News Article

Sony: Wii U is Targeting "Niche Early Adopter Market" This Holiday

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Nintendo's rival wants to lure families

The upcoming arrival of Wii U, and its inevitable push to be a big Holiday success, is naturally something for Nintendo's rivals to worry about. Sony, for its part, is introducing a new 'super slim' version of PS3 with just 12GB of memory, much lower than standard for the system, along with titles to attract younger children and their parents to the console.

This is an area, undoubtedly, where Wii was particularly strong for Nintendo. It'll hope to continue its strong record attracting families and less experienced gamers with Wii U, with Nintendo Land being an obvious first title to do that, as well as attracting a core audience with other titles. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, meanwhile, Sony UK boss Fergal Gara explained that Sony was keen to seize a big share of the family market this Holiday season, and why he believes this can be done up against Wii U.

We respect Nintendo as a highly successful competitor. Of course we will watch what they're doing with interest. It's a very interesting product they're bringing to market. I don't have a clear view on how successful it will be. And to a large extent it doesn't matter what I think. It matters what the great British public think. So we will see.

They certainly laid a broad church in terms of the list of features hopefully trying to have a broad appeal in the device. I don't think there will be huge volumes in the market this side of Christmas. I think they will pull in early adopters. It's probably one to be concerned about far more and watch more carefully into next year. But we feel very confident that in the PlayStation and we won't be going after the same niche early adopter market they'll be going after this Christmas. I think we're sitting in separate camps at this stage, so it won't be head to head.

If they gain real traction next year it becomes a more important factor in the mix. They've been a very key player in the market overall as you well know in recent years. So we have to respect that, watch that and do our best to compete with that.

It's interesting that Gara refers to Nintendo targeting a "niche" early adopter market in Wii U's first Holiday season, as we'd imagine that Nintendo is working to achieve the exact opposite. The early troubles of 3DS showed that failing to successfully appeal to a big audience, whether that's because of games, price or anything else, can lead to a difficult period where sales crash. There's no doubt that Nintendo will hope to establish loyalty from more than the early-adopting crowd when the console hits.

What do you think? Is PS3 going to succeed in targeting a large demographic of families and less experienced gamers this Holiday, or will Wii U be an attractive option to these consumers? Let us know in the comments below.


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User Comments (69)



Gameday said:

Man wii u all the way , i like how they said they'd watch with interest lol well see right.



luminalace said:

I don't have an opinion on the niche early adopter part but it's nice to have the Sony dude be respectful to Nintendo. I think the market is changing and if Nintendo have a early successful start like they did with the Wii, Sony may need to change their tactic a bit next gen and not just hope that their old practices will work!



Void said:

Exactly what is this supposed to be saying?
He, a Sony employee, doesn't think a Nintendo system will do too well?
Thats all I could get from it, I don't see this being worthy of a news article.



Reala said:

Think I'll be more likely to go with PS3 super slim this year than wii u, a ton of RPG's I missed out on that to play, while wii u builds its library and then get wii u next year.



Aviator said:

Yay! Reala joins SonyLife!

now to register all usernames relating to Reala



Drewroxsox said:

The only people who will be buying a ps3 are the uninformed ones, who don't realize that ps3 is old now, and the people who are really cheap, and were waiting for ps4 to come out, so that ps3 would have to be cheaper.



ThomasBW84 said:

@Void He's saying throughout the source interview, as summarised in the article, that Sony is after a "casual" (please excuse the term) audience this Holiday season, so they hope to grab a lot of the audience which, presumably, is also on Nintendo's radar. Not only that, he believes that early Wii U days will go after a "niche early adopter market", which is arguably the opposite of what they're trying to do. By definition pre-Holiday buyers will be 'early adopters', yes, but Nintendo will want a big portion of those buyers to be families or core gamers, not just Nintendo enthusiasts, because we all know what happened to 3DS after the enthusiasts had bought their systems.

Major industry rival exec talks about nabbing a big part of the Nintendo's audience and shares some views on the company and Wii U, yep I think that's worth posting and talking about



kyuubikid213 said:

I don't think their plan will work. Everyone that really really wanted a PS3 has one, so releasing a new one with less memory (and slimmer...) isn't really something to improve sales. When Nintendo unleashes the Wii U, it'll still be able to compete price wise with this "new" PS3. I think they should have perhaps, oh I don't know..., PUT OUT SOME PSVITA GAMES. Or improved Cross-Platform Play. Something worth while, Sony...



Reala said:

@Andrewroxsox your forgot to include the people that think wii u's launch titles aren't looking very good, want to play good games now not wait until they get around to finally releasing them and remember how bad the 3DS launch was.



