2009 In Review: The Year Of The PlayStation?

2009 was an eventful year for Sony's PlayStation family with huge price drops, new hardware launches and announcements, and big exclusive games throughout the year. But how was it for you?

The year began with two diametrically opposed game releases: February blessed us with the poignant lyricism of Flower, while simultaneously unleashing the bombastic blitzkrieg of Killzone 2. Sony spread its major exclusives evenly through the year, with inFamous leaping from the rooftop in June, before Uncharted 2 (pictured) wisecracked into October and Ratchet & Clank timecracked into November.

At E3 in June we saw the PSPgo for the first time, months of leaked info and images notwithstanding. Sony also unveiled its motion controller, cunningly disguised as a lady's bedroom toy. Then at Gamescom in August we saw the PS3 Slim for the first time, months of leaked info and images again notwithstanding.

September saw the introduction of the PS3 Slim along with a drastic price drop all around the world; in Australia this translated into a price plunge, from $699 to $499. Since then, PS3 sales have picked up dramatically. Meanwhile, the digital download-only PSPgo launched in October and, well, no one really noticed.

On the software side, the PSP seems to have undergone something of a renaissance towards the end of the year. Although the first big game was Monster Hunter Freedom Unite in mid-year, recently we've seen Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Gran Turismo, GTA Chinatown Wars and LittleBigPlanet, plus the AFL and NRL sims.

The veteran PlayStation 2 kept plugging away. Its price tag fell into almost impulse buy territory at around $100 in some places - pretty soon you'll see PS2s next to the tabloid mags and candy bars at the checkout of your local supermarket. Oh, and another hundred SingStar games were released for the "party starter" console of choice.

Finally, last month saw the digital TV tuner and PVR box, PlayTV, launch in Australia, along with the ABC's iView service, allowing you to spend less time using your console to play games.

So, that was 2009 for the PlayStation family. I'm keen to hear what you thought of 2009 from a PlayStation perspective. Were you happy with your PS3/PS2/PSP lot this year? What were the highlights? The lowlights?


Comments

    As a playstation 3 owner this has been a great year for games.

    Its nice to have good/great games being released consistenly throughout the year. This means i never really had more than 1 game to play at a time which is something that i really like.

    Undoubtly the highlight for me this year has been Uncharted 2. From start to finish it was just flawless, exactly my kind of game and it is a game im going to keep and replay over and over every few months or so.

    Although some of the PAS3 exclusives have been a relative letdown (KZ2 was not as good as i thought it would be) there really havent been any duds.

    All in all a great year to be a PS3 owner (and console owner in general)

    Thinking about it, I just realised I only got one game for the PS3 this year (Blazblue, still need to beat that...). Kinda making me wonder why I even bought a PS3. I'm really a PC gamer at heart.

    I actually spent more time on my PS2 with Persona 4, which I guess would make that my Playstation highlight for the year.

    One of many who picked up the Slim. Very glad I waited, because a) the price and b) there's enough good games out now that I could just cherry pick the ones I wanted.

    Only problem is there's a few PS2 games sitting on my shelf that I've never touched, and now I don't think I ever will :(

    Hmmm - I thought that when you consider the WHOLE year you really do see that Sony had quite frankly a crap pre-E3 and quite a good post-e3 which in my books averages out to an average year. Yes the price drop was good (it lowered it so normal people could buy it) and there were actually games that you wanted to buy for the console (Uncharted 2). However even with that in mind with the price drop and relaunch with the slim - Microsoft still beat Sony in the NPD figures in America (where IMO it really counts the most - next to Japan) in the November hardware sales. Even though it wasn't by much - it wasn't the fact that the 360 still beat the ps3 in November after all they had done would be very worrying for sony and i can't wait to see what the December figures are.

    Overall though as a person who owns all three consoles and a PC and a few handhelds i say that the PS3 still had a good year - a vast improvement on last year but i don't think it had the best year compared to others. I think everyone is looking at the gap between where the PS3 was last year and where they are now and are judging its success in improvement from last year, not ranking them according to how the rest of the competition did this year. But thats proberly just me :P

    Also, i think everyone knows this but the PSPGO was a spectacular failure and i would not be surprised if sony quietly stopped producing it in 2010 and gave it a very quiet death by simply stop production and let existing stock sell off. In terms of the money spent on marketing, designing etc... this is a big loss for sony.

