Will Nintendo Wii Fans Be Converted by PlayStation?
Sony Computer Entertainment's Andrew House said in an interview with Eurogamer that his hope for the PlayStation 4 is to capture the casual audience that carried the Nintendo Wii to the top spot in sales of last gen's consoles.
The PS4 has a comfortable lead in the console war, having sold seven million units globally since last year's launch.
Despite this information, House is smart enough to know that the core gamers support short-term growth, but casual gamers support long-term growth.
The core gamers are the types waiting in a multi-hour line to buy their preferred consoles as soon as they hit. Casual gamers are the types waiting until all the reviews are out and the hardware has had enough time to show possible bugs.
Thus it would seem that the casual gamer controls the market. Scary, right?
House thinks that the PS4 has already tapped into that audience, though, citing the upcoming The Last of Us: Remastered, a PS4 reboot of the popular PS3 title.
House claims that the widespread interest in the reboot suggests that many PS4 owners did not own PS3s.
I hesitate to say this because I know committed gamers may roll their eyes about it, but there's an opportunity with some of the remastering or re-imagining from PS3 franchises that will potentially find an audience that hasn't played them in the previous generation because they skipped that generation. We're starting to see signs of that.
Also of note is a claim that House made according to his interviewer, Wesley Yin-Poole, that "in Europe 40 per cent of PS4 early adopters didn't already have a PlayStation Plus account," lending a certain amount of validity to House's above comment.
What House did not mention, however, is the unprecedented success of PS4's new camera, modeled after Xbox's Kinect.
Approximately 900,000 camera units were sold at a 15 percent attach rate to the PS4, according to Forbes's numbers as of March. If the rate has continued, with no reasonable suggestion that it wouldn't, Sony would have sold well over one million units by now.
Add that to the fact that PS4 has basically everything in the media and entertainment dimension that the Xbox One has, and you have yourself enough evidence to support the claim that PS4 is gaining casual popularity.
Let's just hope that Sony doesn't invite Cirque du Soleil to any future E3s.