The PlayStation 3 has long been last in line when it comes to the console wars Down Under, with sales figures consistently showing the Sony product lagging behind the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox 360 in Australian sales. But new figures released today show that the PS3 is quickly closing the gap, with more than 850,000 consoles now in Aussie homes.
Sony Computer Entertainment Australia head Michael Ephraim used today's launch of the PSN Video Delivery Service to announce the updated figures. While this number includes consoles sold as part of Sony's Bravia TV deal, Ephraim confirmed that only around 150,000 consoles included in the original count came from this deal.
Speaking to GameSpot AU, Ephraim said the publisher aims to sell 1 million PS3s in Australia by the end of 2010.
"We've done pretty well considering we launched in March 2007, about a year after the Xbox 360," Ephraim said. "We are clearly on track to break the 1 million mark before the end of this year."
These latest figures may be enough to put Sony ahead of its closest competitor in the Australian market. Last month Microsoft revealed that it had sold 1 million Xbox 360s in both Australia and New Zealand but did not break down the figure country by country. Both Sony and Microsoft remain well behind market leader Nintendo, who, since January this year, stands at 1.7 million Wiis and 2.5 million DS consoles sold in Australia.
But while the PS3 seems to be doing well in the local market, Ephraim admitted that the PSP Go had not fared as well as Sony would have liked, selling 20,000 to 25,000 units in Australia since launch.
"The handheld space is very crowded, and we have to keep in mind that [the PSP Go] was the first device of its kind to launch without packaged goods," he said.
Ephraim confirmed Sony is looking to energise PSP Go sales with a number of upcoming promotions, including one that will feature a console and a 10-free-game download pack.
Looking ahead, Ephraim believes the Australian market will continue to grow, spurred on by innovations such as 3D gaming and motion control.
"I think the Aussie market missed the GFC bullet--while the US and UK saw a dip in sales, we grew by 5 percent last year. The local industry is confident that we can achieve the same numbers this year," he said.
"On the 3D side, I think gaming will be the big driver for the entire 3D market. The PS3 is now 3D capable with another firmware update coming shortly, and I am confident that our console will lead the charge in this market because we're the only ones who are 3D ready."