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Microsoft exec cautions Sony over next week’s “important” PS4 reveal

Thursday, 14th February 2013 11:15 GMT By Dave Cook

PS4 is said to be revealed at Sony’s PlayStation Meeting event on February 20th, but Microsoft exec Jon Grimes has stated that the majority of consumers “won’t know” what the reveal is about, claiming that it won’t attract much appeal from the mass demographic.

Speaking with MCV, Grimes said, that the upcoming Sony event will be “important for the industry”, but added, “Whatever gets announced on February 20, the majority of UK consumers won’t know.”

He continued, “Our job is not to get lost in the industry chatter, but to ensure that the consumers going into stores, going online, still experience Xbox. The announcement is important for the industry, but it is also important to remember who is buying right now.”

Exerting caution over looking too far into the future – and forgetting about current consumers as a result – Grimes added, “What has got us to where we are today is not going to be what gets us through the next ten years. Now we’ve also got to start from scratch when thinking about the future. Driving creativity, whether around marketing, retail or new business models, is key for us.”

What do you think about the above? Should platform holders like Sony and Microsoft appeal to the mass market or should they focus on the core first?

Yesterday one of the Xbox co-founders Nat Brown slammed Microsoft for forgetting about the core, calling the last five years of the brand “painful” to watch. See his damning statement on the matter here.

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45 Comments

  1. daytripper

    Weak as piss response in my opinion

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Erthazus

    He is afraid. : D

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Fin

    Microsoft are in full-on damage control at the moment.
    Anything to take the spotlight away.

    I think the majority of UK consumers will know – whatever is announced is bound to be covered by BBC.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. RandomTiger

    Until someone shows some actual next gen games its all white noise.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. karma

    Ignoring the hardcore audience has always been a huge mistake in the past. It happened to Sony already when MS came out with the xbox 360, same with Nintendo and Sega in the past, and also with older games machines like Spectrum and Commodore 64, I remember that the hardcore goes where the games are, period.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. manamana

    Eat your words Grimes, you totally lost it, old fart.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. OmegaSlayer

    Partially right…but he’s expecting Sony to make only bad marketing moves.
    While it may indeed happen, I’m confident that Sony learnt a lesson or 2.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. pukem0n

    gonna laugh so hard if its not a PS4 ^^

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Bashtee

    “Exerting caution over looking too far into the future – and forgetting about current consumers as a result”

    Ni no Kuni, The Last of Us, God of War: A, Beyond: Two Souls. What’s MS got in the Pipe? Ah yeah, Gears of War something.

    The ones looking too far into the future is actually Microsoft, while the PS crowd gets served pretty well.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. loveaya

    Microsoft: The War is Finished…..in 2008?

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Kaufer

    Ironic since Microsoft completely abandoned the original Xbox when they moved to the Xbox360 short of five years after it launched. I wonder what plans MS has for the 360 after E3?

    #11 2 years ago
  12. sh4dow

    I would say “core” but then again… I’m not a slave to the god “money”.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. datass

    Sooo, MS = mainstream, Sony = core…yeah right, i’m gonna go with…PC OF COURSE…YEAH BITCH

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Gheritt White

    He’s bang on. Most people-who-play-videogames (as opposed to “gamers”) won’t know about the new consoles until they start seeing ads on TV, on the sides of buses or in the morning Metro.

    For most people, gaming means playing CoD/NFS/FIFA and very little else.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. manamana

    Someone on another site say, “If Sony doesn’t announce PS4, the internet will explode. If Sony does announce PS4, the internet will explode.”

    Thing is, #9 nailed it. Microsoft forgot about this gen with the launch of Halo4.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. SplatteredHouse

    Translation: We’re not ready, yet. It sounds like someone is asking for a wake-up jolt next week.

    @9: Sony’s still got it when it comes to first-party, as you say. Microsoft have painted themselves into a bit of a corner in several respects, on the other hand.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. ps3fanboy

    mickey$oft are trembling in their pants now. they have put in always online drm, have no support for second hand games in their new shit box… when sony announce the ps4, that have none of that they know its game over.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Gheritt White

    @17: What the FUCK is your contribution to this conversation? Shouldn’t you be masturbating for the umpteenth time today right now instead? If you’re even old enough to produce jism, that is. Seriously, FUCK OFF.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Dave Cook

    @18 don’t feed the troll scraps of meat mate. It can taste the reaction.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Simplicitly

    I’d firstly like to clarify that nothing is quite as tiresome as fanboy wars on the internet to me.

    However, I can’t help but feel that Jon Grimes is missing the point slightly here, and that his focus on the mass market is a reflection on the direction that Microsoft is taking at the moment. They have a weird arrogance about them, reminiscent of the way Sony seemed at the height of the PS2, when they’d sold twice as many consoles as MS have managed with the 360, and were in a frame of mind that apparently made them feel invulnerable at the launch of the PS3. There can be no denying the PS3 has sold a lot of units, but it doesn’t enjoy the unit sales of the PS2 yet, and with another generation imminent, it probably never will.

