PlayStation® Captures More Than 50 Percent of Videogame Market With Strong Showing in November, According to Market Research Group

Consumers Cast Vote for PlayStation at Retail This Holiday Season


With steady momentum heading into the final days of the holiday selling season, Sony Computer Entertainment America expands to amass a growing fan base whose demand for PlayStation hardware and software is invigorating the industry at large. PlayStation products led the industry with more than half a billion dollars in total videogame sales for the month of November, according to NPD Funworld, a division of The NPD Group. Sales of PlayStation products repeatedly fuel the momentum behind the videogame category, generating $3.3 billion in revenue year-to-date, more than 50 percent of the total industry volume.

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The PlayStation platforms continue to be the key catalysts behind the videogame industry's success. Defying historic platform lifecycles, the PS one game console persistently surprises industry experts with exceptionally strong sales as it enters its ninth year in the market. Total sales of PS one for the month of November increased 45 percent month-to-month, according to NPD Funworld. The PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system continues to outpace the lofty achievements of PS one with an adoption rate that is 78 percent ahead of its predecessor 34 months into the lifecycle. Sales momentum remain strong as the console enters its third holiday selling season, with PlayStation 2 once again becoming the number one selling next-generation console at retail, despite facing a tough competitive pricing environment. Reaching nearly 23 million, the PlayStation 2 installed base is unprecedented at this point in the lifecycle. PlayStation 2 currently comprises more than 51 percent of the next-generation year-to-date market share, with the closest competitor, GameCube, with less than half the market share at 25 percent, according to NPD Funworld.

"Our platforms continue to redefine the standards of success. At the beginning of this holiday season, the PlayStation 2 installed base was already nearly double what it was the same time period last year and 62 percent more than PS one at the same point in its lifecycle," said Jack Tretton, executive vice president, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "With our impressive installed base, the PlayStation platforms present publishers with an incredible business opportunity to effectively target these massive audiences."

Offering the largest and most diverse library of software titles with nearly 2,000 titles available for PlayStation 2 and PS one, gift-givers and gamers of all ages have turned out in droves to pick up the hottest games at retail outlets nationwide. In the month of November, sales of PlayStation 2 first and third party software increased 21 percent year-over-year. Calendar year-to-date software to hardware tie-ratio figures reached 12.7 to 1 for PlayStation 2, the highest among next generation platforms, and 15.9 to 1 for PS one, demonstrating that PlayStation products consistently enjoy the widest support from consumers and software developers alike. With the widest variety of software titles available in history with more than 50 new titles in November alone, consumers have more choices than ever, making the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system the perfect gift for consumers of all ages.

Performing exceptionally well this year are Sony Computer Entertainment America's first party software titles, contributing to one of the strongest holiday seasons in the company's history. In the month of November, sales of PlayStation 2 first party software units increased 37.5 percent year-over-year. Expanding on successful franchises established last year and with the introduction of new key titles, Sony Computer Entertainment America has ascended to become one of the premier publishers in the industry. First party hits including SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs, Jak II™, Ratchet & Clank™: Going Commando, and the innovative EyeToy™ are receiving accolades from consumers, industry experts and gaming enthusiasts alike.

"The creative community is just now beginning to realize the true potential of PlayStation 2 and as a result, the content that is out on the market today is some of the best ever," continued Tretton. "With platform driving franchises like Ratchet & Clank, our first party developers are clearly connecting with our consumers, while at the same time, inspiring new content creation among the greater publishing community with innovative technology such as EyeToy and online killer apps like SOCOM."

In addition to the success of first party offerings, consumers are also confirming PlayStation 2 as their number one choice in videogame entertainment with strong demand for third party software titles. Seven of the top ten software titles sold in the month of November were for PlayStation 2, according to NPD Funworld. Third party holiday hits to date include Lord of the Rings™: Return of the King™ from Electronic Arts, Tony Hawk's Underground from Activision, and WWE™ Smackdown™: Here Comes the Pain™ from THQ. Over 20 third and first party software developers have also delivered on their promise to bring approximately 50 online-enabled software titles for consumers to choose from this holiday season.

This holiday season represents the birth of online console gaming as a substantial source of revenue for content providers and third party publishers. Online titles were in high demand at retail in November, with seven of the top ten PlayStation 2 software titles featuring online gameplay, according to NPD Funworld. Holiday shoppers purchased online hits such as first party title SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs and third party online titles including Need for Speed Underground™ and Medal of Honor™ Rising Sun from Electronic Arts.

Sony Computer Entertainment America was the first to bring online console gaming to the masses and has grown its online community to over 1.7 million connected consoles in North America. The first online console community is also the most popular, with life-to-date sales of the PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor nearly triple that of Microsoft's Xbox Live Starter Kits. The PlayStation 2 Combo Pack [includes the PlayStation 2 console, Network Adaptor (Ethernet/modem) (for PlayStation®2), and a copy of the online-enabled game, ATV Offroad FuryÔ 2, all for $199 suggested retail price] offers consumers an easy and affordable way to get in the game. With consumers set to unwrap PlayStation 2 Combo Packs and online titles this holiday season, the PlayStation 2 online community is poised for massive growth.

With the holiday season heading into high gear in the final weeks before Christmas, the videogame industry looks to maintain the 50 percent of its annual videogame sales it typically experiences in the fourth quarter each year.

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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SOURCE: Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.

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