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Monday, October 23, 2006

Ain’t Gonna Study Playstation No More

$600 to buy the machine. $50 to buy the extra controller. Another few hundred for the games. That’s something like $750 to $800 just to play some games.

PlayStation 3 is just too damned expensive. I have a hard time imagining that PS3 will be successful when it costs a few hundred bucks more than the already pricy Xbox 360 and the only real benefit that I can see is that the online service is free. The HDTV feature is useless to me since I don’t have a hi def television.

Before I get a response telling me how amazing the graphics will be or how powerful the processor is, let me just say that sheer horsepower only gets me so far. The fact is that PS3 won’t give me much that I can’t get with the Xbox 360 aside from some games that will be PS3-only or gimmick extras in games that separate the 360 releases from the PS3 releases.

Consider me unimpressed.

The fact is that gameplay rules all. Graphics help and so does processor speed, but it’s all about how addiction. It’s all about making a game that is so fun, so easy to jump into, so compelling to explore that I don’t want to put it down. And that has nothing to do with the disk format that the manufacturer chooses.

The PS3 will never find a place in my home unless the price drops tremendously or I buy one secondhand. Ultimately, I have better things to do with that much cash.

Hardcore gamers will pony up the cash, but I doubt that many parents will find the cost palatable come Christmas and casual gamers like me won’t even give it a second thought.

I think Sony screwed up; in a year or so, we’ll know.

Update: De Doc feels the same way. The more I think about it, the more I think this is a huge misstep for Sony. New Coke-sized misstep without the relatively easy fix. I predict that after a tremendously disappointing Christmas season--both because no one wants the things and Sony can’t work their supply problems out--there will be a flurry of “Where Sony Went Wrong” articles in magazines and segments on TV. The PS3 will become yet another case study in failed business strategy.

Or I’m wrong. Which is always a possibility.

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