Sony called 2008 the year of the PlayStation 3. Whether or not that’s been the truth is up for debate, but there’s been there are few people who can argue the PS3 is finally hitting its long awaited stride. Patient PS3 owners are finally getting their money’s worth this holiday season. Sony’s holiday lineup is packed to the brim with quality exclusives and content that you won’t find anywhere else. Add in the numerous multiplatform games on their way for Christmas and the PS3 will have a library well worth investing in, even for the most jaded Sony consumer. Not convinced? No worries, TGR is here to show you the light with ten great reasons the PS3 will come out on top this holiday season. And if you’re not a PS3 fan, we’ve still got your back. For the 360 aficionados in the crowd, check out our Xbox centric list from last week and for the Nintendo fans out there, we’ve got another one in the oven.
LittleBigPlanet will have been out for awhile by the time Dec. 25 rolls around, but when has Christmas ever been a recipe for poorer sales? LBP has been dazzling pretty much the entire gaming community since it was first revealed. Its focus on user created content, coupled with its playful tone and potentially iconic characters, has been winning over both critics and gamers alike. With essentially all preview and beta impressions coming back incredibly positive, Sony has an almost guaranteed winner here and many gamers, recognizing this, are setting their sights on Sackboy.
- Resistance 2
Resistance: Fall of Man achieved success largely due to the dubious fact that it was one of the few launch titles at all worth investing in when the PS3 first came on to the market. Insomniac has been working hard to prove it wasn’t just a fluke; Resistance 2 seems set to establish the Resistance franchise as one of the premier series for PS3 owners. Set around an alternate history in which World War 2 was halted by the outbreak of the mysterious and violent Chimera hordes, Resistance 2 follows the continued exploits of Sgt. Nathan Hale, who after pretty much single-handedly liberating the UK, must help to repel the Chimera’s newest incursion onto US soil. Built seemingly around the concept of insane scale, Resistance 2 hasn’t just been promising, but actually demonstrating a tendency towards the sort of epicness that just makes you want to to go, “Awooh!”
Yes, Bioshock was on the 360 first, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a great game and that PS3 owners are getting a version loaded with extras that their 360 counterparts can lay no claim over. In fact, while the 360 version has admittedly been on the market for quite awhile now, PS3 owners are in some ways getting a much better deal. All of the downloadable content that was eventually made available to 360 players will be present in the PS3 version from the release date. Additions like a new, beefed up “Survivor” difficulty, and more excitingly, downloadable “challenge rooms” in which the player must use the game’s Plasmid abilities to solve environmental puzzles, are turning Bioshock for the PS3 into a genuine must have despite the game’s age. Rapture might be a thing of the past for 360 and PC owners, but many a PS3 fan is going take the plunge and step into the water for the first time this year.
The Wii has Miis, and pretty soon the 360 will have rip-offs of Miis. For years, Sony has been promising PS3 owners an online interface that will blow its competitors out of the water. Home has been delayed so many times you’d think it was a Final Fantasy game, but with the actual release date almost upon us, it has to be hard for even the most cynical PS3 owner to not feel a little giddy. Featuring the Sims-like ability to customize an online avatar and homestead, hangout areas for individual games and permeating voice and text chat, Home is by far the most extensive personalization available for console gamers who fancy playing their games online. All the years prior to ’08 have been filled with disappointment after disappointment for PS3 owners. 2008 might actually be the year where Sony finally brings things Home.
- SOCOM: Confrontation
One of the most beloved online shooters of the past console generation, SOCOM is returning with vengeance in the latest iteration of the series, SOCOM: Confrontation. Designed to be a multi-player-only game, Confrontation is promising 32-player multi-player battles, destructible environments, and a whole other slew of neat features. Breaking from the old format of combating terrorists, Confrontation will center around conflicts between commando and mercenary teams. Players will be able to choose to play as special forces groups including the US Navy Seals and the British SAS amongst others. Clans will feature prominently in the game, to the point that clan uniforms will actually be customizable, giving player’s some nice options beyond the generic uniforms most other games use as staples. People have been excited about SOCOM: Confrontation for a long time now and it’s no wonder why. The original PS2 games were so well loved that there is still an active online community for them today. Interested gamers won’t have even have to go to the store to buy Confrontation if they don’t want to. While a disc version will be made available, SOCOM: Confrontation is set to be available via digital distribution when it’s released.
