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Sony boss backs 18 rating in Australia

Government needs to move on and stop thinking gaming is for kids, says Ephraim

The managing director of Sony Australia has said that the country should have an 18 rating for games, adding that the government needs to realise that games are played by everyone now and not just children.

"Gaming has moved on, the choice of content has moved on and I think it is time Australia gets in step with the rest of the world and has an R rating classification," Michael Ephraim told the Australian Associated Press.

"I think it is just giving people choice. You give people choice for movies, books, whatever. Why aren't you giving them choice for gaming?

"The government needs to move on, to stop thinking that gaming is for kids, gaming has grown up. Eight to 88 [year olds] play games now ... the average age of a gamer is something like 24 years old," he added.

Australian attorney-generals are currently debating whether to change the country's classification system for games and introduce a rating higher than a 15 one.

More than 55,000 submissions have been received during a public consultation on the issue. Notorious anti-gaming official Michael Atkinson stepped down from his front bench position earlier this year and has been replaced by John Rau, who has said he is currently neutral on the issue.

Ephraim also announced the latest Sony sales figures for Australia this week, which included the news that PlayStation 3 has now sold over 850,000 units in the country.

The Sony boss told GameSpot AU that it aims to reach the 1 million landmark for the console by the end of 2010 - a figure that Microsoft reached with the Xbox 360, combining New Zealand and Australia sales, last month.

Since January this year, Nintendo has sold 1.7 million Wii consoles and 2.5 million DS consoles in Australia.

Ephraim admitted that PSPgo hadn't fared as well in the country, having sold between 20,000-25,000 since its launch last October.

"The handheld space is very crowded, and we have to keep in mind that [the PSPgo] was the first device of its kind to launch without packaged goods," he said.

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Latest comments (2)

Tony Johns11 years ago
Finally some of the bigger players in the Game Industry are starting to tell the government what they feel.

But we need a hell of allot more support...

And he is right, the government of Australia has not grown up allot on this issue and instead only acts immature when it comes to computer games...they are so far behind the times that if you asked them who Mario is, they would not know what you are talking about.

And if they are the sort of people who believe they can tell a whole country what games are allowed in this country, then perhaps they should just hand over their powers to the Classification Board members so the people who rate the games can then have their choise of deciding amongst themselves if they feel that Australia needs an adult classification for computer games.

Plus when it comes to politics and computer games, why is it that politicians are the ones who act like children?
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Shane Sweeney Academic 11 years ago
Well I can hardly imagine a Game Developer in opposition to it. So I doubt the government will be influenced to heavily.

But its inevitable Australia gets one.
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