Sony has repositioned its hugely popular PS1 to appeal to casual gamers of all ages -- including senior citizens. With a $99 price tag, a compact design and LCD screen, Sony expects the PS1, which has already sold 85 million units globally since its 1995 launch, to atract a more diverse group of consumers.
Another lure: Its raft of new games including titles based on the Warner Bros. movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, exclusive to PS1 console, and the Walt Disney Co./Pixar release of Monsters, Inc.
"The PS1 is all about expanding markets," said Andrew House, vice president of marketing for Sony Consumer Entertainment America. "Every convert to the PS1 is a stake in the ground for a long-term consumer relationship."
From kids to grandparents
The plan is
"The PS2 was built on brand equity for the PlayStation," Mr. House said. He believes the fact that PS1 consumers can play their entire library of software titles on PS2 is a key point of loyalty.
"Our goal across both platforms is to put the PlayStation brand and its products into an unassailable position," Mr. House said.
Sony next month breaks the biggest print campaign in PlayStation history, cutting a broad swath of 30 titles including American Association of Retired Persons' Modern Maturity, and Meredith Publications' Better Homes & Gardens.
The print, TV, online and direct-mail campaign, part of a $250 million marketing effort encompassing both the PS1 and PS2, was created by Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, San Francisco.
"This is uncharted territory for us," Mr. House said.