Last year proved to be a profitable one for the games industry in Australia, with the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association revealing that 2009 was the industry's biggest year ever. While hardware sales were slightly down in 2009 from 2008, Australians still managed to scoop up 2.247 million units. And according to figures released today from the big three console manufacturers, it seems the bulk of those hardware sales were Nintendo products.
The Nintendo DS was Australia's top-selling piece of game hardware in 2009, with figures from industry tracker GfK Australia showing that the handheld sold 760,000 units. Not far behind was the Nintendo Wii, which moved 730,000 units in the same time frame. Sony has countered with its own figures stating that 318,000 PlayStation 3s moved into Aussie homes over the last 12 months. Microsoft has kept quiet on 2009 sales but has confirmed that lifetime sales of the Xbox 360 Down Under now sit at 850,000.
Sony's PS3 data, however, isn't solely made up of consoles sold in retail shops. Out of the 318,000 total, 46,000 units were moved through business-to-business transactions for promotional deals (such as those given away through the Bravia TV offer). Sony claims that the new PS3 Slim accounted for almost 30 percent of all PS3 consoles shipped.
As for the 360, while Microsoft refused to disclose how many consoles it sold in 2009, it did confirm to GameSpot AU in January last year that it had sold 537,000 units. This means that the 360 shifted approximately 313,000 units in 2009, slightly less than the PS3's overall total.
The PlayStation Network continued to grow throughout the year, with Australia's connectivity rate of PS3 consoles signed up to the service now at 55 percent. Xbox Live, on the other hand, didn't fare as well, with a connectivity rate of 50 percent.
Sony also updated figures for the PlayStation Portable and the PlayStation 2, with the company’s handheld console now at 604,000 units sold since launch and its legacy console reaching an install base of more than 2.5 million consoles.
Current console install bases in Australia are as follows:
-Nintendo DS: 2.5 million
-Wii: 1.7 million
-Xbox 360: 850,000
-PlayStation 3: 770,000
-PlayStation 2: 2.5 million