Variety's Ben Fritz ponders why Sony's PS3 hasn't been able to become more of a mainstream success. Obviously, price comes into play, but he offers another option: it may be "too artsy
for its own good."
What does that mean? Fritz looks at a few examples. He looks at LittleBigPlanet
, arguably Sony's biggest game of 2008. While it has been successful, it hasn't become the runaway hit that many have hoped. It seems that the game appeals largely to game critics and those that like "quality, 'artsy' games." Fritz also looks at the PlayStation Network. He notes that Sony is "the only one of the big three console makers that's investing its own money on downloadable 'indie' games." Other platforms have downloadable games, but they feature more ports and more "junk."
The PS3's XMB, he describes is "much cleaner and more Google-esque than Xbox Live, filled as it is with ads and other clutter, or the boring grid on the Wii menu." He also notes that the hardware is "smoother, prettier, quieter -- a superior work of art." However, he concludes that these superior features don't add up to a product that appeals to the mainstream. Unfortunately, that's what Sony needs in order to recreate the success of PS2.