Console Post of the WeekFor the first time in months, it was a slow news week for consoles.
Sony announced that they've shipped "all" 60GB PS3s from their warehouses into retail. They also said that they believed the unit would still be available in the U.S. until the end of October. Applying Sony's PR reality distortion engine, that probably translates into stock running out in the U.S. sometime in December. Or later.
There's also a ton of analyst speculation that Sony will cut the price of the 80GB PS3 to $499 as it replaces the 60GB model.
Here's what I don't get about that theory: the 80GB model at $499 isn't going to sell any better than the 60GB model at $499. Seriously, how many consumers will even know that the hard drive is larger, and more to the point, how many people will care? We're supposed to believe that 20GB of additional hard drive capacity is going to be the tipping point for hundreds of thousands of people (or more) to buy the unit?
The PS3 is not competitive at $499. It doesn't matter what miraculous features from the 22nd century Sony adds--they're not competitive at $499. Remember, the one month they got withing 15,000 units of the 360 was both prior to the 360 price cut and during an absolute media blanketing of articles about reliability issues.
Sony also has problems with games. Lair has been released, and by almost unanimous consensus, it's a turd (rating 57% at Metacritic, based on 12 reviews). Here's the opening of the Gamespot review:
You shouldn't play Lair. Not unless you have some morbid interest in experiencing what is quite possibly one of the worst control schemes ever devised.
I'm not cherry-picking that quote--you can find one in almost every Lair review.
Even funnier, there's now a seven-minute video on YouTube that purports to explain that the Lair controls don't suck--we do. Use the controls properly and they work just fine.
That, in a nutshell, is exactly what is wrong with the Sixaxis controller--it's not intuitive. Nobody needs a seven-minute video to explain the Wii controller, because it works the way that people expect it to.
So what is Sony doing to fix all these problems? Why, they're editing the Halo 3 Wikipedia entry to add the phrase "although it won't look any better than Halo 2." Yes, that sounds too stupid to be true, but it certainly appears to be the case, as you can read here.
Companies edit their own Wikipedia pages all the time, often to their discredit (hello, EA). But editing a Wikipedia entry of the competition is quite scummy, really. I'm sure it's not the first time (or the hundredth) that a company has done this, but getting caught adds an entirely new dimension of embarrassment.
Microsoft? BioShock is exclusive to the 360 (for consoles) and may well be Game of the Year. Unless it's Halo 3 or Mass Effect (also exclusives). The 360 is going to have some huge NPD numbers this fall.
Not as huge, though, as Nintendo.