PS2 continues to dominate console sales

PS2 continues to dominate console sales

Sony’s Playstation 2 gaming console still outsells the “next generation” Playstation 3 that was supposed to replace it.

The PS3 meanwhile outsold its rival Microsoft’s Xbox 360 during a highly competitive Christmas season last year, according to Sony.

Quoting sales figures from Sydney-based research firm GFK, Sony says the PS2 remains the top selling console in the country with 14,580 units snapped up in December 2007. Playstation consoles accounted for more than 67 percent of all consoles sold in this period.

Over this time 5685 PS3 units and 9345 Playstation Portable units were sold, making them the top selling consoles in each of their categories over the festive season, according to the company.

However, Sony Computer Entertainment marketing manager Dave Hine concedes the Xbox 360, launched nearly a year ahead of the PS3 that was released last March, still has a larger installed base in New Zealand.

“They are still ahead, but we are catching up.”

But Hine says the PS2 still reigns supreme in terms of sales, adding there are no plans yet to phase out the console, which was first launched in 2000. “Playstation 2 is really without a peer in terms of general gaming. It is still very much in demand.”

He would not speculate on when the PS3 would overtake its older sibling in sales.

However, Microsoft says the GFK research results don’t provide a full snapshot, as they do not cover sales of its Xbox 360 Arcade System that was offered exclusively at The Warehouse.

“This new [product] was positioned at a budget-conscious price point and sold extremely well,” says Xbox product marketing manager Tom Hunt, though he could not disclose any sales figures.

“Suffice to say it was so successful we will be broadening this initial launch to all of the New Zealand channel.”

Hunt says Microsoft believes that price is going to be a major factor in 2008.

“With the launch of Grand Theft Auto IV on two next-gen platforms at the same time, many people will [want] to get into next-gen gaming, and price will be a significant factor in their purchasing decision. Xbox 360 will be the cheapest way to get into the franchise and, we believe, attract the majority of new gamers.”

Sony meanwhile, believes Blu-ray becoming the dominant high-definition format will benefit the PS3, which supports the format while Xbox supports HD-DVD. “High definition is very much in demand and Blu-ray has a far higher capacity than HD-DVD,” Hine claims.

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