    I still find it weird that the PS2 is STILL selling the way it is. Seriously what person does not own one of these things yet and is STILL buying them :P

      Indeed. I would'nt say it was 'The Year of the Playstation'. I would however say it was 'The Year the Playstation got its act together'. It was great to see it finally enter the race seriously with some kickass exclusive games, some simply *stunning* games like Uncharted 2, the doing away with the Foreman grill design and the bringing in of the sexy slim design, the reduction in price to a more realistic, family friendly 499 price tag (aussie here). And yes, pre-E3 it wasn't so good... post E3 is where it kicked off for sure. No console had a winner year. It's been a downhill year for the Wii, the 360 has had a solid allround year, the ps3 year has been gaining ground... the PC has been finally gaining back ground as a gamers platform and not just for god damned MMO's...

      The year of the ps3? No.

      The year of the GAMER? YES.

      In regards to people still buying PS2's, I'm one of those. My old PS2 is at my folks' place, and I've currently got a 360 and a Wii. The fiancee has started to have the urge to play some classic platformers, so I've been on the hunt for one at a good price the last couple of weeks. You just can't say no to it.

      You make some excellent points.

      It seems that the PS3 had a good year, and agreed that the PSPGo did seem like a bit of a failure. I think next year is going to be do or die for the PSPGo, and if it dies I expect to see an updated PSP-3000 near 2010-2011. I could be wrong, but it all depends on how well it does next year.

      I agree when you said that the PS3 had a better year than last year but it wasn't the best. I think the 360 and the PS3 both did well, and the Wii had a few good releases inbetween the hordes of shovelware.

    yeah the ps3 has had an awesome year. some excellent exclusives and a price drop. cant go wrong. uncharted 2 is a definite highlight. imo, the best game of all time. i still cant believe i picked it up at the spur of the moment on launch. killzone 2 was also another great addition to the consoles list of exclusives. just like uncharted 2, kz2 was great all round. it has definitely been an epic year for playstation.
    btw, we noticed the psp go, we just chose to ignore it :-P

      heh indeed... the 'psp-go-away!!!!'... Sonys real misstep. Sure, take away the umd drive... then bring in a goddamn add on umd drive??? wtf???

    Sony didnt leanr from its past mistakes with the PSPGo. Dont force something onto consumers if they are not ready for it.

    PSPGo is too highly priced, and parents dont understand it. I know, I work for an ISP, 50% of parents dont know what internet explorer is, let alone a console that can only get games via digital distribution

    I'd say it's more the year of the PS3 avoiding total failure.

      I think it is the year of you sounding like an idiot.

        Personal attacks over a video game? Who's the idiot.

          Still you.

            Fanboy.

              You're the one making idiotic retard comments about a gaming console. I'm just the one pointing out how much of a dickhead fanboy you are.

                Well, to be an unbiased third party here he's only said a comment about a console and you've waded in like a 12 year old screaming personal abuse... from an outsiders opinion, he's not the one coming across like a dick at the moment, sorry pal.

    Sure, the price drop was nice, but you can get a 360 for $199 these days. As an owner of all 3 systems I still play my 360 more than any other console and the 360 is still the #1 choice for cross platform titles.

    My PS3 gathers marginally less dust than my Wii, and less dust than it gathered last year, but 2009 has been far from the 'Year of the Playstation'.

      I'm in exactly the same boat, could not have said it better myself...

      That being said, I can say I have spent more time playing my PS3 this year than ever before, which is a good thing.

    This year has left me feeling very positive about the Playstation brand. The slew of internal 1st party titles has been great and most if not all have been outstanding. Big fan of the price drop on the PS3 aswell, should help to grow the customer base.

    In the meantime Microsoft just keep churning out Halo game after Halo game and not much else, all while constantly trying to clutter up the 360 dashboard to breaking point. The Xbox Experience is a horrible mess compared to the sleek clean and functional XMB.

    Unlike the end of last year at the moment I wouldnt hesitate to recommend a PS3 over a 360 to a potential console buyer. Now if Sony could just release a new gamepad that beats the 360 pad for comfort...

    Big browny points to Sony this year from me.

      Haha i much prefer the dual shock for comfort. Some idiot at microsoft put a battery pack in the middle of my xbox controller where my fingers want to go...

        The battery issue is the only reason Id recommend the ps3 pad. The 360 pad is ergonmically far more comfortable, after all, they designed it due to the natural form of your relaxed hand positioning. The ps3 controller is still nice, but they could probably stand to slightly redesign the sticks by now...

    2009 year of Playstation? Perhaps, perhaps not.

    Uncharted 2 - Greatest game of the year, took the medium to a new level and Naughty Dog is now one of the premier game developers.

