Home Gaming The PS3 is South Africa’s HD Console of Choice

The PS3 is South Africa’s HD Console of Choice

3 min read


When it comes to High-Definition gaming on consoles there are two options; Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3. Locally it seems that despite the one year head start, the average South African chooses the PS3 over the 360.

Even more tellingly, through conversations with numerous distributors and retailers it’s come to light that locally more games are being sold for the PS3 than on its  competitor.

More people are buying Playstation hardware AND games. Hit the jump and I’ll tell you why I think that is.

Let me get this straight – this is a simple examination in to why the PS3 is on its way to being the leading console in SA. There is no fanboy agenda, or needless debasing of competing consoles.

We should, by now, all be aware that when it comes to power, both consoles are – as confirmed by numerous developers – practically on equal footing.

1. Brand Recognition and Loyalty

South Africa, much like Europe, has always been Sony country. Whether it be standard consumer electronics like TV’s, DVD players and the like, or gaming consoles Sony has always been king. Recent pushes by Korean manufacturers have started changing that mindset, especially with regards to TV’s.

With regards to consoles, The Playstation and in particular its successor the PS2 were, in their respective generations, pretty much the only ones available.

Console gamers in South Africa have grown up with the Playstation brand, and it’s only natural for them to gravitate towards it.

The original Xbox- an exceptional console – had no local distribution or support, making import the only viable way to own one. With no marketing presence, only the “core” gamers were even aware of its existence.

With the local release of the Xbox 360 significantly before the PS3, many gamers saw – and still see – the Xbox 360 as a direct competitor to the PS2, and the PS3 as the generational leap.

2. Support

3 Years. That’s how long Xbox gamers have been lobbying for Xbox Live, the online component that essentially defines the Xbox experience. There have been petitions, emails, awareness drives and the like – all of which have thus far proven fruitless.

Sure – Xbox Live can be accessed in South Africa, if you jump backwards through flaming hoops, committing what amounts to fraud just to use the service.

Xbox Live is still – as far as I’m concerned – the better online gaming service as it stands right now, but many local gamers don’t want to have to fight just to access a service that should – like the Playstation Network is – be locally available.

Furthermore, it’s been confirmed by Ster Kinekor that PSN cards will be available in retail stores this month.

3. Piracy

The 360 does still – as far as I’m aware – have a larger local install base, thanks in part to its lower price and the effusive local 360 forums. Why then are software sales lower on the 360 than the PS3?

While it may be that 360 gamers are still playing nothing but Halo3, I think that if not the biggest reason, piracy is still a major factor. A stroll through any flea market, or a visit to any torrent site shows just how prevalent piracy on Microsoft’s platform is.

Whatever the reasons, Microsoft needs to step up its local presence – like through the inclusion of our fair country in its Xbox Live rollout – to maintain its momentum in South Africa, particularly with the newer, much more palatable price of the PS3.

Last Updated: October 9, 2009


  1. evilredzombie

    October 9, 2009 at 12:56

    as you said…
    Piracy on xbox360 in SA is huge… just visit the flea market.

    PSN is free and supported in SA

    Playstation is still seen as cool and most people know the PS brand

    The Price drop of the PS3 helped allot.. and the RROD helped sony too

    Arrogant and cocky comments on local forums also doesn’t count for the Xbox 360 and this is speaking as a X ..Xbox owner.The PS3 community seems much friendlier and dont try and ” LOL you are a loser cos u are new ” every newbie.. they welcome you with open arms


  2. bboy

    October 9, 2009 at 12:59

    Um, I think the most important factor here is the fact that Xboxes are notorious for breaking – almost anyone who is about to buy a new console would have spoken to friends with Xboxes only to hear about MI-Digital nightmares and having been on their 3rd console etc.


  3. Geoff

    October 9, 2009 at 13:06

    While you’re quite right, that horse has been flogged to death and I was trying at things from a strictly local perspective.

    Powercare has of late been exceptional with handling of faulty 360’s – with 1 to 2 day turnarunds – almost making the RRoD issue moot.


