On the eve of the DSi US launch, Sony’s PR team engaged in a bit of preemptive spin with a “Statement from Sony PlayStation on PSP and Competitive Landscape" released to Engadget. In it, SCEA hardware marketing director John Koller claims that, “Significant gamer demographic groups are being ignored (with the DSi)…” Also, new DSi features suggest that Nintendo is not interested in gamers outside of the “kids” market.
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But judging from the numbers, the demographics Koller claims Nintendo is ignoring must be forsaking the PSP all together. The DS has outsold the PlayStation Portable 100 million units to 50 million worldwide.
Koller goes on to claim that “there continues to be limited opportunities for games from external publishers to do well on the DSi.” He then sites Ubisoft’s Assassin's Creed, Dissidia Final Fantasy, and Disney’s Hannah Montana among others to “demonstrate the commitment that publishers have to the PSP.”
Never mind the fact that the DS currently features the Ubisoft produced Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles, four Hannah Montana games, and at least eight Final Fantasy games available in the US.
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This is not the first time Sony has leveraged questionable PSP PR. For the 2006 Christmas season, Sony launched the flog (fake blog) All I Want for Christmas Is a PSP, run by “Charlie,” a juvenile twenty something just looking to help his buddy score a PSP. Long after “Charlie’s” feeble attempts to defend the flog’s credibility in the comments section, Sony finally fessed up to the ruse when it was revealed the domain as registered to a marketing firm. In 2005, Sony hired graffiti artists to spray paint PSP-inspired images in urban areas in guerrilla marketing scheme, drawing the ire of city officials and citizen groups.