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Sony Positioning Vita as Primarily a Gaming Device, Plans to Avoid Confusion that Comes with “Multimedia” Label

November 29, 2011 Written by Alex Osborn

One of the biggest issues with the PlayStation Portable was Sony’s approach in advertising for the device. They positioned it as a multimedia device that does everything, which ended up confusing consumers who were simply looking for a gaming handheld. Sony doesn’t plan to make the same mistake twice as pushing the hardware as a gaming device first and foremost will be a priority.

Speaking to OPM, SCEE president and CEO Jim Ryan discussed the pitfalls in marketing the PSP and how they plan to remedy these issues with the Vita.

I think with PSP we tried to position it as a rather broad multimedia device. We talked a lot in the early days of PSP about its video playback functionality its use as a music device and a host of other multimedia functionality that it had.

I think this time we’ve realised that perhaps [it] ended up confusing consumers, and they weren’t quite sure what the device was really all about. So this time the Vita does all of that stuff that we talked about on PSP, and it does it a lot better.

We’ve been a lot more single-minded and much more focused in our positioning of Vita. We’re saying that this is primarily a gaming device. It has been developed from the ground up as a gaming device. What it does best is play games.

Hopefully this new approach will pay off for Sony. Advertising and marketing will play a huge role in the success of the Vita, and if Sony can convey clearly the purpose of this new device, it will undoubtedly resonate with the less informed consumer looking for a handheld gaming machine.