The PlayStation brand is respected and revered by millions of gamers worldwide. But how do those followers feel about the PS3 era?
Ask lifelong PlayStation fans- "What's your favorite PlayStation console?" I'm willing to bet that most people will say the PS2, and a fair amount will say the original PS1. As the PS3's days come to an end, it's perhaps surprising that very few PlayStation followers would name the most recent console as tops on the list.
There are arguments to be made for the system. It overtook the Xbox 360 in worldwide sales, ultimately selling more around the globe in a year's less time (remember, the 360 launched one year ahead of the PS3). The PS3 helped Blu-Ray win the format war, as some analysts said at the start that Sony was using the PS3 as a "Trojan Horse" of sorts, in order to bring Blu-Ray into many homes. The PlayStation Network grew exponentially from its infancy stages ta the end of the PS2 era. The reliability got better with time, as typically happens with PlayStation consoles. And of course, the exclusive software was absolutely unparalleled in terms of progressive, cutting-edge tech and gameplay.
And yet, many fans have reservations about naming the PS3 the "best PlayStation console ever." Maybe it's not due to the PS3's failings (despite a horrific launch), but more due to the lofty greatness of the first two consoles. The original PlayStation broke into an industry that had been dominated by Nintendo and Sega for nearly a decade. The PS1 not only survived, it flourished, and it delivered a huge amount of variety that we didn't necessarily see on other platforms. 3D gaming went berserk and PlayStation was at the forefront of that evolution. And of course, RPG fans remember the glory days of the JRPG very well; the PS1 is widely regarded as the best console in history for that genre.
The PS2 is iconic. The best-selling video game machine of all time, and total domination on all fronts. That's the last time you'll see such a lopsided hardware victory, by the way; the PS2 not only outsold the combined efforts of the Xbox and GameCube, it outsold them several times over. It was the game system just about every gamer had. It was the console that further broadened the industry with more variety than ever, and there were just tons of games. The fact that it was also a DVD player during that format's heyday only added to the appeal. Lastly, it's arguably the first console that officially turned video games into mainstream entertainment.
Those are two very difficult acts to live up to. So, maybe it's just not the PS3's fault and it shouldn't be seen as a "lesser" console or one that has tarnished PlayStation's image. Maybe it has indeed improved that image, provided we look at it with the proper perspective.