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Sony Computer Entertainment America might have to cut in half the expected allocation number of the highly-anticipated PlayStation 3 game consoles for the market of North America, according to some analysts. The launch of this scale further indicates that the entertainment giant failed to product even half of a million game consoles for the mid-November launch.

Analyst PJ McNealy of American Technology Research said in a recent note to clients that according to his estimates Sony Computer Entertainment America only managed to ship 125 – 175 thousand of the PlayStation 3 game consoles to North America for the launch date on the 17th of November, 2006. That said, the analyst believes that Sony is unlikely to supply 2 million PS3 units in Japan and the North America in calendar 2006.

“After further review, our research indicates that Sony’s PS3 opening weekend shipments were below our already lowered expectations, while Nintendo’s Wii numbers remained in-line... [Sony’s shipment] number is below our previously lowered expectations of 250K to 300K. We previously expected Sony Corp. (SNE) to be able to still make a calendar year 2006 North American and Japan shipment number of 2 million, but those numbers are now under review,” PJ McNealy is quoted as saying by web-site.

Back in September SCEA said that only 400 thousand of units will be available at launch in the USA/North America and 100 thousand would be shipped to Japan. Meanwhile, the product launch in Europe is postponed till March, 2007. According to reports, since then the company has further cut allocation for its domestic market to 88 400 units and currently it is said that only up to 175 000 units were shipped for Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

If both numbers are correct, then in the best case scenario Sony managed to ship only about 263 thousand of PS3s on the market for the launch, two times less than it planned in September, when it said that 100 thousand units would be available in Japan and 400 thousand units would be shipped to North America markets at launch. Therefore, the reports about leading retailers in the USA failing to receive the expected number of the PS3 consoles are not surprising.

“We will continue to monitor the frequency and volume of SNE’s shipments to retail over the next 33 days or so ahead of Christmas, as well as the context of SNE’s ship-in numbers being a factory floor-invoiced number as of December 31st. To be crystal clear, we don’t expect it likely that SNE will update any of its hardware numbers before it reports its December quarter in late January. We believe that the December NPD report of North American November retail hardware is shaping up to be 125k to 175k, but outside of NPD and other local (Japan) market reports, we expect SNE to remain mum and focus on delivering units to retail,” Mr. McNealy said.

Sony PlayStation 3 console is based on the Cell processor developed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba, the RSX graphics chip by Nvidia Corp. and will be equipped with Blu-ray optical disk drive, a hardware part, which is merely available today.


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