Sony and Microsoft have been busy slapping each other with Grand Theft Auto IV
sales statistics. Again. This time, it's in Australia. Sony says that Microsoft has got its stats "completely wrong".
Last week Microsoft issued a press release stating, "Xbox 360 is the lead platform of choice for Grand Theft Auto IV
after Gfk statistics show copies of the game on the 360 outsold those of its rival platform." (Gfk being a market research company that collates game sales data Down Under).
According to Michael Ephraim, Sony Computer Entertainment Australia's MD, that's all wrong. "You might have seen the local Microsoft press release that came out last week. Well, I want to tell you that that is completely wrong, because what they failed to communicate or add was the 5,000 GTA
PS3 bundles that were sold in that week", he said. "When you add that in, the PS3 SKU outsold the 360 SKU definitely. We can't comment on GTA
numbers – just that one bundle and that PS3 outsold 360 at EB – and their figures aren't factored into GfK statistics."
Ephraim goes on to explain his statement about EB, saying "The other thing I can tell you – and I feel comfortable telling you because I've asked them – EB, in the standalone data…across EB in Australia, the PS3 SKU outsold the Xbox 360 SKU too."
Yes, that's one retailer. But what of JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman; what of Game, and what about online sales? What of the number of games imported due to Aussie gamers disdain for the censored version available on home soil?
Cheers, Ephraim. That's useful information. This isn't to say, of course, that he isn't correct about the PS3 version having outsold the 360 version across Australia when you factor in the hardware bundles. We just don't really know, because neither party is dishing up hard numbers, so it's Microsoft's word against Sony's.
This comes just a few days after Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg making some snowy comments about Sony blitzing us with PR snowjobs
At least good old Chart-Track and ELSPA (which holds the copyright to Chart-Track's software sales figures) can be counted on to dish up hard data