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PlayStation Game Console Dominates Industry Sales by More Than 2 to 1 Margin as Competitive Gap Widens.

FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 22, 1998--

Consumers Respond to Lower Prices on Hardware and Software Making

PlayStation the Number One Choice in Videogame Entertainment

With the annual battle for holiday consumer dollars fast approaching, Sony Computer Entertainment America announced today an early victory by releasing the results of its first full month of sales since it reduced the price of its PlayStation(R) console to $129 on August 30th.

According to a recent TRSTS report from The NPD Group, September sales of PlayStation game consoles shot up by 97 percent over the previous month.

"Consumers have made it overwhelmingly clear that PlayStation is the number one choice in videogame systems," said Kaz Hirai, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Consumers don't look for toys anymore when they shop for videogame entertainment. They look for long-term value and a wide variety of titles, which is why PlayStation will remain an attractive entertainment option through this holiday season and beyond."

Sony Computer Entertainment America's major retail partners saw a dramatic increase in sales since the company announced its lower price point for the PlayStation console with the Dual Shock(tm) Analog Controller pack-in. For the month, reports from major retail outlets showed PlayStation outselling its competition at price parity by an average margin of 2 to 1, with some stores selling as many as three PlayStations for every other one console they sell.

Sony Computer Entertainment America experienced its highest sales surge to date in the month of September due in part to its recent PlayStation price reduction. According to the unadjusted TRSTS data, more than 385,000 PlayStation game consoles were sold during the month of September, a significant number because it represents more PlayStation sales for the month than all other videogame systems combined. In addition, PlayStation enjoyed an unadjusted market share of 66 percent for September 1998, capturing an additional eight percent of the next-generation hardware category.

Sales have also increased on PlayStation software titles. In August, Sony Computer Entertainment America added five new titles to the "Greatest Hits" collection, making them available for a suggested retail price of $24.99, and often as low as $19.99. For the month of September, overall software sales increased by 210 percent over the same period during the previous year and sales on "Greatest Hits" titles increased significantly. According to the TRSTS report, PlayStation software enjoyed a 71 percent market share in September.

"With a console in more than one in every 10 U.S. homes, PlayStation is quickly becoming a common site in people's homes, like a VCR or a cable box," said Andrew House, vice president, marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "As a result of the popularity of the PlayStation worldwide, Sony Computer Entertainment has been able to grow the gaming category as a whole, providing tremendous opportunities for our partners and ultimately, for the consumer. The PlayStation experience continues to be attractive to an ever-growing audience."

In just three years, PlayStation has become the dominant leader in videogame entertainment, with a North American installed base of more than 11.5 million consoles, and life-to-date software sales exceeding 85 million units, as of August 25, 1998.

"With the success of our new pricing structure, PlayStation is poised to dominate the holiday selling season," said Jack Tretton, vice president, sales, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Our retail partners have been extremely pleased with the pace of sales in their outlets and are looking forward to a very healthy holiday season. The lower console price has driven literally millions of consumers into stores looking to purchase a PlayStation for the first time."

In August, the following game titles were added to PlayStation's "Greatest Hits" series: Cool Boarders(tm) 2; Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back(tm); 1Extreme(tm), formerly known as ESPN(R) Extreme Games; Jet Moto(tm) 2; and Twisted Metal(R) 2. With the new inductees, the "Greatest Hits" collection now includes more than 45 of the top-selling and most popular PlayStation games of all time.

All information reported from The NPD Group's September TRSTS report is unadjusted. Sales monitored by the TRSTS measurement system only account for approximately 70 to 75 percent of total PlayStation sales within the North America region. PlayStation consoles, software and peripherals are distributed through Sony Computer Entertainment America's various retail partners, including Wal Mart, Sears, Best Buy, Target, Circuit City, Toys 'R' Us, KayBee Toys, and other retail outlets.

Sony Computer Entertainment America, a division of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., markets and distributes the PlayStation game console in North America, develops and publishes software for the PlayStation game console, and manages the U.S. third party licensing program. Based in Foster City, Calif., Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Visit us on the Web at http://www.playstation.com.
COPYRIGHT 1998 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 22, 1998
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