Sony Hires New Exec, Delays PS3 European Launch
Posted by jgaudiosi :: Company News-M&A
Sony Computer Entertainment America has finally filled its vacancy for senior director of communications. Sony hired Dave Karraker for the top post in the PR division. Karraker comes from outside of the videogame industry, having previously served as North American vice president of corporate communications for Allied Domecq Spirits and Wines. In that post, he oversaw alcohol brands like Stolichnaya, Kahlua, Beefeater and Maker's Mark. Prior to that, Karraker served as director of marketing communications for K-Mart, where he oversaw Martha Stewart Everyday, Joe Boxer, and the e-commerce division.
ay? Karraker does have videogame experience. Early in his career he worked with Access Communications in San Francisco and Rogers and Cowan in Los Angeles with clients like Sega, Microsoft, 3D0, Virgin Interactive, Crystal Dynamics, U.S. Gold and ASC Games. While a lot has changed since those days, Karraker has a solid background in games to build upon with PSP, PS2 and PS3.
With the mass market focus of the PlayStation brand, it's not surprising that Senior Vice President of Marketing Peter Dille would choose a PR head from outside the immediate videogame industry. Sony is marketing PlayStation 3 to a higher clientele, at least at first with the $600 price tag. The alcohol brands that Karraker worked with also catered to a more upscale consumer, although mass market consumers were also a target. That should play a role moving forward with the rollout of PS3 in North America on November 17.
Regarding the North American launch of PS3, Sony has delayed the European launch until March of 2007 so that enough hardware units are in place for the important U.S. and Japanese launching on November 17. The revision of the launch date was caused by a delay in the mass production of the blue laser diode within the Sony Group, which impacted the timely procurement of key components to be utilized by PS3.
Sony has stated that the 6 million PS3 units to be shipped by the end of March 2007 remains intact. It's just that the smaller amount of launch hardware will be distributed between Japan and the U.S. from November through February. Analyst Michael Pachter has lowered his forecast for 2006 PS3 hardware shipments from 2.3 million to 1.5 million.