Once the undisputed brand leader in the electronic entertainment space, Sony has seen its Walkman brand totally usurped by Apple’s ability to deliver high-quality, high-priced multimedia devices – while at the same time, Nintendo’s portable/affordable game playing systems has moved in to own the dedicated mobile play space. What next for Sony?
The PlayStation Portable (PSP) was technologically ahead of its rivals at launch. By a huge margin. Nintendo went in totally the opposite direction – making a much lower specification device that was affordable, available in different colours and with nice-and-simple interactive Wi-Fi play.
But Sony is a serious competitor, used to losing and then regaining the lead.
Looking at the PlayStation space at GamesCom 2011, one idea shouted loud and clear above the rest – Sony’s attempt to create a unique combination of virtual characters, the PSP and Panini stickers. Development guru Marco offered a simple, but powerful demonstration where the virtual 3D characters appear in a real world environment – as long as you’re viewing them through the PSP’s camera.
The idea is that the characters are intelligent and interactive.
So where do the Panini stickers fit in? Well these will be Sony’s preferred penetration method for the younger gamer. Already hugely popular, imagine if each sticker in a pack contained a virtual 3D character – and all you needed to bring it to life was a quick scan with a PSP?
Given the size of Sony’s entertainment operations and Panini’s licenses for the Olympics in 2011 as well as the NFL/NHL licenses in the USA – it’s easy to see how this will create a massive revenue stream going forward, simply because sports provides the perfect bridge to cross-over from childhood to adulthood. Here are some shots of this new interactive world in action – and we share our vision of the future at the end of this article.
KitGuru says: The real challenge is simple, almost no one wants to buy a PSP. Once Sony integrates this kind of technology into its phones, the world looks set to become one large market for our Japanese friends. Where will that lead? In the old days, kids would bunch together to play with marbles or trump cards. In the future, we expect the same group of kids to be standing around, with mobiles outstretched in front of them, each viewing 4 virtual, 3D characters interacting with each other.
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