PlayStation 3 Popular in Middle East, But Don’t Expect Arabic Content

The PlayStation 3 may be struggling in major consumer markets, but Middle Eastern gamers apparently love Sony’s Blu-Ray equipped console.

Emirates Business 24/7 reports that the Middle East enjoys the highest level of PS3 sales among developing countries. SCEE exec Jim Ryan commented:

The PS3… has a strong market in the Middle East. The sales have been disproportionately strong in the Middle East and Africa… 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… In other emerging countries such as Iran and Africa it’s entry-level machines like the PS2 which… are moving fast.

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

Despite the PS3’s relative success, gamers in the Middle Eastern market shouldn’t expect much in the way of culturally familiar games on the system, Ryan said:

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.

Emirates Business 24/7 reports that the total Middle Eastern gaming market for systems and software is $750,000 million, with at least a third of that amount controlled by Sony.

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