$50 million Vita platform launch is Sony's biggest yet

Aiming new handheld at 20-something male gamers who own a PS3

Sony's marketing spend for its new handheld Vita will be its biggest for a platform launch yet, and its aiming those $50 million at male gamers who already own a PS3.

The campaign is "the largest platform launch in terms of marketing investment we've ever had," John Koller, director of hardware marketing at SCEA, told The New York Times.

It's aiming to catch the attention of male gamers in their twenties, who play around eight hours of games a week and already own Sony's current home console.

The exhaustive media campaign will include social networking, billboards, television commercials, online advertising, retail deals and pop up location so people can get hands on with the machine.

The Vita will be released in the UK and US on February 22.

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Latest comments (10)

Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 9 years ago
An aim and a miss me thinks. Last time I looked 20 something gamers didn't have the funds for a product like this and given the sophistication of the vita and the increased average age of gamers. I would have said they should be aiming for the 30+ market minimum.

Still time will tell.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D9 years ago
Hadn't really been paying much attention to this until I saw a preview of FIFA. Got it preordered, can't wait.

I should probably point out I'm 20+. Unfortunately, I'm 30+ too, and not far off 40+:(
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Luke Salvoni Senior iOS Developer 9 years ago
Played it at Eurogamer last year - mildly impressed, but despite the low 'ish price point (around ~£200) and the fact that my PS3 hasn't been used in the last year, means although I fit into their targeted age group, I definitely won't be buying one anytime soon.
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Lewis Tuppin Production Assistant, fish in a bottle9 years ago
I fit into their target age group and will most probably be buying one at some point in the future, I just can't justify buying one at launch purely for Uncharted. On the age demographic I can speak on my behalf and probably a few others like me when I say that my income is fairly disposable at the moment. With property prices so high more and more people are (unfortunately) living at home for longer meaning a slightly more disposable income; so I think saying that 20 somethings don't have the funds for such a purchase is probably a little wide of the mark.
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Charlie Moritz Studying Philosophy with Psychology, University of Warwick9 years ago
This isn't a good idea at all. Why is Sony so stupid, no wonder they had billions in losses! I'm a 20 something gamer who plays 20+ hours a week and I have the money to buy a Vita, but whats the bloody point? Handheld gaming is dead, and all I'd want this for is exclusive games (if there were any that weren't franchised rehashes) which I would prefer to play on my PS3! God they really have no idea what they are doing do they :(
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Jesse HR and HMI consultancy. 9 years ago
@Peter: 30 something male gamers who play more than 8 hours per week tend to think of themselves as 20 something anyway, so the campaign will work regardless.

I also think you under estimate the disposable income (perceived and real) of 20+ year old males. At $250 for an entry level Vita I wouldn't exactly call it prohibitive. Have a look at ipad demographics, the majority of interested purchasers lie in the 18-34 age bracket and that's a device that cost 3-4 times more.
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Callum Taylor Studying BSc Computer Animation, University of Portsmouth9 years ago
@Jesse: Good point with the iPad, but does Sony really have the same 'must have' appeal of something with an Apple logo slathered onto it?

I'm in 20+ demographic but being immersed in student life I can't imagine someone would fork out that much for a handheld plaything.
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Jesse HR and HMI consultancy. 9 years ago
@ Callum: No, Sony no longer commands that level of blind universal brand loyalty - but it's still there amongst many of it's previous Playstation owners (PS1,2,3 and PSP). I think Sony are right to try and appeal to that in the first instance. Essentially do the complete opposite of Kinect, which chose to ignore the established core gamer market and instead spent $500+ million in advertising convincing mums and girlfriends they needed one.

Sony have said they believe the strengths of the Vita is best understood by actually using it, or in other words, they are confident enough in the quality of their hardware and software launch lineup that it sells itself. I tend to agree, just getting the device out there will generate a level of buzz within the gaming community - enough that eventually those 20+ male gamers who are 'undecided' will start to really crave a Vita. Reviews are largely very positive and I expect owners will likewise be swooning over their new toy in the coming months.

There is no question the ipad offers more diverse application, if you're on a budget and deciding between the two the ipad may win out despite the higher cost - but for people like me who already have an ipad or who have accepted that gaming on a tablet/phone is nothing more than a casual distraction, the Vita is actually a pretty damn good deal. Having said that, I'm not a struggling student ;).
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Kyle Simms9 years ago
Put some of that 50 million towards creating more games sony, remember what happened last time with the PSP and it's near empty market.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Kyle Simms on 14th February 2012 3:38pm

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gi biz ;, 9 years ago
It looks like thay're desperate to avoid a second PSP go. And yet they made another console that carries all of the old problems sony has always been criticized for. Damn, they *could* do a perfect platform, what is keeping them from doing so? Just add ogg/ogm/mkv playback facilities, bung in an SD reader and drop the damn memory stick, put in an emulator for old PSX games and let it run user-made ISOs, add a decent option for PSP games compatibility. Working on some app to make signed rips of UMDs would be way better than wasting money on SonicStage and preventing demo and savegames to be passed from one console to the other.
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