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How is the PlayStation 4 doing in South Africa?

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PS4

PlayStation is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary as a brand. Internationally, it has gotten a ton of attention and is doing extremely well. But how are things going in South Africa? Mighty well, and way better than it did back in the day.

I had a quick interview with Ster-Kinekor Entertainment CEO Mario Dos Santos regarding the anniversary. He explained to me that PlayStation wasn’t always an easy gamble.

When we first launched locally 18 years ago, we brought in 3 000 units. We were actually worried and wondering if we would need to send some back. Those first six months, we wondered if it would work out.

Back then, it was something of an underground culture to own a PlayStation console in South Africa. Only hard core gamers used them. Of course, things changed with the PS2. Dos Santos explains that with the social elements included with the PlayStation 2, it led to huge sales of the console – that there seemed to be one in every home. The PlayStation 2 was far and away the most successful console to date.

Unfortunately for the brand, the PlayStation 3 could not replicate that success. While in the end it did well, it had a rather rough start. Pricing issues surrounding proprietary technology means that it was expensive for the local consumer. But things are turning around with the PlayStation 4.

The PS4 is beyond the 50 000 sell through point. This is line with where the PlayStation 2 was at the same point in the life cycle.

50k units sold through to our market isn’t too shabby, especially with PlayStation only reducing prices recently. I’ll be curious to see how the PlayStation numbers compare with competitors following the holiday season.

I did ask Dos Santos about that glorious 20th anniversary PS4 console. There aren’t any coming locally for retail, but that doesn’t mean that none will be entering the country. 50 units will be making their way to our shores – mostly for charitable and promotional events. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for these to let you know when we might be able to grab one, and for a good cause.

Going forward, PlayStation is looking to expand the brand and do more to interact with the local market. They are planning a variety of local initiatives, primarily with local developers. PlayStation hopes to see more South African indie games appearing on the PS4 and across the PlayStation ecosystem.

Of course, I also asked that burning question we all have – why are digital games so expensive? Why don’t they compare to retail prices and why is the store offering not at the same level as international version? Unfortunately, I didn’t get a helpful answer. According to Ster-Kinekor Entertainment’s CEO, the local distributors have zero control over the Sony online experience. Sony Computer Entertainment sets the prices, and despite having frequent meetings with them to try to adjust according to our local market, it appears that all pricing decisions are made centrally. That doesn’t helps us and feels a bit like passing the buck, but at least we know that PlayStation South Africa aren’t the people to nag about it – we should pester Sony Computer Entertainment Europe directly instead.

Last Updated: December 12, 2014

34 Comments

  1. Admiral Chief BellatorMachina

    December 12, 2014 at 13:35

    Sheesh, so many unwise ppls in SA…

    πŸ˜›

    Reply

  2. hairyknees

    December 12, 2014 at 13:38

    “50 units will be making their way to our shores – mostly for charitable and promotional events” … I consider myself charity :'( I WANT ONE!!!!!!!

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief BellatorMachina

      December 12, 2014 at 13:44

      HAH

      Reply

    • Admiral Chief BellatorMachina

      December 12, 2014 at 13:45

      I wonder what will happen to the 7th unit…..

      Reply

      • Quo Vadis?

        December 12, 2014 at 13:51

        And you know what? its still FUNNY! hahahahaha

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief BellatorMachina

          December 12, 2014 at 13:53

          But, will it still be funny in 7 days?

          Reply

          • CAE9872

            December 12, 2014 at 13:54

            ummmm…no…but for now WHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          • Quo Vadis?

            December 12, 2014 at 13:55

            7 weeks, 7 months, 7 years, 7 decades etc. IT WILL STILL BE FUNNY! Or at least, until the next competition rolls around. Then its going to be gut bustingly FUNNY!

          • Raptor Rants A Lot

            December 12, 2014 at 14:49

            Guyz… STAHP πŸ™

          • Quo Vadis?

            December 12, 2014 at 14:55

            heehee

      • Raptor Rants A Lot

        December 12, 2014 at 14:49

        FFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

        Reply

    • CAE9872

      December 12, 2014 at 13:52

      yeah I also want one πŸ™

      Reply

    • Eric

      December 12, 2014 at 15:35

      Well I also wanted a PS4 and a Z3… which LG “could” of sent to me. But noooOoooOooOOOooo. They give it a “Rudi” character. Honestly…. #neverForget

      Reply

  3. CAE9872

    December 12, 2014 at 13:52

    Although 50,000 is a lot; it is also not a lot. I don’t know what to make of that number per se. I suspected it would be a little higher. Shows you – gaming is STILL underground to a large degree.

