Sony pulls a Sony with their new Vita ad

Sony has a long history of horrible ad campaigns, especially in Europe. Yes, they do make some good ones, most notably the Michael ad, but far too often they leave their fanbase blushing in embarrassment and their target audience scratching their heads in confusion. The latest ad is definitely a case where blushing and confusion are running rampant.

Earlier today, a thread popped up over on NeoGAF with an image that shows Sony’s latest print ad for the Vita. The ad is currently running in France, and when translated reads: “Two touch surfaces, twice the sensation.” The quote is accompanied by a woman with four breasts. Seriously. You can see the ad below (click to enlarge).

Sony Vita Ad with 4 breasts

Not only is the ad stupid and lacking in content that would compel anybody to pick up a Vita based on its available software, it’s also highly demeaning and gross. Not only are you alienating women with the approach, you’re also implying that breasts are nothing more than a plaything for horny men. It’s subtle, but by cutting the head of the woman out of the ad, they’re not even hiding the fact that a gamer would have no interest in the woman as a person, it’s just important that she has a nice pair (of pairs) of breasts.

And really, it’s also undermining the Vita too. Hey, who cares about software and the personality of the library, it feels good to rub! That’s all you guys want, a good rub, right?

You can do better Sony. Your fans and the industry deserve better than this.

Can I get an explanation here?

I’ve had my PS Vita for a little over two weeks now and overall I’ve been loving the game. I’ve already started rolling out some reviews for the games over at Gamer Theory, including my review for Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational. I gave the game a 4 out 5 star rating, which means it’s a very good game. I’ve also been downright addicted to the game since I gave it a go for the first time, but I’m also incredibly frustrated by it.

Allow me to explain.

Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational is far more deep than it appears on the surface. There are standard shots, power shots, and then there are special shots that you can execute. The game barely tells you how to do any of the three, and it’s all tucked away in loading screens or in the user manual, but even in those places it’s poorly described. And in no place does it mention that you need to level your golfer up to a certain level to use certain special shots. In addition to the different shots, there are conditions that aren’t explained very well. The game leaves a lot up to you in regards to figuring out the gameplay systems and what the visual cues mean. The end result is confusion and frustration.

At times the hole itself seems to be larger than at other times. It took a forum search to find out that there are different cup sizes throughout the game. Also, there are challenges on each course that are totally unexplained. As it tallies up your score after each round, you’ll see a bonus for completing a “Crown” goal, but you’re never told how to achieve the goal. Again, it takes some forum hunting to find out what the requirements are. Eventually these goals get explained, but not until after you’ve COMPLETED EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE CHALLENGE MODE. Silly is a nice way of putting it. Asinine is the accurate way.

And Hot Shots Golf is just a more recent example, but I’ve noticed that one area Japanese developers really fall behind is in their ability to train the player. SoulCalibur V is also light on tutorial, but then you have games like Final Fantasy XIII that hold your hand for far too long. I’m starting to see that Japanese developers are either lacking proper focus testing, or else they’re just stubborn in how they want to handle (or mishandle) tutorials.

As the average age of the gamer continues to creep upwards, and as more and more triple A titles roll out each year, developers really need to figure these basic issues out. If I have to waste time outside of the game itself to figure out how to play a game effectively by searching around forums or online guides, then the developer has failed.