In 2006, the PlayStation 3 released to a great amount of hype, skepticism, laughter and of course, decent sales. Sony pushed its PR firms to show that the PlayStation 3 was sold out everywhere, but images of palettes full of the console were put onto the internet to much laughter. After all, Sony had acted arrogant and it was probably appropriate.
If you were an xbox fanboy, you took joy in how far ahead Microsoft had already pushed in the market share battle and you reveled in the belief that the PlayStation 3 had no games and were shill bidding on eBay so resellers would get screwed over. If you were a Nintendo fanboy, you didn’t care and you were probably enjoying Wii Sports with the family. Finally, if you had been a PlayStation loyalists waiting for Day 1, you realized exactly how much better the launch lineup the PlayStation 3 had to offer compared to its predecessors.
One thing most gamers can generally appreciate about the PlayStation, whether you hate it or not, is that its exclusives have always hit a wide variety of genres and they’ve always had tremendous growth from game-to-game. While it’s obvious that we can discuss how LittleBigPlanet helped evolve the gaming industry as a whole in terms of creativity and that Killzone 2 gave rival developers a benchmark to hit in terms of visuals — Sony has relied on three key titles to push the PlayStation brand and with just reason as well.
This generation, Sony has released only three franchises to a trio of titles and those are the Resistance, MotorStorm, and Uncharted franchises. Despite the fact that each of those franchises have only seen two full retail cycles on the PlayStation 3, 2011 will bring, what is expected to be, the greatest year in gaming to the forefront and many gamers are anticipating 2011 because of the sequels coming for those Big Three.
The evolution from Resistance: Fall of Man to Resistance 2 and finally, to Resistance 3 is something gamers consider a leap each time. The visuals are obvious, the storyline is intriguing and though Insomniac Games was disappointed with the middle title, you can expect them to deliver near perfection with the third, just out of sheer desire alone. In fact, without Resistance as a launch title, I don’t think you would have seen the PlayStation 3 do as well as it has this generation and Sony owes great thanks to IG for that.
MotorStorm followed Resistance: FOM rather quickly on the release calendar and upon launch many gamers drooled over the off-road visuals, ludicrous difficulty level, and the game delivered a World Record number of different types of vehicles in one video game. when MotorStorm: Pacific Rift took the game to the next level with all new environments and vehicle type, gamers continued the excitement, but for some odd reason the adrenaline pumping action wasn’t as effective as it had been previously. Considering the upcoming release, Apocalypse, is going to offer full-on 3D gameplay as well as exploding environments, I have a funny suspicion that gamers are going to one more latch onto this franchise like they originally did in 2006.
And finally, Uncharted Drake’s Fortune released a full year after the PlayStation 3 in 2007 and marked what would be the launching point and turnaround of the PlayStation 3’s somewhat lackluster performance. Drake’s Fortune brought with it a modern day Tomb Raider feel with a lead character everyone loved. Not to mention how cool was it to watch Drake’s clothes interact with water and actually still be wet when he left it? The technology and visuals of Drake’s Fortunes was exactly what gamers expected out of the PlayStation 3 when they originally heard about it. When Naughty Dog finally released Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, the developer took it to a whole other level that gamers couldn’t even begin to think existed. The game launched into the millions and many industry media outlets (if not all) shoved Game of the Year awards in its direction.
In 2011, we can expect Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception to do something no other game has really done — and that’s dominate the Game of the Year award ceremonies on every level back-to-back. It’s obviously one of the year’s most anticipated titles and despite being a PlayStation 3 exclusive, it will probably force a lot of Xbox-only owners to finally pick up a PlayStation 3 to check out what they’ve been missing.