John Koller, SCEA hardware head honcho and all round big tough guy is providing a huge amount of entertainment at the moment. He can’t keep his yapper shut spouting off all sorts about the state of play at Sony whilst gently slapping the opposition. In his latest blurt he talks to VG247 about the jeans and t-shirt gamers known (and accompanied by an evil hiss) as the ‘casual market.’
“We’ve captured the hardcore. The install base we have now tells us that the hardcore’s purchased. We’re moving on now to continue to support them with a tremendous line-up of games, but also look at softer brands that maybe we had with PS2 franchises we’re bringing over to PS3, or new IP.”
The casual market is something that tends to instill fear into the eyes of the hardcore crowd. A large part of this can be attributed to Nintendo’s current situation. They have almost ignored their fans, bringing out only a handful of sequels to many old and tired franchises and having no limit on the ‘shovelware’ that the console is now strongly associated with. It’s easy to see why the word ‘casual’ is tainted so. It’s also easy to see why Sony wants a piece of the ‘soft’ pie.
Despite loosing favor with the gaming public Nintendo have seen their profits explode and Sony is right to set it’s targets on the pockets of the everyday folk. Offering much more as a system it has the possibility of turning the tide towards a more diverse user base whilst keeping it’s main source of profit happy.
Some would say that Sony’s strategy this generation has been weak in comparison to the competition. Falling behind at so many hurdles, many decisions have seemed out of touch, short sighted and some just down right odd.
To me, however, it’s becoming ever more apparent that Sony have got their long game down. With the hardcore market as the foundation of the PlayStation brand, expanding on from a thrill seeking and passionate user base to the bite sized and more family orientated gamer. It’s a sound strategy and one that is clearly set to go the distance.
Expect to see evidence of this at this year’s big conferences starting with E3 in June.