Another Year Of Playstation Growth? #1 – Welcome, Friends
by Tom Hardman - August 22nd, 2008
Few products on the market grow after you’ve purchased them. You buy an item in full awareness that like most things, the value will deteriorate and eventually the object itself will become obsolete, making room for new opportunities to spend your hard-earned cash.
Then consoles came along, and for a glimmering moment the opportunities the next-generation of gaming boasted a few years ago to eager fans became an exciting reality that we still live through today. I’m speaking of course of the value-added content that manufacturers are striving to push onto already successful platforms.
To an outsider to the world of business and marketing, the idea seems ludicrous. When you buy a car, you more often than not pay a set amount to own that vehicle, driving it around depreciates the value as more models become available and the desirability for it diminishes. Eventually the car won’t be able to keep up with the standard level of motors on the road and it becomes obsolete. A console however is treated very differently, and whilst a large part of this is owed to the small number of available consoles competing on a global scale, a larger part is due to the prospective plans of the faces behind the ideas.
This brings us squarely to Sony’s doorstep; they’ve announced numerous times their plans to keep their latest console on a ten year life cycle. It’s easy to see why this is possible with the PlayStation 2 showing little signs of wilting in the sales figures. Likewise, whilst we may see a new console emerge prior to the end of that plan, we’re sure that the PS3’s promise to last that long will hold steady. It’s all down to continuous support; taking the car example again we can clearly see the benefits. As a metaphorical automobile manufacturer, Sony pledged not only to sell you a vehicle, but will insure that what you buy is a functional car a decade later. What’s more, they’ll provide ‘updates’ to your car to make it more functional, more competitive with other road-dwellers and more usable for your personal preferences. Within five years of owning it, it will be barely recognisable from the day you bought it, being a much more practical, fun, and thoroughbred car than when you handed over the cash.
Metaphor’s aside, it’s clear to see that this selective competition is surely a goldmine for gamers. Whilst early adopters may have received the ‘raw’ deal, from a wider perspective you can see that what we’re embroiling in is a global version of haggling, “Oh you may not have wanted a PS3 last month, but how about now that we’ve added the following features?” The companies involved in this business are all about insuring their console is ahead of the rest, and whilst it’s rather unlikely that the lead manufacturers will agree a truce to allow them to relax in the innovative updates department and lay off the Research and Development staff, the people truly raking it in are the people with one tucked up snugly in under their TV’s.
It’s certain therefore that Sony, like the rest will have some idea as to where their next steps lay. What further incentives can they add to bring new buyers in, to keep existing customers purchasing content for it, and to potentially win over rival subscribers?
So where are we leading with this? Simply put, we’ve been looking one year into the future of Sony gaming and armed with a growing knowledge of the industry, speculation from trusted sources and an awful lot of collaborate effort we’ll be throwing those ideas around for your reading pleasure. We’ll be looking for active community participation to agree, disagree and expand on our prophecies. Equally as important, we’ll be approaching Sony each episode for official comments on our work, will some items be ruled as impossible, or will we be given a cheeky wink and told to “wait and see”? Make sure you stay with us in what promises to be an interesting ride.
The PlayStation Beyond team takes its first look into the future and juggles the possibility of grouping friends. Revolutionising current console capabilities, we stretch the ideas to all mini-communities, clans, guilds and crack editorial teams to have a defined place in gaming. Our first issue is full of both exciting and useful concepts set to widen the imagination of what could be possible on the PlayStation Network.
Be sure to share your concepts in the forums
and we'll showcase the best ones in the next edition! Tune in Friday.