Another Anti-PS3 Argument Dies
The arguments leveled against Sony's PlayStation 3 when it first launched in late 2006 were both numerous and legitimate. Lack of software - a common refrain at the start of every new generation - led the charge, but the price tag concern wasn't too far behind.
Then, not much later, we started to see the unfortunate trend of piss-poor 360-to-PS3 ports. The reason for this was simple: developers weren't used to the PS3's complex new architecture and in stark contrast, they had a firm grasp of the year-old Xbox 360. Therefore, we end up with inferior PS3 versions of games like The Orange Box and F.E.A.R., among others. It wasn't long before this caught on and the mainstream buying public would issue two arguments- 1. the PS3 has no games (which we've already laid to rest), and 2. the PS3 version is always worse than the 360 version. Yep, it's time to drop the hammer on that latter argument, too, because it hasn't been true for most of 2008 and won't be true ever again in the future. In fact, many third-party developers are using the PS3 as the lead platform in the software production process, and if they're not, they're at least developing a project simultaneously for the PS3 and 360. We see examples of this at every turn, and for the biggest multi-platform releases of 2008, it's clear that things have changed.
Grand Theft Auto IV was basically identical on both the PS3 and 360 (don't listen to the Xbots who say the PS3 version is inferior; we've seen and played both and it's not true), and the same goes for games like Devil May Cry 4, Soul Calibur IV, Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero: World Tour, Call of Duty: World at War, Fallout 3, Mirror's Edge, Need for Speed Undercover, Far Cry 2, etc. There may be small differences in certain cases, but they're hardly the significant - and sometimes crippling - differences from the past, and sometimes, the PS3 version is actually better. And as time goes on, developers will become more and more comfortable with the PS3 hardware, and it's quite likely that the 360 versions of games will begin to bow to the PS3 versions. At the very least, the PS3 exclusives will kick the crap out of the 360 exclusives...well, it's a guarantee for 2009, at least. Now, there may be a few lingering instances of the PS3 version of a multiplat failing to pass muster - I'm sure everyone can list an example or two in the second half of 2008 - but the point is that it's most certainly dying out, if it's not entirely dead already.
So while there are still arguments against the PS3, as there are for any console, this one particular argument is now on its deathbed, if it hasn't flatlined already. PS3 versions of multiplatform games are almost never significantly inferior anymore, and that's that. You can still complain about the price, the debatable lacking in PlayStation Home, or whatever, but "PS3 has no games" and "PS3 versions of multiplats are always worse" are two statements that are, as of now, 100% false.
12/29/2008 Ben Dutka