Sony Addresses PS3 Price, Emphasis On Marketing New Games
Most anyone who sits down to examines Sony's current position will come up with two glaring negatives that affect consumers: the PlayStation 3 may be considered too expensive, and Sony just doesn't market their products correctly. Well, Sony Computer Entertainment UK boss Ray Maguire recently spoke about both topics in a GamesIndustry.biz interview.
Although consumers can nab a Xbox 360 Pro this holiday season for $299, they'd still have to spring for the extra $100 to get the PS3 for $399. Even though 2008 was a great year for Sony's machine - especially in terms of software, which we'll get to in a minute - the economy isn't exactly flourishing right now. But in response to the question that asks if the console is "just too expensive," Maguire responded in this way:
"It's a possibility, it's always a possibility. Alternatively it could be that people think that if they go for a lower-spec machine, that by the time they add in another hard drive, and this and that, they'll end up with something which still doesn't play Blu-ray movies.
So if you're doing some detailed cost analysis as a consumer - which of course, they don't, they buy emotively - then the answer is that the PS3 turns out to be good value. Obviously everyone wants to see products cheaper, and cheaper, and cheaper, and that is the pressure that always comes from the consumer level."
In regards to marketing the machine, everyone is well aware of Sony's shortcomings in this area. But the good news, thanks to the healthy lineup, is that Sony can now focus on the games rather than the system's functionality. It's not about what it will do anymore; it's about what it has already done, and we got some amazing benchmark titles this year. So when asked how they will "market the PS3 at the moment," Maguire clearly said Sony wants to focus on the games.
"It's a really difficult question, that one, because when we first started - because all the functionality was radical - we talked about that functionality. And in doing that, maybe we weren't strong enough on the games side of it. Now, with the strength of the games we've got coming out, this Christmas we're definitely about the games. From our own first party, and also third party, there's a feast of games for PS3 this year."
Software sells hardware, plain and simple. So it seems Sony will take this tact in the near future when it comes to advertising the PS3, and we figure that's the best thing to do. Far too many clueless ones out there still make idiotic statements like "the PS3 has no games!" and this ignorance only survives because they don't have the truth thrust in their faces. Well, Sony...thrust away.
12/16/2008 Ben Dutka