They can no longer claim the PlayStation 3 "has no games." They can no longer question whether or not Blu-Ray will become the accepted high-definition medium. They can no longer say that the PlayStation Network "has a long way to go." But no matter how many hurdles the PS3 clears, the media always wants to place more in its path.
This isn't a promotional push for the PS3; this is merely a counter to the extraordinarily negative backlash regarding Sony's latest move: according to the MTV Multiplayer blog, Sony will now be charging publishers a bandwidth fee when PSN users download content. This "PlayStation Network Bandwidth Fee" will cost publishers 16 cents per gigabyte of content downloaded and although this does apply to free and paid content, publishers are only charged for the free stuff for the first 60 days of Network availability. Many game journalists have leaped all over this, as if a starving child had finally found another anti-Sony tidbit to snack on. They were running out of ammunition, but now they've found another bullet.
A popular article out there is this one at SF Video Game Examiner, and it essentially labels this new development as a crucial blow, and Sony fans should be "livid." It says "you'll be sorry you don't own an Xbox 360," and that it's a "no-win situation for publishers." The argument is that 1 million downloads of a 1GB demo will cost a publisher $160,000, and one source has already said- "It definitely makes us think about how we view the distribution of content related to our games when it is free for us to do it on the web, on Xbox Live, or any other way including broadcast than on Sonys platform." The final conclusion basically tells consumers to avoid the PS3 for this very reason. We don't know about you, but this is an absurd sentiment.
There isn't a single solitary gamer on Mother Earth who would count this as a catalyst one way or the other when considering a console purchase. The Network remains free. 1 million downloads of a 1GB demo? …when the hell is that going to happen? How often has it happened? Arguing that there are 20 million+ PSN accounts allows you to say that 1 million might be believable, but the previous number was between 17 and 18 million, and Sony has freely admitted that includes PlayStation accounts made on the PSP and PC, and it likely includes multiple accounts as well. Taking this into account, and the fact that a grand total of maybe two or three demos per year would reach the aforementioned 1 million plateau, and I seriously doubt smaller publishers will even care. Most content isn't 1GB in size, anyway! Are we really going to say to someone, "oh, you shouldn't buy the PS3 because such-and-such publisher might not put such-and-such demo up on the PSN?" You've got to be kidding me.
Here's the bottom line- the Network is still free . The vast majority of gamers go online to play games. All they know is that it's free on the Network and it isn't free on Live. Nobody lists demos as a major priority when selecting a console to buy, and if you evaluate the numbers correctly , this fee won't smash publishers as hard as some people would like to claim. My favorite part of the article is where it says that "Sony has, in one fell swoop, effectively guaranteed that you'll be making your demos, trailers, and hefty add-on content exclusive to Xbox Live." I also suppose that every last consumer on earth is choosing between the PS3 and 360…not a one already has the 360 at home and is merely considering a PS3 purchase. Oh wait…in our estimation and from what we've seen, there are a whole lot more members of the latter group. How exactly does this stop them – or really, anyone – from buying a PS3? Man, why not just stand outside Sony HQ with picket signs saying-"
"We don't know what you're going to do next concerning the PS3, but we're sure it's bad and we won't stand for it any longer!"