Hoping For 2009

Written by Azariah chrisrahosiris-48

2008 was slated to be the year of the PS3. There were several highly anticipated titles on the horizon and developers were finally beginning to throw some weight behind our cherished console. These lofty expectations led some to believe that the PS3 would easily surpass its main competitor, the 360. Now that 2008 is the past and we saw how that price cut was able to salvage and spur 360 sales, we are now looking to see what the PS3 will do going forward. The media is portraying Sony’s latest console as an absolute failure. I find that hard to agree with considering that there are 2 other less expensive consoles on the market and the PS3 has still managed to sell more than 17 million consoles. 2009 very well could be judgment day in the minds of the masses, but here are some hopes for the upcoming year.

First and foremost, Sony delivers titles all year long. One of the greatest issues with last year was the fact that so many big name titles were released at the same time. LBP, Motorstorm 2, and Resistance 2 were all released around the same time. Everyone knows that we are in a recession and as much as I would love to say that I purchased all three of the titles, I was only able to afford 2. If these titles had been spread out a bit, I definitely would have purchased all 3 easily. MGS 4 was purchased with glee when it was released in June. That window of time left it with no competitors and my wallet was burning for a video game purchase. MGS 4 was right on time. This year, Killzone 2 will be Sony’s first title of the year. A February release leaves it with little competition from other Sony first party titles. That is a good thing. There are no reasons not to purchase Killzone 2 if you enjoy a good FPS and some high quality developing. Now for the other titles that are coming. White Knight Chronicles needs to be placed in a window that will allow it to shine as well. Not to mention Heavy Rain, MAG, InFamous and the like. Titles like Ratchet and Clank and Uncharted 2 are likely to appear this Fall. That is fine; we all know what these titles will do.

Second, continue to strengthen Home. PS3 owners patiently waited for the arrival of Home. It seemed as if the wait was so long that many forgot when it was first truly announced. Now that it is on the scene, some love it and others hate it. That is fine. I tend to enjoy Home when I get a chance to spend some time out and about. There has been the announcement of the EA Sports Complex and the Café, both of those are nice additions. However, we need game launching, more game areas, and the ability to customize Home more. PS, allowing the clubhouse to remain decorated would be a great step. Hopefully there will be more stuff coming to Home in time for me to march about in my new ISA gear. Yes, I did do the Amazon pre-order just for the Home add-ons.

Third, push the mandate to include all PS3 features in every title. Trophies are now the norm on a new release. I cannot tell you how happy I am about that, though I may not be able to spend as much time trophy whoring as I like. Other features such as custom soundtracks have not hit the mainstream as of yet. I personally do not care much about it, but it seems that a great number of individuals do. If your fan base wants it, Sony, you must deliver. We do not know the full details of what the newly revised deliverables contracts with developers and publishers includes, but I certainly hope that this, in-game screenshots, and youtube uploading is somewhere on there. Hopefully the contract at least includes the requirement to have 2 out of 3. That would bring a smile to the faces of PS3 owners.

Fourth, the online experience needs some minor tweaking. It is about time we got new avatars. Not just a few, we need a ton. I do love my Blast Factor avatar, but I would prefer a Sackboy. Better yet, why can’t we use our Home avatar as our avatar. Nice idea, no? In-game chatting is a big deal with people as well. I tend to talk on my cell phone while gaming, but some free chatting would not upset me the least bit. Some better clan implementations, expansion of profiles, and the like will all be appreciated as well. To be honest, the online experience is not that lacking, those are just sore points with a lot of people.

Fifth, backwards compatibility needs to return in some form. There were rumors of PS2 titles eventually being available on the store. I am all for that. As an owner of the original 60GB console, I am able to play PS2 titles whenever I would like. Every PS3 owner should be able to do the same thing. Persona 4, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy XII, and the God of Wars are dying to be played. Sadly, those that are new to the PS3 community are unable to play them without a PS2. Hopefully, Sony is able to work out some emulation or PS Store fix for this.

Sixth, a price drop is necessary. Please drop the price by the winter months. That is all.

Seventh, have some major announcements this year. E3 last year was not a disappointment, but people wanted some more earth shaking announcements. This year, people will definitely want to see how you react in light of the huge corporate loss. Acquisitions of studios, announcements of titles, and the addition new features are a must. A PSP2 with phone capabilities will also make me very happy. Time will tell.

That is about it for now. Here is hoping that Sony hears me. Do you agree with my hopes? What are your hopes for Sony this upcoming year?