Sony And Microsoft Battling It Out For Number One Spin Merchant Role

You would think that companies like Microsoft and Sony would focus on trying to better their opponent with better software, better hardware and better support. Today, both Sony and Microsoft showed where the heart of their blood-fued really lies - PR.

Following a report that showed Australian video game sales had dropped 16% last year, both Sony and Microsoft were quick to send out media releases claiming their superiority. With emails landing within a minute of eachother, with both claiming a record year in Australia.

But which one was truly superior? We'll let you read the releases for yourself and leave the decision up to you...

Microsoft:

Xbox Celebrates Record Year

Sydney, Australia, 9 Feb 2011 – Microsoft’s Xbox 360 can reveal it was the fastest growing gaming console in the market in 2010, with the Xbox division experiencing its biggest year on record in Australia.

Xbox 360 bucked the trend in a market where total console sales declined year on year, showing 20 per cent increase in total sales from the previous year.

Xbox 360 also grew an impressive 52 per cent from the Christmas-period 2009 to Christmas 2010. The achievement was propelled by the launch of Kinect for Xbox 360, Microsoft’s revolutionary controller-free entertainment accessory, driving sales over the competitive Christmas period to result in Xbox’s strongest ever Q4 sales.

With Microsoft selling more than 8 million units of Kinect for Xbox 360 globally in the first 60 days of release, David McLean, General Manager of Xbox Australia and New Zealand, said he was excited by the results.

“The Christmas period is always the key indicator of whether or not you have connected with consumers, and Christmas 2010 was a milestone year for Xbox,” McLean said.

“Christmas sales are a telling time for future trends and gauging what’s popular amongst consumers. With Kinect we have changed the landscape of the gaming and entertainment industry. We have opened gaming to a new audience and essentially created a new genre in controller-free entertainment.”

With yearly results also revealing a 48 per cent increase in Xbox Live subscribers and 75 per cent increase in number of hours spent on Xbox LIVE, totaling 200 million hours*, McLean believes the direction of the industry is moving towards an integrated entertainment experience for consumers.

“With Foxtel on Xbox 360, coupled with social networking, films via Zune and a great line up of blockbuster games, Xbox 360 is leading Australian families into an era where there is one central point for all families’ entertainment experience in the home,” he explained.

-ENDS- *Internal Microsoft Data

Sony:

PlayStation®3 delivers the industry’s strongest platform results in 2010

Sydney, February 8, 2011 - Sony Computer Entertainment Australia (SCE Aust.) today revealed another strong performance for the total PlayStation®3 (PS3™) platform which in both real and relative terms outperformed other competitive game platforms, in both value and unit growth. PS3 platform[1]achieved the number one place in terms of value and year on year value growth, representing 27% of the approximate AU$1.7 billion industry accounting for AU$469 million across more than 5 million units of PS3 product[2] . The latter, reflects a 41% uplift for the PS3 platform in calendar year unit sales. This solid year-on-year growth comes off the back of strong platform results the year prior, and is indicative of the continued momentum of the PlayStation brand, devices and entertainment content available in Australia.

Michael Ephraim, Managing Director Sony Computer Entertainment Australia, said: “PlayStation 3 as a platform continues to outperform and grow, even during the double digit industry wide downturn last year. Our consumers are responding to the increased entertainment content offering, from both our company and our network of partners, enjoying the benefits derived from our ongoing technical innovation, and also the more connected network experiences we continue to offer.”

He added “Today’s result announcement reflects Sony Computer Entertainment Australia’s strong capability to deliver in 2011.”

Hardware Total industry hardware value in Australia eclipsed $520 million in 2010, with the PS3 device deriving the greatest value share of hardware sales within the industry accounting for approx. AU$138.5 million, or 26.5%. PlayStation 3 install base of hardware in Australia is now over 1.1 million devices[3]in Australian homes. PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) is over 675,000 while PlayStation 2 has reached over 2.6 million units as it heads into its 11th year.

Software With gaming at the heart of the PlayStation DNA, PS3 derived the greatest value share of software by device platform in CY2010 accounting for approx. AU$283 million, or 26.7%, of the $1.059 billion industry software sales revenues.

The top selling individual game software SKU of CY2010 for the industry was Activision’s Call of Duty Black Ops on PlayStation 3. Gran Turismo 5 (GT5) was one of the fastest selling titles for the year reaching over 190,000 units of sales in just a 6 week period, to become the best selling PS3 exclusive title in Australia. Subsequently, this strong platform software performance saw PlayStation 3 hold its relative position against other current generation home consoles for another year enjoying the highest ratio of software attach at over 10 pieces per device.

Peripherals PlayStation 3 also achieved more than 50% year on year increase in peripheral units driven by new product launches such as the launch of PlayStation®Move motion controller, and continued popularity of the PlayTV device to watch, pause and record free-to-air HDTV and also the PlayStation Blu-Ray remote, Blu-tooth headset and Dual Shock controllers.

Online PlayStation®Network (PSN) - the online world of entertainment content that offers games, TV, movies, music and more – grew its appeal with the addition of new digital service content platforms for PlayStation 3. During 2010, SCE Aust. added stereoscopic 3D and games capability via firmware updates; PLUS7 catch up TV; MUBI, the independent and classic cinema service which complements the existing PSN Video Delivery Service that provides on-demand access to thousands of Hollywood blockbusters to rent or to own, in a choice of SD and HD. VidZone, added to 100 free[4]linear TV music channels and took the cumulative number of music video streams via the PS3 to over 17 million locally. PS3 also represented an 11.5% share of visits for CY2010 to the catch up TV service ABC iView. A new premium PSN subscription service called PlayStation Plus was launched offering even more value to core gamers. Digital revenues were up significantly year on year, and resulted in the increased consumer demand for PSN Cards at key retailers nationally.

Recent global announcements in the portable entertainment space will also see PlayStation vigorously expanding the portable market, addressing rapid changes in the handheld space. Code named “NGP”, or next generation portable, will launch later in 2011 in the form of a cutting edge device that draws on expertise garnered across both PSP and PS3. NGP will offer rich and immersive gaming experiences and social integration. PlayStation®Suite (PS Suite) will offer more casual PlayStation experiences accessible to Android[5]based portable devices that will effectively see PlayStation content available on an open operating system for the first time in PlayStation history. A cloud based, digital music service “Music Unlimited” will also launch in 2011, and adds to the strength of music offer on not only PlayStation 3, but across internet connected Sony devices.

ENDS

So, who do you think won last year's gaming battle?

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