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January 08 2003

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Sony computer Entertainment America Rings in Record-Breaking Holiday Sales, ignites industry confidence in the new Year

Press Release - Holiday Sales Final FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sony computer Entertainment America Rings in Record-Breaking Holiday Sales, ignites industry confidence in the new Year

Consumer Demand for PlayStation® Products Drives Overall Market Growth Generating $2 Billion in Retail Revenue During Critical Selling Season

FOSTER CITY, Calif., January 8, 2003 – Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. announced today record-breaking sales for the 2002 holiday season, outpacing its original internal estimates and outperforming the competition. In what was a relatively tough economic environment, retailers nationwide reported a strong holiday selling season for the PlayStation® platforms with total hardware sales volume reaching five million units. A 25 percent increase over last year, demand for PlayStation products reached an all-time high, confirming consumers’ insatiable appetite for interactive entertainment, and further validating PlayStation as the brand of choice among consumers, retailers and publishers alike.

In what was deemed a short season, more than four million PlayStation®2 computer entertainment systems were sold through to consumers in North America during November and December 2002, a 42 percent growth year-over-year for the same period last year. Specifically, Sony Computer Entertainment America sold more than one million PlayStation 2 computer entertainment systems during November 2002 and nearly three million additional units during December 2002. The company posted sales of more than 1.5 million consoles from December 16 through Christmas week, which helped drive December sales up more than 46 percent over the same period in 2001.

“This holiday season truly tested the videogame industry, with many skeptics anxiously awaiting holiday results before predicting the growth of the industry in 2003,” said David Cole, president, DFC Intelligence. “The impressive volume of products Sony Computer Entertainment America sold this holiday season has quieted many of these doubts and restored market confidence, proving that the videogame industry is poised for even stronger sales in 2003.”

PlayStation 2 games flew off the shelves in record numbers this year, as the console played host yet again to the top-selling titles of the season. Due to the vast array of electrifying new games available for PlayStation 2, the software-to-hardware tie ratio reached an unprecedented 7.7 to 1 with nearly 45 million units sold year to date, according to NPD FunWorld, a division of The NPD Group, as of November 2002. Among the most highly sought after games during the holiday shopping rush were first party releases SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs, which sold more than 700,000 copies in just four months, ATV Offroad Fury™ 2, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus™ and Ratchet and Clank™. Additionally, PlayStation 2 proved to be the console of choice among the third party community with hit titles including Madden NFL™ 2003 from EA Sports, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater4 from Activision, and PlayStation 2 exclusives Grand Theft Auto: Vice City from Rockstar Games, WWE SmackDown!Shut Your Mouth™ from THQ and KINGDOM HEARTS from Square Electronic Arts.

“We operate our business based on the fundamental belief that great games drive consumer purchase decisions. As Sony Computer Entertainment America evaluates our eighth holiday selling season in tangible measures, we affirm yet again the value of our approach to our partners,” said Jack Tretton, executive vice president, Sony Computer Entertainment America. “In the new year we will raise the bar in interactive entertainment even higher as we delve into exciting new internal development and licensee opportunities to grow our platform businesses.”

Great games also inspired an influx of new members to join the PlayStation 2 online community. From Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day, more than 200,000 gamers chose to spend their Christmas vacation online, logging more than one million hours of gameplay on hot first party online titles such as SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs, ATV Offroad Fury 2, NFL GameDay™ 2003 and Twisted Metal: Black ONLINE. In anticipation of upcoming online titles including EverQuest® Online Adventures from Sony Online Entertainment and automodellista from Capcom, a wave of new members are expected to grow this online community. Shipments of the Network Adaptor (Ethernet/modem) (for PlayStation®2), the foray to the PlayStation 2 online community, surpassed 400,000 units as of December 30, 2002, which outpaced the company’s five-month projection.

"The videogame category is traditionally strong for Best Buy during the holidays," said Jill Hamburger, vice president of video games, computer software and movies for Best Buy. "PlayStation products continued to be a popular choice for our customers this past holiday season."

In its eighth holiday season on the market, Sony Computer Entertainment America extended its commanding industry lead with the original PlayStation game console posting sales of nearly one million units for November 1 through December 31 timeframe. Fueled by the ultimate PS one™ console pricing at $49, with more than 1,200 games to choose from and an optional LCD screen for convenient portability, Sony Computer Entertainment America continues to deliver a wide market for its existing PlayStation business.

About Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® and PS one™ game console, and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. The PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system is set to revolutionize the home entertainment market, offering the most compelling interactive content and the capability to be used as a network terminal in the coming broadband era.
Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets and distributes software for the PS one game console and the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system for the North American market. Based in Foster City, Calif. Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.