    I think Sony probably have it right, addressing the core audience first. It certainly worked for the 360, and it worked for Sony with the PS2, although clearly they had the bonus of including DVD playback at a time when DVD players were not everywhere. The thing about addressing the core first is that those customers are the informed, savvy people that give advice to their less informed friends and families. I sold somewhere around six PS2s to my various acquaintances, back when it was launched, just from showing them what it did and enthusing about it. A lot of the people I know who game, but aren’t serious gamers will indubitably turn to me for the PS4 vs 720 decision, too. This time around, I’ve probably created an additional four or five customers for the 360, but I’m completely open in the forthcoming generation to be sold on the one that plays the best versions of games and offers the simplest experience, and if that turns out to be the PS4, then the fact that Sony choose to share announcements like the one we’re all assuming will happen next week is important, in my opinion.

    I’m sure I’m not the only gamer who is relied on by their chums, even in this time of Google and ubiquitous internet to help them make a decision. The mass market, to some extent, makes their buying decisions on what we recommend. Maybe that won’t be as true, this time around, but I would imagine that Sony could look at their 140m PS2′s sold, and their 75m* PS3s sold, and wonder if managing to turn PS2 fanboys like me into Xbox 360 gamers was really a good idea?

    Consumers are fickle, of course, but educated consumers can be very influential in terms of sales, or at least they always used to be, so Microsoft ignores the importance of informing the ‘Core’ to its peril.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. daytripper

    If Sony do announce PS4 it will be featured on Sky News, BBC, Newspapers, trending on social networks. With his attitude you might aswell not announce anything ever, they knew PS4 was coming this year but I doubt they expected Sony to announce it so early in the year and he can’t admit it. He would of been better off saying nothing and let MS announce their own system not long after.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Beta

    Can’t stand fanboy wars which is why I try not to get involved and buy every console. (Apart from the Wii U as I see no reason to yet)

    This reeks of damage control though I’ll be honest.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. jimjim141

    “Whatever gets announced on February 20, the majority of UK consumers won’t know,”

    Wrong, the gamers and tech enthusiasts will know about and also people will know of it because it will be in all the newspapers and will be talked about a hell of a lot on the internet.

    “Ten years ago, to think we would be the leader in our second generation is a achievement,”

    Wrong, in what planet are you the leader. Wii sales wiped the floor with you and PS3 sales are neck and neck with Xbox 360 despite a one year head start and RROD.

    Really does show the lack of intelligence and bitterness of this man.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Gheritt White

    @23: I wish I lived in that reality, but he’s right – the key word here is “majority” and most people-who-play-games are meatheads, not geeks. The only way this would get on their radar is if it was mentioned on Match of The Day.

    @20: I agree – you always need to court the sources of trickle-down first and foremost. Word of mouth has to start somewhere, after all.

    @19: It’s okay, I was just looking for an excuse to use the word “jism”.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Beta

    “Whatever gets announced on February 20, the majority of UK consumers won’t know,”

    Weird logic.. Implies that there’s no point in any company making an announcement ever because the mainstream won’t know about it. :S I don’t think I like this man.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. hives

    You know what will be funny? If we’ll get new model of Vita and this will be the “future” and reveal :P

    #26 2 years ago
  27. manamana

    @Gheritt I understand what you mean and you are right to a certain point. But the majority isn’t buying day one, it’s the informed gamer. The majority picks up, when all the dust is set and the first price-cut comes in. So yes, he may have a point, that the majority of people who could be interested in a next gen console wont take hint from Sonys presentation. But I think in this point in time Sony is trying to cater to the gamers out there and is willing to send a strong signal to the industry. So his statement makes him look a bit foolish, imo, as he has nothing to show and nothing else to say as downplaying what is the most eagerly anticipated date this year. For the gaming community that is.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. _LarZen_

    And that ladies and gentlemen is why Microsoft with Xbox has failed as a gaming platform for years now.

    They aim to hard for the mainstream costumers, people who don’t care so much about games and is more after a multimedia hub to watch Netflix and other online services.

    If it was not for Sony and the Playstation, gamers that don’t want to play on a PC would have a miserable time.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. G1GAHURTZ

    Seriously though, if all the PS4 is, is a more powerful PS3 with a touchpad on the controller, Sony are finished in the games industry, IYAM.

    They need to pull something amazing on the 20th…

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Simplicitly

    #25 Jon Grimes doesn’t seem to be implying that there shouldn’t be publicity, he seems to be saying that appealing to core gamers isn’t important, and that it is more important to focus on the ‘mass market’.

    This wasn’t really the approach that MS took when they made a great success of the 360. I’m not discounting the possibility that he is correct, and I’m sure MS will have a $500m marketing campaign so that *everybody* knows about the next Xbox… but I can’t agree that courting the core gamers somehow equates to ignoring the mass market, and as I waffled on before, I think courting ‘us’ does have what Gheritt White so eloquently identifies as the trickle-down effect.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. Joe Musashi

    “…claiming that it won’t attract much appeal from the mass demographic”

    The 45 second announce video on YouTube has had over 6 million views in 14 days.

    And the publicity that Jon Grimes has just given for free will probably add to that exposure.

