PlayStation Move is “not necessarily a pre-order product,” according to Sony, and its promotional efforts will focus on the long-term future of the device rather than on driving day-one sales.
Move is only a week away, yet the hype and anticipation doesn’t seem to be running particularly hot given the importance Sony has attached to it. Sony claims that’s intentional; U.K. Marketing Manager Adam Boita told MCV that the company has avoided winding up the pre-release publicity machine in favor of preparing an advertising campaign that will debut when the system launches. Even more surprisingly, the focus won’t be on game-specific media and retailers but will instead be aimed squarely at mass-market retailers, “lifestyle press promotions” and ads on popular television shows.
“It is about creating that massive event spike during the launch week, pushing it out to new audiences and continuing on last year’s ‘The Game Is Just The Start’ campaign,” Boita said. “Pre-orders are always important, but Move is not necessarily a pre-order product. It’s not like Halo or World of Warcraft expansions, where people want to get hold of it day one. It is an evergreen product. And whereas pre-orders are very important, it is not necessarily the key focus.”
A big part of the campaign will be a 30-day tour of retail head offices and major shopping centers by a big truck designed to train staff on Move and other PlayStation products. “It is no small effort for us to get this 40-foot truck manned and around,” Marketing Manager Richard Ives explained. “But we think it is invaluable and gets retail on board, not just with Move but also 3D, sowing the seeds of those new elements that are coming out in the future. It is about giving them an incentive to find out about the product themselves.”
To some extent, the pre-release pre-apology has to be an effort to manage expectations and soften the blow of potentially less-than-stellar launch numbers. But it also made a lot of noise about playing the long game with the PlayStation 3, claims which were derisively dismissed early on but more recently have come to look a little less unreasonable. Will Sony show the same patience with Move as it did with the PS3?