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Sony PS3 Continues March to Homes

6 Feb, 2007 By: John Gaudiosi

The PlayStation 3 is making steady progress, according to Sony Computer Entertainment America. The company reports that 2 million PS3s have shipped worldwide.

Sony sold 690,000 PS3s in the United States last year, according to the NPD Group. One analyst said he expects Sony sold an additional 200,000 PS3s in January, which would bring the total U.S. installed base to 890,000. Canada typically sells about 7% of U.S. hardware sales.

Having launched in Japan and North America, PS3 is slated to hit Europe March 23. Only the 60GB PS3s, which retail for £300, will be available for the European launch. The 20GB PS3s are expected to ship at a later date. As was the case in North America and Japan, retailers such as HMV are bundling PS3 hardware with games to get consumers to pay £675 and more for the new system. Unlike U.S. stores, some of these bundles are focusing on PSP games, rather than PS3 games; which could be attributed to the weak line-up of launch titles that has plagued the PS3 in its other launches.

In the United States, although Sony supported the initial launch last year with approximately 20% of its shipments allotted to the $500 PS3 with the 20GB hard drive, it appears that only the $600 PS3s are hitting retail stores now. According to several EB Games and Toys R Us retailers and one buyer, no new $500 PS3s are being replenished on store shelves.

Although there's been no official word from Sony to retailers or anyone else, analysts contacted about this are not surprised. As was the case with Xbox 360, the early adopters want the more-expensive machine because it comes with extra features like Wi-Fi and the larger hard drive that's more important for gamers who play a lot.

Sony Computer Entertainment America issued a press release quoting Nielsen VideoScan to tout the acceptance of Blu-Ray Disc movies. According to the release, Blu-ray has surpassed HD DVD in cumulative sales. Blu-ray titles outsold HD DVD titles by more than a 2-to-1 margin during the first week of January (47.14 HD DVD titles for every 100 Blu-ray titles). Blu-ray titles outsold HD-DVD titles closer to 3-to-1 during the second week of the month (38.36 HD-DVD titles for every 100 Blu-ray titles)

According to Sony customer survey data, 90% of current PS3 users have watched a Blu-ray movie on their PS3, 80% stated that they plan to purchase a Blu-ray movie and 72% stated that they plan to rent a Blu-ray movie in the near future. (The first 500,000 PS3s shipped with a free copy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.)

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