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Biggest Jan sales for PlayStation brand, as PS3 finally begins to perform

Stock issues and price may have held back PS3 sales, but Sony believes the system is finally out the gate and performing well in the next-gen console war.

It may have started off slowly due to stock issues and a controversial price, but after the PlayStation brand scored its best January performance ever, the company believes the PS3 is finally out of the gates and picking up momentum in the next-gen showdown.

NPD sales data for January puts the total of PlayStation 3 consoles at 243,554 in North America, helping the PlayStation business record revenues US $550 million (EUR 419m) during the five weeks of the month.

"We are pleased with the numbers from January as they demonstrate overall sales improvements for our legacy systems year over year and continued momentum for PS3," said David Karraker, director of corporate communications for SCEA.

Admitting the issues of restricted supply at retail, Sony believes the channel is finally getting regular stock, and coupled with increased marketing and a strong line-up of titles, the PlayStation brand as a whole is set to rocket in 2007.

"With supply levels stabilising, you can expect to see increased marketing for PS3 and PS2 in weekly retail circulars, which should garner strong numbers, boosted by big software launches, such as MotorStorm and Virtua Fighter 5," commented Karraker.

According to Sony, tie-ratios for the PS3 have improved by 80 per cent since launch. The company has also finally kick started its marketing campaigns with leading US retailers BestBuy and Target

Sales data from NPD put the PlayStation 3 in third place throughout January, with the Nintendo Wii shifting 436,000 units and the Xbox 360 selling 294,000 units.

Sony is also bullish about the performance of the PSP in the handheld sector, claiming it is closing the gap on the market-leading Nintendo DS and pinning sales hopes on titles such as the forthcoming Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters.

"PSP sales in January were exceptionally strong with the system quickly closing the gap on the leading competitor," said Karraker.

Despite touting the PS3 figures, sales of the PlayStation 2 were still higher than the next-gen console, reaching 299,352 units, a year-over-year increase of 20 per cent.

The current generation system still has a handful of blockbuster titles due in the first half of this year in the US and Europe, including God of War 2 and Okami.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.