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Sony: 525K PS3s and 160K PS Vitas sold around Black Friday

Black Friday was a swell time for Sony: the Japanese company moved hundreds of thousands of gaming gizmos last week but fell short of Microsoft and Nintendo's hardware sales during the same period.

Sales still remain strong for Sony's 6-year-old PlayStation 3 console during a crucial holiday test.

Sony sold an impressive amount of PlayStation hardware in the U.S. over Thanksgiving: 525,000 PlayStation 3 consoles and 160,000 PS Vita bundles.

The number of PlayStation devices sold fell short of Microsoft and Nintendo's surprising announcements earlier this week that the companies sold 750,000 Xbox 360 units and 1.2 million Nintendo gaming devices, respectively.

Regardless of that comparative shortfall, the mood remains upbeat at Sony.

"We're very pleased with the Black Friday sales results, especially the incredible reception for the PS3 and PS Vita bundles. The demand was very strong which quickly depleted our inventory across retailers nationwide," said Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America. "The PlayStation brand generated significant revenue and year-over-year growth at retail because of our focus on what gamers love most in combining amazing hardware with great games and digital entertainment."

Gamers (and their wallets) flocked to several specially priced packages that Sony and various retailers made available during the Black Friday weekend. Sony made available a flurry of $199 bundles, including: a 250GB PS3 with accessories and either Uncharted or inFAMOUS games, and a PS Vita special with either Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, Black Ops: Declassified, or Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. All of the aforementioned bundles sold out at retail and moved massive numbers online, noted a Sony press release.

Sony also announced that PlayStation Plus subscription sales increased 259 percent during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period, undoubtedly fueled by the offering of major games free through the service known as the "Instant Game Collection."

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