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SCE Australia Boss Backs R18+ As PS3 Crosses 850K

Sony Computer Entertainment Australia and New Zealand's managing director solidified his support for an R18+ content rating, as the company's PlayStation 3 passed the 850,000 mark in the region.
Sony Computer Entertainment Australia and New Zealand managing director Michael Ephraim has offered his two cents on the R18+ rating issue in the region, stating flatly that the local industry needs to recognize that video games are not just for kids. "Gaming has moved on, the choice of content has moved on and I think it is time Australia gets in step with the rest of the world and has an R rating classification," Ephraim told the Australian Associated Press Tuesday. Australia's government does not have an adult content rating for video games akin to the U.S.' "M for mature," Europe's "18" rating or Japan's "Z" rating. "MA15+" is Australia's most restrictive rating, meaning that any game in Australia that is determined to be inappropriate for anyone under 15 is refused classification by the country's Office of Film and Literature Classification, essentially banning the game from the region. Australian political figures such as Michael Atkinson have been staunch opponents of an R18+ rating, arguing that games with adult subject matter are harmful to youth. He said that proponents of an R18+ rating are part of a "small, vested interest." But the country's Federal Home Affairs group recently released a preliminary official report that found 98.2 percent of Australians declaring they support the rating. Half of the poll's submissions were driven by an in-store promotion at video game retailer EB Games. Australia's attorneys-general are discussing the possibility of adding an R18+ rating. "Gaming has grown up," Ephraim said. Separately, Ephraim also told GameSpot AU that the PS3 has sold 850,000 units in Australia, and the company is on track to surpass 1 million by the end of the year. 150,000 PS3s sold were part of a PS3 bundle deal with Sony's Bravia TV line, the report said. While Ephraim seemed happy with PS3's progress, the download-only PSP Go is more of a disappointment, selling just 20,000 to 25,000 units since the handheld's launch in October 2009, according to GameSpot.

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