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
Condemned: Criminal Origins
Splinter Cell: Double Agent
Dark RPG (working title)
Black Blade (working title)
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
Need for Speed: Carbon
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
Metal Gear Acid
Need for Speed Underground: Rivals
NFL Street 2 Unleashed
Tiger Woods PGA Tour
Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Remix
Twisted Metal: Head-On
Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade
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!