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Remembering The PS3 Launch Debacle: Has Sony Learned?

Oh, I remember it well.

Two models would be arriving, but the one most every gamer wanted was the 60GB model, which would cost $600. Blu-Ray was in its infancy, as was the PlayStation Network, the software launch lineup consisted of little in the way of recognizable goodness (although most were appropriately impressed with Resistance: Fall of Man), and the shipment numbers...oh dear.

I remember having the PS3 pre-ordered at a local GameStop. Not long before the official launch day in mid-November, it was announced that Sony would be halving the initial shipment number. Retailers were already getting a very small number but suddenly, things got much, much worse. The GameStop where I had the console reserved was supposed to get 12; that number dropped to 6. Thankfully, as I was #4 on the list, I still got mine. But that's not really the point.

Nasty stories of assaults on customers who bought the PS3 on launch day began to arise. Stores were robbed. People were hurt. On top of it all, the $600 machine didn't have much going for it right out of the gate, besides the promise of future greatness. The media had a field day with the poor launch; or rather, a field day that lasted many, many months. Sony suffered through 2007, as rampant doomsday headlines dominated. Multiplatform games weren't faring well, Sony lost key exclusive franchises, and the future wasn't particularly bright.

Everything turned out all right, of course. The PS3 has now surpassed the Xbox 360 in terms of worldwide sales, and that exclusive software is undeniably the best and the most cutting-edge in the console business. Blu-Ray is here to stay and the Network has taken gargantuan strides (and yeah, it's still free). Still, you really don't want to see Sony repeat the same mistakes with the PS4, right? And it seems they really have learned a big lesson, as the PS4 architecture if far more accessible right off the bat, they've already announced at least one huge launch title (Killzone: Shadow Fall), developer support is through the roof, and price estimates have been quite agreeable. The new console might not retail for more than $500.

Therefore, it really does appear as if Sony will be in for a smoother ride this time around. They've taken the necessary precautions and fixed what they needed to fix. Wouldn't you say?

Tags: ps3, playstation 3, ps4, playstation 4, sony

2/25/2013 9:54:57 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (34 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 10:43:31 PM
Reply

After that presentation I'm inclined to agree at least on the service side of things, I suspect things will go better for them however if "Holiday 2013" happens to happen before some important games that aren't also available on PS3 are actually DONE then things could get rocky. That means Uncharted 4 is going to have to show up somehow, and The Last of Us might make that about impossible.

They need some system selling software, big time. Killzone and inFamous are great franchises but not powerhouse sellers.

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sawao_yamanaka
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 12:26:53 AM

Team two could be working on uncharted 4 as we speak.

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Lord carlos
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 1:41:10 AM

Team 1 i'd say

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 8:20:33 AM

I'm sure they are, but have they had enough time to have it ready in 9 months?

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playaplus
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 10:52:37 PM
Reply

Ahh yes, although I wasnt a right of the bat owner, I remember all the negativity all over the web. Despite that, I still bought mine in Feb 07. Best thing I did. Sure it didnt have a lot but the web browser came through when my laptop crapped up lol. RFOM-fun. still the best in the resistance series I think. I still remember having fun w PAIN, yes im a simple gamer who can enjoy simplicity. hell pacman, galaga, and te original dk are my favs. sixth axis games...while fun...understandably not popular. enjoyed it's use in heavenly sword though...not a launch title i know nut people should play that game if anything on ps3...besides the uncharted series of course

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Knightzane
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 10:53:43 PM
Reply

Uncharted 4 will be a major deal breaker for Sony. ND deserves 5 months vacation after TLOU releases but after that they need to get back to Uncharted. I have people who actually play U3 over CoD. Its pretty awesome knowing that people love the MP so much that its i think 3'rd or 4'th most active MP on the ps3.

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ZettaiSeigi
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:02:41 PM

No need to worry about that are Naughty Dog is no longer a one-game studio. The team working on The Last of Us is not the same as the one that worked on the Uncharted games. I'm pretty sure that after Uncharted 3 was done, that team was already cranking on ideas for the next Uncharted game, or whatever it is that will stand in its place.

But I understand completely that Uncharted 3 will be a huge game for the PS4 if it is indeed a launch game. But since there's not a single news on that then it may be on our best interest to not expect.

We still have E3 though, so perhaps Sony is just being ultra secretive about their plans. And it's best that they do. They wouldn't want to be upstaged by Nintendo or Microsoft before the PS4 releases, so they might still have a few more aces up their sleeves -- and I realy hope they do!

