Sony Doesn’t Get It

Well, it looks like Sony does­n’t get either the Long Tail of gam­ing, nor even the head of gam­ing. From a sto­ry I just seed­ed on Newsvine (as well as my com­ment):

Sony Com­put­er Enter­tain­ment of Amer­i­ca spokesper­son Dave Kar­rak­er says Wii should not be direct­ly com­pared to PS3. Inter­viewed by The New York Times today he said, “Wii could be con­sid­ered an impulse buy more than any­thing else.”

A very short arti­cle, but so much to talk about. First of all, and only anec­do­tal­ly, the only per­son I know who owns a PS3 said he bought it as an impulse buy (his exact words) where as every­one I know who has a Wii has had to lit­er­al­ly camp out for one, myself includ­ed. If there’s a place in the states that Sony is aware of that has some Wii’s lying around wait­ing for peo­ple to just pick one up, they should be keep­ing it a secret because they’ll sell out in a mat­ter of min­utes. The PS3? I’d be will­ing to bet there’s a cou­ple sit­ting at your near­est Best Buy right now, wait­ing for you to think long and hard about spend­ing $500–600 for (unlike my friend, apparently).

Also, this gem:

Sony believes Wii is cur­rent­ly sell­ing to casu­al gamers rather than com­mit­ted gamers, who are like­ly to buy more games in the years ahead.

What does Sony not get? Nin­ten­do turned a prof­it on the Wii con­sole so they aren’t entire­ly bet­ting the farm on sell­ing more games down the road (to recoup lost mon­ey on licens­ing fees, like Sony or Microsoft do). Also, of course Nin­ten­do is mar­ket­ing a sys­tem to the casu­al gamers. What Sony clear­ly does­n’t get is just how huge an untapped mar­ket that is. Hard­core gamers are, by def­i­n­i­tion almost, a niche mar­ket. The casu­al gamers vast­ly out­num­ber them. That’s why you can’t find a Wii con­sole hard­ly any­where while the PS3 is sit­ting on the store shelf. Last­ly, the most recent sales data I’ve seen is that the Wii has a much high­er attach rate for games and periph­er­als than the PS3, kind of negat­ing Sony’s com­plaint anyway.

Categorized as Geek

By Jason Coleman

Structural engineer and technical content manager Bentley Systems by day. Geeky father and husband all the rest of time.


  1. haha­ha­ha­ha!
    I don’t know what’s giv­en me the big­ger laugh, Sony’s elit­ism and Wii bash­ing, or your tak­ing offense to Sony’s elit­ism and Wii bash­ing and com­ing to the defense of poor, help­less, pas­sive Wii. in the short time I’ve known you, I’ve nev­er seen you get annoyed over anything.

    good points about the hard­core gam­ing niche. is that the D&D of cur­rent generations?

  2. Huh? I get annoyed with stuff all the time. Often, with elec­tron­ic devices I own (regard­less of man­u­fac­tur­er, it seems).

    Any­way, I did­n’t mean to sound angry or any­thing. I did intend for it to be a harsh cri­tique of Sony, though. They con­tin­ue to dis­ap­point me and I was once a pret­ty loy­al cus­tomer of theirs.

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