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Sony Computer Entertainment, who are trying to drum up publicity for the Sony PS3 after SmartHouse revealed that the Company was price gouging Australian consumers by charging up to $103 more for a PS3 in Australia than in the USA, is now trying to claim that that they sold 213,000 PS3s in Australia last year.

However, SmartHouse who was not given the company press release after the company boss Michael Ephraim went on a “rant” over our price gouging story last week believes the numbers could include over 50,000 units that were given away for free by Sony as part of two promotions for Sony Bravia LCD TV’s.

In January 2008 Sony is believed to have given away 25,000 PS3 consoles and in July 2008 30,000 units.

If the giveaway numbers have been included Sony sold less than 163,000 PS3 consoles over the counter. GfK Australia refused to comment on the individual performance of its clients.

There are now more than 470,000 PS3s in Australia, Sony boss Michael Ephraim claimed in the Company press release.

In comparison Nintendo sold 680,000 Wii consoles and Microsoft 370, 000 during the same 2008 period. Ephraim who claims that Sony does not “Price gouge”  didn’t stress other industry figures, which suggest the PS3 is still the worst selling console among the more upmarket games consoles.

 

Ephraim said Sony’s handheld video game device, the PSP, sold 121,364 units for the year to bring its total installed base to approximately 500,000, while the nine-year old PlayStation 2 continued to sell well, with 189,815 units sold during the year.

The PS2 now has an installed base of more than 2.4 million consoles in Australia.

According to recent findings from Top Global Markets, an integrated monthly report from leading providers of consumer and retail information in the Video Games industry, The NPD Group, GfK Chart-Track Limited and Enterbrain combined Video Game Software unit sales across the world’s three largest games markets experienced growth of 11 percent in calendar year 2008 (Jan.-Dec.), totalling 409.9 million units versus the 367.7 million units sold across these markets in 2007.

The increase in growth comes from both United States and UK, with respective increases of 15 percent and 26 percent. Japan did not fare as well, experiencing a 13 percent decline in 2008, which can largely be attributed to a decline in Portable Software, followed by Console Software. Sales in Australia rose 18%.

The United Kingdom experienced the largest aggregate growth as well as category growth, with Console Software experiencing a 38 percent gain, and Portable Software increasing 6 percent. Growth in the United States saw Console Software growth of 22 percent and Portable Software growth of 2 percent.

“There are some incredible statistics within the Top Global Markets Report that highlight the differences between the three major markets in the world,” said Dorian Bloch, Business Group Director, GfK Chart-Track Limited. “In fact, UK Console Video Game Software units are more than double what was achieved in 2003, which just shows how fast the UK market has been growing. Because of this amazing growth and coupled with the downtown currently being experienced in Japan, the UK market has for the first time overtaken Japan as the No2 world market. Although still behind on revenue, the gap has narrowed considerably and it will be interesting to see how things develop during 2009.”

Continuing the growth of the Video Game industry over the past few years, 2008 software unit sales in the U.S. also saw an increase of 15 percent over 2007, selling over 268.4 million units for the year; nearly 36 million more units than last year,” said Anita Frazier.

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