The recent success of the PlayStation 3, fueled by great software and a massive marketing blitz, has generated a definite stir, even amongst mainstream consumers. This is why today, I fielded a question that should've made me laugh but didn't for these reasons: 1. I don't like to offend nice girls, and 2. with quick reflection, I realized that such ads were making their mark, and even those who have never picked up a controller are considering a purchase.
The following is an exact exchange of dialogue between me and said person, who didn't exactly ask, "what's a PlayStation 3," but asked for details. Please bear in mind that she follows games the way I follow farming. It exists but beyond hoeing and tractors, I'm at a loss. If prompted, I'd probably give details that are 20 years old…which is exactly the point.
Nice girl: "So, just tell me about it. I saw some crazy commercial last night."
Me: "You really want to know? Or are you just being polite now that you know about my job?"
Nice girl: "Honestly? A little of both. But whatever they were showing looked pretty insane and I've heard that games are like movies now."
Me: "Okay, well…first of all, it's a Blu-Ray player. That might interest you most if you like movies."
Nice girl: "Oh, I always thought Blu-Ray players were like really expensive. The PS3 is only $299, right?"
Aside- who said ads don't work?
Me: "Yup. And Blu-Ray players have come way down. If you want true high-def, it's the only way to go. Do you have a HDTV?"
Nice girl: "Yeah. But I only just found out I'm not actually watching any real high-def movies on it because I'm only using DVD."
Me: "A Blu-Ray player…that's what you need. Brilliant high-def. And oh yeah…all the games are high-def, too."
Nice girl: "They are ?!"
Me: "Yes. All the games are on BD format, so…"
Nice girl: "Woah…and it's like a computer, right? It goes online?"
Me: "Yeah. More games on there, and those might interest you the most right off the bat. They're smaller and simpler (no offense). And you can also get Netflix through the Network, so-"
Nice girl: "Oh, I do Netflix! …wait, I don't get it. You mean you can just rent the movies using the PS3, right?"
Me: "Rent and play. You just download them directly to the machine. No disc, no having to return it, no waiting to get it etc."
Nice girl: "Yeah, but don't these things always break? I've been hearing something about that…"
Me: "That's the Xbox 360. It dies constantly. Sorry, but it's a piece of sh** in terms of reliability. The PS3 can fail, too, of course, but it's way more reliable. Trust me on that.
Nice girl: "…you're gonna tell me there's more, aren't you?
Me: "Um…free online play?"
Nice girl: "No fees?"
Nice girl: "Jesus…"
Me: "Well, as they say, 'it only does-'"
Nice girl: "Everything. Yeah, I see. 'laughs'"
It took a little longer to convince her that she was seeing a game and not a movie when they showed Uncharted 2: Among Thieves on TV, but before the conversation was over, she decided she needed a PS3 in her house. She didn't know what a PS3 was as of several months ago – she had only heard the name in passing – and the last game played was "something in the arcades" back in the '80s. And remember, this wasn't prompted by me; this was prompted by the ads . This is exactly why we've been screaming at Sony to promote the PS3 more and now that they've finally listened , random consumers are starting to ask questions like, "so…what's a PS3 all about?"
If you want living proof that their campaign is working, it's right here. Just thought I'd share.