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Daily Reaction: Look on the Bright Side of Sony

September 26, 2012 Written by Dan Oravasaari

With all of the recent questionable moves made by Sony, Daily Reaction decides to take today to remind it’s audience of just a few of the things that Sony has done right in recent memory. Having taken Sony apart over the last few articles, Sebastian Moss and Dan Oravasaari go back and forth highlighting some of smartest decisions by Sony – to show that, while the console giant has had a few missteps, it is far from out of the race to top the next-gen.

STYLE

Dan: While this is something that is more of in the eyes of the beholder – Sony in my opinion has always been able to capture a level of sleek design that not only makes its consoles look like an expensive console, they have found a way to make it match your home entertainment centers. The PS3, the PS3 Slim (sadly this doesn’t include the newest Ultra-Slim), and the Vita, are all systems that look much cleaner and elegant than anything the competition has brought out.

Seb: Despite what the angry hate mail in my inbox says, I do love Sony – and that’s one of the reasons I complain about them so much. Would you chastise your neighbor’s child for failing school? No, of course not, because you don’t care. But your own child? Sure, you love them and want them to improve for their own good.

But style is really somewhere where they usually don’t need much advice. The Vita looks incredible, I don’t have a single electronics device that looks as good. I miss my PS3 fatty as well, sure it was bigger than Danny DeVito, but that was part of its charm.

GAMES

Dan: This generation we have seen a great deal of sequels being released by every major publisher, up to the point where it has become almost comical. Luckily, Sony while not immune to utilizing franchises, have actually been the frontrunner in pushing some of the most unique experiences I have ever played in any generation. With titles that range from the best argument that games can be art (Journey) to some that barely look like games (Linger in Shadows), I can honestly say Sony cannot be beaten when it comes to exclusives.

While Sony’s competitors might have bigger titles like Halo, Gears of War, or Mario, I feel that those companies rely on riding specific titles to the bank instead of creating new experiences. Not that they do not offer other exclusive titles, but they seem to focus more on revamping experiences instead of creating new and unique ones.

Seb: Yeah, I think if the worst does ever happen and PlayStation goes under, people will look back at this gen and think “why didn’t more people support SCE titles?” We’ve talked before about their hunt for a Halo killer, but they didn’t just go all out with shooters and action titles. We’ve had incredibly unique and interesting experiences that no other publisher would have risked funding. Take Beyond: Two Souls, for example – I don’t think enough people realize the kind of investment a title like that takes – we’re talking millions of dollars, years of development, hundreds of developers, actors, bug tester, localizers, marketers, retailers and more, all to bring out a title in a very risky and untried genre, on only one console. That’s incredible.

And then, right at the other end of the spectrum, you have their $20million+ pub fund scheme for indies, as well as more hands-on publishing schemes like with thatgamecompany and Giant Sparrow. But it’s not all about artiness, or pushing the boundaries of the medium, they still find time to bring out God of War, Gran Turismo and the open world inFamous. Despite a few recent closures, they still have the biggest publishing arm of any of the platform holders, and I really hope it stays that way.

EVERYTHING ELSE

Dan: The one thing that has always set Sony apart from their competitors has been their ability to take risks that either pay out extremely well, or cause them to lose millions. This tactic, while not great for investors, has given us gamers some of the most interesting few years of industry news. Sadly, most of the news that makes it to the top are things that highlight the negativity surrounding Sony’s financials or ability to miss calculate their market. Yet, these acts of obscure motivation are just the way Sony has been, and has been the cause for some of my favorite things about the PlayStation franchise as a whole.

The PS3, while not really the first to do most of the things on this list, it is the one that has done it beyond most of the competition. Having an online infrastructure on the PS3, while many state not as good as the one on the 360, is actually very good – especially for a free service. Having had issues playing online with both consoles, the argument of “you get what you pay for” is ignorance or cognitive dissonance at its best. Sony offers a fairly hassle free way to play online with your friends, with little barriers of entry, no hoops to stop people without accounts from joining in (suck it Gears).

One of the most overlooked things on the PS3 really has been it’s functionality as a media hub for your television. Prior to the smart TV push as of recent, Sony allowed numerous types of files to be played direction on your TV without the need to hook up a computer. I have been using the PS3 as my central hub with an external HDD, a NAS drive, and even use its browser to stream videos online. The functionality it has had since it was released has just been incredible, and incredibly simple. The biggest issue is that most people cannot get past the idea that this generation of game consoles, aren’t just that anymore – they are media hubs, and Sony has done that better than anyone.

Seb: Yeah, in a way I love how bad Sony is at business. They should never have invested so much into the PS3… but then it wouldn’t have been so awesome. They should make less games, and spend the money on advertising… but then we’d never had so many incredible titles. They should never have released the Move… but then… ok, they should never have released the Move.

Also, PlayStation Plus deserves a shout out. If you are a power PlayStation user, then it’s an incredible value proposition. I’ve saved a ton of money by using it and, crucially, have played new games I never would have before because of it.

Sony has a made a profound impact on the games industry, significantly for the better. Here’s hoping they can make the most of the next gen, the most of the cloud and the most of PlayStation Mobile, so that we can ‘Never Stop Playing’.

So now that we our Sony checks have cleared, and we have said what our favorite parts of being a Sony fanboy are, let us know in the comments below what have been your favorite parts of being a PS3 owner this generation. Do you play your PS3 over your 360? Why or why not? Has Sony earned your trust to pick up the PS4 when the time comes? Well even if you do not feel like commenting here, you can mail your checks to Seb and Dan, and we will praise you in our next Daily Reaction.