Sony Account For A Third Of All Video Game Sales In The Middle East.

Which is perhaps why the company are seeing significantly strong sales of the Playstation 3 in the Middle East.
"The PS3, which is a high-end machine costing about $400 (Dh1,468) has a strong market in the Middle East," Jim Ryan, Co-chief Operating Officer of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, told Emirates Business. "The sales have been disproportionately strong in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and parts of Asia, especially in the May-June-July period.

"At least 20,000 to 25,000 PS3s have been sold in developing countries this year and 80 per cent of that was in the Middle East."</blockquote>

While critics will be quick to shoot down this success in developing countries with North American figures Sony were quick to stress that Middle Eastern market is worth a whopping $250 million to the company, a third of the entire region's video game market.
"In the earlier part of the cycle in 1995, when the first PlayStation was launched, the sales cycle was slow but by 2000 the sales of PS2 became bigger and now with PS3 they are booming," added Ryan.

"In other emerging countries such as Iran and Africa it's entry-level machines like the PS2 – which costs about $100 with games costing $2 – are moving fast.

"The high summer temperatures, combined with the economic downturn, have encouraged users to stay at home, which is another major driver of sales.

"Without too much of Arabic content in games, sales figures are positive. Unless gaming companies see big returns from the localisation or Arabisation of content there will be no investment made on that front.

Tim Stokes, Sales and Marketing Director of Sony's PlayStation division, said: "We are looking at pushing social games this year, especially with the launch of Singstar Arabia where users come online and participate. Tailoring of content will also be easy once this kind of a concept kicks off."</blockquote>

Rather heartwarmingly, Sony and Microsoft will team up later this year in order to promote gaming in the region.