Today marks the oft-delayed launch of Sony's Playstation 3, the next iteration of their market-dominating game console. The question, however, is why anyone should care. All of the parties involved in our nation's latest "Tickle Me Elmo" craze are bonkers.
Gamers, you are insane. You are spending $600 on a machine that comes with no games, has serious problems playing your old games from your Playstation 1 and 2, and has almost no titles available. Blu-ray isn't popular enough to replace DVDs, and you aren't going to use that "supercomputer in a box" for anything more than amusing yourself with realistically rendered breasts in Dead or Alive: Tit-ilation. There's no headliner franchise like Halo or Zelda to make this a must-have toy. Some of you are even nuts enough to ignore all of this and fork out up to $2200 on eBay to get your filthy paws on one. In a year or two when it's collecting dust next to your Dreamcast, I'll be handing out a few helpings of "told you so."
Sony, you are insane. You're losing $300 per unit that you sell, you can't keep up with demand (though considering your loss per unit, that's probably in your best interests), and you don't have any compelling games at launch to convince people to buy this dud. Without those games, how exactly do you plan to make up that loss on the consoles other than Enronomics? Did it occur to you that people might want to play their old Final Fantasy games and, given their popularity, those should have been at the top of the "test for compatibility" list? I know you guys have been hurting from the launch delays and the exploding battery fiasco, but this isn't any way to make investors happy. When you're taken out to the woodshed during your future bankruptcy filing, don't expect any sympathy from this end.
What's the deal? How is it we have become so nuts about entertainment and gadgetry that we're willing to drop this kind of money on shiny objects? I know games are fun and toys are cool (I used to be a gamer and still am a geek), but I don't have the time or money to devote to snapping up the latest Treo or unlocking all of the hidden characters in Super Smash Bros. Melee. I want a Treo because I'd like to have my contacts and calendar sync'd with my PC and not have to carry two devices, but I balk at the $500+ price tags. I'd rather be playing older games that were designed to be fun rather than a newer one because it's so pretty. Maybe I'm just getting old and practical, but I think we're taking a lot of cool technology and wasting it building useless junk.