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sawao_yamanaka
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 12:29:31 AM

@Zetta

Actually most of the team that is working on TLOU was working on U2. They were most of the major players and that is one of the reasons some people blame for U3s lack of polish in certain cases. Bad pop in during the boat graveyard and such.

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Yukian
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:02:28 PM
Reply

I want games! Here are my demands:

Ubisoft: Keep making AC games. You can reboot it and use another main protagonist since Desmond (and CONNOR!) are as dull as a rusty butter knife.

Naughty Dog: RECLAIM CRASH BANDICOOT!!! Also, keep making jaw dropping games.

Quantic Dream: Make me an emotional porno game with Move compatibility. 'Nuff said. (It's a joke...)

Capcom: Revive Mega Man or you shall die an agonizing death! Also, make a goddamned scary Residient Evil!

Square Enix: It's on the list for the same purpose as when the PS4 got announced. Comic relief.

Level 5: MESSIAH OF JRPG'S! Grant us more RPG's!


Kojima: The name says it all.

Game Arts: Grandia. NOW!!!

I can't remember any other so everyone can add their games!

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ZettaiSeigi
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:09:40 PM

I'm not holding my breath for anything from S-E when most of the thing they did this generation were to announce games that we're still unable to play. And of course, there were the sequels to an FF game that extremely polarized its fanbase. Sequels that I personally have no interest of playing. So, no. I'll just wait until they have something ery substantial to show.

As much as I love the Assassin's Creed franchise, I'm starting to get tired of the annual releases. I hope they'd give it a rest for a year. It's great that they're giving us Watch Dogs at the launch of the PS4. It's one of the laucnh games I'm extremely excited over, along with Infamous: Second Son and (oddly enough) Killzone: Shadow Fall. I only said that because I'm not big of FPS games.

As for Level-5, how I wish that Sony will just outright buy them out and make them their premiere JRPG studio. Atlus would be great too! I sure love the Persona games on the PS2.

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Snaaaake
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:11:13 PM

Grandia fan as well?
Dude..........we have something in common!!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:16:19 PM

Grandia rules.

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ZettaiSeigi
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:25:46 PM

Maybe I wasn't so lucky that the only Grandia game I played was Grandia III. As much as I love its battle system, the plot was an extreme letdown. It joins Star Ocean: Til The End of Time as the JRPGs that I did not really like the story.

That said, I'd still love to hear about Grandia IV. I just hope it'd have a better story when it does get created.

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Yukian
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:26:24 PM

ZettaiSeigi,

How could I forget Atlus! Oh, Persona 5 for PS4 could be the Godsend of RPG. Mature themes, awesome character and great gameplay! Only thing lacking were the generic dungeons; mind you, the dungeons themes were original but they got repetitive...

And I only played the first Grandia and I gotta tell you, I wouldn't mind a remake of that game. To me, the story is fantastical, the character are funny and likable, the gameplay is really tense since I was yelling at the bar to hurry up and interrupt the enemy's impending death strike... You should really try it.

Last edited by Yukian on 2/25/2013 11:32:50 PM

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ZettaiSeigi
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:36:40 PM

My Dreamcast is still fullly functional, but too bad it's a Japanese console and will not play the localized version of the game. But I'm very open the idea of a remake. :-)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 8:23:05 AM

You should get a US Dreamcast, they are like $30. All games are free at theisozone dot com

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Akuma07
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:08:29 PM
Reply

This is why I think that it will actually be a worldwide release this time.

The PS3 was meant to be, but the production issues caused the 4 month delay.

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Snaaaake
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:12:48 PM
Reply

Let's not forget the plenty 3rd party support the 360 had early on, nice going Mirosoft, even with all that you still can't beat Sony.

But what I'd do to have some of those games on the PS3, especially Lost Odyssey...........

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:18:04 PM

It's kind of ironic that MS spent tons of cashola to wrap up the JRPG market early on to take that away from Sony and then the genre just tanked anyway. Sad though that MS had a hand in destroying it.

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ZettaiSeigi
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:16:02 PM
Reply

Sony has a lot going for them this time compared to the launch of the PS3. The Blu-ray is no longer in competition with any other HD format after it trounced HD-DVD. The PlayStation Network is now in a much better position, despite the hacking incident last year.

The PS3 launch was an extremely tough time for PlayStation but it served as the foundation for the PS4, and boy what a job did it do in a span of a few years. I'd like to think that Sony did learn their lesson, and I believe they did after seing the PS4 announcement a few days ago.

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Amnesiac
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 12:05:01 AM
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I remember that Ps3 launch day well.
My friends and I waited in line for hours, bought 2 and sold them both for $1400 on Ebay.
How ridiculous and melodramatic all that hysteria surrounding the PS3 was at the time
A fine frenzy stirred up by the media.

