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.