Sony has always been a pioneer in the video game space, but sometimes a lack of conviction has let its consoles down. In many ways, the PlayStation 2 was ahead of the casual gamer curve, with titles such as Buzz, SingStar, and EyeToy Play appealing to families in a way that traditional hardcore games hadn't. However, the extortionate PlayStation 3 forced it to all but surrender the formerly untapped market – and provide an opportunity for the Nintendo Wii to succeed.
These days, the PlayStation 4 doesn't have a big gameplay gimmick, but group president Andrew House is hoping that the system's overall intuitiveness and entertainment functionality will convince Nintendo Wii owners to upgrade to Sony's newest machine. “Our big opportunity is to welcome back an audience much earlier in the lifecycle that possibly bought into the Wii previously," he told Eurogamer.net at Develop 2014 in Brighton last week.
He continued: “Whether it's based on this is a really good all-round entertainment device for a family in addition to having great games, our consumer data suggests that some of those people are already coming in now, and that's what's contributing to the really great sales that we've had." There's no doubt that the PS4 has very much become the 'console to own' globally over the past six months, and the likes of LittleBigPlanet 3 and SingStar this Christmas should help it in the casual space.
House also believes that it's important to get newcomers up to speed with PS3 titles that they may have missed – an initiative that it's kickstarting with The Last of Us Remastered later this month. “I hesitate to say this because I know that committed gamers may roll their eyes about it, but there's an opportunity with some of the re-mastering from PS3 franchises that will potentially find an audience that hasn't played them in the previous generation," he beamed.
Ports of Beyond: Two Souls and God of War: Ascension are rumoured to be in production, while we wouldn't be surprised if titles such as Puppeteer made their way over, too. House was recently quoted as saying that the platform holder is now more open to revisiting old properties as well, so we remain hopeful that the likes of PaRappa the Rapper and Vib-Ribbon will stage a comeback over the coming years. Oh, and Crash Bandicoot. Obviously.
Given that the Wii was dominated by a different kind of demographic than we're used to, we think that it's going to be incredibly difficult for the Japanese giant to catch all of the consumers that it brought in – after all, pensioners aren't going to be heading out in their droves to pick up Sony's latest system. Children that perhaps grew up with Nintendo's machine may be more willing to convert, though, and so titles like LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham are going to be crucial to the company this Christmas.