The UK games industry needs to increase its retail base before the next gen consoles, says Sony.
The firm told MCV it hopes the PS4 can provide the ‘kick in the market' that the High Street is crying out for. And encourages existing specialists to expand its store count and for non-games retailers to fill the gaps left behind by closures at GAME, HMV and Blockbuster.
There is more work to do to make sure the retail base is in strong enough shape to take us into the next cycle. And obviously to secure the core of sales in 2013,” UK boss Fergal Gara told MCV.
It could happen with a retailer re-entering the space or entering it for the first time. Or it could be that some of the existing players extend their store base to make sure there are enough outlets on relevant High Streets. We certainly don't want to see us become an online-only market. We value the bricks-and-mortar experience greatly.”
Sony suffered only a slight slowdown in sales last year, but acknowledges that the market is in need of excitement to lift it out of the doldrums. And PS4 could be that excitement.
The market overall is not as healthy and the inevitably consequence of that is there has to be some resizing or downsizing,” added Gara.
But the kick in the market that everyone is looking forward to, we hope we have laid down the foundations for that with PS4, so that we can reignite the market and stabilise retailers that are there, maybe bring some back who have left. Here's hoping we can do our bit to revitalise retail.”
You can hear more on Sony UK's plans for this year and PS4 in MCV's full-length interview.