I haven’t decided to buy a Sony PlayStation 4 until I saw the newly-released advertisement The Players Since 1995, which aroused my nostalgia for PlayStation memories from bygone eras. This great advertisement triggered my interest about the whole marketing campaign for PlayStation 4, and a few unusual facts are found.
Sony is betting big on the PlayStation 4, since the PlayStation 3 is a fail, making the company lost roughly $500 million in 2009. In fact, the company has repeatedly said that it “can’t fail” with the PlayStation 4, as the games division is now such a big part of the company’s bottom line. Accordingly, the upcoming PlayStation 4 marketing campaign will be the biggest Sony has ever done, for any product: in the North America market alone, Sony will spend $100 million to promote the PlayStation 4 during the selling season from Thanksgiving to Charismas this year, which means that Sony need to sell roughly 286,000 PS4 consoles to cover the budget. In addition, to compete with Xbox One in price, Sony will lose $60 for each PS4 console sold. Overall, Sony has to rely on the sales of games and PlayStation Plus subscriptions alongside the hardware to get the money back.
The PS4 marketing to date is trying to position the console stark different from its most immediate competitor, Microsoft’s Xbox One. While Microsoft is touting the Xbox One spots as an entertainment system with multiple uses (blue ray drive, motion control, Netflix connection, food order, etc), Sony’s PS4 is very clearly targeting at hard-core video game players.
So whether it worth to spend such a great amount of money on marketing, and whether the marketing segmentation for the PS4 is too narrow? The sales data may give the answer: Sony sold over one million PS4 consoles within the first 24 hours after its launch. But the question is always like this: what percentage of the sales could be attributed to the marketing?