Sony spending $50 million on PS Vita marketing efforts in the US

By on February 14, 2012, 11:00 AM

Sony is spending upwards of $50 million to promote their new hand-held gaming system in the US. The PS Vita is set for release on February 22 but faces stiff competition from gaming-enabled consumer devices like tablets and smartphones.

John Koller, senior director for PlayStation hand-held consoles, noted that the $50 million domestic budget is the largest platform launch in terms of marketing investment the company has ever had. Sony has developed television commercials, retail partnerships, billboards, digital banner ads and a heavy social media presence as part of the “Never Stop Playing” campaign.

The television spots were filmed in Buenos Aires over the course of three days. One clip demonstrates the Vita’s augmented reality feature while another shows a man playing games against other people he encounters on the street. These are expected to air during programs like “The Simpsons”, “South Park” and “Tosh.0” as well as during NBA and NCAA basketball games.

It remains to be seen if the Vita can compete in this new-age portable gaming landscape but Sony has loaded the hand-held with some impressive hardware to give it a go.

The system is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and a quad-core SGX543MP4+ graphics processing unit to go along with the 512MB of system Ram and 128MB of VRAM. Gamers will interact via a 5-inch OLED multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, a full array of controls on the front of the system and a unique rear touchpad. Connectivity consists of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and 3G.

The Wi-Fi only model will set you back $249 while the 3G-enabled Vita commands $299.




User Comments: 21

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Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

wow, it has more RAM than the Xbox and PS3, nice

Although, I have to admit, I don't think I will ever buy a handheld console again, my iPhone does such a good job since I usually won't be playing a game on the go for longer than 30 minutes, I can't really justify the spend, unless they get some absolutely show stopping games on Vita, It is a big fat "never will buy" from me.

yRaz yRaz said:

If someone is going to get the 3g enabled one then they might as well just get a smartphone... I'd rather buy a DS anyway

Guest said:

I could by a Vita and a regular Android smartphone for less than a full featured smartphone with capability to play crap-like phone games like the ones they offer!

How can Angry Birds and the likes be competition, game-wise, to the offer of a PSP/DS console? Unless you're actually just aiming for the 1 dollar mini-games, of course.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Mark my words: It won't sell that much. I know, crazy right?

Thing is, this thing costs 250 bucks, the same price as a standard PS3. Most people would rather go with the console than the handled; considering iPhone and Android have great mobile games, people don't see an immediate need (key word here) for a handled device.

Failing to realize this very thing, will cause them to fall short of their hope of selling this thing like hotcakes. It is almost paradoxical, actually: they make, perhaps, the ultimate handheld device, which is inevitably priced high enough to be compared to a console, and consequently causes the consumer to give priority to consoles (since they are both priced almost collaterally), as most people happen to be quite comfortable with carrying their smartphone as their preferred gaming device, thus, greatly diminishing the immediate need for purchase.

In other words, why buy a PS Vita if my iPhone fulfills most--if not all--of my gaming needs? Or what if what I really need is a Blu-ray player? Well, the PS3 also happens to be a Blu-ray player, and it plays even better-looking games than the similarly priced Vita. Like, besides graphics, what will motivate a non-geeky consumer to purchase a Vita? Granted if you are a gamer, you probably know what the Vita is, but what will it really offer you besides great graphics? A browser? Apps? Gyroscope? Sounds like a lot of the things you would find on that <i>thing</i> in your pocket you use to make calls.

In essence, by making such a powerful handled, they've hindered their chances of selling it, because its price is quite similar to other devices (one of which they happen to also produce) that offer, to the regular consumer a more lasting, complete value. What these other devices lack, of course, is the mobility of a handheld, but because of the emergence of mobile gaming introduced by smartphone OSes, this characteristic has been going from necessity to novelty.

That's not to say they should have made a less powerful device that would have inevitably reduced the retail price, and, in turn, make the device more attractive (and, perhaps more justifiable) to a regular consumer. (I am not saying <i>that</i>, mind you, <u>but</u> if that were the case it would certainly help.)

But as of now, I see it having the same performance it had in Japan: sales were high the first week, but after that, well... people were kind of "meh".

Guest said:

Those also dropped the bombshell about the "UMD passport" for unlocking some games for e versions to use on the Vita, is Japanese only, and will NOT be available in the United States.

Guest said:

That wasnt smart sony

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think Lawfer made a very astute observation about how this thing will market (or fail to market, actually). I think that early surge is always comprised of combinations of the "must have the newest gadget" crowds and brand- (or platform-) loyal consumers who are willing to upgrade whenever a newer & better version of their favorite toy finally hits the stores. However, I think that observation one of the Guest commentators made regarding the lack of the "UMD passport" program in the US will have a greater impact than Sony is expecting. There is a whole teaming mass of PSP users out there, who have been waiting and hoping for a better version to hit (and the PSP-Go was DEFINITELY not it)... Those loyal consumers were rewarded in Japan, allowed to migrate some of their PSP titles to the Vita, making it that much easier to justify buying the new hardware. Backwards compatibility can be the bane of a hardware company's existence at times, but the marketing benefits are staggering when you allow current customers to keep their favorite titles when they migrate up to the new equipment. By killing the passport program for the US, Sony has really alienated an entire group of current customers, a group which (as I stated earlier) usually has a big part in the early sales surge when a sequel product launches.

