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Sony Computer Entertainment, America
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 21, 2004   |   Episode 28 (Show Archive)  

   
It's been a pretty good year for the PlayStation 2, but it's not because of anything Sony did. If anything, 2004 was the year Sony tried to sabotage their faithful console. Early in the year Sony failed to deliver any substantial games and by the years end consumers couldn't find enough systems to buy thanks to their new model launch and limited supplies. Sony was getting it from just about everybody this year, even their biggest supporters. But then the third party games came and it was a glorious time.

Next year Sony can't afford to sit on their laurels and wait for the good games to arrive, they have a new portable coming out (the PSP), a potential battle with Microsoft's next generation system, and no major third party titles on tap. But that's not to say they don't have anything up their sleeve, there are a number of first party games that (if released) could keep people interested in this generation for at least a few more months. I guess it's up to the website to show us what Sony Computer Entertainment of America is up to.


You can pry the PSP from my cold dead hands!
Look and Design: You know, there's a lot of useful information on the PlayStation 2 front page . but there's something about it that I just can't fall in love with. I don't know if it's the color scheme, the forced curves, the ugly banner, miles of empty space, or general lack of innovation, but there's something I don't like about it. You know, I wouldn't be surprised if it was all those things, and a few more I'm forgetting to mention. Whatever the case, the PlayStation 2 page is downright ugly, but seems to get the job done.

Accessibility: You know how I complained about the plainness of the front page? Well guess what, it's like that the whole time . and things only get more boring when you dig deeper. You can look through a full game database, or just a list of online games, both featuring a similar look. There aren't any flashing banners or annoying ads, but for whatever reason it still lacks that certain pizzazz you hope for from your website. Let's just say, there is no excitement to be had from looking up the various games in their catalog.

Along the way you will also bump into a hardware page that goes through just about all of the first party products, from the brand new PlayStation 2 SCPH 7000 Series to the snap on LCD screen for the PSone. Granted there isn't a lot of info about these items, but it's more than we found at the Nintendo website oh so many days ago.


Here's the big ass PS2 18-wheeler coming to your town ... very slowly!
Insider Information: On one hand Sony does offer PlayStation 2 owners a fanclub they can join that in theory provides them with the newest information. However, the implementation of this feature is lacking, and too often we're left with old news or half explained special features. They promote their magazine, the Official PlayStation Magazine, but forget to update it when new issues come out (they are currently two behind). Like the rest of the site, Sony's news section just feels rushed and unimpressive.

Of course, Sony should be commended for actually offering third party news along with their first and second party stuff. Sony even has what looks like a link to GameSpot . but it's not a link, it's just a picture. In the press release section you can read all about Sony's upcoming system and its connection to one-time Xbox developer NVIDIA.

Parting Thoughts: It's billed as "77-feet of pure PlayStation 2 overload", ladies and gentlemen; I give the real life King of Route 66. Actually, it's a big ass 18-wheeler with 30 PlayStation 2 game stations with the newest games that is wired together to let you play against your friends and family. And if that wasn't excessive enough, you can also experience gaming on a 61 inch screen. Of course, don't look for this 3 mile to the gallon beast to roll into your town anytime soon; it's currently sitting in the Sony parking lot getting no use at all. All those new and hot games just going to waste in the Sony parking lot. How will you ever live knowing that information??

FINAL GRADE: C-

(Important Note: This review was written in 2004. As is the case with websites things tend to change and get moved around. We've decided to cover major companies who should have a presence on the web for many years to come, but the actual reviews of the layout may not be relevant for more than a month to a year. Having said that, we're hoping this article was still interesting, and if not, at least you go this extra little paragraph of explanation that you wouldn't normally get on the other websites.)
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