John Walker's Electronic House

PS3 Woe

by on Mar.21, 2007, under The Rest

I’ve never understood the idiocy over console wars. It appears to be based upon telling everyone how the one you own is best, presumably because you spent £400 on it and you don’t want to think about people having fun that you can’t. So I’ve no agenda in favour of Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo, and I think to do so makes you a wretched moron, most especially if you’re a games journalist.

But that shouldn’t stop anyone from sniggering at/feeling sorry for Sony this week.

The PS3 launch has become something of a disaster. Ideally what you want is to drive customers to pre-order, threatened with shop stocks selling out on day one. The Wii did this perfectly, with millions of units flying out around the world, Nintendo genuinely restocking as quickly as they could in order to cash in on Christmas. When I was in Washington last month, there were still queues forming outside a mall’s EB before its 10am opening, the manager warning people at the back of the line that they’d likely go home empty-handed.

When the PS3 is out, and the price drops to something vaguely affordable (currently around £450 without £50 games), and there’s a decent range of titles, it will obviously be a great piece of kit. Just like the 360 was pretty useless for a year, but is now a fantastic thing to have.

Meanwhile, UK Resistance – the “swear until funny” Sega loving site – seems to have suddenly blossomed in the face of the British desperation to shift units, chronicling shops’ attempts to sell pre-orders. And these have become really bizarre. This especially stands out, as GAME in the Bluewater Hoodie Centre seem to be telling their customers not to buy a product of which they are selling plenty, denouncing the 360 in the face of the PS3. The Oxford Street GAME, after cancelling its midnight opening, is now to offer bacon sandwiches to customers who appear for their early morning Friday opening.

But little is as funny as this:

Stand back, nothing to see here.

The Virgin Megastore’s special two day early opening for queuers, waiting in line until midnight Thursday to secure a unit. All one of her. Perhaps, just perhaps, screwing over Europe with the PS3 launch wasn’t the best plan ever.

11 Comments for this entry

  • James Lyon

    Nice. Except the positive of Sony and the negative of UK:R et al are pulling so tightly in opposite directions, to not see it snap would be a major disappointment. Before this anti-hype I wouldn’t have cared if it had just sold moderately well at a high price. Now, there’s something shamefully expectant in wanting the PS3 to fail completely.

    Ah, well. They only brought in to on themselves.

  • Tim R

    Sorry, has it come out yet? I really wouldn’t know. I also can’t help but feel that with Sony’s battle cry being all about power and graphics it’s almost a turnoff for the many of us who don’t have 40″ 1080p tellys, and who probably don’t want them. What’s the point of buying a console that’s all about graphics if the others are achieving the maximum your television does?

  • Rachel

    I’ve never owned a console and I always sit back and laugh when the hype hits. I’m all the more amused that if finally backfired.

  • Tedi Worrier

    Many years ago (about ’87) the editor of ERT backed my prediction of return of the dedicated games machine when I wrote for the magazine. “They” said the time of the Amiga was on us and the home-“Console” would never take off. Meanwhile, the PC would never be a games machine with its 8086 being outperformed by the Atari ST in emulator mode.

    AS for saying that a time would come when everyone would have a PC on his/her desk …. well, we must have taken leave of our senses.

    …but in those days the discovery that a game had gone to market with serious bugs (or game-features, as they were known) would result in pumping up the advertising budget rather than remedial programming.

    Sometimes it is so nice to not be involved anymore … sometimes I’d love to get my teeth into some of these so-called phighting phanatisies

  • antichaos

    Gotta love the fact that amazon and play, and probably many others all have units in stock. Still can’t get a Wii in less than 2 weeks though. :)

  • Frosty840

    I was genuinely surprised to find out that the stupid-looking, horrid, overpriced brick had come out.
    Got to agree with TimR. While my *monitor* would deal with the PS3’s graphics just fine, I don’t actually own a TV that will display the games properly.

    So, sod ’em.

  • Kieron Gillen

    I was out on Thursday night, drunk. At about 11:30 I passed a queue outside Gamestation in Bath. My friends and I eventually realised they were waiting for the PS3 midnight opening or something.

    We, inevitably, heckled. “Motorstorm is shit!”, “You’ve got rubbish backwards compatibility”, etc.

    Never said they were good heckles.


  • Tedi Worrier

    “Informed Heckling”, huh?

    …this is subversive stuff

  • The_B

    Pfft, next generation I’m just going to go armed with a game of naughts and crosses on my notepad….

  • Tedi Worrier

    don’t forget your pencil