Stationary game consoles of the seventh generation. Sony PlayStation 3

This manufacturer and this brand name needs no introduction. The last 10+ years have made the word "playstation" synonymous with "game console" and "console". When I ask abroad, for example, about the Nintendo Wii, sometimes they don’t understand me until I say “this is such a PlayStation”.

As part of the seventh generation of consoles, Sony is introducing the third generation of its set-top boxes. Naturally, it, like its predecessors, dominates the market, encountering almost no competition. Or not?

First, let's look at the company's arguments in this generation.

Online

PlayStation 2 in its mature years could already connect to the Internet - through a network adapter, which had to be purchased separately.

Many console games supported online play, including even MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). But still, the set-top box in this respect was far from the first Xbox: in addition to the fact that the network adapter had to be bought additionally, in addition there were no centralized network services, there was no analogue of Xbox Live.

The role of the latter in the success of the Microsoft set-top box has not escaped Sony. By the way, in general, much in the actions of the Japanese company in recent years indicates that it takes the threat from Redmond quite seriously. Xbox Live was opposed to PlayStation Network.

The service was announced simultaneously with the launch of the PlayStation 3, which received both wired (Ethernet) and wireless (Wi-Fi) network controllers.

PSN copies Microsoft's offering in many ways. Users can register in the system, create their own profile and use its features. Among them: Profile Avatars

Trophies, analogues of Archivements in Xbox Live - virtual insignia for certain achievements during the passage of games

Service for finding partners for a network game, with a rating system for players based on their skill

"List of friends" is an analogue of a contact list where you can add your preferred partners for a multiplayer game

Voice and video chat

Instant Messaging Service

Life with PlayStation - the latest news and weather, similar to the corresponding channels in the Wii. Google Earth is used to display the globe.

Players can also use the online PlayStation Store.

You can download various game content in it: trailers, demos, additional content for games and the games themselves - again, not AAA titles, but plain second-tier games. Although this may change, the first serious games in the PS Store have already appeared. Sony can afford it. Every PS3 comes with at least a 20 GB hard drive. On the other hand, the digital distribution craze threatens to undermine Sony's favorite brainchild, Blu-ray. It is unlikely that the company will want this.

There is also a "currency" here - the PlayStation Network Card, however, they are currently only available in Asia, the rest are encouraged to use credit cards. This fall, the "card system" will be introduced in the United States.

The difference between Sony's online service and Xbox Live is that it's free. While being free is always welcome in itself, it's hard not to feel a certain cognitive dissonance. After all, the PlayStation 3 is the most expensive console ever, with a $500 price tag at launch. Buyers were offered to "pay extra for quality" - compared to Xbox.

With regard to the online situation, the situation was mirrored - Microsoft asks to "pay for quality", and Sony offers the service not just cheaper - for free. Although this is a completely logical step for a company that has lagged behind a competitor by 5 years in this area.

How effective would such a policy be? It seems that free of charge is unlikely to be a decisive trump card. The only thing that can help PlayStation Network beat Xbox Live is decent network games, preferably exclusive ones. After all, the difference in price between the cheapest Xbox 360 and PS3 can pay for Xbox Live for four years.

As you know, the Sony empire includes one of the largest film studios. It would be strange if the company did not try to use this fact to promote its online service. In the summer of 2008, an online video store, the PlayStation Video Store, was launched as part of PSN.

It's hard to underestimate the importance of this service in the "set-top box war". But numerous DRM restrictions prevent its full use, in particular, the user cannot transfer the purchased video to another hard drive or other media.

We should also mention PlayStation Home.

In fact, it will be an online multiplayer game similar to the well-known Second Life - a virtual world in which the user can live, communicate with other participants, purchase various things, etc. etc. Until now, this has been limited to the PC market, it's hard to say how interesting it will be for the PlayStation audience.

Catching up here, Sony has no choice but to copy the solutions of its competitors. Today, the PlayStation Network offers everything that Microsoft and Nintendo have. However, the downside is still a smaller number of users than Xbox Live - and this is the main asset of any online gaming service.

User Generated Content

With regard to its online game store, Sony has a stricter policy than Microsoft and Nintendo, it is more difficult to promote their products there for small companies. Once again, there are two sides to the coin: while the selection of games on the PlayStation Store is much smaller, the quality is higher on average.

During the days of the PlayStation 2, Sony preferred to outsource online support to third parties. Apparently, she took a similar position regarding User Generated Content. While the PlayStation Network remains a fairly closed system, in some third-party games, user-generated content is an important part, or even core, of the gameplay. An example is the platformer Little Big Planet: the ability to create your own levels and publish them on the Internet for other users to download is a key feature of this hotly anticipated game.

Media Center

Sony is strong in the home video/audio market. And it can't help but respond to attempts by other companies to come up with their own standards for home media entertainment centers. After the release of the PlayStaion 2 with the ability to play DVD - then it was unusually progressive - many started talking about what exactly a game console was, and the Sony game console is this very center of home digital entertainment of the future.

The company is doing everything in its power to ensure that the new generation of PlayStation justifies these advances.

At the heart of the concept is naturally HD, high-definition video and the new media standard for this video, Blu-ray.

Unlike the Xbox 360, where HD is fully supported only on older models and there is no support for HD media, all PS3s are equipped with HDMI outputs and Blu-ray drives.

Add the already mentioned PlayStation Video Store and get the strongest media offering on the console market.

Casual Market

Here, the company's position is relatively weak. The high price of the console, combined with the lack of content that appeals to ordinary users, prevent Sony from winning the hearts of casuals. In the future, perhaps Blu-ray support will help in this: watching movies is interesting for the widest audience. But while interest in HD video has not yet become massive, in addition, Sony should not sell consoles, on which it continues to lose money, but games.

The offer to the masses remains the PlayStation 2, still in production.

It's cheap and has an extensive library of games. But with the Wii, with its novelty, hype and unusual controls, it is difficult for her to compete.

Sales since the release of the first seventh generation consoles (late 2005)

There's been a lot of speculation about turning the PS2 into a competitor to the Wii by releasing a new controller, redesigning the console, but apparently Sony is still focused on warring the Xbox for a traditional gamer audience. Casuals will wait.

New control forms

The PS3 controller is in trouble.

Its first version, the so-called "boomerang", after the publication of photos caused such unanimous condemnation that the manufacturer hastily replaced it with a wireless analogue of the owner of the Emmy Dualshock 2.

After the Wiimote was introduced to the public, Sony made another drastic move and added motion control capability to the controller (sorry for the pun), calling the resulting Sixaxis. But due to patent disputes, such an important function as vibration was lost.

Only, in the summer of 2008, the third controller was introduced - Dualshock 3, with both motion control and vibration. But it has not yet been included in the standard PS3 package.

Although the motion control itself is present in the PS3, its controller is inferior to the Wimota in terms of innovation, there is no position tracking, only an accelometer is available.

