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Sony looking to pick up Wii audience

Sony looking to pick up Wii audience

Tue 15 Jul 2014 2:16pm GMT / 10:16am EDT / 7:16am PDT
Publishing

House says to expect more PS4 "remastered" last-gen hits aimed at early adopters who passed on PS3

Sony is hoping the PlayStation 4 can appeal to people who passed on its predecessor. Speaking with Eurogamer, Sony Computer Entertainment president and group CEO, Andrew House said the company is pushing to convert customers from one of its competitor's systems.

"Our big opportunity is to welcome back an audience much earlier in the lifecycle that possibly bought into the Wii previously," House said.

House said the PS4 can win that audience over as an all-around entertainment device in addition to being a machine that plays games. But as much as streaming services and an array of media options might be selling points, Sony isn't ignoring the games side of the equation. One specific strategy Sony is taking to cater to that crowd is "remastering" exclusive PS3 titles for new PS4 owners. The first such effort, The Last of Us Remastered, releases later this month.

"I hesitate to say this because I know committed gamers may roll their eyes about it, but there's an opportunity with some of the remastering or re-imagining from PS3 franchises that will potentially find an audience that hasn't played them in the previous generation because they skipped that generation," House said. "We're starting to see signs of that.

"That bodes well for us as a platform, but it bodes well for developers and publishers as well. I've always looked with envy at the movie industry about what a great job they're able to do with taking content and making it work. Disney is the best example of this, right, of taking classic content and reintroducing it to audiences over time. We as an industry haven't done that historically. We're only just getting into our stride with people who now have been playing for 10, 20 years, who have a nostalgia factor, who want to see those franchises come back and be reinvented."

Sony has some experience with the concept already, as the PS3 saw a number of PS2 titles revamped with high-definition visuals and re-released, including God of War and Shadow of the Colossus. House said the trend of re-releases is an area he wants the PS4 "to lead the charge on."

23 Comments

Jordan Lund
Columnist

27 59 2.2
Not a good idea. Here's why:

Current estimates are that 1/2 the PS4 audience were also PS3 owners.

If the games weren't compelling enough for people to buy a PS3 to play them, they won't attract people to the PS4.
Of the PS4 owners, 1/2 of them owned a PS3 and chances are the large majority of them played they key PS3 games.

So you're spending money to attract people who weren't interested in the game the first time around or already played the game the first time around. Plus, titles like Uncharted/inFamous/Last of Us/etc. should be the key players to make Playstation Now a success.

This doesn't seem to me to be the wisest use of development money. They're throwing it down a hole to buy consumers who didn't care for it the first time and taking away interest from Playstation Now which needs all the help it can get.

Posted:2 months ago

#1

Charles Herold
Wii Games Guide

35 74 2.1
Popular Comment
Most of the people who bought the Wii were casuals. How is a remastered Last of Us going to pull in the people who bought the Wii for Wii Sports and Wii Fit?

It might help with sales to people who skipped the PS3 in favor of the Xbox 360 though.

Posted:2 months ago

#2

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,175 1,124 0.5
Oh, good gravy. I showed this article to a friend who's primarily a Nintendo fan and he got a good laugh out of it. "Call me when they get Link on the PS4" was about all he said. That money SHOULD go to new IP and maybe getting the millins of PS3 owners who still haven't switched over to think about doing so.

As it is, the glaring PS4/PS Vita compatible games that skip the PS3 for some reason (even though the PS3 can run them) is one issue I'd love to see addressed.

Posted:2 months ago

#3

Steve Wetz
Reviewer/Assistant Editor

213 529 2.5
Popular Comment
So the line of thinking is, "We need those people who passed up on our last generation to come to our new console. To do this, we will allow them to pay full price for upscaled versions of the games they decided weren't compelling enough to buy our last gen console."

Somewhere a gnome is filling in the blank between "Begin business" and "PROFIT."

