Between Nintendo's (OTC:
) Wii U, Valve's Steam Box, Microsoft's (NASDAQ:
) mysterious console and Sony's (NYSE:
) PlayStation 4, the game industry is about to get very
240 million individuals
purchased the last three game consoles (Wii, Xbox 360 and
PlayStation 3), so there might be enough room for four
manufacturers to profit. Even so, only one company can lead --
and it will be Sony.
Sony led the industry from 1997 to 2005. Some would argue that
the company's lead began the day the PlayStation arrived in 1995
and wiped Sega's latest console, Saturn, off the map. After a
tough battle during the last generation, Sony is poised to return
to the glory days of gaming.
During the company's event this week, Sony focused entirely on
the gaming experience that PlayStation 4 will provide. Instead of
wasting an hour promoting the sales numbers for old consoles (as
some companies do), and instead of talking about multimedia
services, Sony stuck to the console's core purpose.
In an interview with
, Jack Tretton, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment
America, explained why.
"If you wanna have an event to talk about multimedia
capabilities, we'll proudly stand up and list all the media
partners that we have, and the fact that we're the number one
most used Netflix (NASDAQ:
) device around the world," said Tretton. "But the 3.1 million
people that streamed [Wednesday's event] and that stayed up at
all hours depending on what country they were in, they were there
to see games.
"People that want to hear about multimedia applications don't
stay up until 4:00 in the morning to see presentations. We know
that the people who were watching were gamers. We know that the
people that are the primary purchasers of our boxes are gamers,
and that is the audience that we cater to first and
This was the attitude that Sony had in 1995 when it released
the first PlayStation and in 2000 when its successor arrived. The
company led the market both times.
Now that Sony is putting all of its energy into game content
(as opposed to the included Blu-ray player, which was a big
feature for the last console), PlayStation 4 will have a much
easier time at retail.
Think about it: Sony's least successful console, PlayStation
more than 70 million units
. These sales occurred at a time when its chief competitors,
Microsoft and Nintendo, were at the top of their games.
Now Nintendo is
to sell the
ailing Wii U console
. It is unclear what direction Microsoft will take with the Xbox
720, but even if it mirrors Sony's strategy, PlayStation 4 will
still have the advantage.
Unlike Xbox 360, which has become the living room's most
important multimedia device, PlayStation is all about the games.
And just as Tretton wisely pointed out, "multimedia" seekers do
not stay up until 4:00 in the morning to watch a press conference
On the other hand, gamers will happily stay up all night to
see a new console. They will also be the first group of consumers
to wait in line for PlayStation 4 this fall.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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