Frontline Marketing

Feature: Peter Dille On PlayStation Marketing

By | September 16, 2010 |

Peter Dille, senior vice president of marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America, has been with Sony since before the first PlayStation launched so he’s intimately familiar with the company’s game offerings. [a]listdaily had the opportunity to talk with him about the company’s key marketing initiatives going forward.

How is Sony looking to market the PSP platform going forward Will there be more focus on the younger audience?

There will be, and that’s part and parcel with the strategy as you go longer into the lifecycle. With quality game experiences for $9.99, we’re talking in a way that none of our competitors can on all of our platforms. On the PS3, the PlayStation Move lets us talk to more casual gamers and at the same time we’re introducing 3D games. On the PSP, we’re pitching something that appeals to a younger audience, and we’re also putting out something that appeals to core gamers with titles like Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.

If you look at what Sony WWS does, we have titles ranging from Killzone to EyePet. PlayStation is a very big tent and we’ve never been reliant on one product genre like one of our competitors and it’s helped us sell 377 million PlayStation hardware products and two billion software products in 15 years.

Gran Turismo is Sony’s biggest franchise, so I assume you’re looking for Gran Turismo 5 to give you a boost this holiday season worldwide?

That’s the beauty of Gran Turismo and what Kazunori Yamauchi has looked to build. The great thing about racing is that it’s accessible and Gran Turismo 5 is a great product to show off your PS3. I remember looking at one of the games from previous generations and thinking ‘how can it get better ‘ It’s amazing how life-like they’ve rendered the cars.

It’s very accessible and you can play its more basic modes without much difficultly, but it’s the deepest experience in the genre. We joke how we can sell it for three times its price. Gamers will lose themselves in it for a month or more and, by contrast, my daughter can have a good time playing against me.

It seems like Gran Turismo is the sort of thing where you’d want to let the TV spots “breathe” and just show off how great it looks.

When you’re marketing Gran Turismo, part of the objective is get out of the way and let the game sell itself. We’ll try to make sure people are taking in the right things and not just becoming overwhelmed, but it’s a fun product to market.

We read recently that the spend on PlayStation Move in the U.K. is going to focus mostly on the mainstream audience. Will the marketing campaign be similar in the U.S.

Well, it’s going to have a long tail. It’s virtually a platform launch, not entirely because it uses the PS3 OS, but much of the same mechanics are in place – you have to talk to developers, the press, consumers, and retail and to support and it has to have a big campaign.

We’ve got a major partnership that’s been running with Subway to promote Move and we’ve got something on 100 million Coke packages and it’s looking to introduce [the PS3] to a new audience in a different way. Motion gaming is here to stay and there’s going to be some great creativity in the years to come; we look at EyePet as our version of a revolutionary motion game, and it skews pretty young. Then there’s Sorcery – people didn’t think it would be like that, a ‘thoughtful’ motion game. We’ve see some great demand out of the gate, with pre-sales ramping up and retail is asking for more.

It seems like Move would be a great platform for simple, bite-sized downloadable experiences.

We have a number of those that will be available on day one, like Move echocrome and Tumble, so you’ll find them at retail and on the PSN Store.

Thanks Peter.