Help me help you? That'll never work!
People are putting pressure on Sony to reduce their prices to roughly match the Xbox 360. This will make their console more competitive with the Wii and the 360. As far as install base goes, the PS3 is far weaker than either of the other consoles, and even with the price cut, they will be lagging for a while yet. They’ll also lose a shit-load of money by selling the PS3 way under cost.
The PS3 dev kit costs $8,000 - $10,000 US (depending on where you live). This is actually half the price it was initially. This means that if someone out there wants to make an Indie game for the PS3, they’ll have to shell out a half a new car just to start working. If you want a dev kit for a Wii, IIRC you have to show you’re “in the industry”. The 360 Dev kit is free, or close to it.
That is, if I wanted to make a downloadable game for the 360, in theory I could make the game for free. Putting in onto their online store may cost, but perhaps only a percentage of the sale.
Here’s an idea for the Sony: why not sell the Dev Kit at cost, and make an “el-cheapo” dev kit for a standard PS3. Then, let anyone upload their games onto the PS3 store, and take a percentage of sale (or allow downloading from anywhere on the net). No hardware lockdowns, no bullshit. Watch as a community grows around them and saves their butt.
Sure, it’s going to take time, but it’s going to take time anyway, and Sony is going to have to make a tough decision, and they can either do the anal raping thing (which people probably won’t take, because people would rather be raped by MS or Nintendo) or they can actually try and make the PS3 the first decent console ever. They can make money off the big selling games, and take advantage of the long tail of downloadable games.
The PS2 is a frigging massive, and still highly competitive, system, and the reason is because of the sheer number of games available for it. Sony should want to beef up the number of (decent) games available on the PS3, and if this means giving the dev kit away and then selectively promoting the really good downloadable games on there store, then the PS3 will quickly gain popularity as “the” system for downloadable games.
The AAA titles will follow.