Sony has had an incredibly impressive run in the console space. They came out of the gate swinging with the PlayStation in 1994, then managed to top themselves with the PS2 in 2000. The PS3 managed to recover from a rocky start to become a success in its own right, and the PS4 is currently dominating this console generation in sales. Of the top five selling consoles of all time, PlayStation consoles take four of the five spaces. Nobody knows what the future will bring, but Sony has nothing to worry about if they continue their positive trends and keep consumers happy.
The PS3 itself is an interesting beast. The console was lambasted at launch for a variety of reasons, but several revisions and a substantial price cut helped it eventually catch up in the race. The changes to hardware were one reason, but one can never forget the stellar exclusives. Games like Metal Gear Solid 4, Uncharted, The Last of Us, and God of War III made the system a must-have for gamers.
What exactly were the circumstances behind the console's development? The following list will dive into ten secrets from the PS3's conception and birth. There will be success, failures, lies, and harsh truths.
10 The Logo Was Designed First
The PS3's logo disappointed many fans because of its uncanny resemblance to the font from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy. Teiyu Goto, who was responsible for the prior two consoles' aesthetic, designed the font and the look of the PS3. The logo was made first, and it influenced the rest of the design. The curved style of the letters led to the system featuring more curves, in contrast to the PS2's straight lines and boxed design. Not everyone was in love with the system's look, but it's not a complete eyesore. The slim designs of Sony's third console did away with the font.
9 The Boomerang Controller
The PS3 could have left a better first impression on people. The logo and console design weren't even the worst of it. Alongside those two was a controller dubbed "the boomerang". Gamers were taken aback by just how ugly the thing looked, and couldn't imagine ever possibly feeling comfortable with it in hand. Afterward, Sony clarified that it was only a concept and never intended to use it for the system. Instead, the controller was meant to convey the feeling of holding a PlayStation controller rather than being a serious design.
8 The Sixaxis
Eventually, Sony revealed the true controller for the PS3, the Sixaxis. Several new features were put into this device, including Bluetooth functionality, motion sensors, and a beefy battery life. Unfortunately, one key feature was taken out: rumble. When asked about this, Sony dismissed rumble as "last generation technology". The backlash was big enough for the company to eventually introduce a DualShock Three shortly into the system's lifespan.
7 High Price, No Profit
The PS3 launched with a jaw-dropping price tag. The cheaper model was 499$, while the expensive one was $599, twice that of the PS2 and PS1. Despite the hefty cost, the company was still selling the console at a loss.
This most likely contributed to its weak sales in the beginning, considering the high-end Xbox 360 was two hundred dollars cheaper. Eventually, production costs decreased and the price tag fell significantly.
6 Ken Kutaragi Retired After Launch
Ken Kutaragi is responsible for bringing Sony into the console space. His leadership led to the first two pieces of gaming hardware absolutely slaying it in the market. He retired shortly after the PS3 launched, and rumors swirled that his exit was due to the PS3's less than stellar entrance. These were firmly denied. Ken had been planning to leave for years before the PS3 came out.
5 Started Development In 2001
Consoles are not made overnight. They take years upon years of precise planning to get right. While the PS2 started its development cycle right as the PS1 launched, Sony took a small break before commencing work on the PS3. It was not a long respite, though, and Ken and his team started working on the next generation in 2001.
4 Notoriously Difficult For Developers
The PS3 was a powerful beast but was a real headache for developers. The same was true for the PS2, but it seemed like studios unlocked its potential much sooner with graphical powerhouses like Metal Gear Solid 2. Once developers got a better handle on it, players started seeing some breathtakingly beautiful exclusives like Uncharted 3, The Last of Us, God of War III, and Heavy Rain.
Like how the PS2 made DVD's more accessible, the PS3 also gave consumers a cheaper Blu-Ray player. The system was still super expensive, but the added bonus of having Blu-Ray capabilities made the price more appealing. At the same time, HD DVD was also making its claim in the home media market. Similar to the battle between Beta and VHS, only one could survive. Blu-Ray ultimately beat out its competitor, likely due to the help of the PS3.
2 The First Commercial
The first televised ad for the PS3 was the infamous crying baby doll commercial, played during the World Series. It was cryptic and had nothing to do with gaming. This was done on purpose, being ambiguous so viewers could make up their mind about the meaning behind it. Most people probably just thought it was silly. One can't blame advertisements for getting experimental, but maybe play it safer when a World Series audience is watching.
1 The First Game Reveals
E3 2005 was the big reveal for the console. During Sony's presentation, they showed trailers for the biggest upcoming titles. It was a jaw-dropping display and would have justified the extremely high cost if it was a true representation of what the system could do.
Unfortunately, most of what they showed were complete lies. Why they thought it would be a good idea to heavily exaggerate what the PS3 could do is still a mystery to most people.