Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sony Looks to 'LittleBigPlanet' Start to Boost Console Sales

Advertising Age posts an article about Sony betting on the popularity of 'LittleBigPlanet' star, Sackboy, to boost its console sales. Sony plans to put a big marketing push behind Sackboy. Sony is partnering with retailers to offer two presale-only, downloadable Sackboy characters from a couple of Sony's other popular first-party games: Kratos from "God of War" and Nariko from "Heavenly Sword." Sony also plans to create about 1,000 "LittleBig billboards."

Analysts seem to think Sackboy has a good shot at lifting PS3. According to NPD Group, through June, PS3 -- which got a later start than chief rival Xbox 360 -- had sold 4.9 million units vs. Xbox 360's 10.5 million and Wii's 10.9 million since their introductions.

Nintendo uses a similar approach building a variety of their consoles around Mario-based games. And this is a great approach since Nintendo is perceived by consumers to produce less "hardcore" games (e.g. not as much blood and guts). In fact, games like Wii Fit and Super Smash Brothers Brawl have helped increase Wii sales. Also, Microsoft has does a good job promoting its Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles around the Halo series, but I think Halo reaches out to the gaming audience the Xbox 360 is targeting.

Sony PS3 attracts a different type of gamer; It attracts more of the hardcore gamer. Games such as Call of Duty 4, Metal Gear Solid 3, Grand Theft Auto IV and Warhawk are some of the more popular games on the PS3. Sony also has the market cornered with its support of Blu-Ray.

I haven't played Little Big Planet, but it doesn't appear to be a "hardcore" game from what I can see. Sony may need to re-position the PS3 altogether if it wants to use a similar approach to Nintendo and put most of its marketing support behind a specific character or game, especially one that may not be of interest to its "hardcore" audience.

Feel free to leave comments if you have any experiences playing Little Big Planet or other games.

Source: AdAge

Saturday, August 09, 2008

New Search Engine Popping Up

I came across two new search engines, http://www.cuil.com and http://www.viewzi.com. Cuil is a little more text driven while Viewzi returns more visual results. Some consumers posting on an article at Ad Age debate whether Viewzi could eventually replace Google.

I checked out Viewzi on my on own to see how it works. I found the search engine to be counter intuitive at first; however, I think it may catch on eventually. I don't think Viewzi will be the search engine to knock off Google. First, I don't think the name is as catchy as Google. Can you imagine people saying, "I'm going to Viewzi this." Google is synonymous with the word search online. Any search engine looking to pass Google will have to become a household name.

I feel the next tool to pass Google will have to be a hybrid between Yahoo, Google and major blog search engines and social media sites. Competitors looking to pass Google will need to put more into innovation and search capabilities. Additionally, they will need to incorporate social media attributes (e.g. creating online social communities and building out blog search tools).

Source: http://adage.com/digitalnext/article?article_id=130111