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Did The PlayStation 3 Tarnish Or Improve PlayStation's Legacy?

The PlayStation brand is respected and revered by millions of gamers worldwide. But how do those followers feel about the PS3 era?

Ask lifelong PlayStation fans- "What's your favorite PlayStation console?" I'm willing to bet that most people will say the PS2, and a fair amount will say the original PS1. As the PS3's days come to an end, it's perhaps surprising that very few PlayStation followers would name the most recent console as tops on the list.

There are arguments to be made for the system. It overtook the Xbox 360 in worldwide sales, ultimately selling more around the globe in a year's less time (remember, the 360 launched one year ahead of the PS3). The PS3 helped Blu-Ray win the format war, as some analysts said at the start that Sony was using the PS3 as a "Trojan Horse" of sorts, in order to bring Blu-Ray into many homes. The PlayStation Network grew exponentially from its infancy stages ta the end of the PS2 era. The reliability got better with time, as typically happens with PlayStation consoles. And of course, the exclusive software was absolutely unparalleled in terms of progressive, cutting-edge tech and gameplay.

And yet, many fans have reservations about naming the PS3 the "best PlayStation console ever." Maybe it's not due to the PS3's failings (despite a horrific launch), but more due to the lofty greatness of the first two consoles. The original PlayStation broke into an industry that had been dominated by Nintendo and Sega for nearly a decade. The PS1 not only survived, it flourished, and it delivered a huge amount of variety that we didn't necessarily see on other platforms. 3D gaming went berserk and PlayStation was at the forefront of that evolution. And of course, RPG fans remember the glory days of the JRPG very well; the PS1 is widely regarded as the best console in history for that genre.

The PS2 is iconic. The best-selling video game machine of all time, and total domination on all fronts. That's the last time you'll see such a lopsided hardware victory, by the way; the PS2 not only outsold the combined efforts of the Xbox and GameCube, it outsold them several times over. It was the game system just about every gamer had. It was the console that further broadened the industry with more variety than ever, and there were just tons of games. The fact that it was also a DVD player during that format's heyday only added to the appeal. Lastly, it's arguably the first console that officially turned video games into mainstream entertainment.

Those are two very difficult acts to live up to. So, maybe it's just not the PS3's fault and it shouldn't be seen as a "lesser" console or one that has tarnished PlayStation's image. Maybe it has indeed improved that image, provided we look at it with the proper perspective.

Tags: ps3, playstation 3, sony, playstation, playstation games

10/7/2013 1:37:49 PM Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (28 posts)

Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 1:50:26 PM

it rose from ashes like a phoenix, ruling the ground it stood on...the black behemoth

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 1:51:20 PM

I love the PS1 and the PS2, and have great emotions associated with those two, but when the generation is done and over, I'm sitting with over 90 games on disc with my PS3, and still more digital titles on the HDD. So I have a hard time counting that system out as something I won't also remember just as fondly when the PS4 starts seeing the end of it's own life.

Sure this generation wasn't the triumph of unique "only on PlayStation" titles that the past two systems gave us, but that doesn't make it any less of a fantastic platform.

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 2:14:30 PM

It improved on the legacy. It was the underdog and now it's King of The Hill once again.

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 2:20:32 PM

Definitely improved it. Despite its disastrous launch, it grew to become a very solid machine in terms of reliability, helped improve the PSN immensely, has an excellent library of exclusive titles and the blu ray driver was pure genius. The Xbox 360's hardware issues and the Wii's lack of good third party software helps as well.

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 2:33:21 PM

Well, it was the console that won me over to console gaming so it was good for *something*, at least. ;)

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 3:03:23 PM

I still think the PS2 was the best sony console so far. It just had such a diverse library and was very very reliable.

Honestly though I think that each sony console has been the best console compared to its competition.

The PS3 is a close second to the PS2 for me, but I still have just too many fond memories for PS2 games that blew me away.

I would say it didn't improve or tarnish its legacy it just carried it on but had a rough start.

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 3:14:11 PM

Coming off just reading the final paragraph of your argument Ben, I agree. For lack of having a better vocabulary, the PS3 rode the waves of the "mainstreaming" this industry has undertaken these last 4-5 years (DLC, monetization, Westernization of Japanese games, etc.) whereas the market realities were different for its forebearers.

