- We don't normally link to much 'mainstream' next-gen video game coverage here, but over at Game | Life, Chris Kohler's recent editorial on Sony's online infrastructure is too important to pass up.

He particularly references the 'playing PS1 games on PS3' debacle, commenting: "In short, everything's screwed up everywhere. The thing that would make me actually want to download more PSone games arrives four months late -- and, surprise, only applies to one-fifth of the content. The catalog is embarrassingly poor."

Even worse than that: "In Japan, Sony actually seems to be embracing Long Tail to a greater extent than Nintendo, loading the service up with niche games from small publishers... But in the US, they have added one (1) third-party game despite the fact that third-party games were inarguably the primary reason to own a PSone in the first place."

I agree completely, and it's emblematic of a larger issue - Sony's lack of third-party relations/infrastructure in the West for both PS1-style 'classic' digital downloads and for XBLA-style indie games is a travesty, with closely held partners and an only _just_ emerging set of Sony-funded digital-download titles lagging far behind their competitors (Nintendo on the retro side, and the much more 'free' Xbox Live Arcade on the indie side).

In fact, the May 2007 issue of Game Developer magazine (out soon, cover postmortem is Konami's Elebits for Wii) finds me talking about this exact issue, compared to XBLA's relative success - how Sony and Nintendo not making contemporary indie game digital downloads easy/possible is messing things up for indie console developers, who can then only address fractions of the potential market. And it's the consumer who ultimately ends up with the short straw.