GameSpot got the skinny from Sony Computer Entertainment UK's marketing director on the day of the PlayStation 3's launch.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past six months, you'll no doubt have heard about Sony's delay in getting the PlayStation 3 to the UK. However, on March 23, 2007, the console finally hit the British Isles and the rest of the continent, selling 165,000 units within two days.
Around 125 of these were sold at Sony's official launch event, which was held at Virgin Megastores on London's Oxford Street. To sweeten the deal, everyone who bought a console at the launch was rewarded with a 46-inch Sony Bravia LCD TV, as well as a free copy of Resistance: Fall of Man and a taxi home. With all these freebies sending the crowd into a frenzy, GameSpot calmed down for a quiet word at the launch with Sony UK's marketing director, Alan Duncan.
GameSpot UK: So how do you think the launch went, Alan?
Alan Duncan: I think it went incredibly well. We're really pleased with the turnout and we're really pleased with the reaction of the crowd, particularly when we told them all we were giving them a beautiful new television. It was a fantastic donation from Sony, and I think it really proves what we're trying to say about the future of high definition and how the two parts of the company work together. The whole thing's gone very smoothly, and we're really pleased.
GSUK: Was the TV giveaway something you felt you needed to do given the delay of the PlayStation 3 in the UK?
AD: No, I don't think so--we just wanted to do something special for the guys that came down here at midnight. I think people knew that we had a huge level of stock and I think that meant that there wasn't the same level of hysteria around the midnight launch. We wanted to say to the people that did make the effort, "Thank you very much, and here's the best possible way for you to enjoy your new PlayStation 3."
GSUK: How has the turnout been? We believe that there are more than 600 consoles in stock here, but how many people have you had through here tonight do you think?
AD: We've had 125 people here tonight, and that's how many TVs we had. We didn't want anyone to be disappointed, so we just stopped it there, and there will be some more guys coming in once [the first 125] have all been sorted out and got home. I think it will carry on very soon tomorrow morning, so there will be a very steady flow and you'll see that over the whole weekend.
GSUK: Sony is going to put taxis on for buyers of the console. Is that a reaction to what happened in the US with muggings taking place?
AD: Well, with such a premium piece of kit I think it's important that we don't send people out onto the streets at midnight in the middle of London. Security was always going to be paramount tonight, and we're really pleased that we can do that for everyone.
GSUK: Have you been able to get a feeling for what the most popular games are with buyers in the UK?
AD: For the launch, I think that MotorStorm and Resistance will both be very popular. They're both very different games and they show some of the capabilities of PlayStation 3 extremely well. The third-party lineup is strong as well, with titles like Virtua Tennis and Virtua Fighter from Sega and three or four really good titles from Electronic Arts as well. I think there's a good spread with quality throughout, and that's going to be followed up over the summer as well.
GSUK: In Europe, PlayStation 2 titles such as SingStar and EyeToy were released ahead of other territories. Is that going to continue on PlayStation 3, or is there going to be a worldwide release schedule?
AD: The whole social gaming phenomenon that we've developed on PlayStation will be carried onto PlayStation 3. The first example of this that we'll really see is SingStar, which will be coming out pretty soon. It will make full use of the network capabilities of the machine, and it will take SingStar and house parties to a whole new level of craziness.
GSUK: Will the recently announced "Home" be available to European gamers as well?
AD: Yes, it will. We've got a beta trial starting very soon actually, and then over the summer that trial will grow and grow. The service will develop and you'll see some of the functionality that Phil [Harrison, president of Sony's worldwide studios] has already talked about, and hopefully from the beta trial we'll be able to develop some exciting new ways of using Home as well. That's a really important project for PlayStation 3.
GSUK: A couple of people tonight have held off buying extra controllers for the console, because they think a version with rumble will be released soon. Is that something you can comment on?
AD: (Laughs) Well, obviously I heard the news like you guys did the other week [Sony reached an agreement with Immersion to use its advanced vibration technology in its products], and we'll wait and see what happens on that. There's no immediate plans, though.
GSUK: Alan, congratulations on the launch.
they did it to turn negative press int o positive press. ie the delay, lack of emotion chips and the small turn out at the official event. IF it had been planned then why did they only do this for londo/britain and to be fair i think those brave souls that camped out and weathered the weather and the abuse they would have got for buying a ps3. over in london if you say your thinking of buying a ps3 people look at you funny and ask why? Untill it comes down in price or shows us somthing thats amazing.worth the price of another next gen console(i have a 360) and i cannot get any where else. without exclusives and the strong line up of games coming out and out for the 360 its gonna have to be really special for me to drop the 4 large.
Sony giving away HDTV on launch of the PS3.They had too.to make up percentage of selling their product. But i still wouldn't buy a ps3.Because of the emotion chip that is not in the ps3.
Sony had to bribe the people that were in the launch... I mean, they removed the EE's from PS3's in order to make it cheaper for themselves, but they have money to give away 125 Bravias? And 46''! Gee...
LOL at those who say that Sony had to give free TVs to sell PS3's:lol: If it was so ,Sony should have given 165000 Bravias!
lamprey263, "Now if Sony announced weeks ahead that they'd do the Bravia offer, then that'd be like buying friends. Then people would have been in line just for a cheap 46 inch Bravia with a BluRay player." Or people who want a PS3 (with a free HD TV.) Not as many people in UK have a HD TV than in the US. People love free stuff...hell I would have gone if i'd known!