The PS1 and PS2 existed in a time where video games were in a formative stage, artistically finding its feet in what it can express best.

In a sense the medium is still formative now, but the need for continuous growth we have come a long way and we should honour that.

It's just how I feel though. Of course, nostalgia is definitely a factor, bearing in mind the PS1 and PS2 have had years to build their legacy in our minds while the PS3 is still marching on into its twilight years.

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 3:29:42 PM

It improved it in my eyes. Some of the best gaming experiences I've ever had were with the PS3.

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 4:05:53 PM

After a bad start it improved things because with no more third party exclusives we were able to see Sony's own exclusives take gaming to the next level, one which 360 games never reached.

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 4:14:33 PM

For me, it improved! Despite the (near) death of some of our favorite genres and franchises (a phenomenon not unique to ps3), and Sony giving up the lion share of the market it so effortlessly held, I have even more favorites now then I had before, the quality and variety of first-party games became even more evident, while difference between film and gaming has become blurred, and I no longer had to drop change in arcades if I ever wanted to play mp with someone outside my house (free psn will go down in history as a big perk we all took for granted). And despite no longer holding a monopoly, it has taken it's lead back, which one could argue is even more telling than just mere brand-recognition. Oh, and did I mention, my original 60GB PS3 (now 500GB) is still going strong (knock on wood), and has outlasted my ps2?

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 5:12:52 PM

It is not the console which has been tarnished or improved. I am more vested in the PlayStation "BRAND" than the machine it is running on. PlayStation has yet to let me down as far as my interactive entertainment needs are concerned.

Long answer, So many variables to consider. The PS3 was an uphill battle from the get go due to the high price point of entry and the steep learning curve from a developers standpoint. Otherwise it is a technological marvel. On the other hand PlayStation 2 was the ABSOLUTE dominant console during its generation. So in that perspective things went downhill from there. It would have been surprising if PS kept the market share it pwned coming into this current generation. Even if everything went perfectly smooth. The gaming industry was and still is in a state of flux. Making it difficult for any one contender to dominate completely.

In retrospect it seems that Sony is in somewhat a similar situation that Microsoft is in now. MS benefited from the woes of PlayStation 3 just as Sony is benefiting from the errors that MS made when announcing the XB1. (I have no explanation on the REDRING fiasco. It is a phenomenon how any company could survive such a predicament). It seems that MS understands that technical superiority does not a champion make. They just bury the consumer with fanfare. A strategy that has worked time and again. But this time around they are doing battle with 1. A more powerful console. 2. A lower price point and 3. The Dragon that is Sony that has finally awoken from its slumber.

The main thing I take away from the PS3 generation is that Sony has LEARNED much from it. They have as of yet STUMBLED* in their execution of the PS4. They remain calm and HUMBLE.*

*Points to anyone who understands the reference.

Last edited by FatherSun on 10/7/2013 5:21:52 PM

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 5:25:51 PM

Roy Schneider?

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013 @ 5:49:49 PM

BDK. Nice one.

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 5:24:59 PM

I think it improved. The reason is because it was underrated as the console of this generation, yet it survived being the "doom and gloom" of media and gamers alike and became the God this generation

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 7:19:28 PM

The PS2 was the last gaming console where I was able to sit down and sink an entire day in, without noticing the time.

I don't remember ever really doing that on my PS3. Not really because of the console, but my age.

I am going to be making a concious effort to go back to that with the PS4, I am tired of the excuse "I am too old to do that now" or "I dont have enough time for that now". I am having a week off work when I get it, and am going to spend most of it gaming. Then after that, every Saturday is a gaming day!

The PS2 was also my first DVD player, so it was memorable for many reasons.

The PS3 was an upgrade on the PS2, but that is all, it wasn't revolutionary, not to me anyway. Although it did introduce Bluray into the world, which is now the industry standard format for HD discs.

Last edited by Akuma_ on 10/7/2013 7:20:30 PM

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 7:48:01 PM

started off bad, but Sony stood by it taking losses and pay cuts. And they BROUGHT THE GAMES. From MGS4 to tomorrows Beyond, it's been great on PS3.
Cue "have you ever seen the rain" to montage the plethora of games.

