NGR - Sony's Playstation 2: Can It Be Stopped?

All eyes turned to Japan last week for the release of Sony's long awaited and much hyped Playstation 2 console, why do consumers feel that this is the system to own?

-Many developers liken developing for the Playstation 2 to development for Sega's hugely successful Sega Saturn. Multiple processors, and lots of assembly make for a fun and enjoyable development experience.

-Borrowing a page from Nintendo's success with the N64, use launch titles that are primarily high resolution versions of games that players already own. The opportunity to play high resolution Tekken, Gran Turismo, A-Train, or Street Fighter EX is easily worth several hundred dollars.

-Graphics excellence. Tekken Tag Tournament looks nearly as good as Dead or Alive 2 on the Dreamcast. And speaking of Dead or Alive 2, the Playstation 2 version has better looking sheen on the leather pants of the character Bass. Again, easily worth several hundred dollars.

-Finally a 'set-top' box. Sony's promotion of the PSX2 as an all around system for playing DVD's and other more family oriented entertainment virtually guarantees success on the level of the last two systems that were marketed in this fashion, the 3DO and the CD-I.

-We have all heard about Playstation 2's killer processor, and everybody knows that when two consoles go toe to toe, the one with the faster processor wins. (except in the cases of the Atari 2600 vs. the Intellevision, the Atari 2600 vs. the Colecovision, the Sega Master System vs. the NES, the Genesis vs. the SNES, and the Playstation vs. the N64)

-The rush to development. By prematurely announcing the PSX2 before even having a factory capable of producing the main processors of the system, accompanied by showing graphics demos running on a series of computers approximately the size of a refridgerator, Sony showed they had everything planned out in advance. Then by not shipping development kits until less than a year before the system's launch they sent a solid message to developers: "Don't dilly dally!"

-Lastly, the Playstation 2 faces little competition. Certainly the first round of Playstation 2 games look worse than most Dreamcast games, but just consider by the time the second generation of PSX2 titles gets released the more powerful X-Box and Dolphin systems will be out. Certainly these new systems are more powerful and are easier to develop for, but since the Playstation 2 says 'Playstation' on it, it is guaranteed victory.