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Sony Has to Act before Christmas

A lot of emphasis is put on NA sales figures for the PS3/360/Wii, with very little concrete info about sales figures in Europe. Japanese sales figures are usually released on a weekly basis yet figures in the UK are virtually non-existent.

Chart Track has revealed to that sales of PS3 and 360 are pretty much neck and neck in the UK. No figures are released (what a surprise) but it seems both consoles have sold around 500,000 units from January – September. What’s interesting about this is that 55% of the PS3’s sales occurred during the first 4 weeks of it going on sale here.

There’s a couple of things to take into consideration with these figures. The 360 had a 3 month head start in the UK before the PS3 was released on March 23rd. On top of that the PS3, for the most part, cost £125 more than the 360 for most of this year until the Elite was released. The release of the Elite saw a sales increase of 260%, which dropped by 20% the following week.

Overall, sales of both consoles haven’t been great in the UK this year. Although the PS3 did particularly well during it’s launch period, sales have remained low since then. The introduction of the Elite has boosted 360 sales and there will probably be a minor sales boost to coincide with the release of Halo 3.

Sony have to drop the price of the PS3 in the run up to Christmas. Kaz Hirai recently said that there’s no point dropping the price of the PS3 until they have enough AAA games out for people to play. I couldn’t disagree more. A price drop to £299 would be ideal and would see a noticeable sales increase, then coincide that with the various rumours floating around about a PES 2008 bundle (possibly France only), a new stripped down SKU (bad idea) and the rumour of a big announcement from Sony on Oct 12th and it seems Sony has something up their sleeves for the Holiday season.

As it stands you can buy a PS3 including Heavenly Sword, Resistance, MotorStorm and two Sixaxis pads for £425.

On paper that looks great. You get 3 of the finest games currently available for the PS3 and an extra pad at a saving of almost £150. The problem is that a lot of people see the price tag of £425 and are scared off. I was one of the people that bought a PS3 at launch for £425 but I knew exactly what I was getting and what was coming this year, and I’ve been very happy with what it’s giving me.

Don’t be surprised if Sony does a SingStar bundle including the new PLAYSTATION Eye combined with a price drop to around £350. SingStar is a big franchise in Europe so this move would make sense. They will probably do a similar thing in North America with Eye of Judgment.

Regardless of the bundles they offer, Sony has to drop the stand alone price of the PS3 to £299 before Christmas. They are selling it for that price now but with forced extras. Maybe the supposed “big bang announcement” will be a proper price drop and not another bundle or another SKU. Sony has to act sooner rather than later and the run up to Christmas is the ideal time to act. Or so you’d think.

PS3 and 360 sales finely balanced in the UK