Fuelled by price cuts and the long-awaited release of Gran Turismo 3, retail sales of PlayStation 2 consoles have gone through the roof in Australia, according to market researcher Inform.
PS2 sales have hit $A15 million since Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (SCEI) dropped the price by 30% to $A499.95 on September 28. Over 6000 consoles were sold by retailers in just two days, with more than 21,000 units snapped up over the following week.
The price reduction follows SCEI's move to bundle the console with Gran Turismo 3 in August, which saw over 10,000 new PlayStation 2 users in its first two weeks.
"It's amazing. The PS2 has gone ballistic," says Phil Burnham, Inform's chief games analyst. "SCE's bundling of Gran Turismo 3 with the console attracted thousands of new users. Following that, SCE got really aggressive and slashed the price in a big way."
Inform research puts the total installed base of PS2 consoles at over 150,000 Australia-wide.
Inform says the dramatic upturn in sales in the run-up to Christmas is extremely positive for SCEI, which needs to increase the number of PS2 users in Australia before the launches of Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's Game Cube next year.
Not only does SCEI have reason to smile, the increased sales are also causing excitement for games publishers and distributors, which are expected to launch new and existing titles for the console in the near future, Inform says.