  4. eXp

    October 9, 2009 at 13:19

    I must say that I’m glad I have both. In terms of gaming, they’re both the same. Online, I find Live better. This is not because Live is better, but because Xbox Players tend to play more games online whereas the PS3 only seems to have CoD4/5 players, and nothing really else.

    Maybe I just hang around in the wrong circles with PSN, but unless you have CoD or the Uncharted 2 beta, you better have some damn good single player games.



    October 9, 2009 at 13:34

    I feel the loyalty aspect definitely plays a big role. I have tried many times to change my pc gaming friends to console, namely xbox(and succeeded) as i have one and would enjoy playing games on live with them. But even if they do consider to opt for a console over pc the response is always…but i like playstation, i grew up with playstation. This mindset prevented a lot of gamers from even trying an xbox. Even though the playstation would be better for the local market with the new price point i however would not go for it as i have invested way too much money in my xbox to simply switch.


  6. ClericZA

    October 9, 2009 at 13:40

    Wow. I know so many more gamers with Xboxes than PS3s. This is rather surprising.

    I wonder if local Live would help…


  7. evilredzombie

    October 9, 2009 at 13:42

    u will…..


  8. Puppystuffer

    October 9, 2009 at 13:45

    “with no marketing presence, on the “core” gamers were even aware of its existence.”

    🙁 This sentence lacks a capital letter and doesn’t really make sense.

    Otherwise great article.


  9. Geoff

    October 9, 2009 at 13:49

    Fixed! Thanks for pointing it out.


  10. SlippyMadFrog

    October 9, 2009 at 13:49

    Jedi mind trick?


  11. XboxPirate

    October 9, 2009 at 13:53

    It is not surprising at all, the title is just misleading you! There is only 1 reason why the PS3 has and could sell more games than the 360. And the answer is Piracy :pirate:

    The article is also totally contradicting, the title states PS3 Console of choice in SA, yet in the article it states that the 360 has sold more consoles :cheerful: 😆 :w00t:

    The PS3 will continue to sell more games but will never sell more consoles, except on a few occasions like when the PS3 Slim launched and so forth, but in the long run the 360 will always outsell the PS3 in SA (In terms of consoles) :pirate:


  12. bboy

    October 9, 2009 at 13:55

    aight 🙂

    …but if my box breaks again (3rd time), i’d def consider getting ze PS3 now!


  13. evilredzombie

    October 9, 2009 at 13:55

    LOL.. yes …but I have seen so many “converts” lately its only matter of time


  14. Geoff

    October 9, 2009 at 13:56

    it’s not really contradictory – The Xbox 360 has a large install base at the moment due to its lower price and head start, but if you take your average South African on his way to buy an HD console today, the chances are that console would be a PS3.


  15. SH

    October 9, 2009 at 14:02

    Brand loyalty is retarded, unfortunately so is the majority of consumers.


  16. Geoff

    October 9, 2009 at 14:07

    Hear Hear!

    I go where the good games are.
    Unfortunately that’s lead me to buy just about every system imaginable. :/


  17. Nick de Bruyne

    October 9, 2009 at 14:08

    I still think that people didn’t play Killzone 2 MP enough, it’s awesome



    October 9, 2009 at 14:15

    yea and the ones that i knw that have ps3’s, have xbox also, though they prefer xbox


  19. XboxPirate

    October 9, 2009 at 14:15

    mmmmm, fair enough. But then the title should be “The PS3 is South Africa’s HD Console of Choice for first time buyers” and not necessarily the choice of the average current gamer in SA.


  20. bokka1

    October 9, 2009 at 14:15

    Your comments about the local forums are quite strange. I have never seen anybody calling noobs losers on the forums.

    I can’t see how that has anything to do with this article.


  21. janrik

    October 9, 2009 at 14:19

  22. Geoff

    October 9, 2009 at 14:19

    Doesn’t make the grade as a headline, does it?