Again, this is both a plus for a traditional audience that does not need gimmicks and a minus for casuals who are easily baited by something new and original, even if the justification and convenience of this is doubtful.

p>

PC Borrowing

Unlike the Xbox, which has only a 256MB memory card in its cheapest and most mainstream version, all PS3s come with hard drives. Potentially, this is very convenient for developers who can develop their games, focusing on the ability to store part of the code and content on the hard drive. It also gives the console more potential online - the user can download much more content, including HD movies, full-fledged games.

Unlike the NMW Xbox, the PS3 is relatively easy to replace with a larger one - in fact, a cross-head screwdriver is enough.

Cell and Blu-ray

The multi-core Cell processor and HD Blu-ray media were to be the two main pillars of the success of Sony's new console. It was believed that users are willing to seriously overpay for such high-tech. The power of the console was promoted and emphasized in every possible way. For example, a research supercomputer was built on the basis of the PS3 cluster.

So far, we can state that this strategy does not bring the desired results. Most buyers vote with their wallets for weak Wii hardware that doesn't even support DVD playback. A lot of people prefer the new PlayStation Xbox 360 with a larger catalog of games and better online.

However, hardware superiority has the potential to make the PS3 a longer-lived console. According to experts, the Xbox, and even more so the Wii, have already exhausted the potential for improving graphics and physics, while the Sony console still has room to grow.

Great volumes of Blu-ray media may also be required over time. So far, they are used in games mainly for storing HD video. So, the creator of the Metal Gear Solid series, which has always been distinguished by the abundance and duration of in-game videos, even complained that 50 GB of one Blu-ray disc was enough for him back to back. He also allowed himself through the mouths of his game characters to laugh at the owners of consoles with less capacious media.

There is also a more bizarre use of Blu-ray volumes - the aforementioned Little Big Planet packed the disc to the brim with a well-read user manual using uncompressed audio.

The situation with PS3 is curious. Thanks to the huge accumulated momentum of the PlayStation brand, the laurels of the winner of this console were awarded long before the release. Various details that surfaced as the set-top box approached the shelves seemed to confirm this. The greatest hardware power in terms of specifications, a built-in Blu-ray drive that allows you to fit up to 50 GB of game content on the media - everything spoke in its favor.

But gradually clouds began to appear on the horizon. It started out funny. At first, we were confused by the size of the console - it turned out to be the largest on the market, a striking contrast with the latest compact versions of the PS2.

PS3 scaled up with Photoshop for a grotesque effect

Okay, the prefix was nicknamed the “black monolith” and they began to say that there should be a lot of good prefixes. Then the already mentioned jambs with the controller went. Nothing, sorry. Some people were offended by the disappearance of the second HDMI output and two additional USB ports in the production version, which were present on the prototype. But these are trifles.

The announcement of future prices of $500 and $600 for the junior and senior versions, respectively, dealt a big blow to enthusiasm.

Inflation-adjusted game console prices. Sony referred to them, proving that the price tag on the PS3 is adequate. But consumers compared it not to the consoles of the past, but to competitors

This made the PS3 the most expensive console ever - twice the price of the Nintendo Wii. Nothing, the consumer agrees to shell out this money: for the PlayStation brand, for the Cell processor, for the Blu-ray drive - analysts reassured.

What happened next was harder for analysts to explain. For a whole year, not a single strong exclusive game was released for the console, those that came out were rated, at best, as average in quality - by no means the super hits that PS fans are used to. It was an incredible contrast to the launch of the PS or PS2, which acquired a whole library of successful titles within the first year of life.

We all love to shout: "Akella missed." As soon as the PS3 began to slip, a hail of mockery fell upon it. The console was called Delaystation - as a reminder of the delays (Delays) of the most interesting exclusives, Cancelattionstation - because. multiplatform developers often canceled (Cancel) the PS3 version due to the complexity of their development

The PS3 has begun to take on the dubious reputation of being a console with nothing to play on. And in the console world, the main loyalty is not to the brand of the console, but to the games on it. Hence the expected consequence - weak sales of the set-top box. After that, a vicious circle began to work - insufficient sales of the console repelled game publishers from releasing exclusives for Sony, which in turn repelled consumers from buying a set-top box. The crowning achievement was Square Enix's announcement that their upcoming game, Final Fantasy 13 (which was supposed to be a PS3 "platform-seller" game), would also be coming to the Xbox 360.

In 2008, things got better for Sony: several successful games came out, both multiplatforms and exclusives. But so far, in terms of cumulative sales, Sony occupies an unusual last place for itself.

Well, the PS3 seemed like a failure. For another manufacturer, these would be acceptable and even good results, but, remembering the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, which have crushed competitors since their launches without the slightest chance for the latter, one is drawn to pronounce this word. But we must remember that the gaming front for Sony is not the only one. Unlike the 100% gaming Nintendo, the "bipedal" Microsoft (software for PC and Xbox), Sony's empire is huge and diverse. And sometimes a retreat in one place allows you to carry out a powerful attack in another.

The other war, the high-definition video media war, was a resounding victory at this time. Competitor - Toshiba with its HD DVD format - is destroyed, swept away from the face of the market and crawled into its hole to lick its wounds in the company Upscaling DVD players.

For Sony, this victory is special, because its numerous failures with standards of its own design - Minidisk, ATRAC, Betamax, UMD - have already become a byword.

The contribution of the PlayStation 3 cannot be overestimated. As the cheapest HD video player on the market, the console has provided Sony with a huge lead in installed HD media readers.

The breakdown of HD player sales at the end of the Format War. Here the PS3 share looks better than in the game

And here, paradoxically, the lack of games was a plus: a person bought a console, but there is nothing to play on it - so that an expensive toy is not useless, why not try to buy movies in this newfangled Blu-ray standard? In fact, the PS3 won the format war for Sony: while HD DVD and Blu-ray had roughly the same number of players sold (not counting the PS3), the latter format outpaced Toshiba's creation in terms of disc sales. And this is the only thing that worries film studios, which for the most part have opted for the “blue ray”. After that, the demise of HD DVD was a matter of time, and a short one at that.

In this regard, it is difficult to resist the suspicion that this was all a planned trade - to sacrifice part of the gaming market in order to win the war of HD media formats. Perhaps Sony decided that the strength of the PlayStation brand was enough not to lose the game console market completely and catch up later.

Whether this is true, we will probably never know. But whether this plan worked, if it really was, we will see in the coming years. how much Sony can gain from its victory in the video format war and how much its position in the gaming market will be seriously weakened.

Sony still has a lot of tricks up its sleeve. Even with the transition of most third-party studios to multiplatforms, the capacity of the company's own studios should be enough to release a whole scattering of hits, which could turn the tide of the console war in its favor. At least in the confrontation with the Xbox - the Americans have less experience and resources in this direction. But about the absolute dominance of 1996-2006. the company seems to be forgotten for a long time, if not forever.

