Posted by John on October 25, 2011

PS3 leading 2011 Australian console sales

PlayStation 3 has outsold the Wii and Xbox 360 in Australia this year, with the recent price drop significantly boosting sales.

Sony is pleased with the PS3’s performance after its well-publicised PlayStation Network security breach earlier in the year, which prompted Sony to shut its PS3 online services down for a month.

Sony Computer Entertainment Australia managing director Michael Ephraim says PS3 is currently the best-selling console in Australia for 2011, with sales increasing by 400 percent in the first weeks after the price drop. The console now starts from $350.

Sony says PS3 sales have remained strong even after the recent price cut to the Xbox 360.

Mr Ephraim says PS3 sales were 50 per cent higher than Xbox 360 even on the week after Microsoft’s price cut. “If you look at the period now since (the PS3) price drop, we’ve outsold them by about 3 to 1.”

Mr Ephraim says PS3 sales are now holding at about 250 per cent above what Sony was selling before the price drop. “I might add that we have been stock constrained on the 160 Gig (PS3 model) so we think the numbers could be even better. Our retail partners stockholdings in several key retailers have been out of stock in 160.

“We’re definitely coming back into stock in a big way for our Christmas push and I feel the PlayStation format has now definitely taken centre stage.

 ”The awareness of what PS3 does is very satisfying. Now store staff and consumers are starting to use PS3 in all of its glory with digital downloads, Music Unlimited, the movie service, catch-up TV.”

Mr Ephraim also expects PS3’s Blu-ray movie playback to make the PS3 a popular choice this Christmas. “With 80 per cent of homes now having HD TVs, they understand what Blu-ray brings to that equation. We think that is going to hold us in good stead right through Christmas.”

Mr Ephraim says 2011 has been a very pleasing year so far, even with the PlayStation Network security breach.

“January to June, NPD figures show we were just slightly ahead of our real competitor Xbox in unit sales, and we were severely ahead in value because we were still at a higher price in the first half of the year, but we were also selling more units.

“Now up to last week we’re the number one selling console in Australia, including Wii. NPD have a Jan to June first half report, July had a lot of toy catalogues which we did not get involved in because we knew what our plans were coming up, we were not aggressive in our offers at all where our competitors were very aggressive. They had a spike, we sort of fell back, but since the August price drop we have caught up and we’re the number one selling device in units and in value we are way ahead of Xbox and Wii.”

The PlayStation 3 was launched in Australia in March 2007 at the unprecedented price of $999.95. Mr Ephraim says the PS3 is only now “starting to hit the mass market” with its price. The official recommended retail price of the PlayStation 3 with a 160GB hard drive is $349.95, although many outlets have been selling it for under $300.

Mr Ephraim says he is also pleased with software sales.

“Digital cards are selling very well at retail partners now, top-up cards that people can buy instead of using credit cards. Retailers are starting to see the benefits of cards overall, and they are starting to see some of the benefits of PSN (PlayStation Network).

“And disc-based sales, this Christmas we’re going to into November/December with seven AAA titles, way over a million disc-based sales between now and Christmas are going to be sold to consumers. It’s thriving right now.” 

The magical price point in Australia for games consoles has long been considered to be $199. Wii is currently at $199, and it was the price that saw both PSone and PS2 sales lift considerably.

 Sony is not sure when PS3 might be priced under $200 in Australia, but certainly wants to keep reducing the price.

“It’s definitely something that we hope to achieve because it would be a shame to abandon PS3,” says Mr Ephraim. “The PS3 that we launched in 2007 is still relevant with firmware upgrades. The device itself is still capable of so much more, which we said at launch. We said at launch that it is future-proof, 10 year life cycle at least.

“The device is as relevant now, if not more so, than when it was launched in 2007. PS3 is not going anywhere anytime soon. And obviously to get the bigger and bigger consumer base you are talking about a strategy of getting the price down, as we learned from PSone and PS2.”

Mr Ephraim says Sony believes there is “a lot of untapped demand” for PS3.

“If you think about in households in Australia alone, we have two-and-a-half million PSones and two-and-a-half million PS2s. We have now sold something like 1.4 million PS3s. So we have homes that haven’t upgraded, and then we have the whole new market of entertainment seekers, the Blu-ray issue I mentioned, the catch-up TV, music and video downloads.

“We are still the best value of any box you can plug into your TV for the kind of entertainment offerings we can give. There’s no box that matches what PS3 can do. That has cast a very big footprint on who the consumer could be for PS3. We see it as any household that is interested in any form of digital entertainment. “


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