Messe Sanoh Manager Estimates PS3 Slim Shipments
If Sony increases system sales 35 fold, they could sell out!
Sony is planning an ambitious worldwide launch for the new slimline PlayStation 3. That's three territories, all at pretty much the same time, for new low priced hardware backed with some major releases. Add to that pent up demand due to recent retail shortages (PS3 sales fell here last week most likely due to lack of availability) and it's probably reasonable to expect shortages.
Depending on how many units Sony manages to ship, of course. So how many will they be shipping? For an educated estimate, we turn to Kazuyuki Inakoshi, manager at a well known game shop called Messe Sanoh in Tokyo's Akihabara district.
In the latest installment of his weekly column at Famitsu.com, Inakoshi recounted a recent briefing from Sony where he was given a chance to see the new system up close. Following the briefing, he was given an indication of shipments for his shop. While he wouldn't make his own figure public, he reverse calculated from the figure and came to an estimate of a total initial shipment of 200,000 units.
This seems like it should be more than enough to satisfy initial demand for the PS3 here in Japan. As a comparison, the current model PS3 sold just 6,000 units last week, although as mentioned above that may have been due to unavailability in many shops. Even on a normal week, however, the system was struggling to stay at the 10,000 mark. For a major release like Resident Evil 5, the system saw a boost to under the 40,000 mark.
As you can see in the PS3 release calendar (which I believe is still up to date), Sony is backing the PS3 slim launch with a bunch of budget re-releases (all of which were announced before the redesign announcement -- that should've been somewhat of a hint that something was going down on the 3rd!) and two new games: the Chun Soft sound novel 428 and the new Gundam game Gundam Senki. Gundam seems to be the big title in the launch, as Sony is giving it a PS3 slim hardware bundle.
A launch next to Gundam doesn't appear to sit well with Inakoshi. He presumes that Sony is aiming to sell the new system not to current PS3 owners but to newcomers. If that's the case, he feels that it doesn't make sense to launch opposite Gundam, which has a large number of core users who probably already have a PS3. Instead, he believes Sony should have launched opposite Tales of Vesperia, which targets light users and is popular with female audiences. That title is set for release on September 17, and Inakoshi hopes supplies of the system don't run out before then.
Elsewhere in the blog post, Inakoshi gives some slightly humorous opinions about the system after having gotten a close look at it. His first impression was that it was either a large router or a really old notebook PC.
He also said that if it weren't for the price and the larger hard drive, he'd probably opt for the current model.
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