Sony looking to pick up Wii audience

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."

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Latest comments (15)

Jordan Lund Columnist 3 years ago
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.
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Charles Herold Wii Games Guide, about.com3 years ago
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.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
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.
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Show all comments (15)
Steve Wetz Reviewer/Assistant Editor, Gamer's Glance3 years ago
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."
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Neow Shau Jin Studying Bachelor in Computer Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia3 years ago
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.
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Shawn Clapper Programmer 3 years ago
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.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 3 years ago
"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

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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
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...
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 3 years ago
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.
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Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments3 years ago
"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.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 3 years ago
@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

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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
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... :^)
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 3 years ago
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.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 3 years ago

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.
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Richard Browne Partner & Head of Interactive, Many Rivers Productions3 years ago
Most Wii owners will never buy a console again, let alone a $400 console aimed at men 16-35.
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