    Reply

    • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      December 12, 2014 at 13:58

      It’s not a bad number for local sales of a new, expensive system just a year on. People here still buy PS2’s.

      Reply

      • Aries

        December 12, 2014 at 14:03

        This child that lives by my family has fifa 14 for his ps2, was shocked to see that they still sold those, but guess it good for the younger ones

        Reply

        • CAE9872

          December 12, 2014 at 14:22

          It is EA after all…I am surprised they dont make one for PS1 still.

          Reply

      • Matthew Holliday

        December 12, 2014 at 14:25

        especially considering the ps2 cost what? R4k on release?
        while the ps4 was R6.5k

        although inflation and stuff.

        but compared to iphone or galaxy sales after one year at double the cost of a ps4… would probably seem insignificant in comparison.

        Reply

      • CAE9872

        December 12, 2014 at 14:29

        And *takes out sharp pointy knife* Wii’s πŸ™‚

        Reply

  4. FoxOneZA

    December 12, 2014 at 13:58

    Part of the reason why the Xbox One is gaining traction locally is because of the local store and it’s awesome pricing.

    Reply

    • L337J1MB0B

      December 12, 2014 at 16:31

      I disagree.. most people who buy console games in this country buy retail copies. Crappy internet connections and the lack of re-sale value makes digital not feasible for most.

      Reply

      • Willem Swanepoel

        December 15, 2014 at 08:33

        90% of the gaming consumer market in SA is casual. For a casual gamer that does not have a lot of money will rather go for the cheaper option. Mommy and Daddy wants to buy a console for the kids, when they look at the 2 new consoles they will pick the cheaper option unless they know for a fact that PS4 got better exclusives etc.

        Reply

    • bluegoon

      December 13, 2014 at 06:34

      yup, local pricing is really competitive on Xbone

      Reply

  5. Mossel

    December 12, 2014 at 14:08

    What is the statistics compared to other countries similar to South Africa? Just saying 50k means nothing to me.

    Reply

    • British_Otaku

      December 12, 2014 at 14:17

      Most other metrics we get aren’t really comparable…
      The PS4 sold 250,000 in the UK in the first 48 hours of sale with 530,000 sold in the first five weeks.

      The other regions (UK, North America, Japan) we hear about are huge markets in comparison to South Africa.

      Reply

      • CAE9872

        December 12, 2014 at 14:22

        Yeah perhaps but per capita we have similar populations? I know we here in SA around say 60m people; UK around 75-80m perhaps?

        It does show the relative disparities between some countries towards gaming culture. I suppose we considered more “outdoorsie.” Personally I HATE the damn sun. I am over summer already!

        Reply

        • Mossel

          December 12, 2014 at 14:45

          Hear hear! Winter for the win! Although summer is legit if you are on holiday, like I will be in 1.5 hours!

          Reply

          • CAE9872

            December 12, 2014 at 14:46

            That’s it – rub salt in them wounds why don’t you.

          • Reid

            December 12, 2014 at 14:47

            I’ll be on holiday for 3 weeks. Summer can come out then, but go back after the 3 weeks. Especially since I’m in Durban summer is not that nice.

          • Mossel

            December 12, 2014 at 15:35

            Same here! I work in Cape Town and I do plenty of work in the Seapoint, Clifton areas, so I know how you feel!

  6. MacDoodle

    December 12, 2014 at 14:10

    PS4 on special with TLOU & Driveclub for R5799 through Playstation South Africa Facebook, today and tomorrow only.

    Reply

  7. Lydon McG

    December 12, 2014 at 14:18

    50k units is more than I would have thought. Nice πŸ™‚

    Reply

  8. Ryanza

    December 12, 2014 at 14:28

    Two or Three months ago the sell through number was 30k and that has been since launch. So 20k in just a few months as we heading into the holiday season. PS4 should sell nicely with the bonuses that people will be getting.

    Reply

  9. Ghost In The Rift

    December 13, 2014 at 12:09

    I still gots my PS1 from 2001,to this day i still joll Metal Gear Solid on it,and gta 2 lol, but 1 day ill get the ps4,by my luck,the day ps5 is announced.:-

    Reply

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