Stationary game consoles of the seventh generation. Sony PlayStation 3

This manufacturer and this brand name needs no introduction. The last 10+ years have made the word "playstation" synonymous with "game console" and "console". When I ask abroad, for example, about the Nintendo Wii, sometimes they don’t understand me until I say “this is such a PlayStation”.

As part of the seventh generation of consoles, Sony is introducing the third generation of its set-top boxes. Naturally, it, like its predecessors, dominates the market, encountering almost no competition. Or not?

First, let's look at the company's arguments in this generation.

Online

PlayStation 2 in its mature years could already connect to the Internet - through a network adapter, which had to be purchased separately.

Many console games supported online play, including even MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). But still, the set-top box in this respect was far from the first Xbox: in addition to the fact that the network adapter had to be bought additionally, in addition there were no centralized network services, there was no analogue of Xbox Live.

The role of the latter in the success of the Microsoft set-top box has not escaped Sony. By the way, in general, much in the actions of the Japanese company in recent years indicates that it takes the threat from Redmond quite seriously. Xbox Live was opposed to PlayStation Network.

The service was announced simultaneously with the launch of the PlayStation 3, which received both wired (Ethernet) and wireless (Wi-Fi) network controllers.

PSN copies Microsoft's offering in many ways. Users can register in the system, create their own profile and use its features. Among them: Profile Avatars

Trophies, analogues of Archivements in Xbox Live - virtual insignia for certain achievements during the passage of games

Service for finding partners for a network game, with a rating system for players based on their skill

"List of friends" is an analogue of a contact list where you can add your preferred partners for a multiplayer game

Voice and video chat

Instant Messaging Service

Life with PlayStation - the latest news and weather, similar to the corresponding channels in the Wii. Google Earth is used to display the globe.

Players can also use the online PlayStation Store.

You can download various game content in it: trailers, demos, additional content for games and the games themselves - again, not AAA titles, but plain second-tier games. Although this may change, the first serious games in the PS Store have already appeared. Sony can afford it. Every PS3 comes with at least a 20 GB hard drive. On the other hand, the digital distribution craze threatens to undermine Sony's favorite brainchild, Blu-ray. It is unlikely that the company will want this.

There is also a "currency" here - the PlayStation Network Card, however, they are currently only available in Asia, the rest are encouraged to use credit cards. This fall, the "card system" will be introduced in the United States.

The difference between Sony's online service and Xbox Live is that it's free. While being free is always welcome in itself, it's hard not to feel a certain cognitive dissonance. After all, the PlayStation 3 is the most expensive console ever, with a $500 price tag at launch. Buyers were offered to "pay extra for quality" - compared to Xbox.

With regard to the online situation, the situation was mirrored - Microsoft asks to "pay for quality", and Sony offers the service not just cheaper - for free. Although this is a completely logical step for a company that has lagged behind a competitor by 5 years in this area.

How effective would such a policy be? It seems that free of charge is unlikely to be a decisive trump card. The only thing that can help PlayStation Network beat Xbox Live is decent network games, preferably exclusive ones. After all, the difference in price between the cheapest Xbox 360 and PS3 can pay for Xbox Live for four years.

As you know, the Sony empire includes one of the largest film studios. It would be strange if the company did not try to use this fact to promote its online service. In the summer of 2008, an online video store, the PlayStation Video Store, was launched as part of PSN.

It's hard to underestimate the importance of this service in the "set-top box war". But numerous DRM restrictions prevent its full use, in particular, the user cannot transfer the purchased video to another hard drive or other media.

We should also mention PlayStation Home.

In fact, it will be an online multiplayer game similar to the well-known Second Life - a virtual world in which the user can live, communicate with other participants, purchase various things, etc. etc. Until now, this has been limited to the PC market, it's hard to say how interesting it will be for the PlayStation audience.

Catching up here, Sony has no choice but to copy the solutions of its competitors. Today, the PlayStation Network offers everything that Microsoft and Nintendo have. However, the downside is still a smaller number of users than Xbox Live - and this is the main asset of any online gaming service.

User Generated Content

With regard to its online game store, Sony has a stricter policy than Microsoft and Nintendo, it is more difficult to promote their products there for small companies. Once again, there are two sides to the coin: while the selection of games on the PlayStation Store is much smaller, the quality is higher on average.

During the days of the PlayStation 2, Sony preferred to outsource online support to third parties. Apparently, she took a similar position regarding User Generated Content. While the PlayStation Network remains a fairly closed system, in some third-party games, user-generated content is an important part, or even core, of the gameplay. An example is the platformer Little Big Planet: the ability to create your own levels and publish them on the Internet for other users to download is a key feature of this hotly anticipated game.

Media Center

Sony is strong in the home video/audio market. And it can't help but respond to attempts by other companies to come up with their own standards for home media entertainment centers. After the release of the PlayStaion 2 with the ability to play DVD - then it was unusually progressive - many started talking about what exactly a game console was, and the Sony game console is this very center of home digital entertainment of the future.

The company is doing everything in its power to ensure that the new generation of PlayStation justifies these advances.

At the heart of the concept is naturally HD, high-definition video and the new media standard for this video, Blu-ray.

Unlike the Xbox 360, where HD is fully supported only on older models and there is no support for HD media, all PS3s are equipped with HDMI outputs and Blu-ray drives.

Add the already mentioned PlayStation Video Store and get the strongest media offering on the console market.

Casual Market

Here, the company's position is relatively weak. The high price of the console, combined with the lack of content that appeals to ordinary users, prevent Sony from winning the hearts of casuals. In the future, perhaps Blu-ray support will help in this: watching movies is interesting for the widest audience. But while interest in HD video has not yet become massive, in addition, Sony should not sell consoles, on which it continues to lose money, but games.

The offer to the masses remains the PlayStation 2, still in production.

It's cheap and has an extensive library of games. But with the Wii, with its novelty, hype and unusual controls, it is difficult for her to compete.

Sales since the release of the first seventh generation consoles (late 2005)

There's been a lot of speculation about turning the PS2 into a competitor to the Wii by releasing a new controller, redesigning the console, but apparently Sony is still focused on warring the Xbox for a traditional gamer audience. Casuals will wait.

New control forms

The PS3 controller is in trouble.

Its first version, the so-called "boomerang", after the publication of photos caused such unanimous condemnation that the manufacturer hastily replaced it with a wireless analogue of the owner of the Emmy Dualshock 2.

After the Wiimote was introduced to the public, Sony made another drastic move and added motion control capability to the controller (sorry for the pun), calling the resulting Sixaxis. But due to patent disputes, such an important function as vibration was lost.

Only, in the summer of 2008, the third controller was introduced - Dualshock 3, with both motion control and vibration. But it has not yet been included in the standard PS3 package.

Although the motion control itself is present in the PS3, its controller is inferior to the Wimota in terms of innovation, there is no position tracking, only an accelometer is available.

