460,000 PlayStation 3s now in Aussie homes

2008 marks a big year in sales for Sony's flagship console; 47 percent SingStar sale increase.

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During the past few weeks, both Nintendo and Microsoft have disclosed their Australian hardware-sales figures for 2008, and Sony has been the only one to keep quiet. But Sony Computer Entertainment Australia's silence has finally broken, with figures released today showing that the company sold 213,000 PlayStation 3s last year, with a total down-under install base of 460,000 units, according to industry trackers GfK Australia.

However, not all of the 460,000 PS3s were sold, given that the total install-base figure includes 70,000 PS3s that Sony gave away during its Bravia LCD promotion.

In comparison, Sony's two rivals--Microsoft and Nintendo--have sold more than 537,000 and one million units of their next-generation consoles down under, respectively.

Although the PS3 wasn't the victor in hardware sales, the three current PlayStation platforms (PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Portable) managed to have an impressive year in software sales. In total, 42 percent of all software sold during 2008 in Australia was on one of the three PlayStation consoles.

In a press release, Michael Ephraim, managing director of SCE Australia & New Zealand, said that almost 50 percent of Aussie PS3 owners have embraced the console's online functionality. Interestingly, this number is lower than Aussie Xbox Live adoption among 360 owners, which Microsoft claims to be more than 50 percent.

Consistent with last year's boom in the family games category, the SingStar franchise saw a 47 percent increase in sales, with the latest game in the franchise, SingStar ABBA, selling 92,000 units in the six weeks leading up to Christmas across the PS2 and PS3.

Although the focus of today's announcement was primarily on the PS3, Sony also updated its figures for the PS2 and PSP. During its nine years of sales, the PS2 still holds strong to its title of best-selling console down under, boasting 2.4 million consoles in Australian households. On the other hand, the PSP has sold just more than half a million.

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