Posted:2 months ago

#4

Neow Shau Jin
Studying Bachelor in Computer Science

52 81 1.6
Well Exclusives are mostly just the "tipping point" among variety of reasons one choose a console. No one who is a reasonable person would buy a game console just because he wants to play a single exclusive game, that is just a tipping point on top of other reasons like third party games, compelling apps and services. And people are less compelled to buy a console when they have (a) a gaming PC or (b) another console of the same gen. Games like The Last of Us came out in the end-of-life years of PS3, I doubt it drives a lot of console sales as gamers knows that next gen consoles are coming out in the same year, and if they only have the budget for one console, they may opt for next gen, gamers who owns an Xbox 360, however hard they want a game, won't feel that it's enough to justify a console purchase, as Xbox 360 provides most of the same third party games and services.

An Xbox 360 owner, who is looking to upgrade to a next-gen consoles, and trying to decide whether to go with Xbox One or PS4, may have their decision swayed by these remasters and exclusives. And I'm sure these are the groups marked by Sony as prime targets to win over before Microsoft gives them any more reasons to stick with Xbox.

Posted:2 months ago

#5

Shawn Clapper
Programmer

32 57 1.8
I don't think those Wii owners are going to switch over to this "entertainment system" so they can pay another monthly fee for internet access.

Posted:2 months ago

#6

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

925 1,381 1.5
"Sony looking to pick up Wii audience"
As I recall the Playstation Move was created for the same reason and turned out to be a spectacular failure in that regard.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 16th July 2014 2:41am

Posted:2 months ago

#7

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,175 1,124 0.5
I wouldn't call the Move a "spectacular failure" at all, Paul. Hell, it works better at games than Kinect does and while it doesn't have a "killer app" to recommend it (a pre-Disney Star Wars light saber game would have been pretty darn good if done right), there are some fun titles to pick up at reasonable prices these days...

Posted:2 months ago

#8

Jeff Kleist
Writer, Marketing, Licensing

328 185 0.6
This is the issue:

As others have said, the Wii audience are all playing Candy Crush, or they're people that already have, or plan to buy multiple systems this generation, many of whom were already going to buy a PS4.

The good news is that many of the current PS4 owners wouldn't mind playing it again, and it makes good PS+ fodder doen the road. Remasters of recent games are cheap. I know that I don't mind playing games twice for gamerscore, and I'm sure a not insignificant portion of their current audience does either. Sony is trying to fill the gaps, plain and simple, because none of their real next-grn games are going to be available until next year. When I made predictions that this Christmas was the one that mattered, I thought there would be software. Now I'm thinking 2015 is the one that really matter, because both consoles are going to have to drop, as this Christmas is mostly gong to be hardcores playing catchup.

Posted:2 months ago

#9

Andrew Ihegbu
Studying Bsc Commercial Music

447 158 0.4
Good lord. Everyone knows that the Wii had terrible customer retention, a vast majority of which never bought another game after getting the initial system and the rest only buying first party exclusives. Why on earth would they get a PS4?

Sony is slowly realizing that Master Chief is becoming Microsoft's Mario, and there's a large amount of rerelease titles 343 are bringing to market this year at a low development cost. Their also seeing thier own lack of even a mascot success in house.

Posted:2 months ago

#10

Christian Keichel
Journalist

676 923 1.4
I don't find it surprising that ND ports Last of Us to the PS4. The system is in dire need of Software, the situation is much worse, then it was on the Wii U twelve months ago and even Nintendo made a remastered Wind Waker, besides all the other exclusives, they released in 2013. Ports of old games don't cost as much money, as it would cost to develop a new title, they can be done in months instead of years and in this situation PS4 owners will buy the game, even if they already played it on the PS3. There simply isn't enough other software to play on the PS4 and people who just paid 399 dollar for a console don't want to see the the device sitting under the TV collecting dust.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christian Keichel on 16th July 2014 10:05am

Posted:2 months ago

#11

Neil Young
Programmer

296 372 1.3
Popular Comment
"Good lord. Everyone knows that the Wii had terrible customer retention, a vast majority of which never bought another game after getting the initial system and the rest only buying first party exclusives."