Again, this is both a plus for a traditional audience that does not need gimmicks and a minus for casuals who are easily baited by something new and original, even if the justification and convenience of this is doubtful.

p>

PC Borrowing

Unlike the Xbox, which has only a 256MB memory card in its cheapest and most mainstream version, all PS3s come with hard drives. Potentially, this is very convenient for developers who can develop their games, focusing on the ability to store part of the code and content on the hard drive. It also gives the console more potential online - the user can download much more content, including HD movies, full-fledged games.

Unlike the NMW Xbox, the PS3 is relatively easy to replace with a larger one - in fact, a cross-head screwdriver is enough.

Cell and Blu-ray

The multi-core Cell processor and HD Blu-ray media were to be the two main pillars of the success of Sony's new console. It was believed that users are willing to seriously overpay for such high-tech. The power of the console was promoted and emphasized in every possible way. For example, a research supercomputer was built on the basis of the PS3 cluster.

So far, we can state that this strategy does not bring the desired results. Most buyers vote with their wallets for weak Wii hardware that doesn't even support DVD playback. A lot of people prefer the new PlayStation Xbox 360 with a larger catalog of games and better online.

However, hardware superiority has the potential to make the PS3 a longer-lived console. According to experts, the Xbox, and even more so the Wii, have already exhausted the potential for improving graphics and physics, while the Sony console still has room to grow.

Great volumes of Blu-ray media may also be required over time. So far, they are used in games mainly for storing HD video. So, the creator of the Metal Gear Solid series, which has always been distinguished by the abundance and duration of in-game videos, even complained that 50 GB of one Blu-ray disc was enough for him back to back. He also allowed himself through the mouths of his game characters to laugh at the owners of consoles with less capacious media.

There is also a more bizarre use of Blu-ray volumes - the aforementioned Little Big Planet packed the disc to the brim with a well-read user manual using uncompressed audio.

The situation with PS3 is curious. Thanks to the huge accumulated momentum of the PlayStation brand, the laurels of the winner of this console were awarded long before the release. Various details that surfaced as the set-top box approached the shelves seemed to confirm this. The greatest hardware power in terms of specifications, a built-in Blu-ray drive that allows you to fit up to 50 GB of game content on the media - everything spoke in its favor.

But gradually clouds began to appear on the horizon. It started out funny. At first, we were confused by the size of the console - it turned out to be the largest on the market, a striking contrast with the latest compact versions of the PS2.

PS3 scaled up with Photoshop for a grotesque effect

Okay, the prefix was nicknamed the “black monolith” and they began to say that there should be a lot of good prefixes. Then the already mentioned jambs with the controller went. Nothing, sorry. Some people were offended by the disappearance of the second HDMI output and two additional USB ports in the production version, which were present on the prototype. But these are trifles.

The announcement of future prices of $500 and $600 for the junior and senior versions, respectively, dealt a big blow to enthusiasm.

Inflation-adjusted game console prices. Sony referred to them, proving that the price tag on the PS3 is adequate. But consumers compared it not to the consoles of the past, but to competitors

This made the PS3 the most expensive console ever - twice the price of the Nintendo Wii. Nothing, the consumer agrees to shell out this money: for the PlayStation brand, for the Cell processor, for the Blu-ray drive - analysts reassured.

What happened next was harder for analysts to explain. For a whole year, not a single strong exclusive game was released for the console, those that came out were rated, at best, as average in quality - by no means the super hits that PS fans are used to. It was an incredible contrast to the launch of the PS or PS2, which acquired a whole library of successful titles within the first year of life.

We all love to shout: "Akella missed." As soon as the PS3 began to slip, a hail of mockery fell upon it. The console was called Delaystation - as a reminder of the delays (Delays) of the most interesting exclusives, Cancelattionstation - because. multiplatform developers often canceled (Cancel) the PS3 version due to the complexity of their development

The PS3 has begun to take on the dubious reputation of being a console with nothing to play on. And in the console world, the main loyalty is not to the brand of the console, but to the games on it. Hence the expected consequence - weak sales of the set-top box. After that, a vicious circle began to work - insufficient sales of the console repelled game publishers from releasing exclusives for Sony, which in turn repelled consumers from buying a set-top box. The crowning achievement was Square Enix's announcement that their upcoming game Final Fantasy 13 (which was supposed to be a PS3 "platform-seller" game) would also be coming to the Xbox 360.

In 2008, things got better for Sony: several successful games came out, both multiplatforms and exclusives. But so far, in terms of cumulative sales, Sony occupies an unusual last place for itself.

Well, the PS3 seemed like a failure. For another manufacturer, these would be acceptable and even good results, but, remembering the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, which have crushed competitors since their launches without the slightest chance for the latter, one is drawn to pronounce this word. But we must remember that the gaming front for Sony is not the only one. Unlike the 100% gaming Nintendo, the "bipedal" Microsoft (software for PC and Xbox), Sony's empire is huge and diverse. And sometimes a retreat in one place allows you to carry out a powerful attack in another.

The other war, the high-definition video media war, was a resounding victory at this time. Competitor - Toshiba with its HD DVD format - is destroyed, swept away from the face of the market and crawled into its hole to lick its wounds in the company Upscaling DVD players.

For Sony, this victory is special, because its numerous failures with standards of its own design - Minidisk, ATRAC, Betamax, UMD - have already become a byword.

The contribution of the PlayStation 3 cannot be overestimated. As the cheapest HD video player on the market, the console has provided Sony with a huge lead in installed HD media readers.

The breakdown of HD player sales at the end of the Format War. Here the PS3 share looks better than in the game

And here, paradoxically, the lack of games was a plus: a person bought a console, but there is nothing to play on it - so that an expensive toy is not useless, why not try to buy movies in this newfangled Blu-ray standard? In fact, the PS3 won the format war for Sony: while HD DVD and Blu-ray had roughly the same number of players sold (not counting the PS3), the latter format outpaced Toshiba's creation in terms of disc sales. And this is the only thing that worries film studios, which for the most part have opted for the “blue ray”. After that, the demise of HD DVD was a matter of time, and a short one at that.

In this regard, it is difficult to resist the suspicion that this was all a planned trade - to sacrifice part of the gaming market in order to win the war of HD media formats. Perhaps Sony decided that the strength of the PlayStation brand was enough not to lose the game console market completely and catch up later.

Whether this is true, we will probably never know. But whether this plan worked, if it really was, we will see in the coming years. how much Sony can gain from its victory in the video format war and how much its position in the gaming market will be seriously weakened.

Sony still has a lot of tricks up its sleeve. Even with the transition of most third-party studios to multiplatforms, the capacity of the company's own studios should be enough to release a whole scattering of hits, which could turn the tide of the console war in its favor. At least in the confrontation with the Xbox - the Americans have less experience and resources in this direction. But about the absolute dominance of 1996-2006. the company seems to be forgotten for a long time, if not forever.

