Jul 02

Step Your Game Up with PSP and PSPgo

Peter Dille's Avatar Posted by on Jul 02, 2010 // Senior Vice President, Marketing & PlayStation Network

Back in September, I had the pleasure of introducing a new face to the PlayStation Nation through our “It Only Does Everything” ad campaign for PlayStation 3. You’ve blown us away with an outpouring of positive feedback to the campaign and for Kevin Butler. In fact, the response was so great that we invited Kevin to E3 where he brought down the house. We also showed the first glimpse of a new campaign featuring Kevin’s new apprentice, Marcus Rivers, who wants to help spread the word about fact that the PSP and PSPgo are the only true solutions for those gamers who want to play the best, richest and deepest games on the go. Today I’m excited to share with you more of this new “Step Your Game Up” campaign, currently airing on over 19 networks as well as during several high-profile events.

The “Step Your Game Up” campaign is all about providing a deeper look into what makes a PlayStation Portable gaming experience more complete and enjoyable than anything else you’ll find on the market. This campaign introduces a new, younger voice to the PlayStation Nation, the fast-talking, quick-thinking, quasi self-appointed Marcus Rivers. By now you’ve probably seen the first ad in the series, “Step Your Game Up,” where Marcus officially steps up to the plate, giving Kevin Butler a run for his money as well as reason to offer him the job. Marcus makes it clear from the start he’s taking no prisoners — he’s a gamer looking for real games to play on the go.

We’ve always known the PSP is for gamers and gamers have high expectations when it comes to content. A skinny app just isn’t enough when you’re used to full-length franchises, exciting storylines, and great graphics. With PSP and PSPgo you can take your console experience with you anywhere with blockbuster titles like God of War: Ghost of Sparta, Patapon 3, SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 3, Twisted Metal: Head On, ModNation Racers, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, MLB 10 The Show, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (more), Madden NFL 11, Fat Princess and more. Not only can you enjoy a true in-depth gaming experience wherever you are, but with PSP you can also access your favorite movies, TV shows and music wherever you go. Moving forward, PSP fans can look forward to a series of ads that carry on the tradition created by Kevin Butler, showcasing the value and innovation behind PSP and

We gave you just a sneak peek of the new ads at E3 and can’t wait to share more with you over the course of the next several months. Keep an eye on the PlayStation.Blog as well as for more details on what’s to come. In the meantime, here’s another look at what we have in store for you — for more of the latest ads, head over to

//Add Your Own



+ burnedearth on July 2nd, 2010 at 4:30 pm said:

I completely agree with Anirask. Marcus is ok for a commercial or two since he markets to kids and preteens. Do not alienate the psp market for teens and adults and keep using Kevin Butler.


+ KAPADO on July 2nd, 2010 at 4:34 pm said:

Wow even the PSBlog has haters ?
this is truly sad ,when you hate on a little kid doing his thing really well.
Jealousy is an ugly monster .


+ Lucky13X on July 2nd, 2010 at 4:34 pm said:

@ 43. I agree. There needs to be more promotion of the console’s capabilities as much or actually even more so than just its many released and upcoming games.

Regarding Marcus as a character, he works for what they are going for which is your “attention” by way of his in your face attitude, but he will need more work to have that Kevin Butler ease of easy-going funny.


+ ADR143 on July 2nd, 2010 at 4:36 pm said:

Marcus is funny


+ emiru69 on July 2nd, 2010 at 4:38 pm said:

@51: I agree with you, that’s the difference between Marcus and Kevin. Even Sonyhaters found KB funny and clever, it’s not the same way with Marcus, even some Sony fans find him annoying.


+ rougegoat on July 2nd, 2010 at 4:42 pm said:

Marcus alienates me as a consumer and as a result lowers my desire for a PSP system. Stop trying to redo the success of Kevin Butler ads by going to committee and bringing up some new, “hip and cool” form of them with a token foul mouthed kid and a lack of anything funny or desirable.


