Sony have a fairly good grasp of our players’ desires and activity on the Playstation 4 console, however we recognized a blind-spot when discussing their cultural and social lives away from the console.
For instance: how do gamers relate to each other, or to non-gamers? What are the common themes in their lives when they aren’t playing games?
Is there an itch that Sony could scratch?
The Uni research project was looking for actionable opportunities that could guide Sony’s current and future product development.
Leading the project I created a council of experts drawn from all areas of the company and co-ordinated with research efforts from both the US and Europe.
Working with an external vendor over four months the project attempted to uncover common themes in the 23 hours a day our customers are not using their Playstation.
The project’s first phase was talking to leaders within Sony in order to share ideas, identify the company’s strengths and weaknesses, and build consensus around how the research could be most useful.
In the second phase we engaged with our consumers. Guided by Playstation’s already extensive audience segmentation work we visited conventions, spoke to friend-groups, interviewed individuals, and gathered players in storytelling workshop sessions.
The third phase involved synthesizing information, finding common threads and weaving them together into what we felt were true and compelling areas of interest for the wider company.
The project resulted in six clearly defined themes containing common motivations and desires across our audience. The themes were illustrated with sixteen product opportunities showing specific places these themes might be applied.
The themes covered topics like creativity, humor and altruism in our players’ lives.
Two of these themes confirmed and reinforced work already happening within the Playstation project.
The remaining four themes had not been previously considered as discreet areas of opportunity. Three of these themes are currently being discussed and developed as part of the Playstation vision for 2016 and 2017.