I’ve been a gamer since I was five years old. In fact, I’d written a post previously on my passion for video games, as well as a favorite game of mine that I’m playing now. In addition, I’ve been a Playstation fan since Son’y very first system. The reason isn’t only because of the good quality systems they make, but also because of the large variety of first party exclusive games they bring to their loyal customers. They’re passionate about making their fans happy, which is something I admire.
According to a recent post on IGN, Playstation 4 sales have exceeded 60 million. That’s an impressive number. The Playstation 4 is already on par to exceed the lifetime sales of the Playstation 3, which sits at above 83 million within its 10 1/2 year lifecycle. It still has a ways to go to reach the Playstation 2, which has 155 million lifetime sales, but I’m confident they’ll exceed 100 million sales for sure. Although the software is what is mainly benefiting Sony profitability wise, which stands at 487.8 million as of Jun 11th, they are still making money off of the sales of their systems.
That also holds true with their Playstation 4 Pro, which was released back in November 2016, and will have been on the market for a year once Microsoft’s Xbox One X arrives this Fall. So how was Sony’s Playstation 4 Pro launch such a great idea. Here’s a few reasons why:
They Knew That Timing Was Key
With there being a shift into 4K, and with the introduction of VR last year, Sony believed that releasing a gaming system that had the performance to meet the needs of a average consumer (or an existing Playstation 4 owner) that has a 4K TV would mean profitability for them in the long run. 4K TVs have gotten less expensive, and there’s been a demand for better graphics and performance in games.
And although technically Sony’s Playstation 4 Pro doesn’t bring true native 4K at 60 frames per second to every game, a lot of the games that have gotten the graphical update can come close to it. The average consumer will have a hard time telling the difference between upscaled 4K and native 4K, but will still enjoy how games look and play, which is something Sony nailed down.
Them releasing a more powerful iteration of the Playstation 4 has given them a one year head start over Microsoft, and has given them a huge edge in console dominance as a result.
To Maintain a Reasonable Price Point
When the Playstation 3 launched in 2006, it went for a staggering $600 for the 20GB model, which turned off a lot of consumers and directed them to purchase a Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii instead. But Sony long learned their lesson when they released the first Playstation 4 at $400. It was a very reasonable price for a new console. Sony wanted to make sure to maintain such a price point with the Playstation 4 Pro. And thus, new adapters and existing Playstation 4 owners have purchased the system without so much regard about if it’s worth the price.
Quality Games Over Pure Performance
Sony knew that to maintain the integrity of their brand, while keeping gamers happy, they would have to make a couple of compromises in order to sell the Playstation 4 Pro at a reasonable price to make profits. Thus, for one 4K Blu-Ray DVD playback was excluded, and they went for small processing, graphical, and RAM performance improvements. This was the only way they could sell their new system at $400.
However, no compromises have been made in the gaming sector. Sony has continued to bring the focus on the one thing that keeps consumers happy and loyal to their brand, the games. And this year, they have more games than ever. Sony’s focus to keep their system a gaming machine and not just a very powerful system that can do it all has helped the Playstation 4 Pro to be the system of choice for consumers of all ages and backgrounds.
Sony learned from their mistakes with the Playstation 3, and it shows with their amazing execution with branding and selling the Playstation 4 this generation. From a business and consumer standpoint, them releasing the Playstation 4 Pro during the Fall last year, one year ahead of the upcoming Xbox One X, made a whole lot of since.
I wanted to write this post to give you a perspective on some of the choices you must make when running a business, while being able to offer a product and having good execution with timing, pricing, and whom you’re targeting. Along the way, you have to make some compromises. You’re not going to be able to satisfy everyone. But as long as you make your product and message compelling enough, you’ll build your own loyal customer base.