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 9:16:41 PM

Improve it wit games lik beyond tlou uncharted can't wait to c what ps4 brings

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 10:37:38 PM

i mean i've played on or seen games on prittymuch every console thats been around in my life time (ps1,ps2,ps3,psp,psvita,N64,game cube,Wii,WiiU,GB colour GBA,GBA SP, NDS,NDS lite, NDSi, 3DS,3DS XL, xbox, xbox 360) you name i've seen it played or played it myself but yes like most long time gamers PS2 tops the lot, i mean the ps3(a little over 2 years) as been great love every minate on the thing every the frustrations and challenges and the ps3's library will probably out strip the ps2's in less than half the time but thats just due to me having more personal money to buy games with.

my life time fav games and game series have mostly come and started on the ps2 (crash and spyro and tony hawks pro skater) so my love of playstation some from the ps2 era i have loved the games from this gen but my fav game series came from PS2 and that wud be the awsome "RACHET AND CLANK" series

but i have to agree with that last paragraph from @spoonTRex

happy gaming =)

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Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 10:39:21 PM

but yeah the ps3 isn't on the same level as the ps2 (or ps1 to some degree) btu it did turn out to be a fantastic console

happy gaming =)

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013 @ 2:59:40 AM

Sonys reputation has ended well after a struggling start to the consoles start. However, the big problem I have is exclusives. The majority of games I defined the Playstation with like Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid & Tekken, ect. have gone multi-platform. It just makes Sonys presence seem much weaker for next gen now., because now I know most games I want for next gen will be on the PS4 and Xbox Inconsistency. Which sort of ruins the value of the PS4 for me,.

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013 @ 3:15:14 AM

people wont call it the best playstation yet simply because it dident really have the effect the others did.
ps1 came out and gave us the freedom of the third dimension.
no more side scrolling platformers, we finally started to see the shackles removed and started seeing far more open games like crash and spyro.
ps2 came out and gave us 3D modeling and massively enhanced the gameplay.
ps3 gave us HD, it did not change the gameplay, it did not change how we played games.
ps2 we went from top down GTA to open world 3D GTA.
ps3 took us from 3D open world GTA to, well, 3D open world GTA.
yea the ps3 gave us pertier graphics but it did not change the way we play like the ps1 and ps2 did.
you could make the argument that PSN was the changer for ps3, but well you could play games online with the ps2.
yea it brang TV services, demos, and so much more, but most people dont care about that.
i spent 1000 bucks on my launch ps3 to play games, not for PSN services.
and thats what makes me really worried about the ps4, what is it going to bring to make its mark in time?
will it be like the ps1 and 2 and completely change the way we play?
or will it be like the ps3 and just be more of the same just with a shinier coat of paint?
im betting the latter.

so it dident change how we play like the ps1 and 2 did, but there was another problem.
ps1 and ps2 had so many brilliant games, and not only in high quality and production values polish, but also in uniqueness and originality.
if i was to list every single ps1 and ps2 game that was so ahead of its time and amazing, a true classic id be here for weeks!
ps3, well, i could count them all on one hand!
developers took a much more emphasized approach to technology and graphics which has really spoiled this gens games.
games use to be made on originality, cleverness of the concepts, how fun it is, then its technological marvel.
now its the complete opposite, its make the game as techie as possible, and realistic as possible.
is it fun?
who cares!
games use to be about having fun and giving people experiences they couldent recieve in real life.
now its about ooooooo pretty explosions.
all michael bay flashy FX over substance and originality.
and a perfect example of that, someone asked the ACIV lead producer what he thinks will draw people to ACIV.
why buy that instead of the other multitude of games.
and his answer?
the beauty of the islands, we have put a immense amount of time and effort in making the caribbean as strikingly beautiful as possible.
not the parkour system the series is famous for, not the history the series is famous for, not the combat the series is famous for, not the figure out your own route to assassinate your target the series is famous for.
nope he couldent care less about those, what will sell his game is the peerty islands.
that sentence alone proves why ps3 games just never hand a chance to be half as good as ps1 or ps2 games!
and its also the sentence which makes me extremely worried ps4 games will be the same.
hopefully developer mentality will change and suddenly gameplay and originality, how fun something is, will become more important.
but it hasent changed in the 7 years the ps3 has been available, so i cant see it changing anytime soon.

