PS3, PSP continue to thrive in "other" regions

Posted by Mike Luttrell

They're sometimes the brunt of the joke in the US, but the PS3 and PSP remain a strong competitor in parts of the world. How will this affect Sony's marketing of the platforms?

Just a little over a week ago, Sony officially launched both systems in the Philippines. As the Manila Bulletin reports, the products' launch was celebrated in the Philippines' capital city with live DJs, a huge soundstage, demo kiosks, and competitions. It sounded like more of a festival than either the PS3 or PSP launches in the US.

With the obvious exception of Japan, Asia has remained a largely untapped market in the video game world. Most countries just import systems and games from the rest of the world, and are left uncatered by the manufacturers themselves. It's hard for most of us to think of living somewhere where, even if you walk into one of the only stores that sells a PS3, you won't even get warranty support for it.

To be sure, the Asian market is not as lucrative, with governmental and societal barriers making it easy to overlook as a viable region. But Sony needs all the help it can get, and by showing such a deep interest in countries like the Philippines, their investment in non-dominant regions may be returned in kind.

Additionally, the latest sales numbers from Japan are in. While the PS3 is usually reliably in last place in the US, it's been on the top in Japan for some time now. In March, the PS3 sold over 50,000 units.

That's nearly more than the Wii, DSi, DS Lite, and Xbox 360, combined. The system in second place was the PSP, at more than 46,000 units. The Wii came in at just under 37,000 while the Xbox 360 continues to sell at a mind-turningly slow pace on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

Of course, the US is still by far the most coveted video game market. While Japan is talking about sales in terms of tens of thousands, US numbers usually rank in the millions.

Sony can't turn its business around simply by selling well in Asia, but it could change the game by turning into a viable marketplace.