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Sir Sells-a-Lot

Written By mista sense on Tuesday, April 17, 2007 | 11:52 AM

According to Sony, the European launch of the PS3 made the disastrous U.S launch look like a "just kidding" moment. In a recent interview with Financial Times, Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer (whoa, I didn't know ol' Howie was a Sir) claims that the PS3 has already sealed the deal on close to 800,000 units in Europe, which should come as pretty good news to those pulling for Team Sony.

Stringer credits the smoother rollout entry to the European market "with more games and, perhaps we lived up to the expectations in Europe in a way that perhaps we didn't in Japan." Goldman Sachs analyst Yuji Fujimori has a rosy outlook, too, projecting that embattled Sony may at last start making money on the console by March 2008.

Nice to hear, but not wholly unsurprising, when one examines the striking similarities between this era's next-gen console launch and the previous one. As the sun sets on PS2, Gamecube and the first XBox, it's hard to argue against the ultimate victory settling firmly in the corner of PS2, the best-selling console of all time. Some critically acclaimed, blockbuster-scope titles like FFXII and God of War 2 were still releasing simultaneous to the next-gen rollouts, many of them looking and playing just as sharp as the launch lineups of the spankin' newbies.

But it took time-- how short are our memories, anyway? Lots of people wondered, in its day, if the PS2 wasn't hardware-heavy and overpriced, as titles worth buying trickled into the market at a snail's pace, and many elected to snap up a cute-and-shiny Gamecube instead. Years later, the PS2's still hummin'-- even while XBox 360 users are becoming acquainted with the mythical Red Ring of evil-- and those who stuck with Sony back then have now got perhaps the largest library of really good games out there, while Gamecubists have got... like, five.

Even if the European sales figures weren't as promising as they are, it's still way too early to count Sony out. In another few years, it's quite possible that the PS3, despite its major issues out of the gate, will once again turn out the winner, while Wii owners sigh, "Well, we've got Twilight Princess."

I will earnestly endeavor to make this my last "console wars" update for some time, but today it's either this or (sigh) rolling out the ol' "post-mass-shooting-videogame-defense" piece, which sadly it looks like we gamers are gonna have to dust off for another go-round.

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