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Sony to hit PlayStation 3 target

Blue laser components now produced in volume

Sony is confident it will hit shipment targets for its recently launched PS3 (PlayStation 3) game console, its president said yesterday.

Prior to the launch of the PS3 in November, Sony said it would ship 2 million consoles this year in Japan and the US and 6 million by the end of its financial year in March 2007. Those targets remain achievable and won't be changed, said 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 said. "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 PS3 was launched in Japan on November 11 and in North America, Hong Kong and Taiwan on November 17. It had been due to launch in Europe in November but the laser shortage meant Sony postponed the European launch until March 2007.

Around 81,639 P3s 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.

Sony’s chief executive also said that Sony will keep looking at ways of reducing the manufacturing cost of the console so that it can turn a profit on the PS3 as quickly as possible.

Traditionally, game console makers have sold their machines at cost or a loss and then relied on game software sales to make a profit. In the case of the PS3, production costs are high and losses run at between $240 and $305 (£120 and £155) per console sold, according to a parts breakdown by iSuppli.


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