By Patrick Avenell

BRISBANE, QLD & SYDNEY, NSW: The retail director of one of the country’s biggest gaming retailers has given his stamp of approval to Sony for introducing a new PlayStation 3 model with a new price structure. Speaking to today, WOW Sight & Sound director – retail, Con Nicolas, said he was definitely happy with the move, and predicted big things for the new look gaming console.

After last week’s news that Sony Global was releasing a slimmer and more robust PlayStation 3 model, with a significantly reduced price point, attention in the industry turned to how the retailers would respond. Would they be happy to have a new device to sell at a competitive price point, or would they rue the lost opportunity to beef up gross sales? According to Nicolas, it’s clearly the former.

“We’re definitely happy,” he said. “What it will do is: it will stimulate that market. At the moment, we’re just trying to get stock, all the old ones have sold through. New PS3, new models, smaller, $200 cheaper? It’ll fly out the door, it will do well.”

Also selling well at WOW Sight & Sound this quarter are flat panel TVs. Nicolas said that even though there was no Olympic Games this year, sales had been very resilient, mostly because the suppliers have supported their products with incentives.

“Panels are still going strong, driven by the suppliers: Panasonic were offering the bonus Wiis; and Samsung was offering the bonus LCDs, the 22-inch; and Sony were offering vouchers, so that certainly drove the sell through on panels up.”

Central to success at WOW is home entertainment, with the group’s business model built around providing its consumers with the latest technology at affordable prices. The deadline for analogue TV switch-off has been particularly stimulating for sales, with panels and set-top boxes performing well.

“Continuing with the conversion, going from analogue to digital, HD boxes are still selling well, they still continue to be strong, and people are changing from their old CRT to a flat panel or an analogue to a 1080p panel.”

Nicolas further reported that the new WOW store at Oxley had been performing strongly over the first two months since opening. Additionally, the group’s Shepparton store, which opened almost a year ago, has continued to exceed expectations.