Even though the PS2 has been out a year, I never had the urge to buy one until just recently.  There never seemed to be any must-have games available for the system, and I was absolutely unimpressed with its technical specifications. (Not that I would have bought one even if the specs were impressive.)  It always seemed like its main selling points were that it could play PSX games and DVD movies.  Well, I already have a PSX as well as a DVD player, so why in the hell would I want to fork out $300 for a copycat of those devices?

Oh yeah, now I remember, Silent Hill 2 and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.  If there’s anything that’s going to sell systems, it’s fantastic titles that are exclusive to the particular system in question.  When Silent Hill 2 hit the shelves a couple of weeks ago, I finally had a strong urge to get a PS2.  That is a game that I have long-waited for, and with Metal Gear Solid 2 nearing its release date, I figured the purchase of a PS2 wouldn’t be such a bad thing.  However, recent announcements have made me completely change my mind.

Silent Hill 2 graves

Silent Hill 2: I can't wait to play this wonderfully creepy game, but will likely wait to do so on the Xbox.

As it turns out, Silent Hill 2 and Metal Gear Solid 2 won’t be PS2 exclusives.  In fact, both games are slated for release on the Microsoft Xbox, with improved graphics and extra material.  Knowing this, I’d have to be a damn fool to spend $300 on a PS2 when I can get the technically superior Xbox for the same price next month.  Especially since the Xbox versions of these must-have games will have more features and likely be technically better all around.

With every announcement of upcoming Xbox titles, it looks like all of the software on the PS2 will be headed to the Xbox with improved features.  Which leads to the question: Can Sony possibly survive in the Gamecube and Xbox era?  As of right now with the PS2’s high price tag, I think not.  If Sony hopes to continue to move units of PS2’s after November, it had better drop its prices.  Up to this point, Sony has gotten by on hype, but the hype of the PS2 has definitely died down.  When given a choice between a PS2 version of a game, and an Xbox or Gamecube version that’s superior for the same price, gamers won’t be choosing to give their dollars to Sony.

To me, there’s really only two dogs in the next-gen race now: Microsoft and Nintendo.  Sure, Sony will be limping along, but I can’t possibly see them keeping up with the new kids on the block.  In fact, I have a feeling that Sony is going to end up just like Sega.  The PSX was their Genesis, and now with the PS2 beginning to falter in the gaming public’s favor, they’ll probably start throwing out next-gen consoles in an attempt to jump ahead of the pack.  In fact, we’ll probably start hearing about the PS3 early next year, and if we do, they’ll likely follow Sega and drop their former console like a bad habit.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.