Monday, June 18, 2007

Buyer's remorse and the Sony PS3

I'm a video game junkie. For the most part, I think video game systems are really good investments. Because my favorite genre is RPGs, and good RPGs are notoriously long, all I need is one or two great games to essentially justify the purchase of the system. For me, the comparison point for entertainment value is pulp fiction. I can go on Amazon and buy a paperback pulp fiction book for about $10. For example, I'm a big fan of Charlaine Harris, and I can pop over to Amazon and buy "Dead Until Dark" for $7.99 plus shipping. It probably takes me 5 hours to read a typical Harris book, so I'm paying about $2 an hour for the entertainment of book. This is roughly the same price I pay to watch a Netflix movie (Netflix should actually be cheaper, but I can never remember to return the damn movies after I watch them). Without concessions, going to the movies in the theater is a bit more expensive -- more like $4 an hour, but still fairly reasonable.

On the other hand, a video game system seems really expensive - we paid about $400 for our XBox360, and it didn't even include a game (or a second controller... grrr). If you include a game and a controller, the XBox360 was $500. Pricy, right? But let me pick one example from the XBox360 -- Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. This is one of my favorite games of all time. I am confident that I have played it for at least 200 hours. That means that if the only game I ever play on the XBox360 is Oblivion, I paid about $2.50 an hour for the entertainment value of the system. And considering that I've played many other games already on the 360 and that Fable 2 is supposed to come out this Christmas (the sequel to my favorite game ever), it's safe to say that eventually the entertainment value of the 360 will be pennies on the dollar.

We bought the Sony PS3 at Christmas for $600 and I have yet to play a game on it. Not one. Admittedly, one of the main reasons we bought it was the Blu-Ray support (high definition DVD), and we use that occasionally, but so far there just aren't any games I'm interested in playing.

And yet I STILL did not have buyer's remorse... until last night. I had a Blu-Ray movie I wanted to watch. I fired up the PS3 and it told me there was a required System Update that I needed to install. It had told me this a couple times and I ignored it, but I decided to bite the bullet last night and just install the thing before watching my movie.

An HOUR AND A HALF later the update was still not installed, there was no progress report (the PS3 would just periodically try to reboot itself to let me know it was still doing something), I was afraid to hard-reboot it (which is not a great idea during system updates) and I gave up and went to bed. This morning I checked on it and it told me... get ready for it... that it was now ready to install the update. That's right. During the hour and a half that it was doing whatever last night, it wasn't actually installing the update... it was just getting ready to install it. And it wasn't downloading it either, because it did that first (with a progress indicator, thank goodness, though it was a fake progress indicator) and we have broadband.

I wanted to throw the thing out the window.

What is Sony thinking?

1 comment:

Ross said...

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