+ KazeEternal on July 2nd, 2010 at 4:44 pm said:

Dear PlayStation,

PLEASE GET RID OF MARCUS! He’s ruining the image of my PSP. What can I do to fix this injustice to my PS3’s smaller counter part?

Sorry pete we love Kevin Buttler, but I hate this kid.


+ KILLZONE79 on July 2nd, 2010 at 4:58 pm said:

Hopefully this “Step Your Game Up” Campaign brings in more PSP and PSPgo sales!


+ SoYoung on July 2nd, 2010 at 5:00 pm said:

dont like it at all. Seems too forced and not very natural. He try to be too cool and all and I hate this kind of publicity.

KB is way better.


+ Android66 on July 2nd, 2010 at 5:01 pm said:

Marcus is awful. He’s not funny at all (not the actor, but the scripts he has been given). Kevin Butler is funny because he’s willing to laugh at himself. His spots are tongue-in-cheek, whereas Marcus’ spots talk down to the audience.

“Hey! Aren’t I cool because I’m an urban, street-smart, jive-talking kid making fun of you white folks.” I guess this comes from the same mindset that brought us Gary Coleman. I thought we had progressed beyond that.

Even if the Marcus commercials were better written, you’ve still got a borderline insensitive stereotype character as the star. Why not just keep KB for the PSP spots as well?

And to think I actually miss the old PSP “dustball”/”cheese” commercials that made no sense.


+ ThreeLeggedFreak on July 2nd, 2010 at 5:04 pm said:

If Sony doesn’t announce and release the PSP2 soon, with all the bells and whistles and with specs and features that make every fanboy completely check off their wishlist, they might as well enjoy these last few sales they’ll every get on the portable market. The 3DS and the droid/iphone/ipod market will take over.


+ CDubyahS on July 2nd, 2010 at 5:14 pm said:

when will you publish these and the country star 18 year old (cant recall her name-blonde girl kane cursed on mtv when drunk) make.believe ads to playstation network/plus??


+ kmkaizen on July 2nd, 2010 at 5:20 pm said:

first off this a Marcus is char. the actor name bobby J he has his own show called bobby said he is ok that i am saiding


+ waypoetic on July 2nd, 2010 at 5:24 pm said:

KILL IT WITH FIRE! And that’s just dumb, just because he’s black he needs to talk like a street kid. Gha.


+ Bioman20 on July 2nd, 2010 at 5:25 pm said:

Drop the PSPgo to $199


+ ZariV on July 2nd, 2010 at 5:26 pm said:

Seriously, is he even old enough to be playing Metal Gear, God of War, or Twisted Metal? How about you “Step your age up?” and get someone who has been playing since those days of that little gray box you guys came out with fifteen years ago? Believe me, there are plenty of people around who would be better than this little prick.


+ krae_man on July 2nd, 2010 at 5:27 pm said:

Want the PSP to be successfull? Cut the price of the hardware and Downloadable games.

$249 for hardware and $40 for software is what’s killing sales. It baffles me when companies cant use common sense.


+ katsuo7171 on July 2nd, 2010 at 5:28 pm said:

“Don’t park your trycicle in my spot or I’ll run it over” LOL

Anyway I’ve liked the marcus commercials, thus far.


+ footballrule on July 2nd, 2010 at 5:32 pm said:

Marcus isn’t funny. “Don’t park your tricycle in my spot or i’ll run it over” RUN IT OVER KB!!


+ jadge5 on July 2nd, 2010 at 5:37 pm said:

Does Kevin Butler have a website?


+ Bioman20 on July 2nd, 2010 at 5:42 pm said:

Marcus isnt to bad


+ sharinganmor92 on July 2nd, 2010 at 5:42 pm said:

psp2 needs to hurry up and be released since the 3ds looks pretty awesome


+ NeoRaidenX on July 2nd, 2010 at 6:00 pm said:

Why do we even care? These are ads for something that I already own. As annoying as ads are in the first place, what makes you think we care in the first place. There’s no benefit to us whether we own the PSP or not. Also, this on E3 equals fail, for the same reasons.