Drewroxsox said:

@Reala I guess you can add that.... I think Sony should worry about their own consoles though, particularly the vita. It's in the same predicament as the 3ds was, and I hear rumors of a price cut next year. I'll buy it then, because I really want one, but I'm NOT forking out $250 for a handheld device.



SaKo said:

I don't get why Sony is always making comments about Nintendo and comparing them whereas Nintendo is just like "We're not really competing and that we are two different companies".



Aviator said:

What's the point of a company that doesn't compete with another company in the same area?



KatoStudios said:

It's obvious that the WIi U is better than any model of ps3. It has more GPU, CPU, and awesome features the ps3 cannot offer. The gamepad is awesome, and I love the second screen idea. Sony has the vita and ps3, but that is a combo. It's too expensive, and the Vita is a marketing lie. It never really put out the same graphics as ps3, and it won't for a long time. And sony is of course watching nintendo. I guarantee if Nintendo makes another sensation out of Wii U, which they will. Sony and microsoft will release gamepads for their new consoles, and try to improve on them. All they do is copy nintendo, they never bring anything original to the table. All they do differently is improve graphics. Nintendo deserves the highest respect. Without Nintendo, there would be no consoles, or hardcore gaming at all like it is today.



MAB said:

Sony should be keeping an eye on Microsoft more than Nintendo or focus more on themselves and how they handle their own business




Sony have done an excellent job of alienating the family gamer market over the years, so isn't it a little late now?



Araknie said:

They hope so that Nintendo is aiming only for hardcore player, they must have some fear, maybe because this holiday PSVita will have no good games and PS3 has no exclusives?



StarDust4Ever said:

PSP-GO flopped and Vita is next. Nintendo beat Sony in the handheld market by releasing their consoles first, so it will be funny to see Sony fall flat on their faces when they release their $800 PS4.



ajcismo said:

Sony has boasted record-setting losses for the past several years now.... And now they are going for the "Blue Ocean" strategy that the Wii did 6 years ago by targeting families? The same strategy that caused the whole "core vs. casual" rift in the mid-2000s is being embraced now? This sounds like the PS4 is no where near ready, much less at a price point that is near $350, and its forced Sony to spin their intentions and change things up in the meantime.



Marios-love-child said:

If Sony were to release a super slim model that was backward compatible with PS2 games then I might just be interested but as it stands I dont seeo the point of it, a normal PS3 isnt that expensive now so may as well just get one of them.

(For the record I already own a PS3, I was just trying to put myself in the shoes of someone who doesnt)



Hyperstar96 said:

Was someone at Sony just... nice... to Nintendo...?




Shworange said:

And at only 12gb, that will get filled fast. A friend of mine had over 30gb's filled on his in a relitively short time.



drunkenmaster76 said:

I think im gonna trade in my ps3 to get the wii u nintendo are well better and when people say ps3 is for harcore gamers it really pisses me off, give me mario anyday



triforcepower73 said:

"I don't have a clear view on how successful it will be. And to a large extent it doesn't matter what I think."
Exactly! Nobody cares what you say, sony! It's almost always sore-loser talk anyway.



TheRavingTimes said:

November launch date is always critical for a console, with Christmas only a month away. I'm planning on opting out on getting a Wii U (University studies is truly a hardship) but I'm confident the Wii U will succeed. Plus I might get the Wii U since by birthday is in November. And even if I don't, I still have my Nintendo 3DS which is a time killer.



Windy said:

If it's true no Online multiplayer for Nintendo Land I'm really no longer interested Nintendo is still not dedicated to an online Multiplayer format and this kills it for me. if you look at the first 50 games released there are only a couple that have online play. Bring out Dragon Quest X and I cant get to the store fast enough LOL



rjejr said:

The guy spent 3 paragraphs blabbering corp. BS, he should have instead just said those 2 little magic words "Harry Potter".

I personally think Wonberbooks looks like garbage. So much so that the video consists almost entirely of disclaimers. But if you can't sell Harry Potter video games to kids in the UK then you shouldn't have a job.



StefyG said:

@drunkenmaster76 you get it man! Someone finnaly gets it like come on zelda, mario and pikmin have beauty with visuals and music where's the magic in shooting people? No music no magic no fun. Why won't snyone st my school get a wiiu? Is it because their too lazy to see how awesome it is? Maybe that's their lost I'm getting it Pikmin 3 and Dragon Quest X FTW!!!!!



Aviator said:

Because magic is the way to determine how much fun a game is!

You don't understand why people don't want a WiiU. Maybe it's because they can't seem to understand how you think that people who play shooters are playing bad games.



Bankai said:

Nice to see regard for the facts here. Like how the new PS3 also has a 500GB model for sale.

