Sony Gets Chippy on Eve of DSi Release

As the weekend shopkeeper I'm not on most PR primary distribution lists. So the "Statement from Sony PlayStation on PSP and Competitive Landscape," isn't in my hands as I type this. But it's out there.

Oh, is it out there.

Here's the text of the release, republished on both Engadget and Wired, and attributed to John Koller, the SCEA director of hardware marketing. It doesn't sound too temperate. By the way, unless this is all a hoax, I'm still waiting for my copy:

If Nintendo is really committed to reaching a broader, more diverse audience of gamers beyond the "kids" market that they've always engaged, there isn't much new with the DSi to support that. Significant gamer demographic groups are being ignored, and there continues to be limited opportunities for games from external publishers to do well on the DSi. Compare that with the PSP platform, where we have many blockbuster franchises from our publishing partners launching this year, representing a wide variety of genres and targeting diverse demographics. Games such as Rock Band Unplugged from MTV Games, Assassin's Creed from Ubisoft, Dissidia Final Fantasy from Square Enix, and Hannah Montana from Disney demonstrate the commitment that publishers have to the PSP. From our own first-party studios, we're launching unique versions of LittleBigPlanet and MotorStorm, and we're also planning a steady stream of downloadable games — both new titles and PSone classics — to add to the content that PSP owners can already purchase wirelessly through PlayStation Store.

Well. That was tart. Funny that in the lead sentence Sony tees off on Nintendo's kidstuff brand identity, then backs up their handheld's superiority with - Hannah Montana? I get that SCEA is trying to show a diversity of titles - core, casual and kids. Industry partners might get the argumentative nuance, but it sounds silly to a lay audience. Besides, the Hannah Montana thing they're talking about is also coming out on DS and Wii.

Sony sounds a little like John Lovitz' impersonation of Michael Dukakis in the 1988 campaign. "I can't believe I'm losing to this guy." It was funny at the time because the audience, at least Saturday Night Live's audience, couldn't believe it either. But so what, Dukakis lost, with a skunk.

Sony and PlayStation have been the standard bearers of serious gaming for well more than a decade, so, such a fit of pique, privately expressed, would be understandable. As a corporate statement against a competitor outselling them, it's beyond tone-deaf and borders on scorn for the very customers they're ostensibly trying to court.

Sony Says the DSi is for Kids, the PSP is for Winners [Engadget]
Sony's Ludicrous Response to Nintendo DSi Launch [Wired]


    I'm really getting sick of these Sony press statements launching ill-conceived attacks against Nintendo and Microsoft. None of their "argument" here means anything at all and it doesn't bode well that they had to grasp at straws to construct it.

    If they could send these things out with meaningful arguments I'd probably applaud their transparency and directness, but as it stands they seem like a company jealous of their competitors' successes.

    Maybe it's because I watched The King Of Kong, but...

    Come on Sony! You can't let Nintendo chumpatize ya! Oh wait, you already have been chumpatized in the handheld market. The PS3 is pretty good but financially they've been chumpatized there too...

    I'm not usually a troll, I just like the word "chumpatizing". In fact in many cases where I have been accused of trolling I promptly apologize. So if you saw me as trollin', sorry. The power of "chumpatizing" was too strong. Even for a PS3 owner who has a DS too.

    To be fair the PSP gives something different, but considering Disgaea DS just came out in Australia, it's not exactly likely I will buy a PSP for one game. Tell you why, Mrs. Lovett, tell you why: Because I'm not the sort of person who has ever played games like God of War and even if I did play Crisis Core I wouldn't "get" it on a story level because I never played FFVII. Only game on PSP I wanted was Disgaea, and now it's out on DS, well, I'm not getting one. And I am aware it's scaled down.

    DS has gotten a lot of support from me because it has games "I" would want to play. "I" being an incredibly strange man who likes his J-RPGs but also the occasional action platformer and quirky puzzler. PSP owners are far and few in my area and even by DS multiplayer standards most people I know don't bother with DS multiplayer because they think it's for wusses. I'd hate to think what they'd say about PSP multiplayer.

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