Japan aids Sony to ship 1 mln PS3s

CIOL Bureau
Updated On
New Update

SAN FRANCISCO/LAS VEGAS:Sony Corp. met its goal of shipping 1 million PlayStation 3 video game consoles to North America by the end of 2006, but did so by diverting units from Japan, said the market leader in the $30 billion video game industry.


The Japanese game giant's high-end video game console retails for as much as $600 in the United States and faces challenges from Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 and Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s Wii.

"We had to make some decisions from a territory to territory perspective," said Jack Tretton, chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment America, which handles Sony's PlayStation business.

"Within a week, at the most, a million units will be in (North American) consumers' hands," Tretton told Reuters ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.


He declined to say how many units were shifted from Japan or whether the company met its goal of shipping a total of 2 million units to North America and Japan by year-end.

But Sony said on Sunday it was on track to ship 6 million PS3 consoles worldwide by the end of March 2007.

The company airlifted PS3 systems into North America on a weekly basis in an effort that helped it reach the 1-million-unit shipment mark for North America faster than it did with previous PlayStation consoles, Sony said.


Tretton said North America is Sony's largest video game market and the company's focus during the PS3 launch. He added Sony would make up Japan supplies during this year and said the European PS3 launch -- slated for March -- remained on track.

"We're equally strong in all three markets. We can't afford to sacrifice any one of them," Tretton said.

Sony has enjoyed an iron grip on the video game console market with its two previous PlayStation models -- combined unit sales of which have hit more than 200 million globally -- but its launch of the PS3 was beset by delays.

Microsoft was first to launch the latest-generation game console, bringing its Xbox 360 to market in late 2005, a year ahead of Sony, and forecast shipments of 10 million by the end of 2006. Nintendo had said it would ship 4 million Wii units by then.