Oh hang on. I just needed to point that out here. NOW all the facts are out there.

Also, this guy is just stating a fact. The reason that they call the demographic 'early adopters' is because they're the first ones to buy a console. And who will be the people buying Wii Us this Christmas? The first people to buy Wii Us in the world. Ergo, early adopters.

But don't let any of these facts get in the way of whatever everyone up there is doing.



Bankai said:

3Dash - you mean for services that have real games for download, not WiiWare's mini game gallery?

There are 20-25gb games for download on PSN. I have a 250GB HD on my PS3, and I can only fit a small fraction of my games on it. In fact I am going to buy the new PS3 solely for tha expanded HD.

And finally - what does 'do you need it' have to do with this discussion? It exists, and it was misreporting to claim that the only new PS3 model Sony has in the market was a 12GB one.



StrawHatChopper said:

@WhiteKnight If you've already got a PS3, why get a whole new system when the HDD is upgradeable? I put a 500GB HDD into my old 80GB fatty model, and that only took $50 and a little time to backup and restore the data.

With the Wii U, having the data on an external just makes that process easier, since it'll literally be copy and paste the data onto a larger disk through my PC if I ever decide to upgrade to more storage than I've currently got on hand.



H_Hunter said:

I think PS3 new slim model will hit Wii U hard. Besides, there isn't a lot of hardcore games with Wii U except Zombie U and few others. Not the case with PS3. And that's all what I can say about it



Bankai said:

StrawHat - oh, because of two reasons - 1) I would screw up somehow and blow up my PS3 by opening it up to chuck in a better HD, and 2) the console is 3-4 years old now and I use it daily. It'll likely start to fail on me soon anyway.

Thank God for Cloud saves and PSPlus.

3Dash - Usually I have 10 on rotation. It's nice to not have to download 25GB games again though if I need to delete them to free up space. Or to think of it another way - How many discs do you have? I'm sure it's more than the number of games you're playing at any one time.



Ernest_The_Crab said: seems a little late to be targeting the so-called "casual" market from a home console front. My guess is Sony will heavily advertise the non-gaming aspects of the console (like the Blu-Ray player and other multimedia) and just mention it can "also" play games. Might also switch their focus to promoting some of their more family friendly games.

Anyone see any adverts for the Wii U yet? It'll help better understand how Nintendo is promoting their own console for the holiday season. Probably still a little too early to see their marketing though.



Ryno said:

Well duh, of course Nintendo and Playstation are attracting different target markets this holiday.



Lalivero said:

Why is there still hate here? The guy at least showed some respect for Nintendo, yet it's still blown out of proportion and only looked at for the 'bad' bits. As a lover of Nintendo myself, it's kind of embarrassing really.

If anything, this is a type of article I like to read; a company looking to compete with the success of its rival, yet isn't flat out hating on them for once.



Void said:

@ThomasBW84 I must have missed you commenting on the fact that he said sony wanted to go after the casuals, thank you for clarifying(Is that even a word?) that.
So that means, they.. Sony, the self-proclaimed hardcore gaming company, are now trying to target the causal crowd?
Even after all those times Tretton has claimed they are there to cater to the core crowd?
I also don't see this as being too successful.



Bane said:

I would never be lured into another company but that of Nintendo, Nintendo, you are the company that I will love forever, IDC about the others!



Lunapplebloom said:

I didn't even know about a redesigned PS3 until now. The Wii U appears to be on a healthy start with all of those preorders being made. And instead of Sony trying to cater to a particular audience by releasing a new system, they should focus there energy on not letting the PSVita fail. This shall be an interesting year for both Nintendo and Sony.



C-Olimar said:

Maybe they'll put a light bulb on the Vita, like they did with their WiiMote, to make PS3/Vita combo seem extra special compared to the Wii U!



LittleKing said:

Yes, because we all know slimming down a six year old console will brutally destroy the Wii U. Never got the point of this. Most anyone who hasn't bought a PS3 by now probably won't give a damn if its a tiny bit slimmer. I have a PS3, and its plenty slim enough. Also, 12GB of memory is insane. Skyrim's install data alone would fill up almost half of that. o_e

Who thought slimming it down 25% in exchange for 95% of its memory was a good idea? What kind of casuals will they be targeting that aren't satisfied with a much cheaper Wii, with its much larger kid and family friendly library of games?

Next, Nintendo isn't really targeting early adopters; they're in it for the long run. Everyone "targets" early adopters to some extent, because without them, you have zero initial sales and the whole thing would tank. What does Sony expect, Nintendo to launch a console by slipping it onto store shelves using a special ops team, and "target" users three years from now? They aren't "targeting" early adopters, they're targeting adopters period, in the short term and the long. Yeah, they made a special effort to get a decent launch line up and have talked about that a good amount, but that's because of what happened with the 3DS.