"The giveaway though, sounds like this scenario; the little kid at school who don't have any friends and as a result being bullied and now he's trying to buy himself some friends or his parents giving money/presents to some of the bullies in order for them to look after the kid or entice them into become his friend... Do you follow?" I don't think the TVs were there to get people to like Sony, it's kind of a bonus to their loyal fans. This stuff was only offered to their biggest fans, the one's waiting at the store in the middle of the night waiting in line. I'm sure the free stuff was very limited. They said only 125 Bravias. That's gotta cost Sony nearly nothing since it's their own brand of TVs. Same with the games; cost them nothing and gives them good publicity. However, if I were the store owner then I'd be pissed. They could've made a nice chunck of change selling copies of Resistance: Fall of Man (like their only good game besides MotorStorm). Now if Sony announced weeks ahead that they'd do the Bravia offer, then that'd be like buying friends. Then people would have been in line just for a cheap 46 inch Bravia with a BluRay player.
The giveaway though, sounds like this scenario; the little kid at school who don't have any friends and as a result being bullied and now he's trying to buy himself some friends or his parents giving money/presents to some of the bullies in order for them to look after the kid or entice them into become his friend... Do you follow?
[scoff], lucky! Free LCD HDTV, 46 INCHES!!! Free copy of Resistance: Fall of Man! Anyone here from UK? If so, did the 60 GB PS3 come with component or HDMI cables? Wouldn't that just suck for those people who got the free HDTVs to go home and find the only thing they've got to hook up their PS3 to their awesome new Bravia is standard composite AV cables?
British market is entirely different to the US market. Although, things are creeping forwards... like hip hop, loads of tv commercials and plenty of fast food outlets... We seem to move a lot slower than most other countries do How is any of that good?!
LOL! Funny thing - how in the HECK did someone - who travelled on the train, and the tube, get a freaking 46" tv out of london?! I mean, if I lived in the london area at the time, and wanted to wait for a console launch. I sure as heck would never take my car to london, anyone with brains takes the tube there, waits around a bit for the tubes to re-open. Because there is an INSANE lack of parking in the main streets of london... Anyways - just a thought I had... Because I recently got a 42" tv and that was a massive box to lug up stairs... I can't imagine just going to a console launch, trench coat on, just waiting to be leaving with a carrier bag of console and games... So yeah- those of which didnt get a ride back and were unprepared for the TV givaway - how they get it out of the store?? HEH HEH! Anyways - I Ps3 isn't a console designed for the british market. Heck a lot of us still use VHS!! British citizens may work harder (as I read somewhere) with less holidays - BUT, this effort does not go to waste. Where Americans and Japanese would link their console up to the net right away - in the UK, this is rarely done, and most of it is taken by an XBOX or PC owner. Playstation zealots are more of a bedroom/living room user. And internet connections are usually in the hall or study... also - internet speeds are CRAP in Britain (believe me, I have personally experience japanese broadband speeds... simply breathtaking...). British market is entirely different to the US market. Although, things are creeping forwards... like hip hop, loads of tv commercials and plenty of fast food outlets... We seem to move a lot slower than most other countries do :)
WHAT? this is sooo unfair, I mean, if they would give me a free 46" bravia TV I would buy more than only one ps3, lol. !!! This is soo unfair :'(
Shtinky maybe rite, but why are we last to get a PS3 tho? its like britain hasn't offended anyone or anything like that. o well, i hope to get one soon!
It was midnight, otherwise, they would be out of stock in the day. Other people sleep too you know, not only you. Although this doesn't go for everyone in the whole of the UK (or Europe), there are still plenty of unsold PS3s in every store in my city (or at least the major ones; Toys 'R' Us, GAME 1/2/3, GameStation, etc.) Most here have agreed that it's too expensive; although we all agree that we'll wait until it falls in price, and has decent games. And 165,000 in 48 hours is just outstanding, and must be a record too. Not talking handhelds, yes, it's a record. A pretty good one. "I want the HDTV!!! and of course PS3, who cares PS3 are expensive" Oh, like an HDTV isn't? Thing is, people act as though Sony did something above and beyond the call of video gaming; they didn't. All they did was give away like, 150 HDTVs or so. What about the rest of Britain? I'm sure more people than that lined up at midnight just to buy a PS3. If they'd given free HDTVs to all those possible, or even all those in London that had bought a PS3, I'd be a little more impressed. But one selection of customers in one store is appauling, personally. As expensive as it is, it's no more charity than a marketing ploy. (Although I can't say I'd be complaing if I got one--but then, they'd have to deliver to more than just the south of Britain.)
Thats just BS mean, a 40" HDTV just for getting a PS3 over there? they must've been very desperate, and does anyone feel ripped off after all the f*cking commotion that the PS3 got here, no one got free stuff for almost getting shot in those lines, talk about a back stab. >_>
Numbers are numbers...it was a record and the fact they had 6 months to build up excess stock is a good reason for those numbers. But lets see what next months numbers bring...
All I have to say to you trolls is...New. Sales. Record. Now shut your pie holes and play some games.
"125 out of 600 sold.....great success not." It was midnight, otherwise, they would be out of stock in the day. Other people sleep too you know, not only you. And 165,000 in 48 hours is just outstanding, and must be a record too. "I want the HDTV!!! and of course PS3, who cares PS3 are expensive" Oh, like an HDTV isn't?
the tv was a suprise dude... the customer didnt know they gonna get that thing...and they only let the FIRST 125 in... to get the tvs
So the PS3 isn't appealing in itself, Sony needs to sweeten the deal by giving out free TV's and cab fare. That speaks volumes about Sony's confidence in it's new machine. But with only 125 people at the official launch, I don't blame them...
PS4 should be in 2011 so it will give enough time for current PS3 owners to enjoy their console. Congrats to Sony for getting good news after so many disappointments. It's true though for giving away free HDTV's sony lost a lot even with 165,000 buying the PS3.
Awesome. If I knew they were giving Free HDTV's than I would be the first one there. May be next time with PS4 (whenever they release it in the next decade)
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