By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Sony Computer Entertainment Australia (SCEA) claims the PlayStation 3 has to date outperformed the Australian rollout of its popular predecessor, the PlayStation 2, reaching the 100,000 unit sales milestone in a shorter time.

Sony announced the achievement to mark the beginning of what it deems the second phase of the PS3’s introduction, which will include a $3 million marketing campaign to promote the console ahead of its first Christmas on the market.

The PlayStation 3 has now been available in Australia for nearly eight months, having launched on 23 March this year, but with fierce competition from the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 games console, the company has looked hard-pressed to replicate the success of the PS2.

However, SCEA believes the combination of a new cut-price 40GB PS3 (RRP $699) and its big-budget marketing campaign promoting the wider benefits of the console for home entertainment, will make it a winner this Christmas.

“Having already enjoyed strong sales to date, with our new 40GB PS3 we have the opportunity to appeal to a much wider audience, with a general interest in digital home entertainment,” said SCEA director – marketing, Raoul Bedford, in a statement.

“The second phase of our hardware, software and brand marketing campaign for the PS3 has been created to demonstrate the capabilities of the PS3 to this new audience, who are looking for an extremely advanced, yet incredibly affordable, high definition gaming and entertainment system for their home.”

At the heart of Sony’s multi-million dollar marketing campaign will be a new television commercial directed by Noam Murro, incorporating unique visual imagery to illustrate ‘entertainment like never before’ – the TVC’s tagline.

Sony highlights Blu-ray, entertainment and processing power in the ad through various scenes.

The commercial will enjoy airtime on national commercial broadcasters until the end of November and will be supported by print, outdoor and online activities focused on both hardware and software.

According to NPD figures for the US market, the PS3 is still trailing the Wii and Xbox 360 in monthly sales volume by quite a significant margin.

In the month of October, which it should be noted were before price cuts in the US market, the Wii sold 520,000 units, followed by the Nintendo DS with 460,000 units and the Xbox 360 with 370,000 units.

PS2 sales totalled 180,000 units during the month while PS3 sales lagged behind at just 120,000 units.

Globally, however, Sony is predicting a pick up in fortunes for the PlayStation 3 this Christmas, with a company spokesperson telling PC World that internal data reveals a 192 per cent pick up in PS3 sales in the past two weeks following price cuts.