Sir_Deadly said:

@Reala haha, your saying this when your getting a console that released in 2006! Get a Wii U then ill welcome you to the next gen in gaming!!!



scrubbyscum999 said:

Sony, thank you for being respectful for Nintendo once. As for the PS3, if they want more adopters this late in its life they really need to make really cheap, which I don't think they can do right now business wise.



scrubbyscum999 said:

Sony, thank you for being respectful for Nintendo once. As for the PS3, if they want more adopters this late in its life they really need to make really cheap, which I don't think they can do right now business wise.



Jukilum said:

@KatoStudios While Sony and Microsoft do have a track record of imitating Nintendo, the Kinect is actually kind of nice in that it only uses the idea of motion control in general but is very different in how it operates and what it can do compared to the Wii remote. It's not really worth the price, nor does it have many good games compatible with it, but you have to give them credit for at least going for a different approach to motion controls.



Token_Girl said:

If by "niche" early adopter market, he means "adult gamer with enough money to buy a new system," then, yes, possibly. You don't target the "niche early adopter" market - by definition, you don't have to. They buy the newest piece of tech, just because it's new and cool.

It will be interesting to see how the WiiU does and what audience ends up purchasing it, ultimately. I agree with him on that.



DarkNinja9 said:

lol there watching nintendo? you know there just waiting for the wii u to launch so they can hurry and run to get one so that the whole company judges it

but saying that too seems like there not doing much of anything then o_o poor sony still trying to be cool with there new super slim ps3 oh yeah xD



arrmixer said:

eventhough this is irrelevant... What would be Sony US's comment be on the same question.....

just curious .. either way I'm just looking forward to my new experience on a nintendo console...



Capt_N said:

If I might make a suggestion to some of my fellow NLife members/users: Everybody's gonna have a different opinion. Accept it.

W/ that said, it's nice to see what appears to be friendly competition. I am definitely interested in getting value for my money. One of Nintendo's biggest tricks in further convincing me to purchase their consoles, is that I already own their older consoles, so bwc(backwards-compatibility) w/ at least 1 gen back helps convince me. If I were to buy a Sony, or MS console, the same would hold true( there, too).

As a counter-point, I'm also interested in what the consoles can do, games aside. Very many (of my) family gatherings(birthdays/Thanksgiving/Christmas/etc.), have included Wii photo channel slideshows of pictures family members have taken @ said gatherings.

Unless Sony, &/or MS have begun production of their next systems, they have the advantage, since they will be able to copy, or not Nintendo, based on it's (what will be Nintendo's/WU's) success, or failure.

I don't think I'll be asking my family, or saving up for hardware that will be soon replaced in the coming year, or so. Therefore, Sony would have to make their PS3 very lucrative for me to dive in, as opposed to waiting for the successor (console).

By the same token, $300 is pretty much, @ least to me. Same for $60 per game. As I've said before, I'll have to try the WU @ a store kiosk/demo, before I can give myself the final opinion, on wanting, or not, a WU.

I think this time, Nintendo is somewhat catering to both traditional, & newer gamers alike.



WaxxyOne said:

By "watch with interest" do they mean "steal any good ideas and port them (badly) to our next console?"

Just kidding, that's rhetorical. Of course that's what they meant...



FyreeTSG said:

And in 2 years, the PS4 will come out with a tablet controller, and PS-verse...

but it's nice to see a Sony exec say something about Nintendo that doesn't want me to beat someone upside the head....

meanwhile, the Wii U will sell 20 million units before anything NEW sony comes out with



Vincent294 said:

@kyuubikid213 Yeah. Stop competing w/ Wii U. Put out a PS4 that outdoes the 720 and give us more Vita games. I don't have one, but there isn't much for its users right now. Like the 3DS, but worse. Assassin's Creed & Call of Duty should help revitalize it though.



TornadoX7 said:

i mean im pretty sure Sony will put up a good fight but Nintendo has been doing this for years and have been successful sooo yea.



diim said:

Sony is keeping a close eye on Nintendo...of course they are, where else are they going to get their ideas from. The PS3 was a fail. Third party support was horrible and the games were mostly broken but they cost the same as all the other though. I have learned my lesson from Sony their super expensive proprietary hardware. I'm hoping to get rid of all my systems for one WiiU.

C'mon Nintendo......more third party support. One system that does it all!!



BulbasaurusRex said:

It's nice to see a competitor taking Nintendo seriously and giving them some respect while plugging their own product.

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