Everyone may "know" this, but it's not actually true - the wii had a tie ratio nearly as good as the ps3. (Dominance of first party is fairly true, although some others did well, notably ubisoft)

As for the remasters, can't see them being a deal maker for many, whether they had a wii or not, but seems like a good way of bolstering the ps4's line up.

Posted:2 months ago

#12

Christian Keichel
Journalist

676 923 1.4
As for the remasters, can't see them being a deal maker for many, whether they had a wii or not, but seems like a good way of bolstering the ps4's line up.
I agree, by the end of the year every system in this generation will have received a remaster of a previous title and the remaster will come from either one of the core franchises (Zelda), one of the main developers (ND) or both (343 doing Bungie's Halo). These remasters are aimed at the loyal fanbase of the manufacturers, you won't get new customers by doing remakes, fans will buy them nonetheless and the shelfs at Gamestop will have a little more variety.
The next Zelda, Uncharted and Halo will outsell these games for sure and in 2 or 3 years time nobody will talk about these remasters anymore, but on the other side, but that's almost normal for games from the start of a generation (with some exceptions like Mario64, Wii Sports or Halo of course).
Sony is slowly realizing that Master Chief is becoming Microsoft's Mario, and there's a large amount of rerelease titles 343 are bringing to market this year at a low development cost. Their also seeing thier own lack of even a mascot success in house.
I don't see the Master Chief as Microsoft's Mario, because he is and will always be a character from an FPS, while Mario is a mascot, that Nintendo uses in dozens of different titles (Kart Racer, RPG, Sports Games, etc.). The next Halo will sell well, no doubt about it, but I wouldn't bet, it will sell better, then the next Uncharted. Sony has a lot of franchises like Jak and Daxter, Sly Racoon, Little Big Planet, Uncharted or Last of Us (plus many more from the PS1 generation), is one of them as prominent as Halo in the US? Most probably not, but then Halo is not nearly as popular as Mario or Zelda, so I would say Sony's and Microsoft's franchises are roughly in the same league.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christian Keichel on 16th July 2014 12:31pm

Posted:2 months ago

#13

Andrew Ihegbu
Studying Bsc Commercial Music

447 158 0.4
Everyone may "know" this, but it's not actually true - the wii had a tie ratio nearly as good as the ps3.
The Wii's commonly reported tie ratio of 6.2 (to PS4's 6.5) was including Wii-Play, which comes bundled with separate controller purchases. I would call that statistic distortion, as if I purchase 3 more pads so the house can play, the statistics will report me as having purchased 3 more games than I intentionally have.

Statistics peg Wii-Play as having sold 28 million.

Dominance of first party is far more than fairly true though. The first appearance of a non-Nintendo name in their all time sales charts is number 15 (a Ubisoft title) and the next company doesn't pop up until 26 (Sega).

Ubisoft did do fairly well. Their top 2 selling titles though are Just Dance titles though, and at 5 million sales they didn't even move that many units in the grand scheme of things. I wonder if the ex-Wii crowd will really find anything they value on PS4 without the casual game list needing serious padding.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Andrew Ihegbu on 16th July 2014 6:03pm

