Sony Computer Entertainment boss Andrew House has said that the company is currently targeting Wii owners that didn’t purchase the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3. House says that they have already managed to grab some of the former Wii consumers that never upgraded, but they still have a way to go.
“Our big opportunity is to welcome back an audience much earlier in the lifecycle that possibly bought into the Wii previously,.”
“Whether it’s based on this is a really good all-round entertainment device for a family in addition to having great games, our consumer data suggests some of those people are already coming in now and that’s what’s contributing to the really great sales we’ve had.”
“And anecdotally I’ve had people who were the Wii generation and who are back in the consideration set. It’s certainly something I hear about.”
Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide Studio, has praised Nintendo in a recent interview. Yoshida says that while the industry is currently obsessed with military first person shooters, Nintendo provides a good balance with their creative and unique titles.
“I was very happy to get a very positive reaction when we announced LittleBigPlanet 3. We are concerned a little bit when we work on a game like LittleBigPlanet 3, about how people will react, because people want those big-budget, realistic, military shooters. But there were lots of cheers, a lot of affection.”
“And the reaction to Nintendo’s games in general, or a game like Splatoon. If you look at the whole industry, and you consider Nintendo, I think the balance is actually better than past years.”
PlayStation’s American VP of marketing John Koller, claims that a third of people who own a PlayStation 4 have moved from Nintendo and Xbox to Sony’s brand. The research that Koller cites suggests that 31 percent of Playstation 4 owners had an Xbox 360 or Wii, but not a PlayStation 3 in the previous console generation. The same research claims that a staggering 17 percent of PlayStation 4 owners didn’t own a last gen console. Here’s what Koller had to say.
“The person that we’ve picked up since launch primarily is someone we call the connoisseur, someone that loves, unequivocally, loves games.”
“They are the people who, when you walk in [to their home], there’s no books on their book shelves. They’re all game packages. They’re the people who stood in line at midnight [for the console's launch]. They really are a fantastic consumer for us. They’re a great part of the PlayStation nation.”
“Koller also added that among early PS4 buyers are also a higher than expected number of “indulgers” who were described as “people that are traditionally a little bit more price-sensitive or down the funnel that have kind of bucked the trend as it were”
Japanese news publication The Nikkei reports that Nintendo worldwide hardware sales have fallen by 31% to 16.31 million. The Nikkei also says that Sony has topped the worldwide console sales for first time since 2006. Sony has sold 18.7 million PlayStation 4 consoles and other game consoles for the fiscal year to March. Microsoft sales rose 16 percent to 11.6 million thanks to the Xbox One.
“Nintendo’s console sales slid 31 percent as the portable 3DS system failed to entice gamers while the new Wii U also fared poorly, it added.”
MCV have ran an interview with PlayStation UK MD Fergal Gara and talks to him about a variety of subjects. One of the things on discussion is the 3DS, which Gara says shows that the dedicated handheld market isn’t dead as many would have you believe.
“Well that just shows that playing on a dedicated handheld device has not gone, as many will try to suggest. We want to have a healthy share of that handheld market. But we are playing fairly differently to Nintendo 3DS, when you think that is a dedicated handheld device with a very strong showing amongst kids. Vita is positioned differently. Yes it appeals to kids but also to committed gamers and as a companion device for PlayStation 4. 3DS shows that the sector is still there and that Nintendo is doing very well in it, so there is a market to harness.”
Tokyo-based games consultant Serkan Toto thinks that Sony’s PlayStation 4 will enable the company to capture some of the marketshare that Nintendo has so far failed to capture with its Wii U console. However, he doesn’t think that it’s likely that Sony will be able to get those casual consumers that purchased a Wii back in 2006 as he believes they have flocked to mobile and tablet based gaming.
“Calling it a “dream situation” for Sony, Tokyo-based games consultant Serkan Toto believes that the company will dominate the Japanese market this generation. But it’s unlikely that Sony will be able to convince all of the customers that sent Nintendo to the top with the Wii yet failed to return for the Wii U. The Wii’s stratospheric sales were largely because of casual games and non-traditional software that appealed to the same demographic most likely to have switched to mobile devices.”
“As such, Toto says, it “isn’t unrealistic” to imagine that the overall console market will shrink in size, even if the PS4 outsells the PS3. Still, there’s an opportunity for Sony to make up some ground. “I think that Sony will be able to capture some of the market that Nintendo isn’t able to serve with the Wii U, but it will certainly be not all of it,” says Toto. “But Nintendo is making it as easy for Sony as ever to capture some market share.”
PlayStation UK Managing Director Fergal Gara has admitted that the decline of Nintendo could ultimately be detrimental to the video game market. Gara says that Nintendo successfully appeals to the younger consumer group that Sony is trying to go after with titles such as Knack and says there would be a huge gap in the market.
“[The decline of Nintendo] could be detrimental to the market, unless people like us raise our game and help tap into the younger consumer group that they serve rather well. That is the challenge to us. We need to bring maybe more family-friendly, more casual experiences into the market. I think there’s a big market segment there that we should take the challenge to engage and I see lots of potential to do that.”
“The DS family was the bestselling format last year, despite the stellar sales of the PS4 for the last four or five weeks, it was still the best selling console or console family.”
“I think Vita has maybe not a huge position in the marketplace, but a very unique position. First of all it’s the only device that offers the same level of control and interaction, it’s the only device to offer the same level of visual beauty, and now it’s the only console to offer that companionship with the leading home games console.”
Sony’s purchase of the Renesas Electronics semiconductor manufacturing plant at Tsuruoka has gone ahead and the company has signed an agreement with Renesas to finalise the deal. The manufacturing plant manufactures the DRAM chip that is found in the Wii U, so many were wondering what Nintendo will do once the deal is finalised. Well, it looks as though Nintendo will be able to have the DRAM produced by Sony at Tsuruoka. This will probably happen until the production shifts to Renesas plant in Naka, or alternatively, Nintendo finds a new partner.
NHK is reporting that Sony is currently poised to purchase the Nintendo DRAM manufacturing plant for a staggering ¥7 billion. The DRAM chip that the company produces is currently found within Wii U consoles. The move has been expected for some time as we originally reported on it in December. Nintendo hasn’t commented on the situation and hasn’t confirmed a new partner as of yet.
ACE Securities, a Japanese investment and market analysis firm, has produced a document detailing what it expects to hear from Nintendo during the Corporate Management Policy Briefing that’s taking place on January 30th and will be hosted by Satoru Iwata. In the Corporate Management Policy Briefing on January 30th the company is apparently going to describe the future business policy:
- Dealing with content development risks due to the consecutive failure to launch with high performance the 3DS and the Wii U.
- Response to the problem of the inability to secure third party titles caused by SCE (Sony Computer Entertainment) investing heavily in the marketing cost of multiplatform software.
- Due to the soaring development costs of home consoles making difficult to ensure profitability, we hope to hear an answer on the building of a new business model.