The marketing push for PS Vita will get the device into gamers' hands next week – and it's part of the firm's biggest campaign yet.
An experiential tour starts on January 12th in Manchester, with the Vita Rooms visiting Glasgow and London during January and February afterwards.
It's just one part of a big hardware launch campaign that includes a heavyweight TV, print, outdoor and retail presence and digital elements.
PS Vita launches on February 22nd in the UK and the rest of Europe, plus Australia and North America. It debuted in Japan three weeks ago and has sold over 400,000 units already.
The PSP successor ups the ante in the tech stakes featuring a raft of functionality including a five-inch OLED touch screen, dual analog sticks, front and rear cameras, a touch-sensitive panel on the reverse and plenty of on-board digital services. The hardware is available as a WiFi-only version and a 3G and WiFi model, with Vodafone on board as preferred 3G supplier in Europe.
Vita delivers an uncompromised gaming experience on a portable device, for the first time,” UK marketing manager Mark Bowles told MCV.With a long list of impressive features, we're confident consumers will be incredibly excited by the latest addition to the PlayStation family.”
He added: The PS Vita launch will be supported by the biggest campaign we've ever executed, and this level of activity will continue throughout 2012, reflecting our confidence in, and commitment to the platform long term.
Our campaign will target gamers primarily, but also the new generation of tech enthusiasts and entertainment consumers who are used to playing games on their smartphones or tablets. What sets Vita apart is its ability to deliver PS3 quality gaming, in addition to the range of globally recognised triple-A software titles, which simply isn't possible or aren't available on any other existing portable.
In terms of media focus, due to the connected nature of the Vita and the behaviour of our target audience, our campaign will have a strong digital backbone, supporting a heavyweight TV, press, outdoor and retail presence.
Finally, one thing we learnt early on is that the best way to understand PS Vita, is to get hands-on experience with it. This is why we're investing heavily in an experiential tour.”
33 games form the launch line-up of games, which include key Sony franchises such as Uncharted and WipEout, plus third-party hits like FIFA.
Bowles added: The key to any successful console launch is software, and we believe the launch line-up for the PS Vita is the strongest of any gaming platform. Consumers will quite literally be spoilt for choice in terms of the depth and breadth of gaming experiences on offer.”
He added that Sony is certain that a good quantity of quality games will continue after launch.
Lessons learnt from the PSP ensure that this commitment to delivering triple-A quality titles will continue unabated, with Resistance, LittleBigPlanet, Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty just a few of the big name titles and franchises coming to the PS Vita over the year ahead.
We're naturally very excited at the prospect of getting the hardware into the hands of gamers, so they can see for themselves, what makes Vita so special.”