    PS3 Slim - Nice reboot of the system, what it needed and just in time for UC2. Still a bit expensive compared to 360 BUT offers blu ray which is starting to pick up steam

    ABC Iview - AWESOME. Discovered this the other day and watched the Bill many times...

    PSPGo - One of teh biggest failures in entertainment history and i can speak validly as i have had one in my hands for review. Little Big Planet exposed the farce. If Sony can't get the games on PSN day 1 how can a regular publisher. Also need PSN deals with AU ISPs ASAP to succeed.

    PSP - A whole lot of awesome titles, a whole lot of minimal sales. PSP just seems to be suffering so much from piracy that like Nintendo did they need to bite the bullet and make a new system, and fast.

    Play TV - Brilliant for those with only FTA television. Need more marketing. Almost a horrid slip when they went freeview compliant and you can't skip recording ads because of it.

    Eyepet - Cute, fun interesting and some what innovative.

    I honestly believe Sony made a mistake pushing Heavy Rain into 2010. Apparently it could have been ready for Nov 2009 but they didn't want to push it up against a big title in MW2.

    Problem is they will now place it up against Splinter Cell Conviction and Final Fantasy XIII. Stupid, stupid move. Heavy Rain is innovative and a nice exclusive to have but placing it up against some massive games, it will fail against those sadly.

      Due to the type of game it is, Heavy Rain was going to fail anyways.

        I wouldn't say its an automatic fail, it depends how its marketed. If they reach the right audience and properly explain the game's attributes (of which it has many) it may just do it. But if they try advertising it in a mess of swirling images and sparkles that seem to be playstation ads these days....then no...

        Are you sure? Heavy Rain is the game I am looking forward to the most next year. If the reviews are decent, I will pick it up. I do feel like there is more diversity with Sony than Microsoft, they take more risks make more bonehead decisions, but its also why Playstation has endochrome, ico, heavy rain, etc. Come to think of it, Microsoft has done well to get the hardcore shooter market cornered this gen, but my PS3 has a good all round package and I think this year it really was the best console - and Heavy Rain will add to that success

        I am a Massive fan of what this game is trying to do. But PS3 games dont sell what they should atm, and this super niche game will not succeed in a crowded marketplace. It sucks but it will fail.

    I'm getting back into the PS2 scene. I really regret trading it in for the PS3. I probably have a 2o point long list of game i want. I can't wait to get started.

    I also got the PS3 slim, which through trade ins and the like I got for something like $300. However, I missed most of this year because my 40gb broke so i can't really comment on the mid year releases. I'm still playing MW2 as i am hopelessly addicted, regardless of "DURRR It's just a copy paste job DUHHH" or "Stupid Activison, Stupid game"

    Still got Ratchet and Clank: A crack in Time on the shelf until i finish A pirate's booty, but considering how much I've liked the series so far, I'm sure I'll enjoy these two.

    I'm a Playstation consoler, never had an Xbox or gamecube, and i have never regretted that decision.

    I'm a bad person because I have not bought uncharted 2 yet, .... I miss Jak & Daxter ... I dont want a psp or PS2 game!

    A good year for games but more importantly, they finally dropped the damn price and then added some. The PS3 slim was probably the best move they've ever made this whole console generation. Sony's finally gone and made itself competitive.

    In all, yeh I agree, it was Sony's year.

    I purchased a PS3 slim when they dropped the price, but I've got a total of 6 games on it, 2 of which are downloadable.

    I simply not impressed with their online system, so buy most of my games for xbox360.

      This is not a criticism but perhaps shows the complete farce that PSN in Australia and Europe is

      FunkyJ prefers an online system you have to PAY to use (for multiplayer)

        yeah see, i just dont get it. i have a 360 aswell and i hate it. i hate the fact i gotta pay each year just to play online and i rarely play on the console let alone online. i love psn. its free and it works.

          PSN is free ATM but 2010 will most likely be the year they start charging and will have the same or simlar setup to Xbox.

    Yeah it was a good year for Sony. I ended up picking up a 250GB PS3 and 250GB MW2 XBOX. I still play the 360 more than the PS3, however if I want to play a more 'Cinematic' experience (Uncharted 2) I'll fire up the PS3. All in all, I would still buy titles for my 360 first, then the PS3 second, but I'd have to say, I still think the PS3 is a better system overall (build quality, noise level, Blu-ray etc)

    Had a great year with my PS3, aside from the fact my launch 60gb died mid-year. Ended up replacing it with a 40gb upgraded with a 320gb HDD.

    So many quality games were released, possibly too many...I've got a massive backlog of games to get through with more games on the way at Christmas.

