Skip to main content

How To Launch A Game Console In The Philippines (Non-fanboy tips)

UPDATE: I wrote this post a few days before Sony officially announced their local launch. Sony Philippines is launching the Playstation 3 in the Philippines on March 27-28, with a launch event at the Glorietta Activity Center. It's great news for Filipino gamers everywhere! For more information, check out this page.

For a few years, me and my wife have learned a lot about gaming here in the Philippines. With the birth of our son recently, our priorities have changed. We do still love gaming but we no longer can devote that much time to promoting it as a hobby.

That said, all that wealth of experience that we learned as Xbox MVPs would just go to waste if I didn't write this post. I write this not as an Xbox fan, but as a gamer, and personally if it really does come to pass that Sony is launching a game console here, it's nothing short of a miracle, and to have it happen after we did all those things before feels like one of those 'you get what you wished for, but not exactly what you expected' type of events. It's funny, it's ironic, but I'm just glad that it actually HAPPENED.

Anyway, straight to the point.....if any hardware maker were to launch a game console locally, what points should they consider?

1. GROW THE MARKET - The reality of it is, the games market here in the Philippines is VERY SMALL. It's a niche market that only appeals to less than 1% of the country's population.

That 1% is the one with enough disposable income to actually afford buying original console games every month.

There is also a market that buys pirated games. While it is a much bigger market, it is also a niche and is not really that significant because games are just one other pastime that Filipinos enjoy playing.

That said, I think there is a significant lack of information and awareness about CONSOLE GAMES IN GENERAL with Filipinos. People may have some vague idea of what they are, but the truth is, it doesn't appeal to a lot of people because it seems there is very little in the way of social interaction when one plays games. Filipinos like to socialize and enjoy their time with other people, so a solitary activity like GAMING can come off as anti-social to most people.

2. ONLINE GAMING FAN COMMUNITIES ARE NOT ENOUGH - Reaching out to gamers here in the Philippines will take a lot more than going through online channels. I know a lot of game players who don't spend a lot of time on the Internet posting on online gaming forums. The truth is, online gaming communities comprise an even smaller segment of the gaming market, and they often send the wrong message in terms of defining who your customers are, and what they really want.

Online channels for marketing the PS3 become quite viable only after the market has grown to a significant size.

So to sell your product effectively, you have to use a combination of traditional marketing methods, in addition to just going online and talking to individual game players. Feedback from players is crucial but with the size of the gaming market here (which is very small), gaining feedback through online channels won't get you far in terms of finding who might be interested in the gaming hobby.

Basically....

3. Understand what the product is, what it can do, and who it appeals to - Let me just say that, it surprised me to meet a executive who works in a game-related field once, who didn't know what FINAL FANTASY is. You must know why your product will appeal to people, and the reason is simple - GAMES. Yes the Playstation 3 can play blu ray movies and do all sorts of other things....but at the end of the day, its ability to play games is its best selling point.

Stay in touch with what's going on in the game industry. Know what the opposition is doing, know what they're selling....and in turn, understand what YOU are selling, and how you can prove that it's better.

4. Match Grey Market Pricing - to really grow the industry, build on what was already established. I hope that Sony Philippines will match (or have competitively lower) pricing than what is already on grey market retailers in Greenhills. In a way, the grey market already understands at what price players are willing to pay to buy their games and accessories. If the officially supported Playstation games and accessories are going to be more expensive, it could send the wrong message to consumers, and it also severely lowers the potential of the (already quite small) market to grow.

That said, Sony Philippines has surprised me that they have the initiative to sell the Playstation 3 in such a challenging market environment. I do hope that they understand the sales potential of their product, and that they can only really succeed if they create the market and grow it further, beyond its current status as a niche. Their success could usher in the creation of a whole new industry in the Philippines; let's all hope for the best!

Popular posts from this blog

Gamers based in the Philippines: How to get in Xbox Live

NOTE: This article has recently been updated (as of August 12, 2006). Singapore no longer lets you input '00000' as your zip code. Please see below for alternate zip codes.

So you're a Filipino living in the Philippines with a brand-spanking new Xbox 360. You've heard about all the wonderful stories on Xbox Live. You happen to have a pretty good broadband connection. One day, you try out the Xbox Live sign-up options on your 360, and you find out to your dismay that your country is NOT listed. What do you do?

Now, you can probably enjoy your 360 without live at all, but I have to tell you: YOU ARE MISSING OUT. As Peter Moore said in the recent MS Press Conference: "Having your 360 connected to Xbox Live is as vital as having your computer connected to the Internet".

He is so damned right.

I've been playing on Xbox Live for almost a year now (both on my original Xbox and the Xbox 360). Essentially I found out all of this with a little bit of research, a little…

Xbox One - System / Games general review

We picked up a [kinect-less] Xbox One a few weeks ago and have been putting it through its paces. Overall, right now I feel pretty good about this console. But I have to admit, the first experience of buying it is not very good. I'll go with the BAD news first. But do note that it isn't all bad news....

- The first time you bring it home, the console can't work without Internet. That's because it needs an absolutely-unoverrideable mandatory update. Basically, if you get this for your birthday and it's 7PM, expect to actually play games on it around a day or so later, depending on your internet speed.

- The first patch I got for it was around 800MB. This number might have changed by the time of this writing.

- All the launch games now have accumulated patches/updates over 16+ GB in size. Not just Dead Rising 3, which has been reported widely in the media. Even Forza 5.

- My internet at home is PLDT 3Mbps; managed to get all the updates pretty quickly....that's a…

E3 2015 Conferences from the Big Three - My thoughts

Microsoft:

- They get a lot of points from me for actually announcing games that will be out in 2015.
- The Backwards Compatibility update is a huge surprise that I absolutely did not expect. Having BC is difficult and expensive to do, but somehow MS managed to do it, which leads me to believe the solution they found is an inexpensive one if they've decided it's practical to do QA work for the Xbox 360s gigantic library of games and make them all work on the Xbox One. If it was too complicated or expensive they probably wouldn't have bothered. But since they did, I think we're going to see full BC some time soon for all games. It's only a matter of time.
- Halo 5 looked fantastic, but 343 has a lot of work to do to restore faith, after the horrific launch of the Halo Master Chief Collection. I think they can do it, and I'd imagine they're certainly motivated now. If they screw this one up....MS might reconsider forming a new team to handle the Halo franchis…