Sony To Hawk Portable PlayStation on Web
The PSP will come to market on March 24, entering the fray against Nintendo's DS portable console, which launched last November in the United States and March 11 in the United Kingdom. Nintendo's DS has already sold over 3 million units in the United States and Japan, and sold 87,000 units in the first two days in Britain. The other major producer of video game consoles, Microsoft, has not yet released a portable console.
The ad campaign--which will include television, print, radio, and online components--focuses on the PSP's multimedia capabilities. Unlike the DS, which doesn't play movies or music out of the box, Japanese users can buy a peripheral that allows them to download functions to play MPEG4 movie files and MP3 music files--the PSP offers a video player, which can play movies on a newly developed Universal Media Disc format, and can store and play music files as well. It also includes a Wi-Fi wireless LAN hookup for Internet connectivity and a USB 2.0 cable port.
The online component of the ad campaign is focused on the PSP launch title lineup, which includes "Twisted Metal: Head On," a combat driving game; several sports titles; "WipEout Pure," and "Ape Escape: On the Loose." The ads will go live just prior to the product's launch, and will run through early May. They will be placed on a number of entertainment and technology sites, such as IGN.com, GameSpot.com, Gizmodo.com, ComedyCentral.com, and MTV2.com. The ads will feature interactive and streaming video capabilities, demonstrating the PSP's graphics and interface.
Another centerpiece of the online ads will be the PSP's XrossMediaBar, the user interface on the PSP that allows players to navigate the media they have saved on their PSPs.
The print ads purchased by Sony will run in major gaming publications in April and May, and the two television spots both feature "Take Me Out" by Sony BMG Music artist Franz Ferdinand. One of the spots was directed by Dave Meyers, who has directed music videos for artists like Britney Spears, No Doubt, and Jay-Z. They will run on prime time, late night, syndication, and cable from March 21 through April 17.