Sony set to hit PS3 target

City A.M. Reporter
Sony yesterday said its PS3 game console sales were on track to reach its target of 15m units for the year to March 2011, with sales for the April-September first half likely to be just above forecast.

“As of the end of August, sales look a bit better than we expected,” said Kazuo Hirai, president of Sony Computer Entertainment. Hirai, speaking in an interview on the sidelines of the Tokyo Game Show, added that much still depended on the year-end shopping season.

His comments came days after research group NPD said retail sales of video game equipment and software in the United States fell 10 per cent in August, as the industry continues a months-long slump.

Sony faces a stand off with rival Microsoft in the coming months, as both bet on motion-gaming add-ons for their existing consoles in a bid to attract non-gamers and entice hardcore fans to buy new software.

Sony launched its Move motion controller for the PS3 on 15 September in Europe, ahead of Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing system, which hits store shelves on 4 November.

Both companies are also encouraging console owners to sign up for network services, allowing upgrades and game downloads as well as communication with other gamers.

Hirai said 80 per cent of the 38m PS3 units sold so far were linked up to Sony’s PlayStation Network, and the company was targeting 100 per cent of the consoles.

He said there were no plans to consolidate PlayStation Network with the company’s Qriocity network, an online movie service in the United States.