Sony Missed Super Bowl Opportunity With PlayStation Vita
Publisher had a chance to thrust new system into the spotlight. Lack of an ad may prove costly.
With an estimated 111 million people watching last night's Super Bowl (and PlayStation pitchman, Kevin Butler, selling Bridgestone tires), Sony had the perfect stage to advertise its upcoming handheld, PlayStation Vita.
It was not to be.
Granted, we don't normally see commercials for video games and systems on Super Bowl Sunday, despite the fact that a good chunk of the desired market tunes in, while another group watches purely for the ads...ads that cost upwards of $3.5 million a piece.
On the flip side, Vita's woes in Japan have been well documented, with the system falling behind even PlayStation Portable (a device that debuted in 2004) at times, and failing to crack 20,000 units a week on a consistent basis.
That doesn't necessarily spell doom for the system in the U.S., but considering Nintendo's newfound momentum with 3DS, Sony should have gambled.
Show off the system and some games. We know the company is no stranger to ground breaking commercials and print ads going back to the original PlayStation. Surely, the publisher and its advertising group could've dreamed up something to convince the public to pre-order/buy the system...a handheld that debuts February 15 for first time buyers, then February 22 with both Wi-Fi and 3G SKUs. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. It wouldn't have made a Clint Eastwood sized impact, but come on.
Some diehard Sony fans will disagree, of course. They'll point to PlayStation systems past, and how Sony was able to produce big sales in spite of great adversity.
We'll counter by saying that to dominate the handheld category, Sony must pull out all the stops to not only beat Nintendo, but to also rise above this smart phone tidal wave that appears unstoppable at this point.
To that end, a little Super Bowl ad may have gone a long way.