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Sony jabs iPhone game quality with new PSP spot

updated 04:35 pm EDT, Mon August 16, 2010

Sony steps up anti-iPhone rhetoric with ads

Sony has stepped up the directness of its Marcus PSP ads with word of a new spot attacking Apple directly (viewable below). The spot has Marcus slag the iPhone as not meant for "big boy games" and points to a number of newly discounted $10 PSP games, such as Twisted Metal: Head-On and Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee, as proof the iPhone isn't as good a gaming device. An iPhone is for "texting your grandma or calling your girl," Marcus said.

The ad is only partly accurate. Although most PSP games are more advanced on average than iPhone titles, the $10 games are all Favorites, many of which are already about a year old. Most new releases currently cost $40. Sony has also glossed over more advanced games, such as Madden 11 or Civilization Revolution, that compete directly with PSP quality but still cost a fraction of the price.

The Marcus ads themselves began in June as an attempt to reverse a rapid slide in PSP sales that has Sony moving just a few dozen thousand units a month. Nintendo's DS has not only consistently outsold the PSP for much of the past six years, but Apple typically sells millions of iPhones and iPods in a given quarter. Only some of these buyers get games, but owning an iOS device usually discourages console sales and locks out Sony as a potential customer.

Sony's statements are also made with a degree of self-contradiction, as a major leak has pointed to a Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone that would play PSP-level games and rely on a traditional mobile platform, Android. The Japanese firm's ad campaign and other promos are widely considered means of buying time until the phone arrives, possibly as soon as the fall, and can reach customers that would otherwise consider an iPhone for gaming.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bleee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I think they missed this...

    "Carmack blows minds with id Software's Rage, running on iPhone at 60fps with 'megatextured' graphics (video)"

  1. DeezNutts

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I think its good advertising

    I thought it was funny myself and decent 'advertising'.

    Never owned a PSP but have had multiple DS handhelds over the years. Also had an iPhone.
    Currently I game on a DS and the iPhone is long gone. Its just not a gaming device to me, no matter who ports what over. The controls are flat out lacking.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This kind of reaction on Sony's part is pathetic and desperate. It only shows how scared they are.

  1. Foxypaco

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That commercial tells me as a consumer that Sony is concerned about the iPhone.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I love the smell of DESPERATION

    Sony sold something like 85,000 PSPs the last month... or was it the last quarter... and THAT'S all they've got?

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The Big Boys are worried...

    The big consumer electronics companies have traditionally ignored Apple as some irrelevant niche player. No more. Apple is on all of their radar screens these days. Apple is moving in on their sacred territories and they are worried what Cupertino might come up with next. Apple has upset the applecart big time. The paradigm has changed.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Don't Think They Missed It, bleee ..

    ... more like denial - what they don't believe is real obviously won't cause their sales to plummet further.

    And since Nintendo's been cleaning Sony's clock for years, Sony's marketing gurii now think that by comparing their dedicated consoles/systems to a smaller, multi-use device that they will regain marketshare. Sort of like a struggling maker of high-end color printing presses attacking a Brother color inkjet/scanner/fax machine over its (relatively) poor print quality.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why is it that if Apple compares themselves to the competition, they're showing how much better they are. But if anyone else does it, it's always described as desperation?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: I think they missed this...

    "Carmack blows minds with id Software's Rage, running on iPhone at 60fps with 'megatextured' graphics (video)"

    They didn't miss it. It wasn't that big of a deal (esp. since it was iD touting their own stuff, which is as slanted as Sony talking up their own stuff).

  1. sarahtim

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Possible answers to "...why"

    "Why is it that if Apple compares themselves to the competition, they're showing how much better they are. But if anyone else does it, it's always described as desperation?"

    I can think of 2 possible reasons;

    the first is that, for some years, Apple has been on the up and up. When someone is "winning" it rings hollow to suggest that they are desperate. Increasing sales validates their position.

    the second possible reason is much more contentious - it will only work for some. Apple's "I'm a PC" ads were always intended to be humorous. Even folks who felt that they were misrepresenting things could, usually, still see the joke. This reduces the impression of desperation.

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