I'm guessing that the US launch numbers will be decent, but still on the disappointing side. I know that for me, I was excited about the Vita, as I travel constantly and have carried my PSP for years to play games and watch movies on planes, trains, etc. I'm one of the rare breed that make up the niche for mobile gaming platforms other than phones (which I need to actually be a phone, with a full charge for taking business calls at a moments notice, not dead because I was playing Angry Birds too long). I want the option of real depth in games, not just casual game apps, and have to rely on dedicated gaming consoles or my laptop for that. So, with all that said, I'll be giving the Vita a pass, unless something drastic changes. I was on the fence as pre-launch details were coming in, and the tarnish started rubbing off. I think Sony killing the UMD passport program was the final kick in the groin.

Guest said:

either way...they will waste their money on a campaigne so...EPIC FAIL!!! for SONY...Hyper Troll Dance Because....its expensive, no real benefits and they treat consumers like s-hit, and they dont have the stupid loyalty like the call of duty freaks that buy everything or the isheeps guy...so its an epic fail

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

I've had my vita on order since june and im pretty exited to try it out. Unfortunately I don't see it being adopted very well as the launch titles are pretty weak and it's expensive. I don't expect it to keep me away from my ps3 but if theres a handfull of solid titles after a year or two i will be happy.

Guest said:

amazing to see the words "need" and "price" so often, when extremely overpriced and limited iPhones and flying off the shelves.

do you "need" an iPhone or an iPad when you can have other smartphones for half the price?

and how about the iPad, that thing costs like twice the vita and, game-wise, does far less than half.

However, the majority (high majority) of iPad users use it for... gaming. Bad gaming, too. But it suffices to them

So neither "price" OR "need" should be an issue IF what you want is a gaming handheld. It is cheaper than an iPhone or an iPad or even many other smartphones that cost much higher and do far less, gaming-wise.

Most important is what lawfer said. Compared to other CONSOLES (and not phones, tablets), it is indeed pricey!

RealXboxMaster said:

Placed an order for the 3G model. Price is very steep for 3G model . Titles at launch are weak. System itself is a VERY powerful handheld. Reason for getting a Vita is that its going on Ebay for resell.....

Guest said:

If this was made for Apple and was priced for $499 as the 1st apple handheld console, it would sell 20 million in a quarter. Just sayin'. A LOT of people today buy expensive devices to "show off", for status/acceptance, or to be "cool" among their friends < 18.

Real handheld gamers are now becoming a minority and will only take Vita so far. Hardcore gamers also play on consoles/PCs/laptops, etc.

Young kids don't think of Sony as a "cool" brand to have. It's not on their "must have list". While casual gamers would rather buy $1-2 games than $30-50 games. I don't think Vita would sell well even if it was $99. It's simply a product in a market that's too niche and where people would rather spend $500 on an iPad.

What's really happening is the death of hardcore handheld gamer more than any other specific issue of Vita. Even if it could have a hypothetical Core i7 3960 and HD7970 in Tri-Fire in it with a 2048x1536 screen, it probably wouldn't make an ounce of a difference for the current market. It's the reality -- people want casual games on the go that smartphones and tablets provide and hardcore gaming at home via consoles/PCs/desktop replacement laptops.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

amazing to see the words "need" and "price" so often, when extremely overpriced and limited iPhones and flying off the shelves.

do you "need" an iPhone or an iPad when you can have other smartphones for half the price?

and how about the iPad, that thing costs like twice the vita and, game-wise, does far less than half.

However, the majority (high majority) of iPad users use it for... gaming. Bad gaming, too. But it suffices to them

So neither "price" OR "need" should be an issue IF what you want is a gaming handheld. It is cheaper than an iPhone or an iPad or even many other smartphones that cost much higher and do far less, gaming-wise.

Most important is what lawfer said. Compared to other CONSOLES (and not phones, tablets), it is indeed pricey!

How is the iPhone pricey? Its $199. That's the ubiquitous price for all high-end smartphones nowadays.

It is pricey if we are talking about the unsubsidized price, but nobody pays that. And I assure you, those who do, probably <i>pay to somebody</i> who buys it for them. They aren't exactly complaining, is what I'm saying.

R3DP3NGUIN R3DP3NGUIN said:

I have yet to see a smartphone with the graphics of this. Graphics to me is a important part of gaming, I know that sounds stupid but I am one of those people who wont play a game unless its on highest spec (talking PC here). I would buy one of these over PS3 purely because the handheld is almost as good looking.

Guest said:

I'm not buying one for myself but am buying one for a relative thats been medically shot down in his youth. He a schizo living in a (RF) facility, he'll love it. The only problem the tenants would want to steal it lol.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

yRaz said:

If someone is going to get the 3g enabled one then they might as well just get a smartphone... I'd rather buy a DS anyway

Sony cut the wrong corner by not making the Vita a phone.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

R3DP3NGUIN said:

I have yet to see a smartphone with the graphics of this.

The same chips in the Vita will be in the iPhone 3. The only think I'll miss are tangible buttons and analog sticks. Hopefully Apple will come up with something to help control games. Like a touch sensitive back, as the Vita has.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

RealXboxMaster said:

Reason for getting a Vita is that its going on Ebay for resell.....

After you "test" if it works? Lol

Guest said:

anyone knows how were the sales for Xperia Xplay?

yep, bad...

KG363 KG363 said:

They had a PS Vita truck today at FSU with a whole bunch of them for trying them out. Still not interested, though.

Guest said:

Sorry at 250 $ I don't want it !

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