Stationary game consoles of the seventh generation. Sony PlayStation 3

This manufacturer and this brand name needs no introduction. The last 10+ years have made the word "playstation" synonymous with "game console" and "console". When I ask abroad, for example, about the Nintendo Wii, sometimes they don’t understand me until I say “this is such a PlayStation”.

As part of the seventh generation of consoles, Sony is introducing the third generation of its set-top boxes. Naturally, it, like its predecessors, dominates the market, encountering almost no competition. Or not?

First, let's look at the company's arguments in this generation.

Online

PlayStation 2 in its mature years could already connect to the Internet - through a network adapter, which had to be purchased separately.

Many console games supported online play, including even MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). But still, the set-top box in this respect was far from the first Xbox: in addition to the fact that the network adapter had to be bought additionally, in addition there were no centralized network services, there was no analogue of Xbox Live.

The role of the latter in the success of the Microsoft set-top box has not escaped Sony. By the way, in general, much in the actions of the Japanese company in recent years indicates that it takes the threat from Redmond quite seriously. Xbox Live was opposed to PlayStation Network.

The service was announced simultaneously with the launch of the PlayStation 3, which received both wired (Ethernet) and wireless (Wi-Fi) network controllers.

PSN copies Microsoft's offering in many ways. Users can register in the system, create their own profile and use its features. Among them: Profile Avatars

Trophies, analogues of Archivements in Xbox Live - virtual insignia for certain achievements during the passage of games

Service for finding partners for a network game, with a rating system for players based on their skill

"List of friends" is an analogue of a contact list where you can add your preferred partners for a multiplayer game

Voice and video chat

Instant Messaging Service

Life with PlayStation - the latest news and weather, similar to the corresponding channels in the Wii. Google Earth is used to display the globe.

Players can also use the online PlayStation Store.

You can download various game content in it: trailers, demos, additional content for games and the games themselves - again, not AAA titles, but plain second-tier games. Although this may change, the first serious games in the PS Store have already appeared. Sony can afford it. Every PS3 comes with at least a 20 GB hard drive. On the other hand, the digital distribution craze threatens to undermine Sony's favorite brainchild, Blu-ray. It is unlikely that the company will want this.

There is also a "currency" here - the PlayStation Network Card, however, they are currently only available in Asia, the rest are encouraged to use credit cards. This fall, the "card system" will be introduced in the United States.

The difference between Sony's online service and Xbox Live is that it's free. While being free is always welcome in itself, it's hard not to feel a certain cognitive dissonance. After all, the PlayStation 3 is the most expensive console ever, with a $500 price tag at launch. Buyers were offered to "pay extra for quality" - compared to Xbox.

With regard to the online situation, the situation was mirrored - Microsoft asks to "pay for quality", and Sony offers the service not just cheaper - for free. Although this is a completely logical step for a company that has lagged behind a competitor by 5 years in this area.

How effective would such a policy be? It seems that free of charge is unlikely to be a decisive trump card. The only thing that can help PlayStation Network beat Xbox Live is decent network games, preferably exclusive ones. After all, the difference in price between the cheapest Xbox 360 and PS3 can pay for Xbox Live for four years.

As you know, the Sony empire includes one of the largest film studios. It would be strange if the company did not try to use this fact to promote its online service. In the summer of 2008, an online video store, the PlayStation Video Store, was launched as part of PSN.

It's hard to underestimate the importance of this service in the "set-top box war". But numerous DRM restrictions prevent its full use, in particular, the user cannot transfer the purchased video to another hard drive or other media.

We should also mention PlayStation Home.

In fact, it will be an online multiplayer game similar to the well-known Second Life - a virtual world in which the user can live, communicate with other participants, purchase various things, etc. etc. Until now, this has been limited to the PC market, it's hard to say how interesting it will be for the PlayStation audience.

Catching up here, Sony has no choice but to copy the solutions of its competitors. Today, the PlayStation Network offers everything that Microsoft and Nintendo have. However, the downside is still a smaller number of users than Xbox Live - and this is the main asset of any online gaming service.

User Generated Content

With regard to its online game store, Sony has a stricter policy than Microsoft and Nintendo, it is more difficult to promote their products there for small companies. Once again, there are two sides to the coin: while the selection of games on the PlayStation Store is much smaller, the quality is higher on average.

During the days of the PlayStation 2, Sony preferred to outsource online support to third parties. Apparently, she took a similar position regarding User Generated Content. While the PlayStation Network remains a fairly closed system, in some third-party games, user-generated content is an important part, or even core, of the gameplay. An example is the platformer Little Big Planet: the ability to create your own levels and publish them on the Internet for other users to download is a key feature of this hotly anticipated game.

Media Center

Sony is strong in the home video/audio market. And it can't help but respond to attempts by other companies to come up with their own standards for home media entertainment centers. After the release of the PlayStaion 2 with the ability to play DVD - then it was unusually progressive - many started talking about what exactly a game console was, and the Sony game console is this very center of home digital entertainment of the future.

The company is doing everything in its power to ensure that the new generation of PlayStation justifies these advances.

At the heart of the concept is naturally HD, high-definition video and the new media standard for this video, Blu-ray.

Unlike the Xbox 360, where HD is fully supported only on older models and there is no support for HD media, all PS3s are equipped with HDMI outputs and Blu-ray drives.

Add the already mentioned PlayStation Video Store and get the strongest media offering on the console market.

Casual Market

Here, the company's position is relatively weak. The high price of the console, combined with the lack of content that appeals to ordinary users, prevent Sony from winning the hearts of casuals. In the future, perhaps Blu-ray support will help in this: watching movies is interesting for the widest audience. But while interest in HD video has not yet become massive, in addition, Sony should not sell consoles, on which it continues to lose money, but games.

The offer to the masses remains the PlayStation 2, still in production.

It's cheap and has an extensive library of games. But with the Wii, with its novelty, hype and unusual controls, it is difficult for her to compete.

Sales since the release of the first seventh generation consoles (late 2005)

There's been a lot of speculation about turning the PS2 into a competitor to the Wii by releasing a new controller, redesigning the console, but apparently Sony is still focused on warring the Xbox for a traditional gamer audience. Casuals will wait.

New control forms

The PS3 controller is in trouble.

Its first version, the so-called "boomerang", after the publication of photos caused such unanimous condemnation that the manufacturer hastily replaced it with a wireless analogue of the owner of the Emmy Dualshock 2.

After the Wiimote was introduced to the public, Sony made another drastic move and added motion control capability to the controller (sorry for the pun), calling the resulting Sixaxis. But due to patent disputes, such an important function as vibration was lost.

Only, in the summer of 2008, the third controller was introduced - Dualshock 3, with both motion control and vibration. But it has not yet been included in the standard PS3 package.

Although the motion control itself is present in the PS3, its controller is inferior to the Wimota in terms of innovation, there is no position tracking, only an accelometer is available.

