Sony links up with Scottish Courage for pub games deal

Sony PlayStation is in talks with pub owner and brewer Scottish Courage to put its consoles in pubs for the first time. Until now, the manufacturer of the UK’s best-selling computer consoles preferred to place its machines in dance clubs which appeal to its core youth market. This approach is an attempt to reposition the brand as a mainstream leisure activity and could be extended to other pub owners. The move will begin as a trial in February in 12 Scottish Courage pubs in the South-east. If successful, it could be rolled out nationally to more than 1,000 outlets. Alan Wellsman, Sony Computer Home Entertainment UK director of marketing, says: “There are conversations going on between ourselves and Scottish Courage, which is considering using our consoles in its pubs.” Talks are in their early stages but sources say that pubs could organise theme nights based on the hundreds of games on the Sony platform. This could include football, golf or Psygnosis-manufactured Formula One games on days when major championships are in progress. Sony is the UK leader in the computer games console market. According to research body ChartTrack, PlayStation sold 1.3 million units in 1997, compared with 600,000 Nintendo 64 machines and 90,000 Sega Saturn consoles.

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