Early Sales Indicators Point to a Prosperous Holiday Season for PlayStation®
Increase in Consumer Demand Kicks Off the Start of the Key Selling Period
FOSTER CITY, Calif.
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. today announced that the PlayStation® category experienced a substantial jump, signifying that the holiday selling season has begun. With increased sales of both platforms, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and PS one™, the highly successful launches of recent first party software offerings and the PlayStation 2 online community surpassing one million connected consoles, the company leads into the industry's most critical period with an incomparable competitive advantage.
As Sony Computer Entertainment America enters its fourth holiday season with PlayStation 2 and its ninth for PlayStation, hardware and software sales continue to grow on both fronts. The recent release of the PlayStation®2 Combo Pack in August, which includes the PlayStation 2 console, Network Adaptor (Ethernet/modem) (for PlayStation®2), and a copy of the online- enabled game, ATV Offroad Fury™ 2, all for $199 suggested retail price, was specifically designed for both the value conscious and networked consumer in mind. In recent weeks, penetration of the PlayStation 2 Combo Pack accounts for about 30 percent of the company's next generation hardware volume. Weekly sales of PlayStation 2 have increased 40 percent in the last two weeks, further demonstrating that the seasonality curve has kicked in. PS one hardware sales have increased 31 percent within the last month.
On the software front, the company began the fourth quarter with a bang, leading the charge with back-to-back triple "A" sellers, Jak II™, EyeToy™ and SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs. All three titles fell into retail's top 10 lists upon release. In fact, SOCOM II is on its way to becoming the most trafficked online title on any platform -- PC or home console.
"We are extremely confident going into the upcoming holiday season as positive sales results illustrate our ability to successfully execute across all areas of our business," said Jack Tretton, executive vice president, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Our success to date is indicative of the company's vision to deliver the best choice, value and entertainment experience to the mass-market, and we look forward to continuing this momentum.
"As PlayStation 2 continues to dominate all platforms, market trends also point to some interesting PS one data as a result of competitive activity," added Tretton. "PS one continues to defy the historic platform lifecycle with exceptionally strong sales as it enters its ninth year in the market. The PS one is outselling both Xbox and GameCube at several major retail accounts this Fall. For obvious reasons, we will be watching and analyzing the market very closely moving into the holiday season."
Hardware and Software Uptake Bodes Well For PlayStation Category
The massive PlayStation 2 installed base of more than 21 million units saw a 14.6 percent month-to-month sales increase from August to September 2003, according to independent research group The NPD Group's most recent videogame tracking report. The NPD Group also reported a 54 percent month-to-month sales increase from August to September 2003 on PS one, further indicating consumer loyalty to the brand and making the PlayStation family of products the must have gift this holiday season.
Calendar year-to-date software-to-hardware tie ratio figures clearly demonstrate that the PlayStation platforms receive the widest support and adoption from both consumers and the software development community. The PlayStation 2 tie ratio reached 12.41-to-1 as of the end of September, with PS one experiencing a robust 20.57-to-1 count.
As software is key to driving the platform business, Sony Computer Entertainment America experienced a 67 percent sales increase on its first party titles between August and September 2003 according to The NPD Group, demonstrating that the company understands consumers' entertainment content preferences.
Third party software sales also continue to grow with a 24 percent increase in the third quarter. Electronic Arts' smash hit Madden NFL™ 2004, a PlayStation 2 online exclusive title, leads the pack with nearly two million copies sold for PlayStation 2 since its August debut.
Online Gaming Community Expands Exponentially
The PlayStation 2 online community has already surpassed critical mass with over one million connected consoles in homes nationwide, clearly demonstrating the broad consumer appeal in online console gaming. It remains one of the most active groups driven by intense camaraderie and competition. Further accentuating this point, sales of the PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor, the online connectivity vehicle, are nearly double the volume moved by Microsoft for Xbox, according to The NPD Group.
One of the key drivers in the PlayStation 2 online success story has been the company's SOCOM franchise. SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs, the sequel to last year's number one online console game and "Greatest Hit" title, has already broken online penetration records in its first two days of release with more than 22,000 simultaneous players going online. Currently, both iterations in the SOCOM franchise are the two top online console titles.
Sony Computer Entertainment America is dedicated to providing the consumer with compelling online-enabled content from both first and third party developers. More than 20 first and third party publishers will provide more than 50 online-enabled titles for consumers to choose from this holiday season.
About Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® and PS one™ game console, and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. The PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system is set to revolutionize the home entertainment market, offering the most compelling interactive content and the capability to be used as a network terminal in the coming broadband era.
Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets and distributes software for the PS one game console and the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system for the North American market. Based in Foster City, Calif. Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
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