It must completely suck when a console has a huge user base, even as it dies away. Witness the Sony PlayStation. While I don’t know how many are in a given geographic region, I do know that there are 85 million of them out there, not counting PS2 units, making it the most popular console ever, hands down. As a result, there’s still a ton of games coming out for it including, get this Black & White. Yep, the beautiful PC game that’s a work of art is headed to the PSX, where it looks like shit warmed over. I can’t even pretend that this game doesn’t look like ass on the PSX. It had been in development for the Sega Dreamcast, but when Sega dropped publishing the port (right before dropping the Dreamcast) that port died, since the game’s PC publisher, EA, is on the take from Sony not to make that happen. Therefore, it’s headed to the PSX. It’s coming to the PS2 and XBox as well, but on the PSX even completely lackluster sales will outdo sales on the PS2. Black & White is also headed to the Game Boy Color, of all things, but that’s more of a joke than a port.
This all leads back to what may be the big problem with the PS2 – backwards compatibility. Back when the Commodore 128 came out, Commodore figured people didn’t want to chuck their old Commodore 64 software, so they made the computer compatible with the C64 through an emulation mode. However, developers didn’t initially want to write for the C128 since it would hurt sales, and then consumers wouldn’t buy the C128 because it didn’t have any software and was more expensive than the C64, which was cheaper anyway. This is the problem the PS2 is experiencing right now. Now granted, Sony does have more control than Commodore did – the PSX is a closed platform, so they could state tommorow that December 31, 2001 would be the last day of PSX games, since Sony has final say. The question/problem is, whenever they finally do do that (if they do that), will it be enough?