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Playstation 4 Marketing - Consumer Decision Making Process

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Sony Playstation 4 Console

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INTRODUCTION                                                                                        3

STAGE 1: NEED RECOGNITION                                                                        4

STAGE 2: INFORMATION SEARCH                                                                5

STAGE 3: ALTERNATIVE EVALUATION                                                                6

STAGE 4: PURCHASE DECISION                                                                        7

STAGE 5: POST- PURCHASE EVALUATION                                                        8

CONCLUSION                                                                                        9

REFERENCE LIST                                                                                        10


Sony playstation is a popular well known brand in the gaming industry. Unlike its competitors, the playstation 4 offers a blue-ray player and a multitude of games released exclusively for this console. It plays games purchased for previous playstation console versions. Due to these unique features, it is imperative for Sony to understand the thought processes for consumers to purchase this product over other consoles in the market.  Playstation 4 has now sold 23 million consoles worldwide since 2014 (Rivington & Broughall 2015). This report will guide Sony through the five stages of the consumer decision making process conducted to decide to purchase a playstation 4 in order to continue the products success.


The decision making process begins when a consumer identifies a want or need. A want occurs when someone has an unmet need and has decided that a product will meet it. Consumers can also identify unmet wants if they observe a product whose attributes appear better than the one they currently possess (Lamb 2013). In the case of the playstation 4 (PS4), the primary decision to purchase the console may come when a person is exposed to external stimuli such as a TV advertisement or it is mentioned by a friend (Lamb 2013).

According to Malone (1980) and Draper (1999), a video game console must contain key components in order to give a consumer motivation to play. These key motivators are ‘challenge’, ‘fantasy’, ‘fun’ and ‘curiosity’ (UK Essays 2013). Therefore, while the purchase of the PS4 may be triggered by external stimuli, motivation also plays a role in the decision.

The main marketing of the PS4 was focused on gaming and gamers (Irving 2013). This focuses on people who have a lack of entertainment at home and are looking to stifle their boredom with a PS4 console. Another factor influencing need recognition is the increasing amount of time spent online creating a reduced amount of time spent socialising. A PS4 meets this need by allowing consumers to play multiplayer games together competitively or cooperatively from separate locations (Rivington & Broughall 2015).  


After recognising the need for a gaming console, the consumer begins to look for the best product. The information search is an important component of this consumer decision making process. The initial information search occurs internally where a consumer assesses information in their memory from previous experiences with a product (Lamb 2013).  If the consumer has previously owned or played a playstation console they will consider here the advantages and disadvantages of that experience and this will assist them in their decision.

The consumer then looks into external information sources such as friend referrals, going out and trying a console in a retail store and looking online for product reviews and features. This also includes product advertising as an information source (Lamb 2013). From January to May 2014, Sony spent $59 million in TV advertising. Their online advertisement received 7.4 million digital actions (Usher 2014). This is significant because it shows the availability of information to the consumer.

It is likely the PS4 will not be the only console that the consumer is considering. Some of the specific considerations of the consumer will possibly be:

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