The launch of the new Sony slim PS3 Playstation console has stimulated the entire gaming console market, with Sony driving sales in the category, claims research Company iSuppli. However, the launch has failed to lift Sony in the overall market, with sales still lagging behind the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox 360 from Microsoft.Helping Sony globally were strong US PS3 sales during the US Black Friday, with the global video game console market returning to growth during the fourth quarter.
If accurate, the feat would mark the first time this year that the market has expanded on a year-over-year basis, iSuppli said.
The research company claims that global video game console shipments are set to rise to 24.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2009, up 5.2 per cent from 23.4 million during the same period in 2008, iSuppli said.
This follows declines of 2.1 per cent in the first quarter, 35.7 per cent in the second quarter and 10.9 per cent in the third quarter.
“Sony’s PlayStation3 sales reached an all-time high during the week of Black Friday as consumers were attracted by its new low pricing and alluring bundle deals,” Pamela Tufegdzic, iSuppli consumer electronics analyst said. “According to Sony, 440,000 PlayStation3 consoles were sold in the United States during the week of 29 November, a record for the product and nearly double from a year earlier. In comparison, Nintendo Wii sales were down year over year during the same period.”
Since its introduction in November 2006, the PlayStation3’s sales performance has lagged behind that of Nintendo’s Wii and Microsoft’s Xbox 360, due primarily to its higher comparative price.
Sony now appears to have somewhat leveled the advantages enjoyed by its rivals and has found ways to attract consumers back to the popular PlayStation line, iSuppli said.
“Sony has finally gotten it right with the PlayStation3,” Tufegdzic said. “The company has made a number of moves that now are paying off in terms of increased sales. These include a new product design that has allowed a price reduction in overseas markets. In Australia the PS3 is $180 dearer than the US price for the same product.
“Sony is currently selling the PlayStation3 in bundles with popular game titles that cater to all ages. Furthermore, the PlayStation3 is being sold in bundles with Sony high-definition LCD TVs, pushing the game console’s Blu-ray player capabilities. These deals are perceived as good value by consumers.
“In Australia, Sony has increased its level of advertising on television, newspapers and the Internet, further boosting its sales throughout the Christmas season.
“Wii sales during the week of 29 November likely amounted to 550,000, compared to nearly 800,000 during the same period in 2008, according to Nintendo,” said Tufegdzic.
Despite the decline from a year ago, the Wii outsold both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 over the recent Black Friday period, iSuppli said.