IGN. Aren't they great?
September 21, 2007

IGN. Home of the dumb. Did you know that before the PS3 hit, they compiled a top ten list of why you should ignore the Xbox 360 and buy -- with money -- a PS3 instead? Sadly, I did and I even had the time to revisit it to see how many nails they hit on the head.

Spoilers: There's 3 flat-out lies, several mammoth exaggerations, one only-slightly disputable claim based around a game not many people care about anymore and more hyperbole than you can shake a stick at.

10 - 360 doesn't have a killer app:

Name one system out there that has had a spectacular launch title. Can you do it? I can! But we're not talking about the Dreamcast; even now the 360 has so many titles of worth -- Gears, Crackdown, Bioshock, Halo 3. The PS3 has, well, nothing that can soar above the 8/10 mark. Heavenly Sword's the best they have and it's 10 hours long! Everything else looks like it's drowning in a river of mud.

Sure, the 360's had a head start, but the PS3 is well over the mark IGN had set when this article was penned. Even then, the 360 had stuff like Quake 4, which still kicks the snot out of the PS3 library.

9 - 1080p and TWO SCREEN support in PS3:

Except this was dropped quietly, wasn't it. No explanation offered, Sony just stopped mentioning it and hoped people would forget.

8 - Expandability/Connectivity:

The PS3 has some weird online program that might save you from cancer. It also plugs into the PSP. The 360 is basically a PC in a box and as such connects up to one effortlessly (and their wired pads play without flaw on your PC too, kids!). Interestingly, it also plugs into the PSP and anything with a USB port. That this was mentioned in favour of Sony is mind-blowing inaccurate.

7 - "You can still pre-order a PS3:"

Now you can just buy one right off the shelves. There are millions of the overpriced turkeys sitting unsold in stores everwhere.

6 - Seven player wireless support:

Except this never happened, either. Probably because it's such a dumb idea. Those of us who crammed round a console to four player it up know that's a squeeze enough, but seven?

Much like other claims, this was never mentioned again. Shhh, you're meant to forget!

5 - The new camera:

Yeah, that's taken off big. Let me ask you this: did you own eyetoy? If the answer is yes, then welcome to a very small club. Has the PS3 done anything like the eyetoy yet? Nope, not a thing. If you want a webcam on your console, then you can plug a PC one into the 360. Despite IGN giving it a black mark on the subject earlier, the 360 connectivity is leagues above the PS3s.

4 - Backwards compatibility with PS1 and PS2 games:

This blew out big.

Here's the situation with the 360's backwards compatibility: they didn't actually own the main chip that ran the first Xbox and couldn't just carry the software right across so they're slowly going though the entire back catalogue, game by game, and making downloadable content available so that you'll someday be able to play every single Xbox game on your 360.

Despite popular belief, you can now play Panzer Dragoon Orta on the 360 with the right download.

Microsoft said this was what they were doing since day one. And they're doing a bloody fine job on making good on their promise.

Sony broke all their promises from the word go.

"You can play every single PS1 and PS2 game on the PS3!" Oh really? Not if you live in Europe where the most expensive strain of the machine is the least developed. PS1 games play fine, sure, but only about 30% of the PS2 games work and Sony refused to release a list of which titles would until the day of the console's release effectively asking consumers to buy a console not knowing what games it can or can't play. And if you've not bought an early version of the NA strain, then you have the same conditions to look forward to later on in the system's 'development'.

Microsoft admitted that their backwards compatibility would not be flawless, explained why, and have worked hard towards rectifying this. Sony flat-out lied.

3- PS3 has stronger Japanese support:

Does it? What does the PS3 have from the land of the rising sun thus far? And, more to the damn point, who cares? Japan has not been the epicentre for brave new games for a long time now: Rare are British, Ubisoft French, to name just a few. There are great games coming from the 'states, coming from Croatia, Italy, and Spain... The 360 even has support from the big Japan names like Square who released the only console version of FFXI worth mentioning on the 360.

The big PS3 game thus far, Heavenly Sword, is made by Ninja Theory, formally known as Just Add Monsters, who are English-based themselves.

But here's the more obvious point: I don't live in Japan. I couldn't care less how it fares there.

2 - Metal Gear Solid 4:

MGS2 was exclusive on the PS2.... for a few months. DMC4 was exclusive on the PS3. It's not now. The safe money is on MGS4 following suit and finding its way on the 360 at some point.

But so what if it doesn't? The Metal Gear series has already been outclassed and out-designed by the Splinter Cell games that play perfectly on the 360 without the vomit-inducing pseudo-intellectual plots and love-on-the-battlefield nonsence.

1 - Plays Blu-Rays:

So far the Blu-Ray has done nothing for the PS3 except push it out of most people's price range. So far, all the lack of Blu-Ray has done for the 360 is make it affordable.

Let's make a painful analogy.

Consoles are sandwiches, and you are hungry. You go to a sandwich shop and you ask for a cheese sandwich. The guy behind the counter produces two.

"What's with this?" you asked, perplexed at the duality of foodstuffs.

The guy smiles and points to the first sandwich. "This is a fine sandwich. It tastes great, as sandwiches are wont to do, and it costs a fraction of the other one."