Posted:2 months ago

#14

Christian Keichel
Journalist

676 923 1.4
The Wii's commonly reported tie ratio of 6.2 (to PS4's 6.5) was including Wii-Play, which comes bundled with separate controller purchases. I would call that statistic distortion, as if I purchase 3 more pads so the house can play, the statistics will report me as having purchased 3 more games than I intentionally have.
First of all, where comes the 6.2 from? Nintendo reported sales of 895 million Wii games and 101 million Wii consoles which results in a Tie Ratio of 8.86. Second, why shouldn't Wii Play be counted? Kinect came bundled with a game, Move was sold bundled with several games over the years, if you say Wii Play shouldn't be counted, you have to subtract these games from the overall software sales as well. But even if I subtract 28 million in total from the Wii Software sales, the Tie Ratio is still 8.58.
Besides, your argument with the 3 Wii Play bundles doesn't make sense. The Wii Play bundle had a higher price, then a Wii Mote, why should anybody buy 3 Wii Play bundles, that cost more then 1 Wii Play bundle and 2 Wii Motes?
Dominance of first party is far more than fairly true though. The first appearance of a non-Nintendo name in their all time sales charts is number 15 (a Ubisoft title) and the next company doesn't pop up until 26 (Sega).
Where do your numbers come from? This List shows Mario & Sonic (Sega/Nintendo) at number 11 and Just Dance at number 16. And it should be noted, that sales of 7 and 5 million would place both games easily in the Top10 of the best selling PS3/360 games.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christian Keichel on 16th July 2014 6:58pm

Posted:2 months ago

#15

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

925 1,381 1.5
@Greg--As far as picking up the Wii audience yes the Move was a failure. It obviously wasn't going to sell anywhere near what the Wii sold but it also didn't manage to take much of any of it's marketshare. And since you brought up Kinect, you should know that the Kinect sold much better than the Move and even broke a Guinness world record. As for why Wii owners skipped the Move, I'm sure part of it was because Wii owners looked at the Move controller and didn't find anything unique about it, especially since it looked so similiar to the Wii mote and had most of the same functionality.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 16th July 2014 11:20pm

Posted:2 months ago

#16

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,175 1,124 0.5
I don;t think the move was made to take ANY of the Wii's market share. I own a Wii and a PS3 (and a bunch of other consoles) and I've NEVER confused any game for any other game on either console and thus, never thought a PS3 Move-enabled game was "better" or a "replacement" for a Wii title.

Oh, and you can pretty much BUY a Guiness record these days, so that's kind of moot, that award. Bottom line, even if it didn't sell as well as the Wiimote, I'd gather Sony can fine more GAMING uses for the thing than Microsoft has with the Kinect. Sales are one thing, attach rates of people still using the device are something else.

All that said, I don't use my own Move as much these days, but at least I'm not griping about having it or that it's a mandatory peripheral forced into my collection. I knew what I was buying when I bought it, something some Kinect (and a few folks who played the handful of Wiimote-only games that didn't work well and had no other control options) can't say... :^)

Posted:2 months ago

#17

Andrew Ihegbu
Studying Bsc Commercial Music

447 158 0.4
Apologies for not checking my sources for the first claim, it was based on this: http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Software_tie_ratio and it was 6.07 not 6.2 anyway.
First link on google.

Kinekt and Move bundled games should not be counted either. Bundled games do not count as an attachment to your tie ratio to me, just as one should not say "I sold 300k Xbox 360 power bricks" when one actually just sold 300k Xboxes with bundled power bricks. You can distort the reality of the fact when people must buy software in order to get something else that they want.

Secondly, I have only ever seen Wii play bundled with a controller, so my apologies if a Wii-Mote can be bought seperately. It stands to reason that I was wrong on this account, but I'm still confused that one would sell less Wii Sports copies than consoles when they are bundled too, not to mention I do not think that should count towards tie ratio.

And I should have been clear on my last point, as Mario and Sonic is still a Nintendo title. A collaborative effort does not stop there from being a Nintendo IP front and centre. And my list in that respect comes from exactly the same place as yours, count it out if you wish.

So by most counts, my facts were off. I am not above admitting that however and apologising.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Ihegbu on 17th July 2014 4:56am

Posted:2 months ago

#18

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

925 1,381 1.5
The Move and Kinect were both created to take the Wii's casual gamer marketshare. If not then you are basically telling me Sony outright ripped off the Wii remote and nunchuk controller for no apparent reason. Actually many people see it that way anyway but they did it to go after those casual gamers(nursing home residents and soccer moms among them) that only Nintendo seemed to be getting back in 2006-2010.

