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Game Developer Magazine Essay

From the creation of the first game consoles to today’s entertainment platforms, one company stands out; Sony. Its Playstation series and the games specifically made for it has risen above the rest of its competitors. Sony Corporation is one of the leading entertainment companies in the world and it’s headquarter is located in Tokyo, Japan. It was Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita who founded the company in 1946. It was first called Tokyo Tsuushin Kogyo (TTK) but later had to change it to Sony which was derived from “Sonus”, the Greek goddess of sound to appeal to the american market (Mitsuko, 1986).

In 1988, Sony and Nintendo were in a collaboration to develop a super disc which is going to be a CD ROM attachment. But the two companies separated and the super disc was not placed into production. In 1991, Sony used a variation of the super disc that will be used in their gaming console called the Playstation which started its development in 1990. The prototypes of the first Playstation were designed not only for gaming but for multimedia entertainment. It was still able to read Nintendo’s game cartridges.

But in 1994, Sony released the first production units of the Playstation which lacks the ability to use Nintendo game cartridges and will only play games that are in a CD ROM. This move assured that the first Sony Playstation or what we call now as the Playstation 1 become King of the Hill during that time (Sony Global, 2008). Six years later, Sony released the Playstation 2 which is also a major hit and sold around 90 million units worldwide and also became number one during its time. Then in 2006, Playstation 3 was released.

Continued upgrades are being developed and released to the entertainment platform to keep it up to date. Playstation 3 or PS3 caters to all genres. They have games that specifically target the kids and also produce games that have mature content. Some manufacturers also release exclusives which mean only the PS3 can play these games. Exclusive games include Angel Rings, Genji: Days of the Blade, Tekken 6 and the list goes on. Sony also released a portable gaming device called PSP or the Playstation Portable.

It didn’t sell as much as the PS2 since Nintendo Corp. has a good stand in the handheld gaming arena. When Playstation 3 was released, it wasn’t the only thing the crowd wanted to look at. Some were anticipating the Xbox 360 which is the descendant of the Xbox and both are from Microsoft and the Nintendo Wii. Each of these entertainment systems has their own strength and weaknesses even though they generally target the same audience which is the gaming public.

Microsoft boast better graphics than the other two consoles and Nintendo has a developed a gaming platform where the user can literally interact directly and physically be involved with the game. The only disadvantage is, game titles are not as plentiful in the other two consoles. Hardware wise, PS3 and the Playstation series wins in terms of game duration. I have personal experience on this console and they can really run 24 hours a day. And I mean run properly and do not show signs of overheating.

That’s what the Xbox 360 lacks for now, the ability not to overheat on long hours of gaming. Some users reported the “red ring of death” which signifies hardware failure and often shows up after continuous gaming. This problem has turned down potential buyers of the console. The Xbox strength lies in its graphics. Game developers often comment that they are able to maximize the potential of their games in terms of graphics because the Xbox 360 offers a higher range of graphic compatibility (Fisher, 2006).

Also, the online gaming option of the Xbox was found to be easier to use compared to the PS3. The Wii on the other hand targets gamers who want to interact with the game itself like being able to swing a handheld device when playing virtual tennis or slice your way using a light saber. The society is more health conscious than ever and if more titles will be available for the Wii and games will be created specifically to increase the active lifestyle of the users then more health fanatics will be buying this console. It is always a good idea to combine exercise and play.

Some game titles are often found in multiple platforms but some platforms offer exclusive game titles. This is where the battle heats up. Some consumers buy a different platform just to be able to play a specific game. A good example would be the Halo series. It was dubbed as “The best reason to buy an Xbox” since it is then only exclusive to the Xbox. But I’ve read some news that the Halo series will be migrating to the PC platform. The Nintendo Wii games are really exclusive since the game play of the console is different from the other two.

The PS3 also has lots of title exclusives and they have used this to their advantage and pump up their incomes. Most of us often complain that PS3 is a lot more expensive than the Xbox but the truth is, we are paying a lot less than what we should be paying for. It is part of Sony Corp. strategy to lessen the price of their gaming consoles to boost up the sales of their exclusive game titles. In this way, they can get more income in selling the games than the console itself. But this type of strategy will not work effectively in some regions of Asia.

Software piracy is so rampant that game titles can fetch as low as 1 to 3 US dollars each compared to the originals which cost around 100 US dollars per title. The demand for the console itself did some changes on the landscape of some parts of the world. A special metal is mined and used as an essential part of the Playstation. Since the demand is high, the price will rise up causing the miners to search for that metal more and cause a drastic change in the landscape where it can be found (Barouski, 2008).

In today’s trend, mobility is one of the major priorities, pocket PCs have improved and their size has significantly gone smaller and games on mobile devices have been better. It might take a while before we can see a PS3 caliber game in a handheld device or mobile phone but the trend points in that direction. We do know that Sony has a market share on the smartphone industry and if the idea of gaming will change and will be focused on portability, I hope Sony will be first in line in making software for the mobile gaming public.

We have seen what a PSP can do and if Sony will make it a touch interface then make it smaller and add a PDA phone to its functions then we will see the next generation hand held device. Bibliography: Akio Morita with Edwin M. Rheingold and Mitsuko Shimomura (1986). Made in Japan. Signet Books. Barouski, David (2008) http://www. gamepolitics. com/2008/07/11/report-rare-metal-fueled-african-quotplaystation-warquot Fisher, Mathews (2006). http://editorials. teamxbox. com/xbox/1651/The-Red-Ring-of-Death/p1/ Sony Global (2008). http://www. sony. net/SonyInfo/CorporateInfo/History/index. html


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