Rewarding the Fan(atic)s while making the mockers go green
I have not owned a games console for a long time. Had a Mega Drive with the expensive and worse than useless CD-ROM attachment (which I was impatient enough to get from Japan, via my resentful parents) and a tonne of games. Was fun. I then kind of lost interest as the next lot of consoles were much dearer, I’d rather spend my money on records etc and the games started to get complex enough to be a lifestyle choice. I remember toying with Tomb Raider for a bit on a mate’s PlayStation – being underwhelmed and wishing it was Mario Kart, Galaga or Metal Slug. But these things get better and better and more and more controversial. Just like Sega fanboys in the past thought they were rebelling against the Nintendo empire, the king of the last generation of consoles, Sony, has come in for a rough ride.
The PlayStation 3 has been roasted in the press and blogs for its heroic price (thanks to a not-relevant-to-gaming BluRay drive), late delivery and general arrogance. The European version even lacks the hardware to properly emulate the PS2, which is a lame cost cutting measure which means that one of the things that has made the PlayStation platform special is being denied to European consumers. I’ve never understood why people camp out to get things and a few mentalists stayed in the Virgin Megastore to be some of the first to get their hands on this expensive gamble. Everyone I know thought they were sad and I’m sure we are not alone.
Lots of potential bile, so what are the marketers to do? Make us all get envious with a classic mechanic – the surprise giveaway. A 46-inch HDTV for the 100 mentalists who waited to buy the console and great coverage everywhere!
Sony plays long games and I’ve never counted them out of this console battle but if their PR stays this good others may soon agree.