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GTA IV drove PS3 console sales, says SCEA

GameStop sees lift in PS3 sales and believes GTA IV may trigger PS2 owners to upgrade to the newer Sony console

Sony Computer Entertainment America has announced that the demand for Grand Theft Auto IV drove sales of the PlayStation 3 entertainment system within the first 24 hours of the game's release.

The company did not release any specific sales figures, however.

Instead, it provided a statement from Bob McKenzie, GameStop's senior VP of merchandising.

"From our position, the launch of GTA IV has been tremendous in driving traffic to our stores, as well as providing a vigorous lift in PS3 console sales over this time last week," McKenzie said.

"We attribute the growth to a huge fan base of PS2 owners who see this title as the trigger for the PS3 upgrade they've been planning."

Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter seemed to agree.

"I think brand loyalty is going to kick in for Sony, starting today," Pachter said.

"There is a huge installed base of loyal PlayStation 2 owners who have been looking for a reason to upgrade, and they have strong previous ties to the Grand Theft Auto franchise on PlayStation platforms."

"Grand Theft Auto fans who love the game grew up on PlayStation and we believe that rich heritage will be a deciding factor for many gamers at retail," said Peter Dille, senior VP, marketing & PlayStation Network.

"This enthusiasm for GTA IV, combined with the excitement behind Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, Metal Gear Solid 4, LittleBigPlanet, and Resistance 2 will further drive PS3 hardware sales."

No North American GTA IV or recent console sales figures have yet been released by the NPD Group.

In Europe, however, Chart-Track reported that the game broke all previous day one sales records.

According to Chart-Track estimates, 609,000 copies of the game were sold during the first 24 hours - 335,000 for the Xbox 360 and 274,000 for the PlayStation 3.

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