"Then what's so good about the other one?" you ask.

"Well, it costs much more, for one."


"Because it's made from a special bread that is developed by NASA and made out of ninja particles that slice at nasty atoms with tiny katana blades."

"That sounds more adventitious than the first, if not overly full of improvable hyperbole", you admit.

"It does, but it tastes like crap."

This is a startling admission. "What a startling admission." You say. "Are you not trying to sell me said sandwich?"

"h, but that's the great thing about it. Right now, the sandwich tastes of arse, but thats because it doesn't have special cheese."

"Is special cheese extra?"

"It will be but it isn't now. Because, right now it does not exist. But someday it will, and then this sandwich will be so awesome!"

You cock your head to the side and the guy notes your look. "This isn't a guarantee", he quickly adds.

"So", you begin. "I, the sandwich-hungry consumer, have the following choices. I can either spend less money on a great tasting snack that I can enjoy now, or I can spend more money on a clearly inferior foodgood that might some day be vastly superior, but also might not?"

"More or less", said the guy.

"And will the pricier sandwich remain at this fixed price forever?"

"No, but if you do not buy it now and instead wait for it to get cheaper, you get less garnish and the overall product is lessened greatly."

"Right", you say, wishing you'd a/ gone for pizza and b/ never bothered reading this painful analogy.

Here's the punch line, the PS3 is currently made obsolete BECAUSE of the very reason Sony is telling you that you should buy the console and the #1 reason IGN thinks you should not bother with the 360 at all. The Blu-Ray is a technology that we currently have no need for; games fit onto normal DVDs with room to spare (GTA3 was cracked and placed on a sodding standard CD, for Christ's sake!) and we've not even strolled into an area where dual-laired DVDs are commonly needed, yet the PS3 relies on the assumption that this time is just around the corner. And it is not.

Here's another little thing to think about: every multi-platform game spread across these two consoles has looked (and, often, played) better on the 360. Want an American football game on the PS3? Go crazy with your archaic 30fps compared the 360s 60. When the big name guys like EA and bloody SEGA can't even get a resolution that has been common ground for over a decade for consoles, then it's time to ask questions.

The old saying goes that you can't spell Ignorant without IGN. I always found them a laughable source of reviews and it's heartening to know that they can be relied upon to carry this across the board.

They did a similar list for the Wii, but it's simply not as dumb. I may have a pick at it, anyway.

[Should you want to see this list taken apart with twice the skill I possess and before the PS3 even hit the shelf, to boot, I recommend you check out Nick Evil's rundown on his SEGABASTARD site.]

Most recent blog posts from Gary Hartley...

Genj Genj - September 21, 2007 (02:55 PM)
Your analogy is flawed in that sandwiches eventually spoil.
EmP EmP - September 21, 2007 (03:08 PM)
Not if you individually wrap them and store them in a fridge.

Which might be the only way to ensure a 360 doesn't explode, anyway
honestgamer honestgamer - September 21, 2007 (03:15 PM)
I still enjoy reading IGN, but I mostly read their Nintendo coverage (which tends to be quite excellent).

When they wrote the PS3 article, Sony hadn't really begun making all of its serious blunders, not really. It's easy to look at the article now and laugh at it, but that can prove true of any editorial.

The fact that Microsoft is doing as well as it is right now is remarkable. They have truly triumphed where few thought they could. The backwards compatability is far from as rosy as you make it sound, though. Microsoft has already done a lot more than it said it would, but only because people were bitching and Microsoft (being the underdog) knew better than to disappoint them. Nearly everything Microsoft has done right this round, it didn't WANT to have to do. Fans made it happen.

Which, at the end of the day, is a mark in Microsoft's favor: it's willing to listen to fans and Sony is not. Will that continue if Microsoft starts to dominate? There's no fucking way it will! But right now, there's no reason not to kick back and enjoy the kinder, gentler Microsoft. ;-)
zigfried zigfried - September 21, 2007 (05:09 PM)
Companies will do what they think makes money. Someday, a dominating company actually will listen to fans -- because they'll see that as a way to make money.

Just no idea when that will actually happen.

wayne_steed wayne_steed - September 21, 2007 (06:23 PM)
The PS3-wich isn't looking that good, even with the as-yet-nonexistent special cheese (featuring mildly good games).
espiga espiga - September 21, 2007 (10:02 PM)
Not to defend the Playstation 3 or anything, but Blue Dragon is on 3 DVDs, and I hear Lost Odyssey is going to be on 4.

But those are RPGs and they're too damn big and pretty anyway.
Genj Genj - September 21, 2007 (10:44 PM)
In 360 related news, Halo 3 got a 37/40 from Famitsu, which is impressive because that is both a lot for them and a lot for a Japanese publication reviewing an Xbox 360 FPS.

honestgamer honestgamer - September 21, 2007 (11:42 PM)
Ha ha, Famitsu broke embargo! Ha ha!
daff daff - September 24, 2007 (04:28 PM)
I'm thinking that by the time the average person will want to use the technology in the PS3, the next generation of consoles will already be on their way.

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