PS3 Shipment Hysteria Only 400k for US Launch
We're not quite sure what to think at this point, but Sony has not officially delayed the PS3 for all PAL regions, but they've also announced a cut back in launch numbers. Sony will not be shipping 1M units between Japan and the US -- that number is now sliced halfway with Japan getting a mere 100,000 units for launch day and the US 400,000. But Sony says that constant replenishment of stock for retailers will be provided weekly, and that they will have shipped over 1 million units for the holiday season in the US alone. Additionally, Sony states that Japan will get a similar replenishment regime and that over 1 million units will be shipped there, as well during the holiday season.
Sony has also not lowered their forecast of shipping a total of 6 million units for fiscal year ending 2007; which means, they're still set to have shipped 6 million PS3s by the very end of March 2007. Whether that promised is held onto or eventually downgraded is still up in the air. What we do know now is that their will be a frenzy
Essentially, what we're looking at is a pretty critical (and almost dangerous) issue for customers, and even Sony. It remains to be seen how customers respond to this on the day of launch -- but judging from past experiences, it won't be all too peaceful. Although, one thing is for sure, eBayers are certainly jumping for joy.
Dave Karraker who was recently appointed as SCEA's Head of Corporate Communications (some may remember him during his stint with Sega) spoke to MTV about the issue. "People shouldn't fixate on the day-one allocation number," he says. "They should instead be more interested in the overall units available through the holidays, which will be 1 million to 1.2 million, which are significant amounts that will provide retail supply week over week with no dips in available stock."
Basically, it's all down to the customer. If over 400,000 people are willing to shell $600 for a game console all on the same day (November 17th), then we're going to have issues. But, if the price of the console is believed to be too much by many...then perhaps this launch will go smoothly -- if only for Sony's sake.
9/6/2006 Arnold Katayev