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Opinion: Why Sony's Smart to Ship PS4 Accessories So Early

Posted by Sammy Barker

Window shopping

“The next generation doesn’t start until we say it does.” This classic quote from former Sony Computer Entertainment America president Kaz Hirai shortly before the PlayStation 3’s launch summarised the platform holder’s corporate attitude in 2006. Riding high off the sensational success of the PlayStation 2, the firm felt that the strength of its brand alone would allow it to overcome the popularity of the burgeoning Xbox 360 – even though its console commanded an embarrassing price point and an unconventional architecture. Despite its current generation console coming good in the end, though, there’s no doubt that the firm was humbled during the device’s formative years – and yet, it’s not necessarily shying too far away from the sentiment of the abovementioned quote at the present.

Undoubtedly, the hubris has been drained out of the manufacturer’s public figures, but that desire to dictate the pace of the next generation has been surging through the company since its surprise PlayStation Meeting announcement back at the tail end of January. It may be approaching the sound bite from a more agreeable perspective these days, but there’s absolutely no doubt that it’s had its nose in front of Microsoft all year long. And it’s continuing to maintain that advantage in the days leading up to launch, as it begins to furnish store shelves with the impending platform’s various peripherals and accessories.

If you’ve been following this website over the past few days, you’ll have spotted that items such as the DualShock 4 and revamped PlayStation Camera are already being stocked in most major retailers across North America. If you happen to stumble upon a fitting laced with PS4 goodies – or already have a pre-order for various bits-and-bobs – there’s a very high chance that your chosen store will allow you to take the items home today. It’s even started selling first-party games such as Killzone: Shadow Fall, which is being put on display in GameStop outlets around the nation as we type. But with the system’s release still several weeks away, why is it bothering shipping these items so early?

Until we reach the vaunted digital age, the popularity of products will always be determined by shop visibility, and we reckon that Sony’s eager to command some serious shelf space ahead of the Xbox One. We’re currently slap bang in the centre of the busiest time for current generation retail releases, with heavy-hitters such as Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Battlefield 4, and Call of Duty: Ghosts all due out within a hectic seven day window. That’s resulting in a lot of foot traffic through game stores, and we daresay that a few heads are being turned by the aisles of pre-prepared PS4 accessories, as well as the demo pods which are being installed in stores nationwide. It’s not marketing in a traditional sense, but the appearance of these products carries much more impact than the odd Xbox One poster. It makes it all feel real, doesn’t it?

There are other more practical advantages, of course. Anyone that’s ever worked in retail will know that preparation is a good thing, and the ability to setup display stands prior to release will come as a welcome relief to managers and store clerks. Meanwhile, on the platform holder’s side, with an absolutely enormous catalogue of console pre-orders to fulfil, shipping these products early will allow it to concentrate on the most pivotal part of the operation in less than a fortnight’s time. And then there’s the social network buzz. In addition to the unboxing videos that we – and many other sites – have been posting, there are enormous threads on forums such as NeoGAF and Reddit dedicated to discussing the improvements to Sony’s latest input device. You can’t really buy that kind of word of mouth.

Perhaps the best of all, though, is that it all shows a sense of eagerness. You really get the impression that the platform holder can’t wait for the next generation to start, and that’s imbued its product with an infectious confidence. The days of defensive press quotes and disastrous interviews are over, and they have been replaced by a much more motivated organisation. The next generation is still starting when Sony says so – it’s just had the good sense to actually act upon Hirai's quote this time, rather than merely pay it lip service.


Do you agree that Sony’s been smart to stock stores with PS4 peripherals early? What does the next generation section in your local shop look like at the moment? Add us to your basket in the comments section below.

Have you managed to purchase any PS4 accessories yet? (46 votes)

Yes, I’ve already picked up a DualShock 4 and/or PlayStation Camera

30%

I’ve seen them in shops, but not bought anything yet

20%

No, my local stores aren’t stocking any next generation peripherals yet

50%

Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (22)

daveyboy90

#1

daveyboy90 said:

Good Article. My DS4 from Amazon showed up at my house the other day, and it definitely got me more excited. Two more weeks!

Sanador

#2

Sanador said:

Great article. It is refreshing to see companies listen to the "Voice of the Customer". Sony has every reason to be proud of the Dualshock 4: they really did their homework on the ergonomics of the controller design. It feels better than any controller I have ever held, and I am pretty sure I have held or used them all from the Atari 2600 on up.

charlesnarles

#3

charlesnarles said:

I don't think I've been to a store that would have them since they started stocking them. It's prolly a good idea to not wait till the launch. Only need one controller tho

rjejr

#6

rjejr said:

It's a good plan. Nintendo released Wii Fit U as a DL today that goes along w/ the Wii Fit Meter but people are having a hard time finding the Fit Meter in stores. And the game bundles aren't due out until Dec. And Nintendo probably won't start advertising it until Jan., if ever.

Confused_DudeStaff

#7

Confused_Dude said:

I had a walk around my local town to see if there was anything for sale, but there unfortunately wasn't. It was probably for the best to be honest, I'd have ended up buying everything!

Has anyone in the UK found somewhere selling accessories early?

eLarkos

#9

eLarkos said:

@Z9DaftRadio This is great! I can imagine the direct connection to Ps4 will be a lot more stable for a lot of people. However the range may not be the best.

DirectAim

#10

DirectAim said:

People who work in in my local GAME are all over the xbone, they think the consoles have the same memory, didn't know what DDR5 is and also didn't realise that MS tried to shut them down by removing the second hand game market. Idiots.

get2sammybAdmin

#11

get2sammyb said:

@DirectAim I've found my local GAME is showing equal interest in each platform, to be honest. I'm surprised that they're not in the loop on the DRM stuff - I feel like Microsoft still has a difficult job explaining to people that they actually changed that policy in the first place. I've spoken to people who still think they can only play used games on PS4.

Visiblemode

#17

Visiblemode said:

Yeah, I've got my extra ds4 and will get the games once all my preorders are in. I really do like the new way of being relaxed about this stuff. Feels less cold and more friendly. Also, will cause less slowdowns at the cash at launch day.

ztpayne7

#19

ztpayne7 said:

Didn't know the ps4 controllers worked with a micro USB cable and a ps3. Bought one tonight =)

irken004

#20

irken004 said:

might grab either knack or LEGO Marvel with a PS4 camera after a weeks after launch.

Azikira

#21

Azikira said:

I got my Dualshock 4 today, with the false information that the drivers are actually available to use it in games. The only thing I got it working on is the Steam "Big Picture" mode, and even then all I can do is navigate it and select things. Any info on when Sony's drivers will be released so I can play my fighting games with a controller that has a real D-Pad?

Carl-G

#22

Carl-G said:

I would get a DS4 pad & a copy of KZ:SF if i see them before the PS4 launch(in the U.K that is) :P

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