  23. evilredzombie

    October 9, 2009 at 14:25

    it puts you off of going back…


  24. SH

    October 9, 2009 at 14:27

    Likewise, although my Wii has been a glorified dust magnet and gamecube title player recently. :getlost:


  25. XboxPirate

    October 9, 2009 at 14:31

    :biggrin: That is journalism for you


  26. al360rulz

    October 9, 2009 at 14:36

    bring on xbox live and i’ll support xbox titles again until then MS can forget about it PS3 here i come


  27. Lupus

    October 9, 2009 at 14:43

    Main reason is the lack of support from Microsoft in regards to Live. Initially we were sold this great console with the ability to go on Live to play with your friends etc… 3 and a bit years later, squat absolutely bloody squat has happened about it, while places like India who apparently have better broadband infrastructure but a quarter of our Xbox base gets it? Where it failed.
    Welcome to the arse end of the world people, please remember we are not cared about or even a concern to big companies. My PS3 will be bought in December.


  28. Strife Lives

    October 9, 2009 at 15:06

    Ive got 3 360s for Forza 2 triple screen setup,one RROD,after waiting for Mi Digital to pick it up for 3 months,I bought another,eventually powercare took over and swoppd it with a working one.just 1 360 of mine I use,very rarely.all multiplats I get on ps3,it just feels more reliable.PSN is free,thats also a plus.having a gold for each profile on a 360 is daylight robbery.anyways,after I got fifa10 on ps3,my 360 in use gets an hour to none gametime a week.you suck msft s.a,we wantd xbl,its ur loss if we ditch ya now. P.s,I wont even be picking up forza3,after seeing GT5 pics etc,Forza3 is a waste


  29. Milesh Bhana

    October 9, 2009 at 15:34

    I think now with the PS3 Slim, the whole thing get sblown out the water. Same price as the Elite but with BR, wi-fi and a free on-line service. Obviously it’s going to be the HD console of choice going forward (on top of the strong brand loyalty).

    But i agree with the posts here, MS lost too much face with the RRoD/E74s.


  30. SlippyMadFrog

    October 9, 2009 at 15:57

    I actualy got me a PS3 slim. I was a die-hard Xbox supporter but now I just enjoy both.


  31. Fox1

    October 9, 2009 at 16:22

    R899 for a second PS3 controller??? :dizzy:
    R299 for a Blu-Ray movie??? :sick:
    Cost of international bandwith??? :pinch:

    Oh and in SA, Microsoft exclusives sell much cheaper than PS3 exclusives. And they drop quicker in price than PS3 exclusives. Walk into any gaming store in the country and you will find that the XBox 360 library exceeds the size of the PS3 library :biggrin:

    And has anybody seen a bargain bin with PS3 games in SA? :tongue:


  32. Dark

    October 9, 2009 at 16:29

    I bet my bottom dollar the PS3 slim with new pricing will out strip the Xbox-360 in the lon run. PS3 = Mass Market Appeal. At the moment Xbox-360 unfortunately is still = Hardcore. My preference is Xbox but the figires just dont say that anymore.


  33. evilrezombie

    October 9, 2009 at 17:06

    And has anybody seen a bargain bin with PS3 games in SA

    yes… a few times…


  34. evilrezombie

    October 9, 2009 at 17:08

    oh and what does the xbox controller cost… if u add the recharge pack and battery ? cos the DS3 has the battery andcharger build in..


  35. Fox1

    October 9, 2009 at 17:24

    R449 for the controller + R99 for a set of four 2000mAh batteries that last around 50 hours on a single charge.


  36. Fox1

    October 9, 2009 at 17:28

    Now whats the cost of having an out of warranty PS3 replaced in SA versus an XBox 360? :whistle:


  37. lans

    October 9, 2009 at 19:26

    Ps3 is a much better piece of equipment at a much better price bar none xbox is no competitor if they were serious about beating sony at least make a quality product.

    Who cares about fixing a ps3 if it hardly ever breaks?


  38. Electrickery

    October 12, 2009 at 09:21

    Now whats the cost of having an out of warranty PS3 replaced in SA versus an XBox 360?

    Shame Fox1 is trying so hard to make the PS3 look stupid but the only thing looking stupid, is Fox1.

    Fox1, you really don’t have to get the PS3, I can assure that nobody with a PS3 is going to miss you or even notice that you not there. So go ahead an play your Xbox, I’m sure that when it’s actually working, it must bring you great joy. :whistle:


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