Vodafone announces partnership with PlayStation in New Zealand, has PS5 consoles available at launch

Vodafone has announced a partnership with PlayStation in New Zealand and to kick it off has secured a limited amount of in-demand PS5 consoles.

It comes after Spark earlier this year announced being the exclusive NZ partner of Xbox All Access, a scheme that splits the cost of a gaming console and a game subscription service into monthly payments over two years.

The PS5 is released on Thursday, but has been sold out at many retailers in advance. Vodafone is making an undisclosed number of consoles available to buy from its NZ website on launch day.

The telecommunications company says its partnership with Sony Interactive Entertainment New Zealand Ltd (SIENZ) has "the ultimate aim of boosting digital inclusion throughout Aotearoa through the medium of gaming".

"Gaming brings people together and develops valuable skills such as problem-solving, concentration and critical thinking," says Vodafone consumer director Carolyn Luey.

"It is enjoyed by people of all walks of life, age and gender, and is increasing in popularity at an exponential rate."

The partnership with SIENZ is the latest move by Vodafone in the gaming space, having previously partnered with esports provider LetsPlay.Live (LPL) on esports tournaments.

Meanwhile, Xbox All Access from Spark offers customers a new Xbox console that is paid off in monthly instalments, bundled with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription.

In a statement to Newshub, Spark said: "We believe gaming has huge potential as a digital subscription service - we've already seen this transformation with movies and music - and we're proud to exclusively offer Microsoft's industry-leading Xbox Game Pass membership to gamers in New Zealand with Xbox All Access."

The Xbox Series X and Series S are both released in New Zealand on Tuesday, with a livestream running tonight from 11pm to midnight that promises to turn Queenstown into 'Greenstown'.