Again, this is both a plus for a traditional audience that does not need gimmicks and a minus for casuals who are easily baited by something new and original, even if the justification and convenience of this is doubtful.

p>

PC Borrowing

Unlike the Xbox, which has only a 256MB memory card in its cheapest and most mainstream version, all PS3s come with hard drives. Potentially, this is very convenient for developers who can develop their games, focusing on the ability to store part of the code and content on the hard drive. It also gives the console more potential online - the user can download much more content, including HD movies, full-fledged games.

Unlike the NMW Xbox, the PS3 is relatively easy to replace with a larger one - in fact, a cross-head screwdriver is enough.

Cell and Blu-ray

The multi-core Cell processor and HD Blu-ray media were to be the two main pillars of the success of Sony's new console. It was believed that users are willing to seriously overpay for such high-tech. The power of the console was promoted and emphasized in every possible way. For example, a research supercomputer was built on the basis of the PS3 cluster.

So far, we can state that this strategy does not bring the desired results. Most buyers vote with their wallets for weak Wii hardware that doesn't even support DVD playback. A lot of people prefer the new PlayStation Xbox 360 with a larger catalog of games and better online.

However, hardware superiority has the potential to make the PS3 a longer-lived console. According to experts, the Xbox, and even more so the Wii, have already exhausted the potential for improving graphics and physics, while the Sony console still has room to grow.

Great volumes of Blu-ray media may also be required over time. So far, they are used in games mainly for storing HD video. So, the creator of the Metal Gear Solid series, which has always been distinguished by the abundance and duration of in-game videos, even complained that 50 GB of one Blu-ray disc was enough for him back to back. He also allowed himself through the mouths of his game characters to laugh at the owners of consoles with less capacious media.

There is also a more bizarre use of Blu-ray volumes - the aforementioned Little Big Planet packed the disc to the brim with a well-read user manual using uncompressed audio.

The situation with PS3 is curious. Thanks to the huge accumulated momentum of the PlayStation brand, the laurels of the winner of this console were awarded long before the release. Various details that surfaced as the set-top box approached the shelves seemed to confirm this. The greatest hardware power in terms of specifications, a built-in Blu-ray drive that allows you to fit up to 50 GB of game content on the media - everything spoke in its favor.

But gradually clouds began to appear on the horizon. It started out funny. At first, we were confused by the size of the console - it turned out to be the largest on the market, a striking contrast with the latest compact versions of the PS2.

PS3 scaled up with Photoshop for a grotesque effect

Okay, the prefix was nicknamed the “black monolith” and they began to say that there should be a lot of good prefixes. Then the already mentioned jambs with the controller went. Nothing, sorry. Some people were offended by the disappearance of the second HDMI output and two additional USB ports in the production version, which were present on the prototype. But these are trifles.

The announcement of future prices of $500 and $600 for the junior and senior versions, respectively, dealt a big blow to enthusiasm.

Inflation-adjusted game console prices. Sony referred to them, proving that the price tag on the PS3 is adequate. But consumers compared it not to the consoles of the past, but to competitors

This made the PS3 the most expensive console ever - twice the price of the Nintendo Wii. Nothing, the consumer agrees to shell out this money: for the PlayStation brand, for the Cell processor, for the Blu-ray drive - analysts reassured.

What happened next was harder for analysts to explain. For a whole year, not a single strong exclusive game was released for the console, those that came out were rated, at best, as average in quality - by no means the super hits that PS fans are used to. It was an incredible contrast to the launch of the PS or PS2, which acquired a whole library of successful titles within the first year of life.

We all love to shout: "Akella missed." As soon as the PS3 began to slip, a hail of mockery fell upon it. The console was called Delaystation - as a reminder of the delays (Delays) of the most interesting exclusives, Cancelattionstation - because. multiplatform developers often canceled (Cancel) the PS3 version due to the complexity of their development

The PS3 has begun to take on the dubious reputation of being a console with nothing to play on. And in the console world, the main loyalty is not to the brand of the console, but to the games on it. Hence the expected consequence - weak sales of the set-top box. After that, a vicious circle began to work - insufficient sales of the console repelled game publishers from releasing exclusives for Sony, which in turn repelled consumers from buying a set-top box. The crowning achievement was Square Enix's announcement that their upcoming game, Final Fantasy 13 (which was supposed to be a PS3 "platform-seller" game), would also be coming to the Xbox 360.

In 2008, things got better for Sony: several successful games came out, both multiplatforms and exclusives. But so far, in terms of cumulative sales, Sony occupies an unusual last place for itself.

Well, the PS3 seemed like a failure. For another manufacturer, these would be acceptable and even good results, but, remembering the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, which have crushed competitors since their launches without the slightest chance for the latter, one is drawn to pronounce this word. But we must remember that the gaming front for Sony is not the only one. Unlike the 100% gaming Nintendo, the "bipedal" Microsoft (software for PC and Xbox), Sony's empire is huge and diverse. And sometimes a retreat in one place allows you to carry out a powerful attack in another.

The other war, the high-definition video media war, was a resounding victory at this time. Competitor - Toshiba with its HD DVD format - is destroyed, swept away from the face of the market and crawled into its hole to lick its wounds in the company Upscaling DVD players.

For Sony, this victory is special, because its numerous failures with standards of its own design - Minidisk, ATRAC, Betamax, UMD - have already become a byword.

The contribution of the PlayStation 3 cannot be overestimated. As the cheapest HD video player on the market, the console has provided Sony with a huge lead in installed HD media readers.

The breakdown of HD player sales at the end of the Format War. Here the PS3 share looks better than in the game

And here, paradoxically, the lack of games was a plus: a person bought a console, but there is nothing to play on it - so that an expensive toy is not useless, why not try to buy movies in this newfangled Blu-ray standard? In fact, the PS3 won the format war for Sony: while HD DVD and Blu-ray had roughly the same number of players sold (not counting the PS3), the latter format outpaced Toshiba's creation in terms of disc sales. And this is the only thing that worries film studios, which for the most part have opted for the “blue ray”. After that, the demise of HD DVD was a matter of time, and a short one at that.

In this regard, it is difficult to resist the suspicion that this was all a planned trade - to sacrifice part of the gaming market in order to win the war of HD media formats. Perhaps Sony decided that the strength of the PlayStation brand would be enough not to lose the game console market completely and catch up later.

Whether this is true, we will probably never know. But whether this plan worked, if it really was, we will see in the coming years. , how much Sony can gain from its victory in the video format war and how much its position in the gaming market will be seriously weakened.

Sony still has a lot of tricks up its sleeve. Even with the transition of most third-party studios to multiplatforms, the power of the company's own studios should be enough to release a whole scattering of hits, which could turn the tide of the console war in its favor. At least in the confrontation with the Xbox - the Americans have less experience and resources in this direction. But about the absolute dominance of 1996-2006. the company seems to be forgotten for a long time, if not forever.

