Sony enjoys the happier Christmas

Sony enjoys the happier Christmas
Monday January 7, 2008
The Irish Times
By Cian Ginty

Sony’s Playstation dominated Christmas computer game sales, according to industry game charts, despite its struggles in the ongoing global “console war” with nintendo’s Wii console and Microsoft’s Xbox360, writes Cian Ginty.

A detailed breakdown of the charts show that, across its console range, the Japanese company has been holding well against competition.

The most popular game this Christmas, according to the chart, is FIFA 08. Sony’s PlayStation 2 accounted for 34 per cent of title sales with PlayStation 3 at 20 per cent, PlayStation Portable at 19 per cent. Microsoft Xbox 360 only managed 14 per cent of sales for that game.

In second place, Assassin’s Creed had 56 per cent sales in PlayStation 3, and 44 per cent in Xbox 360. The PlayStations 2 and 3 outranked the Xbox 360 for nearly every title on the top 20 Irish Games Charts. Two exceptions were Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, at No 4, where the Xbox had just over 50 per cent, and Guitar Hero III Legends Of Rock, at No 12, with 37 per cent.

Nintendo’s portable DS console performed well with three of the only format “exclusive” games in the top 10. The portable DS has a long history of having high software attachment rates. The Wii on the other hand appears to be following in the footsteps of its predecessor – selling well in hardware terms, but lacking when it comes to games sales.

“We are extremely happy with the business we have done on all our platforms, in particular PS3. There’s no doubt Ireland is a PlayStation market,” said Niall O’Hanrahan, managing director at Sony Computer Entertainment Ireland.

However, Microsoft noted that two of the larger Irish games retailers – Smyth’s and Gamestop – are not on the list. Microsoft takes issue with this. “The Chart-track data is not representative of the Irish market as it does not include sales from Smyths and Gamestop [Gamestop is the largest video games retailer in Ireland].”

The charts, however, give the only available independent snapshot of the market. They include sales from Xtra-vision, Game, Tesco, Argos, PC World and other retailers, including sales of Jersey-based online retailer Play.com that were addressed to Ireland. It is compiled by Chart-Track at the point of sale. The firm also publishes the Irish music charts and the UK games charts.

“Xbox Ireland enjoyed an excellent Christmas season. With the biggest line-up of games, the continued success of Halo 3 and the launch of the Xbox 360 Arcade, there was something on offer for all consumer segments,” the Microsoft spokesman said.

The Xbox manufacturer said it did not release country-by-country numbers.

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