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PS3: Pleased to meet you

Feature: PlayStation 3 - the story so far

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Platform Units Sold
Wii 375,434
PSP 204,022
PS3 116,580
PS2 94,869
Xbox 360 34,311
DS 561,182

Gremlin in the machine

We don't want to paint a gloomy picture but it's fair to say that the PS3 has had a few technical problems since it launched. These mainly surround one of its key selling points: the ability to output crisp and gloriously beautiful visuals to HDTVs. For instance, if you have an older 1080i HDTV the PS3 fails to upconvert the 720p signal to 1080i. In short, you get a crappy picture that downscales to 480p, which is sometimes worse than PS2 quality. The bug hasn't affected everyone but it's a shambles nevertheless.

There have also been similar issues with connectivity via HDMI cables producing audio cut-outs and picture blinking. And that's before we even get onto the subject of backwards compatibility - in Europe it's estimated that only around 40% of PS2 titles will work on your PS3.

Sony also miscalculated the added complexity of the cell infrastructure and its adverse effects on development. Though the PS2 was initially a challenge for the developers by all accounts the PS3 is even worse.

Small devcos in particular have expressed their dismay at how difficult the machine is to code for. Indeed, before the PS3 was released in the US Sony Online Entertainment fired one of its 3D artists, Josh Robinson, for a negative blog about the machine.

The comment, "You could always tell where the PS3 dev box was because it's the room that had the F-bomb coming out of it half the day," clearly didn't go down well.

Will the PS3 rule?

The PS3 has had its critics, a few teething troubles, and is currently being outgunned by Nintendo's Wii in terms of monthly sales figures.

But while it may take a little longer to infiltrate the massmarket we shouldn't forget that this is the only console capable of 1080p, has built-in Blu-ray technology and is future proofed far beyond any other console.

Sony's PlayStation brand has also become synonymous with gaming cool, at least with massmarket punters. In short, don't expect PS3 to bomb - it's still likely to dominate in the medium to long term. However, you can't help feeling that a price cut and a killer game would help matters...

Lookout for a lot more PlayStation 3 features and reviews on CVG in the run-up to the March 23 launch

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