Microsoft have a major new revision for their console, the Xbox One S, as well as a strong holiday lineup, with Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, and ReCore, all available. Sony, meanwhile, don’t really have many major games this Holiday season- instead, they seem to be pinning their hopes on the impending launch of the PlayStation 4 Pro. Is this going to be enough to hold off the ever increasing Microsoft onslaught?
According to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, Sony are likely to leverage their three hardware launches – the PS4 Pro, the PS4 Slim, and the PlayStation VR – for all it’s worth. Speaking to GamingBolt in an interview, Pachter said that Sony will probably have a marketing onslaught in the crucial Holiday season.
“I don’t think that most people who get consoles at Holiday are people who buy them for themselves, except for the launch year. I think that most Holiday console purchases are gifts, and ask your mom if she knows what the first party lineup is for Sony and Microsoft this Holiday- and she won’t. So she goes into a store, and she’s just looking for the bright, shiny object. Sony advertises well, and the brand is probably better known than Xbox among grandmas and moms, so I think they sell well at Holidays in spite of having a worse lineup than Xbox.”
“And to be honest with you, gamers know the difference, but how many people reading this haven’t made a decision on a console yet? Everyone in this audience already has one or the other, and they may buy a PS4 Pro, but they’ll trade their PS4 in to get it. I don’t think that the timing of game releases matters at all to gift givers, and so I don’t think it matters at Holiday.”
“And frankly, I kind of think that there’s something smart about avoiding Holiday, because it gives you the opportunity to be in the limelight during months when you’re really trying to brand the console and make sure they get what advantage you have. So I’m not disrespecting Microsoft’s decision to launch Gears at Holiday, I think it was smart to have the game out, and it’s certainly gotten great reviews, and props to those guys for making a game that they inherited from Epic, and it’s been phenomenal. But… I don’t think that it would’ve mattered when it came out, October or May, it still would have sold very well.”
“Well, [Sony] they’re also going to advertise PSVR- so you’re going to get advertising for PlayStation VR, PlayStation 4 Pro, and PS4 Slim. So I actually would expect Sony to outspend Microsoft globally on marketing 2:1,” he said.
I am inclined to agree with him here- the math checks out. Sony have more products to push, so they will have a larger marketing budget cumulatively. Whether or not that bigger marketing push leads to better sales, however, is something that yet remains to be seen.
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