Nikhil Kumar: Sony playing the wrong game with this Playstation 4 'launch'

Sony’s planners did a brilliant job of generating hype: the event was invitation-only

US Outlook What was Sony thinking? The Japanese firm clearly studied Apple's marketing playbook when it put together the New York Playstation event this week. But it's just as clear that it failed to read all the way to the end.

Sony's planners did a brilliant job of generating hype: the event was invitation-only, with no intimation of what was coming, and a teaser website was set up, offering mere hints that the presentation had something to do with the Playstation franchise.

Everyone, however, expected the unveiling of the Playstation 4, much like everyone expected the new iPhone before its super-secret launch. The timing seemed right, more than seven years on since the release of the last version of the console, and the gaming community couldn't wait to get its hands on the new device.

But at least we saw an iPhone at the iPhone launch. At Sony's event, we saw lots of slick videos of what the Playstation 4 can do, of the hi-fi graphics it can generate. But there was no sign of the console. Nor was there a launch date or a price.

This is a risky game. The Playstation franchise is not what it used to be. Sales have declined since the glory days of the Playstation 2. Sony desperately needs to win back the attention of its customers. No doubt some bright spark inside the company's marketing department thought that the way to stem the decline would be to play hard to get.

But modern consumers are fickle. They can pick from among a plethora of gadgets. If you go about it the right way, they will listen to your pitch but only for so long.

Sony will be hoping that all 1,200 people who filed into New York's Hammerstein ballroom for the "launch" this week will return for the launch, whenever it takes place. But even if they do, the hype would have evaporated. Sony had everyone's attention this week, and it squandered it. Let's hope for the company's sake that the Playstation 4 is a good enough device to pull in the customers by itself, without the help of the marketing department.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Affiliates & Partnerships

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This multi-award winning foreig...

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor