4) Indie Developer Access
The PS3 has its share of indie darlings, especially with the smashing success of Journey this year and a lot of games that started on the Xbox have since made their way over onto Sony’s console like Castle Crashers and Limbo. However, indie developers often start with and stick with the Xbox simply given their openness to work with those smaller companies and promoting their games. This seems to be in the process of being remedied with the advent of PlayStation Mobile and how open it seems to be, but it’s far from on par with what Microsoft can boast on their platform.
3) Efficiency and Speed
Anyone that owns a PS3 can admit to hating this one: it takes forever to do anything. A large majority of games require you to install them to the PS3, which can often take several minutes. If you’re playing a game that’s been out for a while, you might as well go fix yourself something to eat because it will need to not only download all of those inevitable patches, but also install them. This is all in addition to the frequent Firmware updates you will experience on the PS3 and the time it takes to really do anything, like I mentioned in the previous point.
Case in point: the night Skyrim came out. My roommate and I both got the game and put it into our respective gaming consoles of choice, me a PS3, he a 360. He and I had both been anticipating the release of this game for weeks, nay, months. To this day, it remains the greatest game launch experience of my life and I have never been that excited over a video game before. Long story short: before my game was done patching and installing, he was almost through the opening cinematic and into character creation. PS4 can’t be like that.
Anybody who’s anybody’s friend in the entire universe has heard about the PSN outage. It is essentially the largest and most publicized gaming catastrophe this generation – for good reason. Not only were users locked out of using a large majority of their beloved console’s features for week, many users had their private and sensitive financial information stolen. This includes personal details and even credit card numbers. I’m not saying that there is anything that really could have been done to “stop the hackers” because if a group of hackers is determined enough, they will achieve their goal. That’s kind of what they do: get around stuff and wreak havoc. What I am saying, though, is that there absolutely has to be some sort of commitment to safeguarding that information and doing more to protect it, somehow. If anything, this is important as a point of reassurance, that Sony really does care about you as a person.
1) Keep it Free!
Becoming and remaining a member of the PlayStation Network is free. Playing games online with your friends, exchanging messages, accessing the entirety of the PlayStation Store and using a whole litany of services like Hulu and Netflix are also free. All of this must remain free if the PlayStation Network wants to remain the Gold Standard. With the success of the PS3 in sales and the likelihood of gamers having to choose between the Next-Box 3 and PlayStation 4, there will be a few things consumers look to for tie-breakers.
Most obviously, games are important. If you like Halo and other shooters, you will probably prefer the Xbox 360. If you prefer character-focused action games like Uncharted and inFAMOUS, you will probably prefer the PlayStation 3 (these are both massive generalizations, yes.) However – if a group of gamers plays mostly multi-platform games like Call of Duty, Madden and others, going into the next generation – which console do they pick? I could be wrong, but if they can do something for free, or do something with a fee, I bet they pick the Gold Free Standard.
Let me know what you think of these reasons in the comments below, whether you disagree or agree. Let’s keep this conversation going. Class dismissed!