Despite PlayStation having a phenomenal show at E3 last week, one thing was blatantly missing: the PlayStation Neo console. Andrew House and company had decided to back out of showing the new console to the public while still acknowledging that the console existed. Fast forward to the Xbox Press Conference at the end of the show where Microsoft officially announced Project Scorpio and has dawned it with the title of, “most powerful console of all-time”. Now here Sony sits with their collective jaws dropped not expecting the announcement of Project Scorpio by Microsoft without a trump card in their hand. Project Scorpio clearly blindsided PlayStation Neo, and PlayStation Neo has become somewhat of a marketing disaster.
Think about PlayStation’s press conference last week. While Andrew House mentioned that the PlayStation Neo wouldn’t make an appearance at Sony’s E3 press event, he did not mention that the Neo wouldn’t be mentioned at the event; something that I at least acknowledged. The only proof that we have that the PlayStation Neo exists is from an interview article from the Financial Times which while being very credible, the general public may not know much about the existence of it and E3 2016 would have been the perfect platform to re-confirm the announcement of the console to the public.
I see two problems here with the PlayStation Neo’s marketing strategy. The first one is quite simple: the PlayStation Neo has been trumped by the Project Scorpio at E3. PlayStation has decided to hold off on showing it at E3, and even mentioning it at the last minute due to the already announce specifications of Project Scorpio earlier on in the day. PlayStation was totally blindsided by this announcement from Microsoft. Now the Neo sits in a room while Sony tries to decide to go with the current specs of the machine or go back to the drawing board and work for equal or more powerful specs than Project Scorpio.
The second and most challenging PR and marketing issue I see with PlayStation Neo is the fact that how do you publicize a console to a market that is already saturated and satisfied with the success of the PlayStation 4. There are a lot of happy gamers out there with PlayStation 4 consoles that have no desire to upgrade to the PlayStation Neo as they feel perfectly content with the PlayStation 4. In order to change the consumer’s mind on this, PlayStation is going to have to show off something that the Neo does that the gamer didn’t think they necessarily wanted or needed in the first place but once shown off, they will realize that they must have it. That won’t be easy but nothing in the business market is easy.
PlayStation Neo is at a crossroads, and with Project Scorpio on the horizon by Holiday 2017, a decision will need to be made swiftly to decide the future of the PlayStation Neo, and the direction it takes in terms of the marketing strategy. I’ll be watching very closely to see how Sony handles this situation. What are your thoughts on how this situation will work out? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, and for more on the PlayStation Neo and Project Scorpio, keep it locked to Mammoth Gamers!