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U.S. PlayStation 3 Launch Looking Murky

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The PlayStation 3 launch is going to be really bad in the U.S., it seems. The news coming out of Japan has not been very heartwarming.

I am going to try my damnedest to get a PS3 at launch. Not really because I want one, but because I will want one down the line. About the only thing that interests me (right now) is Resistance and their downloadable games.

But with the estimated 400,000 units for U.S., Canada, and Mexico for this Friday's launch, it is going to be near impossible to get one. More units were available at the PS2 launch. Does anyone remember how hard it was to get a PS2 at first?

I thought the 360 launch was bad, with the delayed software, and small number of units. But at least Microsoft had second shipments of 360s very soon after launch day. Will we see the same movement of units after Day 1 from Sony?

The list of 360/Microsoft exclusives is getting pretty big. Gears of War could not have shipped at a better time.

Looking at the impending launch of the Nintendo Wii, it has a large number of exclusives as well, partly because of the controller, but also because a lot of developers are just enthused about the prospect of something new — the Wii Remote.

Even EA is getting the shakes, canceling NBA Live 07, even after their huge demo at the Sony presser at E3 this year, which focused on NBA Live 07!

Following is a list of games that have been canned for the PS3, some pretty big names that would/could help the platform.

NBA Live 07
Killing Day
Endless Saga
Condemned: Criminal Origins
Smackdown 07
Splinter Cell: Double Agent

Dark RPG (working title)
Black Blade (working title)
Alan Wake

Note that a lot of those games are going to be on the 360, or are on the 360 right now. So far the biggest 360 game to get the axe is Frame City Killer.

The PS3 also just saw some delays making their launch that much less enticing. Oblivion and Sonic the Hedgehog were pushed back until 2007. The Nights of the Nine expansion for Oblivion will hit both 360 and PC before it is even out for the PS3. So much for that surprise launch RPG, and its exclusive content.

The PS3 launch list looks like this:

Call of Duty 3
Fight Night Round 3
Genji: Days of the Blade
Madden NFL 2007
Marvel Ultimate Alliance
Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire
NBA '07
NBA 2k7
Need for Speed: Carbon

NHL 2k7
Resistance: Fall of Man
Ridge Racer 7
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07
Tony Hawk's Project 8
Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom

So, of the entire list, only five are exclusive: Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom, Ridge Racer 7, Resistance: Fall of Man, Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire, and Genji: Days of the Blade.

In contrast, the 360 had nine console exclusives (some were available on PC) for Day 1 last November. The Nintendo Wii will have eight exclusives on Day 1, discounting the quasi-ports (which some may call exclusive, like Far Cry Vengeance or Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam).

This is a really poor effort from Sony. Nothing in the launch lineup screams "must have." Though to be fair, the 360 didn't have it much better on Day 1.

Sony has lost a number of exclusive games, none bigger than Assassins Creed, which will also be released on the Xbox 360 and PC. There is no doubt that losing the Grand Theft Auto 4 exclusivity will hurt Sony as well.

In my mind, this leaves only three major exclusives for the PS3: Metal Gear Solid 4, Final Fantasy XIII, and Virtua Fighter 5. I believe the day of exclusive games is over, but each system does need its own strong showing of games. That day is far off in the future for the PS3.

Keeping with the same company, however, even the PSP had better software at launch. This is what the PSP had on Day 1:

Ape Escape: On the Loose
Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower
Dynasty Warriors
Gretzky NHL
Metal Gear Acid
Need for Speed Underground: Rivals
NFL Street 2 Unleashed
Ridge Racer
Tiger Woods PGA Tour
Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Remix
Twisted Metal: Head-On
Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade
WipEout Pure
World Tour Soccer

Of those 16, nine were not ports, or ports with content added on to feel "fresh." Not only did the PSP have a great launch lineup, the software out for the PSP in the final four months of 2006 can only be described as "very strong."

