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What could the PS3 bug mean for console MMOs?

Rubi Bayer, @@rubi_

If you're a PS3 owner, you probably already know about the difficulties surrounding the PS3 Phat consoles as of late. You're probably also wondering why we are talking about this here at Massively. Well, the problems that began this weekend left many players unable to log into the Playstation Network, rendering certain games unplayable. Games like MAG. We're betting the MAG population is looking a bit sparse right now.

Earlier today, Sony warned owners of the affected consoles to shut them down and leave them alone for the next 24 hours, while they work to repair the bug with the internal clock that's causing the problem. While it's great that Sony has isolated the problem and is working to repair it, it leaves us with some food for thought.

MMO developers are beginning to turn an eye to the console market, and this incident highlights a potential significant weakness. PCs rely almost entirely on software and individual hardware when it comes to gaming. It's the rare MMO gamer who doesn't know how to open his or her tower and create a custom machine. Consoles don't work like that. If a bad update comes down or there is some sort of internal glitch (with the internal clock, for example), everyone who owns that particular console is going to get it because everyone has the same hardware. That, in turn, will affect everyone trying to play an MMO from their console.

While this doesn't mean mass hysteria and the doom of the console MMO market, hopefully it will serve to alert MMO developers to a problem that they can address before it moves from "potential" to "actual".

In the meantime, here's a little something to look at while you wait for your PS3 to come back to the land of the living.

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