To my European friends, I say, "Welcome to the next generation of gaming." With the PS3 on store shelves, all three of the consoles are now available for purchase.
For all of my international compatriots grappling with the loss of the emotion engine, let's remember the PS3 successfully shipped worldwide. The loss of exclusive titles has put many a devotee and industry observer on the edge of their collective seat. Some are even speculating about exclusivity losses being the straw to break Sony's back. They should instead worry about defaulting sub-prime loans placing them on the street.
The idea that Sony would ever get out of the console market is proposterous, for lack of a kinder word. Microsoft may be able to beat their competitors at their own game, but they'll never drive them from the market. Sony is not Sega. Similarly, Sony has never left a hardware space they have once supported (I said nothing about the trail of failed media). Lest I be erroneously labeled a fan boy, one could argue that given Sony's persistent financial shortfalls, they might decide to abandon some of their product lines. To this point the games space has been one of the rare segments that has stymied the hemmoraging finances of one of the world's largest entertainment hardware and media providers. Games aren't the only media Sony has within its portfolio. Sony owns many movie studios, publishers, and distribution networks. That diversification shields them from many of the risks inherent in releasing a costly consumer electronics product.
Despite being protected from outside risks, Sony is not invulnerable. Much like the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, failure does not come from outside a company, but from poor management within. Internal strife is not new. Sony suffers from it, along with most of the bloated corporations reaching around the world.
If you guys want to talk numbers and Dollars (or Yen, or Euros, etc) we can do that. Sony needs smart pricing and the power to suitably convey the rationality of that pricing to consumers (such as ourselves). When you maximize your install base, you maximize the publishing benefits to your partners (third-party publishers). The question at the heart of this topic shouldn't be where Capcom's commitment is, but where Sony's commitment is. If third-party publishers go elsewhere, you shouldn't blame those publishers. You should point the finger at Sony, or whichever first-party pact you have entered into.
Sony gave the PS2 a straight shot of the super-soldier syrum to make it the highest definition console on the market. Then they let it loose like a high-end, digital-entertainment Kracken, more likely to appeal to video enthusiasts than the PS2 was able to do. The DVD playback within the PS2 was a movie player for game players. Sony isn't looking to merely capitalize on core game players, but on fundamentally devoted videophiles! The PS3 is a game player for the most demanding content consumer. The pricing was genius. Sony sent signals to two important groups:
1. The competition
2. The high-end enthusiast
Had Sony priced the PS3 lower than they did, Microsoft may have felt threatened by an encroaching enemy and started a price war Sony never would have won. They signaled a long way back this device would be expensive. Sure they dropped a few features, but they still delivered on the pricing and positioning. Back in the 80s Sony was known for premium products at the zenith of quality. Against the PS2, nobody can doubt the PS3 is a premium product capable of feats that would make Dionysus drop his wine.
The blu-ray technology only offers fringe benefits to game players, developers, and retailers. This lack of single-minded technical support is what delivers the resonance to the video gurus. Now that the government legislation has provided increasingly plentiful HD content, hardware sales can gather momentum. Those hardware sales become more powerful by the day primarily because Sony pushes with the momentum of its own portfolio.
Sony sells more displays, more movies, more television programming with every PS3 in place. So why is everybody getting all surprised when the third-party game publishers are hedging their own bets and maximizing their own revenues by selling across multiple platforms? Sony made a smart move vis-a-vis Microsoft in their product and pricing. Why get angry when your favorite publisher does the same thing? Most of them have had to diversify into ancillary interests anyway.