Sony struggled with PSP marketing as they put too much emphasis on its multimedia features instead of its gaming capabilities, this time around its different.
In an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine, SCEE president Jim Ryan explained that this approach was a mistake and ended up confusing customers:
I think with PSP we tried to position it as a rather broad multimedia device. We talked a lot in the early days of PSP about its video playback functionality its use as a music device and a host of other multimedia functionality that it had. I think this time we’ve realised that perhaps ended up confusing consumers, and they weren’t quite sure what the device was really all about. So this time the Vita does all of that stuff that we talked about on PSP, and it does it a lot better.
Ryan revealed that Sony won’t be making the same mistake with the PS Vita, which will be marketed as a handheld designed solely for gaming:
We’ve been a lot more single minded and much more focused in our positioning of Vita. We’re saying that this is primarily a gaming device. It has been developed from the ground up as a gaming device. What it does best is play games.
Ryan went on to say that Sony learned from the PSP that users don’t appreciate getting straight ports of console games and prefer their portable software to offer a unique experience:
The other thing would be that we learned that what consumers didn’t really appreciate [about PSP] was, in many cases, getting ports of PS2 and then PS3 games for their PSP. They said if that’s what you’re going to do, I’ll just play the game on PS2 or PS3. We’re helped here by the nature of the interfaces that are available on the Vita. What we learned is that the gaming experiences need to be unique and differentiated for gamers to be able to get into them.
The PS Vita does boast some great multimedia capabilities, however Sony have been right to take a more 'gaming' approach to marketing since it can create console quality experiences on the go. Also it has 2 analogs this time, Hello Peace Walker!
What do you think of Sony's marketing strategy? Should they emphasise games like Uncharted and LBP? or would TV ads of the Vita playing videos and music be more appropriate? Answer these questions in the comment section below!