Speaking at the Develop conference held in the UK, Sony Computer Entertainment boss Andrew House revealed that the company is primarily targeting last-generation Wii owners with remakes of older titles. Nintendo’s Wii sold over 101 million units since it launched in 2006, and the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 each sold around 80 million units. According to House, there’s a large percentage of Wii owners who didn’t get a PlayStation 3 or an Xbox 360, and that’s why Sony has plans to re-release a lot of older PlayStation 3 titles in order to drive PlayStation 4 sales through last-generation Wii owners.
“Our big opportunity is to welcome back an audience much earlier in the lifecycle that possibly bought into the Wii previously,” House said. “Whether it’s based on this is a really good all-round entertainment device for a family in addition to having great games, our consumer data suggests some of those people are already coming in now and that’s what’s contributing to the really great sales we’ve had.”
Since its release in November last year, Sony has sold over 7 million PlayStation 4 units across the globe. It has sold more units than Sony’s most successful console, the PlayStation 2, in the same amount of time.
Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us is poised to make its PlayStation 4 debut at the end of July. If House has his way, it’ll likely be the first of many PlayStation 3 titles to be up-scaled and ported to PlayStation 4.
“I hesitate to say this because I know committed gamers may roll their eyes about it, but there’s an opportunity with some of the remastering or re-imagining from PS3 franchises that will potentially find an audience that hasn’t played them in the previous generation because they skipped that generation,” House said.
It’s also highly likely that a number of PlayStation 4 owners didn’t own a PlayStation 3 because they did their last-generation gaming on an Xbox 360. With this in mind, Sony’s audience for remastered PlayStation 3 titles includes previous Wii owners, Xbox 360 owners, and PlayStation 3 owners prone to early onsets of nostalgia.