A preface: I like the Vita. I think it’s a great system with absolutely bags of potential and some killer games. But let’s be honest: it’s struggling a wee bit and only more great games, a hefty price cut and much more in the way of Mobile titles can really make a big difference to the console’s long term potential, sales wise.
Or – hey – a marketing campaign from Sony America? That’ll work.
Expect, well, this one’s a little bit off the mark. Picked up on GAF, this is presumably an email campaign going out to existing Vita owners over in the States. It’s one of those ‘word of mouth’ style things where Sony expect you to do the hard work of actually marketing the console. In this case, it’s a “mission” to “convince your friends” to buy a PS Vita.
If they do, you both get $20 of PSN credit. That’s good, right? Well, perhaps, but the way it’s conveyed is a bit dated, and the legalese that says contestants have to state that they’re being compensated in all methods of communication with friends would probably put me right off.
The principle of the thing’s not really the issue, it’s the way it’s handled. “Friends that game-on-the-go together, stay together” it claims. Ugh. And, really, although positive feedback from mates is one of the strongest sales channels a company can ever wish for, the whole “mission” aspect seems entirely misplaced, at least to me, as if they’re trying to ‘game’ it up.
I get that Sony are desperately trying to raise awareness of the console, and rightly so. And whilst I’m not ignorant enough to think that one team working on marketing takes time away from another trying to source top tier third party projects, Sony’s entire focus just now should be on making sure existing Vita owners have new games to get their teeth into.
2013 is key for the Vita. Keep pushing Mobile to enable cheaper games, make sure the first party stuff (like Killzone and Tearaway) are as good as they can be and delivered with plenty of on-target marketing and – seriously – get that price cut in effect and bundle in a memory card. But don’t expect your current fanbase to be shouting from the rooftops for you.
Regardless, I checked the Sony Rewards site and couldn’t even find where to get started.