Sony CEO expects PS3 targets will be met

Sony CEO expects PS3 targets will be met

Sony is confident it will hit shipment targets for its recently launched PlayStation 3 game console, its president says.

Prior to the launch of the PS3 in November, Sony said it would ship two million consoles this year in Japan and the US and six million by the end of its financial year in March 2007. Those targets remain achievable and won't be changed, says Ryoji Chubachi, Sony president and chief executive officer of the electronics business, in a briefing with reporters at its Tokyo headquarters.

"With the PS3 the bottleneck has been availability of blue lasers but now production of those has been launched in volume," he says. "We did take time preparing ourselves but as of today we have reached our target production rate. Based on projections for this year we will reach [the PS3 shipment targets]."

The PlayStation 3 was launched last month in Japan, North America, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Around 81,639 PlayStation 3 consoles were sold over the launch weekend in Japan, according to market data from Media Create. Demand for the console vastly outstripped supply but sales have dropped each week since the launch due to scarcity, according to the figures.

Media Create estimates 42,099 units were sold in the first full week of sales and then 32,622 units in the week from 20 November to 27 November. In the following week, the latest for which data is available, sales were lower still at 31,436 units, the company estimated.

The PlayStation 3 had been due to launch in Europe in November but the laser shortage meant Sony postponed the European launch until March 2007. That date remains unchanged, Chubachi says.

Chubachi says that Sony is looking to reduce the manufacturing cost of the console, so that it can turn a profit on the PS3 as quickly as possible.

Traditionally, console makers sold machines at cost or a loss, relying on game software sales to make a profit. In PS3' case, production costs are high and losses run at between US$240 and $305 per console sold, according to a parts breakdown by iSuppli.

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