Sony: PS3 now the "de facto" purchase

And sales are "right on track".

Console manufacturer Sony reckons its PlayStation 3 has now become the "de facto" purchase following a "slow burn" at the start of its life.

The "entry level hardware price point" and the launch of the PS3 Slim are the main reasons for the PS3's resurgence, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president Andrew House told Eurogamer in an interview published today.

"We're really pleased," House said.

"I'd characterise it as right on track. The important thing we always frame the discussion with is our view that the full length of the life cycle is likely to be significantly longer than anything we've seen before.

"We offered some fairly good reasons for that: the fact you have a network device, the value of the network that grows over time, a portfolio of services that grows over time.

"Within the context of assuming this will be a different and much longer life cycle than previously, we're right on track where I would hope we would be at this point in the life cycle."

To date, 38 million PS3s have been sold around the world, and Microsoft's sold 41.7 million Xbox 360s. However, both consoles dwarf in comparison to the 70.9 million Wiis sold.

House added that momentum was now with Sony, and said the upcoming launch of motion controller PlayStation Move will only help grow the PS3's audience.

"Something of a slow burn, obviously, at the start," House admitted. "Everyone should be frank and admit that.

"But really starting to reach what we feel is a tipping point, where momentum shifting in your favour to become what I would hope to be the de facto purchase you would make if you're considering an investment into videogames."

During Sony's gamescom media briefing on Tuesday House revealed that PS3 software sales are up 38 per cent against the prevailing conditions. "That's perhaps the most significant story right now," House stated.

"Software performance on a tie ratio basis, is better on PS3 than it was at the same point on PS2.

"That's very good. We have sold all of these consoles at price points that are way significantly higher than those comparably at the same point in the life cycle on PS2.

"What that says to me is the consumer is seeing intrinsic value in the offering we're putting out there."

Sony announced it will release two new models of PS3 with larger hard disks from 15th September. There will be a 320GB machine bundled with a PlayStation Move motion controller kit for 284.99 / 349. A 160GB machine will be sold for 249.99 / 299 and "gradually replace" stock of the current 120GB model, which costs the same.

Microsoft, of course, has its own motion sensing ace up its sleeve: Kinect. That launches on 10th November in the UK for 130 quid.

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