Stationary game consoles of the seventh generation. Sony PlayStation 3

This manufacturer and this brand name needs no introduction. The last 10+ years have made the word "playstation" synonymous with "game console" and "console". When I ask abroad, for example, about the Nintendo Wii, sometimes they don’t understand me until I say “this is such a PlayStation”.

As part of the seventh generation of consoles, Sony is introducing the third generation of its set-top boxes. Naturally, it, like its predecessors, dominates the market, encountering almost no competition. Or not?

First, let's look at the company's arguments in this generation.

Online

PlayStation 2 in its mature years could already connect to the Internet - through a network adapter, which had to be purchased separately.

Many console games supported online play, including even MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). But still, the set-top box in this respect was far from the first Xbox: in addition to the fact that the network adapter had to be bought additionally, in addition there were no centralized network services, there was no analogue of Xbox Live.

The role of the latter in the success of the Microsoft set-top box has not escaped Sony. By the way, in general, much in the actions of the Japanese company in recent years indicates that it takes the threat from Redmond quite seriously. Xbox Live was opposed to PlayStation Network.

The service was announced simultaneously with the launch of the PlayStation 3, which received both wired (Ethernet) and wireless (Wi-Fi) network controllers.

PSN copies Microsoft's offering in many ways. Users can register in the system, create their own profile and use its features. Among them: Profile Avatars

Trophies, analogues of Archivements in Xbox Live - virtual insignia for certain achievements during the passage of games

Service for finding partners for a network game, with a rating system for players based on their skill

"List of friends" is an analogue of a contact list where you can add your preferred partners for a multiplayer game

Voice and video chat

Instant Messaging Service

Life with PlayStation - the latest news and weather, similar to the corresponding channels in the Wii. Google Earth is used to display the globe.

Players can also use the online PlayStation Store.

You can download various game content in it: trailers, demos, additional content for games and the games themselves - again, not AAA titles, but plain second-tier games. Although this may change, the first serious games in the PS Store have already appeared. Sony can afford it. Every PS3 comes with at least a 20 GB hard drive. On the other hand, the digital distribution craze threatens to undermine Sony's favorite brainchild, Blu-ray. It is unlikely that the company will want this.

There is also a "currency" here - the PlayStation Network Card, however, they are currently only available in Asia, the rest are encouraged to use credit cards. This fall, the "card system" will be introduced in the United States.

The difference between Sony's online service and Xbox Live is that it's free. While being free is always welcome in itself, it's hard not to feel a certain cognitive dissonance. After all, the PlayStation 3 is the most expensive console ever, with a $500 price tag at launch. Buyers were offered to "pay extra for quality" - compared to Xbox.

With regard to the online situation, the situation was mirrored - Microsoft asks to "pay for quality", and Sony offers the service not just cheaper - for free. Although this is a completely logical step for a company that has lagged behind a competitor by 5 years in this area.

How effective would such a policy be? It seems that free of charge is unlikely to be a decisive trump card. The only thing that can help PlayStation Network beat Xbox Live is decent network games, preferably exclusive ones. After all, the difference in price between the cheapest Xbox 360 and PS3 can pay for Xbox Live for four years.

As you know, the Sony empire includes one of the largest film studios. It would be strange if the company did not try to use this fact to promote its online service. In the summer of 2008, an online video store, the PlayStation Video Store, was launched as part of PSN.

It's hard to underestimate the importance of this service in the "set-top box war". But numerous DRM restrictions prevent its full use, in particular, the user cannot transfer the purchased video to another hard drive or other media.

We should also mention PlayStation Home.

In fact, it will be an online multiplayer game similar to the well-known Second Life - a virtual world in which the user can live, communicate with other participants, purchase various things, etc. etc. Until now, this has been limited to the PC market, it's hard to say how interesting it will be for the PlayStation audience.

Catching up here, Sony has no choice but to copy the solutions of its competitors. Today, the PlayStation Network offers everything that Microsoft and Nintendo have. However, the downside is still a smaller number of users than Xbox Live - and this is the main asset of any online gaming service.

User Generated Content

With regard to its online game store, Sony has a stricter policy than Microsoft and Nintendo, it is more difficult to promote their products there for small companies. Once again, there are two sides to the coin: while the selection of games on the PlayStation Store is much smaller, the quality is higher on average.

During the days of the PlayStation 2, Sony preferred to outsource online support to third parties. Apparently, she took a similar position regarding User Generated Content. While the PlayStation Network remains a fairly closed system, in some third-party games, user-generated content is an important part, or even core, of the gameplay. An example is the platformer Little Big Planet: the ability to create your own levels and publish them on the Internet for other users to download is a key feature of this hotly anticipated game.

Media Center

Sony is strong in the home video/audio market. And it can't help but respond to attempts by other companies to come up with their own standards for home media entertainment centers. After the release of the PlayStaion 2 with the ability to play DVD - then it was unusually progressive - many started talking about what exactly a game console was, and the Sony game console is this very center of home digital entertainment of the future.

The company is doing everything in its power to ensure that the new generation of PlayStation justifies these advances.

At the heart of the concept is naturally HD, high-definition video and the new media standard for this video, Blu-ray.

Unlike the Xbox 360, where HD is fully supported only on older models and there is no support for HD media, all PS3s are equipped with HDMI outputs and Blu-ray drives.

Add the already mentioned PlayStation Video Store and get the strongest media offering on the console market.

Casual Market

Here, the company's position is relatively weak. The high price of the console, combined with the lack of content that appeals to ordinary users, prevent Sony from winning the hearts of casuals. In the future, perhaps Blu-ray support will help in this: watching movies is interesting for the widest audience. But while interest in HD video has not yet become massive, in addition, Sony should not sell consoles, on which it continues to lose money, but games.

The offer to the masses remains the PlayStation 2, still in production.

It's cheap and has an extensive library of games. But with the Wii, with its novelty, hype and unusual controls, it is difficult for her to compete.

Sales since the release of the first seventh generation consoles (late 2005)

There's been a lot of speculation about turning the PS2 into a competitor to the Wii by releasing a new controller, redesigning the console, but apparently Sony is still focused on warring the Xbox for a traditional gamer audience. Casuals will wait.

New control forms

The PS3 controller is in trouble.

Its first version, the so-called "boomerang", after the publication of photos caused such unanimous condemnation that the manufacturer hastily replaced it with a wireless analogue of the owner of the Emmy Dualshock 2.

After the Wiimote was introduced to the public, Sony made another drastic move and added motion control capability to the controller (sorry for the pun), calling the resulting Sixaxis. But due to patent disputes, such an important function as vibration was lost.

Only in the summer of 2008, the third controller was introduced - Dualshock 3, with both motion control and vibration. But it has not yet been included in the standard PS3 package.

Although the motion control itself is present in the PS3, its controller is inferior to the Wimota in terms of innovation, there is no position tracking, only an accelometer is available.