+ purplestream on July 2nd, 2010 at 6:09 pm said:

lol marcus is the best!
Also, i noticed the girl sitting with the boys brother. wit weeewww!!! x) HOT


+ Prox1mately on July 2nd, 2010 at 6:13 pm said:

The thing with Kevin Butler is that he has that classic american approach to it. It makes it feel retro and modern at the same time since he’s advertising for Sony.

But apart from that I must say that the second advertising was really good. His girlfriend could probably use the attention her boyfriends putting into his brothers PSP. xD


+ remanutd5 on July 2nd, 2010 at 6:14 pm said:

my current psp GO online infrastructure games :
Motorstorm Arctic Edge
Fat Princess
ModNation Racers
Syphon Filter Logan’s Shadow
Socom Fireteam Bravo 3
Pixeljunk Monsters Deluxe
Resistance Retribution
BUZZ Quiz World
Wipeout Pulse
Ratchet and Clank Size Matters and you know how many of those games i can play with my friends without having to call them up by the phone and let them know where to join me ? NONE!!!!!!!!! i want AN ACTIVE PSN FRIENDS LIST !!!!!!!!!!!! psp GO has brought me back to handheld gaming but im used to my ps3 online capabilities , i know the psp cant match ps3 power but come on PSN SHOULD BE FOR EVERYONE NOT JUST FOR PS3 USERS besides it would be very kool to send/receive message from all my psn friends ( ps3 and psp ) using the psp , i mean on the GO , think about it at least sony , if it can be done then make it happen please , thats a very important feature now that more psp games are supporting infrastructure online mode


+ bunt6 on July 2nd, 2010 at 6:17 pm said:

Sony, please post ps3 compatible videos on your website. Of all the sites that should make an effort, this is THE most important one.
Just thought I’d make the suggestion. Thanks


+ bunt6 on July 2nd, 2010 at 6:21 pm said:

p.s. Marcus is a kick ass figure for the psp. I couldn’t have chosen a better person myself.


+ bigCman123 on July 2nd, 2010 at 6:27 pm said:

I got a special edition Peace Walker and PSP and it’s amazing. PSP is totally underrated, and Peace Walker may just be my personal game of the year. That game is practically on the level of all the home console MGS games. It’s very epic and beautiful. It seriously makes me want a PS3 game done in a similar way where Big Boss is forming FoxHound and stuff.


+ remanutd5 on July 2nd, 2010 at 6:37 pm said:

1 more thing is very good to see the psp getting this much attention on the blog !!!


+ ScorpioN912 on July 2nd, 2010 at 6:45 pm said:

Why not just use KB to promote both the PS3 and the PSP?


+ TakumiM07 on July 2nd, 2010 at 6:53 pm said:

So the Kevin Butler advertisements really were just a fluke by whoever does Sony’s marketing :(

I cringed, and judging by the audience at E3 when the original commercial was shown they did too, when we saw this poorly thought out commercial.

Who is this advertisement directed at exactly?

Gamers? Obviously not with the dumbed down content within the commercials.

And I’m not going to even go into the misguided racial connotations of this commercial. It’s humor, we should all laugh and just let it pass right? Except it takes everything BAD about black racial stereo-types and shoves them into an unlikeable commercial. And that’s the difference between this misguided commercial and say the Fresh Prince of Belair. It’s taking the wrong stereotypes and playing on them.


