Monday, August 20, 2007

Sony bets the bank on PS3 kiosks

Ok, that's not completely accurate. More like, "Sony bets PS3 kiosk might work inside a bank," at least according to this little blurb from GamerNode. All joking about needing to take out a second mortgage to afford the PS3 aside, apparently the firm believes that by offering some entertainment for bank patrons and/or their children through a lush in-bank environment dubbed "THE BANK ZONE," they'll build some positive brand image (and of course the bank hopes that the additional level of service will help separate them from their competition).

No word on how many BANK ZONE environments are set to be deployed (the current ones are designed and implemented by Sony Computer Entertainment Korea), but my guess is that they'll never see the light of day in the US. Still, seeing a PS3 demo loop of Metal Gear Solid 4 or Final Fantasy XIII might compel the average patron to withdraw a few hundred more... just in case.

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Davis Freeberg said...

The bank next to my office has a big TV and a spot that you can sit to watch the news, but everytime I go in there, it's always empty. I can get why someone might want to see what's happening on CNN or CNBC while they are at the bank, but video game kiosks sound like the wrong demographic to be going after. Ironically, the last time I was in the bank (a BofA I think?) I told them that they should hook up an Xbox and let people play John Madden. They laughed and told me that they would be worried that people might actually start hanging out there. Considering that you can do most banking via a computer, it makes sense that the banks would try and create more value, but I'm not sure this is the way to go about doing it.

Bill Gerba said...

Hi Davis,

Funny, the Bank of America by me actually has a children's play area with a big TV and some toys strewn about in one corner. I don't think I've ever seen any kids playing there, but like you, I don't actually go to the bank very often.

Funny you should mention the bank's concerns with hooking up an Xbox. If you look at the original article that I link to, they come to most of the same conclusions: banks become a hangout for teens who can't afford a PS3 but don't have bank accounts, and things quickly descend into chaos :)