I wasn’t planning on doing a second post today but I literally just had an idea float around inside my brain liquids and I feel compelled to share this with the world. If this seems difficult to follow or sloppily orgnized then I apologize, I’m technically doing some free thought flow here.
Sony and Nintendo went head to head with the PSX and N64. I would say this is when game consoles were analyzed less for which was better and gamers just acknowledged that each had its strength. Granted I was only 13 or 14 during this gaming era so I might have just been blind to the console wars. Regardless, Sony had the best selection of Japanese RPGS while Nintendo had the higher polygon counts and, arguably, the best in house games ever. The next era of gaming introduced the PS2 which become the industry standard for consoles. It was critically the best console of the three out, Gamecube and Xbox being the other two. Sony still was king of the Japanese titles though. While the Xbox fans were playing Elder Scrolls 3, Playstation owners had the exclusive option to play some of the best JRPGS, such as Final Fantasy, Star Ocean, Xenosaga, Persona, and the Shin Megami Series. Sony also had exclusivity over other favorites such as Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo, God of War, and Zone of the Enders. Platformers like ICO, Ratchet and Clank, and Jak were very well received. Even the wackier games did well in America. Mister Mosquito, Stretch Panic, and Katamari were all cult games that helped diversify the enormous library for Sony. The ever popular Guitar Hero was even a PS2 exclusive. The one characteristic that all of these games share is that none of them are first person shooters. I may be wrong, but Halo introduced the dual stick shooter setup. If it wasn’t the first it did at least popularize it. It showed the world that FPS games were finally controller friendly. This is where Playstation’s downfall was. Playstation was never a huge supporter of FPS gaming. It wasn’t until the PS3 when Resistance, Playstation’s biggest exclusive FPS, was unveiled.
There are definitely other factors that led to this as well. Coming out after the Xbox 360 had already sunk its claws into gamers didn’t help. Sony also was not prepared for the social side of gaming that Microsoft had established. Group voice chats, achievements, and a tightly built online experience that was friend-centric quickly became popular and the PS3 fails at all 3. The trophy system was eventually implemented but the PS3 largely feels like an island with a speed boat. You can get to your friends eventually, but it is a lot easier just to play alone. Sony’s amazing technology was also a double edged sword. As much as it is capable of, from what I understand it is difficult to program for, which is the main response from devs as to why multiplatform games allegedly preform worse on PS3. In closing, although the PS3 had a lot against it, I still believe the biggest downfall was not having a library prepared for the uprising of the generic FPS and the love for that genre. Sony’s exclusives still shine but rarely are any of them an FPS.