So apparently, on November 7th, 2012, I felt a way. I took it upon myself to voice my opinions to the wind about Sony and their marketing tactics, or lack thereof. Some of this is still relevant, but I do give props to them for stepping their marketing game up if only slightly. There’s definitely still work left to do though, and hopefully they’ll get to it. Without further ado, enjoy my nonsensical plea to a company that will never hear me.

Dear Sony PR/Marketing Department

I write this to you as a long time fan and consumer of your gaming products. I grew up with almost every gaming console from Atari to the PS3 and can honestly say my fondest memories come from your systems and games. I am sure you receive criticism on a near constant basis for what you do/don’t do, but what I would like to offer some suggestions.

As a company in the red in the gaming department, Sony needs ways to make quick, positive money, preferably by finding a section of the market with little to no contention. To that end, I suggest a bigger advertising push for the PS Vita. As a gamer who has been jilted by day one purchases gone wrong and unsupported consoles (i.e. PSP Go or Sega Dreamcast), I made a promise to myself to not to buy a Vita until I found ten games for the system I wanted. I patiently waited for blockbuster announcements of third-party software or advertisement during my favorite shows, but it never came.

Not until yesterday (11/6/12), did I take it upon myself to look into what the Vita has to offer and I found greatness. I actually found over ten games that peaked my interest. Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Street Fighter x Tekken: two excellent fighting titles (both with online and cross-play capabilities), sat on the Sony store with no fanfare;  though they provide a gaming experience your competitors at Nintendo cannot match. Unit 13, a title not I nor my friends—several of whom work for GameStop in various locations—is a solid third-person shooter with not only online capabilities with co-op, but leaderboards for both singles and co-op teams. Again, there was no fanfare for a title that offers something not seen in any other handheld title, in this or any other generation. Vita exclusive, Gravity Rush, is a perfect use of all the technology of the system, yet I’ve seen no advertisement for the game. I just happened to stumble upon it in a Target demo unit. A unit that is usually either not on or inaccessible due to some child or a defect in the display. There is money to be made here with these titles alone and more to be made through an even less expensive means.

PSone classics are completed games that require nothing more than advertisement. Looking at Nintendo’s push of Wiiware and their classics, there is no reason not to take advantage of the wealth of gaming from your previous console. From personal experience, there are dry spells in gaming where there’s just nothing new in the gaming world you want and you just want to step back and relive greatness. That is the time to shine. Also, a lot of your loyal fans from the PSone era are now raising children or have nieces or nephews. It is far easier to download a $10 version of Motortoon Grandprix than go to the store, after work and spend $60 on a game their kid will no longer be playing two weeks later. The classics can also be used to guide gaming towards a more profitable position for the future. For instance, if a child grows up playing Final Fantasy VII, as I did, they will be looking for a stronger gaming experience than Wii Sports. The opportunity is there, advertisement just needs to show more pride and conviction in the products they’re pushing.

My final point of untapped gaming is ports. About two years ago, Nintendo released 999: 9 hours, 9 persons, 9 doors through Aksys and thought nothing much of it. After several cycles of selling out and reprinting, they made far more than they ever projected for the game—something Sony has been doing the opposite of as of late. There are more than enough titles in Japan that most gamers have never heard of, but I guarantee you they can be marketable. If you simply lack someone with enough imagination or forethought to spot and port these titles, that issue needs to be addressed sooner than later. As a matter of fact, between ports and remakes, Nintendo is putting a hole in your handheld profitability, while spending next to nothing to do it. Tobal 2, Battle Arena Toshinden, Bushido Blade are just a few titles/series that could be brought back with minimal effort, but produce maximum gain.

I am not trying to pitch this for a job, although it would be nice. I would just like to see a company that I have grown up with produce to its full potential. There is too much technology and opportunity in your hands not to dig it up and showcase it to the world. Please don’t end up like Sega. I honestly can’t imagine my life without a Sony console.

With sincere respect,

Kenneth E. Medford, III


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