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We don't know why PS4 is selling - Yoshida

We don't know why PS4 is selling - Yoshida

Tue 19 Aug 2014 3:01pm GMT / 11:01am EDT / 8:01am PDT
Retail

Sony exec thrilled with system's early success, but nervous because he doesn't fully understand it

The good news for Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida is that the PlayStation 4 sold through 10 million systems in nine months, far exceeding expectations. The bad news, as he told Eurogamer, is that he can't figure out exactly why the system has done so well.

"We are so happy," Yoshida said. "But I for one am a bit nervous because we do not completely understand what's happening. You need to understand why your products are selling well so you can plan for the future, right? It defied the conventional thinking."

Yoshida said he's been asking journalists for their impressions of the situation, as well as Sony's own marketing people. The latter group has surveyed new PS4 owners, and found an unusually high number of them didn't own a PS3, with some not having any systems from the previous generation of hardware. Yoshida said he didn't know where those people came from, or why they bought a system now.

"As soon as we see a great sales number, our instinct tells us we should be concerned about future sales, right? Are we exhausting all the core gamers? If we sell this number of units, there are no more consumers we can sell to," Yoshida said. "That's a really terrifying prospect. So we want to understand who are these consumers who we do not necessarily consider core gamers, who are purchasing PS4 and why they are doing it and what they are doing with PS4, so we can create a bit more of a positive future, rather than saying, 'Wow, we have sold to every single core gamer.'"

Sony isn't standing still while it waits to get an answer to Yoshida's questions. He said the company is working to improve the PS4's features, network services, and game library.

13 Comments

Francisco Javier
QA Manager

28 21 0.8
LOL. Really, they don't get it? It's called Fidelity. With the PS3 they have showed to the gamers that they're not only into shooter or casual, but that you can have all type of experiences. From Killzone to Journey, to Heavy Rain and Last Of Us. Or Beyond Two Souls. They offered a wide range of type of products. With the X360, you liked shooters or you got tired of the system, meanwhile with the Wii... gamers doesn't had a change with the system catalog (and that's why WiiU isn't doing well even the greatness of Nintendo own games).



That's my position right now. Got the WiiU, the 3DS, the Vita and the PS4 (not to mention pass gen) and I'm enjoying and buying games from Nintendo consoles, however, I ocasionally enjoy playing the games on Vita or PS4. First game I got with the PS4 has been Las of Us.

I think that a lot of people jumped on the PS4 with the same reasons.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Francisco Javier on 19th August 2014 4:43pm

Posted:30 days ago

#1

Hugo Trepanier
Senior UI Designer

156 144 0.9
@Francisco, did you even read the article? What's puzzling Sony is the unusually high number of customers who bought a PS4 and did not own a PS3 or even another console prior to that. There's no doubt PS4/PSN offer great value, I guess they're simply surprised at the amount of new customers it brought in versus already acquired customers upgrading.
The latter group has surveyed new PS4 owners, and found an unusually high number of them didn't own a PS3, with some not having any systems from the previous generation of hardware.

Posted:30 days ago

#2

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,092 1,048 1.0
Question being how this figure was raised. Lots of consoles were resold on Amazon and Ebay, those were not gamers buying them at the store. If you go by PSN accounts, then who says if every new account, really is a new person. People forget passwords and login data all the time. Does Sony track IPs and social interaction on PSN?

Sony not being able to make sense of the data is used in this article to raise questions about the audience. But were the means of creating the data infallible? Big data addicts think so many times and are still often wrong.

Posted:30 days ago

#3

Reza Ghavami
Marketing Analyst

22 10 0.5
Why doesn't he ask that know-it-all Pachter? He seems to have the answers to everything.

Posted:30 days ago

#4

Neow Shau Jin
Studying Bachelor in Computer Science

52 81 1.6
@ Klaus

They probably can track a new system being activated and is it with a new PSN account or an existing one.

