Retrospective: Sony in 2010

The PlayStation 3 made a resurgence this year, revoking claims that the console is forever destined to sit in third place. The system has finally come down in price, rivalling Nintendo and Microsoft with competitive bundles and hardware features. As more homes embrace high definition TV sets, many consumers are starting to see the benefits of a competitive Blu-ray player and free online gaming service.

The PlayStation Move had over 30 titles at launch, driving home the point that Sony is taking motion control very, very seriously. It’s a shame that it was dwarfed by the impact of Kinect, as the controller supports longer and more comfortable gaming sessions in my opinion. Sony say that they’re treating it as a ‘soft launch’, which seems completely unnecessary when they’ve already invested so heavily in both the hardware and software. Why would you not go for broke and invest heavily in the marketing too?

The PlayStation 3 has a powerful position on two fronts; as a HD upgrade to the Nintendo Wii and a powerful competitor to the ‘hardcore’ scene on the Xbox 360. If it can prove its superiority in either or these fields in 2011, we could see a serious clawback toward the end of this generation.

The integration of Move into existing titles such as Heavy Rain and The Sly Collection has shown promise for the ‘hardcore’ market, but it’ll be really interesting to see if players choose to use it in future titles such as Killzone 3 or Little Big Planet 2. Move didn’t have a huge amount of marketing in the United Kingdom, but it’s selling at a healthy pace and is likely to pick up over the Christmas period.

Sony has drawn almost all of its attention away from the PSP, presumably focussing on the handheld successor that was rumoured at this year’s Tokyo Game Show. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, God of War: Ghost of Sparta and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep were all respectable titles, but had very little hype  and suffered from average sales. The PSP has really struggled to keep up with the success of the Nintendo DS and perhaps Sony has decided to just cut its losses. Launching a PSP2 (if it comes out in 2011) will be incredibly difficult alongside the Nintendo 3DS and the growth of gaming on the iPhone and iPad.

Sony is relying on the reputation of Gran Turismo 5 to spearhead the holiday season, presumably content with just picking up multi format sales on Call Of Duty: Black Ops and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. Throughout 2011, I think they’ll try and encourage more third party support for Move  and cut the price of the PlayStation 3 in order to start truly competing with the other home consoles. Infamous 2, Little Big Planet 2 and The Last Guardian are my most highly anticipated titles next year.

Final Grade: B+

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