Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Foresight: 3rd generation game consoles

I went to a party arranged by Playstation to check out PS3 presentation on 28th October in Helsinki. The first PS3 console had arrived to Finland and Mr. Thomas Puha (editor of Finnish Pelaaja mag.) was invited to present PS3 titles Motostorm and Resistence. [[A bit late, you might think... Isn't blogging supposed to be super fast media, telling the news before anyone else? Oh well. I had my birthday, one of my friend adopted a boy and just brought him back to Finland, Halloween happened and all that have totally consumed my spare time :) Plus ex-ski jumper, ex-stripper and a singer Matti Nykänen's performance at the PS party left me out of words.]] Anyhow I was surprised how uninnovative and lame the PS3 games were. Besides the demos, we watched six minutes of PS3 trailers and IMHO Motostorm was the only one that caught my eye.

Thus Yankee Group's estimate that Sony would lead in next-gen market share by 44% in 2011, (with Xbox 360 taking a close 40% share, followed by Wii with a wee little bitty 16% share) at least raises some questions. It is true that PS2 have a solid lead but how much content actually matters? Why to buy a 3rd gen. console if there are no must-have titles? I am a fan of PS but I really admire Nintendo's boldness (e.g. NDS Electroplankton, Nintendo Wii) and am interested in novel ways of interacting with the games. Maybe Wii's tennis will finally displace Sega Dreamcast Virtual Tennis from the 1st position of 'the best tennis game'?

Discussions concerning PS3 vs. Wii vs. XBox360 can be found from the net, e.g. MercuryNews. PS3 and Wii both have qualities of expanding the users by supporting 'party gaming'. Digital gaming is partly developing towards social activity and spectator sport. That is an outstanding development even compared to the point of time Playstation was relased in 1995. Back then Sony's marketing strategy was a clever one (selling PS as a trendy and socially acceptable piece of consumer electronics instead of a computer) and now it seems that consumers are accepting PS as a home entertainment/media center.

For the last few days I have played EyeToy Lemmings and I am quite excited. I like previous EyeToy games but Lemmings is really bringing something new to the EyeToy gaming experience. I have some technical problems though. EyeToy games work well on my living room except Lemmings. Lemming is often interpreting dark shadow at the background as a part of the player (=me) which makes it practically impossible to play as Lemmings cannot go through the 'wall' (the shadow that is). I quess that's a question of lightning or background colours. Lemmings has nothing to do with 3rd gen. consoles but I sincerely hope that game developers and publishers have not totally abandon innovations when avoiding risks.

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