Also keep in mind we are talking about the original Kinect and it wasn't mandatory for anything other than Kinect specific games. When I bought mine it wasn't forced into my collection. Me and everyone that bought it knew what they were buying, a motion-controlling camera add-on for the 360. It clearly didn't work perfectly all the time, not in motion sensing or voice controls but it was definitely worth the money I put into it. And although I don't use mine much these days for tradional gaming I use it atleast twice a week for my workouts. Just like people dropped cable for Netflix and Hula Plus I dropped my gym membership for my Kinect workout games.

Posted:2 months ago

#19

Jeff Kleist
Writer, Marketing, Licensing

328 185 0.6
@Christian

The WiiPlay bundle was the only way to get additional controllers for a very long time.

This is hardly a new Nintendo tactic. They have a long history of exactly these kinds of tactics. Who can forget the IC shortage back in the 80/? While game developers found alternative component sources that independent labs certified as equivalent, Nintebdo always rejected them. Why not collect that additional money when people will pay it?

I if you don't believe me, ask anyone who worked at gamestop during that time.

Posted:2 months ago

#20

Christian Keichel
Journalist

676 923 1.4
but I'm still confused that one would sell less Wii Sports copies than consoles when they are bundled too, not to mention I do not think that should count towards tie ratio
Wi Sports wasn't bundled in Japan with a Wii and in later years the console was bundled with Mario Kart, Wii Party, Wii Sports Resort or Mario & Sonic.
Kinekt and Move bundled games should not be counted either. Bundled games do not count as an attachment to your tie ratio to me, just as one should not say "I sold 300k Xbox 360 power bricks" when one actually just sold 300k Xboxes with bundled power bricks.
That's tricky, the PS3 and 360 were bundled with games over and over again during it's lifetime, They came bundled with games like Halo3, Forza, GTA IV, MGS4, CoD, Gran Turismo and many more high profile AAA titles. These games always lead to higher hardware sales, so it is a sure thing to say, people bought the consoles to play these games. Not counting bundled games means not counting the sales for all these AAA titles either. Miscrosoft has just pushed the TItanfall Bundle and the pre-orders for the PS4 Destiny bundle went through the roof. People are buying these consoles to play the bundled games on it.
And I should have been clear on my last point, as Mario and Sonic is still a Nintendo title. A collaborative effort does not stop there from being a Nintendo IP front and centre. And my list in that respect comes from exactly the same place as yours, count it out if you wish.
You are right, that Mario & Sonic is featuring a Nintendo IP, but it should be noted, that the game was publised outside Japan by Sega.
Of course, If your point is the strong presence of 1st party titles on Nintendo systems, you are right. Unfortuately the only number about the performance of 3rd party titles on the Wii I can find is from 2010, at this time Nintendo reported 76 million sellers on the Wii, 54 of them were third party titles. Does this mean any 3rd party title sold nearly as good as Mario Kart Wii? No. But it shows, that the claim of some publishers, that 3rd party games on the Wii didn't say in general was false, they just didn't understand the Wii audience, other publishers managed to make games, that sold well.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Christian Keichel on 17th July 2014 9:49am

Posted:2 months ago

#21

Christian Keichel
Journalist

676 923 1.4
@ Jeff
The WiiPlay bundle was the only way to get additional controllers for a very long time.
No shortages of Wii Motes here in europe, they have been available since day 1 in great quantities, it was harder to find a console here, then a Wii Mote.

Posted:2 months ago

#22

Richard Browne
EVP Gaming and Interactive

99 114 1.2
Most Wii owners will never buy a console again, let alone a $400 console aimed at men 16-35.

Posted:2 months ago

#23

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