Lumines II just came out, you know? Including Lumines II, there are some heavy hitters to have hit, or will hit before January.

It is a good time to be a PSP owner. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the PS3, as the best software is yet to come in 2007, and some is as far off as 2008.

It is going to be very hard to justify that $600 purchase. That is, if you can find a unit at launch. Good luck!

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About Ken Edwards

  • scrub ridge racer off the list! that was out on the 360 at launch too!

  • Al

    yeah seems expensive is it really worth it?
    you can just buy it in two years it might be cheaper but the medal gear solid game looks cool

  • but, but, ridge racer 7 is gonna have new stuff like drafting, and, and, car customization! yea, its gonna be, like, so different!

  • I seriously cannot fathom why people are so excited for this launch. Game wise, it’s a disaster, and the only benefit is the Blu-Ray capabilities. I’ve tried to convince myself I want one, and come away more disappointed each time.

  • Lee

    When you work out the costs the playstation comes with blu ray built in , plus no costs to play games online its not a bad price. The Xbox 360 is £270 in the UK plus another £100 odd for the HDDVD plus £50 per yeat to go online. I still think there will be class games for the playstation 3 and the hardware is way out there.

  • There will always be those who chose the PlayStation product over everything else. But in my case, I don’t care about Blu-ray or HD-DVD. I like the fact that MS is giving me the choice of NOT having to pay for it.

    And mark my words. Xbox Live for $50 a year will trounce any free Internet gaming service Sony has for free. I think Xbox Live is up to its sixth version by now. I will gladly pay for a *unified* gaming system.

    Why Sony has not unified their online strategy makes no sense to me at all.

  • Ty

    “It is going to be very hard to justify that $600 purchase.”

    Not for me. I already have the HD-DVD addon, and now I want a cheap blu-ray player, both which complement my Samsung 1080p TV (Which accepts 1080p over many different inputs) perfectly.

  • Ty

    If demand exceeds supply, how is it a bad thing FROM SONY’S PERSPECTIVE.

    Everyone loves pulling a “Cartmanland” (you know, the South Park Episode where Cartman buys a theme park and advertises that he is the only person allowed in to enjoy it. It created mass interest in his park).

    It worked for 360 (although MS claims it was not intentional), and it’ll work for PS3.

    It would be nice to have great launch titles, but these days it just doesn’t seem to happen. Besides, with the demand for PS3 (in spite of many news stories that might deter it), do they really need a good launch lineup?

  • Lee: The system will have tons of great software down the line. What I’m not grasping is why there’s this mass panic amongst people who can’t get one at launch. There is nothing making that system worthwhile at launch, especially when you look at the lineup for the other consoles this year.

    Ty makes a fine point if BluRay is something you want this year. From a gaming perspective, I’m not seeing it.

  • Yea, I agree with Ty’s point on blu-ray, but I really didn’t want to address that issue. This is mainly due to the fact that I don’t really care about high def movies. Yet.

    Dipping into the BD debate though. I think Sony has yet another chance (like they did with DVD) to push a new technology for cheap, and it will likely work.

  • daniel

    I have a PS3 reserved for launch and have decided to not get it. First off the launch lineup is a disaster and has anyone looked at the releases for the 360 for the next year. There is only one game I can really see for the PS3 and that’s Metal Gear Solid 4, but is one game or two that are exclusive worth a $600 price tag for, you would be out of your mind. Everything that’s worth playing except for a couple of games the 360 will have and of course there’s the Wii. And on the HD DVD BLU Ray battle, you need to check out what movie houses are signed on to do HD DVD, some really big names, Lord of the rings or Star Wars ring a bell, The only thing that Blue Ray will have over HD are Sony production and I can only watch Spiderman so many times and beside you can just upscale a regular DVD and have a great picture.

  • I really don’t think its worth it, unless your a diehard dvd movie kinda person. The graphics and features are almost the same. For what, 200 dollars more? I think its a rip