Last week we looked at the Xbox 360 as its cycle winds down ahead of the next Xbox’s May 22 reveal. We looked at my five favourite Xbox 360 exclusives, as well as the best and worst moments of Microsoft’s record-breaking console.
While the PS3 still has much more life in it software wise than the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 4 and what will surely be a better and more revolutionary entertainment offering will still soon replace it.
The PS3 launched in Australia in late November and has since sold more than 70 million units.
What were the best and worst moments in its long and successful career?
The Best of the PS3
As far as first-party support goes you can’t go past the PlayStation 3's exceptional lineup, even if Sony is especially inept at marketing its products. Even this late in the generation we have The Last Of Us coming, although Sony's pushing of the game into post-E3 territory suggests the Japanese gaming giant doesn't have much faith in Naughty Dog's ambitious survival horror game.
But sales haven't always been reflective of quality, and the PS3's lineup of exclusives and innovative experiences put it well ahead of its competitors. It's not that Sony has a strong lineup of recognisable characters: rather, it gives developers the freedom to create unique experiences, just as David Cage, love him or hate him, has proven.
Ever-improving PSN and Store
With the introduction of PlayStation Plus in 2010, the PlayStation Network finally became a legitmate contender to Microsoft's industry-leading Xbox Live service. Sony offers free games (and generally great games) to "PS+" subscribers, but that only scrapes the top of what's available on the PS3's online network.
The store has evolved in leaps and bounds since the console launched, and while it lacks the visual, image-based pizazz of its closest competitor, it has enough content to make up for any initial design flaws.
There's also far, far, FAR more free content on PSN than on any other online gaming service, which makes it one of the most appealing reasons to invest in a PS3 (and eventually, a PS4).
Initially the PS3 was anything but a developer's paradise. Cross-platform games like The Orange Box and Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2 struggled to stick to the standards set by gamers for a machine as expensive as the PS3. It wasn't that the machine wasn't capable of producing high-quality products: it's just that developers were struggling with the console's ahead-of-its-time arcitecture.
Microsoft jumped on the indie bandwagon at first and for a while there led the way with indie content, having a section on Xbox Live dedicated to indie games and developers. However, this support eventually wanned, and developers jumped ship to Sony. The end result was games like Journey, which almost tookout Game Of The Year honours in 2012.
The development scene is now embracing Sony's push to get indies onto the PS4, while Microsoft appears more focused on its entertainment offerings than the game development scene.
Sony was able to take an already very attractive piece of hardware, tweak it, shrink it, and make it even more appealing.
The PS3 Slim was praised by critics and gamers alike, while consumers lapped it up and shot it up to the top of Amazon's best selling list within 24 hours of its announcement. The original PS3 design was named one of the biggest tech screwups of 2006, but the PS3 redeamed itself with a fantastic piece of slimmed-down hardware.
The Worst of the PS3
Not even the excitement of the PS3 reveal and unveiling alone could bury the disaster that was that controller. The boomerang-shaped PS3 controller that was revealed alongside the console for the first time was blasted by gamers for its awkward -- and ugly -- design.
Sony quickly turned off the hideous controller, replacing it with the DualShock design we all love so much (and which it basically stuck with for the PS4).
PS3 price announcement
While a US$600 price point for a technological marvel at the time isn't that bad, Sony made a massive error in judgement in expecting the gamer market to spend that much on a new gaming console. The inclusion of a Blu-Ray player -- a new media format -- as well as wi-fi and graphical prowess drove the price point up, and while the console's design appeared to justify its price, consumers turned away.
Ask anyone that went to a PS3 midnight launch: they were generally ghost towns.
In April 2011, Sony shut down the PlayStation Network because of "an external intrusion on our system". Sony later revealed that the private information, including financial details, of 77 million registered users had been stolen.
In Sony's defense, the company said sorry with a "Welcome Back" pack, which included 30 days free membership to PlayStation Plus, two free downloadable PS3 games, and a free one-year enrollment in an identity theft protection program.
FFXIII goes multiplatform
This one hurt Sony fanboys more than anything. When Microsoft brought out Final Fantaxy XIII during its 2008 E3 conference, the audience, and millions of gamers worldwide, were stunned.
While the Xbox 360 version of the game is a shadow of the far-superior PS3 version, the fact that a once proudly-exclusive game was now moving to the competitor sent forums wild.
What do you think have been the best and worst moments in the PS3's history?