Last edited by ___________ on 10/8/2013 3:24:12 AM

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013 @ 5:58:11 PM

I don't think your anlysis is quite fair. You're blaming the oven for not cooking better food where you should be blaming the chefs. The PS1 had no boundaries in that it was moving into a new space (3D) that just couldn't be competently done on the previous hardware (forgiving the Sega 32X for trying). The PS2 did the same with more expansive worlds and more new genres. The PS3 had nowhere to branch out to as there are no more genres to be born and yet some (2D fighting & platformers, for instance) which came to a close or nearly died. Indy gaming is keeping the 2D pulse going (which I am grateful for) but solely because it's cost effective. What I see the PS4 bringing is more connection, whether it's social or simple online multiplayer. Will gaming in general create a new genre? I doubt it. But I won't "blame" the PS3 (or PS4) for that.
Still, I understand your comments and respect your opinions.

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Wednesday, October 09, 2013 @ 9:32:07 AM

ps3 could of brought as much gameplay change if it wanted to, but developers were far more interested in ushering in the michael bay era.
all of this years most anticipated titles are so because there different and unique, and there also current gen games.
watch dogs people have been so excited for this saying why hasent this been done before?
and its a cross generation game, so there is NO reason why this couldent have been done years ago.
destiny again one of this industries most anticipated titles and again a cross gen game, again there is NO reason why this couldent of been done years ago.
titanfall again another cross gen game and another game that is highly anticipated because of its uniqueness, and again a game where there is NO reason why it couldent of been done years ago!
ps3 could of given us the gameplay changed previous systems have, the reason why it dident is because developers really only care about flashy booms now.

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013 @ 9:49:39 AM

It improved the PS Brand legacy because it was a technically advanced piece of kit which exactly what I expected. Sony and MS should be using their hardware to push the envelope of technology at the time.

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013 @ 6:06:49 PM

For me, it's not an "either/or" scenario. I am a Playstation fan because of the franchises and experiences I get from the brand. I'm not a Sony fan because of EA games or Capcom games...those would me a fan of their respective companies. I appreciate that I can sit down, turn on my console, and know I am going to enjoy escaping into quality, challenging worlds. There were some stumbles (Twisted metal broke my heart) but then LBP was so inventive it bordered on monopolistic as far as consoles go. True, I still hold the PS2 as my favorite Sony console (because of true split screen/multitap multiplayer and the Euro games among other reasons) but i won't say PS3 tarnished the branding.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013 @ 12:26:36 PM

With NO PS2 backward compatibility on the Slim & superslim models the PS3 has tarnished but NOT totally ruined PS's legacy.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013 @ 9:18:29 PM

What I don't get is why is everyone saying the PS3 had a "disastrous" launch? Granted it wasn't the best but was it REALLY "disastrous"? Everybody needs to remember, from "Day 1" it only took about 9 months before the PS3 outsold the XB360... It stumbled a little but regained itself quickly I would say.

I wouldn't call it the "best" but it is certainly worth the greatness that is the PlayStation name. For me it would be rather hard to say which system was/is best...

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Friday, October 11, 2013 @ 5:48:00 PM

I believe the PS3 did quite well and shows that Sony is dedicated to the future and making our lives better doubt Microsoft or even Nintendo would have take as big of a loss as Sony did trying to spread Blu-ray and while it is quite crappy they even gave us a browser.
The only fault I can give to the PS3 is not as many interesting JRPGs. I finally forced myself to pick up Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2 last night after seeing it at my Mall's Gamestop, I am just so glad it was a guy cashier. I also almost grabbed Atelier Meruru but I felt I had embarrassed myself enough for one night my friend was shaking his head the whole time I was checking out. X D
Anyways I am enjoying Nep MK2 so far so if anyone has been thinking about trying it I say it was worth the $25 I paid just don't go in expecting great graphics or cutscenes and it will be fine.

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