Well, it appears we're finally beyond the "early" and the "unofficial" and the "estimates" in Australia. The official sales numbers for the PS3 are finally in, courtesy of GfK and IGN.
As it turns out, despite the smaller number of consoles sold, Sony ended up making about as much – in terms of total revenue – as Microsoft did with the Xbox 360. In total, the PS3 has generated over $33 million in hardware and software sales, so says the analyst group at GfK. Of course, analysts are supposed to "analyze" numbers, so a representative had something to say about that $33 million:
"Our data revealed that in a matter of just ten days the PlayStation 3 created a spike in retail spending not previously witnessed at the launch of any other console in Australia. This spending continued into the second week of trading, resulting in sales of 27,083 PlayStation 3 consoles in just ten days."
Therefore, despite the early reports of few people waiting for the PS3 in Australia on launch day, it appears the system fared quite well. It didn't fare as well down under as it did in the UK, of course, but Sony evidently remains content with this first showing of the PS3. According to Michael Ephraim, Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment Australia and New Zealand, the consumer support for the PS3 thus far has been "strong."
"Following a great launch for the PS3 across the country, it's very satisfying for us to see that our close planning with retail and channel partners has ensured that all consumers wanting to get their hands on a PS3, whether they pre-ordered or not, were able to," said Ephraim. "With the PS3 now realized, the strong consumer support to date indicates that we've had a successful platform launch and are at a great starting position for us to grow and develop the PS3 platform. The inclusion of a Blu-ray Disc player in the PS3 has also helped firmly launch the new disc format in Australia, with the install base growing over 40-fold in just three days."
If the PS3 can reach the very high bar its predecessor has set, we're sure Sony will be plenty happy. As it is, the PS2 is still selling (the introduction of that new Pink model has helped, apparently) in Australia. The last two weeks of March saw the PS2 second only to the PS3 in sales, with 7,954 units sold.
In direct comparison to the competition, the PS3 brings up the rear, but only by a little. The Wii sold about 33,000 during its launch, for example, but the 27k+ the PS3 sold means just about as much, considering the price of the unit. In fact, mathematically speaking, Sony might have actually cleared more than Nintendo for their system's launch in Australia. In the end, Sony is still saying the PS3 has a 10-year lifespan, and if that's the case, we figure the numbers can only go up from here.