What's with all this self-affirmation of the PS3 lately? As if the Warner decision and subsequent January NPD sales results weren't enough. There are still no standalones as good as the PS3 in the realm of processing power and being futureproof.
It's someone else's turn to have the console limelight now. As much as I hate Sony now, I shudder to think how I will react if Sony's domination and viral marketing causes MS to discontinue the 360 prematurely.
Kill off first gaming hardware competitor (Sega), check.
Kill off a perfectly valid and capable optical format (HD DVD), check.
Kill of gaming hardware competitor #2 (MS)? ....
Well, a lot of people really bought into the anti-Sony/PS3 propaganda, including myself initially. The initial high price of the PS3 and the lack of big name exclusive games right off the bat gave rabid Sony haters plenty of material to get their hate-on. But now that the price has come down, and more and more features are being added to existing and new PS3 models (and unfortunately, backward compatability taken away), people are starting to see the PS3 for what it is, and furthermore, how much potential it still has (i.e. room to grow). This is simply a different strategy, Sony from day 1 intended the PS3 to last 2 generations from Microsoft, and possibly even 3 from Nintendo (at LEAST 2). It's the difference between cutting edge next gen technology, and pushing current technology to it's limits to get great results. One gives you huge amounts of room to grow, and the other has you starting off amazing, but requires you to retire the unit much sooner. There are pro's and con's to both of course, I wouldn't say that one strategy is neccissarily better then the other. Although I will say that the XBox 360 red ring of death fiasco certainly killed the XBox 360's chances of being profitable for MS in any real way, compared to expectations.
So why all the affirmation of the PS3? It's a great system, that is JUST coming into its' groove.
Will the PS3 kill the XBox 360? Probably not no, although it will force MS to put more thought and planning into their future system. Releasing the XBox 360 ahead of the Wii and PS3 meant that they completely missed out on the new big thing in gaming, which is motion sensativity. This mistake will NOT be repeated, that I'm sure of! Also, I have no doubt that the next MS console will use a new media type with higher capacity, or everything will be HDD based (downloads or installs required). More and more game developers are running into problems with space constraints when trying to make a proper high definition game that isn't really short.
Although I for one will never own a MS game system, I am happy that the system exists to fill the #2 or #3 position in the game system wars. It keeps Nintendo and Sony on their toes, and really brings out the best in them. If Sony and Nintendo were left alone, I think they would become a little too complacent. MS has a LOT of money to throw at projects like this, and it makes both Nintendo and Sony compete with their brains a lot more. This is particularily important with Sony, who is not exactly prone to intelligent thought (yeah, I said it).
As for Sony killing off the DreamCast, I won't argue that. And I'll agree it sucks. Regarding Sony killing off HD DVD, I will say that Sony was just one part of the entire industry which came together under a single format to kill HD DVD. I also disagree about HD DVD being a viable format... but then again, I'm picky, and care about things like the lifespan of the media I work with, as well as the technical details. I'm also not afraid of buying products supported by Sony, even if they're a crappy company. Heck, I even own a copy of WinXP, and I hate MS much more then I dislike Sony.
Really, in the end, Brand bias and brand fanboyism, only serves to limit your options and hurt you in the long run. No company is perfect, and no company is actually run by the devil himself to specifically hunt you down and torture you.
Punch Cards -> Paper Tape -> Tape Drive -> 8" Floppy Diskette -> 5 1/4" Floppy Diskette -> 3 1/2" "Flippy" Diskette -> CD-R -> DVD±R -> BD-R
The Progression of Computer Media