Strong sales across all of Sony’s PlayStation hardware range over the past financial year have left the electronics giant feeling confident that it can still fend off Microsoft’s Xbox 360.
During the financial year ended 31 March 2008, Sony sold 9.2m PlayStation 3 consoles globally – an increase of 5.6m on the previous financial year's total. That's over-the-counter sales, not shipments to shops, the company stressed. Software sales for the console also increased by 44.6m units, to nearly 58m.
Unfortunately, Microsoft has yet to publish a directly comparable console sales figure. Last month, it said it had sold 19m 360s since the console made its debut, in the US in November 2005. Sony's numbers show PS3 sales total 12.8m units since the machine first went on sale, in November 2006.
Nintendo claims to have shipped 25m Wiis in much the same period.
Sony Computer Entertainment UK spokesman David Wilson told Register Hardware, that Sony is "very pleased" with the PS3’s global sales performance for the past 12 months.
“We’ve quietly beavered away and it’s paying off," he said. "Software titles have been an issue, but things are improving and Grand Theft Auto IV has been a huge success for us.”
Wilson didn’t mention recent GTA IV sales figures from market watcher Chart-Track, which revealed that the Xbox 360 version of the game outsold the PS3 release 62 per cent to 38 per cent.
Although Wilson said little about what’s driving gamers to splash their cash on a PS3 – games or Blu-ray Disc support – he claimed that games will still be the big sales factor going forward.
If you thought that the death knell had already rung for the PS2, then think again. Sony also revealed that although sales for the unit dropped by 980,000 compared to the previous financial year, the company still shifted 13.7m PS2s globally.
But the real success was the PlayStation Portable (PSP) – a firm favourite among Japanese gamers - which notched up sales of 55.5m units globally for the year – an increase of around 800,000 units.