+ TubaDude49 on July 2nd, 2010 at 6:55 pm said:

@50 Well a few years back, it would have been considered a good comercial, given Sony’s horrible past attempts, but Kevin Butler sets really high standards, and Marcus is definitely not living up to them


+ MMaLuFF on July 2nd, 2010 at 7:00 pm said:

Dear PlayStation,
Im trying to step my game up, I have almost 50 ps3 disc titles, around 10 psn games, i have imported all my PS3 discs, still NO BRAZILIAN PSN for me to purchase DLC from, nor PSN PLUS, but its ok, I can still use entropay to pay for my … oh no, wait…. they cut that off too!!! O.O


+ triple_lei on July 2nd, 2010 at 7:01 pm said:

I do love games, but I wouldn’t mind the apps too…


+ Brapp347 on July 2nd, 2010 at 7:07 pm said:

Just give us a damn psp 2


+ mafecto on July 2nd, 2010 at 7:14 pm said:

Thanks Peter, I think the new ads are great, and work for the demographic you guys are targeting. I only have two requests that hopefully you’ll pass along to the decision makers over at Sony HQ:

-PSPgo discount: you guys priced it out of a lot people’s budgets. People want this thing, but the price makes them resent it (and the company).

-More discounts on PSP software on PSN. It’s pretty rediculous that the downloads are launching at the same price as the UMDs.

Anywho, the PSP is finally getting some great software. I want one by the end of the year, but am waiting for a PSPgo pricedrop (as are many others).


+ Permafry_42 on July 2nd, 2010 at 7:15 pm said:

i own a psp, and the truth is you shouldn’t be stuck behind nintendo STILL supporting old tech. you need a new portable sony. there’s a reason why psp is dead last in sales…


+ j_amethyst on July 2nd, 2010 at 7:19 pm said:


Bring the Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep to The PSP Go!!!
Valkyria Chronicles II too!!!

How does Sony want people to buy a system they don’t support???

Not Marcus, not even the mighty KB, can fight against this…


+ Darkpen on July 2nd, 2010 at 7:20 pm said:

Haha, I love how the MNR commercial ended. That girl’s cute.

But on a serious note, I really don’t see how they could successfuly make this ad campaign work when the PSP Official firmware is so lacking in features and applications in comparison to its “i-device competition,” let alone custom firmware.

A price drop is direly needed for both the Go and the PSP. How can you remain at $170 for so long?


+ HZR1013 on July 2nd, 2010 at 7:23 pm said:

I do not like Marcus. Instead of buying a PSP, seeing his ads makes me want to sell the one I already have.


+ darthvonodia on July 2nd, 2010 at 7:25 pm said:

Step your game up..??
It’s more like step your game down with PSP Go, over price games, pathetic library games on PSN, and terrible release every week. I regret bought the PSP Go.


+ angelspawn77 on July 2nd, 2010 at 7:39 pm said:

He’s no Kevin Butler, but he’s not bad.


+ xuipid on July 2nd, 2010 at 7:40 pm said:

love when my comments are deleted…


+ gbhbrent on July 2nd, 2010 at 8:03 pm said:

I think the Step Your Game Up commercials are very funny and look forward to future ones. So sad to hear the hateful tone in a number of these posts. If thats what they type, imagine what they’re actually thinking…


+ NukeAtomrod on July 2nd, 2010 at 8:12 pm said:

Hey – Marcus is alright! And the “go hit on his girlfriend advice” was very funny. He’s more aggressive than KB, but he can get away with it because he’s a kid.

If KB used the same level of aggression, he would appear more threatening than funny. Luckily, Kevin Butler has mastered the perfect mix of extreme confidence and self-deprecation. Sony’s new ad campaigns have been brilliant.


+ SiDCrAzYY on July 2nd, 2010 at 8:33 pm said:

God I hate this kid. Almost makes me hate my PSP, almost. Sony can be so stupid sometimes.


+ WakizashiM on July 2nd, 2010 at 8:53 pm said:

I like Marcus, but he’s no KB.


+ dinkin-flicka on July 2nd, 2010 at 9:07 pm said:

No offense to the actor playing Marcus, but that character is annoying as hell.


+ Nighthawks28 on July 2nd, 2010 at 10:10 pm said:

I hate the marcus commercials. Very annoying. I always want to turn the channel when the commercial appears.

Comments are closed. We close the comments for posts after 30 days

PlayStation Blog