- Valkyria Chronicles
The PS3 isn’t exactly overflowing when it comes to RPGs and for many fans of the genre, the only reason to even own a PS3 went out the window when Final Fantasy 13 was confirmed multi-platform. That being said, Valkyria Chronicles is here to prove them wrong. Made by Sega exclusively for the PS3, Valkyria Chronicles is a tactical RPG filled to the brim with uniqueness. Ditching the standard fantasy setting for a gritty, World War 2-style world, the game follows a fictional war in Europe in which the player’s homeland becomes embroiled. Just looking at the game, one can see it’s something special. The graphics, while firmly grounded in an anime styling, are all designed to look as though they were painted by watercolor. Better yet, Valkyria Chronicles is apparently taking some liberty with the conventions of tactical RPGs and is adding in a lot to distinguish itself from the usual round of Final Fantasy Tactics clones. Do you fancy head shots? Valkyria Chronicles lets you manually aim each character’s weapon for maximum damage. There haven’t been too many PS3 RPGs yet, but with all signs pointing to great, Valkyria Chronicles might be just what the doctor ordered.
- PlayStation Network Video Store
Yes, the 360 does have a deal with Netflix, but Sony has their own store and it’s pretty sweet itself. At the click of a button, you have any number of TV shows, movies and anime at your finger tips. If that isn’t cool enough for you, PSP owners can take said purchased content and transfer it to their handy handheld for portable media viewing. Much smarter than those stupid USB movies, if you ask me. Personally, I’m just stoked that they have "Firefly." If they start getting in episodes of "Battlestar Galactica," then you will genuinely see me go ballistic.
- Metal Gear Solid 4
Snake’s adventure has been over for months now and most everyone who wants to play it has. For those gamers out there eying a PS3 this holiday though, I can’t think of a better reason to buy Sony’s shiny black box. No, the game isn’t for everyone and yes, the cutscenes can be a little overbearing, but take it from a game who has played through the game four times: it is really that good. The combat, the story, everything about the game is just fantastic, and while Kojima and Co. didn’t pull off the game quite flawlessly, I can’t think of a more satisfying way they could have ended Snake’s involvement in the series. If you have a PS3 this game is a must have, and if you’re going to have a PS3 come Christmas, well, pretty much the same deal. Buy Metal Gear Solid 4!
- Blu-Ray Movies
More than a few gamers might sigh at this, but the fact of the matter is that, at the moment, the PS3 in any of its forms is one of the most affordable players of Blu-Ray discs on the market. With games, movies and even TV shifting towards hi-def (and looking really good because of it), the truth is that most people and gamers are going to need, or at least want, a Blu-Ray capable machine. So naysayers can pick on the PS3 all they want for being a glorified DVD player but you know what, when "The Dark Knight" comes out, they’ll all be watching it in standard definition while PS3 owners across the world are watching the Joker nuke Gotham in 1080p.
- Killzone 2
When the concept video for Killzone 2 first came out, you were likely to find more than a few people who thought the actual game would never get even close to looking that good. While the visuals aren’t quite up to the level first presented to us, there can be no doubt in even the most stoic hater of the PS3 that Killzone 2 is going to turn into one of, if not the finest-looking game ever to grace a console. Even better, to go along with the intense eye candy, the game itself seems to be turning out rather solid. Let’s see, a gritty, gorgeous sci-fi shooter with solid single- and multi-player modes; what’s not to like? And while technically, this isn’t a holiday game, considering the general abundance of gift cards you might want to save a few for its February release. You’ll probably have more then enough games to last you two months any ways.