima only want to maximise sales, but, you know, if there were a few more PS3s out there then they’d no doubt feel a little less obligued to whore Snake out to the competition, and thus create yet another reason not to invest in a PS3 for its exclusive games.  What do we have left from third parties, I’m struggling to think?  Sure, our first party line-up is wonderful, but sadly it’s not the Uncharteds and the Ratchets that sell consoles, it’s the stuff everybody knows about, and the less said about third party TV advertising the better.

But our PSN is holding up, right?  There’s new stuff coming down the pipes all the time now, and there are the odd exclusive (albeit a timed one) just waiting to pop onto our European Store, but why are we still left behind in terms of who-gets-what?  I don’t want to sound like a stuck record, but when the 360 gets a game on a Wednesday, the whole World gets it (give or take) so I know that when Age of Booty lands on the Xbox, I can safely assume I’ll be able to buy it.  Not only does the damned game get delayed for the PS3 en masse, but chances are when it does arrive on the US Store it’ll be another 6 months before we see it here in Europe.  And don’t get me started on the Beta crap – if you’ve got something to show us, show us, and stop with the pretence that you actually give a shit what we think of your single-level demo.

Speaking of Betas and delays – apparently LBP is delayed.  When we were running nofilter we had a story on the ending of the original Saints Row, and because we were the first on the web it became a major traffic pull for the site.  Well, it looks like the same is happening with the LBP delay.  I’ll keep my own personal thoughts to myself on the whole situation, suffice to say that once again the thoughts of a few have influenced the happiness of many.  The original thread is still there, although it’s locked at the time of writing, and it’s clear that not all Muslims feel the same way – the music track was never meant to offend, and to our understanding it’s from a Muslim artist.  Go figure.  Go create.  Oh, wait, you can’t, because every single fucking copy is being recalled around the World at massive expense while Media Molecule create a new master and get the copy machine fired up.

Still, column inches is column inches, right?  Well, then you’ve got Sony changing the T&Cs of how your user created content works, the first news of the 360’s GTA IV content, and the results of the Xbox’s price cut over in America having real World results on the sales figures.  Last time we checked the PS3’s being outsold in Japan, too.  Japan.  Sony, this isn’t working.  Whatever you’re doing, change it back.  Sure, the good games are starting to come in, but remind us what you’ve got that’s exclusive for the rest of the year, please, apart from LittleBigPlanet.  Bioshock’s a wonderful game, but it’s 12 months old, and better on the 360.  Spending effort and money on Linger in Shadows doesn’t count either, it was a waste of time when your competition is releasing things like Rez HD and Duke Nukem – proper downloadable games.  Still, there’s always this, yeah?

I’m trying to think of the bright side, here, but I can’t.  I think the LittleBigPlanet situation has brought a massive cloud over the whole week, and I’m only seeing negatives (and that’s as someone with the full game in his hands waiting for the online servers to kick in).  The constant teasing of Home isn’t working, people are bored, and all we’ve got left to shout about once Sackboy stumbles over the line is Resistance 2 and Motorstorm 2, neither of which are going to turn the situation around.  So, 2009, that’s the year of the PS3 then after all.  Roll on Killzone 2.  Me?  I’ve just bought a 360.