Is anyone else wondering what the heck is going on at Sony’s Entertainment Division? The past few weeks have seen one mistake after another:
- SOCOM: Confrontation (an online only game) launched with the servers not working at all well. This is secondhand info but I read enough reports about the problems that I’m confident that they were real and widespred. People spoke of spending more time staring at menus waiting than actually playing the game.
- LittleBigPlanet got delayed because of the Qur’an lyrics in one of the music selections for the game. How did this only become an issue in the eleventh hour? Wouldn’t you think you’d get a translation of any song lyrics that were going to be in your game, well before launch? The delay took a lot of the ‘bang’ out of the launch; instead of a single launch day when everyone was getting the game, we got a launch window of about 4 days. Which might have been a blessing in disguise because….
- LittleBigPlanet servers were also borked on launch. Not only did this mean you couldn’t play online, it also impacted the single player game (if you were logged into PSN, which must of us are if our PS3s are internet-connected). I talked about this here; the long and sluggish load times I experienced were indeed caused by the game trying to talk to the servers and not being able to. Not the way to make a good first impression.
- Last and admittedly least, the Mirror’s Edge demo is hitting PSN and XBox Live Arcade this week. There’s a lot of buzz and anticipation built up around this game, and for once, a demo was coming out first on PSN, and not on XBLA until the following day. Except the Playstation Store didn’t get updated until late evening ET. I’m thinking it was somewhere around 10 pm? I started to download the demo, but (Playstation Store servers being the slow beasts they are) had to go to bed before the download was complete. Advantage squandered.
I love my PS3 and during the prior console generation I appreciated the broader range of games offered on the Sony platform than you can generally find elsewhere. But now the JRPG’s are moving to the 360, and the ‘quirky’ games tend to show up as downloadable titles so you can get them anywhere. The only advantage Sony seems to still have is hardware reliability and even that may be fading as Microsoft finally starts getting the 360 hardware right.
Sony has been struggling and this holiday season is its change to turn that around some, and maybe it can. But it needs to stop making these highly visible blunders if its going to gain (and retain) the confidence of gamers. Fable 2 is only on XBox. Fallout 3 looks better on XBox. And Microsoft’s game servers tend to be pretty reliable. Let’s hope that the Resistance 2 servers are rock solid when that game launches.