Fans felt like Sony's PlayStation 5 "reveal event" was a boring tera-flop, but it was full of sales tactics suggesting a stout PS5 price. Sony has PlayStation fans right where it wants them.
Sony live-streamed an event billed as “The Road to PS5” Wednesday. Several media outlets referred to the presentation as a “reveal event” even though it wasn’t. All Sony revealed is just how excellent, and expensive all the technology is that went into developing the PlayStation 5.
The top live chat comments and standard video comments on YouTube were mostly about the insanely technical presentation. Twitter chatter about the PS5 event reflected the same feedback.
Someone commented this was for techies, not gamers:
Tech people: Interesting
Everybody Who thought this was a game presentation: NO ONE CARES!
Another joked it gave them anxiety that they have homework due tomorrow:
That presentation made me worry that I have homework due tomorrow.
The dry presentation felt like a computer science lecture. The presenter, PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny, threw out a ton of tech jargon and numbers. That can only lead one to imagine a stout PS5 price reveal whenever Sony gets around to pricing it. The company is using the same sales strategies as used car salespeople to prevent buyers from going into sticker shock.
If you walk into a car dealership and ask the price on a vehicle, you’ll often find that the salesperson doesn’t want to tell you right away. They won’t reveal the price until you’ve slowly walked around the vehicle with them and they’ve explained every single feature and all the specs and technology. This sales strategy is called “building value.”
The PS5 event was full of value building like:
This continuous improvement in AMD technology means it’s dangerous to rely on teraflops as an absolute indicator of performance. And CU count should be avoided as well. In the case of CPUs, we all understand this. The PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 each have eight CPUs, but we’d never think that meant the capabilities and performance are equal.
As well as:
It’s the same for CUs. For one thing they’ve been getting much larger over time. Adding new features means adding lots of transistors. In fact, the transistor count for a PlayStation 5 CU is 62% larger than the transistor count for PlayStation 4 CU.
This is necessary to prevent consumers from going into “sticker shock” when they hear the price of big-ticket items. Many buyers need to hear all of this to justify the cost and ease the pain of parting with their money.
PS5 and game consoles are apparently moving into parity with new and used automobiles as price painful, big-ticket purchases.
Another way to build value in big-dollar purchases is to suggest they could have been much more expensive. Mark Cerny also emphasized the cost-savings measures to lower the PS5 price. He also used words like “extremely expensive” even when selling cost savings, to calibrate PlayStation fans’ expectations:
One way you can achieve backwards compatibility is to put the previous console’s chipset in the new console like we did with some PlayStation 3s. But that’s of course, extremely expensive. A better way is to incorporate any differences in the previous console’s logic into the new console’s custom chips.
Everyone: Show us the console!
Sony: No, I don’t think I will
Not showing the PlayStation 5 console is similar to a high-pressure sales tactic called “the takeaway.” It creates desire by making the product seem unavailable and building suspense. That elevates the buyer’s level of desire to bring it in line with the product’s price. Now PlayStation gamers want to see the console more than ever, and when they finally do, they’ll pay just about anything to get one.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.
This article was edited by Aaron Weaver.