It's become clear that earlier this month, when I was singing the praises of "Gears of War" for its role in the Christmas success of the Xbox 360, my attention was totally misplaced. Apparently, the top gaming experience on the 360 this year isn't turning your opponent's head into a fine red mist from 500 feet; it's sneaking up behind him and slipping him a burger while dressed in a strangely creepy king costume.
If there's no such thing as bad press, you can count Sony's disastrous PSP viral marketing effort a huge success. Otherwise, marketers everywhere might want to take what's happening to Sony on the Web right now as an object lesson in how not to market to gamers.
According to numbers released this week by the NPD Group, Sony's PS3 is limping into the holiday shopping season in third place. Largely because of the inclusion of the Blu-Ray drive, which Sony is hoping will be its competitive edge over its console rivals, the company's only been able to supply a trickle of consoles into the country. So it's looking very, very unlikely that Sony will make its target of a million PS3s sold before the end of the year.
I have to confess myself a bit of a Second Life skeptic, which would appear to put me in the minority in the media world. Companies that have made their entrée into the virtual world include Edelmen, Reuters, Pontiac, and a handful of ad agencies.
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