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Sony: We do not know why PlayStation 4 is successful

Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4 is one of the fastest-selling consoles in the history of video game hardware in general, a great success for the platform-holder. What is interesting is that even Sony itself does not fully understand the reasons behind such massive success. Still, a good news now is that Sony can fulfill demand for the console across the world.

“The 10 million sell through in the first nine months is well beyond what we had hoped for,” said Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Worldwide Studios at Sony Computer Entertainment, in an interview with Eurogamer. “As you know, we have struggled to keep up with demand of PS4 for so many months. It was hard to find and purchase PS4. Now we are able to supply units so in every territory I believe you can find PS4. So we just managed to catch up with demand.”

What is a bit alarming is that Sony does not fully understand the reasons behind PS4’s massive success. It is obvious that the console is available on many markets, it is obvious that at present core gamers prefer it to competing Xbox One from Microsoft, but Sony, at least officially, does not know how to replicate this success going forward.

“I for one am a bit nervous because we do not completely understand what's happening,” said Mr. Yoshida. “You need to understand why your products are selling well so you can plan for the future, right? It defied the conventional thinking. Lots of people thought the dedicated game hardware might not be needed going forward, but still lots of people are very excited.”


Apparently, the PlayStation 4 platform attracted a lot of gamers who did not own any previous-generation consoles. Therefore, in addition to core gamers, there are a lot of new console gamers as well among the owners of PS4. Keeping in mind rather dull prospects predicted by analysts for the new-generation consoles, it is completely unclear how many gamers could potentially buy PS4 hardware.

“As soon as we see a great sales number, our instinct tells us we should be concerned about future sales, right,” said Mr. Yoshida. “Are we exhausting all the core gamers? If we sell this number of units, there are no more consumers we can sell to. That's a really terrifying prospect. So we want to understand who are these consumers who we do not necessarily consider core gamers, who are purchasing PS4 and why they are doing it and what they are doing with PS4, so we can create a bit more of a positive future, rather than saying, wow, we have sold to every single core gamer.”

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KitGuru Says: It is rather interesting that Sony does not really understand who buy PlayStation 4 consoles and why at the moment. But will this be a threat for the platform in general? Maybe, if there are too many casual gamers among the current buyers. In fact, it just looks like PlayStation 4 got popular among core console gamers and core PC gamers, which are very similar audiences from many standpoints.

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