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.