We always get some of the big company execs throwing little jabs at one another over business plans, projections, and financial statistics. All companies also find away to spin their numbers or reports of success over failure; so it should come as no surprise that when Sony announced that the PS3 had passed Xbox 360 in overall sales in Europe a while back, Microsoft responded with a right hook in the form of ‘oh no they didn’t!’.
So as the two opponents dance around each other looking for a strategic opening, Microsoft’s European VP of strategic marketing for interactive entertainment (damn that’s long) David Gosen says that Microsoft will stay ahead of its rival by way of aggressive investment plans, “We have some very aggressive plans in terms of investing in this market to be successful. We are in Europe to win. We’re not here to come second or third.” Unfortunately, Gosen doesn’t lay out what he means ‘aggressive investing’ how that will be implemented. Better SKU’s, cheaper games, advertising? We’ll have to wait and see.
Sony’s Kaz Hirai has a better answer on how the PS3 is going to come out on top not just in Europe, but when looking at the big picture. Instead of talking about aggressive investment plans, Hirai is laying it down on the games, stating, “As PlayStation 3 approaches the second anniversary of its release, the release of PS3 software titles with the true generation quality only available on PS3 is accelerating.”
Hirai takes a humbling approach and admits that things were very bleak for the PS3 when it first launched, but the company assessed the situation and began to focus on games and everything has been on the up and up since. He realizes thus far that this approach has been the most successful for the PS3, stating, “…by refocusing the positioning of PS3 first and foremost as a gaming platform, we were able to bring an attractive title lineup and achieve a sufficient number of PS3 sales as expected in the fiscal year 2007 holiday season.”
So the battle rages on. I think Sony is on the right track with their current approach — it’s all about the games at the end of the day, and that’s definitly going to get you a broader appeal on the market as a whole. Microsoft’s aggressive investing plan may only be focusing on Europe for now, but without knowing exactly what it entails, who can say how successful it will or will not be? Analysts that’s who! In all seriousness though, it’s great to see this level of competition from companies, because at the end of the day, it’s the consumer who will end up with a lot of good products to choose from.