Monday, March 22, 2010

Questions Worth Asking at the Upcoming PS3 Launch

1. Warranty Details - are units bought before the launch date covered? Or, at least, is there a repair option available?

2. Playstation Network - Will there be a 'Philippines' region? Will there be locally available PSN cards in peso denominations?

I guess the major question here is, how much of a launch will this be? Is it a...

a. Full blown launch - all features available in other countries will be available here
b. Hardware launch - The PS3, PSP and its hardware and software will be sold, and not much else.

Either of the two is possible---and to be honest, I'm keeping my expectations in check. It is still good to know this is really happening.

3. Games - will games get cheaper? Or at least, will games stay at the same prices you could get them in grey market retail shops?

What region will the games be? Personally, I hope it's Region 3, so they're the same price as the games sold in neighboring Asian countries.

4. Marketing - Is Sony going all the way with this? Will we see marketing for big name titles in newspapers, magazines and billboards? That's pretty nuts already....I guess it depends on how well they do, but we'll see if they ever answer this question.

How about promotions? Imagine bundling a PS3 with an HDTV, or getting some sort of promo when you get connected via broadband with a provider?

How about MMORPGs? If I'm not mistaken, consoles also get MMORPGs you can't get anywhere else.

5. Commitment - Is this just a test run? Will the PS3 / PSP disappear from the public eye if it doesn't do well in 3 months? [Note: that's what happened to the PSP the last time]. I hope this does not happen.

So many questions!

When Sony launches their PS3 locally this Saturday, technically they own the Philippine market. Now all they have to do is to do well in selling it. That will be a challenge, given Filipinos and their available disposable income. But Sony should think of it this way:

If Pinoys can be convinced to buy 35K+++ cellphones, iPhones, Macs and car upgrades, how could you not convince them to buy Playstation 3s? It's going to take a helluva marketing campaign to make this work.

Weak marketing will easily make the PS3 forgettable. It has already been in the market (via grey market imports) for years now. The challenge for Sony Philippines is to make gamers excited about the PS3 again, and I think they can do that by making previously unavailable opportunities in gaming easily more accessible to players everywhere.

Good luck, and I personally hope it goes well....It's for the good of every hardcore gamer out there.

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