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Slow HDTV sales impacting PlayStation 3 uptake

Recession-hit consumers delaying purchase of hi-def hardware, opting for cheaper Xbox 360 SKUs

Slow sales of high-definition television hardware in the US is holding back sales of Sony's PlayStation 3, as consumers feel the effects of the economic slowdown.

That's according to analyst Michael Pachter, who also said that consumers had been opting for cheaper Xbox 360 console deals, rather than the more expensive PlayStation 3 offerings.

"There was likely some substitution of Xbox 360 for PS3 purchases, due to recent price reductions for the Xbox 360 and the bundling of the console with two free games," said the Wedbush Morgan specialist.

"In addition, we believe that PS3 sales are being impacted by lower demand for HD televisions as a result of the recession."

Cumulative US sales of the PlayStation 3 through to November were 6.1 million units, compared to 12.4 million Xbox 360 consoles.

However, Pachter believes that during the first half of 2009, sales for Sony will begin to look up as consumers show interest in exclusive titles and Blu-ray capabilities.

"We believe that several PS3 exclusives, notably LittleBigPlanet, along with focus on the Blu-ray will drive hardware sales over the next six months," he said.

He also added that he expects December sales for the entire hardware market in the US to show further improvement over last year.

"We do not expect the recession to impact videogames in December; rather, we think that as Nintendo increases Wii supply further, Sony markets Blu-ray, and Microsoft rolls out its New Xbox Experience, hardware sales will show year-over-year increases in December."

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: 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.
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