In an in-depth interview, Sony Australia's head Michael Ephraim has discussed a number of issues, including the PS2's continued support and the PS3's 2007 launch in Australia, and the relative merits of the PSP and DS in the territory.
Talking at length in an interview
on the 'Screen Play' weblog of The Age newspaper in Australia, Ephraim particularly discussed the mainstream appeal of the PlayStation 2 in the territory, where Sony Europe-created titles such as Singstar
have meant the console is reaching an older and female market, as well as the conventional game player.
He noted: "Looking at our registered owners, if you look at something like SingStar Pop
, we know something like 50 per cent of our consumers were teenage girls... With Buzz, we know that it's become a realistic entertainment choice for groups of 30 year old "social gamers". Before our social gaming titles there was really no appeal in the video games market to the non-gamer at all."
Ephraim also commented that: "For the Christmas quarter, we have the potential to sell 200,000 more PS2s... All retailers that we have spoken to clearly see PlayStation 2 as the lead SKU for Christmas in terms of sales and dollars."
Discussing the PlayStation 3's delay into 2007, having been asked whether sales have been affected, Sony's Ephraim notes that "...every retailer has told us that they've had fractional percentages of cancellations. I think from the early adopters, they're the foundation of this industry, and they want the best systems when they're available. The early adopters will buy PlayStation 3."
Finally, when asked about the relative success of the PSP in Australia, where the questioner suggests that "There's a perception in the market that it is struggling because of strong DS sales", Ephraim is extremely specific: "If you look at the markets, they are completely different. The DS really appeals to a lot younger, very female skewed, and the DS has done a fabulous job."
He continues: "PSP is a product that if you go back to the analogy of PlayStation and PlayStation 2, they are leaders in their field as far as the consumer offering. Price points, perceptions, or consumers coming to grips with what the device truly offers and the value that it offers, does take time. At approximately just under 200,000 PSPs sold in Australia and over 22 million sold worldwide, if you hold that up against any other gaming category, it's done extremely well."
Interested parties wishing to learn more can read the full interview with Ephraim
at The Age's 'Screen Play' weblog, including plenty more information.