Posted:30 days ago

#5

Alex Bunch
Proof Reader

94 106 1.1
Microsoft trying to shaft everyone with their DRM. Plus not being able to buy XB1 without a Kinect (back then) have to be factors. Might seem odd to you lot, but a lot of people still don't realise Microsoft backtracked on all that. Chinese whispers spread fast.

Posted:30 days ago

#6

Ben Link
CoFounder and Podcast Host

5 13 2.6
Microsoft's mess up at E3 2013 has a ton of people rooting for Sony. People underestimate what effect that had on this generations launch. Even though Microsoft has changed a lot of things. Gamers are like Elephants, they never forget.

Posted:30 days ago

#7

Christopher Ashton Carlos
Software Programmer

8 16 2.0
Popular Comment
I am glad the PS4 is coming along nicely. I think part of the reason of trade in ownership had to do with a few things.
1. Price
2. Communication
3. Focus.

1. The price of the PS4 just hit the spot, and it shows. Microsoft had to rush the price down, remove Kinect, and play catch-up because they gave consumers no choice. Sure the PS4 oferrings is "bare bones" in comparison, but they didn't feel the need to add the camera on, add to the costs, and make owners of a new system pay for something that wasn't ready or even used properly.

2. Sony said they were for the gamers, they had games, and it shows. I think when we go back to the DRM fiasco people were afraid about for Xbox One, and how Microsoft has gone changing their policies, and overall road map of what they want the Xbox One to be, it leaves consumers a bit concerned.

3. The focus that Sony had was ultimately provide a gaming device, unlike PS3 which was a multi-media device focus at times. They also had a focus to make it more a social machine, and the share features you get with it are a nice addition that are evolving and feel well thought out. The simplicity of their statement was not just games, but sharing games, and with the future addition to share games with friends, or help a friend remotely coming up, they at least seem like they are continuing that pathway regardless, and that at least gives consumers a clear idea of what they should expect in the future. They stuck their guns, and have stood by it, while communicating them effectively.

Posted:30 days ago

#8

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

924 1,379 1.5
Microsoft's early blunders may have played a part in it but I think that most people buying a PS4 early are doing it for it's potential. Right now theres not a lot of worthwhile games on PS4. Personally I haven't seen a single game that would make me spend $400 on one. But this is another reason why the monthly free rentals from PSN help to quell over gamers until good games actually start releasing on the system.

So while I feel that the PS4 is more powerful and focused than the XBO I definitely don't see it as the superior game machine as far as current releases are concerned, though to be fair the XBO isn't doing much better either as we are still in early days for both systems. But I think people have really been running out and buying PS4 for it's perceived potential. How long will this last? About 16 more months.

Posted:29 days ago

#9

Kaveh Rassoulzadegan
CEO & Co Founder

1 0 0.0
Maybe it could be related to the fact that the PS4 was out of stock for a long period ? Perhaps the new customers (apparently casual gamers) wondered what was so special with this system and bought it to be sure to have one ?
The design may have also played a heavy role too (nice SCEI new monolyth, btw) in the eyes of those new comers.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Kaveh Rassoulzadegan on 20th August 2014 10:57am

Posted:29 days ago

#10

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,165 948 0.8

2. Marketed as "For the Players"
3. Decent architeture so no 1 year delay vs the competition.

Posted:29 days ago

#11

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,174 1,124 0.5
...but I think that most people buying a PS4 early are doing it for it's potential
Paul, you cracked me up because I automatically thought of that famous pre-launch PS3 media briefing when we were told that we were "buying into the potential" of the system and just about every editor slammed that statement (for all the wrong reasons). Now, it's more acceptable because Sony has pretty much proved that it can deliver once the usual launch jitters shake themselves out.

Posted:28 days ago

#12

Keldon Alleyne
Handheld Developer

440 410 0.9
Let's not overthink this one. Microsoft messed up big time, Sony didn't.

Posted:28 days ago

#13

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