By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
September 9, 2010

Sony’s smart-aleck front man has been trash-talking Apple’s game players since June

Steve Jobs claims Apple (AAPL) makes the world’s No. 1 portable game player, but Marcus Rivers isn’t buying it for a second.

“That ain’t built for big-boy games,” says Sony’s (SNE) trash-talking front man for its portable PSP game player. “That’s built for texting your grandma and calling your girl.”

Rivers, played by actor Bobb’e J. Thompson, is the classic know-it-all PSP gamer who loves to hate everything Apple.

The Wastebasket game app, for example, is “ridiculous.” “The should have called it ‘wastin’ my three minutes ’cause I’ll never get that time back — or wastin’ my mama’s hard-earned money.”

Of “Hold It” (99-cents on the App Store) he says: “All you do is hold this button for as long as you can because that’s your punishment for bein’ dumb enough to buy this game.”

Sony has been running Marcus Don’t Play That ads since mid-June, and according to
Advertising Age
(subscription required) the campaign is catching on, particularly among the 12-to-14-year-old demographic that is the new sweet spot for Sony and Nintento portable game players. According to John Koller, director of hardware marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America, Sony PSP sales have climbed 20% every week since the ads began airing.

If you haven’t caught the spots, they’re worth watching. We’ve pasted two below the fold. The contrast with Apple’s relatively sedate “funnest iPod ever” campaign is striking.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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