Your Game System Sucks
Next up, my gripe with Sony and how they still seem to be treating their third-party publishers. That is not to imply they treat them poorly, but rather Sony doesn't make any effort to secure exclusives anymore. Where as in the past, the PlayStation 2 had exclusives locked down hard leaving the other two consoles high and dry, this time around, Sony settles for exclusive content in their versions (i.e. Batman: Arkham Asylum). All of that is great, and all, and Sony does have a massively powerful first-party lineup, but historically, the PlayStation brand has also had these immense third-party games like Resident Evil, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid (more or less), Devil May Cry, and so forth, all to themselves. Now, I realize it's simply far more profitable for publishers to release their games on multiple platforms, but at the same time, I also wholeheartedly believe Sony doesn't try as hard as they once did to secure these games, even for a brief exclusive period.
And Sony, if you're trying to win this console war, why aren't you going after the most lucrative prize that'll likely seal the deal for you? You allowed Square-Enix to get our pants all tight at E3 2005 when you showed us a Final Fantasy VII cut-scene running on PS3 hardware in real-time, yet, four years and millions of crying fans later, nothing has amounted from it. Are you guys nuts? Sony published Final Fantasy VII back in 1997 for the PlayStation, so make history repeat itself, dammit! You have a list longer than Santa's of customers who are ready to dish out the money for this remake and pay full price for it! Get your ass over to Square-Enix's offices, sign some papers, and give us our game, already. Do you not like money, Sony?
Moving on, I still can't stand playing any PC-based game on the PlayStation 3. Something needs to be done for PC developers to wrap their heads around the PS3's architecture a little easier, because consistently, PS3 ports of games that were originally designed for a DirectX system (PC/Xbox 360) are notably inferior. Borderlands is one such example. Half-Life: The Orange Box is another. Bayonetta, unfortunately, is another one. I mean, I don't even think I needed to go into the examples in the first place, we should all know by now that if a game's design originated with DirectX code, it'll likely end up crap for the PS3. And I know you're probably asking how that's Sony's fault. It's simple. Perhaps Sony could create more robust developer tools for DirectX porting, and maybe put some more pressure on third-party publishers to not release product that is notably inferior. Honestly, having a game like Bayonetta run at 25-40 frames per second on the PS3, meanwhile the Xbox 360 version runs at 50-60 at almost all times, is really getting annoying at this point in the generation. Just when I thought this whole issue was behind us, numerous games launch that prove otherwise. I swear, if somehow Final Fantasy XIII runs better on the Xbox 360, I will choke a bitch.
This next example is one that has bothered me since day one. Why doesn't Sony ever include HD/component cables with a PlayStation 3? Granted, before anyone says anything, I'm aware that one of the Xbox 360 SKUs now also only comes with SD cables, but for the past four years, they've all been HD only. In any case, what's the point of including SD cables with an HD gaming machine? Sure, a lot of people still have standard-definition TVs, but is it really that much of a problem to include both cables? I mean, you can buy an HDMI cable for $5 - so I can't imagine how cheap they are to produce. Likewise, if HDMI cables are so cheap, then surely component cables are probably even cheaper to manufacture. It's especially something to be mad about when you've paid as much as $600 for the system, only to have to spend another $30 on HD cables. The PlayStation 3 has always been an out-of-the-box ready machine that didn't really require anything to be bought separately, besides a controller...so to have to spend more money on all already expensive console really sucks.
And where are my custom soundtracks? It's annoying how the XMB interface can be locked out via game software, preventing me from listening to the music on my PS3's hard drive, forcing me to listen to some sh*t that some publisher thought sounded edgy and cool for their game. I swear to God, if I hear a P.O.D. or Saliva song in an extreme sports game again, my rage will cause fires worse than that of Los Angeles'. Stop giving into publishers' B.S. demands, Sony, and give us the freedom to access our music during any game. I don't care if EA or THQ have spent money acquiring licenses for their in-game soundtracks - most of them suck, and you need to cater to us, the people who spent $300, $400, $500, and $600 on your consoles. And while you're at it, give us the damn cross game voice chat, already.
But I'm not done. I think there's a crucial aspect to the PlayStation 3's power and ability that Sony is not taking advantage of. In my opinion, getting rid of PlayStation 2 backwards compatibility was the wrong move. At the very least, Sony should at least piece together a PS2 emulator of some sort for the PlayStation 3. Heck, if they want, charge us $10 for it, it doesn't have to be free via firmware update. Ever since I saw the God of War Collection trailer this week, the idea of an emulator has been stuck in my head. There's another cash cow Sony is potentially sitting on, that they seem to be ignoring. For $10, wouldn't you buy an emulator as long as it improved the framerate, resolution, and polished up textures? I know I sure would. I'd love to see games like Gran Turismo 4, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XII, Devil May Cry 1-3, Metal Gear Solid 2&3, and many others, all running in HD resolutions and sharper textures. Have you guys seen some of the awesome stuff these PC PS2 emulators can do? The PlayStation brand has always been about maintaining its history by offering gamers the ability to play classics on their newest console, and beside offering PSOne games, the PS3 has failed in that regard. So come on, Sony, stop slacking off. Give us a proper PS2 emulator! We'll even pay for it.
I have to also mention PlayStation Home, which is definitely not one of Sony's brightest moments. I mean, sure, Sony claims it's really active, but what's the point of it? Is it me, or does it seem to lack focus? It's boring. It's just a glorified chat-room with virtual avatars and a few lame mini-games. How about something worth visiting, Sony? Maybe give us a car to drive around and visit other towns or something? An activity beside walking and talking would be nice. And, don't get me started on the internet browser, which I still think is lousy.
So there you have it, plenty of reasons why your console sucks. So get off your high horse and accept that the system you chose for the next five years of gaming isn't as great as you think it is.
10/26/2009 Arnold Katayev