Its sad people were killed and trampled on
I remember so many people very angry and discouraged, not understanding that without having an orange reserve ticket there weren't any PS3's left.
Most only realized this fact after spending the entire mid morning outside waiting in line.

I hope Sony learned from their mistakes.
pissing off potential buyers not a good move.

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vatoloco47
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 12:11:16 AM
Reply

Now is this in the US that it would be close to the $500 mark. In AUS we tend to get ripped off in term of game & consol prices.Ebgames(AUS version of Gamestop is already taking pre orders for $899 :/

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Gordo
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 12:45:19 AM

Jeez. I was hoping for something along the $499au mark. May need to wait a while and buy one when there is a price drop and the games are cheaper.

Will stick with my Vita for now. Have Persona 4 Golden ready to crack open and delve into. Looking forward to it...

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vatoloco47
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 1:22:30 AM

Yea it sux that it will be that much while everyone else gets it for way less. Nice you got a vita too. i only recently got one and kidna bummed about the lack of games but iv heard thing things about Persona 4. In the meantime im playing Mortal Kombat and Vagrant Story on the vita

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Draguss
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 1:52:14 PM

I know the feeling, everything we get here (Costa Rica) is more than twice the price of the US. It's generally cheaper for me to just import things (and then I get screwed by taxes).

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StevieRV
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 @ 8:29:26 AM

thats just a placeholder price, not the final retail price

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AcHiLLiA
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 12:49:54 AM
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Blu-ray was holding me back from buying the PS3 very early, if they lost the formay war they would of been in deep s***.

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 1:02:46 AM
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Its obvious Sony learned from the PS3 launch. Its amazing the philosophy MS took and succeeded and done well. If I had to bet the PS3 would have been more popular from the start based on technicalities alone, the games and support aside.

Sony obviously took notes and personally with the PS4 have found a balance that really will help them succeed and create probably one of the best consoles ever. Not just based on what it can do, but its popularity and support from studios, developers, publishers and so on. Im convinced it will be a great system that will benefit Sony largely.

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Lord carlos
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 1:54:32 AM
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Things will go alot smoother this time around but i'm gonna wait untill the 1st hardware revision this time as 2 60gig phat PS3's died on me,the first about a year after the euro launch then the replacement about a year after that!
Damn i'll need a new tv as well !!
Shakes fist at the sky.

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JROD0823
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 9:58:10 PM

carlos,

Sorry to hear that you had such bad luck with your PS3s.

I got my 60GB fatty in feb '07, and it still runs very well.

Placed it on semi-retirement status once I got my 160GB slim, going to put it on full retirement once I get a super slim PS3.

Getting a PS4 comes higher on my priority list, though.

Last edited by JROD0823 on 2/26/2013 9:58:32 PM

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___________
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 4:52:36 AM
Reply

no they havent learned their lesson from the ps3s launch, they just switched the ps4 to X86 and listened to developers feedback, and catered to a much larger audience with the addition of social media features, for the sake of it!
*rolls eyes*.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 5:12:53 AM
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I wasn't really paying attention to the PS3 launch (I decided to get me a console a bit later so I had no interest in consoles at that point in time) but I gotta say that the build-up to this launch so far has been fantastic. Not only from Sony themselves, but the reception I see everywhere is great too.

I can seriously not imagine what Microsoft can have in store for the next Xbox that can take much momentum from Sony now.

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Ultima
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 10:43:42 AM
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So far, so good. The engineering choices alone show that Sony has learned their lesson. But the final proof of them learning from the debacle of the PS3 will be price.

The games showed thus far look good too. Now they just have to be out at system launch.

I think if they offer PS4 above $400 they will be making a huge mistake, and anything close to $500 (without a cheaper SKU that people will actually want; yeah, the PS3 had a $500 SKU at launch, but it as gimped and totally not worth it, so it doesn't count) will mean that Sony still has some of their hubris left and thinking they can act like Apple. But I'm thinking (hoping rather) that that isn't the case.

On this note, I hope that with easier hardware to program for, Square will get their act together. They have been non-existent this generation on home consoles (they've been doing really well in the portable arena). I thought they were on a downward slide during the PS2 days (and they were, compared to their superlative output on PS1), but the PS3 has been -terrible- for them. I really hope the PS4 can return them to form.

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Robochic
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 11:36:06 AM
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i don't really remember the launch very well i know i received mine from the sony store day 1 with no hassel. No matter who you talk about all companies always learn from previous launches, i think M$ was worse than Sony's my first call centre call for xbox was 3 red lights lol

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