Again, this is both a plus for a traditional audience that does not need gimmicks and a minus for casuals who are easily baited by something new and original, even if the justification and convenience of this is doubtful.

p>

PC Borrowing

Unlike the Xbox, which has only a 256MB memory card in its cheapest and most mainstream version, all PS3s come with hard drives. Potentially, this is very convenient for developers who can develop their games, focusing on the ability to store part of the code and content on the hard drive. It also gives the console more potential online - the user can download much more content, including HD movies, full-fledged games.

Unlike the NMW Xbox, the PS3 is relatively easy to replace with a larger one - in fact, a cross-head screwdriver is enough.

Cell and Blu-ray

The multi-core Cell processor and HD Blu-ray media were to be the two main pillars of the success of Sony's new console. It was believed that users are willing to seriously overpay for such high-tech. The power of the console was promoted and emphasized in every possible way. For example, a research supercomputer was built on the basis of the PS3 cluster.

So far, we can state that this strategy does not bring the desired results. Most buyers vote with their wallets for weak Wii hardware that doesn't even support DVD playback. A lot of people prefer the new PlayStation Xbox 360 with a larger catalog of games and better online.

However, hardware superiority has the potential to make the PS3 a longer-lived console. According to experts, the Xbox, and even more so the Wii, have already exhausted the potential for improving graphics and physics, while the Sony console still has room to grow.

Great volumes of Blu-ray media may also be required over time. So far, they are used in games mainly for storing HD video. So, the creator of the Metal Gear Solid series, which has always been distinguished by the abundance and duration of in-game videos, even complained that 50 GB of one Blu-ray disc was enough for him back to back. He also allowed himself through the mouths of his game characters to laugh at the owners of consoles with less capacious media.

There is also a more bizarre use of Blu-ray volumes - the aforementioned Little Big Planet packed the disc to the brim with a well-read user manual using uncompressed audio.

The situation with PS3 is curious. Thanks to the huge accumulated momentum of the PlayStation brand, the laurels of the winner of this console were awarded long before the release. Various details that surfaced as the set-top box approached the shelves seemed to confirm this. The greatest hardware power in terms of specifications, a built-in Blu-ray drive that allows you to fit up to 50 GB of game content on the media - everything spoke in its favor.

But gradually clouds began to appear on the horizon. It started out funny. At first, we were confused by the size of the console - it turned out to be the largest on the market, a striking contrast with the latest compact versions of the PS2.

PS3 scaled up with Photoshop for a grotesque effect

Okay, the prefix was nicknamed the “black monolith” and they began to say that there should be a lot of good prefixes. Then the already mentioned jambs with the controller went. Nothing, sorry. Some people were offended by the disappearance of the second HDMI output and two additional USB ports in the production version, which were present on the prototype. But these are trifles.

The announcement of future prices of $500 and $600 for the junior and senior versions, respectively, dealt a big blow to enthusiasm.

Inflation-adjusted game console prices. Sony referred to them, proving that the price tag on the PS3 is adequate. But consumers compared it not to the consoles of the past, but to competitors

This made the PS3 the most expensive console ever - twice the price of the Nintendo Wii. Nothing, the consumer agrees to shell out this money: for the PlayStation brand, for the Cell processor, for the Blu-ray drive - analysts reassured.

What happened next was harder for analysts to explain. For a whole year, not a single strong exclusive game was released for the console, those that came out were rated, at best, as average in quality - by no means the super hits that PS fans are used to. It was an incredible contrast to the launch of the PS or PS2, which acquired a whole library of successful titles within the first year of life.

We all love to shout: "Akella missed." As soon as the PS3 began to slip, a hail of mockery fell upon it. The console was called Delaystation - as a reminder of the delays (Delays) of the most interesting exclusives, Cancelattionstation - because. multiplatform developers often canceled (Cancel) the PS3 version due to the complexity of their development

The PS3 has begun to take on the dubious reputation of being a console with nothing to play on. And in the console world, the main loyalty is not to the brand of the console, but to the games on it. Hence the expected consequence - weak sales of the set-top box. After that, a vicious circle began to work - insufficient sales of the console repelled game publishers from releasing exclusives for Sony, which in turn repelled consumers from buying a set-top box. The crowning achievement was Square Enix's announcement that their upcoming game Final Fantasy 13 (which was supposed to be a PS3 "platform-seller" game) would also be coming to the Xbox 360.

In 2008, things got better for Sony: several successful games came out, both multiplatforms and exclusives. But so far, in terms of cumulative sales, Sony occupies an unusual last place for itself.

Well, the PS3 seemed like a failure. For another manufacturer, these would be acceptable and even good results, but, remembering the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, which have crushed competitors since their launches without the slightest chance for the latter, one is drawn to pronounce this word. But we must remember that the gaming front for Sony is not the only one. Unlike the 100% gaming Nintendo, the "bipedal" Microsoft (software for PC and Xbox), Sony's empire is huge and diverse. And sometimes a retreat in one place allows you to carry out a powerful attack in another.

The other war, the high-definition video media war, was a resounding victory at this time. Competitor - Toshiba with its HD DVD format - is destroyed, swept away from the face of the market and crawled into its hole to lick its wounds in the company Upscaling DVD players.

For Sony, this victory is special, because its numerous failures with standards of its own design - Minidisk, ATRAC, Betamax, UMD - have already become a byword.

The contribution of the PlayStation 3 cannot be overestimated. As the cheapest HD video player on the market, the console has provided Sony with a huge lead in installed HD media readers.

The breakdown of HD player sales at the end of the Format War. Here the PS3 share looks better than in the game

And here, paradoxically, the lack of games was a plus: a person bought a console, but there is nothing to play on it - so that an expensive toy is not useless, why not try to buy movies in this newfangled Blu-ray standard? In fact, the PS3 won the format war for Sony: while HD DVD and Blu-ray had roughly the same number of players sold (not counting the PS3), the latter format outpaced Toshiba's creation in terms of disc sales. And this is the only thing that worries film studios, which for the most part have opted for the “blue ray”. After that, the demise of HD DVD was a matter of time, and a short one at that.

In this regard, it is difficult to resist the suspicion that this was all a planned trade - to sacrifice part of the gaming market in order to win the war of HD media formats. Perhaps Sony decided that the strength of the PlayStation brand would be enough not to lose the game console market completely and catch up later.

Whether this is true, we will probably never know. But whether this plan worked, if it really did, we will see in the coming years by how much Sony can get from its victory in the video format war and how seriously its position in the gaming market will be weakened.

Whether this is so, we will probably never know. But whether this plan worked, if it really was, we will see in the coming years on how much Sony can gain from its victory in the video format war and how seriously its position in the gaming market will be weakened.

Sony still has a lot of tricks up its sleeve. Even with the transition of most third-party studios to multiplatforms, the power of the company's own studios should be enough to release a whole scattering of hits, which could turn the tide of the console war in its favor. At least in the confrontation with the Xbox - the Americans have less experience and resources in this direction. But about the absolute dominance of 1996-2006. the company seems to be forgotten for a long time, if not forever.