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PlayStation 3 – Two Years On

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It’s been two short years since we first got our hands on PlayStation 3. In that time Sony has experienced many highs and lows for its latest piece of gaming hardware. But what are the moments that define its life so far and what does the future hold for PlayStation 3?

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23 March, 2007

High – The UK launch

The launch itself was the most successful in UK gaming history, eclipsing the Wii’s launch back in December of 2006. It didn’t sell out, mostly due to Sony making 200,000 consoles available on day one, but managed to shift a staggering 165,000 units in its first weekend. And that was a record.

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23 March, 2007

Low – The UK launch games

Okay, it’s always hard to get the launch games right: developers, inevitably, haven’t had long to get to grips with the hardware and so the games aren’t as polished as they might be. The PS3’s launch also suffered because people were able to compare like-for-like with the better-developed Xbox 360 versions. But still. Games like Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom, Genji: Days Of The Blade, Marvel Ultimate Alliance and Blazing Angels should never have made it through quality control, especially if you’re trying to show off what a next-gen console can do. But we also got Virtua Tennis 3, which made it all okay. Nearly.

23 March, 2007

Low – £425 price tag

Right, we’re not going to dwell on why this price point was a bad idea, only to say that someone reminded us of this recently and we’d forgotten about it like it was some bad dream. Yes, the PlayStation 3 really did cost £425 when it first came out. Shocking.

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March, 2007

Low – PlayStation Store version one

The initial launch of the PlayStation Store was a very timid affair, with little high-quality content available and a design that made it difficult to navigate. FlOw was one of the early highlights, but there was little else to get excited about; it’d be many months before the Store would contain the kind of content that we love today.

12 September, 2007

Low – Heavenly Sword is released

After months of hype (some of it from this very magazine) Heavenly Sword, billed as ‘God Of War with a girl in it’, is released to mixed reviews. Of all the first-gen first-party titles (Lair is the other game) Heavenly Sword is the biggest and most high-profile flop.

10 October, 2007

Low – PS3 loses its backwards compatibility

Not only could Sony not seem to work out what was the best SKU for UK gamers, but this release of the 40GB PS3 model also saw the end of PS2 backwards compatibility. Cost-cutting was cited as the reason for its omission.

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7 December, 2007

High – Uncharted is released

This one took us all by surprise. Whether it was down to games journo cynicism or Sony failing to PR the game properly, Naughty Dog’s brilliant take on the boys’ own adventure came as a welcome surprise. We still reminisce about Nathan Drake’s adventures to this day.

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19 February, 2008

High – PS3 wins the high-def war for Sony

Thanks to the relatively large user base afforded by the PS3’s Blu-ray drive, HD DVD concedes the battle of HD formats and the Sony-developed Blu-ray wins!

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29 April, 2008

Low – GTA goes multiformat

For the first time ever, Grand Theft Auto is released simultaneously on the two main console formats – Xbox 360 and PS3. Out of all the exclusives lost to the PlayStation brand, this is the one that hurt the most. Grand Theft Auto had become as synonymous with the PS brand as Sony itself and played a huge part (at least in the West) in the PS2’s success. So, to lose this franchise to its bitter rival was a massive blow both in terms of revenue and in kudos.

May, 2008

High – PS3 overtakes 360 in Europe

Slightly higher sales on a month-by-month basis finally sees the PS3 catch up with and overtake the 360. PS3 is the first console to break the 5 million barrier in Europe. Europe is now Sony’s biggest and most profitable territory.

12 June, 2008

High – Metal Gear Solid 4 is released

One of the few ‘PlayStation games’ that remained exclusive provided a huge boost in console sales and in credibility for the console. Some hype from Kojima also served to boost the PS3’s credibility when the developer stated that the game couldn’t be made for 360 due to its size.

1 August, 2008

High – Price cut and new SKU!

The 80GB PS3 launches in the UK and an ever-so-tempting £299. Predictably, sales receive a massive, if fairly short-lived, boost.

December, 2008

Low – Xbox 360 overtakes PS3 in Europe

A high-profile marketing campaign and a price cut in the run-up to Christmas sees the 360 regain the number one spot in Europe.

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27 February, 2009

High – Killzone 2 launches

Aaaaaaannd relax. Sony finally releases a real next-generation shooter and something that, due to its size of 40GB, could not be done on Xbox 360. Guerrilla’s first-person shooter wows almost everyone who plays it and it outsells Microsoft’s Halo Wars, which is released on the same day.

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2009 onwards

More highs and fewer lows?

It’s hard to predict what lies in store for PlayStation 3 in the coming years. The days of Sony’s domination of the games market seem long gone now, with the PS3 still playing catch-up with the 360 and it lagging way behind Nintendo’s Wii. Neither the money nor the promise of a massive user base are there to attract exclusive third-party games, so Sony will have to rely largely on its first-party development to convert and persuade gamers to buy a PS3. The policy of first-party investment seems to be paying dividends so far, with some terrific games released so far – Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet, Killzone 2 – and with some awesome-looking games coming in the next 12 months – Uncharted 2, Heavy Rain, God Of War III – as well as the launch of the Movie Store… soon.

There’s no doubt that the first two years of PlayStation 3 has been a trying time for Sony, but there have been highs as well as lows and the next two years promises a renewed focus from the company that reinvented the games industry. And that can only be a good thing for PS3 owners.

Have missed anything out? What were your PlayStation 3 highs and lows over the past two years? How do you think Sony will fare in the next two years? Add your comments now!




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  • spoon1457

    u forgot 2 mention the huge low about playstation home
    dis is only my opinion but I played the beta version (i’m not sure if the real thing has come out yet) n the arcade games in the games room was terrible, u have to purchase virtual furniture dat is a frikin rip off, it buffers extremely slowly in the cinemas and finally the worst thing of all, i can only talk to my friends who have a PS account of the same region and can’t talk 2 anyone else.

    also another low 4 da PS3 is dat some games n downloadable content is

  • spoon1457

    soz it pressed the wrong button

    wat i was triyin 2 say was that some ps games n downloadable content has regions. and they don’T even tell u dat!!!!! is it just me or is sony just wanna try n start a huge law suit!!!!