    Highlights for me were:
    Assasin's Creed 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Borderlands, Modern Warefare 2, Ghostbusters, inFamous, Killzone 2, [Prototype], R&C: A Crack in Time, Red Faction Guerrilla, Resident Evil 5, Skate 2, Uncharted 2

    Would probably add Dragon Age Origins and Brutal Legend to that list but am yet to play/purchase them.

    Definitely one of the best years to be a gamer!

    Its always the year of the PS3 for me ever since I bought it to the replace the Wii.

    I bought the ps3 slim system since day one and I am happy to play the few must play titles for the ps3 such as the uncharted series and MGS4. I am currently working on the GOW collection and I am looking forward to GOW3 on March '10.

    This is the first year, for me at least, that the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portables have finally lived up to the promises Sony made when they were first released. True cross-compatibility, a respectable distribution system--with games!--the exclusive games, and the comic reader (woo!).

    Killzone 2 was definitely a pretty game but I didn't particularly enjoy it. Uncharted 2 was the big PS3 hit for me. Focused, inspired and fluid. The only issue I had with the entire game was that bloody final boss. Running from a guy lobbing grenades... really?

    I think it's going a bit far to say it's been the year of the Playstation...
    Sure it's been the best year for the Playstation in a very long time but it's not like the Wii and 360 have just died off, especially in Australia.

    The Wii has still done good in sales and the 360 has taken alot of exclusives from the PS3 this year.

    I'm looking forward to 2010 though, as if we follow the trends in Japan where the Wii is visibly weakening with time, we could see a year of PS3/360 dominance.

      It's one thing to compare PS3 sales to X360 sales but why compare the Wii? I just don't get it. Does anyone actually weigh up whether they will buy a Wii or a PS3/X360? The classic Wii owner saw someone waving around a controller at a party and thought it looked great or was a good way for them to work out. The PS3/X360 owner wants to play games.
      You can't get half the games available on PS3/X360 on the Wii. There's just no comparison. It's like comparing buying a luxury car with a micro hatchback. Does anyone say, "let's see, will I buy that 5 Series BMW or will it be that Huyndaii Getz with the power mirrors?" My point is, they're two different markets, they appeal to different people, there's no point comparing how much one sells compared to the other.

    The second half of the year was definitely when the momentum for the ps3 picked up, at least from a personal perspective.

    My ps3 game library expanded in way that could only be described as exponentially, and it's rather difficult to decide on simply one game as a standout. At this current moment Assassin's Creed 2 has been my standout game of the year. I still have to find time to get to my copy of Uncharted 2 which is still sitting shrink-wrapped in my game drawer.

    The PAL Playstation Store, is still a disappointment in my eyes, especially when compared to both the Japanese and United States stores, and i really do hate resorting to purchasing US PSN cards to get some of the content i'm after. Fingers crossed next year will be better for the PAL store.

    For now i'm sitting tight waiting for Darksiders, Bioshock 2 and Final Fantasy XIII. It's going to be an expensive, albeit enjoyable, first quarter.

    Introducing a price drop and a new rebuilt PS3 slim really drove sales up a lot.
    The exclusives are just keep on coming and they really give the ps3 a shine. Uncharted 2 proves this.
    PS2 is still going good here, its just a powerful little machine. I just feel bad for the Brazilians who are getting the PS2 now with a high price. lol
    I agree the PSPgo wasn't a highlight, majority of people aren't just ready for digital distribution.

    I reckon this year was a great year for Playstation and I think it will be a start to positive outcomes for the years ahead.

    Were a few good games along the way, not an incredible amount but it means my wallet survived :). Definately the PlayTV shone for me... and lucky, the only channel I can't pick up is ABC, and iView is unmetered from my ISP :D! Oh happy days.

    quality is always more important than quality, a good PS3 RPG makes up for all the last blue infinite dragon undiscovered remnants on xbox, so happy with valkyria chronicles and demons souls,

    PS2: picked up godhand after reading the edge play extend feature about it, oh and FF12 still gets a run some (very) boring sundays,

    PSP: last night i was blown away with the awesome free digital comics ive seen so far like atomic robo, cancertown and monster hunter F.U, FF7 and MGS have kept my train trips entertaining

    i did have to sent my PS3 in for drive failure but it came back shinier than ever, cleaned and wrapped

    i get a lot of shit for not being a "real gamer" because i refuse to buy an xbox but buying a slim for my bedroom seems like a much better plan than paying $500 to play space marine third person adventures 1 + 2, and space marine first person adventures 1,2,3,ODST,wars, reach + map packs

      Halo Wars is an RTS, and isn't first person.

      Quality is always more important than quality? You must mean quantity.

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