Holiday Poll Reveals Spending on Home Entertainment Is on the Rise

Consumers Plan to Improve Their 'Entertainment Castles'; Pick Sony as Favorite Home Entertainment Brand


Consumers plan to spend more money improving their home entertainment environments, hoping to build personal "entertainment castles" this holiday season, according to a nationwide independent survey of 800 households released today.

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A staggering 72 percent of consumers that took part in the poll report they plan to spend more time at home than they did during past holiday periods. In addition, rather than travel or do other activities outside the home, 34 percent plan to spend more time enjoying music, playing games and watching movies with family and friends, making home entertainment products big winners this holiday season.

Consumers plan to round out their home entertainment environments with a variety of products, from satellite TV to home theater systems. The hottest entertainment choices this holiday season will be DVD-players and videogame consoles, such as the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, consumer products that offer new, interactive content to supplement existing home systems. Seventy percent will spend more time listening to music, 53 percent will be renting more movies and 43 percent will be playing more games at home this year. Additionally, one in three consumers polled said that given recent world events, they are looking for their entertainment choices to help them take a break from the real world. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that adventure themes will be more popular than any other genre of home entertainment.

"The concept of the home as a personal 'entertainment castle' shows how hungry consumers are to upgrade their current home entertainment systems as they spend even more time in their homes," said Dr. Jack Torobin, president at COMsciences Worldwide, who conducted the poll. "Entertainment products that offer additional functionality and a great variety in content will sell well this holiday season."

"The survey reveals what our loyal fans have been saying for some time, that it's not enough to offer just music or movies or videogames anymore -- consumers want it all," said Kaz Hirai, president and chief operating officer, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., the company that commissioned the survey. "Consumers want great content, and a lot of it. That's why we designed PlayStation 2 as an all-in-one home entertainment solution with the broadest and largest title library anywhere."

In addition to its videogame capabilities, PlayStation 2 offers users both DVD and audio CD playback.

The survey also indicates that brands are even more important to consumers when it comes to home entertainment purchases. A vast majority of respondents (83 percent) rely on trusted and popular brands as the best way to ensure that money spent on new systems won't be wasted on products that may disappear tomorrow. Consumers also make purchase decisions by evaluating a brand's sensitivity to consumer needs, such as a wide range of content choices, the ability to maximize their investments in content when new hardware hits the market, and the brand's longevity. Among home entertainment brands, Sony was picked as the most recognized (52 percent) and popular (39 percent) brand by survey respondents, bettering the nearest competitor by a very large margin.

Additionally, retailers have confirmed that consumers look to Sony for the best in home entertainment, and that videogame consoles will be big sellers this holiday season, according to a recent independent survey of retailers by PlayDate, Inc. "Retailers clearly see Sony's PlayStation 2 coming out on top this season. PlayStation 2 has been in the market for more than a year now, and its best games are hitting shelves just in time for the holidays," said Sean McGowan, PlayDate principle and Director of Research for Gerard Klauer Mattison.

The consumer survey was conducted by COMsciences Worldwide, an international strategic communications research and consulting firm based in Los Angeles. A total of 800 households took part in this telephone poll. Respondents were randomly selected and were evenly split between men and women in the 18 to 50 age range. The poll results have a margin of error of +/-3.5% at a confidence level of 95%.

About Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® and PS one™ game consoles 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 PS one game console and PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system 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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NOTE: PlayStation and the PlayStation logo, PS one and PS2 are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

  Hot Home Entertainment Gifts

  Respondents who anticipate purchasing various products (%)

  DVD Player                     24%
  Videogame System               18%
  Home PC                        15%
  Satellite or Cable TV          14%
  Internet Access                11%
  Home Theater System            10%
  Digital Video Recorder         8%

  2001 Holiday Entertainment Poll

  Supplemental Fact Sheet

As consumers head to the malls this holiday season, they have strong opinions about what they're looking for in home entertainment systems:

  Large Variety of Content

  -- Seventy-seven percent say that having a large number of titles or
     programming available for a system is critical.
  -- In fact, an overwhelming 74 percent add that variety of content is more
     important than the sheer power of a home device.

  Backward Compatibility

  -- Eighty-six percent of respondents say that when buying or upgrading a
     computer or videogame system, the ability to play previously bought
     software is important.

  Adventure-Themed Titles

  -- Adventure (52 percent) is the most popular genre of video content
     -- from movies to videogames -- followed by mystery (35 percent),
     science fiction (21 percent), horror (20 percent), sports (18 percent),
     and fantasy (17 percent).

  A Break From Reality

  -- Given recent world events, four in ten consumers (32 percent) are more
     inclined to select forms of entertainment that offer a break from
  -- This attitude is particularly acute among women, 46 percent of whom
     agree that the effects September 11 are factors in seeking
     entertainment that provides a break from reality.



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SOURCE: Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.

Contact: Charlotte Panther of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.,
+1-650-655-5324, or; or Dawn Cotterell,
+1-323-966-5768, or, for Sony Computer
Entertainment America Inc.