Feature: Peter Dille On PlayStation Marketing

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.

Halo: Reach Exceeds Halo 3’s Concurrent Users Record

Halo: Reach is the biggest title for Microsoft this holiday, and its success will both lift the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live. Having just launched, it’s become clear what many of the new Halo: Reach owners did: went and logged onto Xbox Live.

Reach already surpassed the all-time highest record for Halo 3 concurrent unique users on LIVE, indicated Bungie. Woot!

They did not give word on how many people that was exactly, but it’s certainly a good early sign for the game.

Source: twitter.com/bungietweets

DeNA Gets Gameview

DeNA has announced that it has purchased Gameview for an undisclosed price. The Japanese mobile publisher behind the mobile social gaming portal Mobage-Town is set to generate $1 billion in revenue in 2010 and has over 20 million subscribers.

Gameview has made titles like Tap Fish: Sharks and Tap Birds and has seen 10 million downloads on iPhone and Android. The company should fit with DeNA’s plans to expand in the U.S. and to have titles that can release in any region in the world.

Source: Venture Beat

Kids Want A True HD Experience, Says Take-Two CEO

Plenty of good games released over the summer, but only a handful like Red Dead Redemption have been truly successful. Speaking at the Kaufman Brothers, L.P. Investor Conference in New York City, Take-Two CEO Ben Feder said that the bar has been raised for the quality of games.

“Our industry more than ever is driven by hit products,” said Feder. “Today, consumers are very careful with the way they spend their dollars. It’s a worldwide challenging environment, and yet they still come out to spend for great entertainment as we’ve shown with the phenomenal success of Red Dead Redemption. Good games don’t make it anymore, in fact, good is the new bad. Games have to be great, and there’s no company like Take-Two to make the best games in the industry.”

Feder then gave an illustration with his son who received a Wii, but now is too embarrassed to play it in front of his friends as an example about how the PS3 and Xbox 360 are now arresting some of Nintendo’s mojo. “What Sony and Microsoft have really done with Kinect and Move, especially Move, is provide a bridge for guys that are used to playing the Wii system with the wand and bringing them over to a HD system,” Feder explained. “The PS3 with Move, in my view, is the Wii HD system. I think maybe Mom isn’t playing, but the kids are ‘graduating,’ and Microsoft and Sony have both provided a bridge to bring them over.

“I do believe Nintendo did widen the audience; I can’t tell you how many people are going to ‘graduate,’ but I do believe they raised a generation of kids to play videogames that are now growing up and wanting a true HD experience, he added.

Source: IGN

Suda51, Shinji Mikami Get Damned

The name and details for the collaboration between Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil 4, Vanquish) and Goichi Suda (Killer7, No More Heroes) has been revealed. Called Shadows of the Damned, it is being described as some combination of a stylish action game with horror elements, along with Suda’s patented humor and punk rock attitude.

The game stars a demon hunter named Garcia Hotspur, who is literally traveling to Hell to rescue the woman he loves. Contributing to the ominous atmosphere will be Silent Hill music director Akira Yamaoka.

Shadows of the Damned is set for release on PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2011.

Vanquish Special Edition Gets Sweet Figurine

Sega has announced a special edition of Vanquish which will feature a figurine of kitted out super soldier Sam Gideon. This special edition is available at Zavvi in the U.K. and at Micromania, Game and Fnac.com in France.

“Get Sam Gideon on your desk as part of this rather tasty special edition of Vanquish that will be available in the U.K. and France,” reads the official blog. “The pack contains a figurine of Sam in full amour and is about 7″³ tall base to top.”

Source: Sega Europe Blog