Uncharted 2 has received unanimous critical acclaim for its immersive story, fantastic visuals, and cinematic presentation. But is the title enough to put Sony back on top? The answer isn't necessarily cut and dry. There's a lot more Sony needs to accomplish for the PlayStation 3 to finish first in the current-generation console war.
If there's one thing that has mostly been overlooked by the mainstream video game media, it's the fact that the slimming down of the PS3 was more than just a price drop. Symbolically speaking, the PS3 Slim was a complete rebranding for the console, forcing consumers to detach themselves from the negatives that the original bulky and expensive PS3 was associated with.
Sony even changed the console's logo from the Spider-Man font to the much more whimsical, airy design emblazoned on the slim and all-current game box art. PS3 commercials have also gotten a much-needed facelift, and we think the latest Uncharted 2 ad is actually quite brilliant.
Sony's PS3 underwent a radical rebranding and price cut, both of which have convinced some analysts that it will have been the best-selling hardware in September. But systems also need games, and exclusive ones at that, to sell themselves. Uncharted found success as a sleeper hit in its first iteration, and in just two years it's been propelled to system-seller status.
It achieves where other Sony franchises on the PS3 have failed; it allows you to "live a movie," so to speak--making the most of what Sony does best and maximizing the mass entertainment storytelling appeal of videogames. Like Sony's commercial boasts, this is a game others will want to watch you play.
On the other hand, Uncharted is a genre game, a platform-adventurer that's not kid-friendly. LittleBigPlanet is a tent pole family game for the PS3, but it launched a year ago. It's important to keep in mind Sony's library as a selling point for the PS3, and LittleBigPlanet does have a long shelf life due to its unique and somewhat timeless design, but Sony could have done with two or three more games on the order of magnitude of Uncharted 2 this holiday--a new Ratchet & Clank doesn't quite cut it.
If Sony wants to treat the PS3 Slim with the excitement of a new system launch, enough games need to come out to overtake the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. Instead of outperforming, Sony is still playing catch-up. Right now, it's only matching punch for punch with Halo 3: ODST and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. That's close, but we're not sure it's enough to push Sony over the top.