Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sony Celebrates One Year PlayStation 3 Birthday, Claims U.S. Sales Skyrocket

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) this week celebrates the first year anniversary of the PlayStation 3 game console release. Even though the console has hardly managed to become successful, it is fighting hard and the recent price cuts, according to Sony, substantially increased the number of game consoles sold in.

“When we designed PS3 our goal was to introduce a system so technically advanced that it could stand the test of time and could take the industry in a whole new direction, which for PS3 was high-definition entertainment. While we’re excited by the progress we’ve made this first year, we know that like our other platforms, the best is still yet to come, especially given our new hardware and software line-up, and that PS3 will continue to take the industry to new heights for years to come,” said Jack Tretton, president and chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA).

Despite of Jack Tretton’s optimism, actual statistics is hardly positive for Sony, which still loses money on each PlayStation 3 game machine sold. According to figures by market tracker NPD Group, Microsoft sold through more than two times more Xbox 360 game machines compared to Sony PlayStation 3 in the last twelve months: 4.232 million Vs. 1.978 million, whereas Nintendo Wii was acquired by 5.038 million gamers.

Sony PlayStation 3 is more successful than Microsoft Xbox 360 in Japan, where 1.341 million of PS3s and 0.6 million of X360s were sold through life-to-date, according to figures by Media Create market tracker. Still, Nintendo Wii beats both competing platforms combined with 3.816 million units that have been sold to end-users so far.

Recent data for Europe and other PAL regions was not available at press time. But some market observers said this Summer that Xbox 360 outsells PlayStation 3 by more than a factor of two in the rest of the world.

But troubles of SCEA may head to their end, as one of the major disadvantages of the PS3 was named its price, which was as high as $599 for the premium version of the game console. Sony has slashed the premium PS3’s price to $499 and also introduced a $399 version which features all the advanced multimedia capabilities of the PlayStation 3, including Blu-ray movie playback, but lacks backwards compatibility with games developed for PlayStation and PlayStation.

According to SCEA, PS3 sales “increased by 192% at the top 10 retailers in North America” following the price-cut of the premium unit and the introduction of the $399 model. Typically Sony reports sold in figures, which means that the company tracks down only the number of game consoles supplied to distributors. Keeping the particular situation in mind, 192% increase of shipments is likely to reflect three factors: increased demand towards game consoles in November overall, increased demand towards PlayStation 3 in particular as well as stockpiling of game consoles by retailers for demand skyrocket in December.

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