    JM

    #31 2 years ago
  32. daytripper

    The interviewer should of challenged his comments, we need a Jeremy Paxman type

    #32 2 years ago
  33. Mike W

    @8

    It would be funny, then watch how many doom and gloom articles we see how Sony is finish.

    I don’t want to get my hopes up.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. SlayerGT

    *sniff-sniff* Smell that? Feeear ;)

    @4 I think this announcement is just as important to devs and pubs as it is to Sony. By confirming the console exsist it’ll enable third parties to talk about what they’re working on. Then you’ll see them lovely games you’re looking for ;) HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! Dave Cook will be my valentine? :P

    Edit: Sounds to me like MS doesn’t want 3rd party devs saying, “Here’s our next game! For PS3, 360, and PS4.” Or even worse, “PS4 and PC.” Until MS officially announces their machine, folks won’t be able to confirm their games are on it yeah? Like next week’s Destiny reveal..I know the game is supposed to be this Gen, but wouldn’t they want to show their next Gen “version”?

    #34 2 years ago
  35. OlderGamer

    I think he is right to a degree as well. There is a big difference between masses and the dedicated gamer. Something alot of us here overlook, we don’t represent much of the demographic. And you can say what you want about platforms abondoning the “core” as being a part of their downfall.

    I don’t see it that way. I see different kinds of games and different people that want those different kinds of games. It is a pretty wide spectrum. A bunch of dedicated loyalist raging on the web doesn’t really do much.

    The market is much bigger then you folks like to think it is. And it is time you got used to sharing. “Casual” games are not going anywhere, and neither are the people that enjoy them. More Uncharted, Gow, GT, Resistance, Star/War-Hawk, Mag(and Sony exclusives in general) etc isn’t going to change the gaming world. If those franchises where as all powerful as that, Sony would have done better with their PS3 and Vita platforms.

    But there is truth to the notion that far more gamers are intered in CoD, NFS, FIFA, and more then anything mentioned above. There is a reality that some of us are constantly overlooking.

    Just another day.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    “Most of UK consumers won’t know”

    That’s okay… most of them aren’t gamers.

    ALL UK (or otherwise) gamers will know, so why should anyone give a toss what anyone else knows or doesn’t?

    #36 2 years ago
  37. HELLFIREV1

    If it is PS4 then Sony are playing a good game. Announce it now and get all the specs and statistics out the way.Then when E3 comes around they can show off it’s potential and of course the games.
    M$ with the way there going will have too do that all in 90 minutes leaving little room for the games.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. SlayerGT

    @36 idk about the UK but I agree with you that the 20th is aimed at gamers. Its too early to talk at “causals”.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. DrDamn

    @37
    MS will do a pre-E3 dedicated event too. Just closer to E3. Agree it makes sense to do it sooner rather than at or close to E3 though.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. salarta

    I still don’t quite understand why it was absolutely necessary for Grimes to do the whole trash-talking thing, but eh, whatever makes him happy.

    #40 2 years ago
  41. Cobra951

    It’s too late to hold back now. (That makes me thing of a song . . .) The cat is well out of the bag. New console cycle around the corner. The best thing Sony and Microsoft can do now is own that. I don’t know what this MS exec is going on about. Yeah, maybe he’s scared of the fallout. Who knows.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. daytripper

    http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/11/microsoft-xbox-360-premium-content-plans-entertainment/

    It’s a “entertainment” console now

    #42 2 years ago
  43. Mr Sparkle

    Why do people come out with inane declarations like this still?

    #43 2 years ago
  44. nhowell14

    What Sony’s response should be: “your fear is a ripe stench sir, one that can be smelled across the pond”

    Seriously, how lame are they? Microsoft needs to focus on themselves before offering any form of advice to anyone. Look at their products, outside the US the 360 doesn’t sell for shit either. Lets not even get into how much of a joke Microsoft’s other products are, or how they very blatantly are copying Apple’s every move.

    Although in hindsight, everyone wants a new actual NEXT-gen capable game console right? But what if this exec got an early whiff of the price? or the lack of B/C or anti-used games? If any of those are the case, then it’ll be worse than the Vita or PS3 launch, and I sure as hell will not be purchasing another lack-luster and over-hyped product.

    Even if the best gaming experiences that I have had, have been on the two worst selling gaming consoles to ever come out of Sony’s camp…

    #44 2 years ago
  45. fearmonkey

    Omg….How can anyone at MS comment on how anyone should announce their console? Does anyone remember the 360 unveiling party hosted by Elijah wood that was Pre-e3. It was so stupid and lame, they focused moreon the Killers playing and the celebs than the console itself.

    MS has always had such lame hipster videos for their products, always a upper middle class family in a impossibly clean house, playing games, Kinect, etc.

    Ms must be worried and I hope they are. I Hope Sony announces the PS4 and makes MS squirm, but it would be kind of funny if this turns out to not be about the PS4 after all this hype.

    update: Oh man I just had the horrid thought of another MTV like introduction for the next xbox, I hope they dont do that, but I can see it happening, as that will get the word out to everyone, at least in their eyes.

    #45 2 years ago

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