Sony backing the Vita with its biggest marketing push ever

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PSvitalaunch

It’s just 7 weeks until Sony’s PSP successor, the touch-screen enabled PlayStation Vita will be released in Western markets. It’s been available in the land of Ramen and panty-spewing vending machines for under a month, but has failed thus far to topple the mighty 3DS, selling just a third of the number of units in a comparable time frame. Don’t write it off just yet; it’ll likely gain a lot more traction with its release in the US and Europe, with many of its launch titles catering to more Western tastes.

Sony’s not just counting on it, they’re going to do all they can to make sure that happens.

"The PS Vita launch will be supported by the biggest campaign we’ve ever executed, and this level of activity will continue throughout 2012, reflecting our confidence in, and commitment to the platform long term," Sony’s UK marketing manager Mark Bowles said to MCV."Our campaign will target gamers primarily, but also the new generation of tech enthusiasts and entertainment consumers who are used to playing games on their smartphones or tablets," he said.

"In terms of media focus, due to the connected nature of the Vita and the behaviour of our target audience, our campaign will have a strong digital backbone, supporting a heavyweight TV, press, outdoor and retail presence. Finally, one thing we learnt early on is that the best way to understand PS Vita, is to get hands-on experience with it. This is why we’re investing heavily in an experiential tour (in the UK)."

I’m pretty excited for the Vita (I want one NOW!), mostly because there’s a new version of Lumines coming, tailored to the platform. Personally, I don;t think the vita will do exceptionally well at first. It’ll obviously sell like madness to early adopters like us; core gamers and those overcome by technolust, but just like with the 3DS, mass market penetration likely wont happen until there’s a bit of a price decrease. If there’s one thing that the 3DS’ renewed success has proven, it’s that there’s still a market for dedicated handhelds in this age of tablets and smartphones – provided you have the games and the price. From the announced line up, Sony certainly has the games, but $250 (for the base, Wi-fi only model) is possibly too high for common folk.

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Last Updated: January 10, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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