Street Fighter 5: Helping To Build The PS4 Brand
Street Fighter is a pop icon, it’s undeniable. Referenced in a number of songs, even sampled in a few, film adoptions and global affection have resulted in the franchise being treasured. It’s probably the reason why Sony were so keen to bring Street Fighter 5 exclusively to PS4.
The exclusivity deal was met with a few raised eyebrows, but it makes sense in terms of brand power. Given how wide open the video game market is these days, brand power has become increasingly more vital. There’s a reason why Call of Duty adverts blitz TV channels and cinemas, why you’ll see shirts, mugs hats and lights branded with Call of Duty. Consoles are no different, their most popular games define their brand to the masses.
Microsoft’s Xbox and Xbox 360 became known for the Halo and Gears of War franchise. Intense action, packed with engaging multiplayer and co-op. Both franchises allowed Microsoft to craft a brand image for their systems. Titles like Forza further enhanced the brand power, appealing to a whole new market.
Last generation’s systems were easily distinguishable by the exclusives they possessed. Sony’s line up of Uncharted, God of War and Metal Gear Solid 4 were just a few of the games that gave the PS3 a sense of identity. Both consoles had brand power and differing offerings. The same cant really be said about the current hardware.
Both the Xbox One and PS4 have a few exclusives worth boasting about, but neither console has a true sense of identity. Brand power requires the ability to easily identify what the product is and what it has to offer. At the moment, neither system is all that different in terms of game they offer. Street Fighter 5 is the next step in Sony’s attempts to give their console that desired identity.
Marrying one of video game’s biggest franchises with the PS4 is bold, but smart, move. When people think of Street Fighter (at least for a fair while) they’ll now think PS4. When they watch EVO’s Street Fighter 5 tournament, they’ll think (and see) PS4. It’s all adding to the identity and brand of Sony’s latest system.
Microsoft were smart enough to do the same with the fantastic Killer Instinct. Resurrected from the ashes, KI has grown into one of the system’s finest titles, resulting in a loyal player base. EVO coverage helped immensely, as did Twitch, exposing the game to a whole new market, as well giving the Xbox One more allure.
In 2016, we know find ourselves with both consoles boasting their own unique fighting titles. It finally feels like both Microsoft and Sony are starting to develop their brands in the same way they have in the last two generations. 2016 could be the year that both the Xbox One and PS4 grow into their skin, Street Fighter 5 is just a part of Sony’s process/