The managing director of PlayStation UK, Fergal Gara, has said the business is set to embark on a “casual audience breakthrough” with both the new PS3 and the JK Rowling-backed Wonderbook project.
Gara told CVG that the casual market is “hugely important” for the PS3 business, and believes that the transition from Wii to Wii U has opened an opportunity to steal Nintendo’s thunder.
“If you look at the upcoming Christmas market, the Wii will be selling in very low volumes – it’s on its way out – and the Wii U will arrive, but it will bring in a relatively small number of early adopter consumers,” he said.
“We see ourselves well positioned for the casual market who won’t buy Wii U on day one. We’ve got a wow moment, we feel. I remember when people picked up the Wii controller for the first time, that was a big moment, it was a casual market breakthrough, but we thing we’ve got a casual market breakthrough as well with Wonderbook and the lowest priced PS3 yet.”
Gara also acknowledged Nintendo’s successes in the casual market, before reflecting on Sony’s earlier efforts with PS2 karaoke title Singstar.
“If you look at the casual market overall in the last few years, there’s no doubt that the kings of that market has been Nintendo, they have done a great job with a great product,” he said.
“If you look back even further, I think Sony has done a great job with the PS2 in the casual market with games like Singstar.”
Looking forward, he explained that, as Nintendo transitions to the Wii U and begins to find its footing, the PS3’s firm foundations and the strength of Wonderbook could steer it to success.
Beyond the casual market, the Sony exec talked up third-party published core games such as Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed 3 and EA’s FIFA 13.
“Obviously we don’t want to forget about core gamers, and while we don’t have that big triple-A game this Christmas, we have a stronger alignment with Assassin’s Creed and FIFA. There will obviously be more to come.
“It would be wonderful to have one. I take huge confidence in what is coming down the line though. Of course we’d love to have a new triple-A game, but we have a great strategy for this holiday period.”
“We don’t have to talk to the same audience all the time. We have a stronger play on family this Christmas, and for the core games we will leverage third parties a bit more. I’m convinced we’ve got some great games coming out next year, such as The Last of Us and Beyond.”
Last week SCEA marketing VP John Koller said the PS3 has at least two or three more years of strong releases ahead of it, and promised the company would support the console as long as there is a development spigot that’s running hot.